World / Asia-Pacific

S.Korea, Japan to hold director-general talks on comfort women

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-05-13 14:59

SEOUL - South Korea's foreign ministry said Tuesday that its director general-level diplomat will head to Tokyo later this week to hold talks about Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women.

Lee Sang-deok, director general of the South Korean Foreign Ministry's Northeast Asian Affairs Bureau, will visit Tokyo for two days from Thursday to meet with Junichi Ihara, head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau.

Seoul's foreign ministry said the two diplomats will talk about the issue of comfort women, or a euphemism for Korean women coerced into sex slavery for the Japanese Imperial Army during World War , after holding such talks for the first time on April 16.

During the first dialogue, the two sides just confirmed gaps on the issue. Victims of the former South Korean sex slaves have demanded the Japanese government acknowledge, apologize and atone for its wartime crime.

Japan has claimed that all the issues related to its wartime atrocities, including the forcible recruitment of Korean women as prostitutes, were resolved under the 1965 treaty that normalized diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Yonhap News Agency reported that the two diplomats will exchange views on issues of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) during the second round of dialogue unlike the first talks which focused solely on the comfort women issue.

During the meeting, the Japanese side was known to want to cover the issue of lawsuits seeking compensation for Koreans who were conscripted as forced laborers as well as the issue of South Korea's import ban on Japanese fishery products.

Seoul imposed the ban amid concerns over radiation leak following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in 2011.

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