President Moon Seeks Japan’s Understanding on Comfort Women Issue open the window of AOD

Write : 2017-06-18

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President Moon Jae-in said that Japan needs to realize that most South Koreans cannot accept the bilateral settlement on Japan’s use of wartime sex slaves signed in 2015.

In a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's special envoy Toshihiro Nikai at the top office on Monday, Moon discussed the comfort women issue, emphasizing that Japan needs to understand the South Korean public’s view on the topic.

Nikai was delivering Abe’s personal letter containing his position on the controversial bilateral agreement on the wartime sex slavery issue.

Moon said it is particularly difficult for the South Korean survivors of Japan’s wartime sexual enslavement to accept the deal.

While stressing the gravity of the issue, Moon said that it should not impede progress on other bilateral issues, adding he hopes the two countries directly deal with problems and take a practical approach to improve their ties.

The Japanese envoy sympathized with him, suggesting the two countries work together to deepen their relationship.

Meanwhile, the South Korean government notified the local court that the settlement with Japan over wartime sex slavery does not nullify the individual victims' rights to claim reparations.

Sources related to the plaintiffs of the damage suit against the Japanese government revealed Tuesday that the South Korean government submitted its understanding of the legal implications of the bilateral agreement in late April.

The government is also said to have told the local court that the bilateral agreement must be respected as a promise between two countries while recognizing that the deal is not legally binding.

While announcing the signing of the settlement in December 2015, the South Korean and Japanese foreign ministers said each side considered it a “final and irreversible resolution” of the issue.

While negotiating the matter, the Korean government maintained that Japan is responsible for illegal anti-humanitarian wrongdoings despite the 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations between the two sides over the colonial past.

Sources said that the South Korean government has now inquired about what it should do to realize the sex slavery victims' individual rights to claim reparations.

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