The Issue of Korea's Comfort Women
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During Japan’s occupation of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945 South Korean women were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese officers. This outrage included many North Korean women as well. At that time North and South Korea were not divided. During World War II many of these Korean women were shipped off to frontline brothels to provide sexual favors for the officers. In 2015 an agreement was made between South Korea and Japan to settle the long dispute over this matter. Demands were made by both countries.

One of Japan’s demands was that South Korea stop calling it sexual slavery. The also demanded that South Korea take down a certain statue from in front of their embassy. The statue in question depicts the South Korean women forced into sexual slavery. The matter has rested until now. The new incoming president of South Korea, Moon Jae-In is bringing the matter back up. He says the agreement made is deeply flawed. Although both country’s said the 2015 agreement was “final and irreversible,” Moon is now producing new demands.

From that point forward Japan’s official term for them was “victims of Japanese military comfort stations.” Moon has stated that he firmly believes the 2015 agreements were flawed both in process and content. He said it certainly in no way resolved the issue. It appears, then, that he expects to soon be officially be reopening the subject. However, experts don’t think the government of South Korea will behind him on this. The Japanese Foreign Minister, Taro Kono, defended the 2015 agreement and said trying to redo it on the grounds that it was done incorrectly will seriously damage any kind of relationship.

The South Korean Foreign Minister has stated that the South Korean government will pursue that most efficient methods soon. Japanese has already agreed to pay 1 billion yen ($8.8 million) to the surviving victims. They also set up a foundation to support the victims. Japan says the Moon’s statements are only one recent sign that South Korea has not lived up to its side of the bargain. Apparently, South Korea has yet to remove the offending statue from in front of its embassy. In the meantime, Moon keeps pushing the ineligibility of the 2015 and that it must be revisited.

He sees it just as important as another issue he is addressing: North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Moon is trying to ally with China against both Japan and North Korea. He has sort of done that, not officially, though. In fact, Moon recently paid a two-day visit to Tokyo to show that he has not fully gone with the Chinese. Moon takes the reigns of South Korean leadership under somewhat tenuous circumstances; his predecessor, Park Geun-Hye, was impeached. Moon met with the Japanese president during which they officially discussed the “ comfort women ” issue. The 2015 discussions had taken place in Seoul. The president is expected to return a visit to South Korea during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Latest Activity: Feb 23, 2018 at 11:01 AM

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kadenb commented on Friday, Mar 16, 2018 at 12:17 PM

this story should end with happy end for both sides

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