JPY One Billion Fund Might Resolve Japan-South Korea Comfort Women Issue

JPY One Billion Fund Might Resolve Japan-South Korea Comfort Women Issue
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Japanese government hopes to put an end to the comfort women issue and that South Korea will never bring up the issue again. Meanwhile, it also asked to remove the comfort women statue in front of its embassy in Seoul and to promise to stop setting up statues of comfort women in the US.

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On December 25, Japanese government has decided to bring up providing a JPY one billion (approximately US$ 8.3 million) fund for comfort women, who were forced to serve Japanese soldiers in World War II, on the summit of Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.

CNA reports that the fund will be used to support the lives of the former comfort women. The Japanese government intends to negotiate with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and requires her to clearly note her confirmation that the comfort women issue is ultimately resolved in the agreement during the summit. Whether or not South Korea agrees with the plans brought by Tokyo will be the focus.

On December 25, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced that he would meet with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se on December 28.

Nikkei Shimbun quotes Japanese officials saying one of the proposals is “To immediately pay the aid money of the amount of ten years and to establish a fund." The total amount of the fund will be over JPY one billion (approximately US$ 8.3 million).

Radio Free Asia reports, Japanese government has taken measures to solve the comfort women issue, which has three main points, including:

1. Sending an apology letter to the comfort women in the name of Japanese Prime Minister Abe.
2. The Japanese ambassador to South Korea will apologize in person.
3. The Japanese government will fund the rest of the comfort women’s lives and their death ceremonies.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at the press conference that according to the agreement between Japan and South Korea in 1965, Japan will stick to the position that the comfort women compensation money has already been paid and Tokyo had already given out US$ 800 million worth of pensions and loans to South Korea.

In 1993, Japan officially apologized to all of the comfort women from Southeast Asia. In 1995, Japan set up the Asian Women’s Fund and sent apology letters to related women with the signature of the Japanese Prime Minister. The fund was ended in 2007 along with medical support and other economic aids. However, South Korea believes that these measures are still not enough.

In 1993, Japan officially apologized to all of the comfort women from Southeast Asia. In 1995, Japan set up the Asian Women’s Fund and sent apology letters to related women with the signature of the Japanese Prime Minister. The fund was ended in 2007 along with medical support and other economic aids. However, South Korea believes that these measures are still not enough.

Japanese government hopes to put an end to the comfort women issue and that South Korea will never bring up the issue again. Meanwhile, it also asked to remove the comfort women statue in front of its embassy in Seoul and to promise to stop setting up statues of comfort women in the US.

Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources: