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S. Korean foreign minister sees lack of communications with sex slavery victims in deal with Japan
Last Updated: 2017-12-26 13:06 | Xinhua
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South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Tuesday that the agreement with Japan in December 2015 lacked communications with South Korean victims who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army during World War II.

Kang told a meeting with local media reporters that the conclusion was reached that there was a significant shortage in communications with the victims in reaching the agreement, referring to the so-called "final and irreversible" deal over "the comfort women" victims announced on Dec. 28, 2015 by South Korea and Japan.

The agreement was reached under the previous South Korean government, but the South Korean victims protested against it as it lacked the Japanese government's acknowledgement of its legal responsibility and its sincere apology for the wartime atrocity.

The victims also complained about lack of communications in advance before reaching the agreement.

Under the agreement, Japan agreed to provide 1 billion yen (9 million U.S. dollars) for a foundation supporting the South Korean victims in return for Seoul's final and irreversible agreement over "the comfort women" issue.

"The comfort women" is a euphemism for the victims who were coerced into sex servitude for Japan's military brothels during the Pacific War. Historians say up to 200,000 girls and young women were sold, kidnapped or captured to be sexually exploited.

The new government under President Moon Jae-in, who took office in May, said the agreement was not emotionally acceptable to the ordinary people as well as the victims in South Korea, launching a foreign ministry task force to review the whole procedure.

The review result was scheduled to be announced by Seoul's foreign ministry Wednesday.

Kang said 70 percent of South Korean people did not accept the 2015 agreement, which also dissatisfied the victims, noting that all options would be open about how to deal with the agreement by communicating with the victims and civic groups having supported the victims for a long time.

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