South Korea and Japan reached a landmark agreement today on the thorny issue of wartime sex slaves that has long soured relations, with Tokyo offering survivors a one-billion yen payment.
The deal would be “final and irreversible” if Japan fulfils its responsibilities, South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se said after talks with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida.
Kishida said Japan agreed to offer a one billion yen (USD 8.3 million) payment for Korean “comfort women” who were sexually enslaved by Japanese troops during World War II.
“It’s not compensation. It’s a project to recover the honour and dignity of all comfort women and to heal their emotional wounds,” he said.
“The comfort women issue…occurred with the involvement of the Japanese military…and the Japanese government acutely feels its responsibility.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offers an “apology and repentance from the bottom of his heart” to the victims, Kishida said.
“I think the agreement we reached is historic and is a ground-breaking achievement,” he said.