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Victims of Japanese sexual slavery launch independent foundation

All News 17:47 June 09, 2016

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery launched a private foundation Thursday, denouncing the landmark agreement reached by Seoul and Tokyo last year.

The Foundation for Justice and Remembrance for the Issue of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan held its establishment ceremony in western Seoul, vowing to support the victims and continue research on the issue.

The move came a week after the South Korean government launched a preparatory committee to establish a foundation aimed at compensating the victims who were forced to serve in frontline brothels for the imperialist Japanese army during World War II.

It was the first official step to implement the agreement reached between the South Korean and Japanese governments to end decades-old disputes over the wartime atrocities.

In the agreement, Japan pledged to inject 1 billion yen (US$8.98 million) into the foundation as part of compensation measures.

Many of the alive victims, represented by the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, have been opposed to the deal, and have been calling for legal compensation from the Japanese government.

Historians estimate that up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea, were victims of such sexual slavery during that war era. The issue is becoming increasingly urgent as most victims are well over 80 years old and may die before they receive compensation or an apology from Japan.

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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