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Former sex slaves protest against foundation to be launched this week

All News 15:18 July 25, 2016

SEOUL, July 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korean women who were sexually abused by Japanese soldiers during the country's colonial occupation period (1910-45) denounced the government for "unilaterally" pushing forward with a foundation dedicated to the victims.

In December, South Korea and Japan reached a landmark deal in which Tokyo apologized for its colonial-era atrocities and agreed to provide 1 billion yen (US$9.4 million) for the creation of a foundation aimed at supporting the victims, euphemistically called comfort women.

The foundation will be officially launched Thursday, about seven months after the deal was reached.

The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan said the agreement was reached without prior consultation with the victims.

"South Korea and Japan made an agreement lacking proper apology and compensation," it said during a press conference held in front of the government complex in central Seoul.

The deal reached on Dec. 28 has been hailed by the international community as a step in the right direction given that the comfort women issue has been a long-standing obstacle to ties between the two neighboring countries.

Still, victims and liberal civic groups have accused the government of striking the deal without getting Japan's acknowledgment of legal responsibility.


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