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Japan's defense chief says 'comfort women' issue already resolved

All Headlines 15:16 June 03, 2017

SINGAPORE, June 3 (Yonhap)-- Japan's defense minister said Saturday her government regards the so-called comfort women issue with South Korea as fully resolved.

Tomomi Inada said the historical matter shouldn't be allowed to hamper efforts to improve Seoul-Tokyo ties anymore, a view that runs counter to public sentiment in South Korea.

The neighboring countries have an "irreversible and final" agreement, she said, referring to a 2015 deal on Korean women who served as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II. Korea was under Japan's brutal colonial rule at that time.

"Japan has already done its part in the agreement," Inada said via translator during a session at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual regional security forum held in this city state. "This is a country-to-country agreement."

The accord called for Japan to offer an apology and a one-billion yen payment to surviving Korean victims.

Many Koreans remain critical of the deal between South Korea's previous Park Geun-hye government and the Shinzo Abe administration. They believe the Abe administration has yet to sincerely atone for the country's past atrocities.

The new Moon Jae-in administration is negative about it.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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