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S. Korea launches research center to get to bottom of Japan's wartime sexual slavery

All News 12:00 August 09, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will launch this week a research center to compile and commission research works on the history of the Imperial Japanese Army's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family said Thursday.

Under the wing of the state-run Women's Human Rights Institute of Korea, the research center will open Friday to engage in the excavation and compilation of historical records over the Japanese wartime atrocity and build a database on the issue, according to the ministry.

It will also look into related historical records from outside of the country, including Japan, China and Southeast Asian nations, in a bid to centralize information regarding the wartime issue, the ministry noted.

The new center will be made to serve as a hub for the research of the "comfort women" issue, according to the ministry.

Another key function of the state-run center will be to give lessons for next generations on the dark history through publication and dissemination at home and abroad of the records the center will be compiling, it also said.

"It is important to compile and centralize the results of objective, empirical research projects that private groups and other researchers have carried out so far and systemically conduct research works to follow up with them so that the next generations could correctly understand history and learn lessons not to repeat past wrongdoings," Minister Chung Hyun-back said.

The latest move is in keeping with the Moon Jae-in government's reversal of the 2015 South Korea-Japan deal to settle their diplomatic feud stemming from the history issue, signed under the impeached President Park Geun-hye.

Up to hundreds of thousands of Asian women, many of them Koreans, were forced to serve at front-line brothels for Japanese troops during World War II, while the Korean Peninsula was under Japan's colonial rule.

In the deal to settle the diplomatic conflict, Japan paid 1 billion yen (US$9 million) to support the victims and their families in return for Seoul putting the issue behind once and for all, but the Moon administration dismissed the deal as ineffective, citing the deal's lack of regard for the victims' opinions.


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