More progress on resolving “comfort women’’ issue

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(April 4th, 2016) This may be a sign of  a further tightening of relations between South Korea and Japan,  perhaps accelerated by their common concerns about North Korean and Chinese aggressiveness,  as well as by  Japan’s desires to create an upbeat mood for the G7 Summit.


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye  have met and reinforced an agreement to resolve the issue of  reparations for the Korean comfort women forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers before and during World War II.  During that time, all of Korea was occupied by Japan.

Mr. Abe will  host the G7 Summit in Japan on May 26-27, for which the Boston Global Forum has been preparing proposals aimed at strengthening peace and security as part of its BGF-G7 Summit Initiative.

“While both nations have various domestic issues that must be dealt with, I want to display leadership in ensuring that the agreement is implemented properly,” Mr. Abe told Ms. Park, said Japanese officials.

Mr. Park, too, expressed her intention to fully carry out the pact.

Under the agreement, Japan will pay 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) to a fund to be established by Seoul to support the surviving former comfort women. South Korea, for its part, is expected to try to address Japanese government demands for the removal of a statue representing comfort women near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.

Ms. Park also mentioned her conversations with Mr. Abe following recent North Korean nuclear tests and missile launches. She said those conversations laid the foundation for a new resolution approved by the U.N. Security Council that included tougher sanctions against Pyongyang.