According to the recent news from Reuters, South Korean president Moon Jae-in announced on Thursday that an agreement that was signed in 2015 between his country and Japan over South Korean comfort women was seriously flawed. This happened after Japan claimed that any attempt to revisit the issue would sabotage the relationship between the two superpower nations.
a committee that was formed to investigate the comfort women testimonies failed to meet the requirements of young gals and women who are forced to work in military brothels in Japan whereby most of them are Korean, euphemistically referred to as comfort women by Japan.
This announcement created hatred between the two countries, as the US allies are looking forward to bridling in North Korea's missile and nuclear programs. Moon claims that the agreement cannot deliver a permanent solution for the comfort women issue since it is a political agreement that excludes victims and the public. Additionally, the agreement violates the general principles in the international community. This is according to the statement issued by the office of the president.
On the other hand, a spokesman from the Japanese foreign ministry claimed that Japan had conveyed its position to South Korea via diplomatic channels. Based on moon’s alterations reiterating Foreign Minister Taro Kono’s remarks on Wednesday that any attempt to alter the deal will be unacceptable and will make the relations between the two countries unmanageable.
The US state department says that it is important for the United States to build a strong relationship between its two major allies in Asia. Michael Cavey, a state department spokesperson said that they have encourages the two nations to collaborate and approach this sensitive matter in a perfect way possible that will promote a healing, reconciliation and mutual understanding.
The spokesman adds that they are still focused on regional security matters, and this includes maximizing pressure on the North Korean government with the cohesive message that North Korea must stop its nuclear and missile programs.
When questioned if Moon meant to affirm the agreement null and void, the South Korean spokesperson from the office of the president pointed out that he was not in a position to use that term at this moment, citing that the government will give a final decision later.
The apology from the Japanese
Under the 2015 agreement, the government of Japan apologized to the affected victims and offered 1 billion Yen (8.8 million dollars) to fund them. The two superpower nations agreed the matter will be permanently solved is the two parties fulfilled their obligations. Moon promised to stabilize relations and strive to work on future-oriented cooperation with Japan.
Roh Kyu-Deok, the South Korean foreign ministry spokesperson, pointed out that irrespective of the Japanese government’s standpoint, they will consider the investigation outcome seriously and humbly. He added that Seoul will formulate a follow-up measure as soon as possible that will assist the affected girls and women to recuperate honor an heal the wounds in their hearts.
Even though japan and South Korea have been sharing a bitter history comprising Japanese colonization, some key international efforts have been put in place to rein nuclear and missile plans that North Korea is tailing in disobedience of the United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The Korean comfort women matter has led the rancor between Japan, and its neighboring countries which include south and North Korea and China. Japan managed to colonize the Korean peninsula in 1910 and 1945 and captured some parts of China before and during the war. The aftermath of the colonization, particularly the comfort women stories, lingers a very sensitive in South Korea even if Japan has been denying that women were not forced to work in those military brothels.