South Korea and Japan will hold director-general level talks in Tokyo later this week to discuss the Japanese wartime army's sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War II, Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday.
Lee Sang-deok, director general for Northeast Asian affairs from the foreign ministry, will meet with his Japanese counterpart, Junichi Ihara, on Thursday and Friday in their second negotiations to discuss the issue of comfort women, a source of diplomatic tension between the two countries.
The meeting will be focused on the sex slavery issue, but other topics such as North Korea may be brought up, officials said.
In April, Seoul and Tokyo agreed to hold director-general level talks over the sex slavery issue on a regular basis at their first official consultations.
Historians estimate that up to 200,000 women, mainly from Korea and China, were forced into working at front-line brothels for Japanese soldiers during the war.
South Korea has said that Japan should show sincerity by settling the comfort women issue "effectively and in a way that is agreeable to the living victims," including through an apology and compensation. At present, 55 South Korean victims remain alive.
Japan had long dismissed Seoul's demand to resolve the issue, claiming that all issues related to its 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula were settled through a 1965 treaty that normalized their bilateral ties. (Yonhap)