South Korea is seeking to publish a white paper to shed light on Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women by July 2015 in a bid to protest against Japan's review of its 1993 key apology of such atrocities, officials said Monday.
The move comes as Japan has recently said that Seoul and Tokyo officials coordinated the wording of the so-called Kono statement that apologized for coercing women into sexual servitude for its front-line troops during World War II.
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family said that it is seeking to publish the three-volume white paper on so-called "comfort women" with an appendix by the end of July 2015, according to data uploaded on the website of the nation's electronic procurement system.
To this end, the government has placed an order to recruit experts who will join the publication of the white paper, it said.
The government said that the main three volumes will contain an analysis based on an array of historic evidence related to Japan's forceful recruitment of sexual slaves and coercion into such servitude, along with reactions from the Seoul government and the international community.
The appendix will contain visual materials on the issue of the victims of such sexual slavery, euphemistically called "comfort women."
Amid criticism that Tokyo was attempting to backpedal on its official apology, Japan announced the result of its review that could give a wrong impression that the statement was the outcome of compromise between Seoul and Tokyo.
South Korea voiced "deep regret" over Japan's move, saying that the review undermines the credibility of Japan's own apology.
South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said last week that Seoul plans to use "all available means" to counter Japan's re-evaluation of the Kono statement.
Historians estimate that up to 200,000 women, mainly from Korea and China, were forced to work at front-line brothels for Japanese soldiers during the war. A total of 54 victims of Japan's sexual enslavement remain alive in South Korea. (Yonhap)