The Korea Herald


Korea strongly protests Japan diplomat's comments on comfort women

By a2017001

Published : June 29, 2017 - 15:34

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South Korea on Thursday strongly protested a Japanese diplomat's disparaging comments on the victims of Tokyo's sexual slavery during World War II.

In a recent media interview, Takashi Shinozuka, the consul general of Japan in Atlanta, called them paid prostitutes saying there is no evidence that the nation mobilized women as sex slaves. 

South Korean foreign ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck (Yonhap) South Korean foreign ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck (Yonhap)

"It was a very inappropriate remark inflicting a deep wound to the victims again who went through pain beyond description," Cho June-hyuck, foreign ministry spokesman, said in a regular press briefing.

"We delivered that grave stance of our government to Japan through a diplomatic channel," he added. "We strongly demanded such comments that run counter to the comfort women deal be withdrawn and take measures aimed at preventing its recurrence."

The spokesman said that the action was taken after confirming the consul general's comments in question.

The two neighbors reached a deal in December 2015 in which Tokyo expressed an apology for its colonial-era atrocities and contributed 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) to a foundation dedicated to supporting the victims.

Critics doubt the sincerity of the apology, saying that Japan didn't recognize its legal responsibility for the forced mobilization of the women.

Calls are growing here for renegotiations or even scrapping the deal but Japan is demanding what was agreed up be respected and "faithfully" carried out.

Up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea, are believed to have been forced to work at front-line brothels for the imperial Japanese army during the war in which Korea was under colonial rule by Japan. (Yonhap)