The Korea-Japan “Comfort Women” Agreement: an obstacle blocking the victims’ rights
On December 28, 2015, a Korea-Japan foreign ministerial talk was held and a bilateral agreement regarding the “comfort women” issue was concluded.
The main contents of the agreement announced by the two Ministers during the press conference was that: one, the Japanese government is painfully aware of its responsibilities, two, as Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister Abe expresses anew his apologies and remorse, and three, the Government of the ROK will establish a foundation for the purpose of providing support for the former comfort women which will be funded by Japan and the funded project will be carried out with cooperation of the two countries (The full text can be seen here: http://www.mofa.go.jp/a_o/na/kr/page4e_000364.html ).
The governments have declared that the issue is resolved “finally and irreversibly” with the agreement, and they will both refrain from accusing or criticizing each other in the international community. In addition, the Japanese government demanded removal of the Peace Monument which symbolizes the “comfort women” victims, and the Korean government agreed to put in its efforts to resolve the matter.
However, the agreement cannot be considered as a resolution of the “comfort women” issue due to the following reasons.