The Japanese government did not acknowledge any of its legal responsibilities regarding its national and illegal crimes. In 1995, Asian Women’s Fund was established and was rejected by the majority of the victims for it not being legal reparations issued by the Japanese government. At the time, Japan mentioned its “moral responsibilities,” but the word “moral” was omitted this time. However, the word “moral” being deleted does not mean that the Japanese government is admitting to its legal responsibilities.
Regarding the matter, Prime Minister Abe said to President Park during their phone conversation following the press conference that issues relating to property and claims between Japan and the ROK, including the issue of comfort women, had been settled completely and finally by the Japan-ROK Claims Settlement and Economic Cooperation Agreement of 1965 and that Japan’s stance has not changed. Abe’s statement clearly reaffirmed that Japan’s legal responsibilities have not been acknowledged through the agreement. Moreover, following the press conference, Foreign Minister Kishida clarified to Japanese reporters regarding the fund that Japan is going to contribute that the nature of the fund “is not reparation,” again denying Japan’s legal responsibilities. Thus, Japan did not admit its legal responsibilities; hence, no reparation was made to the victims.
However, the survivors have been demanding acknowledgement of the fact that the crime is a serious violation against human rights and issuance of reparation as proof of apology.