Park urges Japan to resolve ‘comfort women’ issue while aging victims still alive


South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Sunday urged Japan to resolve the “comfort women” issue at an early time.

“There is not enough time to restore their honor, as their average age is almost 90,” Park said in a speech commemorating the 96th anniversary of an independence movement against Japanese colonial rule.

Park said two former comfort women died this year, reducing the remaining number of those who were forced to work in wartime Japanese military brothels to 53.

The annual ceremony was held to commemorate the nationwide movement that began on March 1, 1919. Japan colonized the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945.

Noting this year marks the 50 anniversary of normalizing diplomatic ties between the two countries, Park said, “I urge Japan to have courage and candidness in acknowledging the historical truth.

“I want Japan to hold hands with South Korea as a partner to go together for the next 50 years in the future and write a new history,” she said.

South Korea has repeatedly demanded that Japan settle the issue of women forced to work at wartime military brothels in a way that is acceptable to surviving victims, with means such as an apology and compensation.

Japan maintains that all compensation issues were settled under a 1965 bilateral treaty that normalized diplomatic ties.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Park have yet to hold a formal one-on-one meeting since the two took office, in 2012 and in 2013 respectively, due to a territorial row and different views on wartime history.

  • johnniewhite

    The issue of compensation was settled in 1965, and there were several major attempts made by the Japanese government subsequently. What one learns from this is that the Koreans will ignore the agreements in the future. We see the evidence everywhere including the Formula 1, and most likely the 2018 Winter Olympics. They will find someone else to blame for their own failure.

  • timefox

    About guarantee money, South Korea should just pass comfort women the money which South Korea received from Japan by the Japan-ROK Basic Relations Treaty. Although the South Korean President’s father did not do it, it is not what present Japan should perform instead. The Japanese government’s apology to comfort women is also executed. Moreover, life assistance to comfort women was also supported in Asian Women’s Fund.

    Since this is a problem in South Korea, it should just support a life of all the comfort women in whom the South Korean government contains U.S. Forces comfort women.

    An investigation of the American government and Japanese Government concluded that there was no compulsion.

  • Chris Carino

    Park devoted most of her presidency urging the Japanese government to “fess up” regarding the “comfort women issue”, while ignoring to address the sagging Korean economy, empty promises like “free high school tuition”, or any domestic issues… Pathetic, indeed.

  • Chris Carino

    How about some of the more recent articles regarding South Korean government sanctioning prostitution to the U.S. Forces from the 1950-70’s, and several former prostitutes is suing the Korean government about getting compensation…. How the the South Korean government is turning a blind eye on that issue…

  • Btd

    Park should better investigate what her father did between 61 and 79…. torture and murder of opponents was common place. But I guess that wouldn’t help her gain political capital, the usual Japan bashing is revolting at the least…

  • JimmyJM

    Legally, the compensation for much war damage and other factors was indeed paid. But there has been no apology for the sex slave issue, to do so would admit that there were sex slaves and the majority of Japanese would never admit that. The Japanese admit to “comfort women” but they claim all of the women who served in the government sanctioned brothels were professionals, none were coerced. There are many who would dispute that.

  • Chris Carino

    This is the one I was talking about.