National

Japan's wartime sex slavery featured at manga festival in France

Kyodo

A special exhibition on sexual slavery of Korean women by the Japanese military during World War II began Thursday as part of an international comic book festival in Angouleme, southwestern France.

On the opening day an estimated 600 people visited the section on the wartime “comfort women” system, held at the initiative of the South Korean government, according to the organizers.

Japanese Ambassador to France Yoichi Suzuki expressed regret over the event, titled Festival de la Bande Dessinee d’Angouleme, and the Japanese government planned to hand out brochures to visitors explaining its stance on the issue.

“It is regrettable that a manga festival aimed at promoting cultural exchanges and mutual understanding is instead used for a political cause,” Suzuki told French media Wednesday.

The brochures were expected to state that all issues related to individual compensation for women who were forced to provide sex to Japanese soldiers during World War II have been settled under a 1965 treaty on the normalization of ties between Japan and South Korea.

The embassy prepared the brochures in French, Korean and English.

The 41st round of the event, one of the largest manga festivals in Europe, runs through Sunday.