• Kyodo

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South Korean President Park Geun-hye urged Japan on Monday to share information with its neighbors about its new security policies.

“Japan’s recently passed defense and security legislation should be implemented transparently and in a way that is conducive to friendly relations among regional countries and to peace and stability in the region,” Park told the U.N. General Assembly in a speech.

South Korea was among the victims of Japanese militarism before and during World War II. Seoul has been closely watching Tokyo’s recent moves to expand the role of the Self-Defense Forces overseas, including with the recently passed security laws.

The laws were widely seen as a response to new regional realities, but Park described them as moves that could potentially have “profound consequences for Northeast Asia’s security order.”

The Diet enacted the laws earlier this month, enabling the SDF to engage in new roles such as helping the United States and other allies even if Japan is not itself under attack.

Meanwhile, Park again called on Japan to settle the issue of women who were forced to work at wartime Japanese military brothels, including those from the Korean Peninsula, which was under Japanese colonial rule from 1910 to 1945.

Park said there were now very few victims of “brutal sexual violence during World War II” left alive.

“Solutions that can bring healing to their hearts need to be devised quickly, while these victims are still alive,” Park said.

South Korea has demanded that Japan settle the issue in a way acceptable to the victims. For its part, Japan maintains that all compensation issues were settled under a 1965 treaty in which both governments agreed to waive all war-related claims.

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