Japan has lodged a protest with South Korea about a plan to create a memorial day to commemorate the Korean females who were forced into Japan’s military brothels before and during the war, a government source said Thursday.
South Korea’s intention is against the spirit of the bilateral deal struck in December 2015 to resolve the “comfort women” issue “finally and irreversibly,” the source said. The term comfort women is Japan’s euphemism for the girls and women.
The administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has pledged to review the agreement since he took office in May, announced on Wednesday that South Korea will establish a memorial day for the victims in 2018.
Dated the same day, the Japanese government protested to South Korea through diplomatic channels in Seoul, the source said.
“As we have been pursuing a future-oriented Japan-South Korea relationship, we cannot allow (Seoul) to cover old ground,” a Foreign Ministry official said.
The South Korean government has also announced it will launch an institution to study the comfort women issue in 2019 and set up a related history museum in 2020.