National

South Korea assembly speaker again seeks Emperor's apology on 'comfort women' issue

JIJI, Kyodo, Staff Report

South Korean National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang has again asked for an apology from Emperor Akihito or Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the issue of so-called “comfort women,” a South Korean daily reported Wednesday.

The term comfort women is a euphemism used to refer to women who provided sex, including those who did so against their will, for Japanese troops before and during World War II.

In an interview with the Hankyoreh, Moon said what mattered most was a sincere apology, when it comes to the issue of South Korean comfort women who were forced into prostitution for Japanese troops.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the same day that Kenji Kanasugi, director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, has made a protest to an executive of the South Korean Embassy, asking for an apology and retraction of the remarks.

“It is terribly regrettable and I don’t even want to comment on it,” Suga said at a regular news conference.

The South Korean parliamentary speaker said the fundamental problem would be solved if Japan’s prime minister or the Emperor, the symbol of Japan, apologized to former comfort women he referred to as “the grandmothers.”

The speaker chose to express his views again despite the Japanese government having asked Moon for a retraction and apology for similar remarks he made previously on the issue.

Moon told the newspaper that there was no statute of limitations on war crimes or crimes against humanity in the court of history.