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Regarding the Dec. 15 Kyodo article “Statue of ‘comfort woman’ erected outside Japanese Embassy in Seoul“: Japan did compensate South Korea with a lump-sum payment in 1965. At that time, comfort women were not on the political agenda. Now they are and the issue is for Japan to do the right thing and compensate them, combining it with a sincere apology — not just words of regret.

It seems that Japan fears opening a Pandora’s box and encouraging other comfort women across China, Southeast Asia and the Netherlands to follow suit. But in reality, compensation — settling claims once and for all — is the honorable thing to do.

Germany to its credit has compensated all its victims from World War II. If Japan had settled with the comfort women earlier, the statue outside the embassy would never have been erected. Now the memory of the comfort women is set in bronze.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

christopher glen

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