I was very much interested in the Oct. 23 editorial “Turn Japanese-South Korean ties around.” As a Japanese who was educated after World War II, I’m awfully sorry to say that Japan colonized Korea for the benefit of Japan and recruited ianfu (comfort women) for Imperial Army soldiers before Japan’s defeat.

In 1965, a basic accord on Japan-South Korea relations was signed, but the problem emerged later. The Japanese government believed that every problem of colonization had been settled, while Korean fathers felt that comfort women had brought shame on their families. The Japanese government suggested a compensation fund, but it was rejected because it was a moral gesture and not a legal guarantee.

The Japanese government donated ¥700 million [to South Korea] for a medical and welfare fund, but it was spent on infrastructure and not distributed to each eligible person.

I do hope South Koreans will try to understand what Japan’s government and many sincere Japanese have done so far. I wonder what the correct historical point of view is. Basically the relationships among China, Korea and Japan are rigidly arranged!

masayuki aihara

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.

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