Japan, S. Korea reach deal on 'comfort women'

Updated: 2015-12-29 07:14

By ZHANG YUNBI(China Daily)

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The term "comfort women" is a euphemism for Asian women forced into sexual slavery by Japan.

Lee Yong-soo, 88, one of the South Korean victims, said she was dissatisfied with the agreement. Of the 238 South Koreans who have been identified as former sex slaves, only 46 are still alive.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the forced recruitment of comfort women was a serious crime against humanity committed by Japanese militarists during World War II.

"Japan should face up to history squarely, reflect on its historical aggression and deal with related issues in a responsible way," Lu said.

Lyu Yaodong, an expert on Japanese foreign policy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Japan is shirking its national responsibility and playing word games again in the deal. The foundation should be set up by Japan, rather than South Korea, he said.

Lyu attributed the closer relationship between Japan and South Korea to a push by Washington, as both countries are traditional US allies in East Asia.

Zhang Jingquan, a professor of Northeast Asia studies at Jilin University in Changchun, said the progress made in bilateral relations is "undoubtedly a diplomatic triumph" for Abe's Cabinet as Japan has long been eager to ease tensions with South Korea over the issue.

"However, there should be no discrimination of other victimized Asian nations regarding such human rights issues," he said, calling on Japan to apologize and compensate comfort women in other countries.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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