Japan's recalled ambassador to S. Korea to return to Seoul on Tuesday

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-03 17:44
TOKYO - Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday that Japan's ambassador to South Korea, who was ordered to return to Tokyo, will return to Seoul on Tuesday.

Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine was recalled from Seoul on Jan. 9 as part of a protest by Tokyo against a "comfort woman" statue erected in South Korea's port city of Busan, dedicated to women and girls forced to work in Japan's wartime brothels.

The statue was erected in front of the Consulate General of Japan in Busan by a citizens' group advocating for the rights of Korean women who were coerced by the Imperial Japanese Army into sexual slavery during World War II.

Speaking at a briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kishida said that the move to return Nagamine to his post was necessary ahead of a presidential election in South Korea on May 9 and in light of the fact that Japan needed to focus more efforts to prepare for the next administration.

Kishida admitted that recalling Nagamine as a protest to the statue did not lead to its removal.
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