Korea vows to get Japan to resolve sex slave issue

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Korea vows to get Japan to resolve sex slave issue

Korea will keep pressing Japan to resolve long-running grievances over Tokyo’s wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women, Seoul’s top envoy to Tokyo said yesterday as he stressed his commitment to the cause.

Korea has stepped up efforts to resolve the issue of wartime sex slaves, euphemistically called “comfort women,” since the Constitutional Court ruled it unconstitutional last August for the Seoul government to make no specific move to settle the matter with Tokyo. During summit talks in December, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak urged Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to tackle the issue to become “true partners for peace and stability.”

“The issue of comfort women was raised during the 1990s and, over the past 20 years, it has become the largest remaining symbolic issue [to be resolved] in the two countries’ history,” Ambassador Shin Kak-soo told reporters during a visit to attend an annual conference in Seoul.

Tokyo has so far insisted the issue was legally resolved in a 1965 treaty that normalized ties between the two nations following Japan’s 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula.

“From our standpoint, we will work to find a solution that is acceptable to the victims. But if that fails, we have no option but to undertake the process for an arbitration panel,” Shin said. “In order to avoid such a step, [we] plan to urge the Japanese government for a swift and smooth solution.” Yonhap

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