Seoul steps up pressure onIn the third round of director-general talks between Seoul and Tokyo, Korea stepped up pressure on Japan to resolve the issue of sexual slavery by the Japanese military. The meeting took place in Seoul yesterday after a monthlong delay.
Though the working-level talks launched in April were intended to be held on a monthly basis, the meeting in June was suspended after the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced, based on a government-initiated investigation, that the 1993 Kono Statement was the result of fine-tuning between Korea and Japan.
Lee Sang-deok, the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s director-general for the Northeast Asian Affairs Bureau, expressed Seoul’s regret over Tokyo’s review to his Japanese counterpart, Junichi Ihara, according to a senior Korean ministry official.
Korea interpreted Japan’s reexamination of the statement as a move by the Abe administration to undermine the landmark 1993 apology issued by Yohei Kono, the chief cabinet secretary at the time, to the women and girls forcibly recruited into Japanese military brothels during World War II.