Major events in the comfort women issueNov. 16, 1990
The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan is established.
Aug. 4, 1993
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono issues a statement and admits that the Japanese Imperial Army forced women to work in military brothels, and offers a Japanese government apology and statement of remorse to all the victims.
Aug. 31, 1992
Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama issues a statement to offer a “profound apology” to comfort women and announces the establishment of the “Asian Women’s Fund” in an expression of atonement.
July 19, 1995
The Asian Women’s Fund is formally launched. Korean civic groups protest the idea, criticizing Japan for avoiding its legal responsibility.
Jan. 11, 1997
The fund provides 2 million yen of restitution for each woman and a letter of apology from Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto.
May 1, 2002
The fund concludes its activity in Korea.
Aug. 30, 2011
The Constitutional Court rules the government’s lack of action to resolve the dispute is unconstitutional.
Sept. 15, 2011
The Korean government demands bilateral negotiations on comfort women from Japan.
Aug. 14, 2015
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issues a statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II. He does not issue a direct apology, but says the honor and dignity of women were severely injured “behind the battlefields.”
Nov. 2, 2015
Korea-Japan summit takes place in Seoul. President Park Geun-hye and Prime Minister Abe agree to speed up negotiations on the comfort women issue, possibly to conclude them before the end of this year.
Dec. 24, 2015
Abe orders Foreign Affairs Minister Fumio Kishida to visit Korea.