US$8.3 million ‘comfort women’ payout could be in jeopardy if Seoul statue is not removed

(From Kyodo/SCMP)

Japan’s fund to help women forced into its wartime military brothels will be contingent on removal of a statue of protest in Seoul, a Japanese government source said, a development that could overshadow a recent deal to settle the issue.

Comfort woman statue in front of Japanese embassy in Seoul

Comfort woman statue in front of Japanese embassy in Seoul

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set the condition, the source said, amid looming opposition by some in Japan to a plan to release the public funds to help the women, euphemistically called “comfort women” in Japan, with the statue of a girl remaining in place.

Some of the former comfort women were from the Korean Peninsula which was under Japanese colonial rule before and during the Second World War.

The source said the South Korean government recognises that Japan’s disbursement of the money Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said will total 1 billion yen (about $8.3 million) to the new fund is contingent upon the removal of the statue. Read more

 



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