Japan Wants Korean Gov't Help Over 'Comfort Women'

      September 28, 2011 13:10

      The Japanese Foreign Ministry has asked the Korean government to block plans by an organization of former "comfort women" to mark their 1,000th weekly protest in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul by erecting a 120 cm memorial stone there.

      The 1,000th protest will take place on Dec. 14. Surviving women who were drafted as sex slaves for the Japanese military in World War II gather in front of the embassy every Wednesday demanding a formal apology from Japan.

      According to Japan's Kyodo News, Kanji Yamanouchi, the Foreign Ministry's councilor for Asian and Oceanian Affairs, said in a meeting with Liberal Democratic Party members on Tuesday, "The construction [of the memorial stone] could negatively affect Japan-Korea relations and we asked Korea through working-level channels to deal appropriately with the matter."

      The Korean government continues to demand that Tokyo hold talks to discuss compensations for individual former "comfort women," but Japan says the issue was settled with the signing of the 1965 Korea-Japan Normalization Treaty, under which Japan paid US$800 million in grants and soft loans to Korea.

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