November 05, 2015 12:29
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has poured cold water on hopes of an early resolution of the issue of women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese troops in World War II.
The news comes only days after Abe met President Park Geun-hye and pledged to work for an early resolution of the dispute.
Liberal Democratic Party leader Sadakazu Tanigaki said Wednesday that Abe told him he was glad finally to have met Park, but media reports forecasting a resolution of the sex slaves issue this year were off the mark.
He quoted Abe as saying "differences in the stance of both countries" would make that "difficult."
Abe's comments came a mere two days after he sat down for a first tense summit with Park and vowed to "speed up negotiations" to resolve the issue.
Seoul wanted to settle the matter within this year, but Tokyo refused. They compromised on saying they would "speed up negotiations."
Abe's eagerness to douse hopes suggests Tokyo is reluctant to bend on the issue.
Korean victims have been demanding compensation and an apology from Tokyo for decades. The Japanese government has rejected their demands under the doctrine that all compensation was settled by a lump compensation sum when Seoul and Tokyo signed a treaty in 1965 restoring diplomatic ties.
Japan insists that any further compensation would be "humanitarian" in nature, a formulation that is unacceptable to both the victims and the government here.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com