TEHRAN,Young Journalists Club(YJC) -South Korean President Moon Jae-in says Japan’s wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women constituted “crimes against humanity,” saying the case is not closed despite a deal between South Korea’s former president and Japan that seemed to resolve the dispute.
“To resolve the comfort women issue, the Japanese Government, the perpetrator, should not say the matter is closed,” President Moon said during a speech marking a national holiday commemorating the anniversary of the country’s 1919 uprising against Japanese colonial rule on Thursday.
“The issue of a crime against humanity committed in time of war cannot be closed with just a word. A genuine resolution of unfortunate history is to remember it and learn a lesson from it,” Moon further said in his strongly-worded speech.
Tokyo is in no position to declare the emotionally charged issue settled, he added.
“Comfort women” is a euphemistic term used in reference to the thousands of women and girls, mostly Chinese and Korean, who were forced by the Imperial Japanese Army to serve in front line military brothels during World War II. Other women came from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Taiwan.
Back in 2015, a deal was inked between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Moon’s predecessor, impeached president Park Geun-hye, over the contentious issue. Upon sealing the deal, both countries declared that it was “final and irreversible” as long as parties fulfilled their obligations.
Under the deal, Tokyo formally expressed its apology for its colonial-era atrocities and accepted to contribute 1 billion yen (8.9 million dollars) to a charity called the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation, dedicated to supporting the victims. But Japan did not admit legal responsibility for the abuses, drawing anger from some of the surviving victims who refused to take the money.
President Moon has previously called that deal “flawed.”