Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday debriefed Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine, who had been recalled in protest against the erection of a statue symbolizing comfort women in front of the Japanese Consulate General in Busan.
The meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office was also attended by Yasuhiro Morimoto, the consul general in Busan, who had also been called back, as well as Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama and Kenji Kanasugi, director general of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau.
Earlier on Tuesday, Nagamine, who returned home on Monday, had a meeting with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
At a press conference after that, Suga stressed it is “extremely important” to responsibly implement a December 2015 bilateral agreement to “finally and irreversibly” resolve the issue.
“We’ll continue to request the South Korean government to put the agreement into practice steadily,” the top government spokesman said.
Tokyo wants the statue in Busan removed, saying it violates the spirit of the milestone agreement.
The statue was built by a South Korean civic group late last month, although the South Korean government, in the accord, vowed to work to address Japanese concern about a similar statue near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.
Seoul calls for restraint
SEOUL (Jiji Press) — South Korean Prime Minister and Acting President Hwang Kyo Ahn on Tuesday called for refraining from words and deeds that could escalate the bilateral tension.
At a Cabinet meeting, Hwang underlined that restoring the honor and dignity of former comfort women, as well as healing their psychological wounds, is at the center of the milestone agreement.