ROK to cover aid package for ex-comfort women

Jiji PressSEOUL (Jiji Press) — The South Korean government will shoulder the cost of the ¥1 billion contributed by the Japanese government to provide financial support to so-called former comfort women in South Korea, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha said Tuesday.

At a press conference, Kang said the South Korean government will not ask the Japanese government to renegotiate a 2015 bilateral agreement to resolve the issue of the comfort women.

The South Korean government expects Japan to continue efforts to restore the honor and dignity of the former comfort women and heal their psychological wounds, Kang also said.

While allocating its state budget for covering the ¥1 billion contribution from the Japanese government, South Korea aims to discuss with Japan about what to do with the Japanese assistance, she said.

In Tokyo, Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters, “We can’t accept any request at all from South Korea for Japan to take further measures.”

Kono again called on the South Korean government to steadily implement the agreement.

The agreement is a promise between two countries, he said. “It’s an international and universal principle that such an accord should be implemented responsibly even after a change of government.”

He suggested that Japan will file a protest through diplomatic channels in Tokyo and Seoul.

The Japanese government provided ¥1 billion to the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation, which was established by the South Korean government in line with the bilateral deal reached on Dec. 28, 2015.Speech

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