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As the summit meeting of Korea, China and Japan is planned to be held late this month or early next month in Seoul, it is known that the Japanese government has internally come up with a measure for resolving comfort women issues, the most sensitive and pressing issue between Seoul and Tokyo. The key idea is that Tokyo has decided that the issue can no longer be put aside with and it would create a government-led fund by making direct budget injection. The decision is attracting much attention in that it differs from Tokyo’s attitude who has long insisted that comfort women issue had already been resolved by the treaty between Japan and Korea in 1965.


 

High-level diplomatic sources from Seoul and Japan said on Thursday that the Japanese government has decided to set up a new fund for resolving comfort women issues by additionally investing its budget in remaining money from Asian Women’s Fund that was formed and disbanded in 1995. The size of the fund is known to be some 300 million Japanese yen (approx. 2.8 billion Korean won).


 

In 1995, the Asian Women’s Fund collected some 565 million yen (approx. 5.4 billion won) from its nation and spent it for its atonement for female victims of its sexual slavery from not only Korea but also the Philippines and Indonesia. Back then, Tokyo offered some 750 million yen (approx. 7.1 billion won) as medical welfare cost but it clearly defined the fund as a private one. In response to this, Korean victims and their supporting organizations rejected to accept the financial offer, criticizing “The measure is merely a cop out that Tokyo is trying to shun from the legal responsibility.”


 

(THE DONG-A ILBO)