Moon calls for 'heartfelt' Japan apology for WWII sex…

Japan PM Rejects South Korean Call for New Steps to Help 'Comfort Women'

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In 1965, it struck a deal with South Korea when the two nations normalised ties to completely settle all civilian-related issues, including the comfort women and requisitioned workers during the war.

Foreign ministers from South Korea and Japan are to hold talks in Vancouver, Canada, next week on the sidelines of an worldwide gathering aimed at discussing more effective sanctions on North Korea. "Japan should accept the truth, make a heartfelt apology to victims".

The 2015 agreement was "a promise between the two nations". Keeping this promise is an global and universal principle. "We can not accept South Korea's unilateral demands for additional measures", Abe told reporters. Japan has strongly maintained that the 2015 deal was* an official apology, and that the issue has been settled by the landmark agreement. Following Moon's remarks, the Japanese government reportedly filed a formal protest with the South Korean Embassy in Tokyo.

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Japanese media reports have said Abe may not attend the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month because of the feud, although the government's top spokesman said on Thursday that it had not been decided.

The goal is to make use of the strengths of long-term government and expand the frontiers of Japanese diplomacy, as Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga puts it. Tokyo intends to win widespread acceptance for key policies, such as those regarding North Korea and the European Union trade deal.

Political scientist Tosh Minohara of Kobe University told The Straits Times that the comfort women issue has been dug up over and over again for "domestic political gain" in South Korea.

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But tensions are not likely to deteriorate further, given Japan's reaction was not "stronger" than expected, another expert said.

This is like punching someone in the face and then saying to them, 'I hope it doesn't ruin our relationship.' It just doesn't work that way and Japan needs to stand firm.

But it said it would no longer use Japanese money to compensate the survivors. They have demanded the deal be invalidated, saying the government did not consult with them in advance and Japan's apology was not honest.

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Demonstrations were held in all cities between Faisalabad in the northeast down to Pakistan's southern metropolis of Karachi. At least two people were killed and several injured as paramilitary troops were called in to restore order.

Moon had lambasted the agreement on the campaign trail and was elected president in May after Park was impeached and jailed over a massive corruption scandal.

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