The governments of South Korea and Japan have clashed over a 2015 reparations agreement on the use of wartime sex slaves by Japan.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the deal on the enforced sex slaves – or ‘comfort women’ as they have been termed – was “seriously flawed”. Tens of thousands of Korean women and girls were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during the Second World War.
Mr Moon’s remarks come after a panel set up by South Korea found the 2015 deal failed to meet victims’ needs.
“This runs afoul of the established universal principle of the international community for settling history issues, and above all, it was a political agreement that excludes the victims themselves and citizens,” he said.
Japan responded to the statement angrily, with foreign minister Taro Kono, warning that relations between the two would become “unmanageable” if the agreement was voided.
“If the South Korean government ... tried to revise the agreement that is already being implemented, that would make Japan’s ties with South Korea unmanageable and it would be unacceptable,” he stated.
A source from Japan’s Nikkei business daily also reported that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told people close to him that the agreement “will not be changed by even one millimeter”.