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Iran Press TV

Taiwan: Japan owes apology over 'comfort women'

Iran Press TV

Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:41AM

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-Jeou has urged Tokyo to apologize and compensate the Taiwanese women who were forced to work as "comfort women" in Japan during World War II.

The remarks on Tuesday came a day after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized to South Korea and agreed to pay one billion yen ($8.3 million) in compensation to those forced to serve as sex slaves during the war.

"The government's stance is to demand the Japanese government apologize to the comfort women from our country during World War II, to compensate them, and to return justice and dignity to them," the Taiwanese president said.

Taiwan's Foreign Minister David Lin also said the island, which was ruled by Japan from 1895 to 1945, had called for fresh negotiations with Tokyo over the issue.

The Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation, which has been assisting the so-called comfort women, says of the 58 survivors, only four are currently alive.

The foundation's director Kang Shu-hua voiced concern about the aging comfort women, saying Japan also owes an apology and compensation to such women in China, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

The Japanese premier has praised the deal, describing it as the start of a "new era" in relations between Japan and South Korea.

Following the announcement of the deal, however, the Japanese premier's wife Akie Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo, which honors millions of Japanese people killed during the war.

Some say Abe aimed to show consideration to government supporters who are in opposition to the recent deal.

On Tuesday, hundreds of Japanese people gathered in protest against the agreement with South Korea, accusing Abe of committing a "disgraceful act."

The issue has been a major cause for animosity between the two major trade partners for decades.

As many as 200,000 women, mostly from South Korea, were enslaved in Japan during WWII, which lasted from 1939 to 1945.

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