Taiwan to negotiate with Japan over comfort women compensation
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) Japan is willing to negotiate with Taiwan over the issue of comfort women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II, and the negotiations will start in early January, Foreign Minister David Y.L. Lin (林永樂) said Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters, Lin said the government has sought to resolve the comfort women issue with Japan over the past two decades, and the timing is good at the moment to demand that Japan respect the position of the Republic of China government.
Japan and South Korea reached an agreement Dec. 28 to settle the comfort women issue. Japan has apologized and will pay 1 billion yen (about US$8.3 million) to a foundation set up to help the victims.
Lin said the ROC government will demand that Japan apologize and compensate the Taiwanese women who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels 70 years ago.
Lin added that while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has offered a sincere apology for the use of comfort women by Japanese soldiers during WWII, he considers the apology to encompass all comfort women.
Chang Jen-joe (張仁久), secretary-general of the Association of East Asian Affairs (亞東關係協會), also suggested that 'as far as we understand, Taiwanese comfort women were included.'
Chang said that the agreement between South Korea and Japan was reached after more than 10 ministerial-level meetings and discussions of related department chiefs.
Japan has proposed that the compensation to Taiwanese comfort women be made by the Asian Women's Fund, a fund set up by the Japanese government in 1994 to distribute monetary compensation to comfort women in South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, the Netherlands and Indonesia.
However, the ROC government rejected the proposal, insisting that the compensation should come directly from the Japanese government, Chang added.
The negotiations will be conducted by the Association of East Asian Affairs and the Interchange Association, Japan (交流協會), he noted.
Lin said there have been constant communications between Taiwan and Japan in order to resolve the comfort women issue.
Chang Jen-joe of the Association of East Asian Affairs (亞東關係 協會) and Takashi Hamada, secretary-general of the Interchange Association, Japan (交流協會) Taipei Office, as well ROC representative in Japan Shen Ssu-tsun (沈斯淳) and Tadashi Imai, president of the Interchange Association, will be the respective representatives at the talks, he added.
(By Y.C. Tai and Lillian Lin)
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