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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan urges Japan to negotiate over 'comfort women' issue

ROC Central News Agency

2016/01/05 16:39:55

Tokyo, Jan. 5 (CNA) Taiwan's representative office in Japan said Tuesday it will continue to ask Japan to negotiate the 'comfort women' issue with Taiwan, after Japan indicated that it does not intend to resolve the issue with other countries the same way it did with South Korea.

'On the issue of 'comfort women,' Taiwan has consistently demanded that the Japanese side formally apologize to and compensate the victims, properly handle the issue with a responsible attitude, and give the victims the justice and dignity that they deserve,' the office said in a statement.

The office and Taiwan's government have made this request to Japan many times, and it will continue to demand that Japan 'quickly negotiate with Taiwan' on the issue, the statement said.

The term 'comfort women' euphemistically describes the women around East Asia who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese imperial military during World War II.

Japan and South Korea recently reached a deal in Seoul under which Japan agreed to apologize to the 'comfort women' and give around 1 billion Japanese yen to a foundation set up by the South Korean government for the women.

Taiwan's statement came after Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga indicated on Japanese TV on Monday that his government does not intend to resolve the 'comfort women' issue with other countries and regions in the same fashion that it did with South Korea.

At a press conference later on Tuesday, Suga said Japan has so far faced the 'comfort women' dispute with other countries in an honest manner, and said it will not divulge the details of its negotiations with Taiwan.

Japan's Kyodo News, meanwhile, cited a high-level Japanese official as saying Monday that Tokyo has no intentions of launching new talks with Taiwan over the issue.

In response to the report, Chang Jen-joe (張仁久), secretary-general of the Association of East Asian Relations (亞東關係協會) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Tuesday in Taipei that his ministry will convene an inter-ministerial working group later that day to seek a domestic consensus on the issue.

It will continue to communicate with Japan over the issue, Chang said.

Kang Shu-hua (康淑華), executive director of the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation, which helps Taiwanese 'comfort women,' told CNA that it does not think the Japanese government is sincere in resolving the issue.

Kang said the most important thing is for Japan to apologize and try to restore the reputation of the women, adding that monetary compensation comes second.

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said on Aug. 15 that Tokyo should 'do more and do better' in dealing with its World War II legacy, especially on the issue of 'comfort women.'

That came after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed remorse for Japan's wartime aggression in a talk marking the 70th anniversary of the war's end.

Foreign Minister David Lin (林永樂) again reiterated the Taiwanese government's stance on the issue in a press conference on Dec. 29.

(By Yang Ming-chu, Tang Pei-chun and Christie Chen)
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