Japan’s Abe says ‘comfort women’ deal heralds new era with S. Korea
“Japan and South Korea will welcome a new era,” Abe told reporters after speaking by phone with South Korean President Park Geun-Hye. “Both countries will cooperate together to open” it, he added.
The two countries reached the agreement on the thorny issue of wartime sex slaves — known euphemistically as “comfort women” — that has long soured relations, with Tokyo offering survivors a one-billion yen ($8.3 million) payment.
“We were able to reach a final and irreversible resolution in the year marking the 70th anniversary” of the end of World War II and the end of Japan’s colonisation of the Korean peninsula, Abe said in remarks shown live on national broadcaster NHK.
“We cannot force our children, grandchildren, and children of our future generations to shoulder the fate by which they have to keep apologising,” he added.