China urged Japan to settle “appropriately and responsibly” the injustice done to “comfort women” who were forced into sexual slavery during the Second World War. The statement was released following ex-Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama’s clamor for his nation to deal with this issue while on a trip to South Korea.
Murayama, famous for his 1995 apology to victims of Japan’s wartime aggression, was in Seoul for a three-day trip upon the invitation of a South Korean opposition party. While there, he met with three elderly Korean women who were forced to provide sex to Japanese military men. Murayama called the act as an “indescribable wrongdoing.” Asked to comment on the statement made by Murayama, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said “We urge the Japanese leader to face up calls for justice from the international community and within Japan to correct its mistake and attitude and appropriately and responsibly deal with history-related issues.” She added that it is important for Japan to reflect on their past militarism in order to rebuild the relations with their victimized countries in Asia.
The issue of sexual slavery during the Second World War is a thorn on the relations between Japan and South Korea. More than 200,000 Korean, Chinese and other Asian women were forced during war into sexual slavery for the Japanese Imperial Army. Repeated calls for compensation to the victims of this war atrocity has been made by South Korea, to which Japan has so far ignored. Japan claims that this issue has been settled after the two nations signed a compensation deal to re-establish their diplomatic ties in 1965.
[via Yonhap News]