“It is noteworthy that the approach is a voluntary one, with the compensation offered by those who wish to do. There is no reason for Japan to oppose,” South Korean National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang sat at a press conference held in Tokyo Wednesday, referring to the recently proposed compensation for Koreans who had been conscripted under Japanese colonial rule.
Moon proposed the plan of establishing a fund raised by donations of companies and people of both countries titled “1+1+α (national donation)” in a special lecture held on Tuesday. He said that South Korea would add 6 billion won, the remaining balance at the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation. “It would be a meaningful gesture of participation, as it is the only sort of financial donation given by the Japanese government for this such purposes. It would be a great cause for Japanese companies to take part in,” he explained. When asked whether the plan was coordinated with the Korean government, he replied that the government is likely to be aware of it.
However, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declined the offer in a regular press conference held on the same day, by saying, “The Japanese government’s position on the issue remains consistent (that the issue had been resolved at the Korea-Japan Claims Agreement in 1965). We clearly demand a wise solution to the Korea.”
Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said Wednesday that the Japanese government is entirely unable to accept the proposal. “Japan cannot accept the offer as it assumes that Japanese companies should donate,” a Japanese government official told NHK. “The majority opinion of the Liberal Democratic Party, as well as the Japanese government, is that it simply cannot accept the plan,” NHK also reported. “Japan will not respond in any manner by donation.”