Posted January. 10, 2018 08:44,
Updated January. 10, 2018 09:24
It seems the Japanese government is relieved for now by the South Korean government’s decision announced Tuesday not to seek renegotiation or withdrawal of the 2015 comfort women agreement. But Tokyo has made it clear that it cannot accept Seoul’s call for more steps on the issue.
About 50 minutes after South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa made the announcement, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters, “We can by no means accept South Korea’s demands for additional measures, and the 2015 settlement was a final and irreversible resolution.”
“The 2015 comfort women agreement is a promise made between the two countries and it is an international and universal principle to deliver on the promise made by the former government,” the Japanese foreign minister said. “Japan will keep calling for the Korean government to make good on the final and irreversible resolution.”
Regarding the Korean government’s announcement to set aside money to fully replace the 1 billion yen fund paid by the Japanese government for the victims, Kono said, “We will immediately make a protest in Tokyo and Seoul,” adding, “We would like to hear an explanation about the real intention of that announcement.”
Earlier that day, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said during a regular briefing that the agreement is “final and irreversible” and Japan will strongly demand that Korea sincerely deliver on the resolution. “Our stance is clear. The 2015 deal was signed after the foreign ministers of the two countries reached an agreement through talks and was confirmed by the leaders of two countries,” said Suga. “The agreement was praised by the international community including the United States.”