Japan: No talks, compensation for South Korea sex slaves

Oct. 3, 2011 at 12:01 PM
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TOKYO, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Japan said Monday it has no intention of reopening talks with South Korea over compensation for Korean women forced to be sex slaves during World War II.

Yonhap reported Japan's foreign ministry officially turned down a Sept. 15 South Korean proposal to renegotiate compensation for as many as 200,000 women forced to work as "comfort women" for Japanese soldiers at brothels on the front lines.

Shinsuke Sugiyama, director-general of the Japanese foreign ministry's Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau, told reporters Friday the issue had been resolved by a 1965 normalization treaty between the two countries.

"The Japanese government's consistent position is this: The issue of compensation for the 'comfort women' was fully and completely resolved" under the normalization treaty, Sugiyama said.

Yonhap has reported the treaty provided South Korea with $800 million in grants and loans.

Japan, which had ruled the Korean Peninsula as a colony from 1910 to 1945, has acknowledged its wartime military used sex slaves but refuses to compensate victims individually.

Yonhap said some South Korean officials argue the sexual slavery was a crime against humanity and therefore not covered by the treaty.

The issue of compensation for the women has grown in urgency because the women, who are now elderly, fear they will die before receiving an apology or payment.

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