China scolds Japan over issue of 'comfort women'

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  Jan. 10, 2018 at 11:32 AM
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Jan. 10 (UPI) -- China says it doesn't want Japan to dismiss the issue of "comfort women," who were forced to serve in Japanese wartime brothels.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Wednesday at a regular press briefing Beijing's position on the issue of the victims has not changed, South Korean news service News 1 reported Wednesday.

"China's position on the comfort women issue is clear," Lu said. "Japan must address the concerns of its Asian neighbors and the international community, and deal with them responsibly."

Lu made the statement in response to a question regarding a 2015 compensation agreement that is in dispute between Seoul and Tokyo.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said the agreement with Japan was "seriously flawed" and made without proper consultation.

By Tuesday, Seoul said it would not renegotiate the official agreement, following strong reactions from Tokyo regarding the Moon administration's response to the deal.

On Wednesday, Beijing appeared to be siding with Seoul on the matter.

"This is an issue related to historical justice," Lu said.

China also has comfort women, survivors who may have been forcibly recruited into Japanese military quarters during Japan's incursions into continental Asia during World War II.

Comfort women in China, Taiwan and the Philippines have been less vocal in demanding compensation and redress from the Japanese government than in South Korea, where the women are better organized and work with a coalition of activists.

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Lu also said Japan should address other issues of history.

Beijing and Tokyo have frequently been at odds over the actual number of people killed in the 1937 Rape of Nanking, when, according to China, Japanese forces slaughtered 300,000 civilians.

Japanese sources have said the figure is lower, and ranges between 40,000 and 200,000.

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