Taiwan demands compensation for ‘comfort women’
By Lu Yin-hsuan and Jake Chung
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has demanded that the Japanese government begin discussions with Taiwan on reparations for “comfort women” following the Japanese Cabinet’s approval yesterday of ￥1 billion (US$9.98 million) for the South Korean Reconciliation and Healing Foundation.
The Japanese government is to use reserve funds for this fiscal year and, on completion of payment, will consider Japan to have fulfilled a bilateral deal struck with South Korea in December last year.
Tokyo has avoided terminology that classed the funds as reparations for Korean comfort women, which is in line with Japanese policy claiming it has “settled” all reparation claims when it established diplomatic ties with South Korea in 1965.
According to the terms of the agreement, both nations will recognize that the issue is “finally and irreversibly” dealt with.
Japan has called on South Korea to do everything in it is power to resolve tensions regarding comfort women, adding that it hoped for the removal of a statue of a girl in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul that symbolizes the women.
The two governments did not make the removal of the statue a requirement during the talks, although South Korea said in final negotiations that it “will strive to solve this issue in an appropriate manner.”
The ministry said that Taiwan’s stance on the issue of Taiwanese comfort women who were “drafted” during World War II has not changed.
“We ask that the Japanese government tender an official apology, thus restoring the honor and dignity of the women and give appropriate compensation that would help take care of the surviving comfort women,” the ministry said.
According to the Japanese representative in Taiwan, his government understood Taiwan’s request, adding it would face the issue of comfort women with honor and integrity.
The ministry said it would continue negotiations with Japan and would report to the nation on results at an appropriate time.Source: Taipei Times