A FOUNDATION funded by the Japanese government will be compensating surviving South Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery by Japan’s military in World War II, making them eligible to receive 100 million won (about $90,000) each.
Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday that the families of deceased victims will be able to receive 20 million won ($18,000), and that it expects the Japanese government to soon transfer a promised 1 billion yen ($9.9 million) to a foundation formally launched in Seoul last month.
South Korea and Japan agreed to set up the foundation in December as they settled a decades-long dispute over South Korean sex slave victims.
Seoul then said there were 46 surviving South Korean victims and 196 victims who had died.
According to the Japan Times, the money will be disbursed from reserve funds of some ¥350 billion under the fiscal 2016 budget, and Japan expects that the South Korean foundation will use the money for medical and nursing purposes.
Tokyo had earlier demanded the removal of the statue of a girl symbolizing the comfort women which is placed in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul although it was not mentioned in the deal.
However, South Korea said “will strive to solve this issue in an appropriate manner” in its final negotiations.
Following the agreement, the two countries aimed to resolve the issue “finally and irreversibly” in what is seen as a milestone in bilateral relations that have been marred by historical issues, the paper reported.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has demanded that the Japanese government begin discussions with Taiwan on reparations for “comfort women” from the country.
The ministry said there has been no shift in Taiwan’s stance on the issue of Taiwanese comfort women who were “drafted” during the war.
“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 was quoted as saying in the Taipei Times.
Responding to the request, the Japanese representative in Taiwan said Japan’s government would “face the issue of comfort women with honor and integrity”.
Additional reporting from the Associated Press