MOSCOW (Sputnik) — "Comfort women" is a term used to describe women forced to work in wartime brothels for the Japanese military during World War II. With the exact number of women involved in the practice still a subject of debate, most of the women were taken from countries occupied by Japan between 1932 and 1945, mainly Korea, China and the Philippines.
In December 2016, civic groups activists erected a monument, symbolizing comfort women in front of the Japanese General Consulate in Busan. To protest the statue, Japan has recalled its ambassador and consul general from South Korea for consultations and halted currency swap talks.
Tokyo wants the statue to be removed pointing out that it contradicts the spirit of the 2015 deal to resolve the comfort women issue. The agreement saw Japan apologize and give $9.61 million to a South Korean foundation for surviving victims of the practice and their families, while South Korea pledged to close the issue in a final and irreversible manner.