21:04 GMT29 November 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Seoul and Tokyo need to sign a new accord that will replace the 2015 bilateral agreement on the comfort women issue in a way that would be acceptable to the South Korean wartime sexual slavery victims, Choo Mi-ae, the leader of South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party said on Friday.

    On Wednesday, the South Korean taskforce, after reviewing the agreement with Japan on the comfort women issue, published a report that criticized the content of the deal. South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said that the agreement did not properly take into account the needs of Korean women, who had become victims of sexual slavery during the World War II.

    READ MORE: Japan's Osaka to Cut Ties With San Francisco Over 'Comfort Women' Statue

    "We need a new agreement that can be accepted by the victims … An agreement that aims to cover up the truth rather than uncovering it cannot be an [acceptable] agreement," Choo said at the party meeting, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

    As the Japanese Foreign Ministry earlier in the week said that it will not accept any possible changes to the deal, the lawmaker urged Tokyo against "emotionally" responding to the issue.

    "Japan should refrain from emotionally responding and reflect on how it can resolve the issue in a way that serves its national interests … I urge Japan to act in a way that befits Japan's national prestige," Choo said, as quoted by the agency.

    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 2015, Japan and South Korea reached a deal on the issue, ending the long-standing diplomatic feud over wartime sexual slavery with both sides having agreed to set up a foundation for sexually enslaved Korean women. Under the deal, the Japanese government provided 1 billion yen ($8.8 million) of support for the surviving victims and their families.


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