South Korea and Japan are in contention yet again. Seventy-two hours after South Korea stated that they are not willing to roll back on their previous agreement on comfort women, Japan’s prime minister said that they had rejected that call to apply more measures. Considering the sensitivity of the matter, it even created a nasty relationship towards the winter Olympics. Japan’s take is that the actual deal was entered into by two nations and no additional promises were conceivable. South Korean Comfort women agreement remains one of the most significant silent issues between the two countries which threaten to spark a heated debate.
The original deal according to comfort women testimonies was an apology and additional monetary compensation of $8.8 million intended for elderly care for those who survived. Nonetheless, the South Korean government immediately criticized the deal. Later political transformations in the country happened, and the new regime promised to revise the agreement on comfort women. Based on findings from a constituted panel, they finalized that South Korea’s representation in the negotiation of the deal was not proper in fulfilling all the legal responsibilities. They further stated that the Korean comfort women deal couldn’t be relied on as a valid resolution via a statement through their foreign minister. Currently, they have settled on a decision to set aside their funds of a similar amount to cater for the affairs of their Korean comfort women as they try to resolve the matter with Japan. The most prominent contention arose when Mr. Moon’s government requested for an additional official apology that the Japanese government rejected.
With the tensions soaring up between the two countries, the Japanese prime minister, Mr. Abe considered missing the winter Olympics but later went for the opening ceremony. Most commentators in Japan support Mr. Abe’s stand on comfort women stories giving the opinion that they ought to go through all their available alternatives without being conditioned by South Korea’s demands. Although analysts state that Japan has publicly apologized in numerous instances, critics have placed doubt on Mr. Abe’s commitment to comfort women stories based on his previous stand before becoming the prime minister. According to Yoshiki Mine, a former employee of the Japan foreign establishment, South Koreas request for a new apology is a sign that they are interested in a revision of the deal which is creating a problematic stand. On the other hand, South Korea believe that the previous agreement on South Korean comfort women was not comprehensive enough to represent the rights of the victims.
Veteran political analysts are of the opinion that it is vital that both countries solve these issue and put it behind them to focus on more important security matters. According to Kazuhiko Togo, former Japanese ambassador to the Netherlands, the central aim of formalizing such an agreement was to remove political focus from the issue so that other matter can get resolved. The agreement created unresolved matters since it was not primarily centered on representing the South Korean comfort women effectively.