• Japan eyes new fund for former comfort women


    TOKYO: Japan plans to propose a fresh fund to support former comfort women as foreign ministers from Tokyo and Seoul meet next week to settle a bitter row over a Japanese wartime brothel system, reports said Saturday.

    The one-day meeting between Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his South Korean counterpart, Yun Byung-se, will be held in Seoul on Monday, officials have said.

    The ministers are to discuss “matters of mutual concern” such as the issue of women systematically forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers during World War II.

    The Japanese government is considering creating a new fund of about 100 million yen ($830,000) to help former comfort women, the Mainichi daily reported, while other media said the sum would be larger than that.

    Tokyo also plans to propose that the two countries sign a statement confirming that the issue of comfort women is settled completely, the Mainichi and other Japanese newspapers reported.

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is aiming for a resolution of the lingering issue that has overshadowed diplomatic relations between the two East Asian US allies.

    Japan issued a landmark 1993 statement that expressed “sincere apologies and remorse” to the women.



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