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Remembering S. Korean sex slaves after deal

More than 65 percent of 20-somethings were against removing the statue, compared with only 45 percent of sexagenarians. At that time, Japan called for the statue to be removed before providing about ¥1 billion to a foundation to be set up by South Korea to support former comfort women, according to the official. The event Wednesday was the first since the agreement between the two nations was struck.

“The government’s stance is to demand the Japanese government apologise to the comfort women from our country during World War II, to compensate them, and to return justice and dignity to them”, Ma told reporters Tuesday.

“The government can not be trusted”, said one of the women, Lee Yong-su, 88.

Under the agreement announced Monday, Japan will apologize to the Korean women for the physical and emotional pain and contribute approximately $8.3 million to a fund for the survivors.

The rally was sombre as the lives of nine former sex slaves who died this year were commemorated, but later turned angry with protesters shouting slogans denouncing Japan and its prime minister Shinzo Abe.

South Koreans are split almost equally over the recent deal between their country and Japan regarding Tokyo’s sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War II, a local survey showed Thursday.

They waved banners and chanted slogans, dismissing Monday’s deal as “humiliating“.

Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou vowed to press Japan for a negotiated settlement for the island’s victims of wartime sex slavery by the Imperial Army dpa said quoting the state-run Central News Agency.

However, some of the victims and their supporters have accused the government of failing to obtain Japan’s acknowledgment of legal responsibility and rashly reaching the deal without consulting them. The statue was erected in December 2011, with Japan calling for its removal ever since.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye asked the victims and the public to understand the agreement, saying that it was urgent for the victims’ old age and the harsh reality.

The statue, which sits across from the Japanese Embassy in downtown Seoul, has been a source of friction between the two countries as they have sought to resolve issues related to the wartime atrocity.

It is estimated that over 200,000 women throughout the Pacific region were forced into prostitution by the Japanese military during the World War and Japan’s colonization of Asia.

The agreement was criticized in South Korea for failing to extract Japan’s acknowledge of “legal” responsibility for the war crime and the absence of Abe’s unequivocal apology for the “forced” recruitment.

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