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International Relations

Japan's Abe rejects South Korean call for 'comfort women' apology

Renewed dispute puts fresh strains on relations between the Asian neighbors

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday that South Korea's calls for additional measures to redress the "comfort women" issue, including an apology, are "totally unacceptable."

Speaking to reporters at the prime minister's office, Abe flatly rejected a call for an apology from South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and urged South Korea to implement an agreement reached between the two countries at the end of 2015.

"The Japanese-South Korean agreement is a promise between countries. It is an international and universal principle to honor the agreement. South Korea's unilateral calls for further [Japanese] measures are totally unacceptable," Abe said.

In the December 2015 agreement, the Japanese and South Korean governments confirmed the "final" and "irreversible" resolution to the issue, which has strained relations between the two Asian neighbors.

Under the accord, Japan has provided 1 billion yen ($8.98 million at current rates) to a South Korean foundation to compensate the victims and their families.


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