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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

S. Korean protesters target Japan’s Abe on comfort women day

Seoul, Aug. 14 (Jiji Press) — South Korean protesters took aim at Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration on Wednesday as they marked their country’s “comfort women” memorial day, designated under a law enacted in November 2017.

Participants in a rally held in front of the Japanese embassy in central Seoul raised voices demanding that the Abe administration apologize to former comfort women, who were sexually exploited by the then Imperial Japanese military before and during World War II.

Among the participants was former comfort woman Kil Won-ok, who said she will fight to the end to achieve a victory over the Japanese government.

The Abe administration is urging South Korea to faithfully implement a December 2015 bilateral accord to settle the comfort women issue “finally and irreversibly.”

Elsewhere in the South Korean capital on the day, a ceremony to unveil new statues of girls symbolizing South Korean and Chinese comfort women was held by the city government and a group supporting victims of the wartime sexual exploitation.

Lee Yong-soo, another former comfort woman, attended the ceremony and claimed that she is a surviving witness of the history.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in issued a statement underscoring his government’s resolve to do its best to restore the dignity and honor of former comfort women.

Moon, who attended a government-organized ceremony on last year’s comfort women day, did not participate in this year’s ceremony.

At the government-sponsored ceremony on Wednesday, Gender Equality and Family Minister Jin Sun-mee stressed that the government has been working to heal former comfort women’s wounds, including by proceeding with the dissolution of a foundation established under the 2015 agreement with Japan.

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