Japan apologises to South Korea for wartime sex slavery

Seoul, Dec 28 (IANS) South Korea and Japan on Monday reached an agreement on Japan’s wartime sexual slavery of Korean women during World War II as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made an official apology for the atrocities.

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Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, at a joint press conference in Seoul with his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se after talks on the thorny issue, read a statement for the premier, that Abe “expresses apology and remorse from the heart for all the people suffering hard-to-cure wounds and many pains” physically and psychologically.

The phrase of “apology and remorse from the heart” has been used by Abe frequently, Xinhua reported.

The statement, however, failed to clearly stipulate the “legal responsibility”, which the comfort women victims have called on the Abe cabinet to express.

The agreement could be seen as a progress in Seoul-Tokyo relations as the issue has strained the ties for decades.

It marked the first time that the Japanese government “officially” expresses its responsibility for the war crime.

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