Japan FM takes issue with Assembly speaker's remark

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Japan FM takes issue with Assembly speaker's remark

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono / Korea Times file

By Kim Bo-eun

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Sunday cautioned against National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang's call for the Japanese Emperor to apologize for sexual slavery victims.

Kono told reporters the Assembly speaker should be careful in his remarks, and that the issue was "completely and finally" resolved through a bilateral deal on sex slaves between Tokyo and Seoul in 2015, according to the Asahi Shimbun, Monday.

Moon made the remarks in an interview with Bloomberg last week.

In the interview, he referred to the Japanese Emperor Akihito as "the son of the main culprit of war crimes."

Akihito's late father Hirohito was the emperor during Japan's colonization of South Korea from 1910 to 1945, when Japan committed atrocities including sexually enslaving Korean women for its military.

The Assembly speaker said the current emperor offering an apology, holding hands with surviving sex slave victims, would resolve the decades-long conflict over the issue.

Moon expressed his hopes that Akihito would do this before he steps down in May.

There are now 23 surviving victims, after former sex slave and activist Kim Bok-dong passed away last week. President Moon Jae-in vowed to "set history right" for the remaining victims.



Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono / Korea Times file

By Kim Bo-eun

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Sunday cautioned against National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang's call for the Japanese Emperor to apologize for sexual slavery victims.

Kono told reporters the Assembly speaker should be careful in his remarks, and that the issue was "completely and finally" resolved through a bilateral deal on sex slaves between Tokyo and Seoul in 2015, according to the Asahi Shimbun, Monday.

Moon made the remarks in an interview with Bloomberg last week.

In the interview, he referred to the Japanese Emperor Akihito as "the son of the main culprit of war crimes."

Akihito's late father Hirohito was the emperor during Japan's colonization of South Korea from 1910 to 1945, when Japan committed atrocities including sexually enslaving Korean women for its military.

The Assembly speaker said the current emperor offering an apology, holding hands with surviving sex slave victims, would resolve the decades-long conflict over the issue.

Moon expressed his hopes that Akihito would do this before he steps down in May.

There are now 23 surviving victims, after former sex slave and activist Kim Bok-dong passed away last week. President Moon Jae-in vowed to "set history right" for the remaining victims.



Kim Bo-eun bkim@koreatimes.co.kr


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