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ASIAdocument.write(“” + m[today.getMonth()+1]+ ” “+ today.getDate()+”, ” + theYear + ” “);HOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperChina Daily Global PDFChina Daily Global E-paperOpinion / EditorialsEditorialsOp-EdColumnistsContributorsCartoonsSpecialsFrom the PressForum TrendsTalk from streetDebateEditors Pick:Syrian refugeescyberspaceV-Day paradeshrimp scandalTPPJapans apology to ROK welcome, but not enough(China Daily) Updated:2015-12-30 08:16Comments Print Mail Large Medium SmallA South Korean woman whose family members were killed by Japanese forces during World War II attends a rally in Seoul on Monday demanding full compensation and an apology from the Japanese government. Ahn Youngjoon / The Associated PressWith Japan offering an apology and 1 billion yen (about $8.3 million) to help establish a foundation to support the women forced to work as sex slaves during the Japanese occupation of the Republic of Korea, the two countries agreed to settle their long-standing differences over the so-called comfort women on Monday.
This marks a turning point in ties between Tokyo and Seoul. It should also serve as a starting point for Japan to act in a more responsible manner to resolve the sensitive historical issue with its other neighbors.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abes notorious revisionist policy has fueled rightwing politicians attempts to deny Japans wartime atrocities, including the exploitation of the “comfort women”, which is a Japanese euphemism for the women forced into sexual slavery in Japans military brothels in the countries it occupied in the first half of the last century.
Also, the United States may have played a part in pushing for reconciliation between the two Asian neighbors since both of them are allies of the US. On Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the US welcomes the agreement between Japan and the ROK, believing it will promote healing and help improve relations between two of its most important allies.
From a regional perspective, the rapprochement between Japan and the ROK could contribute to regional peace and stability and encourage countries in the region to pursue a peaceful road of development.
Yet Japan needs to be reminded that ROK women were not the only victims of its wartime crimes. Historians estimate there were about 200,000 “comfort women” from China, the Korean Peninsula, Southeast Asia, Russia, the Netherlands and other countries. In all, less than 100 are still alive today.
Obviously, this step, although welcome, does not settle the “comfort women” issue as a whole. Given that Japans settlement with the ROK is largely politically driven, rather than being a true reflection of its responsibility, the move is not enough to signify Japan is ready to truly own up to its past.
At present, ties between China and Japan, and the ROK and Japan have thawed somewhat, and trilateral cooperation has been revived. But for the sake of lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia, Japan is obliged to properly address the historical issues that it has allowed to fester for so long.8.03KRelated StoriesJapan agrees to comfort women dealJapan offers $8m compensation to Korean victims of comfort womenVisit arranged to settle comfort women rowComfort women could set precedentComfort Women play brings dark chapter of history to lifeComfort women still waiting for apologyImages capture pain of comfort womenComfort women: Scars have not been healedMost Viewed Todays Top NewsLaw could reduce domestic violenceConstructive role in defusing the Syria crisisBig sports venues do little for residents livesMinor tax raise on tobacco fails to cut the number of smokersSensationalizing of experts opinions counterproductiveForum TrendsOur forumites make their own 2016 calendarHow an American views China and USIs public breastfeeding appropriate?12 stories that touched the heart in 2015Squat or sit?To eat or not to eat processed meat?Building world-class universities in ChinaColumnistsPoetic translation riles critics, pulled from shelvesWhere on Gods green Earth does Paris fit?Featured ContributorsLaw could reduce domestic violenceConstructive role in defusing the Syria crisisStar BloggersWhy I choose to be positive about life By Michael MurphyWhy do I choose to be positive about life? Well, simply put, it makes me happy and has proved to be the best way of life I could have ever chosen.The tragic fate of the Paris attack victims By François de la ChevalerieCharlotte and Emilie Meaud, twin sisters, were killed at the terrace of the Carillon, during the attacks on Paris, on the 13th of November.A season of goodwill By TedMThis was because I hated what Christmas has become in the West; a season of goodwill and smiling faces, the thrill of shopping or making gifts.SpecialPresident Xis UK visit in foreigners eyeSino-US love storiesGlobal views on Chinas WWII anniversary…| About China Daily | Advertise on Site | Contact Us | Job Offer | Expat Employment |Copyright 1995 -var oTime = new Date();
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