The South Korean government’s investigation committee reviewed the agreement on the issue of comfort women between Japan and South Korea. Consequently, the committee concluded that since the agreement had been contracted between the former South Korean government and the Japanese government without hearing from the former comfort women sufficiently and giving priority to the diplomacy, it was ineffective and should be abrogated in due course after renegotiation with the Japanese government.
The agreement was contracted between Japan and South Korea in December 2015.
It has been meaningless to tackle the issue of the comfort women seriously because it was originally falsehood and fiction. However, Prime Minister Abe has been obliged to apologize to the South Korean government, and the Japanese government has contributed one billion yen to the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation established by the South Korean government. In this agreement, it is specified that the issue of comfort women has been resolved ‘finally and irreversibly’, and accordingly, the South Korean government has already promised to remove a statue of a girl symbolizing ‘comfort women’ in front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul.
Right after the agreement was contracted, the general assembly of the Liberal Democratic Party was held, and only I made a speech to oppose the agreement, saying carefully, “Will the South Korean government follow the agreement, honestly?”
What has happened afterward? One billion yen has been contributed. A statue of a girl in front of the Embassy of Japan has not been removed yet. A new statue has been built in Busan and it will be expanded to many other places in South Korea and in the world. The comfort women issue is now going to be registered in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Program. Through these activities, the South Korean government seems to be taking the lead in the anti-Japan movement.
When the new President was elected, he publicly announced to deny the previous government’s promise. If the agreement contracted by the two countries is denied by the new President, what is the meaning for the state’s decision? People in Japan will not be able to trust the new regime in South Korea and doubt its ability to govern the nation of South Korea.
Strongly denying the South Korean government’s view on the agreement, the Japanese government has been requesting the South Korean government to confirm and fulfil the agreement sincerely. However, I wonder if it is useful for both countries to provoke a diplomatic trouble such as the comfort women issue. It is because the issue itself is important, but it does not seem to be so serious as such explosive crisis between North Korea and the U.S. which might be caused by North Korea’s nuclear development and launching missiles. People in Japan are stunned by the new South Korean government’s peculiar or even confusing way of thinking about the agreement on the issue of the comfort women.