S. Korean government to shut down Reconciliation and Healing Foundation

Posted on : 2018-11-22 16:30 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Foundation criticized for neglecting victims as part of agreement with Japan
The door of the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation remains shut on Nov. 21
The door of the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation remains shut on Nov. 21

On Nov. 21, the South Korean government officially announced that it is shutting down the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation, which was established in accordance with the comfort women agreement it reached with Japan on Dec. 28, 2015. The foundation is being closed two years and four months after its establishment. This effectively neutralizes the Dec. 28 agreement, which has been criticized for not focusing on the victims.

On Wednesday, South Korea’s Ministry of Gender Equality and Family announced that the minister would exercise her authority to revoke the license under which the foundation was established. The Gender Equality Ministry said that, while it takes steps to dispose of what is left of the 1 billion yen (US$8.85 million) that the Japanese government gave the foundation, it would solicit the views of groups connected with the comfort women in regard to the method of disposal.

Approximately 5.8 billion won (US$5.14 million) remains after subtracting payments made to some of the surviving comfort women and the families of the deceased.

“The 4.4 billion won [US$3.9 million] that has already been paid to the surviving victims and bereaved families cannot be invalidated. If the Japanese refuse to accept a refund of the money, we’re also considering the option of using this for memorial programs for the former comfort women,” the Gender Equality Ministry announced.

By Park Da-hae, staff reporter

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