Ruling party leader calls for renegotiation of comfort women agreement with Japan

Posted on : 2017-06-15 16:41 KST Modified on : 2017-06-15 16:41 KST
Choo Mi-ae also sends message of support for Minister of Foreign Affairs nominee Kang Kyung-wha
Minjoo Party leader Choo Mi-ae participates in the regular Wednesday demonstration to call for a resolution on the comfort women issue
Minjoo Party leader Choo Mi-ae participates in the regular Wednesday demonstration to call for a resolution on the comfort women issue

Minjoo Party leader Choo Mi-ae said she had called for renegotiation of the South Korean and Japanese governments’ agreement on the Japanese military comfort issue in a recent meeting with Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai, who was visiting South Korea as a special envoy for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Choo’s remarks came while she was attending the weekly Wednesday demonstration to call for a resolution on the comfort women issue. “I told him that the South Korea-Japan comfort women agreement that took place under the Park Geun-hye administration on Dec. 28, 2015, contains unacceptable terms, and is thus obviously invalid and needs to be renegotiated,” Choo explained of her June 12 meeting with Nikai while attending the demonstration in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul’s Jongno district on June 14.

As reasons for her demand, Choo said, “Because no evidence at all was presented to uncover the truth, and because Japan has not worked or cooperated on an investigation even though the whole world knows these terrible things took place after the elderly South Korean victims shared this shameful history.”

“Handing over a little bit of money cannot be called a ‘final and irreversible’ resolution,” she continued. “As far as final and irreversible goes, Japan’s apology needs to be final, and the restoration of these women’s dignity needs to be final.”

Choo explained that she had made her remarks “to counter Secretary-General Nikai’s argument that it was a pledge between states and had to be honored.”

Choo added that she had sent the message “to teach the common legal sense that if this were a contract according to contract law, it would have to be honored, but viciously snatching away young girls during wartime and sexually enslaving them is an affront to human dignity that needs to be addressed according to the principles of the natural law of human rights and justice, and is not subject to the logic of contract law.”

“I hope that [Nikai] will continue sharing [the message] with the Japanese politicians and public after returning to Japan, and I would like to see South Korea and Japan growing closer in a relationship of trust,” she continued.

Choo also sent a message of support for Minister of Foreign Affairs nominee Kang Kyung-wha.

“If Kang becomes Minister of Foreign Affairs, it may relieve some of the bitterness for us South Koreans who have demonstrated here each Wednesday,” she said.

By Kim Kyu-nam, staff reporter

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