Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Finance | By Gustavo Carr

Mainichi Calls for Abe to Attend PyeongChang Olympics

Mainichi Calls for Abe to Attend PyeongChang Olympics

Keeping this promise is an worldwide and universal principle.

The South Korean government declared on Tuesday that the 2015 agreement was not a conclusive resolution to the issue of Japan's wartime atrocity, and although Seoul decided it will not seek to renegotiate the deal, it did call on Tokyo to offer a voluntary and honest apology to the surviving victims.

In his first public response to Mr Moon's comments, Mr Abe said yesterday: "Such unilateral demands that Japan take additional steps are absolutely unacceptable".

Moon had stated that while it is "undeniable" that the deal is an official bilateral agreement, the "erroneous knot" with Japan over the "comfort women" issue must be untied by Tokyo apologising to the victims.

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Worldwide relations professor Kim Jae Chun of Sogang University warned that the difference in opinion over the comfort women deal could pose a major roadblock for Korea-Japan relations. The dispute is expected to carry on till next week, when the foreign ministers of both countries will meet in Vancouver, Canada, for a special worldwide summit on the situation with North Korea. Following Moon's remarks, the Japanese government reportedly filed a formal protest with the South Korean Embassy in Tokyo.

On the security front, Abe will seek the European nations' cooperation in raising pressure on North Korea through the steady implementation of U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions imposed over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development programs, they said. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said his participation in the games would depend on his parliamentary schedule. "The more the Korean government seeks to additionally consult with Japan on the comfort women issue, the worse its relation with Japan gets".

This is like punching someone in the face and then saying to them, 'I hope it doesn't ruin our relationship.' It just doesn't work that way and Japan needs to stand firm. They have demanded the deal be invalidated, saying the government did not consult with them in advance and Japan's apology was not honest.

President Moon pledged to renegotiate the deal on his campaign trail, but he has also vowed to normalize icy ties with Japan.

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