Korea vows to react if Japan hurts spirit of sexual slavery apologyUpdated: 2014-06-16 18:06:17 (KST)
The Korean government will take action if Japan announces a verification that hurts the spirit of a historic apology regarding the forceful mobilization of Korean women as sex slaves.
A government official on Sunday expressed Korea's stance on the matter, saying that it will present authoritative documents -- both domestic and foreign -- that will prove Japan responsible and the historic truth about the wartime sexual slavery issue, if Japan hurts the spirit of the Kono Statement.
The 1993 Kono Statement, named after Yohei Kono, the chief cabinet secretary at the time, acknowledges the Japanese Army was involved in recruiting women to serve in front-line brothels.
Seoul's reaction comes after a Japanese media report said the Abe administration will submit its verification to the national Diet soon.
The Japanese government has set up a panel to verify the events leading to the historical apology.
The Korean official added that the Kono Statement was drawn up after an independent investigation by the Japanese government, based on on-site inquiries, official documents and testimonies from Japanese soldiers, related officials and victims of sexual slavery.
Korea has long pressed Japan to address the grievances of victims of Japan's wartime sex slavery by offering a formal apology and providing them with compensation.
Japan has refused to do so, saying the issue was resolved by a 1965 treaty.
Time is running out for the 54 surviving Korean victims, whose average age is 88.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.
Meanwhile, Japan's chief cabinet secretary told reporters earlier this afternoon that the Japanese government was willing to provide an explanation of their review of the Kono Statement upon Korea's request.