Japan can do more to resolve comfort women issue: KawamuraUpdated: 2014-07-24 22:09:03 (KST)
An eight-term Japanese lawmaker says Tokyo can and should do more to address the Japanese military's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women.
At a Heritage Foundation forum in Washington on Wednesday, eight-term Japanese lawmaker Takeo Kawamura of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said Japan has been working to resolve the matter.
He added Japan could take the same measures it has in the past for the 55 Korean victims who remain alive today.
These may include providing a letter of apology and some financial compensation from a civilian-led fund.
The offer for civilian-led compensation was rejected by South Korea in the 1990s, as Seoul saw it as an attempt by the Japanese government to avoid direct responsibility.
Kawamura's remarks come after South Korea and Japan resumed talks on Tokyo's sexual slavery in Seoul on Wednesday.
It was the first such meeting since Japan reviewed its 1993 Kono Statement, which acknowledged that that Japanese military forced women into sexual servitude during World War Two.
The Abe administration, while upholding the landmark statement, claimed last month that Seoul was in close consultations with Tokyo when it was being drawn up.
Around 200-thousand women, mostly Korean, were forced to serve the Japanese military in the early 20th century.
But dampening any hope of concrete progress between the two neighbors, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed regret over Seoul's reaction to the Kono Statement review.
During a press briefing Wednesday, Suga said it was conducted in an objective manner by experts.
Suga added Japan has no plans for new measures to resolve the sexual slavery issue.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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The Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea
(Japanese: 日韓基本条約 (Nikkan Kihon Joyaku), was signed on June 22, 1965 to establish basic relationship between Japan and the Republic of Korea (South Korea).
In January 2005, the South Korean government disclosed 1,200 pages of diplomatic documents that recorded the proceeding of the treaty. The documents, kept secret for 40 years, recorded that South Korea agreed to demand no compensations, either at the government or individual level, after receiving $800 million in grants and soft loans from Japan as compensation for its 1910-1945 colonial rule in the treaty.