South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his administration has announced that he and his administration will keep intact the December 2015 agreement between his country and Japan concerning the Comfort Women who were kept as sex slaves by the Japanese during World War II. It was during a press conference that was held back in January where the South Korean Foreign Minister in Kang Kyung-wha announced that South Korea would not be renegotiating the deal that it had previously made with the Japanese. Most critics agree that any renegotiating of the deal would prove deadly for any future Japan and South Korea relations.
President Moon in December of 2017 had announced a special task force committee that would look into the details of the December 2015 deal that was negotiated by the Japanese and the then South Korean President in Park Geun-hye. The task force that President Moon had formed found out that the 2015 deal had flaws in it because that group did not interivew any of the surviving victims nor did they get any Comfort Women testimonies. The reaction from Tokyo was a strong one in response to President Moon and his new task force findings. As a matter of fact, Taro Kono, the Japanese Foreign Minister, gave a warning to the Moon adminsitration that if they were to do any changes to the December 2015 agreement that it could prove disastrous for a relationship between the two countries.
Without a doubt, the debate over the South Korean Comfort Women issue has been the biggest dispute between Japan and South Korea. It was as far back as 1995 when the Japanese government first made declarations and showed remorse and responsibility for having Korean comfort women held as slaves during World War II. Then Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama even announced a Asian Womens Fund which would provide healthcare and other assistance to the victims. The women and the South Korean government still did not think that this was enough to appease the long standing wounds and suffering that was endured by the suffering women despite the long and enduring comfort women stories that told of the wrongdoings that had happened to them. South Koreans believed that the Asian Womens Fund was something that was spearheaded by private funds and that the monies would not be coming directly from the Japanese government but from wealthy business owners who trying to keep any business relationships and interests between the two countries alive.
The World War II sex slave issue and debate between Japan and South Korea is one that has taken a worldwide twist. Statues depicting the women can be found all around the world with the most famous one being erected in Seoul directly across from the Japanese Embassy. Seoul is still looking for Tokyo to continue its atonement for the attrocities that were done, something that the South Koreans believe that the Japanese are just sweeping under the table and taking full responsibility for. The Japanese on the other hand believe that Seoul will never be satisfied with any agreement when it comes to what was done to these women so very long ago.
Many believe that if any renegotiating to the December 2015 deal was done by President Moon that it would have definitely destroyed the Japan-South Korea relationship. There are many out there that believe that the relationship has already faltered to the point of no repair. The Japanese continue their hard stance concerning the Comfort Women deal stating that the December 2015 agreement was one that is final and cannot be reversed.