Japanese envoy vows to meet top Korean officials over wartime sexual slavery deal

Japan’s ambassador to South Korea has returned
to Seoul, almost three months after he was recalled to Tokyo over a diplomatic row — the
still unresolved issue of a statue in Busan commemorating the victims of Japan’s wartime
sexual slavery. The ambassador wants to meet with top South
Korean officials over the enforcement of the two countries’ deal on the wartime sex slavery
issue. Kim Hyo-sun reports. Japan’s top diplomat to Seoul returned to
the Korean capital on Tuesday evening,… 85 days after he was recalled to his home
country. Yasumasa Nagamine was called back in January,…
in protest of a statue honoring the victims of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery set up by
a civic group in Korea’s southeastern port city of Busan. Declaring his intent to go against the diplomatic
protocol of mainly addressing Korea’s vice foreign minister or assistant vice minister,…
Nagamine told reporters that he plans to speak directly with acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn
to urge the enforcement of the 2015 landmark agreement on the wartime sex slavery issue. “As instructed by Prime Minister Abe and Foreign
Minister Fumio Kishida, I will push to meet acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn and other key
officials to strongly demand the enforcement of the deal.” He also emphasized bilateral cooperation when
it comes to addressing the North Korean nuclear issue. A few hours earlier,… Japan’s consul general in Busan,… Yasuhiro
Morimoto, who was recalled over the same issue,… also arrived back in Korea. Despite their return,… experts say the prospects
for Seoul-Tokyo ties look gloomy. Most expect relations to deteriorate further,
especially when most of the leading presidential candidates in Korea want to scrap or renegotiate
the 2015 deal. The agreement,… signed under the former
Park Geun-hye administration,… has been roundly criticized in Korea for being finalized
without consulting the victims. Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.

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