Seoul dissolves Japan fund for WWII sex slaves

6 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

SEOUL: A foundation set up to compensate victims of Japan’s wartime sex slavery has been formally dissolved, South Korean officials said Friday, the latest chapter in a bitter dispute over the two countries’ shared history, reports AFP.

The $8.8 million fund was established in 2015 as Tokyo and Seoul made a renewed effort to push past their continuing row over Japan’s brutal 1910 - 1945 occupation.

The money—which the two sides agreed at the time was a final settlement—was intended to compensate so-called “comfort women”—a euphemism for those forced to provide sex for Japanese troops during World War II.

Around half of the money has been claimed by a dwindling number of survivors or their families.

But ties have since frayed, with some in South Korea insisting the 2015 deal did not hold Japan sufficiently accountable for its past abuses.

Seoul’s Gender Equality Ministry, the government body in charge of issues related to former sex slaves, said Friday the foundation had been put into liquidation.

“We have yet to decide on what to do with the funds provided by Tokyo,” an official said.

Japan urged South Korea to return to the deal.