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Japanese PM kicks off six-nation European tour in Estonia
12 January 2018, 09:04 | Devin Moran
Eduardo Munoz Reuters
Under the deal, South Korea promised not to raise the issue again and Japan transferred 1 billion yen (now $8.9 million) to a foundation dedicated to supporting the victims. Keeping this promise is an global and universal principle. "It is an global and universal principle to keep it", Abe told reporters prior to departing for an East European tour. Japan has strongly maintained that the 2015 deal was* an official apology, and that the issue has been settled by the landmark agreement.
Inoue suggested to Abe that Japan should not miss the current opportunities to improve Sino-Japanese relations, and should try to realize exchanges of high-level visits between China and Japan, according to Kyodo News.
Nonetheless, a months-long review started by President Moon Jae In's administration into the deal agreed upon by his disgraced predecessor Park Geun Hye found that it was "reached the wrong way" as it had not sought the opinions of survivors. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said his participation in the games would depend on his parliamentary schedule.
There were 47 South Korean comfort women at the time the deal was struck, but this figure now stands at 33.
"This issue can not be resolved through a give-and-take deal between governments struck over the victims' head", he said.
He also noted that representatives from more than 30 companies would accompany him to develop business ties. "Japan should accept the truth, make a heartfelt apology to victims".
And while Mr Moon wants to forge "forward-oriented ties" with Japan - separate from the comfort women issue - Dr Minohara said: "This is like punching someone in the face and then saying to them, "I hope it doesn't ruin our relationship".
On the security front, Abe will seek the European nations' cooperation in raising pressure on North Korea through the steady implementation of U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions imposed over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development programs, they said.
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