Good news, everyone! Japan and South Korea are finally taking steps to bury the hatchet:
Japan and South Korea have agreed to settle the issue of “comfort women” forced to work in Japanese brothels during World War Two, in their first such deal since 1965.
Japan has [apologized] and will pay 1bn yen ($8.3m, £5.6m) – the amount South Korea asked for – to fund victims.
The issue has been the key cause for strained ties.
No one is completely happy by this agreement, which is why it is a good one. In South Korea’s case, “comfort women” are not getting the funds directly:
The wording of the deal does not explicitly state that the “comfort women” will receive direct compensation, but states that the fund will provide “support” and bankroll “projects for recovering the [honor] and dignity and healing the psychological wounds”.
Some former “comfort women”, such as Lee Yong-soo, have taken issue with this.
Many in Japan think the deal is loop-sided:
In Japan journalist Nobuo Ikeda reflected the view of many on Twitter that the country had lost out, although others thought the deal could have been worse for Mr Abe.
“Japan pays 1 billion yen and our PM [apologizes] but South Korea will ‘consult about the girl’s statue’ (a “comfort women” statue which activists erected outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul in 2011) – that’s not a diplomatic negotiation,” Mr Ikeda tweeted.
I can understand his frustration at the perception that Japan is getting very little over the deal. However what Nobuo Ikeda fails to understand, is that Japan will get closure on this dark side of their history too. You guys need to stop denying this happen and come to terms with it. Revisionism does no one any good. Swallow your pride and take your lumps. You are not the only ones who get history thrown into your face.
I am elated that both Japan and South Korea have come to a respectful understanding on this issue and can move forward as allies. Because, Holy Shit, everyone who is Not-China and is within spitting distance of the South China Sea, should be friends right now. Just saying.
Now only if Japan and the United States can come to an understanding on the U.S. Military bases on Okinawa Island. *sigh*
Well, see ya’ later!