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Japan and South Korea Reach Deal Over Comfort Women Controversy

(Photo by Melissa Wall via the Creative Commons on Flickr)

According to an Associated Press report published today, Japan and South Korea have officially finalized a deal to resolve their long running dispute over Japan’s forced internment of Korean women into military brothels during World War II. This resolution involves Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe issuing a formal apology and pledging a sum of more than $8 million dollars in government money.

Foreign minister of Japan Fumio Kishida spoke on the topic today during a Seoul news conference.

“The issue of ‘comfort women’ was a matter which, with the involvement of the military authorities of the day, severely injured the honor and dignity of many women,” said Kishida. “In this regard, the government of Japan painfully acknowledges its responsibility.”

Kishida also noted Prime Minster Abe “expresses anew sincere apologies and remorse from the bottom of his heart to all those who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as “comfort women.”

Officials hope this will mark the beginning of a healing process over an issue that has produced animosity and distrust between the two countries for over 70 years.

There are a grand total of three Comfort Women monuments in the world, and Glendale’s Central Park contains one of them. Weighing in at 1,100-pounds and comprised of bronze, granite and obsidian, the statue features a young woman sitting next to an empty chair. Sponsored by a local sister city organization, it was shipped over from South Korea by boat and is an exact replica of the monument that resides outside the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.

(Photo by Melissa Wall via the Creative Commons on Flickr)

Central Park is located at 201 E. Colorado St.

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