TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday South Korea risked damaging ties by shutting down a fund meant to settle compensation for South Korean women forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War Two.
“If international pledges are broken then forging ties between countries becomes impossible and as a member of the international community we urge South Korea to act responsibly,” Abe told reporters at his residence in Tokyo.
Under a 2015 agreement, Tokyo apologised to the victims, who are referred to as “comfort women” in Japan and provided a 1 billion yen ($8.86 million) fund to help them. Abe’s government hoped the pact would settle an issue that has hobbled ties with South Korea for decades.
(Reporting by Tim Kelly; editing by Darren Schuettler)