S Korea sex slaves protest against Japan deal

2015-12-30 13:21
Former South Korean sex slave Lee Yong-su, 88, wipes away tears in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. (Lee Jin-man, AP)

Former South Korean sex slave Lee Yong-su, 88, wipes away tears in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. (Lee Jin-man, AP)

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Seoul - Former "comfort women" and hundreds of supporters on Wednesday protested against South Korea's agreement with Japan on wartime sex slavery, as Seoul faces an uphill battle to sell it to the public.

Some 250 protesters gathered next to a statue outside Japan's embassy that symbolises Korean women forced into Japanese army brothels during World War II.

They waved banners and chanted slogans, dismissing the deal as "humiliating."

Japan on Monday offered an apology and a $8.3m payment to the 46 surviving South Korean women under an agreement which both nations described as "final and irreversible".

The plight of the so-called "comfort women" is a hugely emotional issue that has for decades marred ties with Japan, which ruled the Korean peninsula harshly from 1910 to 1945.

The landmark agreement has sparked an angry reaction from some of the victims and activists, who took issue with Tokyo's refusal to accept formal legal responsibility for the sex slavery.

Japan said the payment was aimed at "restoring the women's dignity" but was not official compensation.

"The fight is still on," survivor Lee Yong-Soo said at the rally, attended by one other victim and about 250 protesters.

Gatherings have been held weekly there at the statue for years, demanding Japan's formal apology and compensation.

Read more on:    south korea

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