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Abe arrives in Estonia on 1st leg of European tour
12 January 2018, 09:04 | Erica Roy
Eduardo Munoz Reuters
The two countries signed the deal on December 28, 2015, to "finally and irreversibly" settle the comfort women issue, which has always been a key source of tension between the two countries. "We want to continue to strongly ask South Korea to do the same".
His remarks came after President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday also called the 2015 deal "unsatisfactory" and demanded Japan accept historical truth and offer a honest apology to the victims in a nationally televised press conference.
"During talks with leaders, I would like to confirm cooperation over urgent challenges facing the worldwide community, including the North Korean crisis, and advance economic relations", Abe told reporters at his office before departing.
Seoul's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said that the Korea-Japan deal on "comfort women", a euphemism for women forced to serve as sex slaves for the Japanese military from the 1930s to the end of World War II, was flawed and failed to resolve the issue.
In the Estonian capital Tallinn, Abe will meet with President Kersti Kaljulaid and Prime Minister Juri Ratas and will notably discuss bilateral cooperation on cybersecurity, a topic that digital-savvy Estonia has championed since being hit by one of the first major cyberattacks a decade ago.
Mr Moon said a day later that Seoul will decide how to handle the money offered by Japan in consultations with the Japanese government and other relevent parties.
"Truth and justice are key to resolving the issue, but it is not possible to renegotiate the deal", Mr Moon said on Wednesday.
The re-emergence of a long-simmering issue has poured cold water over improving bilateral ties, as the two United States allies seek closer cooperation to cope with regional security threats such as North Korea. The Japan-South Korea deal was a promise between countries.
There were 47 South Korean comfort women at the time the deal was struck, but this figure now stands at 33. He added that he is traveling with representatives from more than 30 Japanese companies. He said that in his talks with his counterparts, he hopes to seek coordination on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and other urgent issues that are facing the global community.
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