31 May 2017

News Story: Japan insists U.N. chief backs 'comfort women' deal

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government's top spokesman on Monday repeated its assertion that the U.N. secretary general welcomed a Japan-South Korea deal on Korean women forced to work in Japan's wartime military brothels when he met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Italy.

"The truth is what the Japan side has announced," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a press conference.

His remark came after Antonio Guterres's spokesman Stephane Dujarric released a statement the previous day, saying the secretary general did not "pronounce himself on the content of a specific agreement" during his meeting with Abe on Saturday on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in the Italian city of Taormina.

Meanwhile, South Korea's presidential office announced Monday that it directly confirmed with Guterres that he did not comment on the substance of the deal in his conversation with the Japanese leader.

Suga repeated the Japanese Foreign Ministry's announcement that Abe stressed the importance of complying with the 2015 agreement and it quoted Guterres as saying he supports and welcomes the deal.

The accord was struck in December 2015 to "finally and irreversibly" settle the long-standing feud over Korean "comfort women."

Read the full story at The Mainichi