Japan rejects S.Korean call for extra steps over 'comfort women'

Director general officals of S. Korea Japan meet

However, she said the pact "cannot be a true solution for the victims of Japan's wartime sex slavery".

"I don't think that this is a matter that can be resolved in a give-and-take manner between governments with the victims excluded in the process", he added.

"Japan should accept the truth, apologize with a honest heart and take (the comfort women issue) as a lesson and work with the worldwide community in such a way that (such things) could not occur again", he said during a televised press conference.

Under the 2015 accord, Japan apologized and promised to pay $8.8 million for care for survivors.

South Korea's Kang did not elaborate on what additional steps South Korea was seeking but a senior foreign ministry official told Reuters it wanted a "voluntary, honest apology rather than money".

"(The comfort women issue) will not be resolved simply by demanding renegotiation".

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"Considering that, our government will not demand renegotiation of the deal", Kang told reporters on Tuesday.

South Korea's foreign minister, Kang Kyung-wha, said Tuesday that the 2015 agreement could not be considered "a genuine resolution" of the issue.

Her Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, meanwhile described the deal as "irreversible", saying that it created a "crucial" foundation for cooperation between the two United States allies "amid efforts to address threats from North Korea". The comments came after South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Seoul was not seeking to renegotiate the agreement, but that Tokyo needed to make further efforts to help the victims "regain honor and dignity and heal wounds in their hearts", Reuters reports.

A senior Japanese government official said the talks between the two Koreas only benefit Pyongyang and would not contribute to resolving the threats posed by the country's ballistic missile and nuclear development. Observers in Japan concluded that while the two sides will try to avoid any dramatic confrontations due to the need for a joint response on the North Korea issue, a chill in the two sides' relations appears unavoidable for the time being. "With this in mind, our government will not ask to renegotiate the agreement with Japan".

"We will also set aside money that will replace the 1 billion yen that the Japanese government gave under the deal and have consultations with Japan on how to handle the (existing) fund going forward".

President Moon Jae-in has emphasized that the agreement is not accepted by the general public in Korea and called it "flawed". The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday reiterated it would continue to seek to "harmoniously" and "peacefully" tackle the historical issues while pursuing a future-oriented relationship with Japan.

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