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How does China cope with the Japan-ROK deal on ‘Comfort Women?’

How does China cope with the Japan-ROK deal on ‘Comfort Women?’

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How does China cope with the Japan-ROK deal on 'Comfort Women?'

By Wu Jianshu
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, January 6, 2016

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South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se (R) and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida attend a joint press conference in Seoul, South Korea, Dec. 28, 2015. [Xinhua/Newsis]

South Korea and Japan reached a landmark agreement over the issue of "Comfort Women," sex slaves from Korea, China and other Asian countries used by Japanese troops during the World War II. However, the credibility and sincerity of the December 28 deal is being challenged as it was reached under American pressure.

Under the deal, the Japanese and Korean governments have agreed to work to restore the honor and dignity of the comfort women and heal their mental scars. Japan will provide a lump sum of 1 billion Yen (US$8.3 million) for South Korea to establish a foundation to oversee the work.

As U.S. allies in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea play crucial roles in American strategy of the "Asian Pivot." However, recent deterioration in Japan-ROK ties due to disputes over historical issues and maritime interests has already affected implementation of the strategy.

These growing tensions, meanwhile, have led to a warming of China-ROK relations. For example, the two countries signed a Free Trade Agreement on June 1, 2015. And South Korean President Park Guen-hye overrode American objections and attended the Beijing celebrations in September to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the victory over fascism in World War II.

To ensure the smooth operation of its strategy and to avoid its important ally of South Korea getting closer with China, the U.S. put pressure on Japan and South Korea to resolve the "Comfort Women" issue, and finally got the result as it intended.

How should China, also occupied by Japan prior to and during World War II and is an important party in Northeast Asian affairs, deal with this unexpected reconciliation?

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