Wartime Labor Foundation Unlikely to Cover Comfort Women


Seoul, Dec. 1 (Jiji Press)--A foundation proposed by South Korean National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang to pay consolation money to South Koreans who worked for Japanese companies during wartime is unlikely to cover former comfort women, Yonhap news agency reported Sunday.

The scale of the foundation, initially planned at 300 billion won, or about 27.7 billion yen, could rise above one trillion won, or about 93 billion yen, according to the report.

Moon proposed setting up the foundation with voluntary contributions from Japanese and South Korean companies and citizens, as well as by using the remaining balance of 6 billion won of a now-defunct foundation to pay compensation to former comfort women that was set up with a contribution from the Japanese government under a 2015 Japan-South Korea agreement.

Moon's proposal called for making payments from the foundation not only to wartime laborers but also to former comfort women, who were forced to serve as prostitutes for Japanese troops before and during World War II.

But support groups for former comfort women criticized his proposal as it does not include an apology from the Japanese government. At a meeting with Moon on Wednesday, some South Korean lawmakers demanded that former comfort women be excluded from the list of recipients of consolation money from the proposed foundation.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press