To those who were observing the state of affairs in Asia recently, it is clear that the issue of the Korean comfort women is still something that needs to be worked on. Unfortunately, this issue is creeping into other issues relating to the relationship between the countries of Japan and South Korea. Observers will notice that although an agreement has officially been reached, a lot more has to be done before the issue is finally resolved and both countries can move forward with their alliance.
The agreement that was finally reached took place after weeks of negotiations between the two sides. This surprised many observers. The fact is that the two sides were suspicious of each other and that is why the agreement took so long to be finalized. President Park of South Korea said that if Japan wanted to normalize relations between the two countries again, then they would need to come to an agreement on the issue. President Abe and those on the Japanese side seemed pretty frustrated by how some people on the South Korean side seemed unwilling to put the issue behind them at any cost.
However, Japan took a big step towards normalizing relations and coming to an agreement on this thorny issue. Abe said that he apologizes for the treatment of the Korean comfort women. This very statement shows that he is willing to admit the involvement of Japanese soldiers in the saga and that he is always willing to apologize for it. This willingness has been something that the South Koreans have been waiting for a long time. In addition, President Abe said that he is pledging one billion yen towards the creation of a fund that will support women who have come forth with testimonies about how they were treated during the second world war by Japanese soldiers.
The two governments seemed willing to finally put the issue behind them. They both agreed that the agreement was final and that it was irreversible. They also said that they will refrain from criticizing each other about the issue in the United Nations and in other international forums. The South Korean government also said that they realize that Japan has concerns about the statue that was erected in front of the Japanese embassy in the capital of South Korea in commemoration of the comfort women testimonies.
This agreement was hailed by observers and experts as a great move forward. The issue has been something that has been holding the two natural allies back from working together on various issues. Japan seems to be finally owning up to its part in the story, and South Korea finally seems willing to put the issue behind them for the betterment of both countries. President Park was very brave for moving forward on this, even though some people in South Korea were against it and were not willing to forgive Japan under any circumstances. President Abe was brave for coming out and taking responsibility, even though some people in Japan were against it and were too proud to own up to their mistakes. Polls that were taken showed that both countries were extremely divided about the deal and that many people liked it while others did not.
Since there is opposition to the deal from people in both countries, the deal has to move forward as quickly as possible, without dragging it on. Otherwise, it will continue to be a sticking point that will hold both countries back. If it is not implemented and the results do not show, some people may stop supporting it.