There’s relief among South Korean and Japanese diplomats after the two countries announced an “irreversible” settlement of a decades-long standoff over Korean women forced into sexual slavery by Japan’s World War II military. But activists and many of the elderly victims were furious Tuesday.
Both sides compromised in Monday’s surprise deal, so neither got everything it wanted. Nationalists in Japan are angry over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s apology. Some South Koreans say President Park Geun-hye settled for far too little money — about $8 million — and that Japan still hasn’t taken legal responsibility for atrocities during its colonial occupation of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945.
But the apparent finality of the deal — both sides called the matter “resolved finally and irreversibly,” if faithfully implemented — has been largely accepted so far, after decades in which the issue ruined ties between the two powerful Northeast Asian democracies.
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