Seoul: South Korean President Lee Myung Bak
urged Japan on Thursday to "resolve urgently" the issue of
compensation for aging South Korean women who were forced into
sexual slavery for the Japanese military in World War II.
The issue of comfort women for (the Japanese) military is
an urgent matter that should be urgently resolved," Lee said
in a speech commemorating the 93rd anniversary of the March 1
popular uprising against Japan`s colonial rule of the Korean
At the speech made at the Independence Hall of Korea at
Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, Lee asked Japan "to have
courage and wisdom of not evading from the historical truth,
which is needed to work closely as a genuine partner."
South Korea has asked Japan to hold bilateral talks on
compensating the aging women, euphemistically called "comfort
women," but Japan has maintained the issue was settled by a
1965 treaty that normalized bilateral ties.
Lee also stressed the importance of forging close ties
between the two countries, saying, "South Korea and Japan, as
close neighbors, should work together to open a new future
while sharing various common interests."