BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) — China responded to the agreement reached by Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) on Japan’s wartime sexual slavery of Korean women during World War II on Monday, calling on Japan to deal with historical issues in a responsible way.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "expressed apology and remorse from the heart for all the people suffering hard-to-cure wounds and many pains" physically and psychologically, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told a joint press conference in Seoul with his ROK counterpart Yun Byung-se after talks on the thorny issue.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told a daily press briefing that the forced recruitment of "comfort women" is a serious crime against humanity committed by Japanese militarism during World War II on people of Asia and other victimized countries.
"China has always advanced that Japan should face squarely and reflect upon its historical aggression, and deal with related issues in a responsible way," Lu said.
The agreement could be seen as progress in Seoul-Tokyo relations as the issue has strained ties for decades. It marked the first time that the Japanese government "officially" expressed its responsibility for the war crime.
On the possible improvement of the relationship between Japan and the ROK, Lu said China hopes that the melioration of ROK-Japan ties "will be conducive to the stability and development of the region and help promote relevant countries stick to a path of peaceful development."