January 9, 2018 / 6:36 AM / in 10 months

Japan foreign minister: cannot accept South Korea demands for more steps on 'comfort women'

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono speaks during a news conference at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Tuesday that Tokyo could not accept South Korea’s demands for additional measures regarding a 2015 bilateral agreement on the touchy matter of Korean women forced to work in Japanese wartime brothels.

Kono made the remarks to reporters after South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Seoul was not seeking to renegotiate the agreement but that Tokyo needed to make further efforts to help the victims “regain honor and dignity and heal wounds in their hearts.”

Under the agreement, Japan apologized to victims and provided 1 billion yen ($8.8 million) to a fund to support them.

Reporting by Linda Sieg and Nobuhiro Kubo; Editing by Chris Gallagher

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