South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se slammed Japan over the issue of "comfort women" who were forced to work at Japanese military brothels during World War II at a U.N. human rights meeting Wednesday, saying that "without repenting the past wrongdoings, a brighter future will not be secured."
The issue of wartime sex slaves "is not only a bilateral issue between Japan and other victimized countries, but also it is a universal human rights issue, an unresolved issue still haunting us today," he said.
Yun also criticized recent Japanese government moves to screen testimonies by former South Korean sex slaves that served as the basis of a Japanese government apology in 1993 over the issue, saying, "This is an added insult to the honor and dignity of the victims."
The Japanese government must "accept its governmental responsibility, take responsible measures, and educate current and future generations" on the issue, he said.
Japan set up a government-linked Asian Women's Fund in 1995 and earmarked 2 million yen in atonement money to each sex slave conscripted to work at Japanese wartime military brothels, but some of the women have rejected the money, wanting compensation from the Japanese government.
Tokyo maintains that all wartime compensation issues between Japan and South Korea have been settled under a 1965 bilateral treaty that normalized diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Japan ruled the Korean Peninsula as a colony from 1910 to 1945.