Japan demands removal of 'comfort women' statue

Japan demands removal of 'comfort women' statue

Japan has demanded that South Korea remove a statue of a girl symbolizing those referred to as comfort women from outside the Japanese Consulate General in Busan.

Japan's Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama talked to South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam in Washington on Thursday.

Sugiyama criticized the erection of the statue by a civic group in front of the building as totally unacceptable.

He said the countries agreed in 2015 to "finally and irreversibly" settle the long-running comfort women issue. But he said such an action amounts to a unilateral breach of an important basis for the deal.

Lim responded that his government maintains its stance of steadily implementing the agreement. He promised to convey Sugiyama's message to officials in Seoul.

Sugiyama later told reporters that the 2 spent much of the time discussing the statue issue. He added that Japan will continue to press South Korea's central and local governments on the matter.