Japan calls for talks about Abe's attendance at S. Korea-hosted Winter Olympics: Blue House

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  SEOUL, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government officially called for talks about Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's attendance at the South Korea-hosted Winter Olympics, South Korea's presidential Blue House said Wednesday.

  A Blue House official, who declined to be identified, told reporters that the Japanese government officially called for talks about Abe's visit to South Korea earlier Wednesday.

  The official said whether Abe will attend the 2018 Winter Olympics would be officially announced by the Japanese government, noting that South Korea and Japan had discussed Abe's visit to South Korea during the Winter Olympic period.

  As the Japanese government officially asked for talks about Abe's visit, South Korea will talk well about it, the official added.

  The 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games are slated to run from February to March at South Korea's eastern county of PyeongChang.

  Abe's attendance at the Winter Olympics is expected to be decided upon in the near future as Japan officially called for talks about his visit to South Korea.

  Relations between South Korea and Japan remained strained as Abe had yet to apologize for and acknowledge the Japanese government's legal responsibility for the Imperial Japan's wartime sex slavery.

  Historians say up to 200,000 girls and young women, mostly from the Korean Peninsula, were kidnapped, coerced or duped into sex servitude for Japan's military brothels during World War II.

  South Korea and Japan reached an agreement on the issue of "comfort women" victims on Dec. 28, 2015, but South Korean President Moon Jae-in said last month that the issue cannot be resolved by the 2015 deal.

  "Comfort women" euphemistically refers to women falling victim to Japan's wartime sex enslavement.

  Seoul's foreign ministry announced its review result last month over the 2015 agreement, saying there was a secret deal between South Korea and Japan over the "comfort women" victims.

  The secret deal includes Japan's call for South Korea to persuade the "comfort women" victims and their supporters to accept the 2015 deal as well as call for South Korea not to use the word of sex slaves. Those calls were accepted by then South Korean government under impeached President Park Geun-hye.

[ Editor: Liu Jiaming ]


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