Monday, 24 September, 2018

Japan PM arrives in Europe amid N. Korea tensions

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Estonian counterpart Juri Ratas address a press conference in Tallinn Estonia Abe to seek Estonia's help in cyberdefense on European tour
Kenny Thornton | 12 January, 2018, 21:05

"We hope Japan addresses the concerns of its Asian neighbors and the global community, and properly handles relevant issues with a responsible attitude", Lu said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-In on Wednesday called for a "heartfelt apology" from Japan to the victims of wartime sex slavery, condemning a 2015 agreement as a "wrongful" solution. Though tensions have eased somewhat due to the approaching Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, he wanted the worldwide community to continue putting "maximum pressure" on North Korea in matters concerning the country's nuclear and missile programs, Abe told journalists before leaving on his trip.

Japan and South Korea share a bitter history that includes Japan's 1910-45 colonization of the peninsula and the "comfort women" issue is especially touchy.

The two countries signed the deal on December 28, 2015, to "finally and irreversibly" settle the comfort women issue, which has always been a key source of tension between the two countries. Keeping this promise is an global and universal principle.

French President Emmanuel Macron Vows To Ban 'Fake News'
In a speech to journalists Wednesday, Macron made a reference to Hungary and Poland and their recent crackdown on media freedom. During an election, the government would be authorized to block a website to suppress fake news, he said.

Japan, he said, "has been carrying out all the promises it made in good faith" and urged South Korea to "firmly follow through" on the pact. "Japan should accept the truth, make a heartfelt apology to victims".

Japan has maintained the issue was solved under the 2015 agreement and any attempts to amend the deal could harm bilateral ties. "We want to continue to strongly ask South Korea to do the same". Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary later played down the report, saying it was not yet decided.

Officials noticed the panel was missing from the Boeing 747, one of two jetliners used by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for foreign trips, after it flew from Tokyo to its base on the northern island of Hokkaido on Thursday, a spokesman for the Japan Air Self Defence Force (ASDF) said.

The agreement was finalised by now-ousted president Park Geun-Hye under pressure from Washington in the face of mounting security threats from North Korea.

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