SEOUL, July 31 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's foreign ministry on Monday launched a task force to review the agreement with Japan on "comfort women," a euphemism for women, mostly of the Korean Peninsula, who were forced into sex slavery for Japanese military brothels before and during World War II.
The "final and irreversible" agreement was reached on Dec. 28, 2015 under then South Korean President Park Geun-hye, triggering strong backlash from the living victims and advocacy group activists as it failed to reflect sincere apology and legal responsibility of the Japanese government.
The inaugural task force meeting was held earlier in the day to make an overall review over the negotiation process and what was agreed to, according to Seoul's foreign ministry.
The task force is composed of nine members, including experts on South Korea-Japan relations, international politics and human rights issues as well as foreign ministry officials.
Hundreds of thousands of victims, mostly Korean women, were coerced into the sex enslavement by the Imperial Japan, but the incumbent Japanese cabinet, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, had yet to sincerely apologize and take legal responsibility for the war crime against humanity.
The task force would adhere to the victims-centered principle by listening carefully to the voices of living victims, said the foreign ministry which aimed to reach a final conclusion on the agreement by the end of this year and to make the conclusion known to the public.
President Moon Jae-in, who took office on May 10, said after his inauguration that most of South Korean people and the victims could not accept the "comfort women" agreement, but the president had yet to confirm whether to renegotiate the agreement.