Abe arrives in Estonia on 1st leg of European tour


Under the deal, South Korea promised not to raise the issue again and Japan transferred 1 billion yen (now $8.9 million) to a foundation dedicated to supporting the victims.

Japan is seeking to strengthen economic ties with Europe as Tokyo and the European Union late a year ago finalized negotiations for a free trade deal to create one of the world's biggest economic areas, aiming to implement it in early 2019.

Abe also meets Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and Prime Minister Juri Ratas to discuss EU-Japan relations and bilateral trade.

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The 2015 agreement was "a promise between the two nations".

Nonetheless, a months-long review started by President Moon Jae In's administration into the deal agreed upon by his disgraced predecessor Park Geun Hye found that it was "reached the wrong way" as it had not sought the opinions of survivors.

"This issue can not be resolved through a give-and-take deal between governments struck over the victims' head", he said. It said it would consult with Japan on what to do with the funds already given by the country. "We can not accept South Korea's unilateral demands for additional measures".

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Another Japanese daily, the Sankei Shimbun, reported a day earlier that Abe had decided he would not attend the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Games.

Yoshihide Suga, the top Japanese government spokesman and the Chief Cabinet Secretary, said Wednesday: "Japan can never accept it if the South Korean side demands we take further measures despite the agreement that confirmed the final and irreversible solution on the issue". "The Korean government should communicate with the Japanese government to build mutual trust from now on", said Lee Myeon-woo, head of the diplomacy and security strategy research department at Sejong Institute. They have demanded the deal be invalidated, saying the government did not consult with them in advance and Japan's apology was not honest. He has pursued a "two track" approach of separating historical issues from current affairs to build a "future-oriented" relationship with Japan.

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