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‘Comfort women’ and wartime sexual slavery: Subject of South Korea, Japan talks

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Seoul: South Korea and Japan will hold talks at a director general-level in Tokyo on Friday, to discuss militaristic Japan’s sex enslavement of Korean women during the Second World War, said Seoul’s foreign ministry on Thursday.

The ninth round of talks about ‘comfort women’, a euphemism for women forced into sex slaves for the Imperial Japan’s military brothels during its 1910-45 colonisation of the Korean Peninsula, will be held for the first time in about three months, Xinhua reported.

Lee Sang-deok, director-general of Northeast Asian affairs bureau at South Korea’s foreign ministry, flew to Tokyo for talks with Junichi Ihara, director-general of the Japanese foreign ministry’s Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau.

interphoto_1401292689South Korea called for Japan to sincerely apologise for and compensate for the wartime sexual brutalities, but Japan claimed that all issues on sexual slavery were already resolved with the 1965 treaty that normalised diplomatic ties between Seoul and Tokyo.

During the previous round held in Tokyo in June, South Korea and Japan allegedly narrowed down differences on the ‘comfort women’ issue, but they had yet to reach a full agreement.

(IANS)

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Above 6 Million 5G Network Subscribers in South Korea, Reveals Govt Data

South Korea reached 634 million 5G users in April

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South Korea
5G network subscribers in South Korea reach 6 million. Pixabay

More than six million South Korea people were subscribed to 5G mobile networks as of April, a year after the country adopted the service, government data showed on Monday.

The number of 5G users in South Korea reached 634 million as of the end of April, up 7.8 per cent from a month earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Science and ICT.

The nation’s three carriers — SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp — rolled out the commercial 5G network last April and have aggressively promoted their new service for premium smartphones.

South Korea
SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp — rolled out the commercial 5G network last April. Pixabay

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SK Telecom’s 5G customers accounted for 45 percent as of April, trailed by KT with 30.3 percent and LG Uplus with 24.7 percent, the ministry said.

The number of mobile subscribers between 2G and 5G came to 69.35 million as of the end of April, reports Yonhap news agency. (IANS)

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Japanese Economy Officially in Recession Due to the Pandemic

Japan’s gross domestic product shrank by an annual 3.4% in the first three months of 2020

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Recession
A man looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo, May 11, 2020. VOA

Japan’s economy fell into recession for the first time since 2015 as the coronavirus pandemic brought economic activity at home and abroad to a screeching halt.

Figures released Monday by the Cabinet Office show Japan’s gross domestic product shrank by an annual 3.4% in the first three months of 2020, following a contraction in the last quarter of 2019, putting the country in a technical recession with two consecutive quarters of contraction.

The COVID-19 outbreak aggravated an already challenging situation for the world’s third-largest economy, which was dealing with the impact of a sales tax hike and a powerful typhoon. The pandemic led to official quarantines across the globe as governments tried to blunt the spread of the virus.

lockdown led to Recession
The pandemic led to official quarantines and lockdowns across the globe as governments had to take steps for the safety of it’s citizens. Pixabay

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Japan has been mildly affected by the coronavirus compared to the rest of the world, with more than 16,000 confirmed infections, including over 700 deaths.  But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe imposed a state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures last month out of fear the outbreak would overwhelm Japan’s healthcare system, then briefly expanded it for the entire country.

The government has announced a $990-billion stimulus bill to blunt the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, including $55 billion in direct payments to households and small businesses. (VOA)

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Impossible to Host the Olympics Until Coronavirus is Contained, Says PM of Japan

Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan says that hosting Olympics even next is impossible if the pandemic is not contained till then

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olympics Japan Prime Minister
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe believes that it will be impossible to host Olympics in 2021 if the pandemic is not contained. Wikimedia Commons

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated it will be impossible to host the Olympics even next year if the ongoing coronavirus pandemic cannot be contained till then. The 2020 edition of the multi-national event was pushed back to 2021 in wake of COVID-19 crisis that has hit the entire world.

Answering a question related to Olympics, Abe said it is important for all athletes and spectators to feel safe and for that to happen, the virus will have to be contained.

“We’ve been saying the Olympic and Paralympic Games must be held in a complete form, in that athletes and spectators can all participate safely. It would be impossible to hold the Games in such a complete form unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained,” Abe was quoted as saying by CNN.

Tokyo olympics
Olympics 2020 which were supposed to take place in Tokyo have already been postponed to 2021 due to the Coronavirus outbreak. VOA

Earlier, Tokyo Olympics chief had warned the event will have to be scrapped in case of further delay.

“In that case, the Olympics will be scrapped,” Yoshiro Mori told Nikkan Sports when quizzed about pushing the Games further if needed.

Tokyo Olympics was supposed to be held in July-August this year but had to to postponed due to COVID-19 crisis. The International Olympics Committee (IOC) set the new dates as July 23 till August 8 next year.

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The head of Japan Medical Association (JMA) had earlier said that hosting the event in the summer of 2021 remains difficult till the time an “effective vaccine’ is developed.

“Unless an effective vaccine is developed I think it will be difficult to hold the Olympics next year,” JMA President Yoshitake Yokokura told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday. “I’m not saying at this point that they shouldn’t be held. The outbreak is not only confined to Japan … it’s a worldwide issue.” (IANS)