Australia welcomes the announcement on 28 December by the Governments of Japan and Korea regarding comfort women.

The widespread use of sexual slavery brought great suffering and personal trauma to many women during the wartime period.

We recognise that while reconciliation and restitution are difficult, they are important for all concerned.

Our region's history contains many painful episodes which we should seek to understand in order to build a better future based on peace and cooperation.

Korea and Japan are two vibrant democracies which share with Australia like-minded values and interests.

Australia commends the leadership of these two Governments in pursuing reconciliation, which is vital for future relationships between states.

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