Japan PM urges S Korea to remove 'comfort woman' statue  

Japan PM urges  S Korea to remove 'comfort woman' statue   

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called on South Korea to remove a statue of a "comfort woman" which has reignited a diplomatic row over Tokyo's wartime sex slavery.

Tensions spiked on Friday when Tokyo recalled its ambassador over the statue which was placed outside its consulate in Busan last month, symbolising women forced to work in Japanese military brothels mostly during World War II.

Japan argues it is against a 2015 agreement between the neighbours meant to put an end to the hugely emotional and decades-long "comfort women" issue with a Japanese apology and payment of money.

"Japan has already paid one billion yen ($8.6 million) as we sincerely fulfilled our obligation. I think it's now South Korea's turn to show sincerity in an unwavering manner," Abe said in a programme aired Sunday on public broadcaster NHK.

The plight of the women has marred relations for decades but the governments of Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye reached an agreement in late 2015 to finally resolve it.