Japanese PM kicks off six-nation European tour in Estonia

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Estonian counterpart Juri Ratas address a press conference in Tallinn Estonia

Under the agreement, Japan apologized and paid 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) to a Korea-run foundation to support the victims in return for Seoul's promise not to raise the issue again in worldwide forums.

"We have been honest in executing every promise we made. We can not accept South Korea's unilateral demands for additional measures", Abe told reporters.

Under a "final and irreversible" deal struck in 2015, Tokyo gave an apology and 1 billion yen (S$12 million) for a foundation set up to support Korean comfort women who are still alive. He also said Tokyo has sincerely carried out the deal thoroughly, and that Seoul needs to do the same.

At their joint news conference, Abe said it was significant that the two countries agree on the North Korean issue. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary later played down the report, saying it was not yet decided.

Abe is due to return to Japan on Wednesday.

A metal panel flew off a Japanese government plane Thursday while it was en route from Tokyo to Hokkaido, the Air Self-Defense Force said.

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The highly emotive issue has poured cold water over improving bilateral ties between Tokyo and Seoul, as the two U.S. allies seek closer cooperation on regional security threats such as North Korea.

Japan thought that by striking this deal in 2015, it could put the past away and move forward.

Seoul's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said that the Korea-Japan deal on "comfort women", a euphemism for women forced to serve as sex slaves for the Japanese military from the 1930s to the end of World War II, was flawed and failed to resolve the issue.

"In theory, historical issues can be separated from security issues, but in reality, it cannot", Kim told The Korea Herald.

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

He said South Korea's two-track approach of separating history from politics does not seem to be working, as Japan is likely to feel betrayed by Seoul.

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