World

Foreign Ministers of South Korea, Japan settle deal on issue of wartime Korean sex slaves

The foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan say they've reached a deal meant to resolve a decades-long impasse over Korean women forced into Japanese military-run brothels during World War II.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida says his prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is offering an apology and that Tokyo will finance a 1 billion yen aid fund for the elderly former sex slaves to be set up by South Korea.

The issue of former Korean sex slaves, euphemistically known as "comfort women," is the biggest source of friction in ties between Seoul and Tokyo. The neighbors are thriving democracies, trade partners and staunch U.S. allies, but they have seen animosity rise since the 2012 inauguration of hawkish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.