Asia

South Korean foundation launched to help former sex slaves

  • South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, left, Kim Tae-hyun,  second right, head of a committee, and Kang Eun-hee, right, minister of Gender Equality and Family attend the office opening ceremony for a preparation committee for a fund aimed at compensating Korean victims of Japanese wartime military brothels, in Seoul Thursday, July 28, 2016. The sign reads Reconciliation and Healing Foundation. (Song Kyung-seok/Kyodo News via AP)

    South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, left, Kim Tae-hyun, second right, head of a committee, and Kang Eun-hee, right, minister of Gender Equality and Family attend the office opening ceremony for a preparation committee for a fund aimed at compensating Korean victims of Japanese wartime military brothels, in Seoul Thursday, July 28, 2016. The sign reads Reconciliation and Healing Foundation. (Song Kyung-seok/Kyodo News via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, left, Kim Tae-hyun, second right, head of a preparation committee for a fund aimed at compensating Korean victims of Japanese wartime military brothels, and Kang Eun-hee, right, minister of Gender Equality and Family attend the office opening ceremony of the committee in Seoul, South Korea Thursday, July 28, 2016. The sign reads Reconciliation and Healing Foundation.  (Song Kyung-seok/Pool Photo via AP)

    South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, left, Kim Tae-hyun, second right, head of a preparation committee for a fund aimed at compensating Korean victims of Japanese wartime military brothels, and Kang Eun-hee, right, minister of Gender Equality and Family attend the office opening ceremony of the committee in Seoul, South Korea Thursday, July 28, 2016. The sign reads Reconciliation and Healing Foundation. (Song Kyung-seok/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Kim Tae-hyun, right, head of a preparation committee for a fund aimed at compensating Korean victims of Japanese wartime military brothels, attends with other members at their first board meeting in Seoul, South Korea Thursday, July 28, 2016. The sign reads "the first council meeting." (Song Kyung-seok/Pool Photo via AP)

    Kim Tae-hyun, right, head of a preparation committee for a fund aimed at compensating Korean victims of Japanese wartime military brothels, attends with other members at their first board meeting in Seoul, South Korea Thursday, July 28, 2016. The sign reads "the first council meeting." (Song Kyung-seok/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

South Korea has launched a foundation planned to be funded by the Japanese government to provide support for South Korean women forced into sexual slavery by Japan's military in World War II.

The opening of the foundation's office in Seoul on Thursday was met by protests from activists and students who criticized a December settlement between South Korea and Japan for the decades-long dispute over South Korean sex slave victims.

Under the agreement, which was described by Seoul as "irreversible," Japan pledged to contribute 1 billion yen ($9.5 million) for a foundation to help support the victims. Critics in South Korea say the Seoul government settled for far too less.

Seoul government officials say Tokyo has yet to transfer the promised funds, but is expected to do so soon.