SEOUL, Nov. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will announce a decision Wednesday to close down a controversial foundation working to support domestic victims of Japan's wartime sex slavery, a senior government official said.
"We're going to announce a decision to dismantle the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation today," the official said. "We've already finished consultations with the relevant offices."
The announcement will not include how to handle the 1 billion yen (US$8.9 million) contribution from the Japanese government to the foundation, according to the official.
The planned shutdown is seen as Seoul's move to effectively discard a 2015 accord between the neighboring countries on the "comfort women" issue.
Historians say as many as 200,000 Korean women were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II. Korea was under Japan's brutal colonial rule from 1910 to 1945.
In late 2015, the Park Geun-hye administration signed the agreement to resolve the historical issue. They launched the foundation, intended to help the victims and their families, the following year with the 1 billion yen contribution from Japan.
A total of 4.4 billion won has since been handed out to 34 surviving victims and 58 families of late victims.
But the liberal government led by President Moon Jae-in decided to reconsider the agreement as it failed to adequately reflect the voices of the victims and to replenish the fund with its own budget.
The operation of the Japan-funded foundation virtually came to a standstill after all of its civilian board members resigned their positions.
Source: Yonhap News Agency