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Wednesday, 20 February, 2002, 12:15 GMT
Fund ends payments to comfort women
A private fund backed by the Japanese Government has announced it will in May end payments to South Korean and Taiwanese women forced into sexual slavery during the World War II.

The Asian Women's Fund was set up in 1995 to give atonement money donated by private companies to some of the 200,000 women forced to act as comfort women in Japanese wartime army brothels.

But the latest figures show only 188 women have accepted payments.

Many have rejected the payments of $15,000 and demanded state compensation with an official apology.

A spokeswoman said although it had fallen short of its original target, it was not possible to judge success by numbers. She said the decision to end payments in May represented an extension of the original deadline in January.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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