The Japan-South Korea Comfort Women Agreement: Unfortunate Fate of a Non-Legally Binding Agreement

In: International Community Law Review


Japan and South Korea concluded the Comfort Women Agreement in 2015 for the purpose of resolving finally and irreversibly the controversial issue of comfort women. Although this agreement is an ‘agreement’ between two States, it does not have legally binding force, thus being a legally non-binding agreement. This article examines the criteria for identifying whether an agreement is legally binding, and clarifies the normative character and effect of the 2015 Agreement by applying those criteria. Then, it analyses the background to the conclusion of a non-binding agreement.