The U.S. has long tried to soothe relations between South Korea
and Japan, its primary allies in Asia. Mintaro Oba, who worked on Northeast Asian affairs in Obama's State Department, said that the audit of the comfort women deal was concerning at a time when the U.S. needs "Korea and Japan to demonstrate unity and cooperation in the face of the North Korea
threat and a rising China." The comfort women issue is an unusual thread uniting China, South Korea
, and North Korea
. China called on Japan to proceed responsibly after the task force report was announced; North Korea
's distaste for the 2015 agreement, and Japan in general, are well known.