Japan and South Korea on Monday reached an agreement on the long-running impasse over “comfort women” forced to work in Japanese brothels during World War II. Japan has offered an apology and agreed to pay 1 billion yen (around Rs 54.5 crore) to victims in a fund administered by South Korea, the BBC reported.

The two countries reached the deal during a meeting between Japanese minister of foreign affairs Fumio Kishida and his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-Se in Seol. After the meeting, Kishida told reporters that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had offered an apology.

This is the first such deal on the subject since the treaty signed between the nations in 1965, wherein Tokyo paid $800 million in grants or loans to its former colony and claimed it had settled the matter.

Many of the 200,000 “comfort women” forced into prostitution and sexual slavery during WWII were Korean. The issue strained ties between the two countries for decades, with South Korea and other countries demanding an apology and compensation for the women. Some have argued that the women were lured by high salaries.