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Japan broadcaster chief expresses regret for remarks on wartime brothels

Published on Jan 27, 2014 6:14 PM
 
Katsuto Momii, the new chairman of Japan's influential public broadcaster NHK, speaks during a news conference in Tokyo, in this Jan 25, 2014 photo. The head of Japan's public broadcaster expressed regret on Monday, Jan 27, 2014 for his comments on the use of military brothels in World War Two, news reports said, as Asian countries voiced fresh outrage about a highly sensitive point in relations with Tokyo. -- FILE PHOTO: KYODO

TOKYO (REUTERS) - The head of Japan's public broadcaster expressed regret on Monday for his comments on the use of military brothels in World War Two, news reports said, as Asian countries voiced fresh outrage about a highly sensitive point in relations with Tokyo.

Apparently trying to snuff out further controversy over Japan's view of its wartime role, new NHK chief Katsuto Momii told local media his comments had been "extremely inappropriate".

Addressing a news conference on Saturday on the issue of "comfort women," a euphemism for Korean and other women forced to work in military brothels, Mr Momii said such things occurred at the time in all countries at war. He acknowledged, however, that the practice was bad "by today's morals".

Political parties in South Korea, the country most indignant about the wartime practice, demanded his resignation, suggesting his remarks risked becoming a fresh diplomatic headache for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

 
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