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Japan govt distances itself from NHK head's 'comfort women' remark

Published on Jan 27, 2014 2:13 PM
 
In this archived photo, former Taiwanese "comfort woman" Chen Lien Hua stands in front of a poster for Korean American artist Lee Chang-jin's "Comfort Women Wanted" exhibition in Taipei on December 9, 2013. The exhibition, on display between December 10, 2013 to February 16, 2014, highlights the plight of women who were systematically exploited as sex slaves by the Japanese army in Asia during World War II.  On Monday, Tokyo distanced itself from comments by the new head of national broadcaster NHK, who said the Imperial Army's system of wartime sex slavery was not unique to Japan.-- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Tokyo on Monday distanced itself from comments by the new head of national broadcaster NHK, who said the Imperial Army's system of wartime sex slavery was not unique to Japan.

Mr Katsuto Momii said on Saturday that the practice of forcibly drafting women into military brothels during World War II was "common in any country at war".

"Can we say there were none in Germany or France? It was everywhere in Europe," he told an inaugural press conference, according to local media reports.

His comments came the day before the death in Seoul of Hwang Kum Ja, aged 90, leaving just 55 South Korean former "comfort women" alive.

 
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