Japan to review testimony of women who served in wartime brothels
TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan will review the testimony of South Korean women who served in wartime brothels, a senior official said on Friday, but he gave no indication whether Tokyo might water down a 1993 apology on the issue that has long caused friction with its neigbhbours.
The possibity of a revision to the landmark apology, known as the Kono Statement, drew outrage from South Korea and China, from where many of the "comfort women" - as the women who served in the brothels are known in Japan - were recruited.
The move comes as remarks on the wartime past by aides to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe raise concerns about his increasingly conservative agenda, aimed at bolstering the military and recasting history with a less apologetic tone.
Japan's ties with South Korea are frayed by a territorial row and the legacy of its 1910-1945 colonisation of the Korean peninsula, including the question of compensation and an apology to women forced to serve in military brothels in World War Two.