Japan's Abe says won't alter 1993 apology on "comfort women"
Published on Mar 14, 2014 10:49 AM
TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday that his government would not revise a landmark 1993 apology to women, many Korean, forced to serve in wartime military brothels, as Washington presses for better ties between its two Asian allies.
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 issue of compensation and an apology to women, known euphemistically in Japan as "comfort women", forced to serve in military brothels before and during World War Two.
South Korea and China were outraged by signs that Abe's government might water down the apology, issued by then-chief cabinet secretary Yohei Kono, which recognised the involvement of Japanese authorities in coercing the women to work in the military brothels - a point many conservative Japanese dispute.
Nationalist politicians have been urging the government to revise the apology, arguing there is no evidence of large-scale coercion by government authorities or the military.
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