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South Korea says it regrets Japan's review of 'comfort women' apology

Published on Jun 20, 2014 7:37 PM
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga speaks at a press conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on June 20, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - A Japanese panel tasked with reviewing a landmark apology issued over two decades ago to women, many Korean, who worked in Japan's wartime military brothels, said South Korea had helped with the sensitive wording of the original document.

South Korea expressed deep regret over Tokyo pushing for the review, saying the results gloss over the facts, and disputed the finding that Seoul was directly involved in the formulation of the formal apology in 1993.

The topic of "comfort women" - as they are euphemistically known in Japan - has long been a thorn in Japan's ties with South Korea, which says Japan has not sufficiently atoned for the women's suffering.

The 1993 "Kono Statement", named after then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono in whose name it was issued, acknowledged Japanese authorities' involvement in coercing the women to work in the brothels.

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