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Abe Apologizes Again over Wartime Sex Slavery
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe repeated his apology over wartime sex slavery issue yesterday afternoon.


There were suppressing and abuse on human rights in the 20th century, and Japan was not unrelated with that, Abe told reporters in his official residence, adding that he is deeply sympathetic to then "comfort women" and is apologetic to their sufferings.


Abe has repeated his apology recently over then Japanese government and army's involvement in the forced recruitment of women from other Asian countries to provide sex to Japanese servicemen during World War II.


In a recent interview with the US magazine Newsweek, he said, "I am extremely sorry that they were made to endure such pain. We feel responsible over the situation in which the women had to exist as 'comfort women' and endure such hardship."


"We must always be humble (in dealing with) our history and constantly give profound thought on our responsibility," he said.


He also pledged to stick to a 1993 statement made by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, who officially acknowledged and apologized over the fact that Japan forced women from other Asian countries to be sex slaves for its soldiers.


The Japanese government, in response to an inquiry raised by an opposition lawmaker, released a statement on Friday saying that it has no objection to the international tribunal's verdict in 1948, which found the Japanese military responsible for forcing Chinese women to provide sex to Japanese servicemen during WWII.


The wartime sex slavery issue has drawn international attention since Abe said in early March that there are no documents to prove the Japanese military physically coerced women to provide sex for its soldiers during WWII.


An estimated 200,000 women were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese forces during WWII, most of whom came from the countries invaded by Japan at that time.


(Xinhua News Agency April 24, 2007)

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