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Japan Urged to Properly Resolve 'Comfort Women'
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Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang on Thursday called once again upon the Japanese government to take a serious line in dealing with the issues of "comfort women" and forced Chinese laborers during World War II.


"We demand that Japan respond appropriately to the international call for justice and thus resolve these issues in an appropriate way," Qin told a regular press conference.


Qin was responding to a US Congress bill passed on Tuesday, that also demanded Japan make a formal acknowledgement and bear responsibility for the sexual exploitation of "comfort women" by the Japanese military during World War II.


China's stance was constant and clear on the issue of "comfort women," said Qin. "The forced conscription of 'comfort women' was an atrocity perpetrated by the Japanese military in China and other countries during the Second World War."


An estimated 200,000 women were press-ganged into slavery under abject and often fatal conditions.


Commenting on the Japanese Supreme Court's rejection of an appeal for compensation for Chinese forced laborers, Qin said the issue was another war crime and "we demand a proper resolution for this too."


In another development, Qin announced that Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi would visit Kyrgyzstan from July 7 to 8 at the invitation of his Kyrgyz counterpart Ednan Karabayev. Their talks will take in China-Kyrgyzstan relations and the international issues of common concern.


Yang would also attend the foreign minister's Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting due to be held on July 9 in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, Qin said.


He added the meeting would set the tone for the SCO summit in August, giving the ministers an opportunity to discuss further SCO cooperation.


Qin also announced Maldivian Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed will pay an official visit to China from July 5 to 6 at Yang's behest.


(Xinhua News Agency June 29, 2007)

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