Japan refuses to review stance on 'comfort women'

Updated: 2013-05-07 18:39


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TOKYO - Japan will not review its stance on the "comfort women" issue, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday, rejecting at least for now a move suggested by Shinzo Abe before he became prime minister, local media reported.

Suga's remarks came amid criticism both in Asia and the United States of Tokyo's stance on Japan's wartime conduct, with former US Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer saying last week that reviewing Japan's 1993 statement on the issue of sexual slavery would damage Japanese interests in the United States, said the Kyodo News Agency.

In the statement, issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, Japan acknowledged the military's responsibility for forced recruitment of women into sexual servitude and apologized to the victims.

Suga said the Abe government does not wish to turn the controversy over the matter into a political or diplomatic issue, and it "has not said it would consider a review," according to the media report.