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Japan won't modify apology to World War II sex slaves

May 8, 2013 at 8:15 AM

TOKYO, May 8 (UPI) -- Japan has no intention of modifying World War II apologies issued in the 1990s by the country's Socialist prime minister, a Cabinet official said.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said formal apologies made to women forced into wartime brothels for Japanese soldiers and nations that suffered from Japanese aggression will stand, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Kishida told reporters in Tokyo that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shares the views expressed in the apologies.

Concerns that Japan might resort to modification arose last month when member of Abe's Cabinet visited a Tokyo shrine honoring Japanese war dead, including some executed for war crimes.

A few days later, the prime minister appeared to question whether Japan was actually the aggressor during World War II.

The United States said it urged Abe's government to show restraint on historical issues so that Japan would not further isolate itself diplomatically from its neighbors.

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