A top government spokesperson assured that Japan would not issue a new statement or revise a landmark 1993 apology to women, mostly Korean, who were forced into sexual slavery during World War II.
Speaking to reporters, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga maintained that “The government will examine the statement, but we will not revise it.” His comments come after Koichi Haguida, an adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, hinted the possibility that the government will issue a new statement regarding the matter of “comfort women.” Media has reported over the weekend that Haguida suggested Japan could a new statement if the review of the testimonies, which were the basis of the 1993 Kono Statement, unearthed new facts.
Abe has expressed his administration’s commitment to the Kono Statement earlier this month. He also pledged that his government would not revise or water down the apology issued by then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, despite many disputes by nationalist Japanese citizens. South Korean President Park Geun-hye has expressed her eagerness over the premier’s remarks, and has been more welcoming with the idea of a summit with her Japanese counterpart. The two are set to meet at a trilateral discussion with U.S. President Obama while in the Netherlands for a nuclear security summit. However, many remain confused and wary on Japan’s mixed messages of upholding the Kono Statement, yet repeatedly saying it will review the testimonies, which the apology was based on, while continuing to maintain it will not revise the statement itself.
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