China urges Japan to reflect on 'comfort woman' remarks

Updated: 2013-05-16 19:51


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BEIJING - The Chinese Foreign Ministry has urged Japanese introspection of its own history to gain trust from neighboring countries and the international community following remarks by a Japanese politician that World War II "comfort women" were "necessary."

Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a daily press briefing on Thursday in response to a journalist's question about the controversy.

On Monday, Toru Hashimoto, mayor of Osaka and head of Japan's Restoration Party, reportedly said that sexual servitude by women during the war was "necessary" for Japanese soldiers to "maintain discipline" in the army.

He was then reported on Thursday to have expressed willingness to apologize and meet with "comfort women."

The conscription of women, including Chinese nationals, to act as prostitutes was a grave crime committed by the Japanese military and a major human rights issue that concerns the victims' personal dignity, Hong said.

Hong added, "We are indignant at the Japanese politician's remarks, as they flagrantly challenge historical justice and the conscience of mankind."