Abe expresses apology, remorse for Korean victims of comfort women

Updated: 2015-12-28 16:06


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Abe expresses apology, remorse for Korean victims of comfort women

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se (R) shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (L) before their meeting at foreign ministry on Dec 28, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. [Photo/CFP]

SEOUL - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his apology and remorse for Korean women falling victim to Japan's comfort women during World War II, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday.

Kishida read a statement from Abe at a joint press conference with his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se after the two sides reached a landmark agreement on the issue of comfort women, a euphemism for Korean women forced to serve in Japan's military brothels during WWII.

The top Japanese diplomat said in the statement that Japan's Prime Minister Abe "expresses apology and remorse from the heart for all the people suffering hard-to-cure wounds" physically and psychologically.

The phrase of "apology and remorse from the heart" has been used by Abe in the past.

The Abe statement said "the Japanese government strongly feels responsibility" for the comfort women issue from the perspective that the honor and dignity of many women were deeply scarred "under the involvement of" the Imperil Japanese Army.

The statement, however, failed to clearly stipulate the "legal responsibility" which the comfort women victims have urged the Abe cabinet to express.