Japan' Abe clarifies views on 'history issue,' reaffirms government apologies

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe clarified his position on Japan's wartime past ahead of summit talks with the presidents of China and South Korea, stating Thursday that his administration has no intention of distancing itself from previous government apologies.

During a House of Representatives Budget Committee session, Abe said he accepts a statement given in 1995 by then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in which he apologized and expressed remorse for Japanese aggression and the suffering inflicted on countries under its colonial rule before and during World War II.

Abe also said he accepted a statement issued in 1993 by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono in which the government officially acknowledged that the Imperial Japanese Army forced Asian women to provide sexual services for soldiers as "comfort women."

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