Japan PM still trying damage control over WWIIsex slaves

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TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sought on Sunday to contain fallout from his remarks about women forced to act as wartime sex slaves for Japanese soldiers as the furor threatened to cloud summits with Chinese and U.S. leaders.

Abe sparked outrage abroad when he said in February there was no evidence that Japan's government or army had forced the mostly Asian women to work in military brothels during World War Two.

Abe has endorsed a 1993 government apology to the "comfort women", as they are euphemistically known in Japan, but has also said Tokyo would not apologize again even if U.S. lawmakers adopted a resolution calling for a new and unambiguous apology.

On Sunday, Abe repeated that the 1993 apology remained in effect. "We have stated our heartfelt apologies to the 'comfort women' at the time who suffered greatly and were injured in their hearts," Abe said in an interview with NHK television. "I want to say that that sentiment has not changed at all."

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