Japan rejects U.S. call for WWII sex slave apology

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe described as "regrettable" on Tuesday the approval of a resolution by the U.S. House of Representatives calling on Japan to acknowledge its wartime sex slavery, indicating strongly that the Japanese government would not offer surviving victims an official apology.

"The resolution's approval was regrettable," said Abe, who provoked anger in Asia and the United States in March by denying that the Japanese military had directly coerced women into sex slavery during World War II.

News of the resolution's approval, which had been expected, came as Abe faced more calls to resign after his governing Liberal Democratic Party's crushing defeat in the election on Sunday for the upper house of Parliament.

Asked whether he would comply with the resolution's call for an official apology, Abe said: "The 20th century was an era in which human rights were violated. I would like to make the 21st century into an era with no human rights violations."

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