MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Japanese opposition leader Katsuya Okada said Monday he felt sorry and ashamed for the pain of thousands of Korean women who were forced into Japan’s army brothels during World War II, Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.
Beginning in 1932, an estimated 200,000 women from Korea, China, Taiwan, Philippines and Indonesia were forced by Japan to work as what were defined as "comfort women." Tokyo has apologized, although some older male conservatives in Japan accuse the women of being prostitutes.
Okada said he believed that continued talks on the issue would eventually lead to a sincere apology and compensation on the part of the Japanese government, according to the news agency.
All previous Japanese governments have made statements of apology to South Korea, except that of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
On August 15, Tokyo and Seoul will commemorate the end of World War II, Japan’s colonial rule over Korea and the 50th anniversary of restored diplomatic ties between the two neighbors.