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Japanese Prime Minister Who Denied Military’s Role in Forced Prostitution Resigns

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned Wednesday, just three days after the start of the country”s parliamentary sessions. Abe sparked international outrage in March when he denied evidence that the Japanese military had forced women into prostitution during World War II.

“There was no evidence to prove there was coercion as initially suggested,” Abe told Japanese reporters at the time, according the The Daily Telegraph, despite government studies unearthing more than 100 documents showing the military”s role in the forced prostitution of so-called “comfort women.”

According to historians, as many as 200,000 women from China, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and elsewhere were forced into sex slavery by Japanese soldiers during WWII, reports the Associated Press . While the Japanese government apologized in 1993 for its role in trafficking women during the war, it has refused to provide government compensation to victims. In June, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a resolution aimed at urging Japan to take responsibility in “a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed Forces” coercion of young women into sexual slavery.”

Sources:

New York Times 9/12/07; Washington Post 9/12/07; Feminist Daily News Wire 3/5/07, 5/1/07, 6/27/07; MSNBC.com 3/26/07; The Daily Telegraph 3/3/07

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