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The ambassador warned that the resolution could have widespread consequences in Japan and could cause Tokyo to reconsider its support for the reconstruction of Iraq.
The resolution “will almost certainly have lasting and harmful effects on the deep friendship, close trust and wide-ranging cooperation our two nations now enjoy,” Mr. Kato said.
Mr. Abe, shaken from Sunday’s defeat of his ruling Liberal Democrats in parliamentary elections, prompted the resolution after he appeared to back away from a government apology. In March, Mr. Abe claimed that the Japanese army did not coerce the women into brothels established for soldiers.
The resolution called on Japan to “formally acknowledge, apologize and accept historical responsibility” for the “coercion of young women into sexual slavery.”
It also urged Mr. Abe to issue an apology “in his official capacity.”
“Today the House will make history,” Mr. Honda said when the House adopted the nonbinding resolution Monday.
He recognized one of the “comfort women,” Yong-soo Lee, a Korean who helped build support for the measure and was watching the vote from the visitors gallery.
Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@ washingtontimes.com.
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