[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2007, 11:27 GMT
Japan anger at US sex slave bill
Former Taiwanese sex slave Cheng Chen Tao, 83 (file image)
An estimated 200,000 women were forced to become sex slaves
Japan has expressed its displeasure at a resolution before the US Congress calling on Tokyo to apologise for the country's use of sex slaves in wartime.

Foreign Minister Taro Aso said the resolution was not based on facts.

Sponsored by several members of the US House of Representatives, the proposed text urges Tokyo to formally resolve the issue of so-called "comfort women".

Japan admits its army forced women to be sex slaves during World War II but has rejected compensation claims.

Historians believe at least 200,000 young women captured during World War II were forced to serve in Japanese army brothels.

A large number of the victims - who were known as comfort women - were Korean, but they also included Chinese, Philippine and Indonesian women.

Private fund

Mr Aso described the non-binding resolution, which was introduced in Congress earlier this month, as "extremely regrettable".

"It was not based on objective facts," he told a parliamentary committee meeting.

The resolution calls on Japan's prime minister to "formally acknowledge, apologise and accept historical responsibility" for the comfort women.

The House of Representatives heard last week from three former comfort women who described the rape and torture they endured at the hands of the Japanese soldiers.

Japan acknowledged in 1993 that the imperial army set up and ran brothels for its troops during the war.

The government set up a special fund in 1995, which relies on private donations to provide compensation.

But many former comfort women reject the fund and want formal compensation from the government.

Japan WWII sex slave redress call
12 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Japan
15 Dec 04 |  Country profiles
Japan to end WWII sex slave fund
24 Jan 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Japan rejects sex slave appeal
25 Mar 03 |  Asia-Pacific
Japan court rejects 'slave' suit
11 Mar 03 |  Asia-Pacific
Japanese cabinet donates to WWII fund
02 Jul 02 |  Asia-Pacific

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific