Local assembly urges gov't to heed 1993 statement on "comfort women"

The assembly of Shimane Prefecture in western Japan adopted a resolution on Wednesday urging the government to deal with the issue of wartime sexual slavery for the Japanese military by fully respecting a government statement issued in 1993.

"It is the responsibility of our country toward international society to sincerely deal with (the issue)," the resolution said, calling on the government to "take serious actions to protect the honor and dignity" of the women involved.

A similar resolution was adopted by the Kyoto prefectural assembly in March.

The 1993 statement issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the "comfort women" issue acknowledged the Japanese military's responsibility over the forced recruitment of women into sexual servitude and apologized to the victims.

The resolution by the Shimane assembly came after Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who co-heads the Japan Restoration Party, provoked harsh criticism at home and abroad with his remarks that the sexual servitude by women was "necessary" for Japan's soldiers during World War II to maintain discipline in the military.