Japan to counter S. Korean criticism over wartime brothels at U.N.

The government said Thursday Japan will counter South Korea's criticism over Tokyo's move to examine the testimonies of former Korean sex slaves forced to work at Japanese military brothels during World War II.

"Japan will explain its position at the council and counter" the South Korean argument at a U.N. human rights meeting later in the day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference, referring to South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se's statement Wednesday at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Yun criticized the Japanese government for its recent move to thoroughly check the testimonies of some Korean comfort women, saying, "This is an added insult to the honor and dignity of the victims."

Based on the testimonies, Tokyo issued an apology over the issue in 1993. The move to screen the testimonies came after a former senior Japanese official admitted before parliament last month that the government at the time did not verify the victims' remarks.

Suga also said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe doesn't make light of the fact that the Japanese actions caused immeasurable pain to the Korean women, as recognized by previous governments.