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Ruling party chief urges Japan to honor past apology with concrete steps

SEOUL, March 19 (Yonhap) -- The chief of South Korea's ruling party urged Japan Wednesday to take more concrete steps to back up its pledge to honor a previous government apology for forcing Korean women into sexual slavery during World War II. Rep. Hwang Woo-yea of the Saenuri Party made the call amid public outrage over revelations that the Japanese government will set up a team of investigators to re-examine the apology made to the former sex slaves who are euphemistically called "comfort women."

War crimes evidence in Syria solid enough for indictment: U.N.

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - U.N. investigators said on Tuesday they had expanded their list of suspected war criminals from both sides in Syria's civil war and the evidence was solid enough to prepare any indictment. The U.N. inquiry has identified individuals, military units and security agencies as well as insurgent groups suspected of committing abuses such as torture and bombing civilian areas, it said in its report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Vatican, Anglicans, Muslims unite to fight slavery

Catholics, Anglicans and Muslims came together Monday to fight slavery with the launch of a global network to tackle human trafficking, forced prostitution and child labour. The Global Freedom Network, the brainchild of billionaire Australian magnate Andrew Forrest, will pressure governments and businesses to free millions of men, women and children held in bondage around the world by 2020. "Today, the economic exploitation of our fellow human beings causes almost 30 million people to be enslaved, more than at any time in human history," Forrest said at the launch.

China rejects North Korean crimes report, hits chance of prosecution

By Tom Miles and Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - China dismissed on Monday a U.N. report alleging North Korea has committed crimes against humanity, effectively confirming the fears of human rights advocates that Beijing will shield its ally from international prosecution. The report, published in February, accused the reclusive country of mass killings and torture comparable to Nazi-era atrocities and said officials, possibly even Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un himself, should face the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Christians and Muslims join forces to combat modern slavery

By James Mackenzie VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Church, Church of England and al-Azhar, the Cairo-based seat of Sunni Muslim learning, came together on Monday for a rare display of interfaith action among them in calling for an end to modern slavery within 20 years. Their joint statement setting up the "Global Freedom Network" they declared that "physical, economic and sexual exploitation of men, women and children" trapped 30 million people worldwide in slavery.

China to preserve Japan's WWII military brothel as 'war crime evidence'

BEIJING, March 17 (Yonhap) -- China is taking steps to preserve buildings once used by Japan's Imperial Army as a notorious military brothel during World War II as "war crime evidence," state media reported Monday, the latest step to call attention to Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of women. The southern city of Nanjing is drafting plans to preserve the seven buildings in Liji Alley of Nanjing City, Xinhua news agency reported, describing the Japanese wartime military brothel as "the largest of its kind in Asia."

Unresolved sex slavery issue to isolate Japan: S. Korean FM

SEOUL, March 7 (Yonhap) -- Japan will face further isolation from the international community if it keeps ignoring the grievous issue of its wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women, Seoul's foreign minister said Friday. Yun Byung-se made the remarks as he came back from Geneva where he denounced Japan's repeated attempts under the Shinzo Abe government to deny its history of forcing Korean and other Asian women to serve as sex slaves for imperial Japanese soldiers during World War II.

S. Korea presses Japan to take action over wartime sex slavery

SEOUL, March 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea pressed Japan Thursday to strive to resolve its forced enslavement of women during World War II, calling for an official apology for the atrocities. A day earlier, South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se criticized Japan for trying to deny the so-called comfort women issue, saying it is a "universal human rights issue" that is "still haunting us today" in his key note speech at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. It was the first time that a top South Korean diplomat raised the issue on the U.N. stage by naming Japan.

U.S. envoy denounces Japan's wartime sexual slavery as 'grave human rights violation'

SEOUL, March 6 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. ambassador to Seoul said Thursday Japan's sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War II is "a grave human rights violation," expressing hope for Tokyo to take steps to ease the pains of victims. Sung Kim made the remarks at a forum hosted by the Kwanhun Club, a senior journalists' association, in Seoul, echoing Seoul's Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se's criticism the previous day in Geneva of Japan's attempts to deny its wartime atrocities.

S. Korea warns Japan over war sex slavery review

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Saturday warned Japan would face "isolation" if it pushed ahead with a move to revisit an apology over wartime sex slavery. Her warning, in a speech marking the anniversary of a 1919 anti-Japanese uprising, coincided with the opening of a rare exhibition on "comfort women" in Seoul, a euphemism for women who were forced into Japanese military brothels during World War II.
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