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Korean-American group's full-page ad raps Abe over 'comfort women'.

NEW YORK, April 27 Kyodo

A Korean-American group placed a full-page advertisement criticizing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's response to the ''comfort women'' issue on the New York Times on Friday, just a day after a similar advertisement was placed on the Washington Post by a different U.S. civic group.

In the ad titled ''An Open Letter to: Mr. Shinzo Abe,'' the Korean American National Coordinating Council said Abe's recent negative response to the U.S. House Resolution urging Japan to formally and unequivocally admit responsibility over its sexual exploitation of Asian women during World War II was ''received with uniform outrage by the 1.2 million Korean Americans.''

''Mr. Abe, your assertion that those kidnapped women, numbering 200,000 mostly Koreans but also some Chinese, Filipino, Thai and even Dutch were not coerced into servitude and that this crime was not committed by the Japanese authority, but rather by some civilian entities, makes us nauseous!,'' it said.

''It is precisely this kind of unrepentant, arrogant mentality that can and will abrogate Japan's current standing and potential leadership role in the Asia.''

The letter also referred to 17 Japanese citizens Japan determined to be kidnapped by North Korea so far, saying that many Korean Americans felt sympathy for them.

But it said, ''Mr. Abe, in view of your arrogant posture with regard to the 200,000 Korean 'Ex-Sex Slaves,' many of us no longer respond with misgivings about the unfortunate fate of those 17 Japanese citizens!''

The ad also said many Korean Americans feel that the countries of Northeast Asia have made a tremendous advancement in the past half century and that ''Japan and its people have played an essential role in this development.''

But it said, ''At this point of time however, it is our great concern that the attitude and direction espoused by you and current leadership of Japan will gravely damage this perception and sense of common destiny among the people in this region.''

Abe drew fire in the United States, especially from the media, earlier this year when he said there are no documents to prove the Japanese military physically coerced women to provide sex for its soldiers during the war, citing a government position paper.

To play down his controversial remarks, Abe has repeatedly said he stands by a 1993 statement by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono that admitted that the women were recruited against their will in many cases.

But the so-called Kono statement said the women were drafted mainly by private recruiters entrusted by the military and fell short of explicitly stating the Japanese military's role in the recruitment of such women.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Apr 30, 2007
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