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Associated Press
In this Feb. 3. 2014 photo, a visitor looks at portraits of late former comfort women who were forced to serve for the Japanese troops as a sexual slave during World War II, at the House of Sharing, a nursing home and museum for 10 former sex slaves, in Toechon, South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Japan may review probe on WWII sex slavery

Associated Press
In this Feb. 3. 2014, Kim Gun-ja, 89, former comfort woman who was forced to serve for the Japanese troops as a sex slave during World War II, passes by her wedding picture, top center, at the House of Sharing, a nursing home and museum for 10 former sex slaves, in Toechon, South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

– Japan's top government spokesman says Tokyo may consider re-examining a 20-year-old study that led to a landmark apology over its forced prostitution in World War II.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Thursday that Japan would consider verifying the authenticity of the interviews with 16 South Korean women who said they were forced to serve as prostitutes for Japan's wartime military. The interviews, conducted at the request of South Korea's government, were key to Japan's 1993 statement and apology in which it acknowledged Japan's wartime government coerced women into prostitution for the army.

Suga was responding to a question by an ultra-conservative lawmaker who says there was no such thing as sex slavery.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been criticized by South Korea and China for backpedaling from Tokyo's apologies.

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