U.S. Senate passes bill on 'comfort women' for first timeUpdated: 2014-01-17 22:00:31 KST
The U.S. Senate, for the first time in the history of U.S. legislation, has included the issue of the so-called "comfort women" in its spending bill.
On Thursday local time, the Senate passed a bill that calls on the Japanese government to stick to a 2007 resolution which urged Tokyo to issue an official apology for its wartime sexual enslavement of women.
The bill also calls on the U.S. Secretary of State to encourage Japan to address the issues raised in the resolution.
"Comfort women" euphemistically refers to women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during the Second World War.
An estimated 200-thousand women, mostly Korean, are known have been abused as sex slaves by Japanese troops in the early 20th century.
The bill will be taken to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature on Friday.
Despite such an unprecedented call from the U.S. to apologize, some Japanese politicians are going in the opposite direction.
A group of Japanese lawmakers who claim a comfort women statue erected in the U.S. city of Glendale should be removed, stormed into Glendale City Hall on Thursday to file a complaint.
City officials, however, refused to meet them, saying there was no reason to remove the statue as it was built for humanitarian reasons.
But the Japanese group didn't stop here.
They waved Japanese flags and took pictures in front of the statue to the shock of passersby.
Attention is now focused on how the Japanese government will react, following Washington's passing of the bill.
Han Da-eun, Arirang News.
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