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U.S. takes note of Japan's statement to uphold apology to comfort women Updated: 2014-06-21 18:14:04 KST

U.S. takes note of Japan's statement to uphold apology to comfort women

With the already strained relationship between Korea and Japan becoming increasingly frosty over historical issues, the United States, which wants both its allies in the region to get along, is feeling a bit of trepidation.
The U.S. State Department said Friday that it takes note of the Abe government's position to uphold the Kono Statement.
This comes after Japan announced the results of its re-examination of the apology on Friday.
The Abe administration, while upholding the statement, controversially claimed the Korean government was in close consultations with Tokyo when the statement was being drawn up.
The Kono Statement was issued back in 1993, by then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, and acknowledged, for the first time, the forced sexual enslavement of some 200-thousand women by the Japanese military during the Second World War.
The State Department went on to say that it's important that Korea and Japan find a way to resolve their historical issues in the most productive manner and look to the future.
Pundits say the comments reflect Washington's intent to keep Japan onside, while pressing Seoul and Tokyo to make an effort to improve their ties.
Japan's latest move comes after Mark Lippert, nominee to become the next U.S. ambassador to Korea, recently encouraged dialogue between Seoul and Tokyo.

"We obviously have conversations to encourage a better dialogue between the Japanese and South Koreans to work through some of these very difficult and painful historical issues."

With such efforts being put in by the U.S., pundits say Japan's re-examination of the Kono Statement could hurt Washington's leadership in the Northeast Asian region, especially when it's trying to keep an increasingly powerful China in check.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
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