Japan Denounces Top S. Korean Lawmaker's "Rude" Remarks

Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 12 (Jiji Press)--Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other Japanese government officials harshly reacted Tuesday to South Korean National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang's remarks calling on the Emperor to make an apology over the issue of comfort women.

"I was really astonished," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting. "The remarks included something very inappropriate and are extremely regrettable."

Foreign Minister Taro Kono condemned the remarks as "extremely rude."

On Friday, U.S. news agency Bloomberg reported that Moon, in an interview, sought a direct apology from Emperor Akihito to South Korean women forced into prostitution for Japanese troops during World War II while calling the Emperor "the son of the main culprit of war crimes."

Tokyo lodged a strong protest with Seoul through diplomatic channels on Friday and Saturday, urging Moon to withdraw the remarks and apologize, according to a senior Foreign Ministry official.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press