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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may order a reinvestigation into the wartime sex slaves — a move that could lead to a revision of Tokyo’s 1993 statement admitting the military’s involvement in running frontline brothels across Asia for Imperial Japanese Army soldiers during the 1930s and 1940s, government and ruling bloc sources said Wednesday.

Abe, who last week unleashed a storm of criticism by claiming there is no evidence that the wartime army “coerced” women in Japanese-occupied territories into sexual slavery, thinks the state needs to look again at whether there was coercion by the Japanese military because “new documents and testimonies have emerged” in the 14 years since then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono issued the apology statement, one ruling coalition lawmaker said.

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