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The new administration must ensure the Diet passes a bill recognizing the women forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese military during the war if it is to form the East Asian Community proposed by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, nine ruling party lawmakers said Wednesday.

“If we don’t solve this problem, it would be impossible for Japan to speak out to East Asia on an equal standing,” Megumu Tsuji of the Democratic Party of Japan said at a meeting attended by a former “comfort woman.”

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