Prime Minister Shinzo Abe accused the Asahi Shimbun on Monday of tarnishing Japan's image abroad with its erroneous articles on the "comfort women" issue, urging the newspaper to make efforts to restore Japan's damaged reputation.

"Many people were hurt, saddened and angered by the Asahi's false reports," Abe said during a session of the Lower House Budget Committee. "Given that it has admitted to false reporting, I want (the Asahi) to put efforts into recovering Japan's honor."

The Asahi admitted in August that it published erroneous articles in the 1980s and 1990s that were based on false claims by Seiji Yoshida, a man who said he was involved in the kidnapping of hundreds of female Koreans from Jeju Island to serve as "comfort women" in wartime Japanese military brothels.