• Kyodo

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Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday his ministry will consider removing a 1995 appeal for donations for former “comfort women” — females, mostly Asian, who served at wartime brothels for the Japanese military — from the ministry’s website.

“We will consider inside the Foreign Ministry whether to delete it or add an annotation to it,” Kishida told a House of Representatives session, referring to the Asian Women’s Fund, set up at the Japanese government’s initiative in 1995 to collect private donations to finance humanitarian measures for former comfort women. The fund ran through 2007.

Kishida responded to a call by Hiroshi Yamada, a Lower House member of the opposition Party for Future Generations, to remove the appeal from the website as the lawmaker believes a description in the appeal is misleading.

Yamada questioned the appeal that read, “Particularly brutal was the act of forcing women, including teenagers, to serve the Japanese armed forces as ‘comfort women.'” The Diet member said he does not believe Japan forced women to serve at wartime brothels.

In South Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan, the Asian Women’s Fund paid ¥2 million in “atonement money” to each of 285 former comfort women and implemented medical and welfare support projects, according to the ministry.

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