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Facing an audience Monday at Harvard University in Boston, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tried to dodge the politically explosive issue of wartime “comfort women” by reaffirming his earlier stance upholding a key 1993 government apology for their ordeal.

“Comfort women” is the euphemism Japan used to refer to females who were forced to work at Japanese wartime military brothels in the 1930s and 1940s.

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