Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that Japan would not offer any new apology over the wartime sex slavery issue.
"We will not apologize even if there's a resolution," Abe was quoted as saying by the Kyodo news agency in response to an opposition lawmaker's question in the upper house budget committee, referring to U.S. efforts to seek Japan's apology for forcing about 200,000 women from invaded countries to provide sex services to its army in World War II.
The premier also reiterated that Japan will abide by a 1993 statement made by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono that acknowledged and apologized for the sex slavery history.
Last Thursday, Abe told reporters that "there is no evidence to prove there was coercion" exercised over the foreign women. The comment immediately drew wide criticism.
The U.S. House of Representatives is mulling a resolution demanding Tokyo "formally acknowledge, apologize and accept the historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner" for the suffering of the "comfort women."