The United States offered on Tuesday its support for beleagued Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but declined to make comment on a U.S. house resolution to demand Japan's apology on "comfort women."
"We support the prime minister. He is a valued and important ally, and the president supports him," White House spokesman Tony Snow told local mass media a day after the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill to demand Japan's apology on the issue of "comfort women."
"At this point I don't fall on either side," Snow said of the resolution.
The resolution, passed the full House by a voice vote without objection, urged the Japanese government to acknowledge formally and accept responsibility for the sexual exploitation of "comfort women" by the Japanese military during World War II.
An estimated 200,000 women were forced to serve as sex slaves, known as "comfort women," for Japanese forces during World War II, and most of them came from countries invaded by Japan at that time.
Abe said Sunday that he will stay in power even though media projections showed that his ruling party failed to maintain majority in the upper house election.
The Japanese prime minister also said that the resolution demanding Japan's formal apology for forcing thousands of Asian women into sex slavery during World War II was regrettable because Japan has already made amends.