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Canada's parliament urges Japan to apologize to WWII "comfort women"
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08:27, November 29, 2007

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Canada's parliament on Wednesday unanimously passed a motion urging Japan to offer "formal and sincere" apologies to foreign women forced into sexual servitude during World War Two.

The motion passed by the House of Commons calls on Japan to "take full responsibility for the involvement of the Japanese Imperial Forces in the system of forced prostitution, including through a formal and sincere apology to all of those who were victims."

It urges Japanese government "to clearly and publicly refute any claims that the sexual enslavement and trafficking of the ' comfort women' never occurred" and "to continue to address those affected in a spirit of reconciliation."

Researchers and historians estimate that as many as 200,000 women and girls were forced to become sex slaves for Japanese forces in between 1937 and 1945. Most of the women came from countries invaded by Japan.

"Sexual slavery is a crime against humanity and all of the world's citizens have a responsibility to speak out against it," New Democratic Party (NDP) member of parliament Olivia Chow, who sponsored the motion, said before the vote.

Secretary of State for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney said the "unthinkable evil that happened some 60 years ago" must never be repeated.

"We need to learn from the lessons of history to ensure that they are not repeated ... and we need to redouble our efforts in fighting similar kinds of violence against women, against children," he said Tuesday.

The U.S. House of Representatives and the Dutch Parliament passed similar motions earlier this year.

Source: Xinhua

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