BEIJING, Jan. 27 -- China has reacted angrily to a comment by the new chief of Japanese public broadcaster NHK that army brothels were "common" worldwide during war.
"His words show that a force in Japan attempting to downplay or even deny Japan's war crimes," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a daily press briefing.
Qin said that sexual slavery was a heinous crime committed by the Japanese military during WWII which still harms victims' physical and mental health to this day.
The NHK leader's comment has the same subtext as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent visit to a shrine where 14 Japanese Class-A WWII criminals are honored, said Qin.
Qin urged Japan to face up to crimes, tackle the issues and win the trust of the people of Asia and the international community through concrete steps, adding that Japan should adopt a responsible attitude and respect human rights.