BEIJING, June 23 -- China has criticized Japan's review of an apology for its wartime sex slavery, saying it exposes Japan's intention to play down its crimes.
The criticism came after the Republic of Korea (ROK) voiced disappointment that the results of the review include contents "glossing over the facts and impairing the credibility of the Kono Statement".
The Kono Statement is an official apology made in 1993 by then chief cabinet secretary Yohei Kono, who acknowledged that Japan recruited more than 200,000 young women from China, Korea and Southeast Asia and forced them to serve in military brothels during WWII.
"The so-called review exposes Japan's reluctance to face up to history and attempts to play down the war crimes," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing.
Hua urged Japan to deal with the issue of wartime sex slavery with concrete action and a responsible attitude, and to keep its commitment to international society made in the Kono Statement.
In February, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced a reexamination of the evidence on how the decision to apologize was reached, and on what facts it was based.
Japan announced the result of its review last Friday, saying it would not change the apology made in 1993. The the results said the ROK government intervened in the wording of the Kono Statement.