Reuters - March 5, 2007
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Japan would not apologize again for forcing women to act as wartime sex slaves during World War II, even if U.S. lawmakers adopt a resolution calling for an apology. Abe’s decision has more to do with wooing domestic support than appeasing U.S. interests. "Abe is unpopular and he is trying to mobilize his core supporters, who tend to be sort of right-wing and nationalist," said Phil Deans, a professor of international affairs at Temple University's Japan Campus.
The story was also reported in the Financial Times, where Temple’s Jeffrey Kingston is quoted discussing Abe’s verbal gymnastics on the issue. “Jeffrey Kingston, professor of Asian studies at Temple University in Tokyo, said: ‘It reminds me of [former US president Bill] Clinton’s: It depends on what your definition of “is” is. This kind of legalistic loophole doesn’t play well.’ ”