Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday that women forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War II should not be called sex slaves.
“The term sex slaves doesn’t match the facts,” Kishida said according to the Japan Times.
During World War II, Japan forced thousands of women — euphemistically called comfort women — into military brothels. Most were South Korean; other victims came from China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan.
Japan and South Korea reached a landmark settlement on the issue in December, after decades of diplomatic deadlock. As part of the deal, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized and Tokyo offered an $8.5 million victim-support fund.