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Japan won't change 1993 apology on forced prostitution, but will continue historical study

Japan says it won't change its 1993 apology over a system of forced prostitution for its military during World War II, but will continue to re-examine a 20-year-old study on which it was based.

Japan has come under fire from Asian neighbors for setting up a team to review history and verify the accuracy of interviews with women who said they worked as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers before and during the war.

Historians say tens of thousands of women served as sex slaves, called "comfort women" in Japan. Japanese nationalists have long insisted that women in wartime brothels were voluntary prostitutes, not sex slaves.

Chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Monday that the review of history will continue, but the government has no plan to change its official apology.