SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Thursday welcomed the U.S. House of Representatives' calling for Japan to apologize to comfort women coerced into sex slavery by Japanese forces during the Second World War.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young told a regular press briefing that the appeal clearly represented the international community's attitude towards the Japanese violation of dignity and human rights of women.
The U.S. house on Wednesday passed a spending bill in which a document is attached calling on Secretary of State John Kerry to encourage Japan to address the issue of comfort women.
The document refereed to Resolution 121 which was adopted by the house in July 2007, calling on Japan to "formally acknowledge, apologize and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner" for its coercion of more than 200,000 young women into sex slavery during their colonial rule of Asia.
The spokesman said that there was little time left to resolve the issue, urging Japan to acknowledge its war crime against women during its aggression and make efforts to resolve the issue.
Among 237 South Korean women who identified themselves as former sex slaves, only 56 are alive.
Japan's attempt to deny the comfort women tragedy and other war crimes has been a source of tension with neighbors and other victimized countries.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently infuriated its neighbors by visiting the controversial Yasukuni shrine which honors Japan's war dead, including 14 Class-A war criminals.