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Nov 28, 1:17 AM EST

Japanese paper regrets use of term 'sex slaves'

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TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's biggest newspaper apologized in print Friday for using the term "sex slaves" in its English-language edition to describe Asian women forced into Japanese military-run brothels during World War II.

The conservative Yomiuri said in articles in English and Japanese that it was inappropriate to have used the phrase and others implying the women were coerced to provide sex. The newspaper identified 85 articles with "sex slaves" or similar expressions between 1992 and 2013.

Right-wing activists have a long-running campaign against the term, maintaining the women weren't forced.

A government investigation in the early 1990s concluded that many of the "comfort women," as they are officially known, "were recruited against their own will" and "lived in misery at comfort stations under a coercive atmosphere."

But the investigation found no proof in official documents, and conservatives have used that to argue their case.

The efforts to deny coercion have soured relations with South Korea, where some of the women came from.

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