Japan said yesterday it had lodged a complaint with South Korea and after a Korean lawmaker said the Japanese emperor should apologise to "comfort women" forced to serve in Japanese military brothels in World War Two.
Relations between Japan and South Korea, both US allies, have amid an intensifying row over their wartime history. That includes Japan's 1910-45 occupation of the Korean peninsula and its use of comfort women, many of them Korean.
South Korea's National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang said in an interview with Bloomberg last week Japanese Emperor Akihito, "as the son of the main culprit of war crimes", should apologise to the women before he steps down at the end of April.
That would be a sign that Tokyo wanted to end the prolonged dispute, Moon said. Japan fought World War Two in the name of Akihito's father, Emperor Hirohito.