Q A question on the wartime comfort women issue. Mr. Prime Minister, on this issue, did you explain your thoughts to President Bush, and on this matter, did you talk about further factual investigations on the matter, and any intent to apologize on the issue?
Also, a question for Mr. President on the comfort women issue. From the perspective of human rights and Asian history perceptions, I wonder if you could express your thoughts or views.
PRIME MINISTER ABE: Well, in my meeting with the congressional representatives yesterday, I explained my thoughts, and that is I do have deep-hearted sympathies that my people had to serve as comfort women, were placed in extreme hardships, and had to suffer that sacrifice; and that I, as Prime Minister of Japan, expressed my apologizes, and also expressed my apologizes for the fact that they were placed in that sort of circumstance.
The 20th century was a century that human rights were violated in many parts of the world. So we have to make the 21st century a century -- a wonderful century in which no human rights are violated. And I, myself, and Japan wish to make significant contributions to that end. And so I explained these thoughts to the President.
PRESIDENT BUSH: The comfort women issue is a regrettable chapter in the history of the world, and I accept the Prime Minister's apology. I thought it was very -- I thought his statements -- Kono's statement, as well as statements here in the United States were very straightforward and from his heart. And I'm looking forward to working with this man to lead our nations forward. And that's what we spent time discussing today. President Bush and Prime Minister Abe of Japan Participate in a Joint Press Availability