The United States government in March warned Tokyo it could not support Japan’s demand for return from North Korea of abducted Japanese citizens unless the Abe government reversed its contentious claim there was no proof that imperial forces forced women into sexual slavery. US Ambassador Thomas Schieffer delivered the warning and Abe agreed to abide by his nation’s 1993 apology to the “comfort women.” Abe had created an international furor on March 5 that no proof existed that the Japanese military was directly involved in the enslavement of Asian women during WW II. Schieffer said US-Japanese relations had reached a critical stage and said there was a possibility Congress would pass a resolution urging Japan to apologize to the women. Abe personally assured President Bush in April that he would stand by the apology and back away from denying the policy of abusing women had ever existed in wartime Japan.
This is certainly an excellent example of President Bush standing by the principle of respecting human rights. But, one is left wondering why he felt comfortable threatening a nation about the possibility Congress would pass a resolution, but had an entirely different viewpoint when Nancy Pelosi pushed for the statement about the Armenian genocide? It appears that Bush is more concerned about Turkish feelings than those of Japanese views.