China, North Korea and South Korea censured Japan over the “comfort women” issue and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine at an Executive Board meeting of UN Women, the United Nations body for empowerment of women, Japanese officials said Tuesday.

The board met Monday to discuss the organization’s role in increasing women’s leadership and participation in peace, security and humanitarian response.

The South Korean official drew attention to the “comfort women” in Asia, who were recruited to provide sex to Japanese soldiers during the war and said that it is “deplorable that leading Japanese politicians have recently been attempting to deny and even justify past wrong-doings.”

The North Korean official also called for Japan’s apology and compensation over the sexual slavery issue.

The Chinese official said Yasukuni Shrine honors Class A war criminals, describing them as “Japanese Hitlers,” and urged the international community to “warn Abe” that he “must correct his erroneous outlook of history, correct his mistake and not slip further down the wrong path.”

With no right of reply at the meeting, Japan made its case in writing to UN Women on Tuesday, presenting its position and past responses on the issues including a 1993 statement by Chinef Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono offering the government’s apologies and remorse to the victims, according to the Japanese officials.

Kyodo International News