TOKYO - Japan's prime minister is to pledge US$1 million (S$1.26 million) to help victims of sexual violence when he speaks at the UN General Assembly next week, a report said Wednesday, as anger continues in Asia over wartime "comfort women".
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Canada and the United States on September 23-27, with his speech at the UN taking place on September 26, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced.
The Nikkei business daily reported that Abe will use his UN speech to pledge a financial contribution to help female victims of sexual violence.
The money is part of efforts to improve a national image tarnished by a continuing controversy over Japan's wartime use of "comfort women," a euphemism for women from Korea and other parts of Asia drafted into sexual slavery.
The contribution to the Trust Fund for Victims, which is managed by the International Criminal Court, will be the centerpiece of his address, the economic daily said.
Tokyo will earmark nearly 100 million yen (S$1.26 million) in the fiscal 2014 budget for the fund, which mainly provides assistance to those affected by war in Africa.
Abe will hold talks with other leaders on the sidelines of the UN assembly in New York, Suga told a regular press conference without giving details.
Before arriving in the US, Abe will go to resource-rich Canada, the first visit to the country by a Japanese prime minister in seven years, where he will meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the government spokesman said.