According to scuttlebutt, the PM explained to the assembled that he had been misquoted on the "no evidence of coercion" statement--which is correct, if not for the Kantei-concocted reason that he was only talking about the study compiled before the release of the Kōno Statement.
The Prime Minister then proceeded to confess what were ostensibly his true feelings as regards the women:
Now translating this in the most literal, awkward way possible, one extracts from the above something on the order of:
"Along with the heartfelt sympathy I am expressing toward the former Comfort Women (honorific plural) who tasted (honorific conjugation) the bitterness of life, I am filled with the feeling of wanting to say 'I'm so sorry' as regards the extremely painful situation into which they were put."
I have some difficulties with the original, particularly the first phrase ending in the imperfect "suru to tomo ni". My confusion over the PM not choosing the continuative shite iru probably just exposed the wretched poverty my understanding of Japanese grammar.
[Any and all better translations of this passage will be gratefully accepted in Comments]
After losing it over the grammar, your second perplexed thought (OK, maybe not yours, but definitely mine) is:
"Who starts out his sentences 'For those who have tasted the bitterness of life' and ends it with "and you know, I am filled with a feeling of 'I don't know what to say?"
Where the hell is the makoto ni for the full frontal makoto ni mōshi wake nai effect?
Who talks like this?
Engaging the wayback machine, we find almost the identical sentence in reports of Abe's love call to President Bush on April 3.
Well, almost identical. There is the one, interesting deviation:
Source: 2007/04/04 Mainichi Online, link here.
Owabi o hyōmei shite iru...
OK, so here we have the continuative this time...but more interestingly, we have Abe telling Bush about his continual and continuing expressions of apology (owabi o hyomei).
For some reason the PM was not feeling full of "Gosh this is just too bad" sorriness on that day...but sure wanted to assure the president of his vow of "Apologies now...apologies forever!"
Or something like that.
But what of this high-faluting intro to these two sentences: "for those who have tasted the bitterness of life?"
Well, through the skepticism born of knowing Mark Twain's Rule #7 of rules governing literary art in the domain of romantic fiction, the cut-and-paste function on my computer and Google, of course, I believe we have the culprit:
この問題については、いろいろな方々のお話を聞くにつけ、誠に心の痛む思いがする。このような辛酸をなめられた方々に対し、我々の気持ちをいかなる形で表すことができるのか、各方面の意見も聞きながら、誠意をもって検討していきたいと考えている。Recognize it? You can find it here on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
OK, I'll stop being coy...it's the Katō Statement--the July 6, 1992 announcement by the then Chief Cabinet Secretary Katō Kōichi acknowleding the results of an in-house government survey that confirmed Japanese Imperial government involvement in the establishment of the comfort women network of brothels.
Oh, the heartfelt sympathy!
Care to lay any bets on a determined researcher's ability to Google up the origins of the rest of the sentence?