The U.S. government has maintained an entry ban for 18 years for Japanese war criminals who were involved in the mobilization of women as sex slaves for the country's soldiers and in medical experiments on prisoners during World War II.
The U.S. Justice Department on Saturday said it imposed the entry ban in December 1996 on 16 Japanese involved in the forced prostitution of women and horrific experiments on living human subjects based on an internal review, and the ban is still effective.
Washington declined to reveal their names.
Most of the individuals subject to the ban are presumed to have died since it has been almost 70 years since the end of World War II. The number was already small when the list was first compiled in 1996.
One diplomatic source in Washington said the entry bans are "mainly symbolic."