A Japanese newspaper has called on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to attend the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, saying it can help strengthen Tokyo's stance against Seoul over the controversial 2015 deal on Japan's wartime sexual slavery. 

In an editorial Friday, the Mainichi Shimbun said Abe's absence at the Olympics will only leave a strong impression of cooling ties between Seoul and Tokyo, which would only benefit North Korea. 

Another Japanese daily, the Sankei Shimbun, reported a day earlier that Abe had decided he would not attend the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Games. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary later played down the report, saying it was not yet decided.