According to articles, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that there is NO evidence Japan forced Asian women into working as military sex slaves, Comfort Women, during the WWII, backtracking from a landmark 1993 statement acknowledging that tens of thousands of women were forced into prostitution for the military.
“The fact is, there is no evidence to prove there was coercion,” Abe said. “We have to
BRAINWASH and REVISE the Historytake it from there.”
Abe’s comments to reporters came as a group of right wing ruling party legislators urged the government to revise the so-called Kono Statement acknowledging that Japan’s wartime military sometimes used coercion to recruit women to work in the brothels.
The Kono Statement was issued in 1993 by then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono after incriminating defense documents were discovered showing the military had worked with independent contractors during the war to procure women for the brothels.
Historians say that up to 200,000 women, mainly from Korea and China, were forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers in brothels run by the military government as so-called “comfort women” during the war.
Japanese leaders have repeatedly apologized, including former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, who said in 2001 that he felt sincere remorse over the comfort women’s “immeasurable and painful experiences.” Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone (in)famously stated in his memoir that he set up a comfort house for his troops of about 3,000 when he was a navy lieutenant in charge of accounting.
Japan’s prime minister stands guard in front of a brothel operated by the Japanese military during World War II. “There was no coercion in the recruitment of ‘comfort women,’ ” he says. “Really? I had no idea,” says the soldier inside. (Hankyoreh Geurimpan, 5 March 2007)
In 2001, Japanese historian Hirofumi Hayashi of Kanto-Gakuin University in Yokohama, Japan, said;
“The establishment and development of the military ‘comfort women’ system…was not only carried out by the total involvement of every section of the military but also by administrative machinery at every level of the Japanese state…In addition, we should not overlook that Japanese companies were their accomplices.”
And here are some links to “Comfort Women” issue,
http://www.comfort-women.org/v2/ http://www.jpri.org/publications/workingpapers/wp77.html http://www.apublicbetrayed.com/case_studies/case_study5.htm http://online.sfsu.edu/~soh/comfortwomen.html http://web.amnesty.org/actforwomen/comfort_women-eng http://www.theharbinger.org/xvii/990316/palileo.html
And Official Japanese government response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993 on comfort women, their background, and recruitment.
<update 2> According to Guardian, Hiroshige Seko, an aide to Mr Abe, had said on TV on Mar.4th: “Though there are many definitions of coercion, prime minister Abe has said … that he will stand by the Kono statement. He has not denied the statement.” yea..right…Mr. Abe
<update 3> L.A. Times criticized Mr. Abe.
The problem that Japan — and its neighbors — have today stems from the lack of an equivalent of the Nuremberg trials to establish a complete and irrefutable record of the war crimes in Asia. Moreover, the Japanese government burned many of its own records, and others fell into private hands. This historical vacuum provides the opening for statements like Abe’s that there is “no proof” that women were coerced into sexual bondage. Those who oppose the International Criminal Court should be mindful of this pitfall. Meanwhile, Japan owes far more than an apology to the comfort women. Redress is legally and morally required.
And Economist criticizing that Mr Abe’s true colours revealed by his statement as as a conservative (Right Wing) politician who has long taken a revisionist view of Japan’s 20th-century history.
Why Japanese Politicians have so much trouble moving beyond its past?