Posted November. 30, 2004 22:24,
Nariaki Nakayama, the Japanese education minister who provoked controversy after saying that Japan is heading in the right direction as the issues of comfort women and forced labor gradually disappear from school textbooks, admitted on November 30 that he regrets his inappropriate statement on the issue.
Nakayama, who was a leader of a group related to history education before being appointed as education minister, said in a press conference that the remark was made from his personal standpoint, and that he should have restrained himself from expressing his own opinions in public, given his status as a minister.
On the issue of sex slavery and abduction from occupied territories, he said that he is aware of the suffering of the victims, and that no matter how the terms are worded, it is necessary to acknowledge such historical facts. He also added he apologies to the people who seriously suffered as comfort women.
Nakayama said on November 27 that there are many extremely self-torturing and masochistic passages in textbooks used in Japanese secondary schools, and that it is a good thing that terms such as comfort women and forced labor are decreasing in newer textbooks.