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`Tokyo should issue statement admitting forced draft of comfort women`

`Tokyo should issue statement admitting forced draft of comfort women`

Posted November. 25, 2013 05:02,   


“The Japanese government should issue a statement that clearly admits to the forced nature of comfort women’s mobilization.”

Hirofumi Hayashi, professor of modern history at Kanto Gakuin University, made these and other remarks in an interview with The Dong-A Ilbo on Sunday. Hayashi recently released six cases of Japanese Justice Ministry`s materials suggesting that the Japanese military forcefully took away Dutch and Chinese as comfort women during World War II. “The Japanese government did not even survey materials that they already had,” Hayashi said.

― What did you discover this time?

"They are letters of indictment and rulings on four cases of trials of war criminals, which the Dutch government and the Chinese government conducted in Indonesia and China after Japan’s defeat in the war. All of the materials were excluded from the Japanese government’s research data, which served as basis for the 1993 Kono statement. Therefore, it has been revealed that the Smarang incident (in which the Japanese military took more than 24 Dutch women on Java Island in Indonesia in 1944) is not the only case demonstrating the Japanese government’s use of force. Despite possessing such data for a long time, the Japanese government has never publicized them. If the Japanese government is to revise the 1993 statement by Chief Cabinet Minister Yohei Kono, it should revise the statement in a direction that clearly admits to the forced nature of mobilizing comfort women.”

- Japan’s rightists are denying the forced nature of Korean comfort women’s mobilization.

“The Japanese government is claiming that there are no documents demonstrating that the Japanese government took them by force. Naturally, a criminal does not leave the evidence of crime in written records. If it took women by falsely promising to give them jobs and forced them to serve as “sex slaves” in a state of captivity, it also constitutes an act by force. The crime of abduction is committed when one takes a child not only by using violence but also by telling lies to deceive. The issue is whether the women were in a state of captivity or not. The Japanese government’s claim is no different from arguing that it is not a bad act to abduct children by cheating them."

"There are countless data, documents, and statements proving that Korean comfort women were forced to be sexual slaves in a state of captivity. Many Japanese soldiers also made testimonies to this effect. There are even testimonies that force was used when taking those women in the first place as well. Senior officials at township offices or police recommended women by making false promises to give jobs, and pressured them to go by persuading `If you don’t go, your family will have a tough time.`"

"It is also nonsense to claim that the women’s argument cannot be trusted because they are testimonies. The Japanese government admitted to the victims of North Korea’s abduction only based on testimonies. Furthermore, Japanese police issued statements that Japanese victims were taken to North Korea through sweet talks of lies.` In this case, all the victims were announced as abductees as well. It placed emphasis on state of their captivity in the North.”

― What is the reason rightists deny the forced mobilization of comfort women?

“Rightists don’t want to admit Japan as a country that committed bad things. For this reason, it denies comfort women and Nanjing incident (massacre), claiming Japan did good things during its colonial rule. This is not patriotism. It is just ill-advised egoism. They are rather damaging Japan’s reputation worldwide.”

― The Japanese government is passive in efforts to address the problem.

“The fact is that the Japanese government is declining to do it, not that it cannot do. The comfort women issue is not a subject of the 1965 Korea-Japan Claims Settlement Treaty. Japan should admit its responsibility, make apology and compensate. The attempt to stealthily resolve the issue with private-sector funds is an attempt to deny state crime.”