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Historians urge Abe not to deny wartime sex slaves

Posted May. 07, 2015 07:17,   


Internationally renowned historians are protesting against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe`s denial of Japan`s wartime past.

A group of 187 Japanese history scholars in the U.S., Europe and Australia issued a collective statement titled an "Open Letter in Support of Historians in Japan" Wednesday and urged Abe to acknowledge the historical facts about the sexual slavery issue, saying that "denying or trivializing" it is "unacceptable." The statement will be delivered directly to Abe through a diplomatic channel.

The scholars included Herbert Bix, professor of history at Binghamton University in New York and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, William Paterson University couple history professors Theodore F. Cook and Haruko Taya Cook, and John Dower, emeritus professor of Japanese history at MIT. Others joining included prominent professors at Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and University of Chicago.

Wednesday`s statement, which follows a similar statement issued on February 5 by some 20 American scholars, shows that historians` rally against Japan`s attempts to distort its wartime actions is spreading globally. This put Abe in an embarrassing position as he had frequently asserted that historical debates should be left to historians.

"Historians have unearthed numerous documents demonstrating the military`s involvement in the transfer of women and oversight of brothels," the statement said, urging the Japanese government not to disregard the issue.