Sex slavery an ‘indescribable’ wrong: Murayama

AFP-JIJI

Former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said Wednesday that Japan committed “indescribable wrongdoings” by forcing women from South Korea and elsewhere to serve as wartime sex slaves.

Murayama, who as prime minister issued an apology in 1995 for Japan’s wartime aggression, said it is time for the government to finally resolve the issue of the “comfort women” who were drafted into military brothels.

“Indescribable wrongdoings were committed, in which these women’s dignity was forfeited. Japan must solve it,” he said in a speech in the South Korean parliament building.

Murayama, 89, met Tuesday with three elderly South Korean ex-comfort women, after which he said he realized “that this issue must be settled expeditiously.”

He also criticized some Japanese politicians and pundits for making “nonsensical remarks” about the former sex slaves and stressed that the vast majority of Japanese people understand the wrong that was committed. Katsuto Momii, the new chairman of NHK, angered Seoul by stating that wartime sex slavery was common to any country at war.

Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula remains a hugely emotional issue in South Korea. Relations hit a new low in December when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited war-linked Yasukuni Shrine.

Murayama arrived in Seoul on Tuesday for a three-day visit. He reportedly requested a meeting with President Park Geun-hye but was turned down on account of her “busy schedule.”

  • DA

    If Murayama’s government hadn’t been ousted so soon we’d be living in a much more peaceful Asia today.

  • JimmyJM

    Mr. Murayama is correct and bravo to him for taking a stand. Now if he can get the Japanese government to make that sentiment official, Japan can move on instead of being stuck in the mud of denial.

    • http://www.sheldonthinks.com/ Andrew Sheldon

      It does not need to be ‘official’; it just needs to be seen for what it is, an attempt to placate a certain fringe activist group in Japan, that holds the balance of power. This is the case in most countries, and is a testament to the failure of ‘extortive’ representative democracy. Do you really think this politician is the only one to believe? I wonder what was his ‘track record’ on this issue as PM? The last thing we need is another politician who waits until the end of their political life to ‘cleanse their conscience’….as if that was enough.

  • Stephen Kent

    Well done that man.

  • Eri Orimoto

    I am so proud of him.
    Japanese people need to learn.