Abe’s denial of sex slave review finds favor in U.S.


The United States welcomes Prime Minister Shizno Abe’s clarification in a Diet session Friday that he will not abandon the 1993 Kono statement apologizing for wartime sex slaves, a U.S. State Department spokesman said.

“We welcome Prime Minister Abe’s statements in the Diet . . . and consider the comments a positive development,” the spokesman said Friday.

In his landmark 1993 statement, Yohei Kono, then chief Cabinet secretary, for the first time acknowledged the direct involvement of the Japanese military and other authorities in recruiting women, many of whom were Koreans, as prostitutes for military brothels, and apologized to the victims.

In 1995, then-Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama apologized in a Diet-endorsed statement for the country’s past colonial rule and military aggression across Asia.

These apologies “marked important chapters in Japan’s efforts to improve relations with its neighbors,” the State Department spokesman said.

Pointing out that good relations between Tokyo and Seoul are “in the best interests of the two countries themselves, of the region, and of the United States,” the spokesman reiterated a U.S. call for Japan and South Korea “to work together to resolve their difference in an amicable way through dialogue.”

In a related development Friday, Ambassador to the United States Kenichiro Sasae told a news conference that Abe’s denial in his own words of any intent to review the Kono statement was important. Washington took this point positively, Sasae said, voicing hope Seoul will follow suit.

But he declined to comment on whether a proposed trilateral summit among Japan, the United States and South Korea can be held on the sidelines of an upcoming nuclear security summit in The Hague, the Netherlands, from March 24 to 25. “It’s too early to tell,” Sasae said.

  • WillA

    The Japanese authorities also set up brothels for the American forces during the occupation until they were officially dismantled.

  • bombkiller007

    The Japan Times does not understand the difference between “allegation” and “fact”. Their journalistic error is in printing the 200,000 women forced into sex slavery as a fact. It is not.

    According to Professor Emeritus Ahn of Seoul University who interviewed ALL of the Comfort Women who came forward in 1992-1996 he found ZERO who were credible for being abducted. His findings confirmed they were contract working prostitutes.

    ALL source documents to include the OWI (OSS-Todays CIA) interrogation of 20 captured Comfort Women prostitutes in the CBI theater (Burma) in 1944 also clearly states they were prostitutes (and the OWI as a sub unit of the OSS was specifically looking for anything of propaganda value against Japan, and still found NO evidence of force, coercion, or mistreatment.

    Japan Times, you can not continue to print a lie until it is true. If your journalistic integrity is intact, then please print a retraction to read “Some groups allege that 200,000 women were forced into a form of sex slavery, however to date there has been no evidence to support this”.

    If you don’t then you are printing an editorial piece and not a news article, and that speaks volumes about the credibility of your paper as a whole.