Tokyo rejects U.N. call to take blame for ‘comfort women’


Japan has rejected an assertion by the U.N.’s human rights watchdog that it should accept full blame for pressing Asian women into wartime sexual slavery in military brothels, saying it was not obligated to do so.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva on Thursday called on Japan to take responsibility for its use of “comfort women” before and during World War II, using Japan’s euphemism for the coerced girls and women.

The foreign ministry responded Friday by saying the U.N. committee was expected to adhere to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Tokyo ratified in 1979. “The covenant is not supposed to be applied to issues, including the comfort women issue, dating back further than that time (1979),” an official at the ministry’s press division said.

Tokyo issued a landmark apology in 1993 called the Kono statement, named after then-top government spokesman Yohei Kono, who announced it, that officially acknowledged the Japanese military used coercion in operating the brothel system but did not admit the government’s complicity.

But a tranche of the political right, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, continue to cast doubt on the Kono statement, claiming the brothels were staffed by professional prostitutes. Japan recently conducted a review of the issue that upheld the apology and the historical facts behind it but asserted there was no evidence to corroborate the interviewed comfort women’s testimony on the sexual slavery, sparking regional anger.

With few official records available, many researchers have estimated that around 200,000 women, mostly from Korea but also from China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and elsewhere, were forced to provide sex for Imperial Japanese soldiers in “comfort stations.”

Japan previously offered to compensate former comfort women through a private fund set up in 1995 that lasted until 2007. But many of the survivors shunned the cash because it did not come directly from the government, which says all issues of wartime compensation were settled when it signed an agreement in 1965 with South Korea to normalize bilateral relations.

  • Ron NJ

    There’s nothing obliging you to not be a jerk, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t the right thing to do.

  • Stacy Paine

    Does Japan not realize the rest thinks they are just being jerks for not admitting when they were wrong?

    • Tyler Durden Volland

      The japanese compensate their own reality by considering themselves far superior to other countries and people to give a damn about others opinion.

      When you look at a globe, you can see why this is possible at all. Japan is basically at the end of world, and no neighbours and their opinions exist here. If you look at Europe, you see every country borderíng at 5 to 12 other countries, and in the past centuries they all had to compete with other cultures ,and learn and develop… or vanish.

      Japan however is stuck, has ever been, will always be….

      It is deteriorated into a protectorat of the US, nothing else. As the saying goes: their biggest aircraft carrier. Should the US be threatened with losing its dominance, as is the case, the Japan will be useful in a war as a frontline.

      You see the advantage for the rest of the world in letting Japan getting away with this hypocrisy?

    • draxenato

      In a u.s. run world, who’s gonna notice ?

      • Tyler Durden Volland

        Self thinking minorities everywhere.
        Even the US has one….

  • kension86

    While I have an issue with some of the far-rights who deny that some comfort women were being forced into it, I agree that the current Japan has no legal obligation to take responsibility for it, because most of those responsible’s already dead… the children shall not take blame for their parent’s crimes.

  • tiger

    One thing is clear: Japan, as a nation, is not our friend.

  • Tyler Durden Volland

    Not that it is a surprise, Japan, but…..

    But that is precisely the point. Taking responsibility WITHOUT Legal obligation.
    Its what civilized, first world countries do…

    So thanks for reminding the rest of the world who they are dealing with.

  • wada

    The people of the photograph seem to be pleasant. I put reference documents(*1, *2).

    *1: Details of Exchanges Between Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Regarding the Comfort Women Issue
    *2: 慰安婦問題を巡る日韓間のやりとりの経緯~河野談話作成からアジア女性基金まで~(日本語)

  • Fr33Th1nk3r

    The generation that did it has already died. It’s like apologizing for my dead grandpa because he was a mean drunk.

    • Tyler Durden Volland

      That is truly funny….

      Do you know anybody else that believes that the Abe, Aso & Co are any different???

      Very funny… good one….

  • Skatelin

    First of all, I’m not standing on either of the sides. I’m a third party observer.

    That being said, FYI this is why Tokyo rejected the U.N. call.

    Below is a legal document by the US army back in 1944, stating that they were well paid prostitutes, not what the Koreans so call “comfort women”.

    Korea claims there were 200,000 “comfort women”. However, there are only 16 grandmas in Korea (legally) fighting for this issue as a victim. Sure, it was a war so anything is possible. Nevertheless, now the question is, where did the rest go? Their family? Siblings? Neighbors? Any eyewitnesses? Many of the “proofs” that the Korean government is presenting I find have many contradictions. Enough said, 99% of the people in Japan, including the survived soldiers from WWII strongly believe that this is part of Korea’s “Discount Japan” movement that they have been doing for the past decades.

    Also, for those who are interested, the Korean government has been officially doing “anti-Japan education” since WWII, and it’s still going on.

  • wada

    There is no proof of coercion.

    After reading at least the investigation report of the Japanese government(*1, *2), I want you to read a newspaper article. The comfort-women verification report of subject is here these days. The thing with still few English-language edition reports is regrettable.

    *1: Details of Exchanges Between Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Regarding the Comfort Women Issue
    *2: 慰安婦問題を巡る日韓間のやりとりの経緯~河野談話作成からアジア女性基金まで~(日本語)
    *3: 朝日「慰安婦」報道特集
    *4: 検証朝日「慰安婦」報道 (1) 虚構の「強制連行」拡散
    *5: 検証朝日「慰安婦」報道 (2) 記事と証言に食い違い
    *6: 検証朝日「慰安婦」報道 (3)「軍関与」首相の訪韓を意識
    *7: 検証朝日「慰安婦」報道 (4) 韓国メディアと「共鳴」
    *8: SPECIAL REVIEW of The Asahi Shimbun’s “Comfort Women” Reporting / The paper slow to correct its errors
    *9: Unraveling the ‘comfort women’ issue ? Asahi under probe ? / Suspicions over Yoshida statements ignored
    *10: Unraveling the ‘comfort women’ issue ? Asahi under probe ? / ‘Forcibly taken away’ reports spread widely
    *11: Unraveling the ‘comfort women’ issue ? Asahi under probe ? / Inconsistencies in articles, testimony
    *12: Unraveling the ‘comfort women’ issue ? Asahi under probe ? / Report’s timing complicated Miyazawa’s S. Korea visit
    *13: Unraveling the ‘comfort women’ issue ?Asahi under probe ? Asahi, South Korean media shared sympathy
    *14:【歴史戦 第5部 「朝日検証」の波紋(上)1】朝日新聞 22年前から女子挺身隊と慰安婦の混同に気付く ソウル発記事で疑義
    *15:【歴史戦 第5部 「朝日検証」の波紋(上)2】社内からの指摘を放置
    *16:【歴史戦 第5部 「朝日検証」の波紋(上)3】信じたくない「吉田の嘘」
    *17:【歴史戦 第5部 「朝日検証」の波紋(中)1】「歴史教育議連」を狙い撃ち 「常識発言」撤回に追い込む
    *18:【歴史戦 第5部 「朝日検証」の波紋(中)2】慰安婦強制への疑問も批判対象
    *19:【歴史戦 第5部 「朝日検証」の波紋(下)1】慰安婦問題「オールコリア態勢」 クマラスワミ氏取材を韓国外務省サポート
    *20:【歴史戦 第5部 「朝日検証」の波紋(下)2】韓国紙が「朝日助ける方法あるはず」とまで擁護するのはなぜか
    *21:【歴史戦 第6部 「主戦場」米国】サンフランシスコ市に新たな慰安婦像計画 中国系が準備委設置
    *22:【歴史戦 第6部 「主戦場」米国(1)前半】サンフランシスコに反日拠点の衝撃、中華街舞台に記念館9月オープン
    *23:【歴史戦 第6部 「主戦場」米国(1)後半】朝日訂正も無視、首都で「強制連行」宣伝 中韓連携で同時多発的設置の恐れ
    *24:【歴史戦 第6部 「主戦場」米国(2)】朝日報道後に米国でも火が付いた慰安婦問題
    *25:【歴史戦 第6部 「主戦場」米国(3)前半】被告は「河野洋平」 司法にも持ち込まれた強制連行 談話を巧妙利用
    *26:【歴史戦 第6部 「主戦場」米国(3)後半】慰安婦訴訟、米司法・行政は「決着済み」 次の標的は議会
    *27:【歴史戦 第6部 「主戦場」米国(4)上】米下院での慰安婦決議、先兵ホンダ氏支えた反日団体
    *28:【歴史戦 第6部 「主戦場」米国(4)下】「20世紀最大の人身売買」と断罪した米下院慰安婦決議、世紀の冤罪に
    *29:【歴史戦 第6部 「主戦場」米国(5)】 中国が正面に 狙いは「日米離反」 終わらない「慰安婦」糾弾
    *30: How Asahi Shimbun assessed its coverage of ‘comfort women’ issue
    *31: Editorial: Asahi Shimbun should explain coverage of ‘comfort women’ issue
    *32: 朝日の慰安婦検証記事への疑問 日本文化大学学長・大森義夫