U.N. issues fresh call to Japan over World War II ‘comfort women’


A U.N. watchdog issued a fresh call Friday to Japan to take full blame for forcing women from Korea and elsewhere in Asia to work as sex slaves during World War II.

The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said that by failing to treat the aging survivors properly, Japan has let their suffering drag on for decades.

“What we’re asking the Japanese government is to conclude investigations into the violations of the rights of ‘comfort women’ by the military and to bring to justice those responsible and to pursue a comprehensive and lasting resolution to these issues,” said Anastasia Crickley, deputy head of the committee.

“We’re asking them to provide apologies and provision of adequate reparation to surviving comfort women and their families,” Crickley told reporters.

“We also believe its very important that denial of these events is not countenanced,” she added, noting that Japan also lacks legislation banning racist hate speech.

The U.N. panel, made up of 18 independent human rights experts, earlier this month reviewed Japan’s respect for an international anti-racism accord.

All U.N. members that have signed the accord are assessed at regular intervals.

U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, who retires Monday, has repeatedly called Tokyo out over wartime sexual slavery.

Last month the U.N. Human Rights Committee, which monitors compliance with a treaty on civil rights, also pressed Japan on the issue.

Around 200,000 women, mainly from Korea but also China, Taiwan, Indonesia and other Asian countries, were forced to work in Japanese military brothels, where they were called comfort women, to provide sexual services to members of the military.

The victims have failed to obtain redress for their treatment despite repeated efforts since the World War II, and their numbers are dwindling as the years pass by.

Japanese courts have thrown out claims for reparation and rejected calls for criminal probes, citing the passing of the statute of limitations.

The country’s schoolbooks are frequently criticized for failing to tackle the issue frankly.

Japan issued the landmark Kono Statement, a form of apology, in 1993 and mainstream public opinion holds that the wartime militarist government was culpable.

“We note the efforts that have been made by the Japanese state to resolve the issue of foreign comfort women who were exploited by the Japanese military,” said Crickley.

“We also note the information that we have received from the Japanese state with regard to compensation,” she added.

Japan set up a state-fund compensation program in 1994 which made several hundred payouts before it was wound up in 2007.

But a slice of the political right, including current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, continue to cast doubt on the women’s ordeal, claiming the brothels were staffed by professional prostitutes.

Japan earlier this year undertook a review of the issue which upheld the apology but asserted there was no evidence to corroborate the women’s testimony, sparking regional anger.

“We are bearing in mind the human rights violations against surviving comfort women. As long as these persist, their rights to justice and reparation are not fully realized,” said Crickley.

  • wada

    Are those who think that the opinion of the fox which borrows a tiger’s authority is right needed? Seemingly the person who prepared the data of the committee also participated in comfort women’s forgery of asahi newspaper.

    Value is not in the opinion of the organization which revealed its true nature. The report of the U.N. committee is not something beyond it in a committee individual’s opinion. Of course, is that there is neither authority nor legal force in advice of a committee understood?

    By the way, Does South Korea understand the historical fact which South Korea abandoned the individual claim of both Japan and South Korea, and carried out normalization of diplomatic relations to Japan? South Korea blocked assistance only for the reason for not being pleasing that Japan has offered various assistance to comfort women in accordance with this fact.

    Compensation to comfort women is a South Korean domestic issue, and there is already no reason Japan performs apology and compensation.

    *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: 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提議, 社内からの指摘を放置, 慰安婦強制への疑問も批判対象
    *8: 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
    *9: SPECIAL REVIEW of The Asahi Shimbun’s “Comfort Women” Reporting / The paper slow to correct its errors
    *10: 人種差別撤廃委員会 NGO

    The fellows who cooperated in diffusion of a false rumor do not allow by any means.