Abe confirms he called ‘comfort women’ victims of human trafficking


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed that he described “comfort women,” mainly Asian females who were forced to provide sex to wartime Japanese soldiers, as victims of “human trafficking” in a recent interview with The Washington Post.

The remarks provoked a backlash from South Korea. A South Korean official said Saturday that the remarks were a deception if Abe had been attempting to shift the blame for the forcible recruitment of the comfort women to private brokers and deny the government’s involvement.

In the interview, published Friday, the newspaper quoted Abe as saying the comfort women had been “victimized by human trafficking.” His original words in Japanese were not revealed.

During a Diet committee meeting on Monday, Abe confirmed he told the interviewer that comfort women were victims of jinshin baibai, which is usually translated as human trafficking.

“There has been a variety of discussions, and human trafficking has been cited in some discussions,” Abe said about debate on the comfort women issue.

  • R0ninX3ph

    Ultra-right nationalists coming here to comment about how they were just “professional prostitutes” in 3… 2… 1…

  • timefox

    It’s all right to have an opinion different from Prime Minister Abe. Japan isn’t Korea. Even if an opposite opinion is described, you don’t arrest and detain.

  • Ahojanen

    Human trafficking may be a better, more accurate term describing the background of comfort women. Korea’s nee-jerk reaction comes from its ignorance.

  • Jack Insomaniac Hanke

    States are just as capable of engaging in human trafficking as criminal networks are. Abe’s language shouldn’t be taken as incorrect or offensive; it’s simply applying a more up-to-date term to an event that took place in a time before some modern terminology was developed.