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Japan’s foreign minister challenges use of ‘sex slaves’ term for ‘comfort women’

by

Staff Writer

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida argued Monday that “comfort women” should not be described as “sex slaves,” challenging widespread use of the term by Western media outlets.

“The term ‘sex slaves’ doesn’t match the facts, and (the Japanese government) believes it should not be used,” Kishida said during a session of the Upper House Budget Committee when asked about the matter by Takashi Uto, a fellow member of the Liberal Democratic Party.

Kishida also said the South Korean government has confirmed that the formal term used by Seoul is “victims of the comfort women issue of the Japanese military,” not “sex slaves.”

The term “comfort woman” is a euphemism for females who were forced into Japanese military brothels in the 1930s and ’40s.

On Dec. 28, Seoul and Tokyo reached a landmark agreement to settle a long-standing diplomatic row over issues involving these women. The deal includes setting up a ¥1 billion fund for the women.

When reporting on the agreement, many major Western media outlets, including the Washington Post, New York Times, Guardian and CNN, used the term “sex slaves.”

It is the policy of The Japan Times that “sex slaves” is acceptable for referring to the women who were forced to provide sex for Japanese troops before and during World War II.

The Japanese government admitted “the honor and dignity of many women” was damaged with “the involvement” of the military authorities, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his “most sincere apologies and remorse” for the suffering of comfort women.

But Japan has not recognized its legal responsibilities because private-sector businesses, not wartime Japanese authorities, are believed to have been the main entities that recruited the women on the Korean Peninsula.

Japan has also maintained that all compensation issues involving Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule were “settled completely and finally” in a bilateral pact attached to the 1965 Japan-South Korea basic treaty.

  • bumfromkorea

    “Sorry, but not really.” – the story of Japan’s attitude towards its atrocious past since the 1950’s.

  • wrle

    Then what were they? Forced to bake cookies for japanese soldiers at the military brothels?

  • Fred Orangefield

    Is this the clearest sign yet so far that The Japan Times is a propaganda paper for anti-Abe camp?

    Why trusting the testimony by those old women that are proven to be inconsistent and untrustworthy?
    Why ignoring the fact that fraud and perjury that are so common in that country?
    Why ignoring the fact that there is no record / evidence of the men — very strong and powerful — defended those girls if they were kidnapped by force?
    Why ignoring the fact that there is a official US-Army report describing what they were during the WW2?
    Why siding with the views of Asahi Shimbun who retracted their reports 17 months ago? Wasn’t it the case that the Yoshida Testimony was all made up?

    It seems that this is the end of The Japan Times.

  • Malaysian Expat

    It is a complex issue. Some can qualify as sex slaves. Some are comfort women. The same thing is still happening worldwide at almost all the cities.

    Aren’t we a bit naive to expect our media or politician to be capable of complex thinking?

  • Jam Awns

    Japan times shouldn’t mislead world citizens. Comfort women are not sex slaves. Even U.S. official paper in 1944 recorded them as high-priced camp followers.
    Comfort women dedicated to raise soldiers’ morale and spirits, and to prevent rape crimes in countries. Comfort women are not sex slaves as the same as soldiers are not bloodthirsty killers.
    The word ‘sex slaves’ humiliates comfort women’s pride as the same as the word ‘bloodthirsty killers’ does solders’ honor. Such wording obviously mislead real features.
    Comfort woman earned monthly income as much as soldier’s annual income. Dedication of comfort woman was priceless as same as dedication of soldier was precious. Duty of comfort women was horrible such as extraordinary repeating prostitution, while duty of soldier was cruel such as murder.

  • Jam Awns

    S.Korean government is supposed to continue making effort to remove offensive comfort women statues finally and irreversibly, and must keep her words, focus on actually helping out and appreciate the women who had dedicated to raise Imperial Japanese soldiers’ spirits and morale.
    The comfort women as a result defend Korean peninsula against Marxism and economic crisis today as well as had greatly contributed to S.Korean miracle economic growth in the past.
    S.Korea must realize that the offensive statues of the comfort woman have been and will be the symbol of S.Korean betray, perjury and calumny.
    The S.Korean government foundation is not only for S.Korean comfort women. Japan supports the foundation with a one-time contribution, and S. Korea takes accountability for searching the truth by focusing on fact and investigation at interest groups who makes perjury and calumny for money and Marxism but for comfort women.

    Park Chung Hee: Problems in regard to property and claims between Japan and Korea have been settled completely and finally.
    Kim Young Sam:S.Korea does not require compensation for comfort women issue
    Kim Dae-jung: Japan has apologized, and I have accepted it.
    Roh Moo-hyun: Historical issue never be talked during my period.
    Lee Myung-bak: S.Korea does not require apology on Japan.
    Park Geun Hye: S.Korea confirms that the issue is resolved finally and irreversibly.

    Japan had fulfilled responsibility completely and finally.

  • Fred Orangefield

    I have questions to the author of this article.

    * Why trusting the testimony by those old women that are proven to be inconsistent and untrustworthy?
    * Why ignoring the fact that fraud and perjury that are so common in that country?
    * Why ignoring the fact that there is no record / evidence of the men — very strong and powerful — defended those girls if they were kidnapped by force?
    * Why ignoring the fact that there is a official US-Army report describing what they were during the WW2?
    * Why siding with the views of Asahi Shimbun who retracted their reports 17 months ago?

    * Wasn’t it the case that the Yoshida Testimony was all made up?

  • Jam Awns

    Japan times shouldn’t mislead world citizens. Comfort women are not sex slaves. Even U.S. official paper in 1944 recorded them as high-priced camp followers.

    Comfort women dedicated to raise soldiers’ morale and spirits, and to prevent rape crimes in countries. Comfort women are not sex slaves as the same as soldiers are not bloodthirsty killers.

    The word ‘sex slaves’ humiliates comfort women’s pride as the same as the word ‘bloodthirsty killers’ does solders’ honor. Such wording obviously mislead real features.

    Comfort woman earned monthly income as much as soldier’s annual income. Dedication of comfort woman was priceless as same as dedication of soldier was precious. Duty of comfort women was horrible such as extraordinary repeating prostitution, while duty of soldier was cruel such as murder.

  • mayu mama

    Sex Worker(Prostitute) and Sex Slaves are not the same.

    Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual relations in exchange for payment or some other benefit.

    Forced prostitution is a crime against the person because of the violation of the victim’s rights of movement through coercion and because of their commercial exploitation.

    “Forced prostitution” is a shocking phrase.

    “Sex slave” is a more shocking phrase.

    What did you imagine when you heard word “sex slave”?

    Media representations affect our views of particular social groups or issues.

    Human rights are not a sword to smite good intentions.

    An appeal to pity attempts to persuade using emotion-specifically, sympathy-rather than evidence.

    Poverty and lack of educational and economic opportunities in one’s hometown may lead women to voluntarily migrate and then be involuntarily trafficked into sex work.

    Korean government pays so great attention to the past comfort women while it ignores the present-day Korean women who are compelled to become sex slave because of their dire situation of being deeply in debt.

  • TV Monitor

    So the agreement is already terminated. With Kishida and Abe’s denial, it wasn’t going to hold.

    • johnniewhite

      Not a denial. Clarification.

    • Tachomanx

      Haven’t heard the korean side exploding in anger and backing down from this.

      Why?
      Because this is a clarification on the terminology applied to this case as is a fact that not all “comfort women” were taken against their will. Some actually were offered the job and they agreed. That’s why the term is vague in definition as sex slaves didn’t apply to all, perhaps not even a majority of the women involved.

      Second and most important, is that Park and her party sorely want this deal to come through as to see the matter ended for good and score a badly needed political victory among it’s usual constituents (middle age and seniors for the most part and who approve of this deal according to polls)

      Third, Japan also considers this deal important which is why Abe has been clamping down on critics and forcing withdrawals of inflamatory comments as to not see it derailed.

      Finally, both sides finally came to understand that this is likely the last chance to solve the issue and understand that neither can get all they wish for, so they settled with a deal midways to move on at long last.

    • Tachomanx

      Haven’t heard the korean side exploding in anger and backing down from this.

      Why?
      Because this is a clarification on the terminology applied to this case as is a fact that not all “comfort women” were taken against their will. Some actually were offered the job and they agreed. That’s why the term is vague in definition as sex slaves didn’t apply to all, perhaps not even a majority of the women involved.

      Second and most important, is that Park and her party sorely want this deal to come through as to see the matter ended for good and score a badly needed political victory among it’s usual constituents (middle age and seniors for the most part and who approve of this deal according to polls)

      Third, Japan also considers this deal important which is why Abe has been clamping down on critics and forcing withdrawals of inflamatory comments as to not see it derailed.

      Finally, both sides finally came to understand that this is likely the last chance to solve the issue and understand that neither can get all they wish for, so they settled with a deal midways to move on at long last.

    • Tachomanx

      Haven’t heard the korean side exploding in anger and backing down from this.

      Why?
      Because this is a clarification on the terminology applied to this case as is a fact that not all “comfort women” were taken against their will. Some actually were offered the job and they agreed. That’s why the term is vague in definition as sex slaves didn’t apply to all, perhaps not even a majority of the women involved.

      Second and most important, is that Park and her party sorely want this deal to come through as to see the matter ended for good and score a badly needed political victory among it’s usual constituents (middle age and seniors for the most part and who approve of this deal according to polls)

      Third, Japan also considers this deal important which is why Abe has been clamping down on critics and forcing withdrawals of inflamatory comments as to not see it derailed.

      Finally, both sides finally came to understand that this is likely the last chance to solve the issue and understand that neither can get all they wish for, so they settled with a deal midways to move on at long last.

    • Tachomanx

      Haven’t heard the korean side exploding in anger and backing down from this.

      Why?
      Because this is a clarification on the terminology applied to this case as is a fact that not all “comfort women” were taken against their will. Some actually were offered the job and they agreed. That’s why the term is vague in definition as sex slaves didn’t apply to all, perhaps not even a majority of the women involved.

      Second and most important, is that Park and her party sorely want this deal to come through as to see the matter ended for good and score a badly needed political victory among it’s usual constituents (middle age and seniors for the most part and who approve of this deal according to polls)

      Third, Japan also considers this deal important which is why Abe has been clamping down on critics and forcing withdrawals of inflamatory comments as to not see it derailed.

      Finally, both sides finally came to understand that this is likely the last chance to solve the issue and understand that neither can get all they wish for, so they settled with a deal midways to move on at long last.

    • Tachomanx

      Haven’t heard the korean side exploding in anger and backing down from this.

      Why?
      Because this is a clarification on the terminology applied to this case as is a fact that not all “comfort women” were taken against their will. Some actually were offered the job and they agreed. That’s why the term is vague in definition as sex slaves didn’t apply to all, perhaps not even a majority of the women involved.

      Second and most important, is that Park and her party sorely want this deal to come through as to see the matter ended for good and score a badly needed political victory among it’s usual constituents (middle age and seniors for the most part and who approve of this deal according to polls)

      Third, Japan also considers this deal important which is why Abe has been clamping down on critics and forcing withdrawals of inflamatory comments as to not see it derailed.

      Finally, both sides finally came to understand that this is likely the last chance to solve the issue and understand that neither can get all they wish for, so they settled with a deal midways to move on at long last.

    • Tachomanx

      Haven’t heard the korean side exploding in anger and backing down from this.

      Why?
      Because this is a clarification on the terminology applied to this case as is a fact that not all “comfort women” were taken against their will. Some actually were offered the job and they agreed. That’s why the term is vague in definition as sex slaves didn’t apply to all, perhaps not even a majority of the women involved.

      Second and most important, is that Park and her party sorely want this deal to come through as to see the matter ended for good and score a badly needed political victory among it’s usual constituents (middle age and seniors for the most part and who approve of this deal according to polls)

      Third, Japan also considers this deal important which is why Abe has been clamping down on critics and forcing withdrawals of inflamatory comments as to not see it derailed.

      Finally, both sides finally came to understand that this is likely the last chance to solve the issue and understand that neither can get all they wish for, so they settled with a deal midways to move on at long last.

    • Tachomanx

      Haven’t heard the korean side exploding in anger and backing down from this.

      Why?
      Because this is a clarification on the terminology applied to this case as is a fact that not all “comfort women” were taken against their will. Some actually were offered the job and they agreed. That’s why the term is vague in definition as sex slaves didn’t apply to all, perhaps not even a majority of the women involved.

      Second and most important, is that Park and her party sorely want this deal to come through as to see the matter ended for good and score a badly needed political victory among it’s usual constituents (middle age and seniors for the most part and who approve of this deal according to polls)

      Third, Japan also considers this deal important which is why Abe has been clamping down on critics and forcing withdrawals of inflamatory comments as to not see it derailed.

      Finally, both sides finally came to understand that this is likely the last chance to solve the issue and understand that neither can get all they wish for, so they settled with a deal midways to move on at long last.

    • Tachomanx

      Haven’t heard the korean side exploding in anger and backing down from this.

      Why?
      Because this is a clarification on the terminology applied to this case as is a fact that not all “comfort women” were taken against their will. Some actually were offered the job and they agreed. That’s why the term is vague in definition as sex slaves didn’t apply to all, perhaps not even a majority of the women involved.

      Second and most important, is that Park and her party sorely want this deal to come through as to see the matter ended for good and score a badly needed political victory among it’s usual constituents (middle age and seniors for the most part and who approve of this deal according to polls)

      Third, Japan also considers this deal important which is why Abe has been clamping down on critics and forcing withdrawals of inflamatory comments as to not see it derailed.

      Finally, both sides finally came to understand that this is likely the last chance to solve the issue and understand that neither can get all they wish for, so they settled with a deal midways to move on at long last.

    • Tachomanx

      Haven’t heard the korean side exploding in anger and backing down from this.

      Why?
      Because this is a clarification on the terminology applied to this case as is a fact that not all “comfort women” were taken against their will. Some actually were offered the job and they agreed. That’s why the term is vague in definition as sex slaves didn’t apply to all, perhaps not even a majority of the women involved.

      Second and most important, is that Park and her party sorely want this deal to come through as to see the matter ended for good and score a badly needed political victory among it’s usual constituents (middle age and seniors for the most part and who approve of this deal according to polls)

      Third, Japan also considers this deal important which is why Abe has been clamping down on critics and forcing withdrawals of inflamatory comments as to not see it derailed.

      Finally, both sides finally came to understand that this is likely the last chance to solve the issue and understand that neither can get all they wish for, so they settled with a deal midways to move on at long last.

    • Tachomanx

      Haven’t heard the korean side exploding in anger and backing down from this.

      Why?
      Because this is a clarification on the terminology applied to this case as is a fact that not all “comfort women” were taken against their will. Some actually were offered the job and they agreed. That’s why the term is vague in definition as sex slaves didn’t apply to all, perhaps not even a majority of the women involved.

      Second and most important, is that Park and her party sorely want this deal to come through as to see the matter ended for good and score a badly needed political victory among it’s usual constituents (middle age and seniors for the most part and who approve of this deal according to polls)

      Third, Japan also considers this deal important which is why Abe has been clamping down on critics and forcing withdrawals of inflamatory comments as to not see it derailed.

      Finally, both sides finally came to understand that this is likely the last chance to solve the issue and understand that neither can get all they wish for, so they settled with a deal midways to move on at long last.

    • Tachomanx

      Haven’t heard the korean side exploding in anger and backing down from this.

      Why?
      Because this is a clarification on the terminology applied to this case as is a fact that not all “comfort women” were taken against their will. Some actually were offered the job and they agreed. That’s why the term is vague in definition as sex slaves didn’t apply to all, perhaps not even a majority of the women involved.

      Second and most important, is that Park and her party sorely want this deal to come through as to see the matter ended for good and score a badly needed political victory among it’s usual constituents (middle age and seniors for the most part and who approve of this deal according to polls)

      Third, Japan also considers this deal important which is why Abe has been clamping down on critics and forcing withdrawals of inflamatory comments as to not see it derailed.

      Finally, both sides finally came to understand that this is likely the last chance to solve the issue and understand that neither can get all they wish for, so they settled with a deal midways to move on at long last.

  • Fred Orangefield

    I cannot help noticing that the initial of the author may perhaps be “S”, and not “R”. Do you know what I mean?

  • Eiji Suzuki

    Is “The Japan Times” a real Japanese media, or is it just one of many “Pretending as Japanese” media?

  • Charley

    “…reached a landmark agreement…”

    They reached an agreement that didn’t include the opinions of the victims.

    • Fred Orangefield

      Yes, you are right. In this context, the victims means those ladies who were exploited by the activist organisation in Korea.

    • Fred Orangefield

      Yes, you are right. In this context, the victims means those ladies who were exploited by the activist organisation in Korea.

    • Fred Orangefield

      Yes, you are right. In this context, the victims means those ladies who were exploited by the activist organisation in Korea.

    • Fred Orangefield

      Yes, you are right. In this context, the victims means those ladies who were exploited by the activist organisation in Korea.

    • Fred Orangefield

      Yes, you are right. In this context, the victims means those ladies who were exploited by the activist organisation in Korea.

  • tisho

    I suggest JapanTimes moderators start banning people who deny and substantially praise sex slavery, otherwise you may lose your good quality audience.

  • GIJ

    “It is the policy of The Japan Times that ‘sex slaves’ is acceptable for referring to the women who were forced to provide sex for Japanese troops before and during World War II.”

    Well that’s good to know. What term is acceptable to the folks at the Sankei Shimbun? Gold-digging non-coerced pleasure seekers?

  • Bruce Chatwin

    oldspeak: innocent victim
    newspeak: collateral damage

    oldspeak: sex slaves
    newspeak: comfort women

  • Bruce Chatwin

    oldspeak: innocent victim
    newspeak: collateral damage

    oldspeak: sex slaves
    newspeak: comfort women

  • Tangerine 18

    I see the sex-slave trolls and sock puppets are on display once again for everyone to see. They are such sad people, like elderly Nazis trying to tell the world that the Holocaust didn’t happen, or that they were misunderstood.
    The world knows the truth ( thanks in part to memoirs from people like Nakasone and the founder of Fuji-Sankei ) and no amount of cheap anti-Korean lies on the internet will ever change that.

  • Tangerine 18

    I see the sex-slave trolls and sock puppets are on display once again for everyone to see. They are such sad people, like elderly Nazis trying to tell the world that the Holocaust didn’t happen, or that they were misunderstood.
    The world knows the truth ( thanks in part to memoirs from people like Nakasone and the founder of Fuji-Sankei ) and no amount of cheap anti-Korean lies on the internet will ever change that.

  • Tangerine 18

    I see the sex-slave trolls and sock puppets are on display once again for everyone to see. They are such sad people, like elderly Nazis trying to tell the world that the Holocaust didn’t happen, or that they were misunderstood.
    The world knows the truth ( thanks in part to memoirs from people like Nakasone and the founder of Fuji-Sankei ) and no amount of cheap anti-Korean lies on the internet will ever change that.

  • CaptainAsia

    The official name is “comfort women” because they were all not forced into selling their bodies. Many of them joined voluntarily for money and food. Even Koreans accept this. Meanwhile South Korea for all its rhetoric fails to fix the much larger problem of Han Lai Dan in Vietnam, that is disgraceful and highly hypocritical. Shame on you Korea.

  • Tachomanx

    A tabloid again?
    Can’t really consider such a short news article as actual news buddy.

    Anyway, the deal marches on and soon we can all move on towards more important and actually pressing issues.

  • Clickonthewhatnow

    I found something showing the apology in 2001, and then Park’s statement that the apology “drove a stake through the heart of South Korea”. Huh. Sounds like South Korea has politicians who muck things up just as Japan does. Good thing that politician isn’t the head of the country now. But hey, we shouldn’t hold South Korea responsible for dumb things their politicians said after apologies were made, especially when they become president. But let’s hold anything that Japanese politicians say after apologies were made against them.

    Dur?

  • Clickonthewhatnow

    I found something showing the apology in 2001, and then Park’s statement that the apology “drove a stake through the heart of South Korea”. Huh. Sounds like South Korea has politicians who muck things up just as Japan does. Good thing that politician isn’t the head of the country now. But hey, we shouldn’t hold South Korea responsible for dumb things their politicians said after apologies were made, especially when they become president. But let’s hold anything that Japanese politicians say after apologies were made against them.

    Dur?

  • johnniewhite

    “Heavy state press censorship in Japan”

    This is a classic example of illusion some of you have — sadly, you cannot see the differences between the communist China and fully democratic Japan. Asians look similar, but you need to see more closely. Come on!

  • shatonbytories

    After trawling through the comments here, we again find that most people don’t even notice they are debating the issue in terms of how it impacts on the way the nation states involved are imagined (with either “Korea” or “Japan” as injured party – speech marks used to highlight the fact that these are simply imagined human constructs most often (ludicrously) believed to be real and immutable by right wing nationalists the world over.)
    Hardly anyone here sees the women themselves beyond their objectified use in the nation state debate ragging above their heads. These are individual living and breathing human beings able to feel pain, shame and be emotionally crippled 70 years after these horrid events.
    Who cares whether “Japan” has or hasn’t apologized to “Korea” – what are “Japan” and “Korea” anyway, who defines them, who represents them, who get to control these definitions, do the women really even care either way?
    If we are honest and really think about the issue, we will see that the debate mostly revolves around the Korean reactionary patriarchy’s embarrassment that the Japanese reactionary patriarchy violated “their” women, and the Japanese reactionary patriarchy denying that it would ever be so base as to do so. Both of these patriarchies (for that is what obviously controls both countries) can go f£&@ themselves as far as I am concerned.
    Instead we need to apologize to the women themselves as individual human beings who think and feel and deserve respect. Anyone who feels unable to do so for nationalist reasons is an embarrassment to the “nation state” HE champions and can in no way be classed as a true patriot.

  • Fred Orangefield

    All you have described are supported by documentary evidence and I believe they are true; but there are lots of people who hate hearing these. I hope your message won’t be deleted by the moderator here.

  • blondein_tokyo

    This is exactly why S. Korea has not been able to let this issue go. When government ministers, speaking in official capacity for the government, make statements denying that the women were sex slaves (they were) it shows that the Japanese government is not actually taking responsibility. I hope that S. Korea recinds the recent agreement in light of this statement.

  • shatonbytories

    Another Comfort Women article, and yet again most people commenting do so from a nationalistic perspective with either “Korea” or “Japan” as injured or offending party – I use speech marks to highlight the fact that both Japan and Korea are simply imagined human constructs which will differ according to time or personal perception and which nobody has the ability, let alone right, to concretely define. Thus, who really cares which “nation state” has been slighted more than the other, it is utterly meaningless.

    This historical reality (and ongoing, present day nightmare for those still alive) is about real people, not Country A v Country B. But hardly anyone on here takes time to consider the women themselves beyond their objectified use in the debate raging above their heads. These are individual, living and breathing human beings able to feel pain, shame and be emotionally crippled 70 years after these horrid events.
    Who cares whether “Japan” has or hasn’t apologized to “Korea” at State level – what are “Japan” and “Korea” anyway? Who gets to define them? Who gets to control these definitions? Do we all have to adhere to this collective, nationalist line? Abe said this, Park did that – Do the women really even care either way. The shame will likley never leave them, they are not asking for personal apology as a way of attacking “Japan” (the Japan that the right wing ludicrously believe is real and immutable.) They just want justice.

    If we are honest and really think hard about the issue, we will notice that the debate mostly revolves around Korean men in power (yeah, yeah, Park’s a woman) and their male shame that Japanese men were able to kidnap and violate “their” women, and Japanese men in power denying that “Japan” would ever be so base as to do so. Well, both patriarchies (for that is what obviously controls both countries) can go f£&@ themselves as far as I am concerned.
    Instead we need to apologize to the women themselves as individual human beings who think and feel and deserve respect. Anyone who feels unable to do so for nationalist reasons (“no evidence of coercion” indeed! Is that the basis of your argument?) is an embarrassment to the “nation state” HE champions and can in no way be classed as a true patriot.

  • Takahiro Katsumi

    I’ve come up with a median but more down-to-earth term. How about, “military sex recruits”?

    Be it that it was brokered by private entity, these enterprises were working at the behest of the Japanese Imeperial Army in an occupied or annexed territory. Of course it was military-controlled operation. Of course they were actively involved. And more significantly, of course they had overwhelming power over the local enterprises.

    It doesn’t matter if the military personnel were or were not directly involved in the acts of recruting–whether it was forced or made-voluntary, the military controlled the operation, provided logistics to bring in massive number of women to their service by a truck load, built and operated the brothels. All this means is that it was a concerted and systematic effort on the Japanese side, only brokered by local entities, to run a forced prostitution enterprise.

    The purpose of the forcibly or persuaded (by false promises,etc) recruited women were not merely to ‘comfort’ the soldies but to provide sexual services. In legal terms, this fits the definition of “enforced prostituion” as war crimes or crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    So, “military sex recruits.”

    I Don’t think there’s any ambiguity in these three words.

    On the other hand, “sexual slavery” is another legal term used to describe the crimes under the jurisdiction of the ICC. As someone has already described, the circumstances that the “sex recruits” were placed under do fit the definition of “enslavement” as described in the Rome Statute (Art. 7.2. (c)) for crimes against humanity), deprived of freedom to move or leave the premises at will.

    “Enslavement” means the exercise of any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership over a person and includes the exercise of such power in the course of trafficking in persons, in particular women and children;”

    So in today’s legal definition and its derived terminology it is appropriate to call the act by the Japanese Imperial Army as “forced prostitution” and/or “sexual slavery”. Hence, the subject of such acts may be appropriately called, “sexual slaves.”

    BTW, Japan is party to the Rome Statute of ICC. They joined the treaty in 2007 during the First Abe Administration. So they are, or should be , well aware of the legal and internationally accepted (124 countries — excluding U.S., China, Russia, etc. ) definition in today’s terms.

  • johnniewhite

    The word “sex slave” was first used in this dispute by a left-wing scholar Yoshiaki Yoshimi who decided to go for a SLAP lawsuit against Sakurauchi. Today we heard that Yoshimi has lost the case at Tokyo District Court.

    Is it not the time that JT should acknowledge the fact that there is no legal basis of using that term, and examine all the factual evidence available? Isn’t it what journalism for?

    • johnniewhite

      One might be tempted to say that on this court ruling as evidence, the legal system is under the dictatorship of Abe administration. :)

    • Takahiro Katsumi

      The court ruling was about the actions of the former MP and whether it constituted an act of defamation or slandering. The court ruled against the plaintiff that it’s not. But the court did not pass any judgments on the determination of whether the acts by the Japanese military constituted an act of sexual slavery as defined in international law.

    • blondein_tokyo

      The women said they were forced to have sex against their will, and were kept captive by the military. That is what a sex slave is, so that is all the factual evidence that is needed for the press to use the term.

    • RolandRackham

      You’ve forgotten the first rule of journalism: Never let the truth get in the way of a sensational story!

      Too be fair to JT, “Truth” is subjective and, more importantly, time consuming (ie expensive). For instance, if that had the time & money, I’m sure JT would write a story that breaks down the Comfort Women by nationality (apparently a great many were Japanese). Then break down the groups by 01: How many were forced by the Gov’t, 02: How many were unlawfully “recruited” by private enterprise, 03: How many were sold, IAW the local customs, 04: How many were volunteers. Then they would find out how each of these groups were compensated. US & British records show that many CW appeared financially well off thanks to their trade.

      But such info is unlikely to ever see the light of day. That would require serious journalism & serious journalism is just to expensive. Sound bites from extremists are for more…affordable.

  • Ethan Kaiunmanzoku

    Why trusting the testimony by those old women that are proven to be inconsistent and untrustworthy?
    Why ignoring the fact that fraud and perjury that are so common in that country?
    Why ignoring the fact that there is no record / evidence of the men — very strong and powerful — defended those girls if they were kidnapped by force?
    Why ignoring the fact that there is a official US-Army report describing what they were during the WW2?
    Why siding with the views of Asahi Shimbun who retracted their reports 17 months ago? Wasn’t it the case that the Yoshida Testimony was all made up?

    It seems that this is the end of The Japan Times.

  • Kayo Kanako Kimura

    People seem to be mixing up the word comfort woman as a euphemism for ‘sex slave’, which is totally wrong. Comfort woman was a euphemism for prostitute at the time. The Japanese army created a system to satisfy their soldiers’ sexual needs by having them use brothels exclusive for soldiers only, in order to avoid V.D. spreading. Upon gathering women through ads, they decided to call them comfort women, so that the women would not be seen as nor feel they were mere prostitutes themselves. In Japanese, comfort women is written as 慰安婦 (Ian-fu). The ‘慰安 Ian’ part means comfort, while the ‘婦 fu’ means not ‘woman’ but ‘lady’. The symbol ‘婦 fu’ is used in various Japanese words which expresses admiration towards women such as ‘婦人 fujin=lady in high position’ or ‘婦女子 fujoshi=ladies including young girls’. In direct translation, comfort woman would be 慰安女(Ian-onna/jo=woman/female) in which there is no sense of respect of any kind but simply noting the female sex. The very fact that they used ‘婦 fu’ instead of ‘女 onna/fu’ shows they wished to give women working in comfort stations to feel pride in serving Japanese soldiers who were risking their lives for the sake of their country; that they were fighting this war together with them. Although this kind of approach may sound deceiving based on morals we have today, back then there were women who have said they began to feel they’re doing something meaningful for the first time in their lives, after they switched to working as comfort women from being a prostitute in ordinary brothels. There were many soldiers who gave a salute to comfort women before and after they were served, and order was always preserved with drunk soldiers not allowed entrance, plus the women were able to have their health checked. Comfort stations were not the ordinary brothels we’d imagine in which customers had all the power as long as they paid. In fact, in most of the Japanese brothel culture starting from the Edo period, it was usually the prostitute who had power over what the customer can and cannot do. Most of it also had euphemisms instead of calling the women bluntly prostitutes such as ‘花魁 Oiran’, ‘太夫 Tayu’ and others. So the Japanese army choosing to use the phrase comfort women is nothing peculiar to Japanese or others who are familiar with Japanese culture and history. It was not made to hide some dark scheme, such as enslaving women for sexual needs. It was made to make everyone, including soldiers to respect them. Otoh, the phrase ‘sex slave’ was invented by a Japanese lawyer supporting Korean ex-comfort women around the 90s. As so, logically, comfort women can never be a euphemism for ‘sex slave’ which was a word created decades after the system existed. It should also be noted that there are ex-comfort women who do not like being called a (former) ‘sex slave’. Even if they worked in comfort stations against their wills, calling them ‘sex slaves’ arouses too much perverted speculation which they do not want. In addition, there were many many other comfort women who willingly worked in the stations who would never consider they were ever a ‘sex slave’.

  • Tachomanx

    You hardly made a point there, though you made me laugh at how petty you are.

    When you post a general knowledge thing, then yeah, anyone can do it.

    But when you try to post something that supports your (very wrong) ideals you fail miserably. And on that aspect was my comment making a point.

  • Jerome Besson

    Seventy years after the facts, what is the fuss all about ?

    We know how daughters are still deemed a burden in many less affluent Asian societies. Prostitution rings recruited underage women. Destitute fathers made a bundle putting their daughters as collateral for a loan.

    And Japanese authorities tried to clamp down on the human trade activities of their subjects from Korea. There are traces of both illicit activities and policing measures in the locally published newspapers of the period.

    All compensation issues involving Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule were “settled completely and finally” in a bilateral pact attached to the 1965 Japan-South Korea basic treaty.

    Are there no more pressing issues than recycling the lurid reports of porn and crime in the red lights district (赤線) that made the heyday of the infamous “Kasutori magazines” (カストリ雑誌) of the occupation era?

    In Japan, where even constitutions are replaced, journalism perennially remains a disgrace.

  • createpeace

    More than 90%of policemen and politicians were Koreans in Korea in the era. They had human rights and the right to vote, too. What did they do when their girls were forced by Japanese?
    What is more, one of the comfort women said she bought diamonds in her book. She also said she wanted to buy her mother a house and worked as a prostitute. There are documents of the women’s bank accounts. However the “non fiction” book of the testimonies keeps changing as it is published new edition. Once it was added the part which tells Japanese forced the women, omitting the part which said the women saw an advertisement and applied it. So your edition might not be the same as the original one.

  • createpeace

    “That’s because of a heavy state press censorship in Japan.”

    Japanese didn’t know that Korea teaches hate for decades. Japanese media didn’t report the real Korea. Yes, that’s true.

    And you don’t know that an old Korean man who said he was happy when Korea was Japan was killed by younger Koreans. in China, for Tibetan people or Chinese in Tibet, it takes 2 weeks to send email!

  • AltVoice

    Totsuka Etsuro, a radical lawyer in Japan started pitching the term ‘sex slave’ to the UNCHR in addressing this issue quite a few years ago. U.S. military reports state that the women were paid for their services, but just like how this kind of business is run even today, the brothel owners had a tendency to take advantage of the women. Most comfort stations were run by proprietors who spoke the same language as the women; some had recruited them themselves, so the business
    relationship was between them and the women. If the relationship was ‘sexual slavery,’ it involved the proprietors as the women’s ‘masters.’

  • mayu mama

    Team Red surreptitiously invaded the United States. “An appeal to pity” attempts to persuade using emotion-specifically, sympathy-rather than evidence. Fake victims have recently adopted a strategy that capitalises on the strength of appeals to pity.

    > It is the policy of The Japan Times that “sex slaves” is acceptable for referring to the women who were forced to provide sex for Japanese troops before and during World War II.

    What did you imagine when you heard word “sex slave”?
    Media representations affect our views of particular social groups or issues.
    In fact, there were Japanese comfort women more than Korean comfort women.
    The public education of Korea ignores the good will of Japan. “Appeal to Pity” has become the business for Korea.

  • createpeace

    The population of Japanese were only 1.5 to 4% in the Korean Peninsula at that time. 70 to 90% of policemen and politicians were Koreans. Koreans had the human rights and be able to vote as Japanese citizens. They went to school and learned reading and writing both Korean and Japanese as they didn’t know how to read or write at all. There are lots photos of the comfort women smiling and dressed nicely. There are documents of their bank accounts and advertisements for prostituton on newspapers. Some of the comfort women said they bought diamonds and houses for parents. There are also articles of Korean newspapers written in the wartime which say that kidnnapers were Koreans and Japanese policemen helped the Korean girls many times. Who deny the facts and tell a lie? Now Korea teachs hate in school for decades. It started harder from 1990s. Is there anybody who can tell that this is not the world’s biggest propaganda in the 21st century?

  • annupri

    Is it the policy of The Japan Times that “comfort women” or even “Prostitute” are acceptable for referring to the women who were forced to provide sex for Korean/US/UN troops during and after Korean War?

    or is it the policy of The Japan Times not to cover this same issue?

    “Ex-South Korean ‘comfort women’ for U.S. troops sue own government”

    JUL12, 2014

  • annupri

    Is it the policy of The Japan Times that “comfort women” or even “Prostitute” are acceptable for referring to the women who were forced to provide sex for Korean/US/UN troops during and after Korean War?

    or is it the policy of The Japan Times not to cover this same issue?

    “Ex-South Korean ‘comfort women’ for U.S. troops sue own government”

    JUL12, 2014

  • blondein_tokyo

    “Unfortunately the kidnappers were Koreans actually.”

    And held captive by and raped by Japanese.

  • blondein_tokyo

    “Have you ever seen that?” Who are you, Ken Ham? Making the claim that one cannot possibly know the truth unless one was there to see it is doing exactly what you later accused me of – ignoring the evidence.
    Here are the facts.
    Korean women, and women of other nationalities, were kidnapped, lied to, or sold by their families into sexual slavery for the Japanese Imperial Army. These women were held captive and raped over the entire course of the war. These women have come forward with their stories, which were all very similar, and were collaborated by documentation. The Japanese government has even confirmed that this happened, fully admit to the accusations, and have apologized as well as offered what some people would call compensation.
    Further facts. Rape exists. It happens A LOT in war. Japanese are as fully capable of rape as any other nationality.
    This is not in dispute. At all.