Last Monday, a meeting organized by the Violence Against Women in War Network Japan to discuss its ongoing lawsuit against NHK was moved at the last minute from a tiny room in the Bunkyo Kumin Center to a large hall at the YMCA. The change was made to accommodate the many reporters who were suddenly interested in VAWW-NET in the wake of the scandal involving Shinzo Abe, the deputy secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party.

Obviously, VAWW-NET hadn’t anticipated much interest in the meeting before the Asahi Shimbun reported on Jan. 12 that Abe and another LDP Diet member, Shoichi Nakagawa, asked NHK executives in Jan. 2001 to alter a documentary about a mock tribunal being sponsored by VAWW-NET. The purpose of the tribunal was to hear testimony from women who had been forced to provide sex to Japanese soldiers during World War II, and to pass down verdicts on those deemed responsible. The tribunal found the late Emperor Showa, among others, guilty of crimes against humanity.

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