The Asahi Shimbun issued an apology Saturday for initially refusing to publish its monthly column by journalist Akira Ikegami, who had chosen to comment on the daily’s review of its 1980s-1990s reports on the “comfort women” issue.
The daily admitted in the apology in its morning edition that it made the “wrong decision” and damaged readers’ trust.
Ikegami writes a monthly column for the daily that assesses how it and other newspapers report on various topics. In the column in question, which was originally to be published on Aug. 29, Ikegami said the Asahi Shimbun’s review published on Aug. 5 and 6 was too late and that the newspaper should not only make a correction, but also apologize.
The Asahi said it initially decided not to run the column out of fear that the threats and disturbances it had received since publishing the review might grow if it ran Ikegami’s column.
The rejected column appeared in the newspaper on Thursday after the Asahi reversed its decision.
In its review of its past sexual slavery articles, the Asahi retracted those quoting a Japanese man who said that women on the South Korean island of Jeju were forcibly and violently taken to work in brothels during the war for the Japanese military, and stated the articles were false. The man, Seiji Yoshida, has died.
Ikegami said he asked the Asahi to terminate his serialized column after the rejection incident. The paper said Saturday that it is still speaking with Ikegami on whether to continue his column.