• Kyodo

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The Asahi Shimbun has retracted two more reports on the “comfort women” issue, saying they were based on false accounts provided by a Japanese man, in addition to the 16 articles it withdrew in August.

The articles dealt with the late Seiji Yoshida, who claimed he had forcibly taken Korean women to wartime Japanese military brothels.

In its Tuesday morning edition, the Asahi said it fully retracts an article from March 7, 1980, that quoted Yoshida as saying he went to the Korean Peninsula twice and was engaged in “hunting Koreans.” The newspaper said it has found his account was false based on interviews with researchers and other sources.

The other article, which was carried in the paper’s evening edition on Jan. 17, 1984, was partially retracted — the content dealing with Yoshida’s account.

Following a review of its coverage of the comfort women issue in the 1980s and 1990s, the Asahi admitted on Aug. 5 that the accounts provided by Yoshida were false and retracted 16 articles. But it did not issue an apology at the time.

Then-President Tadakazu Kimura apologized about a month later. He subsequently resigned to take responsibility for the retractions.

The paper said on Tuesday, the day after an independent panel concluded that the firm’s top management was to blame for the belated apology, that it evaluated the two articles while investigating the case since August.

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