Hisahiko Okazaki adds insult to injury when he refers to the Imperial Japanese Army’s forcing 200,000 women into sexual servitude during World War II as “a fantastic story” (“Abe steering Japan adeptly on ‘comfort women’ issue,” May 21). Outside of Japan, this matter is not in doubt. The United Nations has compiled a report on this atrocity and condemned the Japanese government’s actions then and since.
In advanced nations, the testimony of victims is considered valid evidence. Why do Japanese leaders and commentators never consider the statements of the former sex slaves regarding their experiences?
By not doing so, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Okazaki and all the other rightwing revisionists are indeed calling the victims “either prostitutes or liars.”
Okazaki offers a number of flimsy, culturally based excuses for the continuing furor, but religious fundamentalism in the United States is not an explanation for the international criticism of Abe’s remarks. It is only natural for fair-minded people to pay more heed to the victims’ statements than to the coldhearted evasions of a few old men.
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