Women's Int'l War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague judges Hirohito guilty for
'sex slaves'

The Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual
Slavery found Showa Tenno Hirohito and his government guilty for forcing
women into "sex slavery," which the Far East International Military Court
(Tokyo Tribunal) of 1948 failed to cover.

The tribunal was held until December 4 in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The judge ruled that Emperor Showa as well as nine other leaders,
including Tojo Hideki of the former Japanese military must be held
responsible for having victimized Asian women as "sex slaves" during WWII, a
crime against humanity.

The tribunal demands that the Japanese government issue a "full and frank
apology" for the establishment of 'sex slavery,' and pay compensation to
surviving victims and families of those victims who are dead.

Japanese military leaders at the time should have been aware of the 'sex
slave' system, its establishment, maintenance, and promotion. The judge said
that these actions by the state of Japan were in violation of the Hague
Convention of 1907 and many other treaties and international customary laws,
and urged Japan to atone for its past crime.

The Women's International War Crimes Tribunal held in Tokyo in December
2000 concluded that the emperor and Japan were responsible for the 'war
slavery' which was systematically prepared and operated by the
military-government with the emperor as the supreme commander.

The Hague tribunal attracted international attention because it took up
the issue of personal responsibility for sexual war crimes, which the Tokyo
Tribunal failed to touch upon.

During the past year, prosecutors made thorough investigations and
collected evidence from victims and historical materials which were used by
the judge for the 450-page ruling.

Akahata of December 6 said that the judgment has an epochal significance
in that it clearly defined that Emperor Showa was responsible for war
crimes. Careful watch is needed on how the Japanese government will deal
with the 12-point recommendations in accordance with the sentence, the paper

Chief prosecutor Ustinia Dolgopol told Akahata that she hopes that the
Japanese people will fully understand what the judgment and recommendations
mean and pressure the Japanese government to take an earnest attitude toward
its history." (end)