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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 July 5 - 11  > Abe Cabinet admits to existence of materials stating forcible recruitment of ‘comfort women’ took place
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2017 July 5 - 11 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Abe Cabinet admits to existence of materials stating forcible recruitment of ‘comfort women’ took place

July 7, 2017
It has come to light that the Abe Cabinet decided to issue a written statement admitting that there are detailed descriptions of forcible recruitment of women among documents regarding the wartime Japanese military’s comfort women system. This decision was made in response to a written question submitted by Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Kami Tomoko.

Kami in February obtained copies of 182 documents regarding the wartime “comfort women” issue, which the National Archives of Japan submitted to the government, and carefully examined them. Kami discovered materials pointing to the forcible recruitment of sex slaves in the records of the Tokyo Tribunal and the trials on Class B and C war criminals which were held after the war.

An example of such statements includes testimonies of nine citizens of China’s Guilin City. They said that women were recruited under the guise of opening a new factory in the city and coerced into providing sexual services to Imperial Japanese soldiers. Another example is a court ruling in the trials of Class B and C war criminals involved in the Pontianak incident in Indonesia. It stated that 20 girls and women were taken to comfort stations against their will and forced to serve as sex slaves.

Kami in her written question asked if the government recognizes these statements as descriptions of how women were forcibly taken away to work as comfort women. The government in its written response stated , “In the documents regarding the ‘comfort women’ issue, there are accounts as pointed out by Kami.” The Japanese government has maintained that there is no document indicating that women were carted off from their hometowns to serve as sex slaves.

Kami said, “The government’s written response admitting to the existence of detailed accounts regarding forcible recruitment is the first step needed to resolve the ‘comfort women’ issue. I’ll work hard for an early resolution of the issue on behalf of the victims.”

Past related articles:
> JCP Kami obtains documents showing Japanese Army’s involvement in wartime sex slave system [April 27, 2017]
> Japan-ROK agreement on ‘comfort women’ insufficient for victims to feel ‘real freedom’ [December 30, 2015]
> Japanese historians criticize argument denying forcible recruitment of ‘comfort women’ [May 26, 2015]
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