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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 September 24 - 30  > Japan should face up to its past history of aggression
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2014 September 24 - 30 [SOCIAL ISSUES]
column 

Japan should face up to its past history of aggression

September 29, 2014
‘Morning breeze’ column

Japan’s right-wing media are making ferocious attacks on the Asahi Shimbun after it retracted its news report about Yoshida Seiji, a late Japanese man who testified that he was involved in the transportation of Korean women to force them to serve Japanese soldiers as sex slaves during World War II.

Taking advantage of the single fact that Yoshida’s testimony turned out to be false, mainstream media are trying to totally deny the coercive nature of Japan’s wartime sex slavery (the so-called “comfort women”) system.

Fujioka Nobukatsu, an educator, insisted in the monthly magazine WiLL that the 1937 Nanjing Massacre should be denied as well. Meanwhile, Yagi Hidetsugu, a professor at Reitaku University, claimed in the monthly journal Seiron that it is not true that Korean and Chinese people were “forced” to come to work in Japan during the war, and that history textbooks should remove such descriptions. These ultra-rightists are aiming to even rewrite Japan’s pre-war and postwar history.

Yagi also asserts that almost all Koreans “voluntarily” came to Japan seeking job opportunities. Actually, after Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910, the Imperial Japanese government deprived quite a few Koreans of their land under the pretext of increasing rice production. In the 1930s, when Japan started to invade China, the Government-General of Korea began the “controlled recruitment” of local workers with the help of Japanese companies. In 1942, Japan’s authorities assigned each local municipality a quota of workers to be sent and eventually implemented a worker draft system there.

For instance, many official documents show that Aso Mining, a coal-mining company in Fukuoka Prefecture which was run by Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro’s father, worked about 10,000 Koreans during the war under cruel working conditions. Japanese people should not turn their eyes away from these historical facts.

Past related article:
> Don’t falsify historical facts: Shii at press conf. on comfort women issue [March 15, 2014]
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