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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 October 15 - 21  > Foreign Ministry deletes ‘comfort women’ documents from its website
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2014 October 15 - 21 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Foreign Ministry deletes ‘comfort women’ documents from its website

October 19, 2014
The Foreign Ministry has deleted some documents related to Japan’s wartime “comfort women” system from the archives list on its website in mid-October.

The deleted documents called for contributions for the Asian Women’s Fund, which provided former comfort women with compensation and dissolved itself in 2007.

The ministry’s move is in response to a demand made by lawmaker Yamada Hiroshi from the Party for Future Generations. In a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting on October 6, Yamada urged the government to remove the appeal from the ministry’s web page, criticizing it for stating that the Japanese Army forced a number of foreign women, including underaged girls, to serve the military as comfort women.

Meanwhile, the foreign authorities on October 14 requested Radhika Coomaraswamy, an ex-UN Deputy Secretary General, to partially revise the 1996 UN Commission on Human Rights report (the so-called Coomaraswamy report) on Japan’s wartime sexual slavery system. The ministry claims that the UN report’s description of the Japanese military’s forcible transportation of those women is based on Yoshida Seiji’s testimony, which later turned out to be false and the Asahi Shimbun retracted its articles based on his testimony.

The ministry’s actions are in line with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s insistence that Japan has been subjected to unfair international criticism stating that the Empire of Japan worked those women as sex slaves in accordance with its national policy.

The global community has called into account not whether those women were carted off against their will but the fact that Japan’s army established “comfort stations” and forced the women to have sex with Japanese soldiers.

In his address at a UN general assembly on September 25, PM Abe stressed, “Japan will take the international lead in eradicating wartime sexual violence.”

If the prime minister is sincere, he should “take the initiative” in reflecting on Japan’s past grave mistakes.

Past related article:
> LDP posing a challenge to int’l opinion on ‘comfort women’ issue [October 3, 2014]
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