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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 November 5 - 11  > Abe’s objection to global understanding of ‘comfort women’ is unreasonable: lawyer
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2014 November 5 - 11 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Abe’s objection to global understanding of ‘comfort women’ is unreasonable: lawyer

November 9, 2014
Akahata Sunday edition

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo in Diet discussions remarked that to label the wartime Japanese military “comfort women” system as sex slavery is a kind of slander against Japan. The international society, however, shares the common understanding that the comfort women system was sex slavery. Akahata Sunday edition ran an interview with Omori Noriko, a lawyer working in behalf of comfort women victims, on this issue.

Omori has been engaged in lawsuits filed by Chinese victims against the Japanese government for state compensation.

Following is an excerpt of her interview.

What the global community identifies is the fact that those women were confined in comfort stations and forced to provide sexual services to more than 10 Japanese soldiers a day, which was not only a denial of women’s human rights and human dignity but also a crime against humanity.

U.S. President Obama in April during his visit to South Korea criticized the comfort women system as a “terrible” violation of human rights.

Japan’s right wing and nationalist forces are arguing that there is no proof that women were taken away under coercion of Japanese military and police authorities, and are trying to refute the comfort women issue.

However, many cases in which women were carted off by force have been documented in the Korean Peninsula, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China.

In my experience, for example, all Chinese victims in their testimonies said that they were forcibly taken away to comfort stations. One victim testified that when she was 15 years old, she was carted off to a Japanese military camp with her hands and feet bound.

In 1996, UN human rights specialist Radhika Coomaraswamy in her report for the first time pointed out that the Japanese military “comfort women” system should be described as a sex slavery system.

The Liberal Democratic Party is insisting that as the report referred to a former Japanese soldier’s questionable testimony, what the report describes is groundless. The report, however, was compiled based on victims’ testimonies and not on one soldier’s account.

The global community does not accept Prime Minister Abe’s assertion of slander.

Past related articles:
> Foreign Ministry deletes ‘comfort women’ documents from its website [October 19, 2014]
> Yamashita: Abe remarks give away his real intention to revise Kono Statement [October 4, 2014]
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