Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 March 10 - 16  > Japanese academic associations call for retraction of article denial of ‘comfort women’
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2021 March 10 - 16 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Japanese academic associations call for retraction of article denial of ‘comfort women’

March 13, 2021
Four Japanese organizations in the field of historical studies on March 10 issued a joint statement calling on an international academic journal to retract an article denial of the Japanese military’s “comfort women” system which was contributed by Harvard University Professor J. Mark Ramseyer.

The four organizations are the Historical Science Society of Japan, the Association of Historical Science, the History Educationalist Conference of Japan, and Fight for Justice.

In Japan, a well-known right-wing newspaper, Sankei Shimbun, on January 31 spotlighted the article.

The Ramseyer’s article pointed out that under the licensed prostitution system used in prewar Japan and its colony of Korea, prostitutes at licensed brothels were not women who were trafficked, but women who were contracted to brothel operators as sex workers. The article indicated a stance to recognize “comfort women” as legalized prostitutes.

The four academic organizations in their joint statement pointed out that as shown in previous studies, the legalized prostitution system was a system gathering women through human trafficking and using them as sex slaves. The statement stated that unlike legalized brothels, “comfort women” stations were established and managed under direct instructions or orders by the Japanese Imperial military. The statement also stated that the recruitment of “comfort women” were carried out by the Japanese military or under military order.

The four organizations criticized Ramseyer for ignoring historical materials indicating the Japanese military’s proactive involvement in the “comfort women” system. In their statement, the four expressed concerns that the U.S. major university’s high standing will be used to give momentum to arguments denying the abuses of so-called “comfort women”, adding the Ramseyer’s article has no academic value.

Past related article:
> Ogata speaks on human trafficking in Japan at ICAPP workshop [March 13, 2016]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved