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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 May 26 - June 1  > JCP Hatano urges gov’t to withdraw its denial of Japanese military ‘comfort women’ system
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2021 May 26 - June 1 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Hatano urges gov’t to withdraw its denial of Japanese military ‘comfort women’ system

May 31, 2021

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Hatano Kimie on May 26 at a House education committee meeting criticized the government’s latest written response regarding the “comfort women” issue.

The Suga administration on April 27 approved the document in question which states that in history textbooks, the simple description of “comfort women” is more appropriate than the phrase “so-called Japanese military’s comfort women”. This decision hinted at the government’s intent to deny the involvement of the Japanese Imperial military in the “comfort women” system and the use of women as sex slaves under coercion.

Hatano noted that the government-set textbook screening guidelines require that textbook descriptions be based on the government’s views and Supreme Court judicial precedents.

Hatano pointed out that the 1993 Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono Yohei’s statement used the wording, “the Japanese military comfort women”, and admitted to five facts in the “comfort women” issue, including the coercion of the “comfort women” and the Japanese military’s involvement in the operation of “comfort women” stations. The JCP lawmaker said that the government’s latest written response should adhere to this position.

Hatano also pointed out that the Supreme Court in 2004 issued a ruling using the expression, “military comfort women”. In response, Education Minister Hagiuda Koichi and Cabinet Secretariat official Annaka Takeshi said that they were not familiar with the ruling.

The JCP lawmaker said, “The textbook screening guidelines insist that textbooks should use descriptions in accordance with top court rulings. However, the Suga Cabinet minister and official claim to have never heard of the Supreme Court ruling I mentioned. I’m shocked by this admission.” She demanded that the written response be retracted.

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