Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 October 24 - 30  > Academic demands retraction of Osaka mayor’s remark on ‘comfort women’
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2012 October 24 - 30 [HISTORY]

Academic demands retraction of Osaka mayor’s remark on ‘comfort women’

October 24, 2012
Chuo University Professor Yoshimi Yoshiaki on October 23 protested against Osaka City Mayor Hashimoto Toru who misquoted Yoshimi’s remarks involving the “comfort women” problem, demanding retraction of the mayor’s misquotation and an apology.

Yoshimi and representatives of a citizens’ group visited the city office, but the mayor refused to see them.

Mayor Hashimoto told reporters in August, “Yoshimi stated that there is no evidence that the Japanese Army forcibly took away those women.”

Professor Yoshimi said at a news conference, “I have always argued that the ‘comfort women’ system was a sex slavery system formed by the Japanese Army under which many women were forced to leave their hometowns and work at brothels against their will.” Yoshimi criticized the mayor for trampling on the professor’s personal integrity as well as for defaming him.

Hashimoto argues that those acts can be regarded as “forcible” only when they were carried out under the threat of violence from the army and police authorities. He has repeated that there is no direct evidence of the Japanese military having seized those women by force.

Yoshimi added, “Even if the victims were forcibly taken by ‘brokers’, the Japanese Army and authorities selected those brokers and ordered them to find and collect women. The army should be held responsible for its criminal activities.”


On the same day, questioned about the Semarang Incident in Indonesia during the Second World War, Hashimoto told reporters, “I recognize the fact as a symbolic example of the forcible ‘comfort women’ problem, but the persons concerned were already punished as war-criminals.”

In 1944, dozens of Dutch women were hauled off by the Japanese Army from a detention camp on the outskirts of Semarang and forced to have sex with soldiers.

Professor Yoshimi had cited the incident as a case in which the military took women away by force.
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved