Approach by Current Japanese Authorities to Crimes of Sexual Slavery Committed by Japanese Imperial Army Constitutes Open Challenge to International Society and Humanity
Over 70 years have passed since the defeat of the Japanese imperialism. And it is also over 20 years since the revelation of the crimes of sexual slavery committed by the Japanese Imperial Army, having arrested the worldwide attention.
However, the attempts by the Japanese authorities to distort the history, aimed at covering up the facts of crimes of sexual slavery and forced drafting of the Koreans committed by the Japanese militarism, are now turning outrageous.
In the so-called “Written Answer” endorsed at the Cabinet Meeting held in last April, the Japanese government clearly stated its position of totally negating all the facts, insisting that terming the victims of sexual slavery as “comfort women for the army” is not appropriate as it might lead to misunderstanding and should therefore be merely termed “comfort women” and that the forced drafting of the Koreans should not be described as “forced labor.”
Political figures including Chief Cabinet Secretary and Foreign Minister also let loose reckless remarks during their public appearances including at Diet meeting that “the report that recruitment of comfort women had been done coercively contradicts the fact” and “in time of emergency, unfair actions against women and children are unavoidable and these are normal happenings around the world.”
Such demeanor of the Japanese government constitutes an intolerable challenge designed to instil the distorted view on history and revanchism into the coming generations and repeat the thrice-cursed demoniac predation by wriggling out of its state responsibility and embellishing its blood-ridden past crimes at any costs.
This challenge is now further augmented by the latest moves such as visits by the Japanese politicians to Yaskuni Shrine, distortion of history textbooks, attempts to revise its Constitution, and relocation of “Self-Defense Forces” and military build-up to dispossess the territories of neighboring countries.
“Asahi Journal” dated January 30, 1992, wrote that “in the post-Cold War world, it is necessary for Japan and its people to make compensations for war responsibility as well as post-war responsibility in order to gain recognition from the international society” and it put a question “why will only Japan remain in isolation indefinitely in the trend of the world history?”
The world is casting a stern eye at the unjust attitude of the Japanese government which has laid bare its immorality and shamelessness by repeatedly deriding the justice of the international society and the consciousness of humankind.
Girl statues and memorials accusing the sexual slavery have been built even in major cities of the U.S., an ally of Japan, to say nothing of the countries and regions of the world including Germany and Canada, and the international campaigns to condemn the crimes of violation of women’s rights committed by Japan are expanding across the world.
During the debate of the agenda item “Contemporary Forms of Slavery” at the 44th Meeting of the United Nations Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities held in August 1992, the delegate from the International Association of Educational Development pointed out in her speech that the issue of “comfort women” is the one related to the 200,000 Korean women and girls forced into sexual slavery as a result of abduction or forced drafting by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second World War.
The unprecedented crimes of sexual slavery perpetrated by the Imperial Japanese Army that led to ruthlessly violating the dignity of 200,000 Korean women are super-class crimes against humanity which can neither be hidden nor erased forever, and therefore, heavy costs should be imposed upon these crimes through generations according to the international convention on applying no statutory limitations to the war crimes and the crimes against humanity.
Cha Hye Gyong
Researcher, Institute for Studies of Japan
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea