Harassed Japanese ex-reporter says he told truth about WWII ‘comfort women’

(From Yonhap)

A former Japanese journalist who has sustained growing threats of personal attacks relating to his coverage of so-called “comfort women” years ago said Thursday that he wrote the articles not for the South Korean government, but “to tell the historical truth.”

In 1991, Uemura Takashi, a former reporter of the Asahi Shimbun, wrote two articles on the late Kim Hak-sun, the first Korean woman forced to serve as a sex slave for World War II Japanese soldiers to come forward. Since then, he has been under criticism and threats of attacks from Japan’s ultra-right activists who labeled him as a “reporter who fabricated his articles” and a “traitor.”

Former Asahi Shimbun reporter Takashi Uemura

Former Asahi Shimbun reporter Takashi Uemura

Uemura, during a news conference in Seoul, admitted that he has sustained a spate of threats of personal attacks because of the articles.

“I’m not a stooge of the South Korean government, but wrote the articles based on historical facts,” said the man who currently works as an adjunct lecturer at Hokusei Gakuen University in Sapporo.

Uemura flew into Seoul to attend an international academic forum hosted by South Korea’s Ministry of Gender Equality and Family to deal with the wartime sex slavery issue on Friday.

This marks his first-ever news conference in South Korea to explain how he came to write the articles and the ensuing threats.

The former journalist said the threats against him have worsened since a Japanese weekly magazine carried an article claiming that his articles about Kim were fabricated.

“They are now even threatening my Korean wife and our 18-year-old daughter,” he said, adding that his daughter even cannot go to school without protection from the police as one letter threatened to kill her. Read more

Korean comfort women

Korean comfort women

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