Tokyo tells UN panel no proof of ‘forceful’ coercion of ‘comfort women’

(From Asahi Shimbun)

In a report to a United Nations panel, Japan said there is no evidence that the Imperial Japanese Army or wartime government forcibly seized women to work in military brothels as “comfort women.”

Comfort woman statue in front of Japanese embassy in Seoul.

Comfort woman statue in front of Japanese embassy in Seoul.

“(The) ‘forceful taking away’ of comfort women by the military and government authorities could not be confirmed in any way of the documents that the government of Japan was able to identify,” Tokyo told the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva.

The report was compiled in response to inquiries made in August by CEDAW regarding the status of women.

In one of the questions, Japan was asked to comment on recent public statements that “there was no evidence that proved the forcible removal” of comfort women.

Tokyo’s conclusion that no such evidence exists is based on what the government described as a “full-scale fact-finding study” on the question since the early 1990s, when it emerged as a political issue between Tokyo and Seoul.

The study, the report said, involved research and investigations on related documents held by Japanese ministries and agencies, document searches at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, testimonies from relevant individuals, including former military parties and managers of military brothels, and analysis of testimonies collected by the South Korean side.

Comfort women refer to those who were forced to provide sex for Japanese troops before and during World War II.

Many of them were from the Korean Peninsula, which was under Japanese colonial rule from 1910 to 1945. Read more


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