• Thu
  • Sep 18, 2014
  • Updated: 12:34pm

Japan may review probe on second world war sex slavery

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 February, 2014, 4:10pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 February, 2014, 4:33pm

Japan’s top government spokesman said on Thursday that Tokyo would consider re-examining a 20-year-old study that led to a landmark apology over its forced prostitution in the second world war.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was responding to an ultra-conservative opposition lawmaker who said there was no such thing as sex slavery – an emotional issue for women wartime victims across Asia.

Suga said that Japan would consider verifying the authenticity of the interviews with 16 South Korean women who said they were forced to serve as prostitutes for Japan’s wartime military.

The remark underscores the longstanding revisionist views and doubts over the victims’ accounts, and would certainly further escalate already strained relations between Japan and South Korea.

The interviews were conducted by Japanese government officials in Seoul at the request of South Korea’s government and were key to Japan’s 1993 statement and apology later that year.

The statement, issued by then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, acknowledged many women were forced into prostitution for Japan’s wartime military despite the lack of records clearly showing the Japanese government’s systematic involvement.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been criticised by South Korea and China for backpedaling from Tokyo’s apologies and past acknowledgement over its wartime atrocities. Members of his nationalist government have been increasingly frustrated by South Korea’s recent efforts to enlist the support of the United States for Washington to put pressure on its ally, Japan, to stick to its 1993 apology.

Although numbers vary, some historians say as many as 200,000 women from across Asia, most of them Koreans, were forced to serve as sex slaves to Japanese soldiers at front-line brothels.


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This article is now closed to comments

Germans acknowledged, admitted, & feel sorry about the crime their did in WWII. With that their regain their humanity. But the ****...? They still need to proof their humanity; cause animals cannot feel sorry & regret.
There is no need to fan up more firework provocation v. China particular at the time Tokyo needs to enlist more countries ON its side in the collision with China over maritime territorial dispute. It may be true that Seoul would not in anyway step on the side with Japan in the dispute, but less confrontation and animosity would help to calm the trouble water. Revisiting the sex slave issue is a bad move and more pivotal Japan is barking on the wrong tree. It goes too far in my opinion. Looking for trouble with a good friend of your most trusted friend is not a strategic move. S. Korea is not going to be amused with Tokyo's announcement and we are waiting for more political tsunami fallout in East Asia
Keep up with the denials, and karma will keep bombarding you guys with snow, tsunamis and earthquakes. When will this sad race of people ever learn from their past mistakes.


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