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Reply #29: Japan's prime minister denies responsibility for wartime brothels [View All]

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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 11:32 AM
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29. Japan's prime minister denies responsibility for wartime brothels
TOKYO: A denial by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the Japanese military had forced foreign women into sexual slavery during World War II is a clear sign that the government is preparing to reject a 1993 government statement that acknowledged the military's role in setting up brothels and forcing, either directly or indirectly, women into sexual slavery...

...Abe, whose approval ratings have been plummeting over a series of scandals and perceived weak leadership, seemed to side with this group. A nationalist who long led efforts to revise wartime history, Abe softened his tone after becoming prime minister last autumn. In fact, he at first said that he recognized the validity of the declaration, angering his conservative base...

...Historians believe that some 200,000 women Koreans, Chinese, Taiwanese and Filipinos, as well as Japanese, Dutch and other European women served in Japanese military brothels. For decades, Japan denied that its military had been involved, calling the brothels private enterprises and the women prostitutes.

But in 1992, a Japanese historian, Yoshiaki Yoshimi, outraged by government denials, went to the Defense Agency's library and unearthed, after two days of searching, documents revealing military involvement in establishing brothels...

...At the same time, many former sex slaves have stepped forward with their stories in recent years. Three testified in the U.S. Congress recently, saying that Japanese soldiers had kidnapped them and forced them to have sex with dozens of soldiers a day.

One of the two Korean women who testified before the U.S. Congress, Lee Yong Soo, spoke in Tokyo on Friday. "Japan says there was no force involved, that there were no comfort women they say all sorts of things," Lee said. "But as a victim who was forcibly taken, as someone who lived through those events, I'm a living witness."

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