Full Text: Japan-South Korea Statement on ‘Comfort Women’ 

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Announcement by Foreign Ministers of Japan and the Republic of Korea at the Joint Press Occasion.

Here is the full text of the announcement between Japan and South Korea on women who were forced to serve Japanese soldiers sexually in World War II, as released by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The announcement consists of statements by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se. For The Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the two countries’ agreement, follow this link

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  1. Foreign Minister Kishida

The Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) have intensively discussed the issue of comfort women between Japan and the ROK at bilateral meetings including the Director-General consultations. Based on the result of such discussions, I, on behalf of the Government of Japan, state the following:

(1)    The issue of comfort women, with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time, was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of large numbers of women, and the Government of Japan is painfully aware of responsibilities from this perspective.

As Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister Abe expresses anew his most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.

(2)    The Government of Japan has been sincerely dealing with this issue. Building on such experience, the Government of Japan will now take measures to heal psychological wounds of all former comfort women through its budget. To be more specific, it has been decided that the Government of the ROK establish a foundation for the purpose of providing support for the former comfort women, that its funds be contributed by the Government of Japan as a one-time contribution through its budget, and that projects for recovering the honor and dignity and healing the psychological wounds of all former comfort women be carried out under the cooperation between the Government of Japan and the Government of the ROK.

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(3)    While stating the above, the Government of Japan confirms that this issue is resolved finally and irreversibly with this announcement, on the premise that the Government will steadily implement the measures specified in (2) above.

In addition, together with the Government of the ROK, the Government of Japan will refrain from accusing or criticizing each other regarding this issue in the international community, including at the United Nations.

  1. Foreign Minister Yun

The Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Government of Japan have intensively discussed the issue of comfort women between the ROK and Japan at bilateral meetings including the Director-General consultations. Based on the result of such discussions, I, on behalf of the Government of the ROK, state the following:

(1)    The Government of the ROK values the GOJ’s announcement and efforts made by the Government of Japan in the lead-up to the issuance of the announcement and confirms, together with the GOJ, that the issue is resolved finally and irreversibly with this announcement, on the premise that the Government of Japan will steadily implement the measures specified in 1. (2) above. The Government of the ROK will cooperate in the implementation of the Government of Japan’s measures. Read the rest of this entry »


Hey Japan, Have You Apologized Enough Yet?

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A scene at a Tokyo courthouse last month showed why Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has had to work all year on a statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. As WSJ’s Henry Hoenig reports:

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Dozens of people stood in the heat, hoping to win a lottery for a seat to hear two of Japan’s most renowned historians debate, as part of a libel suit, whether the term “sex slaves” accurately described the women in Japan’s World War II military brothels.

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On your knees, descendant of Imperialist dogs!

[Read more at Japan Realtime Report]

That the subject still draws a crowd after seven decades shows how divided the country still is—and helps to explain why Japan’s statements about the war have swung back and forth over the years, to the annoyance of its neighbors. Read the rest of this entry »


Osaka mayor under fire for controversial suggestion to curb sex crimes and help US soldiers relax: chill out with some hookers

Mr Hashimoto is known for his outspoken views

The mayor of the Japanese city of Osaka has apologised for suggesting US soldiers should use legal brothels as a way to curb sexual crimes in Okinawa.

US personnel have been involved in a number of violent crimes in Okinawa over the years, including rapes. Toru Hashimoto drew international criticism last week when he said that sex slaves (“comfort women”) served a necessary role during World War II.

Two former “comfort women” cancelled their meeting with him on Friday.

Mr Hashimoto, a leading figure in the small, nationalist Japan Restoration Party, later apologised for those remarks.

On Saturday he said he apologised to the US military and the American people for saying that US soldiers should visit legal sex businesses on Okinawa to curb their sexual energy.

“The phrase ‘sex businesses’ was inappropriate,” he said in a TV interview on Saturday.

Last year, two US soldiers raped a Japanese woman in Okinawa. In the wake of that case, a curfew was imposed on all US troops in Japan. There has been a US military presence on Okinawa since the US invaded the island during World War II.

Mr Hashimoto outraged Japan’s neighbours when he said on 13 May that the “comfort women” had given Japanese soldiers a chance “to rest”.

Some 200,000 women in territories occupied by Japan during WWII are estimated to have been forced to become sex slaves for troops. Many of the women came from China and South Korea, but also from the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan. The Japanese government, which in 1993 issued a formal apology over the issue, has sought to distance itself from his comments.

The US state department has also criticised his words as “outrageous and offensive”.

BBC News