Japanese government stated last week that it was “not obligated” to respect a request coming from the United Nations Committee that was asking Tokyo to stop far-right politicians from denigrating the so-called “comfort women”.
The Japanese government should “refute attempts to deny the facts by government authorities and public figures, and to re-traumatize the victims through such repeated denials,” UN’s report read in late May.
During World War II, when Japan’s army occupied Korea, China and Southeast Asia, around 200,000 women were used by Japanese soldiers for sexual services, with most of the sex slaves coming from China, the Philippines and Korea, but from other occupied territories too.
In May, Toru Hashimoto, mayor of Osaka and leader of a nationalist party, stated that using comfort women was “necessary” in order for the Japanese soldiers to “rest”. His remarks fired up the neighboring countries and the United States.
Weeks later, Hashimoto apologized after a demonstration outside Osaka’s city hall and a condemnation by the US State Department.
“We must express our deep remorse at the violation of the human rights of these women by Japanese soldiers in the past, and make our apology to the women,” he said.
He added, however, that it was not “fair” for Japan to be the only one blamed for this, according to the international press.