The U.N. Seeks an Apology from Japan for the Comfort Women: A Chance to Correct Misinterpreted History

On the 7th of March, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women held a discussion on the Comfort Women issue in Geneva. The committee submitted a report expressing its regret at the large number of problems still unresolved. In the end, it concluded that Japan should apologize and provide compensation for the former Comfort Women.

Although the report omitted the use of the word “sex slave”, it was written in an accusatory tenor towards the Japanese. It advised Japanese political leaders not to make statements that might hurt the former Comfort Women and to include the Comfort Women problem in Japanese school textbooks.


Japan’s Disavowal Is Invalid

In February, prior to this report, the Japanese government stated that in the materials investigated, it could not find any evidence of any forced removal of women by the Army or authorities. This claim, however, was insufficient to refute the false history. Yoshihide Suga, the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, appeared in a press conference on the 8th saying, “Our (Japan’s) claims were not reflected in the final conclusion. Our Geneva representatives expressed their deep regret for the results.”

The Japanese government may think it sufficiently explained the truth regarding the Comfort Women, but on the other hand the government is continuing its affirmation of the Kono Statement and the Japan-South Korea Treaty. It is clear why the international community does not listen to its refutation. While trying to convince others of the truth behind the Comfort Women problem, the Japanese government has contradictorily accepted that women were forcibly removed, and has even paid 1 billion Japanese yen for the former Comfort Women.

It was wrong to expect the Japanese government’s claims to be reflected in the report. It just proved yet again the urgent need to amend the Kono Statement.


The U.N. Double Standard

That being said, the biased, anti-Japan sentiment in the U.N. has a double standard. From the early 1990s, the U.N. has been holding the Comfort Women issue up to ridicule, but it chose to turn a blind eye to the comfort women issues in countries that were victorious in WW2, such as the U.S. If we consider the comfort women problem as a human rights issue, it is clearly unfair, and the U.N. is undeniably passing judgment upon Japan (who lost in WW2).

WW2 victors established the U.N., and its historical debate formula has been “Japan = evil”. If there is no courage to reform the U.N. completely, Japan’s claims will end up a lukewarm argument. This year being the 70th anniversary of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, it is a perfect opportunity for the Japanese government, its people, and the people of the world to adopt a correct view of history.

The U.N. Seeks an Apology from Japan for the Comfort Women: A Chance to Correct Misinterpreted History
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