Last Update: March 28, 2016
Moguro Fukuzo


 

1. In connection with the Comfort Women Issue, UN CEDAW List of Issues states as follows.

The Committee has been informed of recent public statements that there was no evidence that proved the forcible removal of gcomfort women.h Please comment on this information. Please also indicate whether the State party intends to take compensatory measures on behalf of comfort women in countries other than those covered by the Asian Womenfs Fund, including in China and Timor-Leste, and prosecute the perpetrators. Please indicate whether the State party intends to reintegrate into school textbooks references to the issue of gcomfort women,h and raise awareness among the population of the issue. (Item 9, CEDAW/C/JPN/Q/7-8)


 

2. 1 State Party response to the above request

The written statement submitted by the Foreign Ministry of Japan is not currently available. The oral statement by Mr. Sugiyama, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, is as follows.

Japanese Transcript

Website of the Foreign Ministry of Japan related to CEDAW

English Translation of the Japanese Transcript

Translated summery of Mr. Sugiyamafs statement prepared by Foreign Ministry of Japan


 

2. 2 NGO response to the above request

UN CEDAW was willing to receive information from NGOs and hence 25 Organizations submitted reports. At least 8 of them took stance of denying the existence of forcible recruitment.

In response to the chance to submit the Japanese side of opinions, the author of this webpage formed the Coalition of Three Parties for Communicating Historical Truth (hereinafter gCoalitionh) along with Society for Dissemination of Historical Fact iŽjŽĄ‚š¢ŠE‚É”­M‚·‚é‰ļj and Japanese Women for Peace and Justice@i‚Č‚Å‚µ‚±ƒAƒNƒVƒ‡ƒ“jfor submission of the report, which is below.

Is Japan Not Entitled to Presumption of Innocence?


 

3. Concluding Observations by UN CEDAW

On March 7, the UN CEDAW released its gconcluding observationsh on its webpage. The concluding observations had no comment on the oral statement by Mr. Sugiyama, nor any observation on the report submitted by the Coalition. The UN CEDAW just ignored different side of opinions and repeated their demands and recommendations as before.

Click to readØ


 

4. Response by the Government of Japan

On March 8, Japanfs Chief Cabinet Secretary Y. Suga announced, gIt is extremely regrettable and unacceptable that the committee didnft take the Japanese governmentfs explanation into full consideration and criticized the agreement between Japan and South Korea. The agreement is widely accepted by the international community.h


 

5. Response by the Coalition
Indignant and outraged, the Coalition submitted the gLetter of Remonstrationh to the UN CEDAW, which is below.
 

Letter of Remonstration
    Date: March 11, 2016
    From: The Coalition of Three Parties for Communicating Historical Truth
    To: The honorable members of the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

    Subject: Paragraphs 28 and 29 of the gConcluding observations on the combined seventh and eight periodic reports of Japan,h pertaining to the gComfort Womenh

    We find above-mentioned paragraphs highly offensive, contemptuous, and downright rude. The contents trample on our sacred mission to clear the name of our forefathers, falsely accused of crimes they never committed.

    Firstly, these paragraphs lacked any comment on the remarks by Mr. Shinsuke Sugiyama, head of the Japanese delegation, and merely enumerated the Committeefs singularly one-sided recommendations. What follows are the remarks of Mr. Sugiyama, cited from the Committeefs own gSummary record of the 1375th meeting.h

    Paragraph 36:

    gThe full-scale fact-finding study on the issue of ecomfort womenf conducted by the Government of Japan in the 1990s had not found confirmation of the widespread belief that such women had been forcibly removed from their country by Japanese military personnel or Government agents. The testimony to that effect contained in the 1983 memories of Japanese novelist Seiji Yoshida had been disputed and subsequently disproved by Japanese scholars. Moreover, in 2014, a leading Japanese newspaper had issued a corrigendum to several articles which had relied heavily on Yoshidafs fabricated testimony and had issued an apology to its readers. There was no evidence to support the claim made by a leading Japanese newspaper that as many as 200,000 women had been recruited as comfort women during the Second World War, and that had subsequently been recognized by the newspaper itself. The figure could well be the result of a conflation of the number of women recruited as comfort women and the number recruited by the Womenfs Volunteer Labour Corps. The Government of Japan also rejected the unfounded claim that the comfort women had been akin to sex slaves.h

    After Mr. Sugiyama made this statement, a committee member stood up and hysterically shouted, gHistory is history!h Perhaps the truth is unimportant to some of your esteemed colleagues so as long as they are able to freely brand the entire Japanese people as gRapists and Murderersh with hot red iron.

    To support this observation, the aforementioned paragraphs do not contain any mention of our refutation to the 1996 Coomaraswamy Report. We will not reiterate our claims in detail here but, in brief, in addition to the full-scale investigation made by the Japanese Government, the U.S. Nazi War Crimes & Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group Report produced nothing to substantiate the claim of the criminal nature of the gcomfort womenh. In addition, the government of the Republic of Korea has not presented any evidence of forced recruitment. Professor An Byong-jik of Seoul University has pointed out the highly dubious nature of the testimonies of former gcomfort women.h

    An effort to confuse the issue is the intentional mix-up of gConscripted laborh and Comfort Station prostitution, as clearly manifested in the name gKorean Council for Women Drafted for Sexual Slavery by Japan,h or gKorean Council,h a fanatical Korean activist group with a zeal for disparaging Japan. Conscripted labor was merely assignment to industrial work within either Japan or Korea?and not prostitution. No law or regulation either permitted or mandated overseas prostitution. Therefore, the name of this particular Korean activist group is fraudulent, designed to sow falsehood.

    One of the former comfort women Professor C. Sarah Soh interviewed at a gHouse of Sharingh told her that g80 percent of South Korean comfort women survivors had been prostitutesch However, the Korean Council declined to include her testimonial in its multivolume series of collections of survivorsf testimonials. (p.97, The Comfort Women by C. Sarah Soh, Chicago Press)

    Given these facts, how can you be so sure that former comfort women are not making false allegation without examining whether they are telling the truth or not?

    The combined evidence, including newspaper articles published during the Korea-Japan Annexation era and gReport No. 49: Japanese Prisoners of War Interrogation on Prostitutionh prepared by Unites States Office of War Information, entitle Japan and the Japanese people to a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.

    Nonetheless, the current Committee claims that gsome comfort women have died without obtaining an official unequivocal responsibility by the State party for the serious human rights violations that they sufferedh and urged gthe State party to provide full and effective redress and reparation, including compensation, satisfaction, official apologies and rehabilitative services.h

    Does this not constitute a modern-day lynching?

    Has the United Nations ever gprovided full and effective redress and reparation, including compensation, satisfaction, official apologies and rehabilitative servicesh to Korean comfort women (Yungcon-ju) forcibly mobilized to provide sexual services for U.N. military personnel, as Class V Supplies, during the 1950-53 Korean War?

    Inaction by the UN, a champion of human rights, on flagrant violations of human rights is the apex of hypocrisy. Perhaps the real name of the current Committee is the gCommittee to Promote Discrimination against the Japanese Race.h

    In addition, we cannot overlook the comment in Paragraph 28 on Japanfs recent bilateral agreement with the Republic of Korea, that it gdid not take a victim-centered approach.h

    What, in fact, are the demands of the former gcomfort womenh living in the House of Sharing? They demand that gPrime Minister Abe or current Emperor Akihito come to the House of Sharing to kneel down and beg for their mercy.h

    Who created these monsters with over-inflated egos? The responsibility squarely rests with your colleagues, those who disregard historical facts and ignore the rights of women and children suffering today in war-torn countries, who spend all of their time writing pure nonsense merely for the sheer joy of chastising the good people of Japan.

    We consider that the current Committeefs recommendations are disrespectful to the nation and people of Japan and we Japanese have absolutely no intention on succumbing to the bizarre and uncouth demands of so called former gcomfort womenh.

    Regards,

    -End of Letter-



F. Moguro, Yokohama Japan


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