Japan’s Prime Minister refuses to discuss “comfort women”
Summary of story from Japan Times, October 18, 2011
South Korean women who were sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II are still being denied reparations.
On the eve of his visit to South Korea, Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda, said: “Japan’s position is that the issue of the comfort women was legally resolved in 1965 and that has not changed.”
Prime Minister Noda also said that the issue is not on the agenda for his talks with South Korean President, Lee Myung Bak.
South Korea last week urged member nations of the UN to provide “remedies and reparation” for victims of sexual slavery during wartime.
WVoN comment: Japanese soldiers had “comfort stations” all over Asia and also in Guam (see previous WVoN stories here and here). Filipina women also have spoken out about their experiences, many of whom have been ostracized for bringing shame to their families. Indigenous Chamorro women in Guam are the least vocal about their experiences, because of the stigma of having been a sex slave.
In all of these cases, the Japanese government has moved from denying such comfort stations ever existed to arguing that reparations have been already paid.
South Korean women who were sexually exploited started to protest in 1991. More details of their demands can be found here.