News Article: Japanese Comfort Women

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Daniel Leahy
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News Article: Japanese Comfort Women

Post by Daniel Leahy » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:50 pm

Hi All,

Not really related to wrecks and other historical sites, but I came across this in the news recently:
Former sex slave calls for Japanese apology

An Australian woman forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Government during World War II says she is determined to extract an apology for her treatment.

Jan Ruff O'Herne was among 200,000 women known as comfort women, who were forced to sexually satisfy Japanese soldiers during the war.

Mrs O'Herne is flying from Sydney to Washington today to testify before a US Congressional hearing on the practice.

US Congress is considering a resolution that demands the Japanese Government take historical responsibility and make a formal apology to the victims.

Mrs Ruff O'Herne says it is vitally important that Japan says sorry to the women.

"An apology will give us back our dignity," she said.

"You can't imagine the shame that we have lived with after you've experienced those things, those atrocities.

"You feel dirty, you feel ashamed, you feel soiled and we carried that shame all our lives."

Mrs O'Herne was captured in Java at the age of 19.

She was transferred to a brothel after spending two years in a prison camp.

"We were raped day and night," she said.

"Even the doctor, when he came regularly to examine us in case we had venereal disease, even he used to rape me before his visits. It was terrible."

Friends of Comfort Women in Australia spokeswoman Anna Song says the resolution does not demand compensation but it is still an important step forward.

"There is a movement for legal compensation that adheres to international standards, and by that we mean adhering to the recommendations made by the UN and human rights organisations, such as Amnesty International, but that is not officially part of the resolution," she said.
The page can be found at: ... 846317.htm
Last edited by Daniel Leahy on Sun May 20, 2007 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Daniel Leahy
Canberra, Australia


Daniel Leahy
Lt Col
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 10:21 pm
Location: Australia

Post by Daniel Leahy » Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:48 pm

More on this from the ABC website:
Japan condemns US sex slave bill

Japan has denounced a resolution before the US Congress demanding that Tokyo make amends for forcing foreign women into sexual slavery during World War II.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso says his country has already said and done enough on the issue of "comfort women".

"[The resolution] is extremely regrettable and not based on objective facts," Mr Aso said.

"Their action does not take into account the Japanese Government's response to the issue of comfort women."

He says Tokyo is working to persuade US law makers to accept its position.

The bill calls on Japan to "formally and unambiguously apologise and acknowledge the tragedy".

It is seen as more likely to pass since the Democrats took control of Congress last month.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says while the issue is up to the US Congress, "it is important that things are based on objective facts".

Historians say at least 200,000 young women - mostly from Korea but also from China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan - were forced to serve as sex slaves in Japanese Army brothels.

Australian Jan Ruff O'Herne was made a sex slave after she was captured in Java at the age of 19.

In 1993, the Japanese Government issued a statement voicing "sincere apologies and remorse" and acknowledging that Japan's imperial army was involved "directly or indirectly" in sexual slavery.

A left-leaning government in 1995 set up a fund to compensate former comfort women.

But it uses money collected by private donations, leading many victims to shun it.
The page can be found at: ... 851692.htm
Daniel Leahy
Canberra, Australia


Posts: 19
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Post by norge » Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:24 pm

The Japanese will do exactly what they have done for the last 62 years
when it comes to an apology, " NOTHING" especially when it comes to WORLD WAR 2. Do you think the USA will ruffle the feathers of their friends Japan NO WAY!!!!! Japan looks down on woman as second class citizens and always have. They would lose face to apoligize to a comfort woman

Daniel Leahy
Lt Col
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 10:21 pm
Location: Australia

Post by Daniel Leahy » Mon Mar 26, 2007 7:13 pm

Another quite large article relating to this issue from the ABC website: ... 882113.htm
Japanese PM renews 'comfort women' apology

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is seeking to end an uproar over his remarks on World War II sex slaves, has apologised again to the so-called "comfort women".

Mr Abe has repeatedly said he stands by Japan's landmark 1993 apology to the thousands of former sex slaves, while saying he felt no need to make a fresh statement.

But questioned in Parliament by a leftist lawmaker on whether he was apologising himself, Mr Abe said he was.

"I am apologising now as the Prime Minister," he said, according to his spokesman Hiroshi Suzuki.

"This has been stated in the Kono statement."

In 1993, a statement by then-chief government spokesman Yohei Kono apologised to former comfort women and acknowledged that Japan was involved directly or indirectly in causing their suffering.

Historians say up to 200,000 young women, mostly from Korea but also from China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan, were forced to serve as sex slaves in Japanese army brothels.

Uproar over comments

Mr Abe earlier this month triggered an uproar when he said there was no evidence Japan directly coerced comfort women.

He later elaborated by saying he was talking of coercion in the "strict" sense, such as kidnapping women.

In his remarks today, Mr Abe repeated that the military was involved in coercion in the broad sense, but said he was not casting blame on all troops.

"There was a case in which the military shut down a comfort station after learning about its existence," he was quoted by Jiji Press as saying.

Mr Abe, whose grandfather was a cabinet minister during World War II, is known for his conservative views on history.

He was a founding member of a group of lawmakers who called for Japan to water down the 1993 statement.

But since taking office, he has repeatedly said he will abide by the Kono apology.

Despite Mr Abe's latest remarks, one of his aides repeated conservative views on the issue.

"I understand myself that there was no direct involvement of the military" in the recruitment of comfort women, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hakubun Shimomura told reporters.

Conservatives have argued that the military did not participate directly in the recruitment of comfort women, saying it was the work of pimps or other middlemen.

Move by US Congress

The row over comfort women comes amid a push in the US Congress to pass a resolution that would demand Japan make an unambiguous apology to former sex slaves and offer direct compensation.

Japan has lobbied aggressively against the Bill, which is seen as more likely to pass since the Democrats took power from President George W Bush's Republicans in January.

Mr Abe's Government has been stung by harsh criticism in the US media on comfort women.

Most recently, The Washington Post said in an editorial on Saturday that Mr Abe's remarks had weakened his moral authority in pressing North Korea over its past abductions of Japanese nationals.

But Mr Abe, who has built his career on the abduction row, rejected any link between that matter and the comfort women remarks.

"They are totally separate issues," he told reporters.

"The abduction issue concerns the ongoing infringement on human rights. The comfort women issue is not a matter which is continuing."

Mr Abe has refused to fund a breakthrough deal on freezing North Korea's nuclear program due to the abductions dispute.

North Korea has returned five Japanese civilians kidnapped in the 1970s and 1980s, but Japan says more are alive and kept under wraps.

Daniel Leahy
Canberra, Australia


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