Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:
Thousands of historians in Japan call on their compatriots to face the truth about the history of the ‘comfort women‘. Comfort women is the designation for women from Korea, China and the Dutch East Indies who were forced during World War II to have sex with Japanese soldiers. That happened in camps of the Japanese army. Many Japanese politicians and media maintain that there is no evidence that there was coercion.
The historians disagree. According to them, sticking to this “irresponsible” position means that Japan sends the message to the world that the country does not respect human rights, they write in a manifesto published yesterday.
The immediate reason for the call was the decision by the newspaper Asahi Shimbun to retract a series of articles on these foreign sex slaves. In these articles the newspaper wrote that there had been coercion. In November last year, the newspaper retracted this: the main source of previously published articles was said to have been unreliable.
According to the historians that does not alter the statement of the Japanese government in 1993, that the Japanese army during the war ran brothels in which foreign women were forced to work on a large scale. They also refer to historical research done into the fate of the comfort women.
The president of the Historical Science Society of Japan said at a press conference that university teachers engaged in research on the comfort women are being threatened. They are also made to choose between not lecturing on this or to resign.
Korea objects to heritage status for Japan’s World War II ‘slave labour’ sites: here.