Sunday, August 10, 2014

Asahi admit the false about comfort women

Very recently, Asahi Shinbun, one of the most famous newspapers in Japan admitted that its report regarding comfort women was incorrect. It has a great impact on not only Japanese but also Asian people.

Asahi Shinbun: Identified as a false report of taking in Jeju-do because of lack of evidence (in Japanese)

The Japan Times: Asahi Shimbun admits errors in past ‘comfort women’ stories

The Wall Street Journal Blog: Media Abuzz Over Asahi Retraction on ‘Comfort Women’

It has been said for a long time that Japanese army made some local women accompanied to serve them for soldiers' sexual satisfaction in the WWII. They were called as "Comfort Women". After the end of war, the Japanese government made great efforts to reveal the actual condition about the situation in Korea during the war. However, they found no evidence of the existence of sex slaves.

In 1983, Seiji Yoshida, an ex-soldier confessed that he had been involved in kidnapping Korean women. His comments were broadly widened. However, he retracted his words later.

The discussion continued. Some persons claimed that they had been victims of the Japanese army. However, no local people who were forced to become a sex slave were discovered in a local investigation performed by NHK. According to Nobuo Ikeda, ex-director of NHK, some persons voluntarily served the army for a considerable amount of money.

Introduction to Comfort Women for the New York Times (in Japanese)

Asahi Shinbun repeatedly reported the comments of Yoshida. Thus, some people blamed Asahi for losing reputation of Japan.

This retraction of Asahi Shinbun is a historic event. I am not sure how this matter will influence the relationship between Asian countries and Japan.

Unfortunately, I have not enough knowledge to evaluate the matter precisely. The reason why Asahi admitted its falseness now is still unclear. Is it true that there were no comfort women victimized by Japan? I think it is quite usual that rape cases occur in a battlefield. I am not confident that our ancestors were truly innocent. But perhaps it is the same all over the world.

By the way, Asahi Shinbun is criticized by several authorities for the delay of retraction. I feel that it is a little strange. Admitting mistakes is an admirable thing, no matter how late it is. We should not blame Asahi Shinbun any more. Otherwise, the media would never correct its errors any more.

Mainichi: Asahi Shimbun's stance questioned after withdrawal of 'comfort women' articles


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