Japan lawmakers on WW2 issues

Two events reported in less than a week cast doubts on China-Japan joint study of war history.

June 15 2007:

Japan lawmakers deny sexual slavery in Washington Post ad

A group of 63 Japanese lawmakers published a full-page ad on the Washington Post denying involvement of Japan’s government and military of conscripting women from Asian countries as sex slaves for the Imperial Army during World War II.

Titled “The Facts”, the ad claims “no historical document has ever been found” proving the direct involvement of the Japanese government and military. Japanese authorities on the contrary ordered soldiers not to kidnap and force women into sexual slavery.

The ad claims the so-called comfort women were in fact authorized prostitutes, earning more money than officers. It claims the testimony of former comfort women was inconsistent since they first testified that they had been kidnapped by civilian brokers but later changed their story saying they were forced into slavery by men in “what appeared to be police uniforms.”

Chosun, a Korean daily: “The ad was co-sponsored by some Japanese academics, political commentators and journalists.”

The lawmakers accused the U.S. congressional resolution of “gravely and intentionally” distorting historical facts by defining the “comfort women tragedy” as “one of the largest cases of human trafficking in the 20th century.”[/quote]

BBC (June 19 2007):

What you think of the stance exhibited by the Japanese lawmakers? Are they helpful for the reconciliation effort? How will Abe handle the situation?

You might try this in the Taiwan/China forum, even though it doesn’t technically fit the topic. I’m sure some of the people over there would have an opinion on it. Unfortunately, on this site “International Politics” basically means either whining about the U.S. or denouncing Islamic radicals.