Yoshimi Yoshiaki: Japanese professor calls PM historical stance "bizarre"

Historians in the News

"It is bizarre that Prime Minister Abe only speaks of whether or not the ‘comfort women’ were taken forcefully by the Japanese military. Wasn’t the very system of ‘comfort women’ one based upon sexual slavery?"

"Abe said that there were no violent abductions of women, but in fact there were. The 1994 report released by the Netherlands found such actions took place in at least eight separate locations."

An authority on the issue of the comfort women, the over 200,000 foreign women made to serve as sexual slaves for the Japanese military during World War II, Japanese professor Yoshimi Yoshiaki of Chuo University methodically criticized Prime Minister Abe’s recent comments and historical consciousness. In reference to the 1993 apology made by Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono Yohei, Yoshimi said "it was unclear who exactly was taking responsibility," and that on the next opportunity, legal responsibility must be clearly assigned and an unambiguous apology must follow.

Professor Yoshimi unearthed official documents from March 1938 sent to the Japanese military stationed in China detailing regulations regarding "comfort stations" and the "recruitment" of women for them. His discovery was carried in the news daily Asahi Shimbun in 1992, and the Japanese government admitted to some degree the reality of the forced abductions the following year via Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono Yohei’s statement....

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