Japanese MPs deny sex slavery in WaPo adverstisement

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An advertisement, signed by 44 members of Japan's parliament, appeared in the Washington Post newspaper seeking to share "the truth with the American people" about the 200,000 "comfort women" who were driven into brothels during WWII. The ad was signed by professors, journalists, political commentators and 29 members of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, 13 from the Democratic Party of Japan and two independents.

"No historical document has ever been found by historians or research organisations that positively demonstrates that women were forced against their will into prostitution by the Japanese army," the ad said under the title, in bold letters, "THE FACTS".

The advertisement says: "The ianfu (comfort women) who were embedded with the Japanese army were not, as is commonly reported, 'sex slaves'. They were working under a system of licensed prostitution that was commonplace around the world at the time."

It adds that many of the women made more money than field officers "and even generals".

The ad acknowledges that there were "breakdowns in discipline". "Criticism for events that actually occurred must be humbly embraced," it says.

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