Japan’s distortion shamefulJapanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denied on Thursday that the Japanese government and the military forcibly drafted “comfort women” or sex slaves for the imperial army during the Pacific War. A right-wing group inside the Liberal Democratic Party, which Mr. Abe helped form a decade ago, also made the same claim on the same day. The claim is also spreading in the political arena and officialdom in Japan.
Thursday was the anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement in Korea. Instead of curing the wounds of a victim, the Japanese leadership rubbed salt in them. We are driven into despair to see such a lack of morality in the Japanese leaders. How can they speak about friendship between the countries? As the U.S. House of Representatives is about to adopt a resolution urging Japan to apologize for the conscription of sex slaves, Tokyo appeared to counter the move by distorting its history. The House Subcommittee on Asia Pacific and the Global Environment held a hearing last month, inviting women who were sex slaves under the colonial government of Japan. Tokyo then threatened that United States-Japan relations would suffer if the resolution is adopted. When it is adopted, Tokyo will inevitably be disgraced in the international community.
The Japanese government has admitted to the conscription of comfort women. In 1993, then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono issued a statement of apology for the Japanese military and the government’s conscription of sex slaves. Many Japanese textbooks also addressed the issue. Mr. Abe had said he would continue to carry on the spirit of Mr. Kono’s apology, but on Thursday he showed his intention to revise Japan’s position. He reportedly said there was no evidence. There are a large number of victims still living in agony, but the offender claimed their tragedy is not true after destroying the evidence.
Germany, after repeated apologies and repentance over its Nazi history, gained the respect and trust of international society. Japan must know that it has failed to gain such respect, despite its position as an economic superpower, because it has distorted history. No history can be hidden. By distorting it out of shame, it will become even more embarrassing for the country.
In the U.S. House, the lawmaker who is leading the resolution has Japanese roots. After Mr. Abe’s remarks were made public, he said Mr. Abe should apologize officially for Japan’s wrongdoing rather than disgracing the nation.
Mr. Abe, aren’t you feeling embarrassed?