Attempt to Justify Crime of Sexual Slavery – Appalling Showcase of Human Rights Violations

Reckless remarks are springing out incessantly from the mouths of the Japanese politicians, manoeuvring to bury their crime-ridden history of having forced hundreds of thousands of women into sexual slavery during the first half of the 20th century.

During their recent public appearances including at Diet meeting, Chief Cabinet Secretary, Foreign Minister and other Japanese political figures let loose the avowed remarks negating the crime of sexual slavery committed by the Japanese Imperial Army, saying that “the report on coercive recruitment of comfort women contradicts the truth”, “In time of emergency, unfair things against women and children are inevitable and these are normal happenings around the world”, etc.

These remarks made by the high-level government politicians are not simply accidental ones which might be heard from the elementary school children, but the plain revelation of their inveterate militarist view on history. Therefore, these are an unbearable insult not only to the victims of sexual slavery but also to the entire women of the world, and an appalling showcase of human rights violations intended to justify the most terrible inhumane crimes committed by the Japanese imperialists in the past.

These are highlighting the shamelessness and immorality of the Japanese authorities that are crossing the line into an outright challenge to the universal justice and human consciousness.

To make clear once again, the sexual slavery committed by the Japanese Imperial Army – serious concern of the international society – is not “an usual phenomenon that might happen in time of emergency”, but the gravest crime against the humanity which cannot be found in the war history of the world, as it was committed as a state policy under the direct involvement of the Japanese government and the military authorities from its planning to its implementation.

The Japanese authorities’ behaviour shown to the world suggests that in case Japan provokes another war, the country will not be constrained from forcing women of other nations into sexual slavery and wantonly infringing on the lives and dignity of innocent people, taking it as a business-as-usual.

There are already numerous clear evidences proving that during the wartime, the Japanese militarism adopted the forced sexual slavery of women as the state policy and perpetrated such barbarity in an organized and coercive manner.

It is already 25 years since the Special Rapporteur issued the report on “wartime sexual slavery” at the 52nd Session of the then UN Commission on Human Rights (now UN Human Rights Council) in April 1996, urging the Japanese government to make the effort to address the issue of sexual slavery.

Japan needs to engrave on its mind that it can never escape its responsibility for having committed sexual slavery and other inhumane crimes and that its increasing attempt to dodge the responsibility would invite more disastrous consequences instead.


 Cha Hye Gyong, Researcher of Institute for Studies of Japan

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Democratic People’s Republic of Korea