Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Major development in the "comfort women" saga

A group of Japanese historians yesterday in Tokyo presented evidence verifying sex-slave coercion on the part of the Japanese military during World War II. At a press conference the historians also confirmed previous official Japanese recognition of this fact. This article from the Japan times elaborates on the historians' discoveries.

At the conclusion of World War II, the French, Dutch and Chinese governments produced and submitted seven documents to the Tokyo Trial, disclosing evidence of Japanese-run brothels in Indonesia, China, East Timor and Vietnam. These documents were included by the tribunal in the body of evidence used to convict suspected war criminals. The troubling contents of these documents reveal these women were forced to work as sex-slaves for the Japanese forces.

Apparently, by accepting the peace treaty at the end of the war, which included recognition of the validity of these war trials under Article 11, the Japanese government acknowledged coercing young women into sexual servitude.

This newly revealed evidence certainly leaves Abe and some conservatives in the Japanese government a little bit red-faced. Perhaps, however, like most pieces of historical evidence, the validity of these claims are up for dispute, regardless of whether they were admitted as evidence during the Tokyo Trials.

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