A spokesman for the Korean Committee on Measures for the Sexual Slavery for Japanese Army and Drafting Victims released a statement on April 28, on the lapse of 25 years since the publication of the report of a special rapporteur on “wartime sexual slavery system”.
The 52nd meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights (UN Human Rights Council at present) in April 1996 released the report of the special rapporteur on “wartime sexual slavery system” that recommended the Japanese government to make efforts for the settlement of the sexual slavery issue.
The report, based on the probing of the victims and related persons of the DPRK, Japan and south Korea, suggested six recommendations including the issue for the Japanese government to acknowledge the illegitimacy of the establishment of “comfort stations” and to make reparations to the victims out of legal responsibility, the issue of revealing all related documents and materials and making an open written apology to the victims, the issue of reflecting the historical facts in education courses and finding out and punishing criminals, saying that such a term as the “wartime sexual slavery system” is much more appropriate than the term “comfort women”.
Immediately after its publication, the report aroused full support and sympathy from the international community as well as from the victims and the victimized countries and was acknowledged as a landmark document of rejecting violence against women and propelling the movement for safeguarding human rights worldwide.
But the Japanese government has done nothing for the settlement of the sexual slavery for the Japanese army up to now, 25 years after the publication of the report.
What was only done is the tricky act to evade the responsibility of the Japanese state by creating the NGO-named “Asian peaceful people’s fund for women” which is not even acknowledged by the victims, and the shameful act to delete the crimes by writing off the statements about sexual slavery from the textbooks of Japan.
If the past is not properly set right and proper lessons are not drawn from history, crimes are bound to be recommitted.
Whatever option it may take, Japan can never avoid its responsibility for the hideous state-sponsored crimes which wantonly violated international law and human ethnics, including the sexual slavery of its imperial army. The more Japan tries to evade its responsibility, the louder the international voices blaming and criticizing it will be.