Nishioka Tsutomu on the comfort women (Part 4 of 4)
Posted by ampontan on Tuesday, December 18, 2012
NISHIOKA Tsutomu, a researcher associated with Tokyo Christian University, has been conducting research into the comfort women for more than 20 years.
Earlier this year he published an article on the subject in the biweekly Sapio magazine. He split it up into four parts on his website. Here is Part Four.
In August 2011, the Constitutional Court of Korea handed down a surprising ruling that the failure of the South Korean government to demand compensation from Japan for the comfort women (in the 1965 treaty) was a violation of the country’s Constitution.
The backdrop to this decision was a statement prepared in 2006 by the leftist, North Korean-friendly administration of then-President Roh Moo-hyun. It referred to “the continued demand made to the Japanese government about inhumane and illegal acts, including the Japanese military comfort women, which were not dealt with in the Korean-Japanese agreement on the right of claim”. As I have already noted, the South Korean government made no claims about the comfort woman issue during the negotiations to normalize relations. The persistent efforts of anti-Japan Japanese, however, ignited this issue. That led to the South Korean government’s far-fetched view that the right to seek compensation remained because they didn’t exercise it during the original negotiations.
Using that as a basis, the former comfort women claimed it was unconstitutional for the South Korean government to have not sought compensation from Japan, in opposition to the government’s view. The court’s decision quoted from the report of the UN Commission on Human Rights and the US House of Representatives’ resolution to state as fact the idea that the comfort women were sex slaves. It asked the South Korean government to conduct negotiations with Japan based on that perspective. The placement of a comfort woman statue in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, the placement of similar statues in locations throughout the United States, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s forceful claims on the issue during the summit meeting in December last year with Prime Minister Noda are all well known.
An organizational response is indispensable to defend Japan’s honor against this international plot. The Foreign Ministry will not deal with this issue. As with the issue of North Korean abductions, a special section directly under the prime minister and a ministerial portfolio should be created. An advisory panel with specialists should also be established. The government’s administrative investigation rights should be exercised to determine why the 1996 rebuttal to the UN report was withdrawn. A new declaration by the chief cabinet secretary about the comfort woman issue should be issued to replace the Kono Declaration. It is urgent that the idea equating comfort women with sex slaves be clearly repudiated.