Abe must face up to 'comfort women'

Updated: 2015-03-31 08:13

(China Daily USA)

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IN A RECENT INTERVIEW with The Washington Times, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke vaguely about the "comfort women" who were forced to be sex slaves by the occupying Japanese Imperial Army during World War II, calling the issue "human trafficking" without mentioning who was responsible. Comments:

Abe is due to visit the United States and deliver a speech in Congress, which will be the first time for a Japanese prime minister. If he continues to be vague on historical issues, that will not only harm Japan's relations with China and the Republic of Korea, but also its alliance with the US. Abe needs to be careful not to drive the ship of Japan into a dead end.

cnhubei.com, March 29

Even if the government of Japan did something good to support the surviving women coerced into sexual slavery, that would still not absolve Japan of its responsibility to acknowledge the "comfort women". If the government of Japan admits to the crime of its own military and meets its obligations under international law to provide reparations to survivors, it would set a significant benchmark that states will be held accountable for their crimes even after 70 years.

Mina Watanabe, secretary general of the Tokyo-based Women's Active Museum on War and Peace, March 13

Rapprochement between Japan and its neighbors, including China and the ROK, hinges on Japan's attitude toward its wartime past. The United States, as Japan's ally, has a particular responsibility to remind Japan that it should sincerely reflect on history and apologize for its past wrongdoings, rather than being complicit in Japan's denials and revisionism.

Global Times, March 20

(China Daily USA 03/31/2015 page11)