Former Japanese Cabinet Secretary Says Japan’s Wartime Sexual Slavery Undeniable

D-Bo , June 9, 2015, 9:39 a.m.

A former top Japanese official said Tuesday many women from Korea and other nations were forcibly recruited as "comfort women" for Japanese troops during World War II. Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono cited dozens of Dutch women from a prison camp in Indonesia who were coerced into providing sexual services.

"It is a clear case that the military forcefully took them and made them serve as comfort women," he said in a discussion with former Prime Minister Tomichi Murayama. More than 200,000 women, mostly from Korea, were forced to serve as sex slaves by Japan's imperialist military, historians say. The victims are euphemistically called "comfort women."

In 1993, Kono issued a landmark statement recognizing the military's involvement in establishing and operating "comfort stations."    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has yet to offer an apology for the issue on his own, making it one of the biggest obstacles to Seoul-Tokyo ties.

On a visit to Harvard University in Boston in April, he remained vague. "When it comes to the comfort women issue, my heart aches when I think about those people who were victimized by human trafficking, who were subjected to immeasurable pain and suffering beyond description," Abe said without apologizing.

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