Washington(30 June): Japan should clearly admit its wartime wrongdoings, a senior U.S. lawmaker said, accusing Tokyo of attempting to deny its past.
“It is very important that we learn from history so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past,” Ed Royce (Republican-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said to media
Recently, Japanese government reviewed a 1993 apology for wartime sex slavery, known as the Kono Statement.
Japan’s Shinzo Abe administration did not overturn the statement but claimed there is no evidence to prove the testimonies of so-called comfort women.
The core of Japanese government’s review was that, firstly, the Kono Statement was prepared through written discourse between Korea and Japan; secondly, Korea and Japan agreed to maintain confidentiality of the written discourse, and thirdly, the Japanese government did not validate the interview contents after interviewing comfort women victims.
But, the fact that Korea and Japan coordinated on the written discourse of the Kono Statement does not pose a problem.
In fact, Hundreds of thousands of Korean and other Asian women were forced to serve as sex slaves (comfort women) for Japanese troops during World War II.
The Kono Statement contains contents on the comfort women victims not only from Korea, but from China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
And it is reasonable for Korea, which was the most affected among the countries, to express an opinion on the text.
Royce said Japan’s review of the landmark Kono Statement itself represents a denial of past atrocities.
“I think it is very important that the government in Japan distance itself from the deniers because those who are denying what actually happened in history are doing a disservice to the next generation,” he said.
One of the important lessons is to “admit,” he added.