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Gov’t to reply over comfort women deal/Report will be submitted to U.N. panel

The Japanese government has decided to submit a document to counter a U.N. panel report that recommended the Japan-South Korea deal on so-called comfort women be revised, it has been learned.


In the document, the government will point out inaccurate expressions in the report recently issued by the U.N. Committee against Torture, which defined comfort women as sex slaves. The government also says in the document that there is no need to revise the deal.


The U.N. panel’s report describes comfort women as victims of sexual slavery during World War II. It criticizes the bilateral agreement for failing to restore the honor of and pay compensation to the victims, and for not assuring it will never happen again.


The government did not receive any inquiries about the facts from the committee, according to sources.


It intends to counter the panel’s report by citing facts such as there is no evidence confirming that comfort women were forcefully brought by the former Japanese military to Korea, and that then U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon favorably evaluated the agreement.


In South Korea, momentum is growing to review the deal following the inauguration of the administration of President Moon Jae In, who demands a renegotiation of the agreement. In these circumstances, the Japanese government aims to again emphasize the meaning of the accord in the countering document.


When it comes to the issue of comfort women, Radhika Coomaraswamy’s report on comfort women adopted by the then U.N. Commission on Human Rights in 1996 described comfort women as “forcibly” recruited “military sexual slaves,” and this caused this misunderstanding to spread in the international community.


The Japanese government judged it necessary to actively counter the latest report, according to a senior Foreign Ministry official.

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