Thu, 21 Oct 2021

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Japan should quit denying or altering history. It should take an honest and responsible approach to the issue of "comfort women." If Japan believes that it can bury its crimes and somehow rewrite its history of aggression, it is dead wrong.

by Xinhua writer Ye Shan

TOKYO, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese militarists committed monstrous war crimes against humanity during World War II, and the use of "comfort women" was just one of them. That is an irrefutable fact of history.

However, Japan has failed to seriously reflect upon its war crimes against humanity. Instead, it chose to deny and distort history.

Research has shown hundreds of thousands of women in Asia were forced to serve as sex slaves for the Japanese aggressors during WWII and nearly half of those women were Chinese. These victims, euphemistically called "comfort women," were kidnapped, coerced or duped into sex enslavement during the war.

The atrocities those "comfort women" victims once suffered are a pain China shares with other victimized nations.

Given the universal impact brought by the forced recruitment of "comfort women," Japan should acknowledge how its human rights violations seriously violated international law.

In her report at the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council in June, Dubravka Simonovic, UN special rapporteur on violence against women, condemned the Japanese troops for conducting mass rape in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, and forcibly recruiting "comfort women" in several countries.

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However, some forces in Japan continue to deny the country committed such horrifying crimes, including the Nanjing Massacre and forced recruitment of "comfort women."

Their apparent purpose is to whitewash Japan's history of aggression. Such sinister efforts continue today.

Back in April, Japan's Cabinet sent a statement to the lower house of parliament aimed at diluting the forced recruitment of "comfort women."

Earlier this month, Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology greenlighted five publishers' request to modify or delete expressions related to "comfort women" in textbooks. The ministry approved the changes of expressions like "comfort women accompanying the army" into "comfort women," "taken away by force" into "forced mobilization" or "requisition." The modifications involved 29 textbooks on history and citizenship for middle school and high school students.

Those moves are simply outrageous and clearly demonstrate Japan's refusal to acknowledge its heinous war crimes.

Japan should quit denying or altering history. It should take an honest and responsible approach to the issue of "comfort women." If Japan believes that it can bury its crimes and somehow rewrite its history of aggression, it is dead wrong.

There is only one way for Japan to regain the trust lost from its Asian neighbors and the wider world, and that is a sincere reflection on its history of aggression.

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