News / Asia

UN Panel Tells Japan to Compensate 'Comfort Women'

FILE - Former
FILE - Former "comfort women" who served the Japanese Army as sexual slaves during World War II, at a rally before Korean Liberation Day.
Reuters

A United Nations human rights panel called on Japan on Thursday to undertake independent investigations of wartime sex slavery and apologize to the women who were victims before it was too late.

Some historians estimate that as many as 200,000 so-called comfort women, many from China and South Korea, were forced into the Imperial Japanese Army's brothels before and during World War II.

Last month, South Korea accused Japan of trying to undermine a landmark 1993 apology to the women when a Japanese panel reviewing the apology found that South Korea worked with Japan on its wording. China accused Japan of refusing to face up to its history, and even trying to “whitewash” it.

The U.N. Human Rights Committee, which was looking at the issue as part of a regularly scheduled review, said that all reparation claims brought by victims before Japanese courts have been dismissed, and all complaints seeking criminal investigations and prosecutions have been rejected on grounds of the statute of limitations.

“We want Japan to make the kind of statement that the families, the women themselves, the few who are still surviving, can recognize as an unambiguous, uninhibited acceptance of total responsibility for compelling them to engage for a part of their lives in something that could have only destroyed their lives,” said Nigel Rodley, the British expert chairing the panel.

The panel urged Japan to “ensure that all allegations of sexual slavery or other human rights violations perpetrated by Japanese military during wartime against the 'comfort women', are effectively, independently and impartially investigated and that perpetrators are prosecuted and if found guilty, punished”.

Such acts carried out against the will of the victims meant Japan had a “direct legal responsibility,” it said.

Secret government records should be opened to investigators, who could include non-Japanese to strengthen the independence of the investigation, according to Rodley and Dutch committee member Cornelius Flinterman.

The panel also said Japan's position on the issue was “contradictory”, in that it says the comfort women were generally recruited and transported through coercion, but they were not “forcibly deported”.

“But given that the 1993 Kono declaration admitted that it was forcible, we have no doubts about it,” Rodley said, referring to the government statement on comfort women.

“And what is troubling is that the delegation now seems to need to speak out of both sides of its mouth,” he said.

Japan has said compensation for women forced to work in the brothels was settled by a 1965 treaty establishing diplomatic ties with South Korea. Japan also set up a fund to make payments to the women from private contributions in 1995, but South Korea has said that was not official and so not good enough.   

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Toshitoshy from: Japan
July 30, 2014 3:50 AM
There was no evidence that Japan forcibly took Korean women to the brothels. Those women were recruited thru news papers ads or thru Korean brokers. Nevertheless Japan already apologized to Korea in the past and paid a huge amount of compensation, which was as much as 2 times Korean national budget then. Even after the apology, Korea is continuously accusing Japan of this issue, and using it as political card, forgetting about what they did to their own women. They used Korean women as sexual slaves for UN/US soldiers for Korean war till 1990 to gain hard-currencies. Those women and brothels were under control of Mr. Park Chung Hee, the father of Ms. Park Geun-Hye. Just recently 122 ex-Korean women sued Korean gov't.

by: Valentine from: Lagos
July 25, 2014 2:56 AM
Shame on the UN!

by: 2600zero
July 25, 2014 2:18 AM
In those days, most policemen, mayers, town officers and govrner of prefectures were Korean men in Korean penisla.
Even some commanders of imperial Japanese military were also Korean men. It means they could order to Japanese men in the military. Samsung were found by themself when Japan governed there. In such a situations, can you abuduct the women without witness. Basically, most of comfort women were Japanese women.

by: 2600zero
July 24, 2014 11:49 PM
Give me evidence.
Japanese and Korean reserchers have invetigated this issue for about 20 years.
But, Nobady find out the evidences which shows that Japanese goverment ordered to abduct Korean women.
There are No documents, picture, witness and etc....
And, no family claim that their daughter, sister wife and etc. were abducted by Japanese Goverment.

by: Shintaro Sakamoto from: Japan
July 24, 2014 10:17 PM
UN human rights panel is caught in a trap of the “lazy system”; when people believe a conclusion is true, they are also very likely to believe arguments that appear to support it, even when these arguments are unsound. The conclusion comes first and the arguments follow. They see the obvious and visible consequences, not the invisible and less obvious ones.

by: Mike from: Canada
July 24, 2014 10:12 PM
Why doesn't U.N. say something about what China is doing in Tibet, to the Ughurs, invading South China Sea( East Sea), East China Sea, ramming and killing innocent Vietnamese fishermen.
The U.N. is irrelevant only serving the permanent members like Russia and China.

by: Nacho
July 24, 2014 9:45 PM
Not surprising as china is on the human rights panel, looking to dirty Japan while making it look like the world is against them.

by: William li from: Canada
July 24, 2014 8:15 PM
Shame on Japan!
In Response

by: Eiji Nakano from: Japan
August 07, 2014 12:49 AM
UN Pannel is human right compenation organization.

And Korean war comfort women served UN military (including Canada) were send the front by packing in drum as 5th categoly supply. They cannot escape form "Camp villege" 20 years compare with Japanese military comfort women have depsit to buy 2 dozens house in korea.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs