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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More