Early 1990's: "Lack of response by the Japanese Government:
In 1990, amid rumors of sexual slavery by the Armed Forces before and during
World War II, a Japanese official spoke at a session of the Japanese Diet. He denied
any governmental involvement with the recruitment of comfort women. This
triggered the founding of the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for
Military Sexual Slavery by Japan in 1990-NOV. The Council sent an open
letter to Kaifu Toshiki, then the Prime Minister of Japan. They demanded that
the government take six
The Japanese government admit the forced draft of Korean women as comfort
The Japanese Government issue an public apology.
That all barbarities be fully disclosed.
That a memorial be created for the victims.
That the survivors or their bereaved families be compensated.
That these facts be continuously related in historical education classes so that
history would not be repeated. 1
In 1991-APR, the Japanese Government responded that there was no evidence of
any forced draft of Korean women. Thus they would initiate no admission of
disclosure, memorial, compensation or educational effort.
It was only In 1991-AUG, that Grandma Kim Hak Soon -- the
first of many comfort woman -- went public, telling her personal story.
In 1992-JAN, Yoshimi Yoshiaki, a Japanese history professor, went public
with documents that he had obtained from the Library of the National
Institute for Defense. This forced a government investigation. In its
1992-JUL report "Results of Investigation into the Question of 'Military
Comfort Women' Originating from the Korean Peninsula," the Japanese
Government finally admitted that a wide-spread wartime organization of comfort
stations existed. Finally, in a supplementary report issued in 1993-AUG, "The
Japanese government admitted deception, coercion and official involvement in the
recruitment of comfort women..." 2
Filmmaker and activist Dai Sil Kim Gibson commented:
"Japan is ultimately responsible for redressing the crimes it has
committed. Japan will not have discharged fully its obligations under
international law until it admits its legal liability, pays official
compensation and prosecutes the offenders. Japan has taken some steps to
apologize but none accompanied by an official acknowledgement that what it did
to these women were crimes against humanity, war crimes." 3
By late-2015, the Japanese Government had not given a full apology
to these women, nor had it offered
compensation to the victims. The government did take one minor step: they arranged with a private
charitable organization to pay limited amounts of money to the survivors. The
fund expired at the end of 2007-MAR. 4 In 2000-OCT, the Democratic Party, the Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party of Japan jointly sponsored a bill in the Japanese
Diet to support the comfort women. The bill did not progress, and died in 2000-DEC.
The policy of the Japanese government appears to be to refuse to recognize
their responsibility for any "comfort women" activities, and to stonewall all requests for
justice. As of 2015, most of the comfort women are probably in their
90's. We suspect that the Japanese government hopes that when their victims die,
memories of their allegatons will dissipate, and agitation for an apology will subside.
1997-1998: U.S. 105th Congress resolution:
In 1997, Rep. William O. Lipinski (IL) submitted a
concurrent resolution (H. CON. RES. 126) which expressed "the sense of
Congress concerning the war crimes committed by the Japanese military during
World War II." It described how "the Government of Japan
deliberately ignored and flagrantly violated the Geneva and Hague Conventions
and committed atrocious crimes against humanity."
Included brief descriptions of the:
Maltreatment of over 47,000 Americans captured by the
Maltreatment of the people of Guam.
Chemical and biological experiments on prisoners of
Enslavement of millions of Koreans and forcing "hundreds
of thousands of women into sexual slavery for Japanese troops."
Death rate of US prisoners-of-war which approached 40%, in comparison
with the death rate of POWs held by the German Nazis which was about 1.2%.
Refusal by the Government of Japan to fully acknowledge
its crimes, or to compensate its victims.
The resolution asked that the Government of Japan:
Formally issue a clear an unambiguous apology for its
war crimes, and
Immediately pay reparations to the victims of those
The resolution was initially co-sponsored by eight Democrats
and seven Republicans. 5 This eventually grew to at least 39
sponsors. It was backed by many Chinese communities in
the U.S., and by many organizations, including the American Legion and
the Disabled American Veterans.
Rep. Lipinski stated:
Germany's readiness to express remorse and take actions to try to address
Nazi wrongs has been a vital part of the evolution of a benign Germany
democracy that is trusted and respected throughout the world. Post-war
Japan's reluctance to do the same has resulted in the exact opposite. It has
undeniably stained her reputation in the international community. It is high
time that the Japanese government step up to the place and do the right
According to the Sun Tzu Organization:
"What Congressman Lipinski's draft
resolution does not mention is Japan's top secret 'Kill Order,' sent by radio to
prison camp commanders in 1945 ordering them to 'annihilate' all POW 'leaving no
trace', destroy all records, and to avoid capture and interrogation by making
good their escapes from advancing U.S. and allied forces." 7
In 1998, the resolution was blocked because the U.S. State Department
objected to the reparation clause. The resolution has since died.
2000-DEC: International war crimes tribunal
The Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Military Sexual Slavery was an unofficial war crimes tribunal that was organized and convened by
a Japanese-based non-governmental organization (NGO), the "Violence Against
Women in War Network." Also participating were people of six other countries
from which women had allegedly been enslaved: China, Indonesia, North Korea, South Korea,
the Philippines and Taiwan.It was held in Tokyo, on 2000-DEC-7 to 12. A
distinguished international team of prosecutors was present, including:
Patricia Viseur-Sellers, an American legal advisor to the International
Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia,
Ustinia Dolgopol, an Australian legal scholar,
Prosecutorial teams from a joint North and South Korea, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia and the Netherlands.
Chief Judge Gabrielle Kirk MacDonald, an American who had served as President of the Yugoslavia War Crimes Tribunal, spoke for herself and three
other judges. She denounced the late Emperor Hirohito as a war criminal. Ms.
MacDonald said, "Hirohito knew or should have known about the establishment
of the system of comfort stations, but he took no action to respond."
K.C. Kang, "Japanese Government Knew About Sex Slaves, Researchers Say; WWII: System of
'comfort women' for soldiers was carried out by the regime, not just the military, conference is told." L.A. Times, at: http://www.latimes.com/