What makes the Japanese Governmentfs apology to gcomfort womenh unequivocal?


Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a resolution concerning the gcomfort womenh. As if to seize moment, Prime Minister Abe openly denied that the Japanese military had forced women into sexual slavery. To date, the Prime Minister has not withdrawn his denials. The details of such coercion by the Japanese military, however, have been testified to by numerous survivors throughout Asia. The survivorsf struggles have led Japanfs Supreme Courtfs decisions accepting these facts. The accumulation of wide-ranging research and study attests to it.


The Government of Japan reiterates its stance that it has galready apologized many timesh. Their alleged gapologyh, however, was not accepted by the survivors themselves as such. As we understand it, the reasons for the survivorsf rejection include the following:

1)      None of the alleged gapologiesh was offered based on the clear and official acceptance of the responsibility of the State of Japan for its system of military sexual slavery;

2)      The credibility of such gapologiesh was further undermined by the repetition of denials openly asserted by Cabinet ministers and others;

3)      The government has done nothing to remedy or prevent such denials, including the assertions made by Cabinet ministers celebrating the elimination of reference to the gcomfort womenh from textbooks, nor has it made any effort to ensure education to enhance awareness based on facts;

4)      The Government of Japan has never offered apologies directly to all the individual survivors regardless of their country or region;

5)      The government of Japan has not offered compensation, which is a vital element of a sincere apology.


The individual countries and regions that were affected by wartime Japanfs military sexual slavery where the survivors live today are watching Japan. Moreover, the international community at large has turned its gaze on Japan and is watching how Japan will respond. Both the citizens and Government of Japan must earnestly consider what may constitute an apology acceptable for the survivors, what Japan must do to address this issue justly. Those of us, who have been committed to the true solution of the gcomfort womenh issue through our efforts to support the survivorsf struggle in the form of lawsuits and others, or to investigate documentation and to conduct historical research, would like to take this opportunity to make the following proposals based on our experience and stance as such:


1. The Government of Japan must explicitly accept the facts that the Government and military of Japan in the period from the onset of the Manchurian Incident to the end of the Asia-Pacific War made women from its colonies, occupied areas and others into gcomfort womenh against their will and forcibly put them under sexual slavery, and that these acts were illegal according to the human rights norms of the time.

2. Based on such acceptance, either the Government or the Parliament of Japan must issue, through an official and formal manner such as a Cabinet decision or a Parliamentary resolution, an apology in which the responsibility of the State of Japan is clarified.

3. The Government of Japan must provide a letter of such apology to all and each of the individual survivors regardless of their countries or regions of origin or residence.

4. In order to show this apology is genuine, the Government of Japan must provide compensation to individual victims through new legislation.


In addition, to show to the world that this apology is genuine, the Government of Japan must implement the following measures:

-         The Government of Japan must fully disclose all the documents in their custody that have not been disclosed, and conduct a full and thorough fact-finding research and investigation. It must conduct research and investigation about the facts of victimization in all the countries and regions concerned, and obtain a full picture of the reality of all the different types of victimization of or damage inflicted upon women.

-         The Government of Japan must provide necessary educational measures to pass on to the future generations matters of this issue accurately and so that such an atrocity shall never be repeated.

-         The Government of Japan must resolutely refute all and any word or deed which denies the criminal and/or coercive nature of Japanfs military sexual slavery and thus defend the dignity of the survivors and victims.


July 31, 2007


Center for Research and Documentation on Japan's War Responsibility (JWRC)

Womenfs Active Museum on War and Peace (WAM)

Violence Against Women in War – Network Japan (VAWW-NET Japan)


Organizations approving this proposal:

Association Supporting the gKanpu Trialh Case and Facing Japan's Post-war Responsibility

Japanese Committee for Filipino 'Comfort Women'

Santama Support Network for Philippine Victims of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery i"Lola Net Santama"j

LUNAS--Let's Walk Hand in Hand with Filipino Former "Comfort Women"

Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace

Support Group for the Lawsuit of the Korean Former "Comfort Woman" Resident of Japan

Support Group for the Lawsuit of Chinese "Comfort Women"

The Group to Find Truth in Shanxi Province

Taiwan Comfort Women Legal Support Group

Network to Demand an Apology and Compensation for Women Victims of Japan's Military Sexual Slavery in Hainan Island (Hainan-Network)

Japan Action Network for the Military Sexual Slavery Issue

Women's Committee, National Christian Council in Japan

Japan Anti-Prostitution Association

All Japan Network for Forced Labor Litigations

Support Group for Women Victims of Sexual Slavery by the Japanese Military

Association of Korean Democratic Women in Japan

Kyoto Planning Committee, National Forum to Hear Testimonies of the Former "Comfort Women"

The Japan East Timor Coalition

Group Supporting the Museum for Former "Military Comfort Women"

Catholic Tokyo Archdioceasan Committee for Justice & Peace

Japan's Military Sexual Slaves Problem Committee of Church of Christ in Japan

KYOFUKAI-Japan Christian Women's Organization

Citizens' Network in Fukuoka Demanding Redress Measures for the Former "Comfort Women"

Kyushu Christians' Association that Addresses the "Comfort Women" Issue

Womenfs Empowerment Center Fukuoka

The Japan Committee for Joint Actions to Promote Cooperative Relations with Asia

Fukuoka Planning Committee, National Forum to Hear Testimonies of the Former "Comfort Women"

Supporters of "Kanpu Trial"

Active Group Toward Peace

Group with MALU

"Free and Easy Red Dragonflies in Azumino"

Association in Osaka for a Settlement of the Imperial Japanese Army's Sexual Slavery Issue


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