Justin McCurry “No evidence Japan sex slaves coverage harmed country’s image, say experts” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/23/japan-sex-slaves-shinzo-abe
There is no clear evidence that a Japanese newspaper’s erroneous coverage*2 fuelled international criticism of the country’s wartime use of sex slaves, according to a report.
The finding was made by an independent panel formed to investigate articles in the Asahi Shimbun containing discredited testimony by a former Japanese official. Its conclusion contradicts claims by the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, that global media coverage of the “comfort women” – which he said was based on the paper’s reporting – had tarnished the country’s image.
ここでは、”Japanese revisionists, including Abe”という表現に注目しておきたい。
Japanese revisionists, including Abe, have stoked tensions with China, South Korea and the US by insisting that the women were not coerced. Abe, however, has stopped short of revising an official apology*3 to the surviving victims issued in 1993 by the then chief cabinet secretary, Yohei Kono.
The Kono statement acknowledges that many comfort women were recruited against their will, and that the military was often involved, either indirectly or directly, in the setting up of frontline brothels.
The furore over the articles, published in the 1980s and 90s, forced the resignations of several Asahi executives, including its then executive editor and president.
Rightwing extremists seized on widespread anti-Asahi sentiment, calling for the newspaper’s closure and issuing threats against its staff*4.
The panel said those actions amounted to a threat to democracy. “We have come to understand anew that Asahi employees and its sales outlets are in a very difficult position as the subjects of malicious threats and harassments,” the report said. “We would like to point out the risk that these contemptible behaviours could wreck Japan’s democracy.”
The panellists were divided over Yoshida’s role in exacerbating criticism of Japan in South Korea. Some said his false testimony had “endorsed the extreme views held in South Korea about the comfort women and led to even more extreme positions”. Others said the fabricated testimony had had “no impact” on the country.
The Yomiuri, a conservative broadsheet with a daily circulation of more than 10m, recently apologised for using the term sex slave in its English-language edition and said it would use the less controversial term comfort women instead*5.
Justin McCurry“Japanese newspaper apologises over Fukushima and sex slave errors” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/12/japanese-newspaper-apologises-fukushima-sex-slave-errors-asahi-shimbun
*2:See Justin McCurry “Anger of wartime sex slaves haunts Japan and South Korea” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/oct/18/forced-prostitution-wartime-japan-korea
*4:See Justin McCurry “Japan’s ruling party under fire over links to far-right extremists” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/13/japan-ruling-party-far-right-extremists-liberal-democratic
*5:See Justin McCurry “Japanese newspaper retracts term ‘sex slaves’ from wartime coverage” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/28/japan-newspaper-sex-slaves-wartime-coverage-yomiuri-shimbun