Japanese embassy refutes the Resolution 121
Japanese Embassy in the U.S. states that the House Resolution (H.RES.121) is erroneous in terms of the facts in its official site.
1. The Japanese Government has acknowledged the Comfort Women issue and extended official apologies on many important occasions.
1) The Chief Cabinet Secretary’s Statement in 1993
“Undeniably, this was an act, with the involvement of the military authorities of the day, that severely injured the honor and dignity of many women. The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.”
2) Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama’s Statement in 1994
“On the issue of wartime “comfort women”, which seriously stained the honor and dignity of many women, I would like to take this opportunity once again to express my profound and sincere remorse and apologies”
3) Letters from Prime Ministers to Each Former Comfort Woman , which extended Japan’s apology and remorse:
“The issue of comfort women, with the involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time, was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of a large number of women.”
“As Prime Minister of Japan , I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who endured immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.”
“ We must not evade the weight of the past, nor should we evade our responsibilities for the future."
“I believe that our country, painfully aware of its moral responsibilities, with feelings of apology and remorse, should face up squarely to its past history and accurately convey it to future generations”.
4) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly stated that there has been no change in the position of the Japanese Government.
“I have talked about this matter in the Diet sessions last year, and recently as well, and to the press. I have been consistent. I will stand by the Kono Statement. This is our consistent position. Further, we have been apologizing sincerely to those who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable psychological wounds as comfort women. Former Prime Ministers, including Prime Ministers Koizumi and Hashimoto, have issued letters to the comfort women. I would like to be clear that I carry the same feeling. This has not changed even slightly. ” (Excerpt from Remarks by Prime Minister Abe at an Interview by NHK, March 11, 2007)
"I am apologizing here and now. I am apologizing as the Prime Minister and it is as stated in the statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono." (Excerpt from Remarks by Prime Minister Abe at the Budget Committee, the House of Councilors, the Diet of Japan, March 26, 2007)
"I am deeply sympathetic to the former comfort women who suffered hardships, and I have expressed my apologies for the extremely agonizing circumstances into which they were placed." (Excerpt from Telephone Conference by Prime Minister Abe to President George W. Bush, April 3, 2007)
"I have to express sympathy from the bottom of my heart to those people who were taken as wartime comfort women. As a human being, I would like to express my sympathies, and also as prime minister of Japan I need to apologize to them."
"My administration has been saying all along that we continue to stand by the Kono Statement. We feel responsible for having forced these women to go through that hardship and pain as comfort women under the circumstances at the time." (Excerpt from an interview article "A Conversation with Shinzo Abe" by the Washington Post, April 22, 2007)"
"… both personally and as Prime Minister of Japan, my heart goes out in sympathy to all those who suffered extreme hardships as comfort women; and I expressed my apologies for the fact that they were forced to endure such extreme and harsh conditions. Human rights are violated in many parts of the world during the 20th Century; therefore we must work to make the 21st Century a wonderful century in which no human rights are violated. And the Government of Japan and I wish to make significant contributions to that end." (Excerpt from Prime Minister Abe's remarks at the Joint Press Availability after the summit meeting at Camp David between Prime Minister Abe and President Bush, April 27, 2007)
5) The Diet (Japanese Parliament) passed resolutions in 1995 and 2005 showing apologies to the war-time victims.
“ Solemnly reflecting upon the many instances of colonial rule and acts of aggression that occurred in modern world history, and recognizing that Japan carried out such acts in the past and inflicted suffering on the people of other countries, especially in Asia , the Members of this House hereby express deep remorse.” (Resolution of the House of Representatives adopted on June 9,1995)
6) The Chinese Premier acknowledges Japanese apologies to the war-time victims
"The Japanese government and leaders have on many occasions stated their position on the historical issue, admitted that Japan had committed aggression and expressed deep remorse and apology to the victimized countries. The Chinese government and people appreciate the position they have taken." (Speech by Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council of the People's Republic of China at the Japanese Diet on April 12, 2007)
2. The Government of Japan and the Japanese people have taken concrete measures for the victims.
1) The Asian Women’s Fund was established in 1995 for the former comfort women with the cooperation of the Government of Japan and the Japanese people. The Government has made a majority of the contributions to the Fund for its total expenditure. (Legally, the compensation issue has been finally settled by international agreements, including the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the relevant treaties with Asian countries.)
2) The Fund has extended payments, donated by the Japanese people, to many former comfort women, and the Fund has implemented medical and welfare projects. Letters from the Prime Ministers conveying apologies were sent to the victims.
a) Atonement Money
2 million yen (about $17,000) per person was paid to a total of 285 former comfort women in the Philippines , South Korea , and Taiwan . However, some countries were opposed to the former comfort women receiving the Prime Ministers’ letters and the atonement money.
b) Medical and Welfare Project
700 million yen (about $5.8 million) in assistance has been given to former comfort woman in the Philippines , South Korea , and Taiwan
c) Project in the Netherlands to Help Comfort Women
255 million yen (about $2.12 million)
d) Social Welfare Service in Indonesia
380 million yen (about $3.2 million)
3. This issue is not neglected in the public school education ofJapan .
1) Among all high school textbooks, 16 out of 18 among them refer to the issue.
2) All of the 18 high school textbooks describe the suffering that the people in neighboring countries had to bear before and during World War II and Japan ’s responsibility in these matters.