World / Europe

UN body says Japan needs to do more to resolve ‘comfort women’ issue

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-03-08 03:01
GENEVA -- The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) highlighted on Monday that the issue of "comfort women" remains unsettled despite recent Japanese claims to the contrary.

"The issue of 'comfort women' gives rise to serious violations that have a continuing effect on the rights of victims and survivors of those violations that were perpetrated by the state party's military during the Second World War given the lack of effective remedies for these victims," the report said.

The concluding observations on Japan's seventh and eighth periodic reports submitted in 2014 found that Japan had failed to fully compensate victims, persecute perpetrators and educate the public about these crimes, all recommendations made during the country's last review in 2009.

It also indicated that the agreement reached with the Republic of Korea in December 2015, claiming to have "resolved finally and irreversibly" the issue, did not fully adopt a victim-centered approach.

A number of further points were added by the committee in light of recent developments.

The committee urged Japan to ensure that its officials refrain from making disparaging remarks regarding responsibility, while recognizing the right of victims to a remedy and effective reparation.

It also called on Japan to take into account the views of victims and survivors when implementing the bilateral agreement reached with the Republic of Korea to ensure their rights to truth, justice and reparations.

The committee further stressed the importance of integrating the issue in textbooks while presenting the facts in an objective manner to students and the public at large.

Starting as early as 1932, the Japanese Army subjugated thousands of women and girls from the Korean Peninsula but also from other nations such as China, the Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia and the Netherlands to sexual slavery.

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