Japan and comfort women.

In 1993 the Japanese government issued an apology to comfort women who had suffered sexual abuse by the Japanese military during WWII. This apology was called the ‘Kono Declaration’. Kono was the chief cabinet secretary.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been trying to undo the words of the Kono Declaration without officially withdrawing the declaration. In an article published in the Canberra Times on June 29 2014, see link below, Tessa Morris-Suzuki describes how Japan is going about ‘the art of un-apologising’.

Tessa Morris-Suzuki is an Australian National University College of Asia and the Pacific Japanese history professor and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow.

The Yonhan News Agency in Korea has just announced that Pope Francis has invited Korean comfort women to a Mass that he will celebrate in Seoul on August 18. Pope Francis is expected to deliver a message to the comfort women in the Mass at Myeongdong Cathedral in central Seoul and to pray for peace on the Korean peninsula.

Japanese PM Abe who was striving to undo the apology to comfort women in the Kono Declaration will visit Australia next week.

John Menadue

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/japan-and-the-art-of-unapologising-20140627-zsjv3.html

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