| Despite mounting international pressure on Japan over the Japan`s wartime sex slavery issue, Japan is going against the tide, attacking the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun for its admission of past reports on the issue and diverting the attention from the sex slavery issue.
At a news conference on Thursday, Japan`s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the spokesman for the Japanese government, reiterated Tokyo`s argument that the sex slavery issue was resolved by the 1965 treaty on settlement between Seoul and Tokyo. The remark came after UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay criticized Tokyo on Wednesday for failing to resolve the issue.
Ikuhiko Hata, a historian participating in Tokyo`s verification of the Kono Statement, wrote in a column on the Yomiuri Shimbun`s Thursday edition that Japan should let the United States and other advanced countries understand there is no evidence showing Japan forced women into sex slavery. He argued that Japan should translate academic papers and books authored by Japanese scholars into English in order to address "biases and misunderstandings" overseas.
Toru Hashimoto, an extreme right-wing politician, told a BS Nihon TV talk show on Wednesday that Japan had been "unfairly insulted" by the international community, attacking the Asahi Shimbun for having entangled the Tokyo-Seoul relations.
However, the Clean Government Party, coalition ally of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and opposition parties such as the Social Democratic Party and the Communist Party are calling for an approach of admitting facts. Social Democratic Party chief Tadatomo Yoshida stressed that the sex slavery issue should not be played down.
On Tuesday, the Asahi Shimbun carried a special article urging Japan to face the truth about the issue, retracting its past articles on sex slavery by citing testimony of Seiji Yoshida, who said he had taken part in abducting some 200 women on Jeju Island during the war.