Over 200,000 women are reported to have been rounded up as sex slaves or comfort women by the Japanese during World War II. The ongoing debate about Japan’s involvement in the recruitment of comfort women has proven to be very controversial, especially with countries like South Korea, the United States, and China criticizing it. Historians and official records have already established that various countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, China, and Taiwan have all confirmed about the use of their women as sex slaves during the war. Japan, however, denies it.
As Japan continues to deny responsibility over the issues, relations of the country with South Korea and China have been turning sour. Nationalist politicians and other citizens of the country have also been downplaying the severity of Japan’s involvement in the issue. With this, a Japanese Newspaper, Asahi, has been heavily criticized and has angered a lot of people because of its release of several articles regarding comfort women.
Several articles on comfort women and sex slaves during World War II have been the center of Asahi’s recent downfall as Japan ”reliable” newspaper. Over 2,000 people are suing the newspaper demanding for an official and public apology for its coverage of wartime sex slavery. According to these people, it is Asahi’s fault that Japan has a stained reputation. The class action suit was filed at the Tokyo District Court and the suit demands for Asahi to pay 3 million yen in compensation and write apologies in their American and European newspapers.
On the other hand, mainstream Japan’s opinion towards the issue still seems to accept the responsibility of the Japanese government in the use of comfort women. This long-debated issue has definitely affected the lives of many comfort women from all parts of the world. However, not many seem to remember that it has also affected Japanese comfort women.