October 4, 2014
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Yamashita Yoshiki on October 3 said that Prime Minister Abe wants to deny the 1993 Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono Yohei's statement recognizing that the Japanese Imperial Army coerced women into sex slavery.
Earlier on the day at a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting, Abe made the remarks in his reply to a question made by Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Inada Tomomi about the issue of the Asahi Shimbun which recently retracted its articles on the late Yoshida Seiji's testimony that comfort women were forcibly taken away. LDP Policy Council Chair Inada is known as one of Abe's close associates and for being hostile to international criticisms against the wartime Japanese military "comfort women" system.
Abe said that Asahi's reports have "seriously damaged Japan's reputation and resulted in spreading globally a rumor that Japan used women as sex slaves as a state policy." He also stressed that it is necessary to make efforts "to find the 'right' historical recognition based on objective facts and that "such efforts should be evaluated 'properly' in the international community".
Commenting on the PM's remarks, JCP Yamashita at a press conference in the Diet building said, "Comfort women victims' testimonies proved that at the Japanese military's comfort stations, women were deprived of their liberty and forced to provide sexual services to Japanese soldiers." "Based on these facts, the Kono statement acknowledged coercion in the Japanese military comfort women system and the global society labeled the system as a sex slavery system," he pointed out.
Yamashita criticized Abe by saying, "Although the prime minister pretends to abide by the Kono statement, he can't conceal his eagerness to deny the statement."