August 02, 2013 12:35
Japan's top-selling daily newspaper in an editorial published on Thursday called for the revision of a 1993 apology for the sexual enslavement of Asian women for the imperial army in World War II.
The apology was made by then Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono and admits Tokyo's responsibility for the atrocity.
But the editorial in the Yomiuri Shimbun, which came after the unveiling of a statue near Los Angeles commemorating the victims, repeats the claim that there exists no evidence that the imperial Army had any direct hand in rounding up the women.
The Kono Statement was a show of "excessive consideration" for Korea, the paper said, and it is "absolutely necessary" for it to be "reconsidered" in order to "rectify" the "distorted" accounts of the atrocity.
The Yomiuri admitted, however, that it would be "politically futile" for the Japanese government to seek to justify itself, since "it was clear that the honor and dignity of many women were harmed during the war."
There have been persistent calls in the rightwing government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to whitewash Japan's wartime and colonial atrocities, and Abe himself has regurgitated the claim that no evidence links the imperial military to the practice.
The Yomiuri made no mention of Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso's remarks at a seminar in Tokyo on Monday that Japan should learn from the way Germany's first democratic constitution was abolished by the Nazis in the early 1930s before anybody knew what was happening.
Aso's comments were seen in the context of attempts by the Abe administration to change Japan's pacifist constitution, which puts tight limits on what its military can do.
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