PRESS CONFERENCE: Yoshiko Matsuura & Tomoko Tsujimura, Assemblywoman of Suginami Ward and Komae City
"Stop Korea's Anti-Japanese 'Sex Slave Propaganda' in the US"
Assemblywoman, Suginami Ward, Tokyo
Assemblywoman, Komae City, Tokyo
Language: The speech and Q&A will be in Japanese with English Interpretation.
Shinzo Abe's first term as prime minister in 2006/7 was famously tarnished by his historical obsessions. In March 2007, he caused uproar when he said there was "no evidence" that Japan's wartime recruitment of sex slaves had been "forcible in the narrow sense of the word". This time around, Abe has steered largely clear of public pronouncements on the so-called "comfort women" but the issue keeps returning to haunt Japan nevertheless.
The latest chapter in the bitterly controversial saga is the decision of Glendale City in California to erect a statue honoring the comfort women in its Central Park. The bronze statue, dedicated to the victims of the wartime system, says "I was a sex slave of the Japanese army." It is just one of several monuments to the comfort women built on the West coast of the US, and several more are planned, often in areas with heavy Korean immigrant populations.
The Glendale statue has provoked a furious diplomatic reaction in Japan. Tokyo has dispatched several letters of protest, along with a 13-member delegation of local legislators to demand it be removed. The delegation told Glendale City the statue was "false propaganda" that had caused "a great deal of confusion" and "injured the dignity of Japan and the Japanese." The legislators are working hard to block similar projects around North America.
Two of the Glendale delegates have agreed to come to the FCCJ and explain why they believe Japan is a victim of Korean black propaganda in the US. Yoshiko Matsuura has been an assemblywoman with Suginami Ward in Tokyo since 2003. She is a graduate of Keio University and a mother of four who says she plays a major role among conservative assembly members across the country. Tomoko Tsujimura is an assemblywoman with Komae City in Tokyo. She is a mother of two and became a city legislator in 2011.
Come along and hear what they have to say.
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Professional Activities Committee
Yoshiko Matsuura Tomoko Tsujimura