*Due to health condition, Mr. Matsumoto has cancelled to attend this press conference.
“Saving the Kono Statement and Beyond: New Documentation”
Yoshiaki Yoshimi, Professor, Chuo University
Hirofumi Hayashi, Professor, Kanto Gakuin University
*Masayoshi Matsumoto, Former Japanese Soldier (Cancelled)
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation
After months of speculation that Japan is preparing to revoke the 1993 Kono Statement, a landmark acknowledgment and apology for Japanese state involvement in herding thousands of Asian women into brothels, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seemed to silence the controversy last month. To the relief of many who fret about the damaging diplomatic consequences, Abe told a House of Councillors Budget Committee meeting that Tokyo has no intention of revising the statement.
Many doubt, however, that the controversy has ended there. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga has announced that a panel of historians will "reexamine" how the document was written, focusing on the role of South Korean diplomats in formulating its language. Conservatives in Japan have long pointed to problems in the testimony of former "comfort women" that formed the backbone of the statement. Meanwhile, the Japan Restoration Party has started a campaign to collect 100,000 signatures and demand its withdrawal. The effort to withdraw the Kono Statement remains.
The statement was an expression of the lowest possible level of conscience on the part of the Government of Japan, say opponents of revision. The string of denials by Japanese politicians and the threat of revision undermine the trust held in Japan by those countries that experienced Japan's wartime aggression, as well as by the international community as a whole.
Two prominent historians have agreed to come to the Club to discuss recently discovered evidence adding to the proof of state involvement. The documents proving what occurred are still uncovered. Our speakers say that every denial slights the results of over two decades of research, and prevents survivors from restoring their sense of dignity.
Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website(still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.
Professional Activities Committee
Yoshiaki Yoshimi Hirofumi Hayashi