China Sex Slave Who Sued Japan Dies

Kyodo News reports on the death of a Chinese woman who had sued the Japanese government over sexual violence during World War II:

Guo Xicui, a Chinese woman who filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government seeking reparations for wartime sexual slavery, has died, a source who knew her said. She was 86.

[…] In April 2007, the Supreme Court in Japan acknowledged Guo had been subjected to violence but ruled that Chinese individuals have no judicial right to demand war reparations from Japan due to the terms of a 1972 bilateral agreement. [Source]

Despite his acknowledgement in May that Japan’s past effort to investigate wartime sex slavery was “limited”, the conservative Japanese Prime Minister  has been reluctant to apologize over the issue. From Mari Yamaguchi at Associated Press:

A parliamentary statement signed Tuesday by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged the government had a set of documents produced by a postwar international military tribunal containing testimony by Japanese soldiers about abducting Chinese women as military sex slaves. That evidence apparently was not included in Japan’s only investigation of the issue, in 1991-1993.

[…] Over the past two days, top officials of Abe’s conservative government have appeared to soften their stance on Japan’s past apologies to neighboring countries for wartime atrocities committed by the Imperial Army, saying Japan does not plan to revise them.

[…] Abe has acknowledged so-called “” existed but denied they were coerced into prostitution, citing a lack of official evidence. He also has repeatedly vowed to reassess apologies by past Japanese administrations. [Source]

Also in late May, Toru Hashimoto, mayor of Osaka, said that “wartime prostitution was necessary”:

See more on “comfort women” via CDT.