The Yomiuri is also calling for the Japanese government to review the so-called “Kono statement”:
It was reasonable for Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto to call on the government to review the contents of the Kono statement after saying the statement–which was not authorized by the Cabinet–and the 2007 written reply contradict each other. He also said the statement was the “main cause” of Japan-South Korea friction.
The government must take measures to prevent misunderstandings on the comfort women issue from spreading further.
As there is no conclusive evidence that the Imperial Japanese Army forcibly recruited comfort women, the Noda Cabinet should review the Kono statement–a “negative legacy” of Liberal Democratic Party administrations–and explain the government’s stance on the issue to the public and the world in a manner easy to understand.
I’m just going to reprint a comment I left on Facebook:
Without a doubt, the Japanese are whitewashing and would be advised to spend their time acknowledging their past and compensating their victims. Still, part of the reason the Japanese are able to whitewash at all—at least with the comfort women issue—is that many of the details are murky at best, and there’s probably a lot not being talked about on the Korean side, too. The problem is how did the women get from Point A (Korea) to Point B (the comfort stations). From what I’ve seen, it seems this was left largely to local (i.e., Korean) civilian recruiters. The Korean side is reticent to acknowledge this, and instead spins it as if the Japanese Imperial Army was kidnapping women from their homes, for which I’ve seen disappointingly little reliable evidence. The Japanese right seizes upon this to deny the much larger and much more important truth, namely, that the Japanese imperial military created and operated a vast system of rape centers where thousands of largely (but as you pointed out, not exclusively) Korean women were reduced to sexual slavery.