Comfort women’ issue resolved: Noda ’65 treaty cited on eve of first Seoul trip

Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011

‘Comfort women’ issue resolved: Noda
’65 treaty cited on eve of first Seoul trip; TPP, Hague on radar

Staff writer
The war compensation issues regarding South Korea’s “comfort women” have already been “legally resolved,” Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said in an interview Monday on the eve of his trip to Seoul.

Primed: Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda speaks during an interview at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence on Monday. SATOKO KAWASAKI PHOTO
The issue of the wartime slaves forced to provide sex for Imperial Japanese soldiers has recently flared up again in South Korea, just before Noda’s Wednesday meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung Bak. It will be the prime minister’s first official trip to Seoul.

“Japan’s position is that the issue of the comfort women was legally resolved in 1965, and that has not changed,” Noda said, referring to a bilateral treaty that normalized diplomatic ties between Japan and South Korea. Tokyo has maintained the treaty settled all war compensation issues involving individuals.

“We will not bring this issue up during the upcoming Japan-South Korea summit meeting — it has already been settled,” he said during an interview with The Japan Times and several other media outlets.

Before a human rights panel of the United Nations General Assembly last week, South Korea urged the U.N. and its member states to provide “remedies and reparation” to those who were sexually victimized during armed conflicts.

The sex slave issue between Tokyo and Seoul has often sparked emotional outbursts between the peoples of the two countries.

On other matters, Noda reiterated that it would be “difficult” to build a new nuclear plant in Japan but expressed eagerness to continue bilateral talks to export Japan’s atomic power technology to other countries, including Vietnam and Jordan.

Noda stressed, however, that he would not be engaging in new talks over the export of nuclear power technology before assessing the triple-meltdown crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant.

Noda also expressed interest in joining talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade pact, despite strong opposition within the Democratic Party of Japan, which he heads.

He acknowledged there are strong voices opposing the TPP and stressed there is no deadline on the discussions before a conclusion is reached.

Regarding the 1980 Hague Convention on international parental child abductions, Noda said his government is drafting bills to sign the treaty and aims to submit them to the next ordinary Diet session.

Noda also hinted that the government might cancel the construction of a housing complex for government employees in Asaka, Saitama Prefecture, amid criticism the project is a waste of taxpayer money, especially as the country struggles to recover from the calamity.

One thought on “Comfort women’ issue resolved: Noda ’65 treaty cited on eve of first Seoul trip

  1. Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
    My name is Ruth Hallo. By the end of the year 1994 I started to study Chinese science in a German university. After I graduated I decided to do a PhD. After seeking for a topic for a long time, I once remembered the book of Iris Chang: “The rape of Nanjing”, in which I read for the first time about the “Comfort Women”. I have found this topic very interesting and started my research. Later I went to China and Taiwan, where I was lucky to meet former “Comfort Women”. As I was through with my research, I decided to write a novel about this topic.
    They were many reasons who influenced me to write this novel. I have noticed that many people never heard about the story of the “Comfort Women”. I wanted to do something against it since I was afraid, that with the death of the last survivor, their story would despair forever. I wished to write a novel about a main figure, which would be a kind of a symbol figure for those women. I wanted to describe all the steps and stations, those women experienced in their life. I couldn`t agree with the fact, that those women had gone through hell and nobody will take a notice of them. In my novel I tell about the injustice they had from the day, they were caught by the Japanese army, till now. I tell about their terrible experiences during the Japanese captivity and I also tell about the time by the end of the war, in 1945, as the Japanese soldiers returned home and never stood for a trial for their crimes, and were welcomed as national heroes in their country. While at the same time the most of the survivors were sick when they returned home and had to face the conservative, discriminating attitude of their own society against them, till they finally were concerted in purity and loneliness.
    There are already two novels about a Korean “Comfort Woman”. It is about the time to tell the story of the Chinese ones.
    At the beginning of the year I was very lucky to find a great German publisher house, The “LangenMüller” Publisher house, which was willing to publish my novel. At the 12.of June, my novel has been published in Germany.
    Now I am looking for a foreigner publisher house, which will be willing to contact my German publisher and publish it in English. If you wish, I would like to send you a summary of my book in English.
    That’s why I need your help. Please help me to make the story of the almost forgotten “Comfort Women” world known! They deserve it! As I have noticed, your organization is interested in preserving the history of the World War II in Asia. The Story of the “Comfort Women” is in a way a part of the Nanjing Massacre. I hope, you might have connection to a publisher house which could be interested in this story. I would be more than thankful, if you could give me an answer.
    Sincerely yours
    Ruth Hallo

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