Japanese nationalist lawmakers want the government to recant its apology for holding what is estimated to have been up to 200,000 women in “comfort stations”, which in the 1993 apology the Japanese government had acknowledged holding women against their will. It seems that the nationalists want a rewrite of the apology because they think it’s, well, basically embarrassing — and not, according the the LAT article, because they necessarily think it’s untrue. How, um, comforting. Snip:
The lawmakers claim there is no evidence to suggest the Japanese military was directly involved in coercing the women. They said they would present the government with a petition next week demanding a rewrite of the apology, which they consider a stain on Japan’s national honor.
On Thursday, Abe told reporters in his Tokyo office that he shared the belief that there was no direct proof of the military’s involvement.
“The fact is, there is no evidence to prove there was coercion,” he said.
But Abe also said he would stick by his pledge to parliament last October that he and his government would abide by previous admissions of Japan’s responsibility for the suffering caused by its occupation of swaths of Asia. In 1993, the government offered a “sincere apology and remorse” for the confinement of the women for sexual slavery and acknowledged that the Japanese military “directly or indirectly” was responsible for maintaining these “comfort stations.”
Most historians and Japan’s own government inquiries have concluded that the military worked with private contractors to force about 200,000 women from across Asia to provide sex to its troops. Many of the surviving victims have said that the 1993 apology did not go far enough, and some have continued to seek compensation in Japanese courts.