Cabinet: U.N. recommendation on 'comfort women' has no binding power

June 19, 2013

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

The Cabinet said a U.N. committee recommendation urging the government to resolve a controversy concerning women who were forced to provide sex to Japanese soldiers during World War II is "not legally binding and does not require the state party to follow it."

It approved a written response to a lawmaker's question on June 18 regarding the report of the U.N. Committee against Torture released at the end of May.

The U.N. report said the Japanese government should “refute attempts to deny the facts by government authorities and public figures, and to re-traumatize the victims through such repeated denials.”

It was alluding to recent controversial remarks by Toru Hashimoto, co-leader of the Japan Restoration Party, and other leaders. Hashimoto said "comfort women" were a necessary part of the war and that there was no evidence the government forcibly coerced them.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga explained that there is nothing new for the Japanese government to comment on the issue.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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Claudio Grossman, chair of the U.N. Committee against Torture, speaks on the issue of "comfort women" at a news conference in Geneva on May 31. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Claudio Grossman, chair of the U.N. Committee against Torture, speaks on the issue of "comfort women" at a news conference in Geneva on May 31. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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  • Claudio Grossman, chair of the U.N. Committee against Torture, speaks on the issue of "comfort women" at a news conference in Geneva on May 31. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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