Former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said yesterday that Japan had engaged in “indescribable wrongdoings” when its military men forced women from South Korea and its other Asian neighbors, called “comfort women” into sexual slavery during the war. Murayama, who is famous for his 1995 apology for Japan’s wartime atrocities, is currently in Seoul for a three-day trip.
Addressing some members of the South Korean parliament, Murayama said, “Indescribable wrongdoings were committed, in which these women’s dignity was forfeited. Japan must resolve it.” The 89-year old former premier is in Seoul upon the invitation of some members of a South Korean opposition party. He reportedly requested to meet with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, but was turned down because of Park’s “busy schedule.” Before speaking to the National Assembly, Murayama met with three elderly former “sex slaves” wherein he was able to know more about their plight. The talk prompted him to realize that the issue of the comfort women “must be settled expeditiously.”
Murayama also blasted some Japanese politicians and pundits for making insensitive and “nonsensical remarks” about the former sex slaves, emphasizing that majority of the Japanese people acknowledge the wrongdoing that was done. Weeks before he flew to Seoul, a controversy involving the new NHK chief Katsuto Momii erupted as the broadcaster’s new head angered South Korea for saying that sexual slavery is common in any country at war. This on top of a visit to a famous war shrine by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in December, has incensed Seoul and further strained the relations between the two countries.
[via South China Morning Post]