Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Kato on the Issue of the so-called "Wartime Comfort Women" from the Korean Peninsula

July 6, 1992

Since December 1991, the Government has conducted an inquiry as to whether it had been involved in the issue of the so-called "wartime comfort women" from the Korean Peninsula into the ministries and agencies which might keep the related materials. I would like to announce the following findings as a result of this inquiry.

They are as described in the handouts, and I will summarize the main points here. That is, the inquiry has revealed that the Government had been involved in the establishment of comfort stations, the control of those who recruited comfort women, the construction and reinforcement of comfort facilities, the management and surveillance of comfort stations, the hygiene maintenance in comfort stations and among comfort women, and the issuance of identification as well as other documents to those who were related to comfort stations. Regarding the specific contents of the inquiry, we have outlined each material for those who are interested to read. The Cabinet Councilors' Office on External Affairs will explain in detail later, so that you can ask any questions you have on the contents.

The Government again would like to express its sincere apology and remorse to all those who have suffered indescribable hardship as so-called "wartime comfort women", irrespective of their nationality or place of birth. With profound remorse and determination that such a mistake must never be repeated, Japan will maintain its stance as a pacifist nation and will endeavor to build up new future-oriented relations with the Republic of Korea and with other countries and regions in Asia.

As I listen to many people, I feel truly grieved for this issue. By listening to the opinions of people from various directions, I would like to consider sincerely in what way we can express our feelings to those who suffered such hardship.


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