Japan should not be singled out for criticism of the use of military brothels during World War II, the new chairman of Japan’s influential public broadcaster NHK was quoted as saying in remarks likely to spark widespread anger.
The comments by Katsuto Momii, who has just taken over NHK, are likely to become an additional diplomatic headache for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Abe is already faced with deteriorating regional ties due largely to territorial issues with China and South Korea, nations that suffered from Japanese aggression before and during the war.
The issue of “comfort women” — as those forced to work in the wartime brothels are known in Japan — is a flashpoint in Tokyo’s relations with Asian nations such as Taiwan and Vietnam, but especially South Korea, since many of the women forced to work in the brothels were Korean.
Asked about the issue at a news conference on Saturday, Momii said such things happened in every nation at war during that time, including France and Germany.
“[The issue of] ‘comfort women’ is bad by today’s morals, but this was a fact of those times,” Momii was quoted as saying by the Asahi Shimbun.
“[South] Korea’s statements that Japan is the only nation that forced this are puzzling. ‘Give us money, compensate us,’ they say, but since all of this was resolved by the Japan-Korea peace treaty, why are they reviving this issue? It’s strange,” he said.
Japan says the matter of compensation was closed under the 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea that normalized diplomatic ties between the two nations.
Momii said he was only giving his opinion, but when reporters told him he was speaking as a public figure, Momii then retracted his remarks, the Asahi said.
He also said it was “only natural” for NHK to take the Japanese government’s position in international broadcasts on things such as land disputes with China.
Momii’s comments sparked an angry response within the government, the Asahi said, quoting a Cabinet minister as saying that the remarks were unacceptable and that Momii should resign.
The domestically designed Teng Yun 2 drone passed development milestones over the weekend, flying for more than 10 hours straight and circling Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in the longest flight of an indigenous uncrewed combat aerial vehicle. Developed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, the Teng Yun 2, or “Cloud Rider” (騰雲二型), recorded its longest flight yet over the weekend, after a three-hour test flight last month, followed by five and seven-hour stretches in the air. The Teng Yun 2 No. 1812 departed from Chiashan Air Base in Hualien County at 6:46pm on Saturday and flew on a
OVER THE HUMP: In a seven-day period ending on Wednesday, the nation reported 366,628 new cases, down 19 percent from the 451,358 reported in the previous week The nation might further open up to more arrivals in the next two months, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 48,283 new local COVID-19 cases, down from more than 50,000 in the previous few days. Taiwan on Wednesday last week introduced a plan to allow up to 25,000 arrivals per week as part of efforts to gradually reopen borders, which includes reducing mandatory quarantines for inbound travelers from seven to three days, followed by four days in “self-initiated epidemic prevention.” The quota covers inbound Taiwanese arrivals, businesspeople and migrant workers. Former vice president Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday said
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday said it is monitoring Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy ship movements near Taiwan, after the Japanese Ministry of Defense disclosed that Chinese vessels made a rare voyage between Yilan County and Japan’s Yonaguni. The Japanese ministry on Wednesday said that two Chinese navy ships on Tuesday diverted from their usual route of entering the Pacific Ocean via the Miyako Strait and for the first time traveled there between Yilan and Yonaguni. The Japan Self-Defense Forces said that it picked up the presence of China’s Type-056A Jiangdao-class corvette 220km north of Yonaguni at 9am on Tuesday. The
A slew of new measures are to take effect on Friday, including nationwide bring-your-own-cup discounts. The new rule requires chain beverage shops to offer discounts of at least NT$5 (US$0.17) to customers who bring their own cups, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said. The policy would apply to more than 50,000 chain retail locations, including beverage shops, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and supermarkets. It aims to cut down on waste from single-use plastic cups, more than 2.2 billion of which were used in Taiwan in 2020, the agency said. For convenience, the EPA said it has asked retailers to display signs stating how