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Japanese books denying responsibility for wartime sexual slavery distributed to American scholars

All Headlines 08:11 November 23, 2015

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) -- Right-wing Japanese activists are believed to be distributing books denying Tokyo's responsibility for sexual slavery during World War II to American scholars and experts as part of a campaign to water down the atrocity, sources said Sunday.

Hundreds of copies of such books, including "History Wars" published by the Sankei Shimbun and a book authored by Oh Sun-hwa (O Sonfa), a Korean-born naturalized Japanese nationalist, have been sent to scholars, professors and experts in Washington and elsewhere since early last month, the sources said.

Sent together with those books was a letter from Kuniko Inoguchi, a leading right-wing figure in Japan, the sources said, which suggests that right-wing activists in Japan must be involved in such a book distribution campaign.

Inoguchi claimed in the letter that there are people who are trying to distort the history of East Asia in the 20th century incorrectly out of domestic political ambitions, and that's why such books are distributed, according to the sources.

Sankei's "History Wars" claims that there is no documentary evidence that the Japanese government forcefully mobilized Korean women to provide sex to its troops during the war, and that those women were employed by civilian businessmen.

It also claims that Japan's image has been dealt a blow as incorrect facts have been spread worldwide. Moreover, the book describes the United States as an "enemy of Japan" for using the term "sex slaves" to describe the atrocity.

Historians estimate that up to 200,000 women, mainly from Korea, which was a Japanese colony from 1910 to 1945, were forced to work in front-line brothels for Japanese soldiers during World War II. But Japan has long attempted to water down and deny responsibility for the atrocity.

The sexual slavery issue has been the biggest thorn in frayed relations between Japan and South Korea, with Seoul demanding Tokyo take steps to address the grievances of elderly Korean victims of the atrocity and Japan refusing to do so.

Early this month, South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held the first summit talks between the two countries in more than three years and agreed to accelerate negotiations to resolve the issue.
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