Go to Contents Go to Navigation

Korean Harvard students decry professor's claims on sex slaves as 'incorrect and misleading'

Diplomacy 15:44 February 05, 2021

SEOUL, Feb. 5 (Yonhap) -- A group of Korean students at Harvard Law School has decried a professor's recent controversial claims that victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery were willing prostitutes as "factually incorrect and misleading."

On Thursday, the Korean Association of Harvard Law School issued a statement criticizing a recent article by J. Mark Ramseyer, Mitsubishi professor of Japanese Legal Studies at the Harvard school, which is titled "Contracting for sex in the Pacific War."

The article was recently published in the International Review of Law and Economics, as former Korean sex slaves called for Tokyo's sincere atonement and reparations.

"Professor Ramseyer's arguments are factually inaccurate and misleading. Without any convincing evidence, Professor Ramseyer argues that no government forced women into prostitution," the association said.

"Professor Ramseyer's deficient presentation of the historical record is demonstrated by his bibliography. Korean perspectives and scholarship, both rich sources of material on this topic, are almost completely absent in his work," it added.

The association also said that as students of law and democracy, they are committed to a "fair presentation of diverse perspectives," with their professors stressing "the fundamental importance of bringing multiple perspectives to a discussion.

The association stressed that it stands with the victims and strongly condemns "all actions that inflict pain and insult to the victims, who bear witness to the atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Army."

The issue of the victims, euphemistically called comfort women, resurfaced after a Seoul court ordered Japan last month to make reparations of 100 million won (US$88,944) each to 12 former sex slaves -- without recognizing sovereign immunity in the trial.

This photo, taken Feb. 3, 2021, shows a statue symbolizing victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery in Seoul. (Yonhap)

This photo, taken Feb. 3, 2021, shows a statue symbolizing victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery in Seoul. (Yonhap)


Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!