On July 24, 2014, The UN Human Rights Committee called on Japan to undertake independent investigations of wartime sex slavery and apologize to the women who were victims before it was too late (Reuters).
Nigel Rodley, the British expert chairing the panel, stated: “We want Japan to make the kind of statement that the families, the women themselves, the few who are still surviving, can recognize as an unambiguous, uninhibited acceptance of total responsibility for compelling them to engage for a part of their lives in something that could have only destroyed their lives.”
The panel urged Japan to “ensure that all allegations of sexual slavery or other human rights violations perpetrated by Japanese military during wartime against the ‘comfort women’, are effectively, independently and impartially investigated and that perpetrators are prosecuted and if found guilty, punished”.
One day later (July 25, 2014), according to the Japan Times, Tokyo rejected the U.N. call to accept the blame for pressing Asian women into wartime sexual slavery in military brothels. A section of the political right, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, continues to claim that the brothels were staffed by professional prostitutes. This tranche continues to assert there was no evidence to corroborate the interviewed comfort women’s testimony on the sexual slavery, sparking regional anger.
- Jan Banning
May 4th 1954, Almelo
Dutch photographer and artist. Banning was born in the Netherlands from Dutch-East-Indies parents. He studied social and economic history at the Radboud University Nijmegen, and has been working as a photographer since 1981. A central theme of Banning's practice is state power, having produced series about the long-term consequences of war and the world of government bureaucracy.