安倍「謝罪」発言を海外メディアはどう取り上げたか

「強制はなかった」発言をくり返す一方で、国会の場で「謝罪している」といった安倍首相の発言は、海外ではどんなふうにとりあげられているか、と思って、インターネットを調べてみました。

ニューヨークタイムズ紙は、安倍首相の「謝罪」を「一歩前進」と評価しつつ、「この問題は非常に難しい問題だと思うが、日本人がこの問題に取り組み続け、率直かつ責任あるやり方でそれを取り扱い、関与した犯罪の重大性を認めることを誰もが望んでいる」という国務省スポークスマンの発言を紹介しています。

Japan Leader Who Denied State Role in Wartime Sex Slavery Still Apologizes
By NORIMITSU ONISHI
[Published: March 27, 2007 The New York Times]

TOKYO, March 26 ? Facing increasing criticism for denying that Japan coerced women into sex slavery during World War II, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe repeatedly refused Monday to acknowledge state responsibility in recruiting the "comfort women," but offered them an apology.

In a debate in Parliament, under intense questioning by an opposition lawmaker, Mr. Abe refused to withdraw a recent statement in which he said there was no evidence that the military had forcibly recruited women to work in brothels established throughout Asia.

But Mr. Abe chose his words carefully on Monday to avoid repeating his earlier denial, saying only, "What I said about coercion during the news conference, all of it became news, so that's the way it was."

When Haruko Yoshikawa, a Communist member of Parliament, asked Mr. Abe whether he considered as proof of coercion the testimony given by former sex slaves in the United States House of Representatives recently, Mr. Abe said he had no comment on their testimony.

The House of Representatives is considering a nonbinding resolution that would call on Japan to unambiguously acknowledge its wartime slavery and apologize for it.

Prompted by Ms. Yoshikawa to make a statement toward surviving sex slaves, who are now mostly in their 80s, Mr. Abe said, "I express my sympathy for the hardships they suffered and offer my apology for the situation they found themselves in."

Mr. Abe said he would adhere to a 1993 government spokesman's statement that acknowledged Japan's role in managing the wartime "comfort stations," as well as in forcibly recruiting sex slaves. But his repeated denial of coercion contradicted the 1993 statement, Ms. Yoshikawa said. The State Department urged Japan to take responsibility for its role in the wartime sex slavery, though on Monday it described Mr. Abe's apology as a "step forward."

"But I think this is a very difficult issue, and we certainly would want to see the Japanese continue to address this and to deal with it in a forthright and responsible manner that acknowledges the gravity of the crimes that were committed," said Tom Casey, a State Department spokesman. That kind of critical language is rarely used against Japan by Washington, which has tried to stay clear of the history-related problems that have roiled East Asia in recent years.

Mr. Abe has been under pressure from his right-wing base to revise or reject the 1993 statement. At the same time, his denial of coercion has sparked outrage in Asia and the United States.

Mr. Abe's ratings have slid drastically since he became prime minister in September, and his comments about the sex slaves have risked undermining his initial success in improving relations with China and South Korea.

His denial of state coercion has drawn charges of hypocrisy, because Mr. Abe won his popularity by championing the cause of 17 Japanese allegedly abducted by North Korea.

But Mr. Abe told reporters that the abductions were "a completely different matter" from the sex slavery matter.

↓ロサンゼルス・タイムズ紙は「限定された謝罪」という見出しで報じています。

A qualified Abe apology
Japan's premier says he is sorry for the suffering of women exploited for sex during the war. But critics aren't appeased.
By Bruce Wallace, Times Staff Writer
[March 27, 2007 Los Angels Times]

TOKYO ? Under harsh questioning in parliament, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized Monday for the suffering of women exploited for sex during World War II. But senior members of his administration continued to deny that the Japanese military organized the brothel system that recruited the women.

"I express my sympathy for the hardships they suffered and offer my apology for the situation they found themselves in," Abe told the legislature when pressed on what he would say to the aging survivors of the "comfort women" system. "As the prime minister, I am apologizing here."

Government officials say they consider Abe's apology, issued in the capacity of prime minister, to carry more weight than his previous statements of remorse.

In the past, Abe had continually fallen back on the mantra of saying he stood by the 1993 apology issued by then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono. The Kono statement acknowledged that a government study found that "in many cases [the women] were recruited against their own will, through coaxing, coercion, etc., and that, at times, administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitments."

But critics argue that Abe has gutted the significance of that apology by also issuing qualifications contending there is no written evidence linking the Japanese military to the coercion of women from across Asia. That position has a large constituency within his ruling Liberal Democratic Party and among many Japanese scholars, who argue that the women were coerced by private profiteers, were sold into sexual slavery by their own families or were prostitutes.

Such a view was reflected in comments made Sunday by Hakubun Shimomura, the deputy chief Cabinet secretary and a member of Abe's inner circle during his rise to power. Shimomura told a radio program, "It is true that there were 'comfort women,' " adding: "I believe some parents may have sold their daughters. But it does not mean the Japanese army was involved."

Shimomura's comments have made it harder for Abe to cut off discussion of the issue, which threatens to cast a pall over his visit to the United States in late April. Abe has tried to put an end to the controversy by refusing to further debate the nature of the coercion of the women.

In parliament Monday, he said he had no comment on whether he considered credible the testimony of surviving comfort women about their experiences.

He also rejected criticism that he was failing to see the moral equivalency between the coercion of the comfort women and the abduction of 17 Japanese civilians by North Korean agents during the Cold War, an emotional issue that Abe has made the centerpiece of his political career.

"The issue of the abductees is an ongoing violation of human rights," Abe said.

"The comfort women issue is not ongoing."

最後は、ワシントンポスト紙にのったロイターの記事。ワシントンポスト紙自身の「安倍晋三の二枚舌」という論説に言及しています。

Japan PM apologizes for WW2 sex slaves
By Isabel Reynolds
[Monday, March 26, 2007; 8:13 AM Reuters/Washington Post]

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, under fire abroad for denying government involvement in forcing women to serve as sex slaves during World War Two, said on Monday he was "apologizing here and now as the prime minister."

Abe said earlier this month there was no proof Japan's government or army kidnapped women to work in military brothels as "comfort women," as the wartime sex slaves are known in Japan.

He had also said he stood by a 1993 apology known as the Kono Statement that acknowledged official involvement in the brothels.

But he has said there would be no new apology even if U.S. lawmakers adopted a resolution seeking one.

"I am apologizing here and now as the prime minister, and it is as stated in the Kono Statement," Abe told a parliamentary committee in response to a question by an opposition lawmaker.

"As I frequently say, I feel sympathy for the people who underwent hardships, and I apologize for the fact that they were placed in this situation at the time."

Abe, who made his name as a politician by pushing for resolution of a feud with North Korea over Japanese kidnapped by Pyongyang's agents decades ago to train spies, has faced heavy criticism in U.S. media for his recent remarks on sex slaves.

"If Mr. Abe seeks international support in learning the fate of Japan's kidnapped citizens, he should straightforwardly accept responsibility for Japan's own crimes — and apologize to the victims he has slandered," said a weekend editorial in the Washington Post entitled "Shinzo Abe's Double Talk."

Asked about the comparison, Abe told reporters said: "That is a completely different matter. The issue of the abductees is an ongoing violation of human rights," he said.

"The 'comfort women' issue is not ongoing. As for the abductees issue, the situation is that Japanese people who were kidnapped by North Korea have not been released."

"POLITICAL DEATH"

North Korea's state media criticized Abe on Monday for refusing to provide funds as part of a multilateral deal under which Pyongyang has promised to abandon its nuclear weapons program in return for security pledges and economic aid.

"Japan is stooping to any infamy and barring the settlement of a problem in the international political arena to gratify its ambition of ultra-nationalism," Pyongyang's KCNA news agency said.

"For Abe to make any concession over the 'abduction issue' means his political death," it said, adding Japan was "not qualified" to take part in the six-way nuclear talks among the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia.

Analysts have said Abe's original comments were meant to appeal to his core conservative base at a time when his support ratings have slumped due to doubts about his leadership.

A survey by the Mainichi newspaper published on Monday showed his support rate was at 35 percent, down one point from February while his disapproval rare rose one point to 42 percent.

Abe's denial of official involvement in kidnapping women, mostly Asian, to work in the wartime brothels angered Seoul and risked straining ties with Washington, where U.S. Congressman Michael Honda has introduced a resolution calling for Japan to make an unambiguous apology for the suffering of the sex slaves.

No vote on the resolution, which Abe has criticized as full of errors, is expected until May, after Abe visits Washington for talks with President Bush.
(Additional reporting by Linda Sieg and Takeshi Yoshiike)

そして、↓これが、「安倍晋三の二枚舌」と題したワシントン・ポストの論説(3/24日付)。
結論部分では、「もし安倍首相が、日本人拉致被害者への国際的な支援を望むのであれば、彼は、日本自身の犯罪にたいする責任を正直に受け入れ、彼が中傷した被害者に謝罪すべきである」とズバリ指摘しています。

Shinzo Abe's Double Talk(Washington Post 3/24)

Shinzo Abe's Double Talk
He's passionate about Japanese victims of North Korea — and blind to Japan's own war crimes.
[Saturday, March 24, 2007; Page A16 :Washington Post]

THE TOUGHEST player in the "six-party" talks on North Korea this week was not the Bush administration — which was engaged in an unseemly scramble to deliver $25 million in bank funds demanded by the regime of Kim Jong Il — but Japan. Tokyo is insisting that North Korea supply information about 17 Japanese citizens allegedly kidnapped by the North decades ago, refusing to discuss any improvement in relations until it receives answers. This single-note policy is portrayed as a matter of high moral principle by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has used Japan's victims — including a girl said to have been abducted when she was 13 — to rally his wilting domestic support.

Mr. Abe has a right to complain about Pyongyang's stonewalling. What's odd — and offensive — is his parallel campaign to roll back Japan's acceptance of responsibility for the abduction, rape and sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of women during World War II. Responding to a pending resolution in the U.S. Congress calling for an official apology, Mr. Abe has twice this month issued statements claiming there is no documentation proving that the Japanese military participated in abducting the women. A written statement endorsed by his cabinet last week weakened a 1993 government declaration that acknowledged Japan's brutal treatment of the so-called comfort women.

In fact the historical record on this issue is no less convincing than the evidence that North Korea kidnapped Japanese citizens, some of whom were used as teachers or translators. Historians say that up to 200,000 women from Korea, China, the Philippines and other Asian countries were enslaved and that Japanese soldiers participated in abductions. Many survivors of the system have described their horrifying experiences, including three who recently testified to Congress. That the Japanese government has never fully accepted responsibility for their suffering or paid compensation is bad enough; that Mr. Abe would retreat from previous statements is a disgrace for a leader of a major democracy.

Mr. Abe may imagine that denying direct participation by the Japanese government in abductions may strengthen its moral authority in demanding answers from North Korea. It does the opposite. If Mr. Abe seeks international support in learning the fate of Japan's kidnapped citizens, he should straightforwardly accept responsibility for Japan's own crimes — and apologize to the victims he has slandered.

僕はもちろん、従軍慰安婦問題と拉致事件とはバーターされるようなものだと考えてはいませんが、世界の目から見たときに、日本の姿勢が「ダブル・スタンダード」だと受け取られるという指摘は頷けるものでます。みずからの過去の犯罪を認め、きちんと謝罪し、その立場から拉致事件の解決にのぞんでいれば、もっと国際的な支持も得られるだろうというのは、まったくそのとおりだと思います。

Similar Articles:

Leave a Comment

NOTE - You can use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> <img localsrc="" alt="">