MOFA Spokesperson’s Commentary on the UN HCHR’s Statement Regarding the Issue of Sexual Slavery Victims Drafted for Japan’s Imperial Army

1. The Government of the Republic of Korea welcomes the statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR) Navi Pillay on August 6, by which she encouraged Japan to pursue a comprehensive and lasting resolution of the wartime sexual slavery issue, known as “comfort women”. She emphasized that this is a current issue, as human rights violations against the victims continue to occur. The Government of the Republic of Korea recognizes that the statement by the UN HCHR Pillay reflects her conviction and strong willingness to promote women’s human rights.

The Government of the Republic of Korea takes note of the fact that the UN HCHR stressed that Japan’s denial of the coercive nature of its military sexual slavery through its June 20 report on the review of the Kono Statement, must cause tremendous agony to the sexual slavery victims.


2. Through the statement, the highest-ranking official on human rights in the UN system announced an authoritative position on the issue of Japan’s military sexual slavery following consistent recommendations made by various UN mechanisms on human rights over the last 20 years, including the announcement of the concluding observations by the UN Human Rights Committee on July 23. The Government of the Republic of Korea urges the Japanese government to accept the UN recommendations, express sincere apology and take responsible measures.


3. The Government of the Republic of Korea will continue to work with the international community, including the UN, to resolve the issue of sexual violence in conflict, including Japan’s military sexual slavery, as an issue of universal human rights.

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