Subject: [cwj 149] Statement of Protest to NHK, Japan
From: Corporate Watch in Japanese <>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 10:17:55 -0700
Seq: 149

Statement of Protest to NHK, Japan
---Regarding the Revision of the TV Program on the "Women's International
War Crimes Tribunal" under the Pressure of Rightwing Forces

To: EBISAWA Katsuji, President  
>From: The International Organizing Committee for the Women's International
War Crimes Tribunal

As sponsors of the Women's International War Crimes Tribunal, we of the 
International Organizing Committee, convened in Seoul, Korea, on February
23ー24, 2001, strongly protest against "The Question of Wartime Sexual
Violence," aired on January 30 as the second program in the four-part
ETV 2001 series "How Is War To Be Judged?" (aired January 29-February 1)
as a program which promoted prejudice and serious misunderstanding
concerning the Tribunal.

 First, the program did not even once mention the full name of the
"Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual
Slavery", nor did it give any basic information concerning the
such as the names of sponsors or its aims; while, it spent a
considerable amount of time airing comments which criticized the
Tribunal, and material which was unrelated to it, and intentionally
hiding the fact that Japan's system of military sexual  slavery (the
"comfort women" system) was, in fact, wartime sexual violence that
amounted to a crime against humanity, even though this was supposed to
be the program's theme. 

 Second, while introducing the Tribunal, the program made no mention
 whatsoever of its historically important judgement, which found the
Showa Emperor Hirohito guilty, and the government of Japan to have
incurred state responsibility. The program thereby in effect hindered
the reconciliation between Japan and its Asian neighbors that was
purported to be its aim. For reconciliation must be offered by the
victims' side, and victims and victimized countries throughout Asia
Pacific region can under no circumstances be expected to accept a
reconciliation without justice, which  fails to reveal Japan's
responsibility, or even to acknowledge the fact of 
 Third, the program aired unfounded and abusive statements which, on
the one hand, cast doubt on the credibility of the women survivors'
testimonies on the grounds that no corroborating evidence was offered to
support them; furthermore dismissed the survivors as having been sold to
sex traffickers of their own countries and engaged business(prostitution)
at the time, without giving those on the side of the Tribunal a chance
to refute or correct these statements. In doing so, the program
slandered all the victims of Japan's military sexual slavery, trampling
on their dignity and honor for a second time.
 Fourth, ignoring the fact that the Tribunal is a people's tribunal, the
program aired statements to the effect that it violated principles of
due process that would apply to criminal courts based on state authority.
Not only were these statements made by a commentator who was
antagonistic toward the Tribunal, but this same critical stance was
expressed by the program's moderator, who should have remained neutral.
This was an insult not only to the people throughout the world who
sponsored and participated in the Tribunal as an expression of the
people's right to judge war crimes  and crimes against humanity, but
also to the whole global civil society which 
supported it. 

 Fifth, due to the intervention of rightwing forces that are growing ever
stronger in Japan today, NHK made major revisions in the contents of the 
program until the last moment immediately before it was to be aired.
This self-imposed censorship was an abandonment of NHK's responsibility
as a public broadcasting corporation to protect the freedoms of speech
and of the press, and robbed the people of one of their most fundamental
rights, the right to know. It was an act that could lead to the revival
of the militarism  that was forced on the Japanese people through
suppression of the freedoms of speech and of the press, and makes us
worry that Japan might once again be led into a situation in which its
past war crimes and crimes against humanity will be repeated. 

 For the reasons stated above, the International Organizing Committee
demands that NHK disclose the process of the change of the program, give
a sincere apology, and produce and air a program which gives a fair and
balanced account of the Tribunal. We strongly urge that you respond
promptly to these demands. 

February 24, 2001
The International Organizing Committee for
Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual 

Conveners:  YUN Chung Ok, The Korean Council for the Women Drafted
                            For Military Sexual Slavery by Japan
            Indai SAJOR, Asian Centre of Women's Human Rights(ASCENT)
           MATSUI Yayori, "Violence Against Women in War" Network
                             Japan(VAWW-NET Japan)
Protest NHK
Fax 813-3467-1988 2001

More information

Yayori Matsui<>
Chairperson of VAWW-NET Japan
2-10-10 Shiomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8585 Japan
Fax 813-5337-4088
Corporate Watch in Japanese
Transnational Resource and Action Center (TRAC)
P.O. Box 29344
San Francisco, CA 94129 USA
Tel: 1-415-561-6472
Fax: 1-415-561-6493
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