Japan’s Sankei Newspaper reported that the Japanese Foreign Ministry officially requested that “McGraw Hill” Education, one of America’s major publishing companies, remove information about the Japanese military’s use of “Comfort Women” or wartime prostitutes from their text books.
It is reported that the “McGraw Hill” had included this information in one of their world history books which is being used as the primary text in many local high schools in California. Specifically, the text explained how the Japanese military in World War 2 forced young Korean and Chinese women forced them to serve as prostitutes for the soldiers wherever they happened to be fighting.
The text also explained that around 200,000 women had fallen victim to this war crime, and their ages ranged from 14 to 20 years old. They even added that some of these “Comfort Women” were killed while trying to escape by Japanese soldiers. Another statement explained that some of these women were given over to the Japanese emperor as “gifts”.
Through the Japanese embassy in America, Japan’s Foreign Ministry informed the company that their textbooks carried faulty information, and that they take care of the problem. It is reported that officials at the Japanese embassy in the U.S. have started researching to what extent the information regarding Japan’s war crimes is spreading through education.
Ever since Prime Minster Shinzo Abe came into office, the Japanese government has worked to “regain” their nation’s honor by reviving traditions such as pilgrimages to the Yazukuni Shrine to pay homage to Japanese World War 2 veterans, who are considered by Korea, China, the U.S. and other major nations as war criminals. Japan continues to remove such information from school textbooks to deny that Japan had ever committed such atrocities.
South Korea’s president Guen-Hye Park has expressed a strong urge to bring these crimes to justice and receive full compensation from the Japanese government and had even made a statement regarding this plan at this year’s United Nations General Assembly. Even now, survivors of these war crimes are demonstrating for recognition and compensation before the Japanese embassy in Korea.