An Open Letter to Mr. KONO Yohei

Open Letter to Mr. KONO Yohei

On November 4, 2013, I sent Mr. KONO Yohei an open letter to ask him questions, attaching a protest letter written by Ms. TOYOTA Ikuyo, President of the Mothers’ Association Protecting Japanese Children.


Open Letter

November 4, 2013

Dear Mr. KONO Yohei,

From YAMAMOTO Yumiko, President of Nadeshiko Action

Now a fabricated story that 200,000 women were coerced to be sex slaves by the Japanese military during the war time has been spread throughout the planet. There is no such evidence found by not only the South Korean government but also the Japanese government.

However, on August 4, 1993 former Chief Cabinet Secretary KONO Yohei of the Miyazawa Administration (Liberal Democratic Party) delivered a speech called the “Kono Speech”, which admitted that the Korean comfort women were forced to be the so called comfort women whereby the Kono Speech has become the prime reason to condemn Japan.

On October 16, 2013 Sankei Shimbun reported that the Japanese government conducted research to interview 16 would-be former comfort women in South Korea before the Kono Speech was delivered. What were revealed in the article were that interviewees’ answers were ambiguous having discrepancies compared with their answers on other occasions, in addition that many of their names, birth dates and addresses were incorrect, consequently proving that the interviews conducted by the Japanese government were not worth becoming historical evidence. Therefore, the authenticity of the Kono Speech is doubted now.

We Japanese know that after World War II ended, many Japanese women were raped by Russian men and Korean men when they were returning to Japan from the Korean peninsula. In fact many Japanese women aborted their babies after returning to Japan. Further, many Japanese women were raped by American soldiers in Japan during the period when Japan was occupied by the US forces. They are historical facts.

This kind of brutality must not occur again. In the war time women often fall prey to violent men and soldiers.

However, the comfort women issue is totally different from those incidents mentioned above.

Why on earth only the Japanese are accused based on false reports or fabricated stories?!
Why the heck innocent Japanese children are bashed because of disinformation?!

In July this year, a comfort woman statue was put up in Glendale California. There are more comfort woman statues built by anti-Japan Koreans in other American cities. These statues crucify Japanese and our children living in the United States. The anti-Japan Koreans in the US have been encouraged to build such statues by the Kono Speech.

Therefore, Mr. Kono, you have the responsibility for accountability on your speech when you were Chief Cabinet Secretary. We demand that you respond to us on the following five questions by December 4, 2013.

Please be understood that this open letter and your answers will be disclosed to the public because many Japanese have great concerns on this particular issue.

I heartily request Mr. Kono, who was Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Miyazawa Administration and Speaker of the House of Representatives, thereby having received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers from the Japanese Emperor, to answer the following questions.

Question 1
Since the article of Sankei Shimbun posed questions on the research interviews conducted by Mr. Kono, many Japanese citizens have been raising their voice that you should have a press conference or to make a public announcement on this matter. When will you take action or do you have any intention to do it?

Question 2
Did you know that the research interviews you conducted were not checked thoroughly, thereby having no value as evidence? If you knew that the research interview results did not present facts, you ought to let us know the reason why you made the Kono Speech.

Question 3
Many Japanese are hoping that you retract the Kono Speech. Please let us know if you agree to that or not. If not, please let us know its reason.

Question 4
Many Japanese citizens think that the Kono Speech damaged and degraded the dignity and pride of the Japanese in the past, the present and the future, whereby there are Japanese who criticize you as a traitor to Japan. Please let us know what you think about this matter.

Question 5
In the Kono Speech, you mentioned that business organizations contracted out by the Japanese military recruited comfort women, that many women were recruited by force or sweet talk against their wills, and that Japanese military personnel were directly involved in such recruitments. Please present us “evidence that Japanese military personnel were directly involved in such recruitments”.


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