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Last Updated: Friday, 11 May 2007, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
'New proof' of Japan sex slaves
By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Tokyo

Former South Korean comfort women
About 200,000 women worked as Japanese sex slaves in WWII
Reports from Japan say documents have been found that suggest the Japanese authorities forced women to work as sex slaves during World War II.

They come from the Dutch government archives and include the testimony of a 27-year-old Dutch woman from May 1946.

The Kyodo news agency says the documents show women were coerced into prostitution in occupied Indonesia.

PM Shinzo Abe had claimed there was no evidence of Japanese officials forcing women into prostitution.

The documents are reported to have been found by a Japanese journalist investigating Japan's wartime crimes in Asia.

'Comfort women'

The Dutch woman's testimony says she had her clothes ripped off her by Japanese military police.

She says she was taken to a brothel and forced to work as a prostitute, despite her efforts to resist.

That testimony, it is claimed, was submitted to the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal as evidence of forced mass prostitution in Magelang, in what is now Central Java, in 1944.

Other documents are said to include further allegations that the Japanese forced women into prostitution.

Earlier this year Prime Minister Abe said that investigations had failed to find any documentary evidence that the Japanese authorities in wartime had issued orders to soldiers to coerce women into sex slavery.

He said though that he stood by a Japanese government apology to the women, known in Japan as "comfort women".

The journalist who found these documents says they contradict the prime minister's denial that the authorities were directly involved in coercion.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry says it is aware of his claims but has not seen the documents so cannot comment on what they might contain.

It says the Japanese government has investigated its wartime activities in Indonesia thoroughly and acknowledges and apologises for the country's wartime use of sex slaves.


SEE ALSO
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21 Mar 07 |  Asia-Pacific
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26 Sep 06 |  Asia-Pacific

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