(Beijing) US President Barack Obama has urged Japan to face up to its wartime history, terming the Japanese military’s use of comfort women during World War II as a “terrible, egregious violation of human rights.”
Obama, who is on a four-nation Asia tour, made the remarks after talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday.
“(The Japanese) have to recognize that this was a terrible, egregious violation of human rights. Those women were violated in ways that, even in the midst of war, was shocking. And they deserve to be heard, they deserve to be respected, and there should be an accurate and clear account of what happened,” said Obama.
Obama arrived in Seoul on Friday after visiting Japan. During his visit to Tokyo, the US president had reassured Japan of American support and said that the US-Japan security treaty extended to cover the Diaoyu Islands.
His support for Japan’s assertion of the right to collective self-defense, however, has drawn sharp reactions in Seoul, with people taking to the streets in protest on Saturday.
China expresses concern
Responding to the statement on the Diaoyu Islands, China on Friday said that it is opposed to the application of the treaty with regard to them.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said that is it was inappropriate that the treaty was used to strengthen interest group politics.
“We would like to put particular emphasis on the fact that the so-called US-Japan security treaty is a product of the Cold War and should not be targeted at a third party or harm China’s territorial sovereignty. No matter what other people say and do, they can’t change the fundamental fact that the Diaoyu Islands are part of China’s inherent territory,” said Gang.
He added that China was willing to peacefully solve disputes through dialogue and negotiations with relevant parties, and urged the US and Japan to respect the interests and concern of other countries in the region.
Meanwhile, the provincial archives in Northeast China’s Jilin Province have made public 89 documents that were written by Japanese officers.
The documents reveal atrocities committed by the Japanese army during its invasion of China, including the Nanjing Massacre, human testing of chemical and biological weapons conducted by the notorious Unit 731, the use of Chinese women as sex slaves and the maltreatment of US and British prisoners of war.