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2014年8月 7日 (木)

朝日慰安婦報道 「吉田証言」ようやく取り消し

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Asahi Shimbun makes long-overdue corrections over ‘comfort women’
朝日慰安婦報道 「吉田証言」ようやく取り消し

◆女子挺身隊との混同も認める

After a review of its reports on the so-called comfort women issue, which has become a huge thorn in the side of Japan-South Korea ties, The Asahi Shimbun has admitted its mistakes in the reports—albeit partially—and retracted some of the contents.
 日韓間の大きな棘とげである、いわゆる従軍慰安婦問題について、朝日新聞が過去の報道を点検し、一部だが、誤りを認めて取り消した。

The retractions allude to reports on remarks by Seiji Yoshida, who claimed to have forcibly taken away local women from Jeju Island, South Korea, to make them serve as comfort women. During World War II, Yoshida was said to be the former head of the mobilization department of the Shimonoseki Branch of Romu Hokoku-kai, an organization in charge of recruiting laborers.
 韓国・済州島で慰安婦を強制連行したとする吉田清治氏の証言である。吉田氏は戦時中、労務報国会下関支部の動員部長だったとされる。

In September 1982, the newspaper reported—without verification—the remarks of Yoshida, who claimed to have “hunted up 200 young Korean women in Jeju Island.”
 朝日新聞は1982年9月、「済州島で200人の若い朝鮮人女性を『狩り出した』」とする吉田氏の発言をうのみにして報じた。

Misperceptions about Japan
◆世界に誤解広げた一因

The report added fuel to anti-Japan sentiment in South Korea, and also became a basis of misperception of Japan spreading through the world. In its Tuesday morning edition, the Asahi concluded—for the first time—that Yoshida’s remarks were baseless, and finally retracted the newspaper’s reports regarding the remarks.
 これが韓国の反日世論をあおっただけでなく、日本について誤った認識が、世界に広がる根拠の一つとなった。今回、吉田証言を初めて虚偽と判断し、それをめぐる記事をようやく撤回した。

We cannot help but point out the correction should have been made at a much earlier stage. Doubts about Yoshida’s remarks have been raised as early as 1992. The newspaper’s negligence in allowing the issue to linger for more than 20 years is deplorable.
 もっと早い段階で訂正されるべきだった。92年には疑問が指摘されながら、20年以上にわたって、放置してきた朝日新聞の責任は極めて重い。

The Asahi has, by its own account, reported about Yoshida on at least 16 occasions. Historian Ikuhiko Hata raised doubts over Yoshida’s remarks in 1992, but the newspaper has long refrained from making a correction.
 朝日新聞は82年以降、確認できただけで計16回にわたって、吉田氏について記事にした。92年に歴史家の秦郁彦氏が吉田証言への疑問を指摘したが、修正することはなかった。

In March 1997, The Asahi Shimbun carried a special article on the reports about the comfort women issue. However, the newspaper only said it was unable to confirm the authenticity of Yoshida’s remarks.
 97年3月の検証記事でさえ、吉田証言について「真偽は確認できない」と表記するにとどめた。

Yoshida’s remarks were cited by a 1996 U.N. Human Rights Commission report compiled by Radhika Coomaraswamy, helping propagate a misunderstanding in the international community that the forcible recruitment of comfort women took place.
 吉田証言は、96年の国連人権委員会のクマラスワミ報告にも引用された。これが、慰安婦の強制連行があったとする誤解が、国際社会に拡大する一因となった。

Another serious problem with the Asahi’s reports is the mix-up between comfort women and female volunteer corps.
 朝日新聞の報道におけるもう一つの重大な問題は、慰安婦と「女子挺身ていしん隊」との混同である。

In a front-page article carried in January 1992, the Asahi stated that “South Korean women became the major target of forcible recruitment conducted in the name of the female volunteer corps. The estimated number [of victims] range from 80,000 to 200,000.”
 92年1月の1面記事で「主として朝鮮人女性を挺身隊の名で強制連行した。その人数は8万とも20万ともいわれる」と記した。

The report was issued just before then Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa’s visit to South Korea. It prompted the government to conduct an investigation into the comfort women issue, resulting in a statement issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, which expressed the government’s “sincere apologies and remorse” to former comfort women.
 この記事は、宮沢首相の訪韓の直前に報じられた。政府が慰安婦問題を調査し、元慰安婦への「おわびと反省」を表明する河野談話を作成する発火点となった。

In Tuesday morning’s edition, the Asahi admitted its mistake over the mix-up for the first time, saying that the female volunteer corps refers to groups of women mobilized for work in munitions factories and elsewhere during wartime and are “completely different” from comfort women.
 朝日新聞は今回、「女子挺身隊は、戦時下で女性を軍需工場などに動員した『女子勤労挺身隊』を指し、慰安婦とはまったく別」と、初めて誤りを認めた。

“We have been working not to confuse the two since 1993,” the newspaper said in the Tuesday edition. However, the Asahi’s reports have prompted the false understanding that even girls of primary school age were recruited as comfort women.
 「93年以降、両者を混同しないよう努めてきた」としているが、小学生まで慰安婦にしたかのような誤解を生むことになった。

The Asahi defended its coverage by saying in its two-page spread: “Little progress had been made in investigating the comfort women issue at that time. Some documents to which [Asahi] reporters referred contained statements in which the female volunteer corps was mixed up with the comfort women.” Then the special feature said that some other national dailies had also published articles containing a similar mix-up.
 「当時は、慰安婦問題に関する研究が進んでおらず、記者が参考にした資料などにも慰安婦と挺身隊の混同がみられた」と釈明したうえ、他紙も同様の報道をしたと指摘している。

In reporting on the female volunteer corps and Yoshida in initial stages, The Yomiuri Shimbun also ran some stories including factual errors. In the late 1990s and onward, however, we corrected such errors through our editorials and other articles.
 読売新聞にも当初、女子挺身隊や吉田氏に関して、誤った記事を掲載した例があった。だが、90年代後半以降は、社説などを通じて、誤りを正している。

Assertions unchanged
◆正しい歴史認識持とう

We question the Asahi’s assertions about how so-called comfort women were kept at facilities to provide sex for soldiers. Though the heart of the matter was whether they were recruited by force, the national daily argued that great importance must be attached to the fact that those women were caught in a situation marked by “a coercive nature” with which they had been “deprived of freedom.”
 疑問なのは、「強制連行の有無」が慰安婦問題の本質であるのに、朝日新聞が「自由を奪われた強制性」があったことが重要だと主張していることだ。

In initial stages, the Asahi continued to insist the crux of the problem was that these women had been forcibly recruited, citing testimony from Yoshida and other sources. However, the testimony and data used by the paper as a basis for its reasoning were later disproved. Then the Asahi started to argue that the retention of those women in facilities had a coercive nature.
 朝日新聞は当初、吉田証言などを基に、慰安婦の強制連行を問題視してきた。だが、強制連行の根拠が崩れると、慰安婦が慰安所に留め置かれていたことに強制性があると主張するようになる。

The Asahi’s assertion has remained fundamentally unchanged in this respect, as illustrated by its latest feature, which stated that the essence of the problem lies in the fact that “women were deprived of freedom in brothels, and their dignity was violated.”
 今回も、問題の本質は、「慰安所で女性が自由を奪われ、尊厳が傷つけられたことにある」としており、その主張は基本的に変化していない。

There is no doubt that a large number of women, including those from the Philippines and Indonesia, had their honor and dignity injured during World War II. There may have been cases deemed inexcusable from a present-day human rights perspective, even if no coercive action was taken by the prewar government and the military.
 フィリピンやインドネシアなども含め、戦時中に多数の女性の名誉と尊厳が傷つけられる行為があったことは確かである。政府・軍の強制連行はなくとも、現在の人権感覚では、許されないこともあっただろう。

Still, it is necessary to discuss two issues related to the whole controversy as separate matters—that is, how to deal with sex-related issues facing soldiers and whether the Japanese wartime military was involved in forcibly recruiting women for the provision of sex.
 しかし、「戦場での性」の是非と、軍の強制連行があったかどうかは、区別して論じる必要がある。

Questions can be asked as to the appropriateness of calling the Japanese government to task by insisting coerciveness was prevalent in the provision of sex by those women in a broad sense of the term. We believe focusing on such questions is an attempt to sidestep the real issue.
広義の強制性があったとして日本政府の責任を問うことは、議論のすりかえではないか。

Gaining a proper perception of history requires thorough efforts to uncover the whole truth behind any historical issue.
 正しい歴史認識を持つためには、あくまで真実を究明することが欠かせない。

Better Japan-ROK ties needed
◆日韓関係の正常化を

South Korean President Park Geun-hye strongly opposed a report issued by the Japanese government in June regarding the results of investigations into how the so-called Kono statement on comfort women was drafted and issued in 1993, using Coomaraswamy’s U.N. report and other data as a basis for her assertion. Her unbending hard-line stance on Japan is unlikely to change.
 韓国の朴槿恵政権は、クマラスワミ報告などを根拠として、日本政府が6月に発表した河野談話の検証結果にも強く反発している。その頑かたくなな対日強硬姿勢は、簡単には変わるまい。

The government should not easily compromise on the controversy. It must persist in urging South Koreans to gain a proper understanding of our government’s stance on the comfort women dispute.
 政府は、安易な妥協をすることなく、慰安婦問題に関する日本の立場に対する韓国の理解を粘り強く求めていかねばならない。

Relations between Japan and South Korea are strained today. There has been no summit meeting between the two nations for more than two years. We hope the media and the public in both nations will come to have an accurate grasp of all the facts, a task essential for their respective efforts to build a future-oriented relationship between the two neighbors.
 日韓関係は今、首脳会談が2年以上も開かれない異常な状態にある。両国のメディアや国民も、冷静に事実関係を把握したうえで、未来志向の関係の構築に向けて、それぞれの努力を心がけたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 6, 2014)

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