Human Rights Committee considers report of Japan
16 July 2014http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=14878&LangID=E
OSAMU YAMANAKA, Director, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs Division, Foreign Policy Bureau, Ministry of Justice, said that the State party had carefully considered the Slavery Convention and did not consider comfort women as a slavery issue. He thanked all the members of the Committee for the constructive dialogue. The protection and promotion of human rights was a long process for every country. Japan had tried to respond, in good faith, to all raised questions. The Government would continue to make efforts in that regard, and was ready for further cooperation with the international community.
NIGEL RODLEY, Chairman of the Committee, said that there were two issues worth mentioning. One was the repetition of the process, with the State party appearing before the Committee, receiving recommendations, which were then not acted on. That was not the best use of resources, to say the least. Respect for human rights should not be a matter of available resources, especially if it came from a developed country like Japan. A case in example was the daiyō kangoku system. All the information available to the Committee showed that the system did not seem helpful for families or lawyers. There was only proof that the system was in place to elicit confessions from the detainees, which made it flagrantly incompatible with the Covenant. The delegation should expect strong concluding observations on that issue. The other recurring key issue was the one of comfort women: the Committee could not understand the distinction between women being forced into sexual slavery and them being used against their free will. An independent international inquiry might be needed to finally clarify the matter. The Committee did recognize that Japan was by and large a country respecting human rights, with an active and open civil society, but it did not mean that there were no serious problems adversely affecting human rights. It was hoped that the following review of Japan’s report would not need to address all the same issues all over again.
山中修人権人道課長が「the State party had carefully considered the Slavery Convention and did not consider comfort women as a slavery issue」と嘯いたのに対して、ナイジェル・ロドリー委員長は「the Committee could not understand the distinction between women being forced into sexual slavery and them being used against their free will.」（「委員会は『強制的に性奴隷にさせられた』ことと『個人の意思に背いて強いられた』ことにはどのような違いがあるのか理解できない」）と返しています。