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Philadelphia council resolution condemns Harvard professor for defending Japan's wartime sexual slavery

An image captured from the website of the Philadelphia City Council shows its resolution condemning an article by J. Mark Ramseyer of Harvard Law School that claimed former Korean sex slaves of the Japanese military had voluntarily entered into contracts for prostitution. (Yonhap)
An image captured from the website of the Philadelphia City Council shows its resolution condemning an article by J. Mark Ramseyer of Harvard Law School that claimed former Korean sex slaves of the Japanese military had voluntarily entered into contracts for prostitution. (Yonhap)
Philadelphia council resolution condemns Harvard professor for defending Japan's wartime sexual slavery

The Philadelphia City Council has adopted a resolution condemning a professor of Harvard University for describing victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery as prostitutes in an academic paper.

"On behalf of the survivors, and for women and girls around the world, we must continue to push back on dangerous attempts to minimize historical atrocities and ensure they never happen again," the resolution adopted Thursday said.

The resolution was proposed by David Oh, a Korean American Republican member of the city council on Feb. 25, amid growing controversy over an article by J. Mark Ramseyer of Harvard Law School, which claimed former Korean sex slaves of the Japanese military had voluntarily entered into contracts for prostitution.

The paper, "Contracting for Sex in the Pacific War," is "grossly inaccurate" and is "an offensive accounting of the thousands of women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army before and during World War II," the city council said.

"Ramseyer's paper is yet another disrespectful rewriting of this history, reducing the grave injustices and suffering inflicted upon these women to consensual prostitution," the resolution also said.

Historians estimate that up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea, were forced to work in front-line brothels for Japanese troops during the war. (Yonhap)
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