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NK blasts Harvard professor for labeling sex slaves ‘prostitutes’

A statue memorializing the comfort women near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea. (Yonhap)
A statue memorializing the comfort women near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea. (Yonhap)
North Korea’s propaganda outlet on Tuesday slammed the Harvard Law School professor who claimed that “comfort women” were voluntary prostitutes.

Comfort women is a euphemism for women from Korea and other countries who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military before and during World War II.

Mark Ramseyer, Mitsubishi professor of Japanese legal studies at Harvard Law School, earlier prompted international outcry with his paper arguing that the sex slaves willingly entered into indenture contracts. Historians worldwide dispute the claims.

“He’s condoned the Japanese revisionists who gloss over Japan’s wartime atrocities. Now he disgraces the victims of sexual slavery as ‘voluntary prostitutes.’ He’s no scholar,” the outlet said.

It added that Ramseyer’s claims in the paper -- that Japan did not force women into sexual slavery and those women made huge financial profits -- were simply untrue and were a page from Japan’s right-wing playbook.

Ramseyer, who has been sponsored by successors to Japan’s wartime companies, has received decoration from the Japanese government for another piece on the comfort women issue where he wrote that Japan’s wartime government was not responsible for enslavement of women.

A UN report in 1996 concluded that the comfort women, who came from multiple Asian countries, were sex slaves. Rights groups in and outside South Korea have demanded Japan deliver a full apology, with some groups championing international prosecution.

“He’s a Japanese collaborator to the core,” the outlet said.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)
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