Title: Factual Mistakes in a statement by economists who urge withdrawal of Professor Mark Ramseyer’s article about the comfort women issue
Author: Tsutomu Nishioka (Chairman of the Historical Awareness Research Committee, Visiting Professor at Reitaku University, and Professor at the Institute of Moralogy)
Harvard University Professor Mark Ramseyer’s “Contracting for Sex in the Pacific War,” an academic article on wartime comfort women (hereinafter referred to as “article”), is being fiercely criticized. Most of the criticisms are too extreme. They have no regard for academic freedom and just demand that the article be withdrawn.
A statement (hereinafter referred to as “Statement”) drafted and signed by Professor Michael Chwe, Dean of the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and other economists calling for the withdrawal of the article has gained more than 3000 signatures as of March 5. http://chwe.net/irle/letter/
From the perspective of a Japanese scholar who has been engaged in controversial debates over the comfort women issue for 30 years, the criticism includes many factual errors and biased evidence.
In my response here, I would like to point out the rudimentary factual mistakes in the Statement, and show how sloppy the understanding of the comfort women issue by critics who do not tolerate any idea other than that comfort women were sexual slaves.
Irrespective of whether comfort women were sexual slaves or officially-licensed prostitutes, I would like to emphasize that only academic discussion matters. We should not urge a scholar to retract an article by the power of majority.
1. The Passage about Osaki, a 10-Year-Old Japanese Girl
In the introduction, the Statement draws on a passage stating that a 10-year-old Japanese girl had agreed to work as a prostitute overseas on her own initiative, condemning the article for “arguing that a ten-year-old is able to consent to become a sex worker”:
In an attempt to argue that young women and girls, many in their teens, voluntarily contracted themselves into sex work at the so-called “comfort stations” set up by the Imperial Japanese military during World War II, the article contains a passage about a ten-year old Japanese girl named Osaki: “When Osaki turned ten, a recruiter stopped by and offered her 300 yen upfront if she would agree to go abroad. The recruiter did not try to trick her; even at age 10, she knew what the job entailed” (p. 4). But the brothel owner did in fact deceive Osaki, and even if the situation were as the article describes, the article is arguing that a ten-year-old is able to consent to become a sex worker.
In its conclusion, the Statement again characterizes the article as one that “argues that a ten-year old girl can consent to work as a sex worker”:
Young scholars aspiring to enter our profession will be greatly dismayed by an article published in a scholarly economics journal that denies the existence of a government-sponsored system of sexual coercion and argues that a ten-year old girl can consent to work as a sex worker.
However, what is quoted in the above passage is an instance of a historical fact from the Meiji era (1868–1912) that is widely known in Japan: daughters of impoverished families in Kyushu who supported their families by working as prostitutes in Southeast Asia were called karayuki. The case cited in the article comes from Sandakan hachiban shokan (trans. Sandakan Brothel No. 8), the representative work of Tomoko Yamazaki, who studied the karayuki issue thoroughly from the perspective of women’s human rights.
It is true that human rights of women were not protected in Japan at the time. Under today’s values, it would of course be unethical for a 10-year-old girl to enter into a prostitution contract. The article makes no such value judgment, but merely describes the fact that such violations of women’s human rights took place in Meiji-era Japan.
The Statement’s criticism of the scholar as “unethical” and “legitimiz[ing] horrific atrocities” is misguided, confusing the scholar’s factual accounts with value judgments.
2. The Assertion That Comfort Women Were Sex Slaves
The Statement posits that comfort women were sex slaves forced into service by the Japanese army:
“Comfort women” is the euphemism for the young women and girls whom Imperial Japanese Army forced into sexual slavery during World War II. . . .
[T]he evidence of sexual slavery is well-documented from the testimonies and accounts from the women themselves and academic histories.
However, the sex slave theory is but one theory in academia. There are many scholars in Japanese and Korean academia who deny the sex slave theory and stand by the theory of public prostitution. The Statement cites Yoshiaki Yoshimi’s book Comfort Women: Sexual Slavery in the Japanese Military During World War II (originally published in Japanese as Jugun ianfu) as an earlier study that provided the basis for the sexual slavery theory. But in Japanese academia, alongside Yoshimi’s book, Ikuhiko Hata’s Ianfu to senjo no sei (trans. Comfort Women and Sex in the Battle Zone) is regarded as an authoritative treatise on this issue. In it Hata denies the sex slave theory and makes the case for the public prostitution theory. There are many other scholars who advocate the latter, including myself. In South Korea as well, leading positivist economic historians such as Lee Young-hoon, a former professor at Seoul National University, and Dr. Lee Woo-yeon, who are coauthors of Anti-Japan Tribalism, support the public prostitution theory.
The Japanese government, too, clearly denies the expression “sex slaves,” noting that it “contradicts the facts”:
The expression “sex slaves” contradicts the facts so that it should not be used. This point was confirmed with ROK at the occasion of the Japan-ROK Agreement in December 2015 and the expression “sex slaves” is not used in the agreement. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan website, https://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/files/100104783.pdf)
The Statement’s position of viewing the sex slave theory as the only established theory in academia and refusing to admit the existence of other theories runs counter to academic freedom.
3. Error Regarding the Ages of Comfort Women
The Statement makes the incredible claim that the comfort women were aged “between eleven and twenty”:
These young women and girls, most of whom were of ages between eleven and twenty, came originally from areas including Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Netherlands.
As the basis for this, the Statement cites another statement by 16 US, Chinese, and Korean scholars criticizing the article, but the said statement does not provide any evidence either that the comfort women were between the ages of 11 and 20. Under the public prostitution system of the time, women could not become public prostitutes unless they were aged 18 years or older in Japan and 17 years or older in Korea. The same age limit was basically applied to comfort women as well. The age requirements given in recruitment ads for comfort women printed in Korean newspapers at the time were 17 to 23 years old in one instance (Keijo Nippo, July 26, 1944) and 18 to 30 years old in another (Mainichi Shinpo, October 27, 1944), suggesting that there was a minimum age requirement of 17 years.
According to interrogations by the US military of Korean comfort women who had been detained in Burma, the average age of Korean comfort women was around 25 years old. The age distribution of the 20 women detained was as follows: the youngest woman was 19 years old, while three were 20, seven were 21, one was 22, two were 25, two were 26, two were 27, one was 28, and one was 31. (“Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No. 49: Korean Comfort Women”)
That said, it is known that there were at least 16-year-old Korean comfort women. Seikichi Yamada’s Bukan heitan: Shina hakengun ian kakaricho no shuki (The Wuhan commissariat: Memoir of a subsection chief in the China Expeditionary Army in charge of comfort facilities; Tosho Shuppansha, 1978), on page 100, depicts an instance in which a 16-year-old obtained a license by claiming that she was actually 18 years old because her birth certificate had been filed late.
As we have seen, there is no evidence to prove the existence of any 11-year-old comfort women. In Japan at the time, women were allowed to marry from the age of 15. Even by that standard of the day, 11-year-old girls were children, not sexual objects. The Statement’s allegation that 11-year-old girls were made to be comfort women constitutes a serious defamation against Japan.
4. The Military Did Not Take the Women by Force
The Statement alleges that the Japanese military forced these women into sexual servitude and transferred them to comfort stations in military vessels under the supervision of military police:
Imperial Japanese Army forced [them] into sexual slavery during World War II. . . .
Japanese military vessels, under the supervision of military police, transported these women to hundreds of “comfort stations” in countries and territories occupied by Japan before and during the war. Historical evidence indicates that recruitment methods included abduction, deception, threats, and violence.
The Korean comfort women were brought to comfort stations by contractors, usually by train or private transport vessel. While there were special cases in which they boarded military vessels as civilian personnel, this was done in the context of providing for expediency and does not mean that they were being transported under the supervision of military police.
The Japanese government has likewise denied the allegations that women were rounded up by force as “claims that can hardly be said to be based on historical facts,” noting, “‘forceful taking away’ of comfort women by the Japanese military and government authorities could not be confirmed in any of the documents that the Government of Japan was able to identify” (see link above to Foreign Ministry website).
Even Yoshiaki Yoshimi, the author of the book mentioned in section 2 above, which the Statement cites as “historical evidence,” has admitted that there was no forced recruitment of these women by the military in the Korean Peninsula (Yoshimi et al., “Jugun ianfu” o meguru 30 no uso to shinjitsu [Thirty lies and truths surrounding “comfort women”], Otsuki Shoten, 1997, p. 27).
The recruitment was conducted by private contractors, and while it is true that criminal acts including “abduction, deception, threats, and violence” took place in the process, the military police at the time enforced control over such criminal acts.
Ken’ichi Nagasawa, who was an army doctor at the Hankou comfort station in China, depicts a case in which a Korean woman who had been deceived by recruiters into coming there refused to become a comfort woman in an interview with the commissariat, to which the commissariat forbade the contractors from employing her as a comfort woman and ordered them to find her a different job. This indicates that the army in the battlefront was also cracking down on employment fraud by dishonest contractors.
In September  the contractors applied for the replenishment of comfort women due to their decrease, and the [Wuchang] branch [of the Hankou commissariat] approved. In October about thirty women led by two Koreans arrived from Korea via the Beijing-Guangzhou line. The branch was not aware of what kind of persons had conducted the recruitment by what means, but one of the women began to cry, saying she did not know it was a job as a comfort woman, having come with the promise of working at Kaikosha, a meeting place for army officers, and refused to work. The branch chief banned the contractors from employing her and ordered them to place her in an appropriate job. Somebody along the lines of a pimp had probably recruited her with sweet words. (Ken’ichi Nagasawa, Kanko ianjo [Hankou comfort station], Tosho Shuppansha, 1983, p. 221)
5. Falsehood That Such Acts as Rape and Torture Were Repeated at the Comfort Stations
The Statement describes the life of comfort women in comfort stations using inflammatory language:
Within the “comfort stations,” women were subject to repeated rape, forced abortions, physical torture, and sexually transmitted diseases
Korean comfort women were compensated as public prostitutes at the comfort stations. In private brothels run by Korean operators, there were instances of the women being exploited like slaves. But this was not allowed at comfort stations regulated by the military as public prostitution facilities, as the military clamped down tightly on exploitation and oppression by contractors. Some returned to Japan after paying back their previous debts early, making a comfortable living, and saving large sums of money.
At the Hankou comfort station in China, contractors took 60 percent of the sales from those who had debts, with which they paid for the comfort women’s food and medical expenses, while the women received 40 percent and used that to repay their debts in full. Once the debt was paid off, 50 percent would go to the contractors and 50 percent to the comfort women, so that the women earned a substantial income. Among the Korean comfort woman were one who had a deposit of 30,000 yen at the Hankou branch of the Bank of Joseon and another who “looked forward to buying farmland by borrowing money again when she had paid off her debt and sending that money to her hometown in Korea.” (Nagasawa, Kanko ianjo, pp. 64–65)
6. Absurdity of the 75-Percent Death Rate Theory
The Statement states that 75 percent of Korean comfort women died at the comfort stations.
[I]t has been estimated that roughly 75 percent died from this experience.
As the basis for this claim, the Statement cites the web page “Number of Comfort Stations and the Comfort Women” in the Digital Museum: The Comfort Women Issue and the Asian Women’s Fund website.
However, the web page in fact denies the 75-percent death rate theory as untrue. Although it notes that such a theory appears in a report by Gay J. McDougall, special rapporteur for the United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, the page denounces the statement made by a Japanese Diet member, which McDougall cites as the only evidence for her claim, as “arbitrarily listed figures” and explicitly denies the 75-percent death rate theory.
This serious factual error alone is reason enough to consider the Statement an academic failure. Below, I quote the relevant section of the website of the Asian Women’s Fund, although it is rather lengthy.
G.J. McDougal, the Special Rapporteur for the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, presented a report to the Sub-Committee on 22 June 1998 entitled Contemporary Forms of Slavery: Systematic Rape, Sexual Slavery and Slavery-like Practices During Armed Conflict. The report has an appendix entitled An Analysis of the Legal Liability of the Government of Japan for ‘Comfort Women Stations’ established during the Second World War. The appendix includes the following passage:
“Between 1932 and the end of the Second World War, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial Army forced over 200,000 women into sexual slavery in rape centers throughout Asia.”
“Only about 25 per cent of these women are said to have survived these daily abuses.”
These numbers are based on “a 1975 [sic.] statement by Seijuro Arafune, Liberal Democratic Party member of the Japanese Diet, that 145,000 Korean sex slaves died during the Second World War.”
During the war, Koreans were told that they were now Japanese. This was to persuade them to place money in deposit accounts. They deposited 110 billion yen, and the money was all lost at the end of the war. Now they are demanding that the money be returned. They say, “Give us back Korea’s wealth, the wealth Japanese bureaucrats held on to during 36 years of rule.” They say Koreans were drafted by Japan during the war and taken from Korea to work, and those who worked well were used as soldiers, and 576,000 of those soldiers are now dead. There are claims that 142,000 Korean comfort women are dead, killed by the Japanese military’s sexual abuses. Now they are demanding pensions for a total of 900,000 victims. At first, 5 billion dollars was claimed as compensation, but the sum has been whittled down and now they say they are willing to settle for 300 million dollars.
During the Korea-Japan Treaty negotiations (up to 1965), representatives of the Republic of Korea stated that 1,032,684 Koreans had been recruited to serve as laborers, soldiers, and personnel attached to the Japanese military, and that 102,603 of these had been injured or had died. At the time, no mention was made of comfort women.
None of Arafune figures have any basis whatsoever. It is most unfortunate that Special Rapporteur McDougal, who held a responsible position working for a United Nations organization, relied on such an untrustworthy source.
7. Misreading of the Kono Statement
The Statement cites sections of the Kono Statement in the following manner, making it seem as if the Japanese government had admitted to the theories of forceful recruitment and sexual slavery. This, however, is a misinterpretation of the statement.
Most importantly, the Japanese government acknowledged in its Kono statement in 1993 that these young women and girls were “recruited against their own will” and “lived in misery at comfort stations under a coercive atmosphere,” and that Japanese “administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitments.” This settled fact has been further affirmed by the United Nations, Amnesty International, and the US House of Representatives.
The portions quoted here are extracted from the following passage of the Kono Statement:
The recruitment of the comfort women was conducted mainly by private recruiters who acted in response to the request of the military. The Government study has revealed that in many cases they were recruited against their own will, through coaxing, coercion, etc., and that, at times, administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitments. They lived in misery at comfort stations under a coercive atmosphere.
As to the origin of those comfort women who were transferred to the war areas, excluding those from Japan, those from the Korean Peninsula accounted for a large part. The Korean Peninsula was under Japanese rule in those days, and their recruitment, transfer, control, etc., were conducted generally against their will, through coaxing, coercion, etc.
The Statement omits the part about who mainly conducted the recruitments, which the Kono Statement explicitly notes were private recruiters and not the military. The part about being recruited “against their own will” depicts the subjective feelings of former comfort women, based on their testimonies that they did not become comfort women because they wanted to.
Moreover, the part “at times, administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitments” pertains not to events in Korea but to incidents in Indonesia in which Dutch prisoners of war were made to serve as comfort women for several months. Yoshinobu Higashi, then Deputy Director General, Cabinet Councillors’ Office on External Affairs, said so in reply to my question at a meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Group of Young Diet Members for Consideration of Japan’s Future and History Education, chaired by Shoichi Nakagawa, on March 19, 2007 (Group of Young Diet Members for Consideration of Japan’s Future and History Education, ed., Rekishi kyokasho e no gimon [Doubts about history textbooks], Tendensha, 1997, pp. 147–53).
That is why the subsequent paragraph, in depicting recruitment in the Korean Peninsula, only says “their recruitment, transfer, control, etc., were conducted generally against their will, through coaxing, coercion, etc.” and does not state that “administrative/military personnel directly took part.”
The description about life at the comfort stations refers to the misery of working as public prostitutes for the Japanese military in the battlefront from the perspective of present-day values. In modern-day Japan, having a minor daughter work as a prostitute to repay her parents’ debt would be unacceptable as a serious violation of human rights. But the above description is by no means an admission that the public prostitution system in the battlefront, which was legal at the time, amounted to sexual slavery, rape, or torture or resulted in the deaths of 75 percent of the women.
8. Disregard of Japanese Scholars’ Rebuttal of the 2015 Open Letter by Japanese Studies Scholars
The Statement quotes a 2015 open letter signed by US scholars of Japanese studies, which it then claims is a widely accepted view in academia:
Roughly two hundred scholars in Japanese studies signed an open letter in 2015 stating, “Some historians also dispute how directly the Japanese military was involved, and whether women were coerced to become ‘comfort women.’ Yet the evidence makes clear that large numbers of women were held against their will and subjected to horrific brutality.”
In response to this open letter by US scholars, however, 110 Japanese scholars including myself released a letter of rebuttal. In it, the Japanese scholars asserted as follows:
If the American scholars see the comfort woman system as one of prostitution carried out in the service of an army, then we are in agreement on this point. In order to prevent rape and other sexual violence in theaters of war, and in order also to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease, the Japanese military permitted brokers to procure comfort women from Japan as well as the Korean Peninsula, which at the time was part of the home territory of Japan. In addition to granting permission for this to take place, the Japanese military also helped expedite the process of procurement. We object to the singling out of Japan for special opprobrium on this score, especially when one compares Japan’s actions with those of the Soviet Union’s Red Army, which permitted the rape of the women of defeated populations in Manchuria, Germany, and elsewhere; of the United States military, which used as prostitutes Japanese women provided by the Japanese government under the American Occupation; and of South Korea, which forced its own countrywomen to work as prostitutes for the sake of South Korea’s American allies during and after the Korean War.
What the letter by US scholars states is not the only theory in academia regarding comfort women; other academic theories exist.
9. Evidence of Contracts between the Comfort Women and Contractors
The Statement criticizes the article for viewing comfort women as having been in contracting relationships yet failing to produce evidence of actual contracts between them and their recruiters:
By choosing to view the Japanese military’s enslavement of women as a “contracting” problem, the author claims that it represents the truth of the matter—that voluntary contracting relationships were common and representative among women attached to the “comfort stations.” Despite the centrality of this assumption to the model, the article presents no evidence to justify this. The article’s most relevant evidence cited pertains to licensed brothels operated in Japan.
The article does, however, offer evidence in the form of templates for contracts and parental consent forms prepared by Japanese contractors for the recruitment of Japanese comfort women (“Shina toko fujo no toriatsukai ni kansuru ken [Regarding the treatment of women traveling to China],” National Archives of Japan).
The article’s assessment that the contracts with Korean comfort women were along the same lines as the above documents can be considered sound. Nonetheless, both the Statement and other critics continue to make an issue of the absence of contracts with Korean comfort women.
Many of the Korean comfort women could not read. For this reason, most contracts appear to have been made orally rather than in writing. There were cases in which Korean recruiters took advantage of this to exploit Korean women working in private brothels.
At the comfort stations, which were part of a public prostitution system regulated by the military, the military made proper account ledgers and managed them so that the debts could be paid back smoothly. As such, women were treated better at comfort stations than at private brothels.
Nagasawa, the previously mentioned comfort station army doctor, writes:
There were some awful cases among the Korean brokers. They would buy up daughters of poor peasants like human traffickers, without signed deeds or anything resembling documents, make them work, and then treat them as disposables no better than slaves. There was no hope of freedom for the rest of their lives, but the women themselves did not seem to be aware that they were in such circumstances.
Dr. Fujisawa added miscellaneous expenses to the money paid by the contractors to the women and had loan certificates made, so that the women could pay off their debts so long as they worked and become free. The contractors would tack on travel and costume expenses to increase the women’s debts, but travel cost nothing, and [Dr. Fujisawa] rectified cases of exorbitant prices being put on costumes made with flimsy, cheap rayon. (Nagasawa, Kanko ianjo, pp. 63–64)
As the above passage shows, the military ensured that contractual relationships were properly arranged and protected Korean comfort women from dishonest contractors. Even where there were no written contracts, contractual relationships were in place.
10. The Premise of Agreement by the Comfort Women
The Statement criticizes the article for writing that underage Korean women agreed to become comfort women:
On page 7, the article simply declares: “The women agreed.” Even if a case of voluntary agreement may have existed (for which the article presents no credible evidence), there is no basis for this sweeping statement. In fact, the example of Osaki indicates the opposite. Since 1896 in Japan, under the Japanese Civil Code, anyone younger than 20 years of age could not enter into a contract on their own. No serious legal scholar would view this episode as evidence of consent.
Parental consent was always required when women under the age of 20 were to become comfort women. Without it, the military would not allow them to work as such. This was the consequence of the Civil Code stipulating that “anyone younger than 20 years of age could not enter into a contract on their own.” That is why brokers asked for a parental signature on the consent form and a copy of the family register when making advance payments to the parents. The very exchange of advance payments and consent forms is proof that contracts were made.
In Korea at the time, girls were expected to obey their fathers unconditionally. This was the tradition, and most Korean girls took it for granted. It was thus taken for granted that the father would receive a large sum in exchange for making his daughter a comfort woman. Evaluating this by current ethical standards and examining what took place at the time are entirely different issues. The article merely does the latter in an academic manner.
11. Former Comfort Women’s Testimonies of Forceful Recruitment by the Japanese Military
To prove that the women did not become comfort women with their consent but were forced by the Japanese military to do so, the Statement draws on the testimonies of three former comfort women: South Korean Mun Okchu, North Korean Chong Ok Sun, and Chinese Yuan Zhulin.
In the discipline of history, adopting testimony as evidence of a historical fact requires at least one other piece of corroborating evidence. And if the testifier is seeking financial compensation or restitution for being made a comfort woman, this makes her a stakeholder, and the testimony needs to be checked that much more carefully for supporting evidence. The Statement, however, does not follow such academic procedures and seeks to establish the forceful recruitment of these women by the Japanese military as historical fact based only on testimony.
The testimonies of former comfort women have already undergone substantial academic verification by numerous scholars including myself. Mun was one of the early subjects of review. She filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government in 1992 seeking damage reparation. Although the complaint states that she went to Burma having been deceived by the broker that it was for a job in a restaurant and then became a comfort woman there, it makes no mention of any experience of being forcibly taken by a Japanese soldier to Manchuria. Complaints are usually written to the plaintiff’s advantage. Moreover, according to a Japanese researcher who extensively interviewed Mun about her life story and thoroughly researched corroborative material, her experience in Burma is supported by numerous Japanese military documents, whereas her experience in Manchuria could not be corroborated (Machiko Morikawa, Mun Okuchu: Biruma sensen tateshidan no “ianfu” datta watashi [Mun Okchu: I Was a Comfort Women of the Shield Army Division in Burma], Nashinokisha, 1996, p. 211).
When Mun and others filed their lawsuit, several Japanese scholars, myself included, pointed out that the plaintiffs were not victims of forceful recruitment by the military. The Statement quotes from True Stories of the Korean Comfort Women by the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, which was published after this point was made, but from around that time two of the plaintiffs—Kim Hak-sun, who was the first to come forward, and Mun—began to speak about their experiences of forceful recruitment, which was not included in the complaint (Tsutomu Nishioka, Zoho shinpan yoku wakaru ianfu mondai [New and augmented edition: The comfort women issue explained], Soshisha Bunko, 2012).
The Statement criticizes the article, writing, “Mun Okchu, whom the article claims to have ‘done well most flamboyantly,’ was in fact prevented from retrieving her money during the war and afterward, even in 1993.” But Mun is well known in Japan for having received large earnings as a comfort woman in Burma, out of which she sent 5,000 yen to her family back home and saved 26,000 yen in Burma. Because she had lost her bankbook, she was unable to receive the compensation that the Korean government paid to her bank account from the 300 million dollars in claims fund provided by the government of Japan. In 1993 she filed a lawsuit in Japan demanding that her deposit be returned, but the court determined that her account had been canceled by virtue of the Japan-Korea Claims Agreement and Japanese domestic law, and she lost the case.
The testimony of former North Korean comfort woman Chong Ok Sun was submitted in writing by the North Korean government to Radhika Coomaraswamy, who was a special rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights. Its content was so outlandish, however, that its credibility was questioned in Japanese academia from the outset, and no evidence has since been found that supports the testimony. There is likewise no evidence to corroborate the testimony of the Chinese comfort woman, Yuan Zhulin.
As I illuminate above in points 1 to 11, the Statement contains factual errors. Nevertheless, I am not asking them to withdraw their Statement because of the inclusion of many incorrect facts. Rather, I am requesting an academic discussion with the drafter and supporters. Moreover, I strongly urge them to retract their demand that Professor Ramseyer should withdraw the article. I am quite willing and open to academic discussion about the comfort women issue under academic freedom. I welcome any academic objection to my response above.