Drafting Process of Kono Statement (with no Cabinet approval) Revealed

At the House of Representatives Budget Committee held on Feb. 20, 2014, Yamada Hiroshi (The Japan Restoration Party) questioned Ishihara Nobuo, the then Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary deeply involved with the production of Kono statement since ROK claims that the Japanese Armed Forces abducted more than 200,000 women and girls for the use of sexual slavery. Ishihara testified with the Kono statement.
In January, 1992, Japan PM Miyazawa met ROK pres. Roh Tae Woo for improving Japan-Korea relations from the future oriented perspectives. However, unexpectedly some women who claimed to be the war time comfort women interrupted the summit, thereby inevitably making Roh Tae Woo request PM Miyazawa to look into the issue of “comfort women” that had already been raised by a group of “self-claimed comfort women”.
In July, 1992, the then Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato issued his statement: No evidence was confirmed to support the ROK claim that Japan forced them into prostitution, with which ROK was not satisfied.
In December, 1992, Kono took over Kato’s post and continued to investigate the issue as ROK demanded Japan to do so, citing a reason of pacifying the angry Korean people. Again, no evidence was found to substantiate the ROK claim. However, among 16 Korean comfort women (selected by ROK), some claimed to have been forcibly recruited and/or to have been tricked into prostitution. (Note: Some worked in Kumamoto, Shimonoseki, Osaka, etc. where no comfort stations existed. Names, ages, addresses of some comfort women who claim to have been forced into prostitution were not clear.)
However, Kono statement was produced and announced with no post factum corroborating investigation conducted on the claims made by the former comfort women.
Unexpectedly ROK had intensified its criticism of Japan over “so-called comfort women”, ignoring Japan’s good intentions.
In drafting process of Kono statement, the language was compared and coordinated with the ROK side (until ROK found satisfied with), which had been kept confidential to public eyes until June 20, 2014 when the report on “Details of Exchanges Between Japan and ROK Regarding the Comfort Women Issue was released. On June 20, despite Japan’s protest, ROK conducted live-fire drill near Takeshima (now illegally occupied by ROK), Japan, possibly for trying to stop Japan from disclosing the report compiled by the study team on “Drafting Process of Kono Statement”.