Tadashi YAMAMOTO Haruki WADA
Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama
I would like to share with you my sentiments on the occasion of
the establishment of the "Asian Women's Fund."
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the end of the War, an
event that caused many people, both in Japan and abroad, great
suffering and sorrow. During these past 50 years we have worked
hard to cultivate, step by step, friendly relations with our
neighbouring Asian countries and others. However, the scars of
war still run deep in these countries to this day.
The problem of the so-called wartime comfort women is one such
scar. This problem, involving the Japanese military forces of the
time, seriously stained the honor and dignity of many women. This
is entirely inexcusable. I offer my profound apology to all those
who, as wartime comfort women, suffered emotional and physical
wounds that can never be closed.
Established on this occasion and involving the cooperation of the
Government and citizens of Japan, the "Asian Women's Fund" is an
expression of atonement on the part of the Japanese people toward
these women and supports medical, welfare, and other projects. As
articulated in the proponents' Appeal, the Government will do its
utmost to ensure that the goals of the Fund are achieved.
Furthermore, to ensure that this situation is never again repeated,
the Government of Japan will collate historical documents
concerning the former wartime comfort women, to serve as a lesson
Turning from yesterday to today, we still see many women suffering
violence and inhuman treatment in many parts of the world. The
"Asian Women's Fund," as I understand it, will take steps to
address these problems facing women today. The Government of
Japan intends to play an active role in this regard.
I am convinced that a sincere effort on the part of Japan to
implement these measures will further strengthen the true
relationships of trust we share with our neighbours in Asia and
other nations around the world.
The Government of Japan intends to cooperate, to the greatest
extent possible, with the "Asian Women's Fund," in order that its
aims are achieved. I call on each and every Japanese citizen,
asking for your understanding and cooperation.