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Stories of 2022: The Continuing Debate on Comfort Women 

Relive the stories of 2022 that our readers were most interested in,  including the historical debate coming in at Number 2: Comfort Women. 



What were the stories of 2022 that many of you were following most closely on JAPAN Forward during the year? 

The results show some of the strengths of JAPAN Forward

As a tribute to our readers and supporters, we are bringing back your choices in five installments. Over the past three days, we have looked at kimono, the war in Ukraine, and the growing influence of Xi Jinping.

Today we present the 4th group of stories many of you read: on the Comfort Women.

2. Comfort Women: The Continuing Debate 

The publication of "Comfort Women: The North Korean Connection," a paper by Dr Tetsuo Arima of Waseda University's Graduate School of Social Sciences and Dr J Mark Ramseyer of Harvard Law School, gathered worldwide attention. 


The paper put together evidence that the Comfort Women issue became a matter of debate in the 1990s, in a period when North Korea was building its nuclear arsenal. Bringing attention to the historical issue was a way for North Korea to create a drift between South Korea and Japan. 

At JAPAN Forward, we have covered the debate in depth, and much more. Carrying the analysis and perspective of scholars and laymen not always shared by other media, featuring this debate is something JAPAN Forward has become known for in the layman and academic community alike. A selection of the top 5 articles many of you were reading on the comfort women story is below. 

  1. Comfort Women Scam: New Paper Exposes North Korea Connection | JAPAN Forward (November 21, 2022) 

Pyongyang has peddled the comfort women story to divert attention from its weapons program and state-sponsored abduction.

  1. INTERVIEW | Dr Tetsuo Arima on the Benefits of Academic Freedom in the Comfort Women Issue | JAPAN Forward (December 5, 2022) 

"My position on the comfort women issue is predicated on historical evidence and research" says Dr Tetsuo Arima in response to critics who would "cancel" him.

  1. [Bookmark] North Korea Pushed Comfort Women Scam to Distract Neighbors While Developing Nukes | JAPAN Forward (October 15, 2022)

In "Comfort Women: The North Korean Connection," Waseda U's Tetsuo Arima and Harvard Law's J Mark Ramseyer expose how Pyongyang is driving the historical lie.

  1. The Comfort Women Issue: Is Ikuhiko Hata's Masterpiece a Catalyst for Paradigm Shift? (October 28, 2022)

Hata provides an objective dissent on orthodox views of comfort women in Korea while also acknowledging the poverty that plagued many Chosun women victims.

  1. A Good Time to Move Beyond the Comfort Women Issue (March 2, 2022) 

Japan and South Korea are important neighbors. It’s time to look at the records, pay respect to Korean society of the era, and overcome the issues between these two Asian democracies.

What will be next among the stories of 2022 that readers most wanted to read on our website? Tune in tomorrow to find out!


Author: JAPAN Forward

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