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Asahi Shimbun president to resign over inaccurate articles

23 Comments

The Asahi Shimbun says its president, Tadakazu Kimura, will resign on Dec 5 to take responsibility for a number of inaccurate articles about the comfort women issue and the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

The newspaper, which made the announcement on Friday, has been under intense pressure for the past two months since it made retractions.

Kimura said he was resigning because the paper had lost the trust of its readers, NTV reported. Four other executives will resign or be demoted, the paper said.

The Asahi articles on comfort women were published in the 1980s and 1990s and based on a Japanese man's account - later found to be false. They described women on the Korean island of Jeju being forcibly recruited to work in Japanese wartime military brothels.

Those retractions, decades after scholars first raised doubts about the man's account and years after Asahi itself said it could not be confirmed, set off a firestorm of criticism.

Last month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in the Diet that the fictitious articles had damaged Japan's image abroad. He said the stories slandered Japan and he called for issue to be studied based on documented facts.

Regarding the Fukushima nuclear crisis, the Asahi published a story saying that in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, many plant workers fled the plant, disobeying the orders of Masao Yoshida, who led the emergency response, to stay at their posts.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), which operates the plant, said some workers were evacuated and that they did not panic and flee. The newspaper subsequently admitted that the story was not accurate.

© Japan Today/Reuters

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23 Comments
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except the comfort women had nothing to do with this one man, so rather than make the limited correction about the man's statements this instead becomes fodder for the righties of Japan to denounce the issue. Yes indeed Japan's reputation is being besmirched, but it remains its right wingers and the denial of war that creates its continued uselessness

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Maybe he should go ama-agari as opposed to -kudari. The guardian.uk is waiting.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The newspaper, which made the announcement on Friday, has been under intense pressure for the past two months since it made retractions. Intense pressure from WHO?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Stuart hayward,

The newspaper, which made the announcement on Friday, has been under intense pressure for the past two months since it made retractions. Intense pressure from WHO?

From Abe and his ultra right wing "friends," WHO else?

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Yellow journalism.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Same thing happened in the 1930s, liberal press was attacked. Abe is replaying history, his grandfathers. And we know how that story turned out.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It amazing that Japan cant see how stupid & ignorant it looks in the eyes of the world with this stupid stupid witch hunt!

Seems it will NEVER learn, fools all round

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Last month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in the Diet that the fictitious articles had damaged Japan’s image abroad.

What exactly was fictitious?

Nothing fictitious there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women

And there's plenty more information on the Internet.

This kind of statement by Abe and his ultra right wing pals is what is damaging Japan's image abroad.

Does the world really need another fascist?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

sf2kNov. 15, 2014 - 05:25PM JST except the comfort women had nothing to do with this one man, so rather than make the limited correction about the >man's statements this instead becomes fodder for the righties of Japan to denounce the issue

While this Yoshida's fake story had nothing to do with the Comfort System itself, it had everything to do with the views held by people such as yourself that women were dragged out of their homes or that 200,000 women were involved. These views are inaccurate and the result of this false story run by this newspaper. That the story was false was pointed out by scholars decades ago but people, such as yourself, denounced such people attempting to establish facts as "apologists". The Comfort Women system was a military brothel system, and Japan was not alone in having one during WWII. The women were recruited and some undoubtedly deceived into employment. That this issue can never be resolved is not because of "denial" of events but by "denial of facts" by those who persecute Japan for it.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

@zurcroniumNOV. 15, 2014 - 07:44PM JST Same thing happened in the 1930s, liberal press was attacked. Abe is replaying history, his grandfathers. And we know how that story turned out.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

If you are writing facts in old history, please write accurate data of years. Kishi in 1930? Liberal press in 1930?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Asahi Shimbun has been under intense pressure from Japanese natinals because of their insincere attitude . Japanese people are demanding Asahi Shimbun that they should stop publishin. They will never regain the trust of readers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

funny how they only get the proof from a Japanese guys lies or documentation long since destroyed, how about asking some of the thousands of women that were actually the sex slaves. that will never happen because gaijin testimonies are never creditable in the eyes of Japanese nationalist and bureaucrats

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@wtf: Stories by comfort women;s own experience were well known in Japan before this Japanese guy came out from nowhere to fool Asahi, The stories by comfort women depicted what kind place they were sentm such as no ceiling in /s.E. Asia. Including public toilets. So, Asahi stories sounded stories in southern Japan or some places that has Japanese houses. The comfort women were sent to SE Asia that had living quarters that has no Japanese style roofs or toilets, Asahi jumps up to thisa guy;s story.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

For anyone who may have second thoughts on Japan’s war-time sex slavery just because of Asahi Shimbun’s reporting mistakes. Please refer New York Time’s Op page written by Mindy Kotler published on Nov. 14th. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/15/opinion/comfort-women-and-japans-war-on-truth.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=0

In Mindy Kotler’s article, she pointed out squarely the historical context as well as Abe’s admin’s real motive on this issue.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Not interested in 'stories'. Just the verifiable facts to start, then work from there.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Poor guy, a casualty in the fascist LDP's attempt to rewrite history.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan continues to dig its own grave, stupid stupid stupid, ....... the rot ciontinues

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Let me get this right - if you make fictitious statements about comfort women, or about the Fukushima crisis, you have to resign?

Very well, if those are the rules, I seem to recall someone standing up on the world stage and declaring that Fukushima was "completely under control"

Can we expect the Dear Leader to play by the same rules as he sets for the rest of us?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

So we all now know what happens when you don't get government approval before posting an article.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

wtfjapanNov. 16, 2014 - 12:30AM JST funny how they only get the proof from a Japanese guys lies or documentation long since destroyed, how about >asking some of the thousands of women that were actually the sex slaves.

"Thousands" of former Comfort Women have not come forward with any claims. In 1993 Prof Ahn investigated 50 former Comfort Women in South Korea and found their testimony to be "not credible". Your view is an example of how Asahi's false story has shaped popular opinion on the subject.

EthanWilberNov. 16, 2014 - 09:33AM JST "For anyone who may have second thoughts on Japan’s war-time sex slavery just because of Asahi Shimbun’s reporting mistakes. Please refer New York Time’s Op page..."

How about Reading the US ARMY Report no.49 from 1944 interrogating captured Comfort Women during the war? AS opposed to an editorial written by someone who wasn't alive at the time? 39-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

if you make fictitious statements about comfort women, or about the Fukushima crisis, you have to resign?

Yes, because South Korea jumped at the story and has hit Japan ever since with exaggeration. Asahi has to take the responsibility.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

In 1993 Prof Ahn investigated 50 former Comfort Women in South Korea and found their testimony to be "not credible"

And here is where we differ. This link shows that Japan still has outstanding obligations which were NOT covered by the normalisation treaty with South Korea in 1965. http://www.japanfocus.org/-Totsuka-Etsuro/3885 Let's not forget either, the sex slaves who were "recruited" from the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) or the Philippines. It wasn't unknown for impoverished Japanese farmers to sell their daughters into prostitution either. As this headline shows "democracy" is a very loosely applied term in Japan

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sometime ago, Suga and one lawmaker had big argument about existence of comfort women system in Japan druing WW II. Old time comment writers, Remember? Suga went to JSDF library to find old official articles. He did not have to rely on English written documents or Korean interviews, In Japan females were ranked between pets and fish then, Pets are faithful to master but not female. Northern farmers whose crops were not like south, used to sell their daughters to southern prostitute houses and childless families. The custom stopped after Gen Mac and GHQ asked Japanese Govt stop that practice. It became illegal in 1946. I think that law is still there along laws that says it is illegal to kiss or hug in piblic as Japan repealed recently the law of dancing a little while ago. Then there was Teishintai system for Japanese girls who could noty enter middle schools and finished 8 th grade in elementary school during WW II. '

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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