The Yomiuri Shimbun
Isn’t South Korea repressing free research on history with indictment?
韓国朴教授起訴 自由な歴史研究を封じるのか

The latest action taken against a South Korean scholar constitutes an attempt to negate free and calm research activities and discussions on history.
これでは、歴史を巡る自由で冷静な研究活動や議論が成り立たない。

The move to build a criminal case against an academic study could amount to an abuse of public authority. The recent action, taken by a South Korean district prosecutors office, has also cast a shadow on Japan-South Korea relations.
学術研究を立件するのは、公権力の乱用になりかねず、日韓関係に微妙な影も落としている。

Park Yu Ha, a professor at Sejong University in Seoul, has been indicted, without being detained, on charges of defamation. According to her indictment, Park damaged the honor of former so-called comfort women in her book called “Teikoku no Ianfu” (Comfort women of the empire), in which she denied their forcible recruitment.
韓国の地検が、朴裕河・世宗大教授を名誉毀損きそんの罪で在宅起訴した。著書「帝国の慰安婦」で、慰安婦の強制連行を否定し、元慰安婦の名誉を傷つけたという。

The prosecutors office dismissed as untrue her assertion that “forcible recruitment, which consists of a violence committed by a state, has never been used against Korean comfort women.” The indictment also regarded as problematic her statement in the book: “Basically, Korean comfort women had a comradely relationship with soldiers.”
「『強制連行』という国家暴力が朝鮮人慰安婦に関して行われたことはない」とする朴教授の主張を「虚偽」だと決めつけた。朝鮮人慰安婦が「基本的に軍人と『同志』的な関係を結んでいた」とする記述なども問題視した。

In stating the reason for Park’s indictment, the prosecutors office said that these descriptions had infringed on the personal rights of the former comfort women, adding that her book deviates from the constitutional guarantee of academic freedom.
これらの表現が、元慰安婦の人格権を侵害し、憲法が保障する「学問の自由」を逸脱している、と起訴理由に示している。

The latest action came after 11 people, including former comfort women, filed a complaint against Park in June last year, followed by investigations into the case by the Seoul Eastern Prosecutors Office. Questions can be raised about the prosecutors’ action taken to pass judgment on historical facts about which even experts have divergent views.
昨年6月に元慰安婦ら11人が告訴し、ソウル東部地検が捜査していた。検察が、専門家でも見解が分かれる史実の中身にまで立ち入って判断を下すのは疑問だ。

Park has refuted the prosecutors’ assertion, calling it “a distorted interpretation.” Her argument goes that the circumstances surrounding comfort women were varied, and that it is impossible to generalize them as “sex slaves,” “prostitutes” or otherwise.
朴教授は、「曲解だ」と反論している。慰安婦の境遇は多様で、「性奴隷」「売春婦」などと一括くくりにはできないと主張する。

Her book points to some other problems involved in the matter, saying that the corps of women mobilized for wartime labor services are confused with comfort women even today.
著書では、戦時勤労動員だった挺身ていしん隊と慰安婦が今も混同されているという問題点も指摘した。

Unreasonable basis

What cannot be overlooked is that the documents cited by the prosecutors office as the basis for branding Park’s assertion as false included a statement issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono and the U.N. Human Rights Commission’s Coomaraswamy Report.
看過できないのは、地検が朴教授の主張を虚偽と断じた根拠として、河野官房長官談話や国連人権委員会のクマラスワミ報告なども挙げていることだ。

During the process of preparing the Kono statement, no document that proved the “forcible recruitment” of comfort women by the wartime Imperial Japanese Army was discovered. The statement was a result of political compromise between Japan and South Korea, according to a report issued in June last year by the Japanese government after months of examining the process in question.
河野談話の作成過程では、旧日本軍による慰安婦の「強制連行」を裏付ける文書は見つかっていない。談話は日韓の政治的妥協の産物であったことが、昨年6月の日本政府の検証で判明している。

The Coomaraswamy Report included a number of unfounded descriptions. For instance, it stated that 200,000 Korean women had been forced to work as “sex slaves,” and that most of them had been killed later. The document also quotes false statements by Seiji Yoshida, who claimed women on South Korea’s Jeju Island had been forcibly recruited as comfort women.
クマラスワミ報告には、20万人の朝鮮人女性が「性奴隷」となり、その後、大半が殺されたといった、根拠に乏しい記述が多数、含まれる。韓国の済州島で慰安婦を強制連行したという吉田清治氏の虚偽の証言も引用されている。

It is unreasonable to use these statements as a basis for the assertion that women were forcibly recruited as comfort women.
いずれも、慰安婦強制連行説の根拠とするには無理がある。

A Japanese-language version of Park’s “Teikoku no Ianfu” has been published, with some modifications made to its contents. The book has been chosen as the winner of Waseda University’s Journalism Award.
「帝国の慰安婦」は、一部修正された日本語版も刊行され、早稲田大主催のジャーナリズム大賞の受賞が決まっている。

In her book, Park states that the Korean comfort women were collaborators for the wartime Imperial Japanese Army, while at the same time criticizing the prewar “Empire of Japan” for being responsible for creating severe circumstances for these women.
朴教授は、朝鮮人慰安婦は旧日本軍の協力者でもあったと指摘する一方で、その過酷な境遇を作り出した責任は「大日本帝国」にあったと厳しく批判している。

We must say that imposing restrictions on expressing such an objective view will make it difficult to facilitate constructive dialogue between Japan and South Korea regarding the issue of comfort women.
こうした客観的な見解の表明さえも制約するようなら、慰安婦問題を巡る日韓の建設的な対話は困難と言わざるを得ない。

(The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 25, 2015)

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