Yomiuri Shimbun prints apology for ‘inappropriate expressions’

The Japan News, an English-language daily published by The Yomiuri Shimbun, printed an apology Nov. 28 citing the use of “sex slave” in 97 articles between February of 1992 through January of 2013 for its reporting on issues of so-called “comfort women.”

The Japan News, under its previous masthead as The Daily Yomiuri, used the term “sex-slave” to describe “comfort women,” because “the expression ‘comfort women’ was difficult to understand for non-Japanese who did not have knowledge of the subject. Therefore the DY (Daily Yomiuri), based on an inaccurate perception and using foreign news agencies’ reports as reference, added such explanations as ‘women who were forced into sexual slavery’ that did not appear in The Yomiuri Shimbun’s original stories.” 

The apology noted that the Japanese daily also printed its own correction and apology the same day in Japanese.

A total of 85 articles used the term “sex slave” and an additional 12 articles “that did not use ‘sex slave’ or other words with that meaning, but defined comfort women in such terms as ‘forced into prostitution by the military,’ as if coercion by the Japanese government or the army was an objective fact,” The Japan News stated. 

The conservative daily, which is the largest newspaper in Japan, publishes its apology at the heels of its rival Asahi Shimbun’s apology in August. The Asahi retracted a series of articles written on “comfort women” for factual inaccuracies and later issued further retractions and apologies through September. According to a report by The Japan Times, the term “sex slave” is widely used by news agencies such AFP, AP, Reuters, and Bloomberg.

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