“Sex-Slave” Report: The UN’s Global Hoax (Jiyu-sha) No.5: Chapter 2: The Fiction Equating Comfort Women with Sex Slaves Spreads throughout the World B. Tanaka Yuki’s Book Forms Basis of US House Resolution
By Takahashi Shiro,
Chapter 2: The Fiction Equating Comfort Women with Sex Slaves Spreads throughout the World
B. Tanaka Yuki’s Book Forms Basis of US House Resolution
By Takahashi Shiro
On July 7, 2007, the US House of Representatives passed House Resolution 121, which rebuked Japan’s stance towards the comfort women. The basis for the resolution was a report submitted to the House by Congressional Research Service staffer Larry Niksch, “Japanese Military’s ‘Comfort Women’ System,” on April 3 earlier in the year.
The report’s conclusion merits close attention:
The Abe government’s denial of any evidence of military coercion in recruitment goes against the testimony [of] former comfort [women] to Japanese government researchers who compiled the 1992-1993 government report and the testimony of forced recruitment by nearly 200 former comfort women from different Asian countries and the Netherlands of the 400 plus testimonies cited in Yuki Tanaka’s book, Japan’s Comfort Women… This was pointed up by the Washington Post editorial of March 24, 2007, ‘Shinzo Abe’s Double Talk,’ which contrasted Prime Minister Abe insistence on North Korean accountability for the kidnapping with ‘his parallel campaign to roll back Japan’s acceptance and responsibility for the abduction, rape, and sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of women during World War II.’ The editorial asserted: ‘If Mr. Abe seeks international support in learning the fate of Japan’s kidnapped citizens, he should straightforwardly accept responsibility for Japan own crimes-and apologize to the victims he has slandered.’ Thus, in rejecting the testimony of over 100 former comfort women, the Japanese government appears to be putting itself in a position in which outsiders could begin to question the credibility of the claims that North Korea has kidnapped Japanese citizens.
Note that the key source upon which the report based its “conclusion” was Tanaka Yuki’s book Japan’s Comfort Women, published by Routledge in 2002. In Chapter 1 of this book, Tanaka discusses the origins of the comfort women system and, in Chapter 2, provides a detailed description of their recruitment from various countries, including China, and their “lives as sexual slaves”. Chapter 2 introduces the testimony of many former comfort women, and cites research by Su Zhiliang, a professor at Shanghai Normal University,
claiming that, “The Japanese troops and their collaborators raided civilian homes and abducted about 300 women, of whom about 100 were selected to work as comfort women… Many of these ‘hostile districts’ were located in Shanxi and Hebei Provinces, where the Japanese Army adopted the tactics called ‘Shodo Sakusen’ – ‘scorched-earth strategy’… The Chinese called this atrocious practice ‘Sanguang zuozhan,’ which literally means ‘three lightening strategy,’ because the Japanese robbed the community of its possessions, killed all the inhabitants, and burnt down all the buildings.”
It is important to know that Professor Su Zhiliang’s own co-authored work, Chinese Comfort Women, published by
Japan’s Comfort Women Oxford University Press in 2013, contains many references to by Tanaka Yuki the section of Tanaka Yuki’s book dealing with the
“organizational structure of the comfort women system”.
Evidently, Tanaka and Su have mutually influenced one another.
Incidentally, Su Zhiliang also posits that the total number of comfort women was 400,000, of whom 300,000 died due to mistreatment by Japanese soldiers, and that the number of Chinese comfort women was 200,000. The 400,000 comfort women estimate is premised on the assumptions, firstly, that there were three million soldiers in the Japanese military, secondly, that there was one comfort woman for every twenty-nine soldiers, and thirdly, that the number thus calculated should be multiplied by a “replacement rate” of four to take into account those comfort women who fell ill, died, or quit. Though the “replacement rate” of four is an absurdly inflated figure, Su is now attempting to have this ridiculous, baseless number entered into the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
Chinese Comfort Women In the book Jugun Ianfu Shiryoshu [Collected Documents on
by Su Zhiliang & Chen Lifei the Comfort Women], historian Yoshimi Yoshiaki stated,
“It seems that the phrase ’29 to 1′ was quite widespread at the time.” After making clear that this parameter of one comfort woman for every twenty-nine soldiers was just hearsay, he then settled on a “maximum possible” replacement rate of two and estimated the total number of comfort women at 200,000.
Tanaka Yuki is also the author of the book Hidden Horrors: Japanese War Crimes in World War II, published by Westview Press in 1996, which included a lengthy chapter entitled “Judge Webb and Japanese Cannibalism”, emphasizing that, “cannibalism [in the Japanese military] was a systematic and organized military strategy”. Hidden Horrors became a major source for Laura Hillenbrand’s bestselling book Unbroken, which sold four
million copies in the United States. Unbroken was also adapted into a film directed by Angelina Jolie that began playing in Japan in February 2016.
The direct predecessor to House Resolution 121 was House Resolution 759, submitted to the House International Relations Committee on September 13, 2006. According to the aforementioned report of the Congressional Research Service, the main provisions of House Resolution 759 were:
Expressed the sense of the House of Representatives that “the Government of Japan should formally acknowledge and accept responsibility for its sexual enslavement of young women, known to the world as ‘comfort women’” during the 1930s and World War II.
The Government of Japan “organized the subjugation and kidnapping” of comfort women for the purpose of “sexual servitude.”
“Comfort women were either abducted from their homes or lured into sexual servitude under false pretenses.”
The Japanese government’s comfort women system resulted in the infliction of “numerous…crimes against humanity” against comfort women.
Historians conclude that as many as 200,000 women “were enslaved.”
There have been efforts in Japan, supported by government officials to minimize and remove accounts of the comfort women system from Japanese school history textbooks.
The Japanese government should educate current and future generations about “this horrible crime against humanity” and should publicly refute claims that the subjugation and enslavement of comfort women never occurred.
The Japanese government should follow the recommendations of the United Nations and Amnesty International with respect to the comfort women.
On January 31, 2007, House Resolution 121 was submitted to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which approved it on June 26 with the sponsorship of seventy-five congressmen. The text of the resolution follows:
US House Foreign Affairs Committee Resolution 121 – June 26, 2007
Whereas the Government of Japan, during its colonial and wartime occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands from the 1930s through the duration of World War II, officially commissioned the acquisition of young women for the sole purpose of sexual servitude to
its Imperial Armed Forces, who became known to the world as ianfu or “comfort women”;
Whereas the “comfort women” system of forced military prostitution by the Government of Japan, considered unprecedented in its cruelty and magnitude, included gang rape, forced abortions, humiliation, and sexual violence resulting in mutilation, death, or eventual suicide in one of the largest cases of human trafficking in the 20th century;
Whereas some new textbooks used in Japanese schools seek to downplay the “comfort women” tragedy and other Japanese war crimes during World War II;
Whereas Japanese public and private officials have recently expressed a desire to dilute or rescind the 1993 statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the “comfort women”, which expressed the Government’s sincere apologies and remorse for their ordeal;
Whereas the Government of Japan did sign the 1921 International Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Women and Children and supported the 2000 United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security which recognized the unique impact on women of armed conflict;
Whereas the House of Representatives commends Japan’s efforts to promote human security, human rights, democratic values, and rule of law, as well as for being a supporter of Security Council Resolution 1325;
Whereas, despite the changes in the post-cold war strategic landscape, the United States-Japan alliance continues to be based on shared vital interests and values in the Asia-Pacific region, including the preservation and promotion of political and economic freedoms, support for human rights and democratic institutions, and the securing of prosperity for the people of both countries and the international community;
Whereas the House of Representatives commends those Japanese officials and private citizens whose hard work and compassion resulted in the establishment in 1995 of Japan’s private Asian Women’s Fund… the Asian Women’s Fund has raised $5,700,000 to extend “atonement” from the Japanese people to the comfort women and… came to an end on March 31, 2007… Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the Government of Japan—
(1) should formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed Forces’ coercion of young women into sexual slavery, known to the world as “comfort women”, during its colonial and
wartime occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands from the 1930s through the duration of World War II;
(2) would help to resolve recurring questions about the sincerity and status of prior statements if the Prime Minister of Japan were to make such an apology as a public statement in his official capacity;
(3) should clearly and publicly refute any claims that the sexual enslavement and trafficking of the “comfort women” for the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces never occurred; and
(4) should educate current and future generations about this horrible crime while following the recommendations of the international community with respect to the “comfort women”.
The aforementioned report of the Congressional Research Service also asserted the following in the section entitled “The Comfort Women Issue in Japanese Textbooks”:
A Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform was formed to work for the publication of history textbooks that presented a positive view of Japanese history. Undoubtedly as a consequence of this criticism and the campaign of the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, eight new textbooks approved in 2001 did not mention comfort women. The South Korean government protested by canceling a number of planned exchanges with Japan. In 2005, a new group of eight approved textbooks omitted references to comfort women; only one textbook contained a reference to comfort women. Nakayama Nariaki, the Minister of Education, supported the omissions, stating that references to comfort women in textbooks was an ‘incorrect description.’ The September 2001 U.N. Human Rights Commission recommendation to Japan, cited above, also called on Japan to ensure that school textbooks and other teaching materials present history in ‘a fair balanced manner.’
After analyzing Japan’s textbook approval process and the activities of both the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform and the Committee to Consider Japan’s Future Historical Education, the report continues to its conclusion. The conclusion was most interesting for revealing America’s true reasons for pushing the resolution, making references to other countries doubts about Japan’s credibility concerning the kidnapping of Japanese citizens by North Korea, violations of the San Francisco Peace Treaty that approved the Tokyo War Crimes Trials, and the risk of “a pandora’s box of claims” opening up over matters like official compensation for the atomic bombings and napalm bombings of Japan.
Concerning the resolution’s reliance on Tanaka Yuki’s book as a source of information, the report expressly noted that, “Several bodies of evidence emerged or were developed in the 1990s and 2000s regarding the operation of the comfort women system… [including]
testimony of several hundred former comfort women from Korea, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Netherlands. Many of these are described in the book, Japan’s Comfort Women, by Yuki Tanaka, published in 2002, which references over 400 women who gave testimonies.”
Even Shimbun Akahata, the official newspaper of the Japanese Communist Party, noticed that the report cited Tanaka Yuki’s book as the foundation for its claim that “coercion” was used against the Japanese military’s comfort women. The article, published on April 13, 2007, stated the following:
The report of the Congressional Research Service on the Japanese military’s comfort women system listed nine sources, including Tanaka Yuki’s 2002 book Japan’s Comfort Women, which was based on the testimonies of over four hundred ‘comfort women’… The report defined ‘coercion’ as ‘to compel by forcible action’ and pointed out that, according to Tanaka’s book, over two hundred former comfort women have said that they were forcibly seized by Japanese soldiers, military police, or agents of the military.
Tanaka’s book also influenced the work Chinese Comfort Women, co-authored by Qiu Peipei of Vassar College and Chen Lifei and Su Zhiliang of Shanghai Normal University, who pushed the “400,000 comfort women” theory. They praised Tanaka’s book for its presentation of “the prevalent academic theory characterizing the comfort women system as ‘military sexual slavery’”, and quoted or cited it in ten places.
Tanaka Yuki, the book’s author, is the pseudonym of Tanaka Toshiyuki, a professor at Hiroshima City University. It appears that Professor Tanaka also uses the name Akasaka Masami when writing Australian articles. Tanaka’s English-language works include Japan’s Comfort Women and Hidden Horrors. Hidden Horrors was published in Japanese by Otsuki Shoten under the academic-sounding title of Shirarezaru Senso Hanzai: Nihongun wa Osutorariajin ni Nani wo Shita Ka [Unknown War Crimes: What did Japanese Soldiers do to Australians?]. In the introduction he wrote, “The dominant point of view was that the extremes of cruelty and violence demonstrated by Japanese soldiers during the war were rooted in the national characteristics of the Japanese people and were deeply linked to the ‘peculiar’ culture of Japan. This notion persisted for a long time after the war, not only in the West, but also in Japan… We often forget to ask the question of what it was that made the Japanese commit such savage crimes.”
Furthermore, in the postscript of the book Senso Hanzai no Kozo: Nihongun wa Naze Minkanjin wo Koroshita no ka [The Structure of War Crimes: Why did the Japanese Military Kill Civilians?], which Tanaka edited, he insisted that, “What is important is that we appeal for the need to directly confront the various inhumane acts perpetrated across Asia by our ancestors from before the time of the First Sino-Japanese War and then to properly learn how and why these atrocities happened.”
Thus, Tanaka emphasizes the cruelty and inhumanity particular to Japanese people, and he sees the comfort women system as “a widespread pattern of male aggression and dominance.” Tanaka’s works had an international impact, and they continue to influence historical debates seventy years after the end of the war. There may be further need to scrutinize Tanaka’s books and essays academically, because they have not been translated into Japanese and are known to few Japanese people.
It is also highly significant that another major source for House Resolution 121 was an article published in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper on January 11, 1992. This article ran at the top of the front page under the banner headline “Documents Show Military Involvement”. However, the document in question was actually an instruction to tighten regulations on the recruitment of comfort women by private brokers in Japan so that women would not be kidnapped. The document was in fact not evidence of coercive recruitment of Korean comfort women.
Despite this, the glossary attached to the same article reported that, “Following the start of the Pacific War, most Korean women were forcibly recruited in the name of the Women’s Volunteer Corps. It is said that there were an estimated 80,000 to 200,000 such women.”
The next day, the Asahi Shimbun ran an editorial stating that, “It is said that the Korean comfort women were lured or forced into the ‘Women’s Volunteer Corps’ and then made to provide companionship to soldiers in China and eventually across Asia and the Pacific.” This marked the culmination of the January 1992 propaganda campaign promoting the myth of forced recruitment of comfort women. (For more on this, see the Report of the Independent Investigation Committee on the Asahi Shimbun’s Comfort Women News Articles and my own book “Nihon wo Kaitai Suru” Senso Puropaganda no Genzai [The Present State of "Destroy Japan" War Propaganda].)
The Asahi Shimbun’s coverage of the book Watashi no Senso Hanzai: Chosenjin Kyosei Renko [My War Crime: The Forced Recruitment of Koreans], written by Yoshida Seiji, also had a direct influence, not only on House Resolution 121, but also on the UN’s Coomaraswamy Report, which spread worldwide the perception that the comfort women were forcibly abducted “sex slaves”. In an article that directly utilized Yoshida’s book as a reliable source, the Asahi Shimbun reported that, “Yoshida Seiji, one of the individuals who undertook forced recruitments, admitted in his account of his wartime experiences that he participated in ‘slave hunts’ in which 1,000 women were kidnapped to be comfort women, alongside other Koreans, under the authority of the Patriotic Labor Service Corps that was part of the National Mobilization Law.” This fabricated story about “slave hunts” was subsequently picked up by George Hicks in his book The Comfort Women.
Chronologically, the direction of influence would be: the Asahi Shimbun’s first reports (1982), Yoshida’s book (1983), the Asahi Shimbun’s forced recruitment propaganda of January 1992, Hicks’ book (1995), culminating in the Coomaraswamy Report (1996).
Incidentally, it came to light that the materials on “comfort women” that China requested to be registered with the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme contained the following noteworthy statements in relation to the resolution of the US House of Representatives:
Draft Resolution 121 of the US House of Representatives, passed on July 30, 2007, denounced the forcible impressment of ‘comfort women’ (sexual slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army) from various Asian nations during the Second World War. On January 16, 2014, the US Senate passed its annual budget with an attached resolution concerning the issue of the comfort women (sexual slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army). This resolution condemned Japan’s impressing of ‘comfort women’ (sexual slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army) from various Asian nations during the Second World War and requested that Japan take historical and political responsibility by issuing an official apology. Though the resolution was not legally binding, it was the first statute passed by the Senate concerning the issue of the ‘comfort women’ (sexual slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army).
As you can see, the phrase “sexual slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army” is repeated ad nauseam. The de facto comfort women resolution mentioned above was skillfully maneuvered through the Senate thanks to behind-the-scenes lobbying by Congressman Mike Honda, the author of the House’s resolution. America’s congressional resolutions were evidently used by China as the basis of the request it submitted to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, but the Register Sub-Committee of the International Advisory Committee, which examines the merits of each submission to the register, found flaws in the documentation. China responded with an additional submission that, it is important to note, referred in the following paragraph to the Japanese government’s final report on the 2014 recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Committee:
On July 24, 2014, the UN Human Rights Committee released its sixth periodic report on Japan’s implementation of international agreements on civil and political rights, requesting that Japan investigate the comfort women problem and officially apologize to the victims. The Human Rights Committee pointed out that, on the one hand, Japan admitted that it had forcibly pressed the ‘comfort women’ into service against their will during the period of the Second World War, and had transported and managed them, but on the other hand, Japan also asserted that the ‘comfort women’ were not ‘forcibly deported’. The Deputy Chairman of the Committee remarked, ‘We thought it is important to highlight this particular contradictory position, because it seemed to imply that there were no true human rights problems. The Committee urged Japan to make this definite commitment: ‘That all allegations of sexual slavery or other human rights violations perpetrated by the Japanese military during wartime against the comfort women are effectively, independently and impartially investigated and that perpetrators are prosecuted and, if found guilty, punished’. In addition, the Committee urged Japan to make the utmost effort to disclose all available evidence, acknowledge its responsibility, and publicly apologize, while at the same time condemning any attempts to deny the facts or slander the victims.
Thus, it is expected that China will continue its habit of utilizing the recommendations of UN committees to bolster its submissions to the Memory of the World Register in their next reapplication, due before May 31, 2017. China’s reapplication will likely quote the concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women’s investigation of Japan released in March 2016. The Chinese government announced at a press conference that UNESCO had encouraged a joint submission by six nations.
Therefore, in order to tackle this problem, Japan needs to consolidate and reaffirm the historical details that led to the aforementioned conclusions. What will be most important is the need to base our response on the facts that the Japanese government outlined in three fact-based rebuttals presented to the UN in 2014 and 2015. The contents of the rebuttals, which are not well known, follow:
The Rebuttal of the Japanese Government at the UN
(1) Declaration to the UN Human Rights Council on September 15, 2014 – We would like to make reference to UN reports, including the Coomaraswamy Report, that have provided the opportunity for this issue to become the subject of full-scale debate at the United Nations. These reports describe the forced recruitment of 200,000 comfort women as if it were a fact. Concerning this point, we would like to note that the news articles printed in a major Japanese newspaper, which are thought to have heavily influenced these reports, were recently retracted on the basis of an investigation carried out by the same paper. It has become clear that the figure of 200,000 comfort women resulted from the confusion of comfort women with members of the Women’s Volunteer Corps and that allegations of forced recruitment were lies told by the individuals giving testimony. It is extremely regrettable that such media information influenced the reports that were submitted to the UN.
(2) Declaration to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on August 31, 2015, (3) Declaration to the Committee against Torture on March 13, 2015 – We would like to note that the criticisms and recommendations made in the report of the UN special rapporteur and by members of human rights committees have included biased and unsubstantiated assertions. For example, they mention the testimony of Yoshida Seiji, the only person to have admitted to have kidnapped comfort women, and the figure of 200,000 comfort women. However, in August, 2014, the major Japanese newspaper that had been aggressively reporting on these two allegations acknowledged that Yoshida’s testimony was fabricated, retracted its news stories based on it, and apologized for having printed his false allegations as news. In addition, it confused the comfort women with the Women’s Volunteer Corps, a mistake that seems to have been the origin of the figure of 200,000 comfort women. The documentation discovered by the Japanese government during investigations conducted since the early 1990s, and now publicly available overseas, contains no direct description of so-called “forced recruitment” by
soldiers or police authorities. Furthermore, the figure of 200,000 comfort women was disseminated due to the same newspaper’s failure to distinguish between the comfort women and the Women’s Volunteer Corps in its reporting. There is no hard evidence to support it. It is deeply regrettable that all these mistaken facts constituted much of the basis for the recommendations of the UN’s report.
On the basis of these rebuttals, on February 16, 2016, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Sugiyama Shinsuke made Japan’s first complete statement on the impact of the Asahi Shimbun’s misreporting before the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Nonetheless, this was done in response to a question posed by a committee member, and so, unfortunately, the UN neither publicly printed the statement in English nor transmitted it abroad. We need to study all the facts about how the Asahi Shimbun, Tanaka Yuki, Su Zhiliang, and their collaborators spread such misconceptions internationally and to rebut them in preparation for their next “comfort women” submission to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
In 2015, the Register Sub-Committee of the International Advisory Committee, which decides on all applications to the Memory of the World Register, exposed flaws in China’s submitted documentation, and so China made an additional submission of documents, inserting sources from the Chinese “Comfort Women” Research Center at Shanghai Normal University, headed by Professor Su Zhiliang. Professor Su Zhiliang’s name was recorded at the top of a column making special mention of three experts, and on October 2015, China also sent Su to the meeting of the International Advisory Committee that convened in Abu Dhabi. The Chinese government contributed about $130,000 to his research, and during China’s next submission of documents to the Memory of the World Register, it is clearly Su who will be spearheading the initiative.
China’s new document submission also listed the following Japanese books in its bibliography: Jugun Ianfu Shiryoshu [Collected Documents on the Military Comfort Women], by Yoshimi Yoshiaki and published by Otsuki Shoten, Sei to Shinryaku: “Guntai Ianjo” 84-Kasho Moto Nihonheira no Shogen [Sex and Aggressive War: The Stories of Former Japanese Soldiers and Others Concerning Eighty-Four Military Comfort Stations], published by Shakai Hyoronsha, Josei Kokusai Senpan Hotei no Zenkiroku (Nihongun Seidoreisei wo Sabaku 2000-Nen Josei Kokusai Senpan Hotei no Kiroku) [Complete Records of the Women's International War Crimes Tribunal (The Records of the 2000 Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery], edited by Matsui Yayori, Nishino Rumiko, Kin Tomiko (Kim Puy), Hayashi Hirofumi, Kawaguchi Kazuko, and Higashizawa Haru and published by Ryofuku Shuppan, and Nihongun “Ianfu” Kankei Shiryo Shusei (Nikan) [Compiled Documents Relating to the Japanese Military's "Comfort Women" (Two Volumes)], edited by Suzuki Yuko, Yamashita Yone, and Tonomura Masaru and published by Akashi Shoten.
In October, 2015, the International Advisory Committee decided to undertake a review of the “Memory of the World General Guidelines and Companion and the extent to which
these documents provide an effective framework for the management of the Memory of the World Programme.” On March 25, 2016, a Review Group was formed under Chairman Abdulla El Reyes, and UNESCO announced on its home page that the review would examine the following fifteen points:
(1) The vision, mission and objectives of the programme. (2) The degree to which the International Advisory Committee reflects its purpose. (3) The adequacy and practicality of the criteria for inscription. (4) Harmonization of the procedures and criteria for the registers. (5) Providing a sound operational basis. (6) Improvement of nomination formalities. (7) Introduction of more transparency into the procedures, decisions and recommendations of the International Advisory Committee and its sub-committees. (8) Identification of more explicitly additional elements. (9) Improvement of the relationship with other programmes and Conventions of UNESCO. (10) Review of the role and functioning of the Register Sub-Committee and other IAC Sub-Committees and collaboration between them. (11) Setting standards of acceptance of nominations in terms of objectivity of argument and language, accuracy and adequacy of information, and neutrality of intent. (12) Management of sensitivities related to potentially controversial nominations and inscriptions. (13) Ethical protocols concerning conflicts of interest, lobbying, and inducements. (14) Marketing and the use of the Memory of the World logo. (15) The Programme’s engagement with its communities.
Of particular note are points (3), (7), (11), (12), and (13). In March, 2016, the Review Group’s discussion paper was released for commentary. Consultation will be complete by August, and then a meeting of the Review Group will be convened in September. By October, the Review Group will have hammered out a draft of its revised guidelines and consulted with the Secretariat. By December, it will have requested the opinion of the International Advisory Committee on this draft and decided upon a final draft. In January of next year, the Memory of the World Summit will be held in Abu Dhabi in order to endorse the final draft. The final draft will be submitted to the UNESCO Executive Board in February. In April, the Board will approve the final draft, which will be applied at the next screening of applications to the Register.
The joint submission relating to the “military comfort women” is due at the end of May. We will need to keep a close eye on how the submission is scrutinized under the revised guidelines.