Once again, the Japanese government has stepped back from accepting responsibility for their atrocities during World War II. This time, no less than Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that with respect to Japanese wartime sex slavery "there was no evidence to prove there was coercion as initially suggested". This statement is unbelievable in light of the overwhelming evidence. Furthermore, previous Prime Minster's have acknowledged (and here) that "comfort stations" existed, were run by the Japanese military, and the women were often coerced. They've even accepted moral responsibility (if not legal.)
This isn't some reasonable academic debate about what happened thousands of years ago. The people who were there are alive and have told their story. There are statements and books by Japanese soldiers who admit their role. Perhaps an even bigger affront (aside from insulting the intelligence of the entire world) is to the women who were forced into sexual slavery and are still alive today. The Japanese government continues their torture these women sixty-five years later.
The contrast with Germany is amazing. In Germany, Holocaust denial is illegal; in Japan, the equivalent is a governmental pastime. To deny this crime happened is irresponsible and frankly incredible. I'm beside myself with anger. I'm terrified of a re-armed Japan taking a larger world role if their leaders have not accepted their historical responsibilities and learned from that history. Nothing reassures me that this won't happen again.