Tribunal 2000: Opening Remarks

Tribunal 2000 in Tokyo und Urteilsverkündung 2001 in Den Haag

Betr.: Sexsklavinnen für Japans Soldaten im II. Weltkrieg

Opening Remarks by Co-conveners


Violence Against Women in War Network, Japan (VAWW-NET Japan)
The survivors are dying one by one, without getting apology or compensation from the Japanese government. While the victims suffer, the perpetrators are enjoying life with no remorse, no pain in the heart.
The perpetrators must be held accountable. Otherwise there is no justice.

Indai Sajor

Asian Centre for Women's Human Rights (ASCENT)
Our purpose is to bring an end to the lifelong suffering caused by the lack of justice. We would like to ask the Judges help this goal achieved.

YUN Chung Ok

Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan
This court does not belong to any government or any power, but its judgment will resonate with solemnity and meaning.
But this court is not only for the survivors. but also for those who perished. This is not only for this generation, but for generations to come.

Am 4. Dezmber 2001 in Den Haag nach der Verkündigung des Urteils

Opening the Session

Presiding Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald

the Judges are called upon to determine the individual responsibility of various military and political officials and Emperor Hirohito for crimes against humanity.

They are charged with sexual slavery, and rape of women and young girls who were confined in "comfort stations".

the Indictments charge the Government of Japan with state responsibility for the commission of those crimes and seek redress on behalf of the "comfort women".

The Government of Japan was served with the notice of these proceedings, and was invited to attend and participate. It has not responded to this invitation.

Opening Statements


Chief Prosecutor Patricia Viseur-Sellers


Concerning Criminal responsibility of the accused


Your honors, we are after simply two things: the applications of the law, as it existed at the time of the crime period that the crimes were committed. We ask no favor from the current development of law concerning slavery or rape. We therefore formally would ask you reopen the proceedings of the Tokyo Tribunal.

The prosecutors that are with you today have exercised a very vital decision. And that is to proceed on crimes against humanity. War crimes did not allow subjugated people such as the peoples of Korea and Taiwan to be considered.

Your honors, the prosecutors that stand before you today have chosen to exercise the discretion to indict Emperor HIROHITO. We believe his failure is to place him within the system of crime against humanity, sexual slavery and rape, and that if he did not design or order it, then he certainly allowed it to continue through failure of duty, because it would have taken only one word from him to say "Stop! We are a civilized nation."

Chief Prosecutor Ustinia Dolgopol


Concerning State responsibility of the Government of Japan


The evidence will demonstrate that the establishment of facilities for sexual slavery was considered to be part of the war effort and that the Japanese government and military officials at the highest level were involved either directly or indirectly in sanctioning, condoning or tolerating the system. Further, officials of the state of Japan were responsible for the authorization of the travel of women for the facilities for sexual slavery and organizations for transport including navel vessels.

These acts constitute violations of Japan's treaty and customary international law obligations.

As the evidence will demonstrate the Government of Japan has continued to evade its responsibilities to the women taken into military sexual slavery.

The failure to prosecute, tolerance of denial by members of the parliament and the government as well as the refusal to offer satisfaction; all constitute continuing denial and continuing violations of Japan's international obligations.

The prosecutors will demonstrate that the Asian Women's fund is not an appropriate response to the violations that were committed by Japan.

In conclusion, your honors, we ask that this tribunal find that the Government of Japan has violated its obligations under international law and we further request that this tribunal indicate to the Government of Japan that it must make an appropriate form of redress.

Amicus Curiae (Friends of The Court)

Because the accused Government of Japan did not send counsel nor submit anything in written form, the Tribunal took up the system of amicus curiae. Amicus curiae is "friends of the court", a third party appointed by the court to submit expert opinions on a case. Three Japanese lawyers involved long in various war reparation lawsuits submitted to the Tribunal as amicus curiae the issues against the accusations the Government of Japan and individual defendants would have raised.

Atty. IMAMURA Tsuguo : due process question and understanding of the Government and Prosecutor's Office of Japan

Atty. SUZUKI Isomi : Japan's position on state responsibility and individual's right to claim

Atty. AITANI Kunio : present situation of war reparation lawsuits and possibility for legislative solution in Japan