Takashi Uemura (academic)

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Takashi Uemura is a Japanese academic and former journalist who, while a reporter for The Asahi Shimbun, wrote about comfort women. His mother-in-law is Yang Sun-Im, a Korean activist who heads the Association of Pacific War Victims and plaintiff groups for lawsuits by former comfort women.[1] Yang sun-Im was arrested for fraud on December 2011 by Korean Police.


While a reporter for Asahi, Uemura wrote articles about the comfort women who had been forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. However, some have been alleged to involve incorrect information.[2][3][4]The original testimony by an ex prostitute Kim Hak-Sun 김학순 published in the Korean newspaper The Hankyoreh was "I was sold to a Kiesen Kenban (기생 検番 a comfort station) in Pyongyang at the age of 14 by a mother who had difficulty living. Ms. Kim, who finished her three-year inspection career, thought it was her first job and was taken by her father-in-law in front of a unit with over 300 Japanese troops in North China." Uemura forged this testimony to "I was taken to the battlefield under the name of a women's slimmer corps and forced to prostitute Japanese soldiers."[1]

It has also been claimed that they was an intentional "forgery".[5][6][7] On August 5, 2014, 23 years after the publication of the articles, Asahi Shimbun placed a correction article stating that certain articles misused a document and described information incorrectly.[8] Uemura is not mentioned by name in the correction article and the articles which he wrote are not among the retracted articles.[9][10] Uemura has since initiated legal proceedings over the public accusation against the publisher.[11]

The New York Times, which has partnered with Asahi Shimbun, reported that he was the target of ultra-nationalists, as was Asahi Shimbun. Hokusei Gakuen University in Sapporo, in northern Japan, where he lectures, has come under pressure to fire him. Furthermore, the same article explains that Uemura's article was not among those that Asahi retracted. This contradicts claims made in the right wing Japanese press regarding his writings.[9][10]

On January 9, Uemura filed a defamation suit with the Tokyo District Court against Tsutomu Nishioka, professor of Korean studies at Tokyo Christian University, and Bungeishunjū publishing company in response to the public accusations against him.[12]


  1. ^ "Unraveling the 'comfort women' issue — Asahi under probe — Asahi, South Korean media shared sympathy". The Japan News. November 30, 2014.
  2. ^ http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASG7L71S2G7LUTIL05N.html
  3. ^ http://megalodon.jp/2013-0514-1258-28/www.yomiuri.co.jp/politics/news/20130514-OYT1T00220.htm
  4. ^ http://www.sankei.com/politics/news/140523/plt1405230030-n1.html
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-12-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ http://agora-web.jp/archives/1478590.html
  7. ^ http://shukan.bunshun.jp/articles/-/3596
  8. ^ http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASG7M01HKG7LUTIL067.html
  9. ^ a b Reiji Yoshida (October 6, 2014). "Group defends ex-Asahi academic, saying university must resist anonymous calls to fire him BY REIJI YOSHIDA". The Japan Times. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Martin Fackler (December 2, 2014). "Japanese Right Attacks Newspaper on the Left, Emboldening War Revisionists". The New York Times. The Times Company. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  11. ^ https://news.yahoo.com/japan-ex-reporter-files-lawsuit-over-comfort-women-055457915.html
  12. ^ "Former Asahi reporter files suit against university professor, publisher". The Asahi Shimbun. January 10, 2015.