The government has asked Radhika Coomaraswamy, who compiled a 1996 UN report that determined that so-called comfort women had been forcibly recruited to serve as "sexual slaves" for the former Imperial Japanese Army, to retract a part of its contents, it was learned Wednesday.
According to sources, Coomaraswamy, however, refused the request.
It was the first time that the government has directly asked Coomaraswamy, a lawyer from Sri Lanka, to withdraw the report since The Asahi Shimbun retracted in August a total of 16 articles on the comfort women issue, which were written based on the testimonies of the late Seiji Yoshida, admitting his remarks to be false.
The UN Human Rights Commission adopted the report in 1996.
According to the sources, Kuni Sato, ambassador for human rights and humanitarian affairs of the Foreign Ministry, met Coomaraswamy in New York on Tuesday and asked for the retraction. However, she rejected the request, saying Yoshida's testimony was only one part of the evidence used to compile the report.
The government asked for the retraction of a part of the report, which quotes Yoshida's statement that the former Imperial Japanese Army rounded up and forcibly took away Korean women from Jeju Island in what is now South Korea to make them comfort women.