Formulating Japan’s UNSCR 1325 national action plan and forgetting the “comfort women”
In September 2015, the Japanese government announced its first national action plan (NAP) to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325, just ten days after forcefully legislating controversial security bills that would effectively lift the constitutional restrictions on overseas exercise of military force. Why did the conservative administration embrace Resolution 1325 while propelling militarization? This paper examines the formulation process of Japan’s NAP, focusing on gendered struggle over remilitarization and war memory, especially that of the “comfort women,” or Japanese imperial military sexual slavery during World War II. I will examine how post–Cold War remilitarization in Japan was closely intertwined with the struggle over war memory and the gender order of the nation, and how the conservative administration embraced international gender equality norms in an attempt to identify itself as a powerful liberal democracy engaged in maintaining the international security order, and to erase the memory of imperial military sexual violence in the past.
Key wordsUNSCR 1325 / Violence Against Women / women and girls / women rights