This chapter undertakes a case study of the practice of using ‘comfort women’ in Japanese-occupied territories in Asia during the Second World War and the related accountability process. After assessing the attitude of the successive Japanese governments and positions taken by international and domestic courts, Kiki A. Japutra concludes that there has been a lack of will to address the crimes relating to comfort women. She goes on to illustrate the ‘positive interests’ for States to ensure accountability for serious crimes, which are different from mere legal obligation. Such interests include preventing undesirable incursion on sovereignty, building judicial capacity, enhancing the State’s image and credibility, promoting reconciliation processes, and relieving the burden of guilt and shame of the younger generation.
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