Recently, a 27-year old Ikumi Yoshimatsu, the winner of Miss International 2012, said that she is ‘embarrassed’ by the way the Japanese government has been addressing the issue of comfort women.
In an interview with CBS, held on March 29, Yoshimatsu said “Although people have different opinions, it is a hard fact that there were women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. I am ashamed of some remarks made by several Japanese right-wing politicians. As a woman, I am deeply saddened that apologizing to victims can be a problem for some people.”
When Robin Morgan, the CBS Radio host, said “Recently, Prime Minister Abe mentioned that he might withdraw a state apology for comfort women,” Yoshimatsu responded “Some rightists argue that there is no need to apologize because roughly 80,000 to 200,000 women were working as a prostitute, while others have opposite views, citing survivors’ testimony.”
Some Japanese netizens posted critic comments on her Facebook page saying “A beauty queen is not the right person to comment on political issues.” In response, she wrote “I want women in our society to stay bold and confident. I feel regretful that some women had to lead a life as a comfort woman and were forced into a such terrible situation.”
Born in 1987, Yoshimatsu gained the title of Miss International in 2012.