Formulating Japan's UNSCR 1325 National Action Plan and Forgetting the "Comfort Women"

Citation:

Motoyama, Hisako. 2018. “Formulating Japan’s UNSCR 1325 National Action Plan and Forgetting the ‘Comfort Women.’” International Feminist Journal of Politics 20 (1): 39–53.

Author: Hisako Motoyama

Abstract:

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. By doing so, I attempt to critically reconsider the framework of the UN Women, Peace and Security agenda, which constructs powerful developed nations “not in conflict” as innocent supporters of women in conflict zones.

Keywords: Security Council Resolution 1325, women, peace and security, military sexual violence, imperialism, militarization

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against women Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2018

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