Approximately a month ago, a controversy arose in which a Harvard professor was under fire for claiming that comfort women were not sex slaves but were prostitutes.
On January 28th, Sankei Shinbun newspaper reported that a Harvard professor published an essay denying the sexual slavery of comfort women. According to the reports, an essay with the title "Contracting for sex in the Pacific War" was published on the 65th volume of 'The International Review of Law and Economics,' which is scheduled to be published in March.
In the essay, professor J. Mark Ramseyer stated that comfort women were an extended service provided by the prostitution businesses that were permitted by the Japanese government. The prostitution business and the prostitutes pursued their own interests and laid down conditions for their services.
Since then, many professors were working to rebut professor Ramseyer's essay while netizens continued to direct their criticism at the professor.
Recently, one Korean news media outlet reported that professor Ramseyer had admitted to the mistakes in his essay, saying that he is distressed by all the criticisms directed at him. The media outlet cited an article by Jeannie Suk Gersen published in 'The New Yorker.'
Jeannie Suk Gersen, a fellow professor at Harvard University, wrote an article, 'Seeking the True Story of the Comfort Women, ' sharing her conversation with professor Ramseyer proving the mistakes and contradictions of his essay.
According to professor Gersen, professor Ramseyer stated he did not have any contact with Koreans to base his claims on or prove credibility to his statements. After the reports that Harvard professor Ramseyer admitted to his mistakes, criticisms directed at the professor increased.
Many Korean netizens criticized that the professor did not admit to his error in his claims about the comfort women but had only admitted to his mistakes about another contradicting claim he had made in another writing in which wrote about a young Japanese girl who went to Borneo to work as a prostitute. Numerous Korean netizens are continuing to criticize the professor, asking him to remove his essay and to apologize.