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Domesticating the “Comfort Women” Issue: The Coverage of U.S. Newspapers

Fri, June 10, 14:00 to 15:15, Fukuoka Hilton, Rigel


Among the major Western newspapers we examined, the term “comfort women” appeared most in the two U.S. newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post, reflecting the higher degree of involvement of the U.S. compared to the U.K. and France. This difference comes not only from the country’s political relationship with Japan and Korea, but also from the fact that the controversy developed into domestic issues for the U.S., such as the resolution passed at the House of Representatives and the memorial statues established in different locations in the country. In our analysis, U.S. newspapers extended the “comfort women” issue to various dimensions such as wartime and postwar women’s rights, the memories of WWII, and East Asian politics in a broader sense. U.S. newspapers regarded the issue not only as a bilateral conflict between Japan and Korea, but also as a case relevant to various other issues. This way of framing by U.S. may indicate the nation’s interest in the region.