Tessa Morris-Suzuki from the ANU writes that the denial of responsibility for the fate of the 'comfort women' is, of course, an extremely important issue for Japan's relations with its Asian neighbours and regional partners, including Australia. The Japanese government notes Morris-Suzuki, seems unable to grasp the extent of the damage which comments such as Abe's cause to Japan's international image in many other countries, particularly those (like Australia) where memories of the war remain an emotive issue. The story is depressingly familiar. The victims this time are first and foremost the surviving 'comfort women' themselves, who are once again being insulted and denied justice by the morally bankrupt hair-splitting rhetoric of politicians. But the other group of victims is the Japanese people themselves, whose relationship with neighbouring countries is being damaged by the short-sighted and inept behaviour of their political leaders.