A week before Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government takes office, he is likely to ask his Cabinet for permission to use a controversial practice known as the “comfort women” to end sex slavery.
In December, the Supreme Court of Japan ruled that the practice of paying a sex slave for labor was illegal, but the government is expected to change the law and allow it in the coming weeks.
If Abe’s Cabinet does approve the request, it would be the first time a government has sought to end slavery and end sex trafficking.
Abe’s ruling party is already facing mounting criticism for the policy, which was also condemned by the United Nations and the European Union.
The practice is banned in Japan.
But Abe’s party says it will not give up.
Abe has said that he wants to “end the war on prostitution” by removing the sex trafficking from the country.
His party is hoping to use its influence to win approval for the legislation in the lower house, the lower chamber, in March, when parliament convenes for its spring session.
The new law is expected, however, to face a more difficult path than previous laws to be approved by parliament, which has only recently begun the process of approving bills.
If the law passes, it could come into force at the end of March.
In a recent opinion piece in the Japan Times, former Prime Minister Kiyoshi Kuroda said the current government is being forced to abandon the abolitionist cause because of pressure from a powerful lobby.
The lobby has also pressed the government to give up on the policy of paying the “pink rice” or “comfort girls” to serve as sex slaves.
Kuroda argued that the issue should not be discussed in public.
“I have come to the conclusion that there is no need to discuss the issue of prostitution and slavery in public,” he wrote.
He also noted that Japan had become the first developed nation to end its prohibition on sex trafficking, but that the country’s law against the practice has not yet been fully implemented.
The Japanese government is already working to remove the law, which would mean that sex trafficking would be legal in the country once the new law was approved.
“We are now preparing to go ahead with the policy that we had before the court ruling,” Abe said in a speech on March 6.
The government hopes to pass the new legislation as soon as possible.
“If we can achieve this, we should be able get this legislation into the law book by the end.
But it’s still early days,” a senior official told Axios.
“There are many uncertainties, and the government cannot guarantee that the legislation will pass,” the official said.