national

Japan Times president apologizes for turmoil; warns of legal action against leakers

50 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

50 Comments
Login to comment

The Japan Times has been going down the plug hole for sometime and was bought out recently by a media company who wants to turn the thumb screws on what is considered to be correct terminology of the wartime events and others too. Trying to appeal to a wider audience.

4 ( +18 / -14 )

How Orwellian Japan is becoming in explaining its bloody history of forced servitude and forced prostitution in Korea.

1 ( +16 / -15 )

"The move polarized readers. Some saw it as an effort to whitewash Japan's wartime history, while others celebrated the move as a way to correct foreign misinterpretations."

The former group is 99.9% of the world, and the latter are the Japanese nationalists who suffer from such extreme inferiority complexes they get hurt when history is viewed as being even remotely negative towards Japan. Welcome to the Secrets Law, people, and Japan's future.

The Japan Times has sucked for a very long time, and was extremely over-priced and slow to begin with.

2 ( +18 / -16 )

"women who worked in wartime brothels, including those who did so against their will."

WWWIWBITWDSATW for short

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

What's needed and wanted is MORE LEAKS! Japanese politics since WWII has been a nest of worms. It's way past time it was cleaned up. Whether you call them comfort women or sex slaves or "women who worked in wartime brothels, including those who did so against their will," the system was started in WWII by Nakasone, who served as PM of Japan in the 1980's and who is still involved in Japanese politics. This issue is the least of Japan's war crimes. Japan Times needs to expose MORE not kowtow to the LDP!

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

That's weird. The 'japan does no wrong' crowd is suspiciously quiet. Guess can't argue with right in your face hard facts!!

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Japan Times might have the word Japan in their name, but it's one of the most bias and Anti-Japan organizations that I've seen. It's like a S. Korean right wing writes those articles. Neutrality or facts deflect away like it's Neo from the Matrix.

-4 ( +14 / -18 )

As for the new „comfort women“ wordage, neither the old nore the new term are any good for foreign diplomacy these days.

Maybe the Asahi news would be proud to own old dame JT.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Sad indeed, approaching 8 decades after WWII & STILL Japan cant admit its history ……..the decline continues...…….sadly.....but even more sad is that it is NOT surprising....SAD!

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

And so it begins .... a convenient conflating of 'whistle-blowers' with 'leakers' ... one of many reasons I had to resign in protest from a tenured position at Jissen Women's College.

Up until now, I have been mostly a passive member of Tozen ... though I have doubts that Tozen will have any impact on editorial changes.

And though I am on the Tozen notification list, this is the first I've heard of any action against The Japan Times. Will have to check this out further.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"women who worked in wartime brothels, including those who did so against their will."

WWWIWBITWDSATW for short

At least, it's more accurate and politically less correct.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

in simple English.

Sex slaves and forced labour.

what's to misunderstand?

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Japanese historical revisionism is real, and is a big problem, and i am against it, but what i am even more against is hypocrisy. Many of the commentators here come from countries who themselves whitewash their own history and push forward a distorted historical narrative, and who would doubtless rage if their media tried to shun a light on their historical crimes and portray their country in a negative way. Maybe an exception would be the Untied States. It's all about perspectives. Everybody thinks they are right for themselves, but few people practice what they preach.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

"Sex slaves" and "Slave labourers" are more proper terms, and they're also easier to remember.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

ThePBotToday  10:18 pm JST

"Sex slaves" and "Slave labourers" are more proper terms, and they're also easier to remember.

You know - this kind of self-assured certainty is what puzzles me over this whole affair. That people not only just take the position, but automatically assume the opposite is wrong beyond debate.

I mean, AFAIK the stack really is thin. There's little if not no paper (supposedly they were burnt, but that still means no paper). And after that are basically ... accusations ... 50 years or so after the alleged fact. If I'm going to be convicted and have legal consequences inflicted on me, I'll at least want to see a slightly better stack than that.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

"The act of leaking confidential information and the act of damaging the company's reputation..

I believe Tsutsumi one upped anyone who leaked any information. He’s as involved with his right wing friends even if he doesn’t admit to it, as the Nippon Kaigi or the LDP is. Who is he trying to fool or mislead? Whoever cares to read the article would him / herself know better. Tsutsumi cant live with himself.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

AlexBecu: "Japan Times might have the word Japan in their name, but it's one of the most bias and Anti-Japan organizations that I've seen. It's like a S. Korean right wing writes those articles."

Why, because they report the truth? that women were forced at gun point to become gang rape "volunteers" for the IJA? Because they report the facts about Nanjing?

Why do you guys have such inferiority complexes? Really? Now you blame South Koreans for Japan's restrictions on word usage? Amazing! No one is accusing YOU of doing the things the IJA did, but to deny history makes you literally just as bad.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Congratulations to Japan Times for the courage to publish articles about sensitive facts of Second World War. History is generally written by the winning part, but, it is very important to discuss past errors to avoid present and future repetition of so regretful events. Japan has overcomed the hardness of war and after more than 74 years of the end of WWII there are survivors and there are deep wounds in all involved, their pain must be respected and all efforts must be made to ensure a proper cure, restoration. Thank God Japan is now a country that is an example of peace and admired worldwide. This issue of comfort women must be discussed and a way to make all people, all human beings in peace with this must be pursued. Japan Times has been positively contributing to this.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

@kazuaki.

just google Dutch/Indonesian sex slaves Japan.

all you need.

despite what you think it wasn't only Koreans.

and the burnt papers =no evidence simply doesn't wash.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Changing 'comfort women' to a 10 word phrase is just dumb, regardless of what they call it. But 'wartime laborers' sounds, at least to me, like exactly what it was. Someone forced to work during a war. I don't really get the uproar about it.

But in the end, it's just a newspaper. If you don't like it, don't read it.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

IloveCoffeeMar. 20  10:13 pm JST Japanese historical revisionism is real, and is a big problem, and i am against it, but what i am even more against is hypocrisy. Many of the commentators here come from countries who themselves whitewash their own history and push forward a distorted historical narrative, and who would doubtless rage if their media tried to shun (sic) a light on their historical crimes and portray their country in a negative way. Maybe an exception would be the Untied States. It's all about perspectives.

False equivalency fail.

The Japan Times, if bland, used to be an internationalist newspaper. Otherwise, in Japan there is no equivalent to the Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, the NYT or Washington Post. In Japan, your press sources, tightly regulated as "clubs," are all now either right of center or full on right wing and neither will truck any criticism of Japan. The Asahi tries, but it's been harassed by nationalists for so long now that it's toned down it's criticism, regardless of how well the facts are presented. The right is now also pressuring members of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan.

extankerToday  12:48 am JST

Changing 'comfort women' to a 10 word phrase is just dumb, regardless of what they call it. But 'wartime laborers' sounds, at least to me, like exactly what it was. Someone forced to work during a war. I don't really get the uproar about it.

If you don't understand that being forced to work in a munitions factory is quite different from being raped repeatedly by members of the occupying army, then perhaps you should refrain from commenting.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

You know - this kind of self-assured certainty is what puzzles me over this whole affair. That people not only just take the position, but automatically assume the opposite is wrong beyond debate.

It's the world's words against Japan's. Maybe this fact should be a moment of introspection for you.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

@Jeff Huffman

If you don't understand that being forced to work in a munitions factory is quite different from being raped repeatedly by members of the occupying army, then perhaps you should refrain from commenting.

What the heck are you talking about?? I'm going to assume you completely misread my comment and recommend that you go read it again. I never once compared the two. I made two distinct comments about the two completely separate terms. I would think that if you can't tell the difference, you also might want to refrain from commenting.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

@BlattamexiguusToday 12:21 am JST

just google Dutch/Indonesian sex slaves Japan.

Are you talking that Lieutenant ... yeah way to go to show this is a common phenomena.

and the burnt papers =no evidence simply doesn't wash.

I think the principles of no producible papers = no evidence is an important part of the modern legal system, and one that should be upheld, not thrown out. If you can't find drugs in the suspect's house, that means no evidence, not that there must be drugs and they flushed it down the toilet.

You see, it is this kind of thing that worries me - this extremism. As soon as we talk about these stupid comfort women, too many people are willing to throw out the principles that sustain the modern liberal order and rule-by-law. They go into this schizo mode where they alternate between saying that modern Japanese are innocent and saying it is OK to inflict monetary and even worse losses on them. They claim to value modern criminal procedure and the protections it provides, yet they ignore it when it comes to the ostensibly burnt paper. They also claim to value freedom of speech and academic discussion, but of course you can't take the other side in this debate.

Extremism is, at the very basic level, when one feels his idea is so important that other people's legal rights and protections can be trampled. I find present behavior and attitudes toward law much more worrrisome and condemnable than a discussion about past facts.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki: "That people not only just take the position, but automatically assume the opposite is wrong beyond debate."

Well, when you pretend you live in a vacuum and only one side is correct going in, that's what happens; objectivity implodes. Japanese who deny history always think they are objective while demanding you adhere to their "facts". I always chuckle at the group of delegates Japan creates to "agree on history" (note, they are not historians, just nationalists) and sends abroad knowing it will be a complete failure and they can play the victim.

I like how you say, "documents were burnt, and therefore never existed", though. Almost works, if you don't have a brain. If that logic worked, why commemorate the dead who burned in the atomic bombings, for example? Did they exist? Some people know they did, and have stories and sightings to prove it, same as sexual slavery. Let me guess... not the same thing, right?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

"As soon as we talk about these stupid comfort women, too many people are willing to throw out the principles that sustain the modern liberal order and rule-by-law. "

Say what?!?

the rest of your post speaks for itself.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I think it's time to put the pain of WWII in the past and leave it there. Life is too short to spend time arguing about the past. The Japanese, Koreans and Chinese have so much to offer eachother and ought to focus of strengthening bonds through trade, tourism and cultural exchange.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

That's weird. The 'japan does no wrong' crowd is suspiciously quiet. Guess can't argue with right in your face hard facts!!

You spoke too soon.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The Japanese are very afraid of their image being damage. You have to be careful because they are very delicate. That’s why alternative words are used. They would much rather use the word “consulting” for what transpired.

The JIA sought after these women for consulting.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

The 'japan does no wrong' crowd is suspiciously quiet.

The Japan Times = Japan? Is it a state-owned newspaper?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

StrangerlandToday  05:41 am JST

The 'japan does no wrong' crowd is suspiciously quiet.

The Japan Times = Japan? Is it a state-owned newspaper?

The wider discussion is of Japan's inability to come to terms with its war time past and the fact that once more reasonable Japan Times has now, editorially, fallen in line with the nationalists that will truck no criticism of the nation. The apologists have, apparently, now gotten out of bed and are here to equivocate that all forced "labour" during the war was the same. E.g.

extankerToday  12:48 am JST

Changing 'comfort women' to a 10 word phrase is just dumb, regardless of what they call it. But 'wartime laborers' sounds, at least to me, like exactly what it was. Someone forced to work during a war. I don't really get the uproar about it.

Being forced to mine coal is no different than sex slavery.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

The wider discussion is of Japan's inability to come to terms with its war time past

Again, you're using this monolithic term 'Japan'. That needs to be defined better. My wife is quite able to come to terms with Japan's wartime past. She's Japanese. Is she not 'Japan'? If not, why not? If she is 'Japan', then does that not mean 'Japan' is in fact able to deal with this?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It’s become “Cool Japan Times”! (Eye roll)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Amazing,.. there are so many comments in here yet, none really talks about what the comfort woman really were, or its updated information. People just don'T care about the truth, do they?

This is the most updated version about comfort woman.

https://twitter.com/head_bulb/status/1107293624092381189

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I don't know how accurately Tsutumi san has been portrayed in this report, but it appears the new president of Japan Times is determined to rebrand Japan Times as an organisation of hypocritical and bigoted values, and that its journalistic integrity had departed with new ownership.

If the above perception is not accurate, Then IMHO, Japan Times owes the world an explanation as to how Japan Times uphold 'source confidentiality and protection' - necessary to sustain freedom of the press.

Similarly, Japan Times must also explain why it feels the need to attack those holding different different views to its own.

Sadly more and more media organisations are going down this path due to pressures from advertisers, in the west, it's so entrenched now product launches always include media partners.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Sh1mon M4sada

Hm.. are you following this issue? This is a sequel.

This issue started when,

*Japan Times decided to describe comfort women as "women who worked in wartime brothels, including those who did so against their will.",*

The president explained that the purpose of the style change was to "enable us to report controversial issues in a fair and neutral manner," and denied that the paper had shifted its political views.

Then, some of employs leaked internal email , spreading info as if this change was made by political reasons or pressure by Right Wing distorting the truth about comfort woman, or even articles from Reuters giving an impression that PM. Abe is behind this. (You know many who just love bashing Abe.).

So the real question is whether comfort woman is sex slave or worker?

if comfort woman are just prostitutes, Japan times's change is correct and way to be fair and justice to falsely accused Japanese people. If comfort women were sex slaves forced into sex by Japanese military, calling them "worker" is wrong.

So, Who are they? comfort woman?

What is the recent updated conclusion?

https://twitter.com/head_bulb/status/1107293624092381189

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

it appears the new president of Japan Times is determined to rebrand Japan Times as an organisation of hypocritical and bigoted values, and that its journalistic integrity had departed with new ownership.

That's exactly right:

"Mizuno (the new executive editor) is widely disliked by staff and reporters because he ignored their views opposing the changes in how the paper refers to comfort women and forced labor. They are demoralized because he has embarrassed them and tarnished the paper’s reputation. Most wish he would resign and want to revert to the previous editorial stance because they think that the craven kowtowing to Abe and embrace of historical revisionism is undermining the Japan Times’ credibility. It’s a bad sign when the Net Uyoku are applauding and claiming victory.

https://apjjf.org/2019/03/McNeill-Kingston.html

The Net Uyoku have been aided by a small group of naturalised Japanese citizens and fellow travelers who have conducted an online hate campaign against both the Japan Times and Prof. Kingston for years. Years.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Jeff Huffman

Being forced to mine coal is no different than sex slavery.

So tell me, are you actually thinking that yourself or are you accusing me of thinking that because you completely refuse to understand what I actually said? If its the latter, please, please try to explain to me how on earth you came to that conclusion from my comments, since no one else seems to have misunderstood them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hm.. are you following this issue?...

So, Who are they?

I am following this story from a journalistic integrity point of view.

Sources must remain confidential and be protected to sustain freedom of the press. A proprietor of a media outlet should know this, and to threaten sources is bigoted and hypocritical.

Politically, he is within his rights as an individual to follow revionist philosophy, but as a media proprietor he should respect the values are those held by the organisation as a whole.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

StrangerlandToday  06:28 am JST

The wider discussion is of Japan's inability to come to terms with its war time past

Again, you're using this monolithic term 'Japan'. That needs to be defined better. My wife is quite able to come to terms with Japan's wartime past.

Congratulations!. So is mine, but they are both members of numerically small minority.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Congratulations!. So is mine, but they are both members of numerically small minority.

So are they not considered as part of 'Japan'?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The former group is 99.9% of the world

I rather doubt that most of the world has any interest whatsoever in the comfort women issue. "Sex slaves" seems to be a largely English language thing. From what foreign students told me, it's not a "big issue" in the Spanish, French, or German speaking spheres.

I've looked at the Japanese language editions of Korean newspapers. Unless they are quoting something from the English language press, they use them same terminology as Japanese newspapers do 従軍慰安婦.

Even Jeff Kingston who has done as much anyone to keep the comfort women isssue alive in English has noted that the surviving comfort women themselves dislike the "sex slaves" terminology.

As for the Japan Times itself, despite claiming to have roughly 130 employees, it produces very little of its own editorial content. Almost everything is bought in from wire services and freelance contributors. Despite being critical of the press club system, many Japan Times articles are recycled press releases.

This pattern did not begin with the current owner. It has been that way for years. A personal friend of the owner has told me that one of her main tasks is trying to find out what those 130 employees are doing (or not doing as seems more likely).

The Japan Times has been losing money in a big way for many years. When the new owner took it over, the price was not disclosed. This makes me wonder if the previous owner (Nifco) gave it away or even paid the new owner to take it over.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You spoke too soon

Lol I sure did.

So are they not considered as part of 'Japan'?

Thats moot. No one's blaming the entire japan. I'm thinking this is what most defenders fail to understand. It's those individuals that continue to peddle the false beliefs that are to blame. The individuals that despite mountains and mountains of verifiable evidence, still stick to the the very said false narratives. It truly baffles the educated mind.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I rather doubt that most of the world has any interest whatsoever in the comfort women issue. "Sex slaves" seems to be a largely English language thing

I agree with you almost entirely if the quotes above is taken literally.

However, there is another context where sensitivities to Chinese and Koreans could mean the difference between peace and conflict.

It has been difficult enough for the nations involved to agree in a common language (English) what the atrocities are, there is no need for unnecessary aggravation in pursuing a parochial context in a multi-national discussion. IMHO, JTimes is very short sighted in the way it has gone about with this.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

bullfighter: "I rather doubt that most of the world has any interest whatsoever in the comfort women issue."

Yeah, which is why Japan sends delegates to countries like the US to demand they change their textbooks, right? Or why there are so many sex-slave statues going up world-wide. Take your head out of the sand and you might see a little more.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yeah, which is why Japan sends delegates to countries like the US to demand they change their textbooks, right? Or why there are so many sex-slave statues going up world-wide. Take your head out of the sand and you might see a little more.

Unlike China and Korea, the US does not have a system in which textbooks are controlled by the national government. Some states control textbooks, most notably Texas, but it is inherently impossible for Japan or anyone else to demand that the US "change their textbooks" because such textbooks do not exist.

Further, in the case that I believe you are referencing, it was a particular college world history textbook written by a professor in Hawaii. No one was sent to demand a change. A local consular official did this on his own initiative.

"Sex-slave statues" are not going up world wide. They are, as I said of the issue in general, a feature of the English speaking world and only a fraction of that world. Typically they are placed by Korean or Chinese (more of the latter than the former) activists looking for publicity. I know of no case where there has been significant participation by the general populace in the countries where these things have been placed. Even in Korea the number of people who show up for comfort women protests is tiny compared to those who show up for political and labour demonstrations.

In the US the attention that the comfort weapon statues get is very minor compared to the on-going issue of the Confederate war memorials sprinkled around the country and the complicity of major universities in slave holding and the slave trade.

It is for this very reason that I have counseled right-wing activists to ignore the statues. The people who put them up are looking for publicity and protesting the statues gives the groups placing the statues free advertising. Ignore them and they will be forgotten. The Japanese government would be wise to do the same thing. Ignore them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Further, in the case that I believe you are referencing, it was a particular college world history textbook written by a professor in Hawaii. No one was sent to demand a change. A local consular official did this on his own initiative.

http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/676418.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@smithinjapan Today 02:25 am JST

Well, when you pretend you live in a vacuum and only one side is correct going in, that's what happens; objectivity implodes

I'm glad we can agree on this basic principle. Now perhaps you can apply that principle to this concrete scenario.

In fact, applying this principle will put a net uyoku far ahead of you. Here's why. A net uyoku, living in Japan, is exposed to a place where he will be able to read both sides of the argument, in Japanese. Even if he doesn't reach out to read the other side's argument in full, the argumentation he reads does not have the luxury of pretending the other side is non-existent or made of automatically evil people. It has to deal with the opposing side's argument in at least some fashion.

In the West, you have to stretch and learn another language just to see the other argument. Then you have to fight past a wall of indoctrination about "uyoku" (labelling at work).

Some people know they did, and have stories and sightings to prove it, same as sexual slavery.

Well, there are some things like the objective measurement of radioactivity. The documents of the research are also there.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@smithinjapan Today 03:46 pm JST

Yeah, which is why Japan sends delegates to countries like the US to demand they change their textbooks, right?

I won't dispute something like that has happened (the facts). I do dispute that there's anything much wrong with this (the law). At the very least, it is an entirely consistent position with Japanese criminal law when it comes to defamation.

First, there is no way that the inclusion of such statements into a textbook is raising the young student's impression of the Japanese people. Thus, by nature it is defamatory. Defamatory means Unwert.

There are two justificatory conditions, both of which have to be met to exclude criminality:

1) It has to be the truth.

2) It has to be in the public interest.

Thus, if Abe (or the Japanese government) even subjectively believes it is not the truth, or not the whole truth, he has every right to call for a stop to such defamatory statements.

Even if it is the truth and Abe agrees it is the truth, he still has cause to act if it is not in the public interest - for example, if it may be exciting extremism against the Japanese people. Unfortunately, while it might be nice to hallucinate we can let history be history, that the statement is harmless academia, bitter experience over the past 20 years have clearly illustrated that such statements do have an incitement of extremism component. In addition to the previously mentioned symptoms, it includes such things as thinking Shrine Visits are worse and more offensive than Missile Brigades.

This just cannot be "in the public interest" :-)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Kazuaki - your comment -

"....Even if it is the truth and Abe agrees it is the truth, he still has cause to act if it is not in the public interest.."

exacts the fear of Orwell's "Ministry of Truth".

And a more recent take on this is Trump's best mate (after Abe) Guiliani's now immortal classic "Truth isn't Truth" - an exercise in the newly founded order of "Post-Democracy".

The Japan Times has given in to this post democracy order and the 21st resurrection of Orwells "Newspeak".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites