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Nagoya mayor criticized for demanding halt to 'comfort women' exhibition

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Just how stupid can it get? Grow up, you facile fools. It's 2019! Not 1951.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Kawamura had argued the exhibition could give the wrong impression that Japan accepts a South Korean claim that comfort women were forcibly taken by the Japanese military and thus it should not be displayed at a publicly funded event.

Or it could just be that you don't know your own history and are embarrassed that someone else has to teach you about it!

Calling into question what you were taught would cause your house of cards to crumble!

9 ( +17 / -8 )

In making the decision to halt the exhibition, Omura said Saturday that there were growing worries about safely managing the event as organizers had received a number of threatening emails, phone calls and faxes.

Right, so we take these excuses at face value? What about the complaints from people who are FOR the exhibit? Right, they dont count!

Increase your security, be happy for the extra free publicity, and get your xenophobic heads out of the sand.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Kawamura told a separate press conference Monday, "There needs to be a minimum level of regulation. (The statue) tramples on Japanese people's feelings."

Why are these “feelings” so delicate? Some people think there were sex slaves. Others think they were paid workers.

I’m afraid the governor is right. Think and express whatever you want but don’t suppress the freedom of expression.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Kawamura had argued the exhibition could give the wrong impression that Japan accepts a South Korean claim that comfort women were forcibly taken by the Japanese military and thus it should not be displayed at a publicly funded event.

But, that is exactly what happened!

Koreans were forcibly taken.

The Japanese murdered, imprisoned and tortured Koreans in their own country from 1910-1945.

Mr Kawamura should learn his history and stop acting against Japanese law!

3 ( +16 / -13 )

Why are these “feelings” so delicate? Some people think there were sex slaves. Others think they were paid workers.

You really should clarify this this by stating that there are some "JAPANESE" that think they were paid workers, in fact that ALL of them were "paid" for their services, even though they were slaves!

The rest of the world just sees them as slaves, paid or otherwise!

4 ( +10 / -6 )

It is good in Japan we are allowed to protest. Democracy works. But, it does not consider the feelings of Japanese people who are so much annoyed by the statue. Think, if we can display a statue of A-bomb victims in the states.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

The issue with his actions is that it doesn’t only affect Koreans. The comfort women exhibit also represented women from China and South East Asia.

The issue of comfort women -- a euphemism used in referring to those recruited mostly from other Asian countries to provide sex to Japanese soldiers during World War II

Isn’t recruited another euphemism?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

OK everything can be art to be allowed under the name of freedom of expression if it provokes emotional reaction, as some said.

How about the statue of Lai-Dai-Han in Seoul, how about the statue of prostitutes in Seoul

1 ( +5 / -4 )

A Japanese official reprimands anothe rfor "talking down" Korea.

A similar act in Korea would, in all probability end with the tarring and feathering of the one reprimanding.

Little subtleties, conviniently "over-looked" by JT "experts"

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Think, if we can display a statue of A-bomb victims in the states.

You can. In fact, there are plenty of permanent memorials honoring the victims of America's screw ups. In addition, there are temporary displays (like this one) and other events all the time.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Bravo to Governor Hideaki Omura for first of all understanding what civil liberties are, and second for having the balls to stand up for people's constitutional rights. I watched Kawamura speak yesterday on the news, the guy looked and spoke like a drunk hobo. He probably smelled like alcohol too. He is clearly an LDP stooge. He said the statue is offensive to the Japanese public, and therefore there MUST be an exception to people's constitutional rights of freedom of expression.

First of all, who the hell is he to say what is offensive to people? If the statue is so offensive to you, DON'T GO LOOK AT IT, and second, the very purpose of having freedom of speech as a constitutional rights is to protect speech that isn't liked, or speech that causes offense. If we are allowed to say only things that everybody agrees with then what's the point of having freedom of speech written in the constitution? That's why it's there, to protect dissent. People will say things you don't like, you think are false, morally wrong, disgusting, you disagree with, but they are entitled to their opinion, and you have no right to take away that entitlement from them, that's the price you have to pay if you want to live in a free society, you have to learn to tolerate dissent.

Unfortunately Japan still doesn't have a culture of voluntarism. People are afraid to speak their mind, because there is still a culture of intimidation and coercion, or at the very least, shaming and bullying. Japanese people need to learn to fight with words and arguments, and most of all, to learn how to agree to disagree. Live and let live.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

How about the statue of Lai-Dai-Han in Seoul, how about the statue of prostitutes in Seoul

Why are you making comparisons to SK? There are statues of the comfort women in the US, Japan protested about them as well.

However this is a freedom of speech issue, and shutting it down, represses the freedom of the people who created the exhibit!

OK everything can be art to be allowed under the name of freedom of expression if it provokes emotional reaction, as some said.

Unless of course it falls under the pixelated laws of Japan!

4 ( +10 / -6 )

If a Japanese person wants to spout off anti-Korean or other such extremist views, that should never be allowed in Japanese society and should be censored.

However, these same people then argue that censoring views on things like comfort women in Japan is a violation of the principle of free speech.

Well, which is it then, you can't have it both ways.

Anyhow, expect the anti-Japan crowd to seize on this as 'proof' all Japanese are ignorant white washers of history.

One idiot like this Nagoya mayor doesn't represent all Japanese people.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

Good on the governor. The mayor should be removed from office - the government has no right to restrict freedom of expression so blatantly and shamelessly.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The 75 years of never-ending controversies over the war crimes of WW2 and the wrangling over the historical record are the logical price the Japanese have had to pay for having destroyed millions of (incriminating) documents pertaining to the conduct of the Japanese fascists in the military and government. The lesson to be learned here is that selfish attempts to hide the truth and the destruction of a nation's history will bring severe consequences throwing a shadow of guilt on future generations.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I have been reading what Japanese people say about this.

I conclude that

The demand to call off exhibition by Mayor is right one for following reasons.

 

1)    The exhibition includes offensive materials such as burning image of Shouwa emperor(昭和天皇).

Search keywords such as 愛知トリエンナーレ 昭和天皇

 

https://images.app.goo.gl/riQYogCAUfm1uoos6

If you want to criticize Emperor, fine, do it without barbaric manner. No burning flags or individual photos.

 

2)    The exhibition is held by Japanese Tax payers money.

People have a right to complain for anything that uses their money.

If you want to do a performance, do with you own expense.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

@vanityofvanities (07:16 am)

. Think, if we can display a statue of A-bomb victims in the states.

An interesting point. How do you know that there are no such memorials? Have you looked into it?

As an anecdotal aside, a Japanese woman I know remarked at how many war memorials there are in England, and that there are hardly any in Japan, in comparison.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

> YubaruToday  07:43 am JST

How about the statue of Lai-Dai-Han in Seoul, how about the statue of prostitutes in Seoul

Why are you making comparisons to SK? There are statues of the comfort women in the US, Japan protested about them as well.

However this is a freedom of speech issue, and shutting it down, represses the freedom of the people who created the exhibit!

Why not?

Freedom of expression must be something absolute and not chose where, when and how according to many posters here. It seems able to ignore people offended by those exhibits (note, they are not only the statue but burning photo of Showa Emperor stamped upon later, and insulting Japanese soldiers message boards, etc)

Bravo Freedom of expression!! Bravo Hate speech!!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

insulting Japanese soldiers message boards

The title of this exhibit is " the grave of stupid Japanese"

Oh yes who cares people and tax payers who supports exhibits itself and the public museum holding it

are offended or not!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If you want to criticize Emperor, fine, do it without barbaric manner. No burning flags or individual photos.

 

Ummmm news flash??? freedom of expression does not care about your feelings. It's incredible how not many people call out the outright fascism that's covered in the veneer of 'feelings' what a disgusting joke!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is both good & bad, Governor = GOOD, Mayor = BAD!

It just clearly illustrates how so so many in Japan still fear & refuse to come grip & certainly DONT admit what Japan did in the 1930-40s...………

Simply nuts!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

First of all, who the hell is he to say what is offensive to people? If the statue is so offensive to you, DON'T GO LOOK AT IT, and second, the very purpose of having freedom of speech as a constitutional rights is to protect speech that isn't liked, or speech that causes offense. If we are allowed to say only things that everybody agrees with then what's the point of having freedom of speech written in the constitution? That's why it's there, to protect dissent. People will say things you don't like, you think are false, morally wrong, disgusting, you disagree with, but they are entitled to their opinion, and you have no right to take away that entitlement from them, that's the price you have to pay if you want to live in a free society, you have to learn to tolerate dissent.

Unfortunately Japan still doesn't have a culture of voluntarism. 

I am totally on the side of “freedom of speech”. Can you tell that to South Koreans?

 

Let’s have an exhibition in South Korea for questioning what comfort women were by Korean scholars.

Who sold these young women to Japanese soldiers?

Is this a freedom of speech in South Korean where professors were getting violence and death threat when they talk about the truth?

 

朴裕河教授 Park Yu-ha

安秉直教授 An Byeong-jik

李栄薫教授 Lee Young-hoon

https://twitter.com/justiceforjapan/status/1067819614954909696

The book was banned,.. she is now indicted and getting a death threat.

http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.com/2014/10/summary-of-professor-park-yuhas-book.html

Another book about Japanese girl who was raped by Koreans right after WW2 was banned in South Korea

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/So_Far_from_the_Bamboo_Grove

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Trying to sweep things under the rug again

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's all fun and games until the museum is burned to the ground and a bunch of people die inside like a recent tragedy...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For heaven's sake, let it go. This war ended 73 years ago. What if the Japanese built a monument to the victims of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989?

What if the Japanese set up a monument to many women who have recently been raped by American soldiers on Okinawa?

Many of the so-called "comfort women" did it voluntarily and were under the protection of Japanese Imperial Army and knew that they would fare better than civilians during the war. And what of the brutality of China under Mao in the last seventy years after the war?

Endeavouring to humiliate the contemporary Japanese by event that happened many decades before they were born is not honourable or productive. If the suffering of these women (many of them volunteers) needed to be celebrated in a monument, why wasn't it done twenty years ago.... or forty years ago ..... or sixty years ago?

The erection of such a monument at this time in the twenty first century is a spiteful and counterproductive act and likely to cause animosity on all sides and destabilise the region.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

If a Japanese person wants to spout off anti-Korean or other such extremist views, that should never be allowed in Japanese society and should be censored.

However, these same people then argue that censoring views on things like comfort women in Japan is a violation of the principle of free speech.

Well, which is it then, you can't have it both ways.

Spouting anti-Korean extremist views is one thing. Its opinion. Comfort women is fact and part of history, not opinion.

Censoring an ignorant persons opinion is not related to censoring a fact. Comfort women is a WWII fact and will not go away no matter how hard some wish it would. Learn to live with an uncomfortable truth.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Embarrassing.

Someone should tell the governor that freedom of speech includes people who disagree with the statue laughing at it. This happens all over the world with political and conceptual art. Freedom of speech does not include shutting the artist up.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Another gem of right wing puritanism at his best.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think these death threats should be taken VERY seriously!

I hope that priorities are in order here, and that right and wrong (legal and illegal) is not list in the cloudiness of blind nationalism.

Alas, TIJ...

Kawamura is not fit for office.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The erection of such a monument at this time in the twenty first century is a spiteful and counterproductive act and likely to cause animosity on all sides and destabilize the region.

Statements that are so completely wrong need to receive a reply. The erection of any monument to remember and honor a tradgedy can not be in any way "counterproductive" and anyone who can view a monument in memory of people who suffered, as "spiteful" is clearly viewing things the wrong way. It is people who refuse to accept the truth of history that themselves create spite and destabilize the region.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

One of the faxes it accepted read.....

Oh, a FAX threat! Why, that fiend! He better not send threatening smoke signals, menacing carrier pigeons or malicious Morse code! I will report him to the authorities via 2 cans with a string attached to each other!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Denials and whitewashing of history like this pops up in Japan all too often, by prominent leaders in office. And yet people think Japan is contrite enough..

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why does Japan have to support anti-Japan exhibits by two Korean "artists" in Japan using Japan's tax money?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

 The erection of any monument to remember and honor a tradgedy can not be in any way "counterproductive" and anyone who can view a monument in memory of people who suffered, as "spiteful" is clearly viewing things the wrong way. It is people who refuse to accept the truth of history that themselves create spite and destabilize the region.

Except epitaphs of statues are complete BS Lies.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why does Japan have to support anti-Japan exhibits by two Korean "artists" in Japan using Japan's tax money?

I dont understand how an exhibit on a past event can be construed as "anti-Japan". This is about something that happened many years ago by people who are no longer alive, with perhaps a handful of still living exceptions. Japan has a history and some of it is not nice. Welcome to the rest of the world. All countries have periods or events they are not proud of. So what? Remembering those things does not mean you are anti that country. Some people need to grow up and understand that. Learn to discuss it instead of being ashamed it got remembered.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Constitution does not support freedom of falsehood, freedom of exaggeration, freedom of indoctrination

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Aichi Gov Hideaki Omura can have his political art festival, however hand back all tax payer funded subsidies.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I think I will abstain by accepting Kawamura's margin of appreciation as the person who has already bet his reputation on the line, and who would likely be held second most responsible (hopefuly the perpetrators will be first) should he put that statue up and the threats come to pass.

Whether you ultimately think that this statue should be tolerated or not, one can easily say it is the "bathwater" you consider keeping so you don't throw out the "baby" by accident.

First, given Korean history of ruthlessly exploiting anyone that does anything that even can be misconstrued as being support for their views, Kawamura's:

Kawamura had argued the exhibition could give the wrong impression that Japan accepts a South Korean claim that comfort women were forcibly taken by the Japanese military and thus it should not be displayed at a publicly funded event.

concern is not without basis.

I must also point out that the statues are not harmless. They are de facto coercive tools to extort money and freedom from the Japanese people. If the usual borderline for freedom of expression is that it is harmless (if perhaps offensive), we need to think about this.

Further is the worth of the people who made and applied for this statue. They support extorting money and freedom. They are not exactly pro-freedom of speech. They argue that to save their feelings, freedom of speech should be restricted. Thus, they have no grounds to argue for a defense of their "rights".

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I agree it is in the past.

But at the same it means that the needless torture, killing of thousands of POW, and the enslavement of woman all across Asia by the EAJ happened. It is a fact.

Acknowledging these facts is the best and maybe the only way forward.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

oldman_13: "One idiot like this Nagoya mayor doesn't represent all Japanese people."

He just represents MANY, including more than a few posters on here. And this article on the VERY day that people are insisting we never forget the atrocities visited on Japan in the past (ie. Hiroshima, Nagasaki). It's just astounding, really.

tinawatanabe: "Why does Japan have to support anti-Japan exhibits by two Korean "artists" in Japan using Japan's tax money?"

First, the exhibits are not "anti-Japan", they are just pointing out the facts of history. That you take it automatically as offensive and call it lies tells a lot about you. Second, GOOD people in Japan CHOOSE to support it because they believe in addressing the pst, unlike the deniers and people who cry victim, like the mayor of Hiroshima and, sorry, yourself.

showchinmono: "The title of this exhibit is " the grave of stupid Japanese"

I, and most rationale people, would take that to mean the Japanese that committed the atrocities, and the people that deny them, and not at all EVERY Japanese person. It's funny you consider yourself among the people being called "stupid", though. Tells a lot.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

smithinjapanToday  02:40 pm JST

First, the exhibits are not "anti-Japan", they are just pointing out the facts of history. 

What is the purpose of "pointing out" these purported "facts of history"?

Money. From the Japanese people.

The fact they also want an apology is less important than either the money or their condition that no one in Japan can propose an alternate version of the facts again.

So they want Freedom. From the Japanese people.

What can we possibly call people who to deprive the Japanese people of their money and freedom?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Steven Guy

Although the war ended 73 years ago there are still women that were forced into sexual slavery still alive.

Would you feel the same way if it was your grandmother? Would you say ”grandma get over it who cares if you were taken away from your home forced into prostitution and raped”?

Sex slaves were from all over Asia to include Korea, China, Philippines, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, and South Korea.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Is Japan what it used to be ?

Democratic or Fascist nationalistic country ?

Rising of 21 century Japanese Nazi ?

Japan citizens need to wake up not to be a totalitarian or fascistic country !

Abe and his followers want to go back to Meji age in 21 century. How unwise they are !

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Kim

I’m not a fan if this Japanese government.

But call them nazist or fascist?

I think you cross the line here.

Yes Japan “unfortunatelly” in my opinion is taking a to conservative approach in many fields.

Said that I’m also sure that democracy is not in danger here.

Unlike South Korea that had a real dictatorship not long ago.

And furthermore call the Japanese government of that time nazist/fascist is totally misleading and unhistorical.

The fascist ideology have a charismatic leader to guide them which Japanese didn’t have.

In fact during that period of time 1935-1945 there was a real Japanese Fascist Party but it never reach good numbers and stayed marginal.

Also mix the Meiji era again with nazism sounds very gross.

Again,with all this hate Koreans won’t go that further in the bilateral relationship with Japan.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Very guilty conscience , this Nagoya major. There is a proverb, if u had murdered no one, why be afraid of ghosts ???.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

smithinjapanToday  02:40 pm JST

showchinmono: "The title of this exhibit is " the grave of stupid Japanese"

I, and most rationale people, would take that to mean the Japanese that committed the atrocities, and the people that deny them, and not at all EVERY Japanese person. It's funny you consider yourself among the people being called "stupid", though. Tells a lot.

Why don't you and most rationale people take that to mean exactly as the very title " the grave of stupid Japanese" expresses it's freedom of expression for the exhibit that has a flag right in the center, on which every single message written a night before they fly with no return ?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Interesting that we still have such tireless deniers of this dark part of Japan's history when Imperial Japanese Army soldiers have already confirmed the veracity of SK's claims, because they were there and witnessed some of the atrocities... came out with their guilt later.

I guess they remembered it wrong?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Redo the exhibition when SK calms down (if it ever). SKy's aggression is ruining every peaceful solution.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

His opinion seems appropriate. Why bring attention to that issue? It's very embarrassing for Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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