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Time running out for former Korean sex slaves

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By Foster Klug

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Japan has apologized many times over the years

Yes, and paid compensation both officially to the Korean government and to the women directly via the Asian Women's Fund.

1 ( +22 / -21 )

Yes, and paid compensation both officially to the Korean government and to the women directly via the Asian Women's Fund.

I'm sorry, but that's a terrible excuse. Here's a scenario: Someone rapes you, apologies, gives you money, only for you find him laughing about it to his mates later on (Abe visiting the shrine and refusing to acknowledge the damage this does to the apology). This is why most Asians are irked. It's not because they are naturally angry people. It's due to deceptive apologies that push this whole thing back another 10 years.

Why can't you see this?

0 ( +26 / -26 )

But many South Koreans see the repeated apologies and past efforts at private compensation as insufficient.

Gosh,Not enough aye?

5 ( +20 / -15 )

“I want the Japanese (emperor) to come here, kneel before us, state everything that they did wrong to each one of us and apologize,” BS to that "emperor" in parenthesis. She said "japanese" as in EVERY Japanese. And THAT is why this will never be resolved. So long as there's one bigot in some back alley of Tokyo who isn't sorry, no amount of remorse by the majority will be excepted. The Korean people as a whole, and these women in particular, had a great wrong done to them, but if reconciliation is impossible (and I have a sinking feeling that it is) then just say so instead of demanding that every man, woman and child bow down before you.

11 ( +22 / -11 )

The first step for Japan is for their people to stop sending death threats and rock videos calling these women whores.

The song called Slashing Koreans has a video to go with it and mocks and encourages violence against the surviving women, who are now in their 80s and 90s.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2304486/Japanese-rock-song-mocking-Korean-comfort-women-threatens-Korean-relationship-outside-world.html

-5 ( +13 / -18 )

reconciliation is impossible

It is NOT impossible, all that is needed is one real, sincere effort. The emporer or needs to go there and make a formal presentation, and yes, even get on one knee. Then it would all end in that moment AS LONG AS leading politicians can keep their right-wing mouths shut.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

This is why most Asians are irked.

Yes, China is the country with the biggest population in Asia. But I doubt if there's a single Indian or Iranian guy who can't sleepe at night because of that.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

This is why most Asians are irked.

It's mainly China and Corea, for political interests.

4 ( +13 / -10 )

This thing will never stop. Asking for apologies? It's not just apologies but a big compensation. I just think the sum is already big but because it's channeled thru maybe an NPO, it's dissipated a bit. Not so sure though. Those org harking about the comfort women issue are basically living off those comfort women woes. In any war, only the military camps have great provision which is understandable. Hence I believe, aside from forced marriages( for who would be doing the small chores while the men were fighting), the women stayed for survival and some could have pursued the the job of a prostitute even after war. If the women are really that ashamed, then they won't come out in the open at all. Maybe, just maybe, they need the issue for them to survive even in old age as they didn't marry and enjoyed life to the fullest without the responsibility of family life. They maybe want a slice of Japan. For them to even think of asking the Emperor to kneel before them is so absurd. For one thing, if they didn't want to be use as sex slave, they could have fought tooth and nail or had committed suicide then. I strongly believe it's the agenda of survival before and even until now as some have nobody to look after nor provide for them.

-3 ( +7 / -11 )

It's not just apologies but a big compensation. I just think the sum is already big

There are only 55 South Korean women left, and less than 280 in total if you count all the other countries. Big sum?

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Look, I really love those obachans from Korea. I used to work as tour guide and had experience meeting with those old Koreans and Japanese who are fantastic too. I really cannot say regarding about it, but one thing I can say, when it comes to politics none one care about peoples feelings. Most of politics regarding of nations will decide things according to the situation and their interests unfortunately.

If what she says is right, so she should understand that the Korean government is to be blamed too for not giving the money that the Japanese government gave to Korea in 1965. The same I say about Chinese who accuse Japan for the same reason. The truth of matter is both Korean and Chinese government received money donation as a way of compensation and now those victims( if they are saying the truth) should force their own government to tell the truth and give the money that they have rights(if they have off coarse) to them. Doing so, the problem is solved and everyone can go peacefully.

Japan made mistakes back in those days? Yes, she made a lot mistakes; however, Korea and China did too. The thing is why should young generation pay for what they didn't do? That is the thing that I hate about this game between these 3 nations. Asia could be much better and without bad influence from American Imperialism (not to say that all americans are bad, but many things has resulted in changing the good things that had in Asia to turn to problems) if those 3 could get along well.

-3 ( +8 / -10 )

When the last one is gone the feelings will linger this issue will never die because the people in which these horrific crimes never happened to wont let the issue die!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

These women forced in sex slavery deserve respect and pity, no doubt. Anyway, I can't help to see how their tragedy is manipulated by their own government for political interests. They seem so sensitive about the rights of these old women abused yesterday, but apparently they don't care about children abused today.

Experts say Koreans are buying or selling sex overseas in more diverse, bolder and sophisticated ways, but the government has been negligent in taking action against these. http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2013/01/116_129743.html I can't take Korean government seriously, sorry.

10 ( +13 / -4 )

What happened was terrible. War and its consequences are terrible and we should not forget what the past has supposedly taught us.

However, after reading the recent UN report on North Korea and its "Crimes against humanity" I am surprised that more is not being said and done on that front.

Sexual slavery of Korean Women is happening RIGHT NOW .... in our life time. In Korea.

http://www.news.com.au/world/asia/north-koreans-reveal-brutal-truth-of-what-life-is-really-like-inside-the-worlds-most-secretive-nation/story-fnh81fz8-1226829165535

Sadly, another UN report states that there are over 2 million woman and children in sexual slavery around the world at any given time.

We can't change the past, be we can change the present and future.

13 ( +14 / -2 )

If what she says is right, so she should understand that the Korean government is to be blamed too for not giving the money that the Japanese government gave to Korea in 1965

You're mistaking here. South Korean government offered them money, after they refused the Asian Women's Fund. The women refused the South Korean government's offer as well. They want the funds to come directly from the Japanese government with an apology letter signed by the Japanese parliament.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

“I want the Japanese (emperor) to come here, kneel before us, state everything that they did wrong to each one of us and apologize,” said Yi Ok-seon, 88

I initially sympathized, until I read this line. Lets not forget that the Koreans did some pretty horrific things to their women too, during the war. All countries did awful things to each other - It is the meaning of "war."

-2 ( +8 / -11 )

This part of my earlier comment

Experts say Koreans are buying or selling sex overseas in more diverse, bolder and sophisticated ways, but the government has been negligent in taking action against these.

is from this article: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2013/01/116_129743.html

I messed up the quote, I hope it's more clear now. As I said, I can't take Korean government seriously, when they care more about these old ladies than children sexually abused in the present in South-East Asian countries by Korean men. If the Korean government was sincere and it wasn't using these poor old women for political interests, they would take some serious actions against their own sex turists. Why don't Korea apologize to these countries where their men abuse minors, uh?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

The issues in Korea right now is completely off topic.

Anyway, facts are facts. "Comfort women" in the past were illegal according to the international laws in the past, which Japan had ratified. It's illegal according to the anti slavery law and the labor law. Those comfort women were treated like slaves. Most of them were under the age of 21, which is illegal under the labor law. Most comfort women were taken by either force or deception. Dutch women in Indonesia were imprisoned, then sent off as comfort women.

Japan must

1) punish the offenders, as none have been punished as of yet.

2) admit that the comfort women system was wrong, and make it into a oath to never repeat it again and to do whatever it can to right the wrongs of the comfort women system.

3) apologies are not a legal obligation, but a moral obligation.

I don't see what's so hard about this. Practically every other countries had done this except for Japan. Human rights laws are either very weak or nonexistent in Japan, and hence the reluctance to admit any past wrongdoings.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

The issues in Korea right now is completely off topic.

No, if we are speaking about sex slavery, well we are in topic. Korean government attitude is too much convenient, you know. Koreans doubt about how much sincere Japanese apologies are, and I have good reasons for doubting about how much sincere is Korean government's sensitivity towards the Korean women forced in sex slavery by the Japanese during colonization, when they don't care about children abused by Korean men in poorest Asian countries today. It's only political instrumentalization and it's disgusting as much as revisionism.

8 ( +13 / -6 )

As I said, I can't take Korean government seriously, when they care more about these old ladies than children sexually abused in the present in South-East Asian countries by Korean men.

Alex80, I don't see what that has to do with this topic. It's not Korean government setting up a comfort women system in South East Asia, as Japan did during WWII.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

“I want the Japanese (emperor) to come here, kneel before us, state everything that they did wrong to each one of us and apologize,” said Yi Ok-seon, 88

They just go straight to the point, huh? Still this is hardly a discussion to have when no one was alive to experience how nightmarish the war was.

I don't see what's so hard about this

So far LDP already has been having trouble doing no 2.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No, the article is about "former Korean sex slaves".

You don't see the Germans saying, "well, you Jews are acting pretty badly in Israel, so we don't have to apologize or compensate", do you?

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

I don't see what that has to do with this topic.

Of course you don't see it, because it's convenient for you. Sex slavery is sex slavery. And if the Korean government don't care about children being abused by Korean men in South-East Asian countries, I doubt they really care about the Korean women rights abused by the Japanese. Indeed, they used the money for them in other projects.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Alex80 and others, you know that's a ridiculous argument. So you're saying that because of something the Korean government did, the comfort women shouldn't be apologized to or compensated?

This is about the comfort women, not something the Korean government did.

Oh yeah, and if they're not Korean, then it's ok? I still don't see Japan properly apologizing and compensating the Dutch comfort women, for example.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Ms. Kim Gun-ja

Here is the link to a written testimony by Kim Gun-ja (KOON JA KIM) before US Congress. http://archives.republicans.foreignaffairs.house.gov/110/33317.pdf

Page 32

I became an orphan when I was 14 and I was placed in the home of Choi Chul Ji, a colonial police officer. As his "foster child," I cooked and cleaned for Mr. Choi. I had a boyfriend and we wanted to be married. However, his family objected because I was an orphan.

I remember the day that changed my life forever. It was March of 1942, and I was 16 years old. I had been sent out of the house by police officer Choi and told that I needed to go and make some money. I found a Korean man wearing a military uniform and he told me that he would send me on an errand and I would be paid for this errand. I followed him and he told me to board a train - a freight car. I did not know where I was going but I saw seven other young girls and another man in a military uniform on this freight train.

Page 33

There, I met my old boyfriend again. We wanted to be together again, but his family again objected because I was an orphan.

All I can understand from her testimony is that her foster father sold her to a pimp. There is a contradicting oral testimony by the same KOON JA KIM on page 30.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

chucky3176FEB. 17, 2014 - 09:45AM JST As I said, I can't take Korean government seriously, when they care more about these old ladies than children sexually abused in the present in South-East Asian countries by Korean men.

Alex80, I don't see what that has to do with this topic. It's not Korean government setting up a comfort women system in South East Asia, as Japan did during WWII.

It is not off topic at all. It is a double standard. Are you saying that it is OK for the Korean Government to sit by and do nothing?

This is 2014 not 1939.

As a foot note. Numerous Korean nations have been arrested from US to New Zealand for basically running sex slave operations trafficking in Korean women.

Here is a recent report from Australia about the Korean Sex trade in that country. In fact it became so bad in Australia that the Korean Embassy and Australia Federal Police have ben working together to free Korean students "trapped" in sex slave rings run by Koreans.

In 2004, two people were charged with trafficking offences in relation to five South Korean women; in March 2008, three people were arrested in Sydney for sexually enslaving ten Korean women and in December that year, a Korean woman thought to have been in Sydney’s sex industry was found dead in an apartment. A government report on non-Australian citizens caught working in the sex industry in 2004-2005 showed the top nationality in the category was South Korean.

http://raws.adc.rmit.edu.au/~e81843/blog2/?p=1023

This is real and happening NOW.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

All I can understand from her testimony is that her foster father sold her to a pimp

And if that pimp sold her to the Japanese, then she was property. And when a person is property, they are called 'slaves'. And if that slave is used for sex, then they are a 'sex slave'.

You seem to think that if it was a Korean person who sold her, it somehow absolves the Japanese for buying her, and using her for sex. But anyone with a whit of intelligence knows that argument doesn't fly.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

You're mistaking here. South Korean government offered them money, after they refused the Asian Women's Fund. The women refused the South Korean government's offer as well. They want the funds to come directly from the Japanese government with an apology letter signed by the Japanese parliament.

So Chock3158, if you are right, so I can conclude that they(those ladies) are to be blamed for their own suffering(if they suffered for real off coarse). The Japanese government already apologized and plus gave the money to K government. They just need to be humble e accept the money from Korean government that was given from Japan in 1965 and everything will be solved.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

I don't see what's so hard about apologizing, compensation and punishing the offenders.

Even this "very conservative, even nationalist" Japanese lawyer is saying that Japan should do more for comfort women:

http://iwj.co.jp/wj/open/archives/90389 (in Japanese)

He says that the human rights laws are seriously lacking or nonexistent in Japan. The only countries that don't respect the international human rights treaty are Japan, Rwanda and Madagascar.

All these excuses for comfort women are just repeating the same propaganda handed down from the bureaucrats. It's because the bureaucrats don't want to sign any human rights treaties because it'll be disadvantages to them, or even cause them to be fired for neglecting the human rights so much.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

It happened. 90% of Japanese know and acknowledge that it happened. 10% , those "old men and nationalists" do not deny that it happened but they try to find justifications to mitigate the cause and effect in order to mitigate the responsibility that Japan had/has. The same with Nanjing. It happened, but it was not as bad as China states is their reasoning. There is some truth in that but it does not excuse if there were only 60,000 killed and not the 300,000 that China claims. But that was then and now I feel that politics has taken charge of the affronted feeling and is using it for distraction and disturbance for political ends and no longer for assuaging agony and torment the victims still must have. The nationalists, (minorities all), need to have some gags placed by the public on their loose cannons shots across the bows of international peace. In all countries.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

StrangerlandFeb. 17, 2014 - 10:35AM JST

You seem to think that if it was a Korean person who sold her, it somehow absolves the Japanese for buying her, and using her for sex. But anyone with a whit of intelligence knows that argument doesn't fly.

That is not my point. Did I say Japan is blameless? But her written testimony brings about quite a lot of questions about the situation to "anyone with a whit of intelligence". Was Mr. Choi prosecuted for selling his foster child? Did he pay compensation to her? Was the pimp prosecuted? If she is 89 now, she was 17 or 18 in March 1942 when she was sold, not 16 years old. Ms Kim Gunja gives two contradicting written and oral testimonies. Which is the true testimony?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Was Mr. Choi prosecuted for selling his foster child?

Would it excuse the Japanese actions if he wasn't? No? Then it's irrelevant to the Japanese guilt for using her as a sex slave.

Did he pay compensation to her?

Would it excuse the Japanese actions if he didn't? No? Then it's irrelevant to the Japanese guilt for using her as a sex slave.

Was the pimp prosecuted?

Would it excuse the Japanese actions if he wasn't? No? then it's irrelevant to the Japanese guilt for using her as as a sex slave.

If she is 89 now, she was 17 or 18 in March 1942 when she was sold, not 16 years old. Ms Kim Gunja gives two contradicting written and oral testimonies. Which is the true testimony?

You are expecting her to have perfect memory of what happened to her 70 years ago? You seem to expect her to be able to do something no other human has ever been able to do. Memories get a little blurry over time. But you never forget the fact that you were a sex slave, even if you don't remember the specifics on how it became about.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

The Japanese seem to be of the view that whatever they do will not be enough to satisfy the Koreans, so why bother?

Well that's true. I understand the comfort women deserve the apology they want. But for the rest of the nation I'm pretty sure is about nationalism. So no matter what Japan does for Korea, not the comfort women, it will never be enough.

And if Japan really wants to show they are sorry about it, apologize again and make illegal for any politician or person related to the government (NHK) to deny what Japan did during WW2.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If she is 89 now, she was 17 or 18 in March 1942 when she was sold, not 16 years old. Ms Kim Gunja gives two contradicting written and oral testimonies. Which is the true testimony?

I think that may have more to do with the Korean age than anything. In Korea, you count the year 0.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Eiji Takano "1) punish the offenders, as none have been punished as of yet." The youngest of these criminals would be 82 and that assumes 18 in 1945. Any of the senior leaders have to be over 100! What type of trial do you hope will happen?

I like posters holding Abe accountable. Shinzō Abe was born over nine years after the surrender. Tell me how he should be put on trial for crimes before his birth? Perhaps all Japanese are guilty just from being a Japanese national.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

StrangerlandFeb. 17, 2014 - 11:16AM JST

Would it excuse the Japanese actions if he wasn't?

No.

I am interested in history and history is what happened. Do not you want to know what really happened? Given the contradicting testimonies, I am sure no one knows the true history. I hope you take time to read the written and oral testimonies by Kim Gunja (KOON JA KIM) before US Congress.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

YuriOtani

The youngest of these criminals would be 82 and that assumes 18 in 1945. Any of the senior leaders have to be over 100! What type of trial do you hope will happen?

The fact is that there are no laws set up to punish the offenders, which is a problem.

I'll say it again: All these excuses against the comfort women has to do with the Japanese bureaucrats' reluctance to sign any human rights treaties and make them effective via the law, because it'll be disadvantageous against them. Essentially, the comfort women issues are human rights issues.

Why do you think that Japanese workers have lowest wages among OECD countries, etc? Because of lack of human rights laws.

These people are saying that Korea also has problems with so and so, but how can they even say that when Japan itself doesn't even protect human rights and has problems with human trafficking and prostitution too? According to their logic, neither Japan can say anything about Korea because Japan has its own problems too.

CH3CHO

I am interested in history and history is what happened. Do not you want to know what really happened? Given the contradicting testimonies, I am sure no one knows the true history.

Wrong. There's plenty of evidence. All comfort women pretty much the same thing. Even the Japanese government has admitted that it forcibly utilized the use of comfort women system.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

The biggest problem here is that no apology has been good enough nor will it be good enough for Korea. Because if were to ever accept any of the past apologies it wouldn't have a tool for it's propaganda.

Let's go back to 1951 when South Korea and Japan started their treaty talks, where was South Korea's concern about the Comfort women? Nowhere to be seen or heard.

Okay, how about from 1952 until the signing of the treaty in 1965, where was South Korea's concern? Again, nowhere to be seen or heard.

So, after signing the treaty, taking the money and not giving any of it to the people where was South Korea's outrage over those Women? Again, nowhere!

Now, that time has passed and Korea needs money because of Park's bad economic plans, what do they do? Bring out these women who Korea itself needs to pay, but will not because 2014 $ is more expensive than the 1965 $.

Next, what about the Comfort women of the Korean Conflict? Yes, dear friends there were Korean Comfort women during the Korean conflict. Or not to mention the Comfort women of the Vietnam war.

Why do these have less value than the Comfort women of WWII?

magicmodelolFeb. 17, 2014 - 07:39AM JST I'm sorry, but that's a terrible excuse. Here's a scenario: Someone rapes you, apologies, gives you money, only for you find him laughing about it to his mates later on

Do you understand what treaty's are?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

I met some Koreans who talked about this kind of things during my college years. After listening several times their complaining I decide to study and research a little bit more about Korean history and geography. It was very interesting to know the history and political system in Korea back 19th and beginning of 20th century.

Back in those times, the Korean government like modern Korea was full of problems, had corruption case among government members and the all nation was not unified. The illiteracy rate in Korea was huge, the common Korean citizen living under poverty line was awful, and the nation itself was underdeveloped.

Following this situation, it was common to see Korean parents selling their children to other families to get money or something valuable. Even among young teenagers being employed in brothels was such a common thing in Korea back in those days.

With Korea in weak situation and Japan enjoying a better condition, Korea was easily incorporate to Japanese hands. By curiosity, after being unified with Japan things start to change in Korea, new roads were opened, new trains stations were opened, new schools were opened and so on. Basically, Korea had such a positive progress during this time( off coarse, Im not saying that colonialism over Korea was good in all areas) but still Korean society lacked opportunities to develop themselves. Jobs like prostitutes was still common in those days in Korea.

Well, some will ask "What it has to do with this topic?" My point is, women back in those days in Korea didn't have opportunities to get money and survive, except these dirty job. They in desperation situation could decided to do such thing to get money. Are you saying they were not forced by the Japanese? No, Im not saying it, but at the same time I never found a record that tells that they were forced to do so. To be more precise, nobody among us know for sure what happened with those women and that is why I think everyone from 1970s, 1980s and 1990s generation should focus more on modern days and leave this problem to our grandparents and great grandparents to solve it among themselves. The young generation should only fulfill their future, make their carrier, honor their grandparents sacrifice and improve their nation and the relation between those nations involved. Blaming the young generation is wrong.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Eiji TakanoFeb. 17, 2014 - 11:32AM JST

The fact is that there are no laws set up to punish the offenders, which is a problem.

Are you saying that there was no law that prohibits kidnapping in Korea?

All these excuses against the comfort women has to do with the Japanese bureaucrats' reluctance to sign any human rights treaties and make them effective via the law,

Japan has ratified most of the UN human right treaties. It seems you are desparately trying to manipulate the impression of the readers here. UN human right treaties do not need domestic laws for they are self executory.

Why do you think that Japanese workers have lowest wages among OECD countries, etc?

Just prove that Japanese workers have lowest wages among OECD countries.

I though you are a Korean. Why do you use Japanese nickname? Why do you pretend to be a Japanese in your comments?

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Some historians say that as many as 200,000 Asian women, mostly Korean but also Chinese and others, were forced into Japan’s military brothel system during the war.

And other historians put the number at 10-20k. The truth is no one knows because Japan burned much of the records.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Time is running out for the Japanese women raped all over Japan. Yes there were "comfort women" in Okinawa and the "home islands". However as usual and to this very day the American soldiers misdeeds were classified secret and suppressed. What about justice for them?

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

YuriOtaniFEB. 17, 2014 - 12:26PM JST Time is running out for the Japanese women raped all over Japan. Yes there were "comfort women" in Okinawa and the "home islands". However as usual and to this very day the American soldiers misdeeds were classified secret and suppressed. What about justice for them?

This is the kind of comment that infuriates me the most; so what? What about the rape victims in Nigeria today, or the gang rapes in India? There is no connection between rape victims of US soldiers and these aging 'comfort women' so why even bring it up?!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Oh Yuri... We've had this dance before. The difference is between nationally sanctioned action vs the criminality of individuals. True, there is no difference for the victims of these terrible crimes. Rape is rape. Period. But the individuals responsible in Okinawa were tried and punished. Xenophobia =/= Oppression.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Well actually, there ARE laws to punish the comfort women offenders. The problem is that they've never been carried through, and yes, that includes the compensation. So Japan has been ignoring the laws all these years, decades.

CH3CHO

Are you saying that there was no law that prohibits kidnapping in Korea?

No, because you're probably not aware that Japan had colonized Korea, so Japan could pretty much do whatever it wanted with it.

Japan has ratified most of the UN human right treaties. It seems you are desparately trying to manipulate the impression of the readers here. UN human right treaties do not need domestic laws for they are self executory.

Ratified or not, they are not carried through

You should read this, it's in Japanese:

http://iwj.co.jp/wj/open/archives/90389

戸塚氏「国際人権条約を守らないのは、日本とマダガスカルとルワンダだけ。先進国で守らないと言ったのは日本だけ。」

Totsuka: The only countries that do not protect the international human rights treaty are Japan, Madagascar and Rwanda. Among developed nations, Japan is the only one.

Anti-slavery laws are not recognized in Japan:

戸塚氏「奴隷禁止は、国際慣習法として世界中が認めています。日本政府以外は」

Totsuka: All around the world recognizes the anti-slavery law as customary law. Except for the Japanese government.

岩上「奴隷制禁止を日本は認めていない?」 

Iwakami: Japan does not recognize the anti-slavery law?

戸塚氏「1920年代にできた奴隷禁止条約に日本は批准していない。」

Totsuka: Japan has not ratified the anti-slavery treaty that was written in the 1920s.

戸塚氏「当時は『合法だった』などとと言うが、国連では『奴隷だ』という報告書が出ました。ILOも強制労働条約違反だという報告を出しました。つまり犯罪です。この条約は日本も1932年に批准しています。違反者は処罰しなくてはいけない」

Totsuka: They say that it (comfort women) was "lawful" then, but the UN has reported that it was "slavery". ILO has also reported that it was a violation of the forced labor law. Basically, it was a crime. We must punish the offenders.

戸塚氏「ICJが日本政府に送付した原稿には『奴隷じゃないか。きちんと補償しなきゃいけない。処罰もしなきゃいけない』そういうことが書いてありました。ICJが送付した原稿は、通常2日で届くはずなのに、官邸に届かず。後で調べると、外務省の担当課長が引き出しにしまったのを忘れていたと弁明しました。」

When ICJ sent a draft to the Japanese government, it said things like, "It was slavery. You have to properly compensate. Carry out the punishments, too.". The draft that ICJ sent should have been received in 2 days, but it was not sent to the official residence. When we investigated later, a head of Ministry of Foreign Affairs had made an excuse that he had forgotten it in the drawer.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

What about the rape victims in Nigeria today, or the gang rapes in India?

Those victims were raped by Civilians. Not the people with uniform enjoying the pay check and perk from local community or national authority. Those rapist were not state sponsored by authority. They were individual losers who committed the crime without instructions from senior officers.

In 2004, two people were charged with trafficking offences in relation to five South Korean women; in March 2008, three people were arrested in Sydney for sexually enslaving ten Korean women and in December that year, a Korean woman thought to have been in Sydney’s sex industry was found dead in an apartment. A government report on non-Australian citizens caught working in the sex industry in 2004-2005 showed the top nationality in the category was South Korean.

There are some Rotten Tomatoes in every communities. Regardless of Japanese, Korean or Americans. Sex industry is driven by motivation for greed . Those people are professional pimps for doing profitable business. They are not authority. Imagine one of the isolated nation like Myanmar or Congo authority kidnapped US teens backpackers for performing as sex slaves, the response from US will be sky is the limit. However individual private citizens committed that crime, there is not much US government can do about it. Criminals will be trialed with local law.

However service men wearing the uniform forced young local girl for using as his sex slave will be nothing different from war crimes. It has betrayed the trust of his own government and local community. It is more disgusting than individual rape cases.

2 ( +6 / -5 )

letsberealistic and Shinjuku No Yaju so American troops are no better than 3rd world troops? rape is just a natural thing male troops do to women? As for the rapes in Okinawa they were never punished until after reversion. He claims American misdeeds in Iraq were covered up by making them classified. If punished they were punished at a lessor level. He claims the conduct of many American troops made him sick. What you saw on TV was propaganda.

I ask what makes the American side any better? They exploded atomic bombs both in American and Japan. How many Americans did their own military kill from radiation exposure? "Around nearby ranches, exposure rates around 15 Roentgen per hour were measured just three hours after detonation. "

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

The thing about apologizing is that it becomes meaningless if subsequent politicians, including Prime Ministers then refute the claims. What Japan honestly needs to do is to apologize & then rain fire down on all those stupid enough to keep publicly denying these things happened. It's no great secret this is what allowed Germany back into the European fold.

And for the record, most other countries are already taught about Japanese wartime atrocities in school, so really there is no "PR War" to win. But Japan still can save face by doing whats right. Spoiler alert: the right thing isn't what the govt is doing now

6 ( +8 / -4 )

2) admit that the comfort women system was wrong, and make it into a oath to never repeat it again and to do whatever it can to right the wrongs of the comfort women system.

3) apologies are not a legal obligation, but a moral obligation.

these two have already been done. the problem with most of your arguments, takano san, is that you and your ilk refuse to accept previous apologies and statements from prime ministers. then you take a few statements from right-wingers to imply that the official stance of the japanese gov't has changed. you aren't convincing anyone of your arguments because most people can see through your dubious claims.

1 ( +7 / -5 )

American troops are no better than 3rd world troops? rape is just a natural thing male troops do to women?

I ask what makes the American side any better? They exploded atomic bombs both in American and Japan.

Yuri, you are setting up straw men arguments to defend the indefensible. Noone anywhere is saying that rape is natural. Quite the opposite. Noone is saying any side is better or worse. There is good and evil on both sides of every war ever fought. (Thank you Jorah Mormont).

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I do not defend the Japanese Imperial government or their troops. FYI none of them will escape judgement. My point is if the American troops were no better than war criminals what does that make them?

As for Germany they have not been forgiven by the other countries. http://eurokulture.missouri.edu/?p=17011

-9 ( +1 / -9 )

Endless official apologies and even endless compensation will never satisfy those who were humiliated.

0 ( +6 / -5 )

No, your "point" is that everyone, everywhere is a war criminal so you want people to ignore/not talk about the imperial government troops crimes. But that's not how things work. The use of nuclear weapons is a stain that my country will never EVER be able to wash clean, the Holocaust is the same for Germany and the colonization of Korea is a similar (not equal, but similar) for Japan. We don't have to live under the burden of guilt and shame forever (which is what I think the lady in the article above wants Japanese to do), but we also can't sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The whole problem is that the comfort women were illegal even by the standards then. And Japan so far hasn't done anything about it LEGALLY. The legal issues still bind the Japanese government of today.

It all boils down to human rights. Japan is not a country that respects human rights so these human rights violations are being passed off and forgotten. And then you wonder why the Japanese citizens and foreigners are treated like crap in Japan.

All these excuses against the comfort women are basically handed down by the bureaucrats that refuses to recognize human rights laws, because it's convenient for them. Make those bureaucrats respect human rights, and then we can swiftly solve the comfort women issues via the law. They can't run away from this forever.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

I do not defend the Japanese Imperial government or their troops. FYI none of them will escape judgement.

How will they be judged?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Back in those times, the Korean government like modern Korea was full of problems, had corruption case among government members and the all nation was not unified. The illiteracy rate in Korea was huge, the common Korean citizen living under poverty line was awful, and the nation itself was underdeveloped.

Following this situation, it was common to see Korean parents selling their children to other families to get money or something valuable. Even among young teenagers being employed in brothels was such a common thing in Korea back in those days.

With Korea in weak situation and Japan enjoying a better condition, Korea was easily incorporate to Japanese hands. By curiosity, after being unified with Japan things start to change in Korea, new roads were opened, new trains stations were opened, new schools were opened and so on. Basically, Korea had such a positive progress during this time( off coarse, Im not saying that colonialism over Korea was good in all areas) but still Korean society lacked opportunities to develop themselves. Jobs like prostitutes was still common in those days in Korea.

Interesting post. I'd like to know how many of those parents of Koreans (if they're still alive) or those Korean themselves would be willing to admit that they were sold by their parents or relatives? Or would it be just easier to join or lump them together with actual victims to boost figures and present a 'united' front to their claims for compensation? Given the inconsistencies of the accounts of some of these women, I can't help but wonder.

I though you are a Korean. Why do you use Japanese nickname? Why do you pretend to be a Japanese in your comments?

This is a common tactic used by Koreans in online forums. They pretend to be Japanese so as to present a neutral or contrary "Japanese" opinion to the discussion which favors Koreans. Nothing new, just a sneaky tactic. Note that 'Eiji' didn't answer your question.

The biggest problem here is that no apology has been good enough nor will it be good enough for Korea. Because if were to ever accept any of the past apologies it wouldn't have a tool for it's propaganda.

Let's go back to 1951 when South Korea and Japan started their treaty talks, where was South Korea's concern about the Comfort women? Nowhere to be seen or heard.

Okay, how about from 1952 until the signing of the treaty in 1965, where was South Korea's concern? Again, nowhere to be seen or heard.

So, after signing the treaty, taking the money and not giving any of it to the people where was South Korea's outrage over those Women? Again, nowhere!

Now, that time has passed and Korea needs money because of Park's bad economic plans, what do they do? Bring out these women who Korea itself needs to pay, but will not because 2014 $ is more expensive than the 1965 $.

Next, what about the Comfort women of the Korean Conflict? Yes, dear friends there were Korean Comfort women during the Korean conflict. Or not to mention the Comfort women of the Vietnam war.

Why do these have less value than the Comfort women of WWII?

Very good points, JoeBigs. Yet I don't see any Korean replies to your post.

-8 ( +8 / -8 )

I though you are a Korean. Why do you use Japanese nickname? Why do you pretend to be a Japanese in your comments?

I'll answer this since apparently this is on topic. I'm not Korean, and I never stated anywhere that I was. I am Japanese.

This right wing view that all Japanese must be insanely pro Japanese and never admit any faults or wrong by Japan is highly offensive. Please stop it. The same goes for being anti Japan is equated with being a Korean. That's nasty and racist and all it does is incur hatred and animosity toward Koreans.

Mods, please don't let this racism continue.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

“I want the Japanese (emperor) to come here, kneel before us, state everything that they did wrong to each one of us and apologize,” said Yi Ok-seon, 88, showing what she said were sword wounds from Japanese soldiers on her arms and feet.

Sounds reasonable...,.....

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Some of the women suffer from mental disorders and sexually transmitted diseases from the war, according to Ahn Shin-kwon, manager of the home

i can believe the mental effects, but STD's from the war that have not been treated?

0 ( +5 / -3 )

Yuri

I ask what makes the American side any better? They exploded atomic bombs both in American and Japan. How many Americans did their own military kill from radiation exposure? "Around nearby ranches, exposure rates around 15 Roentgen per hour were measured just three hours after detonation. "

Please, can we keep the discussion away from 'this is no worse than that', apples to oranges arguments?

I hope these women are not all gone by the time Tokyo finds its pulse and sense of compassion and remorse towards them.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

For example, even though Germany caused as much harm to its neighbour countries during WW 2, Europe succeeded in re-establishing friendly relationships. I wonder why this is not possible in Asia? Does regret/apology and forgiveness depend on money? On culture and mentality? On geography? On religion? I don't think so. Anyway, I hope one day this will happen in Asia as well - without another war.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I want the Japanese (emperor) to come here, kneel before us, state everything that they did wrong to each one of us and apologize.

I would have to agree that the emperor IS the only person who the apology would matter. He should do it on the world stage on world-wide broadcast, on youtube, on every online video website known to netizens.

It doesn't matter how sincere it is coming from a "politician" or Prime Minister, even if it was sincere(and came with $800 million).

It has to be the emperor, even though he was merely a child and played no part in his father's imperial conquest. His father died not having settled the issue and left the country in its current state today.

In one version of the formal apology, Emperor Hirohito, the Japanese monarch, is reported to have said to General MacArthur: "I come before you to offer myself to the judgment of the powers you represent, as one to bear sole responsibility for every political and military decision made and action taken by my people in the conduct of the war."[3]

In a second version of the formal apology, Patrick Lennox Tierney, claims that he was an eye-witness when the Emperor came to the Allied Supreme Commander's headquarters to present this apology. Tierney was in his office on the fifth floor of the Dai-Ichi Insurance Building in Tokyo. This was the same floor where MacArthur's suite was situated.[2] Tierney reported that when the emperor arrived, MacArthur refused to admit him or acknowledge him, and the pivotal moment passed.

Many years later, Tierney made an effort to explain his understanding of the significance of what he claimed he had personally witnessed: "Apology is a very important thing in Japan. [...] It was the rudest, crudest, most uncalled for thing I have ever witnessed in my life."[2] Issues which might have been addressed were allowed to remain open, and unanticipated consequences have unfolded across the decades since then.[4][5]

An apology on a world-wide stage won't be deniable, and will have Korea looking like an opportune victim card holder if it raises the issue later on. In terms of compensation, the comfort women really need to be angry at their own people for denying them distributions that were supposed to be allocated to them.

The question is, will the emperor's apology be enough for Korean politicians and netizens raised on decades of hatred and spite toward Japanese? Probably not. The korean media will say, emperor said sorry, but politicians won't. So, the emperor's apology is insincere and does not count. Or perhaps after his passing the next "emperor" will also have to apologize, however old he may be, however many times in his lifetime. What's really sad is that the korean media keep bringing these ladies up as poster-women for their propaganda and defamation of Japan. They want koreans to feel every japanese man, women, and child to feel guilt and responsibility for the actions of their great grandparents.

From wikipedia :

In negotiations, the South Korean government initially demanded $364 million in compensation for Koreans forced by into labor and military service during the Japanese occupation; $200 per survivor, $1,650 per death and $2,000 per injured person.[71] In the final agreement Tokyo provided an $800 million aid and low-interest loan package over 10 years.[72] In 1994, the Japanese government set up the Asian Women's Fund (AWF) to distribute additional compensation to South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Indonesia.[73] Each survivor was provided with a signed apology from the then prime minister Tomiichi Murayama, stating "As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women."[74] However, many former comfort women rejected the compensations because of pressure from a non-government organization known as the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, or "Chongdaehyop", and because of media pressure.

The emperor should apologize directly with the remaining comfort women and what families they have, despite a trip to Korea being unsafe for his well-being. He need not apologize to any korean politician or government as they are irrelevant. It may bring shame to many japanese to have their emperor bow down, but really, it is a feud that HIS family lineage and the imperial house of japan have dragged on, and I'm not just talking about only ww2, it goes back centuries, if not all the way back to the Three Kingdoms.

-10 ( +6 / -10 )

igloobuyerFeb. 17, 2014 - 05:25PM JST

Please, can we keep the discussion away from 'this is no worse than that', apples to oranges arguments?

I hope these women are not all gone by the time Tokyo finds its pulse and sense of compassion and remorse towards them.

Koreans claimed that Comfort Women is a universal issue of war time rape and war time prostitution that is not limited between Korea and Japan when they erected Statue of Comfort Woman in Glendale Ca. Why do we limit the comfort women issue to specific countries?

I hope your compassion for rape victims and prostitutes of other nations will not go away.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

And I hope your "activism" for victims of war won't end, and not just when comfort women are mentioned.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I still believe that all this harping boils into 1, that the time left for this women are so little hence the people cuddling them and who in turn are living the good life off this comfort women are precisely running out of time hence they are so desperate to even asked for the Emperor. So desperate to entangle everything up to moral, political and what have you. They simply want a slice of Japan. Everytime a new PM comes up they want bigger and bigger slice. No end to greed using other people's real or made up stories of rape. I still believe that it was a matter of survival that those women went along the tide of rapes. And still a matter of survival in their old age as some have nobody to provide them anything as they didn't marry or if they ever did, their children aren't well off to care and provide for them. That's the ugly face of war. And if really they didn't want to be a sex slave, they could have ended up their lives then fighting for their dignity as some women did. Or at least one soldier then before ending their lives. Nobody is a witness to their experiences. And as some posters said there are variations of their stories. Am not saying they are liars but who are we to tell. So many organizations are earning out of it. Will they ever back off?

-7 ( +5 / -5 )

Nowhere you would see much denials of war atrocities than Japanese war atrocities.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Eiji TakanoFeb. 17, 2014 - 07:06PM JST

Nowhere you would see much denials of war atrocities than Japanese war atrocities.

That is probably because of the contradicting testimonies by Korean comfort women. If their testimonies are consistant, no Japanese, rght or left will deny anything.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

'nother denier in the house. It's getting a little sad.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

It's not Korean government setting up a comfort women system in South East Asia, as Japan did during WWII.

But Koreans were pretty fast at introducing it on their own soil few years after the end od WW.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Here is their compensation....bring them to Japan, let them live on pension. She was not killed, and survived this long, let her become Japanese citizen!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I think the sooner the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese can just stop all of this nonsense from 70 years ago, Asia can move forward in a very positive way and I don't mean that Japan has to apologise and compensate the comfort women again, I mean everyone should just shut up about it! I

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think the sooner the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese can just stop all of this nonsense from 70 years ago

Few weeks ago in Davos a prominent Chinese delegate said what many higher ups have in mind and revealed the real cards on PRC side are. In short - China don't feel like victorious country in WWII like US feels over Japan and to settle the things once for all the times they should invade Senkakus and show the whole world their point. This symbolic move, said the Chinese official, should be enough not to start WWIII and defeat Japan at the same time.

Yes, it's not a problem with comfort women there. The problem is mindset of Chinese.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Eiji Takano

Alex80 and others, you know that's a ridiculous argument. So you're saying that because of something the Korean government did, the comfort women shouldn't be apologized to or compensated?

Japan has apologized and paid compensation in the past, even though they weren't entirely to blame.

This is about the comfort women, not something the Korean government did.

The Korean government and many Korean people were at least complicit, and at worst profiting greatly from the comfort women system. The fact that they don't give a fig about the sex tourism and human trafficking which still goes on today by their own countrymen, shows that it's not a moral issue per se, but an instrument of revenge and political tool to push their economic rival Japan down.

Oh yeah, and if they're not Korean, then it's ok? I still don't see Japan properly apologizing and compensating the Dutch comfort women, for example.

That's funny, I wasn't aware that the Japanese reached the Netherlands and took Dutch women captive. So the Japanese are evil for stripping colonies away from colonizers? Were the Dutch innocent babes in Indonesia or wherever these women were supposedly taken from?

One other poster highlighted the testimony of a former comfort woman that stated her beau's family objected to marriage as she was an orphan. Not because she was a comfort woman, as this was before she was a comfort woman, and we can see how she was sold into prostitution. Unfortunately, Korea still condones this to this very day, and the Imperial Japanese Army is no where in sight to scapegoat the phenomenon on. If the Korean government really cared for them, they could certainly provide better accommodations and make their final years more comfortable. There are only 55 of them according to this article. Instead, they largely ignore them and parade them out when they are useful as a political tool.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Yi Ok-seon, who was kidnapped at 15.

Kidnapped by two Korean men, as per her testimony.

Despite Korea being a more prosperous nation, this is still going on today.

-7 ( +7 / -9 )

Whatever the case, the South Korean government needs to be forthright about the fact it spent the compensation money and take some responsibility itself, instead of blustering that Japan “hasn’t apologized nor compensated enough.” If the South Korean government had done it’s part back in the 1960′s and disbursed compensation efficiently to those Koreans conscripted by the Japanese into corporations and the military during WWII, this problem wouldn’t exist today. And if by chance there were more legitimate claims than compensation money originally agreed to, at least there would have been a baseline amount to calculate any overage on. As it is now, I can see why Japan feels, why are you asking us for more money when you didn’t even use what we gave you for the intended purpose.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Gentle readers might assume I am trying to white wash the Japanese military. I would call them animals but even they do not sink to such depravity. What they did to the comfort women was inexcusable. Now add unit 731 and their treatment of civilians. I believe the Nanking massacre happened as well. I read the book and to be able to shock a Nazi means a lot. Yes the comfort women should be paid by the government. It is the decent thing to do. The Emperor could issue them a special apology. Get the Japanese government working on important problems and get them from offending other nations. About the Republic of Korea spending the money, well it was the current ROK Presidents father. Offering closure is the best policy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Battlefield prostitute called comfort women were present. Sex Slave called comfort women does not exist. Prostitution organized crime was present since then. The organized crime job was to kidnapped many women and make sex slaves. Many of these criminal organizations, it has been caught being chased by the police, the military police since then. If the Army was made to women to sex slave, women are released by the military police. and, Officials, private, military, all subjected was to trial regardless. Most people in this case is a felony. U.S. military investigation report. Fabricated comfort women story. <>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHnWbqKqHPA <>http://www.texas-daddy.com/comfortwomen.htm Newspaper article which transmit them. (4:00~) <>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra7Dj51AniI. Demythologization of the myth of the Comfort Women: Part1. What actually happened. <>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NrsofHGtT4 Trailer: Demythologization of the myth of the Comfort Women: Part2. What actually didn't happen. <>http://youtube.com/watch?v=UlKuzAzvqoI Korean professor interview about lie of comfort women (with introduction) <>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iU5G_e_rTx8. Korean professor to sue the truth. However,,,. "Comfort woman is Prostitute" Lynch to Professor LEE<>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tygtzR9ARvM

-8 ( +2 / -5 )

ChenchanFeb. 17, 2014 - 11:44PM JST Few weeks ago in Davos a prominent Chinese delegate said what many higher ups have in mind and revealed the real cards on PRC side are. In short - China don't feel like victorious country in WWII like US feels over Japan and to settle the things once for all the times they should invade Senkakus and show the whole world their point.

I believe you are speaking about....

http://www.businessinsider.com/china-japan-conflict-could-lead-to-war-2014-1

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

“The Japanese seem to be of the view that whatever they do will not be enough to satisfy the Koreans, so why bother?” said Ralph Cossa, president of the Pacific Forum CSIS think tank in Hawaii.

The world will be more at peace without people like Ralph.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Why don't you tell us how you really feel.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I want the Japanese (emperor) to come here, kneel before us, state everything that they did wrong to each one of us and apologize,” said Yi Ok-seon, 88, showing what she said were sword wounds from Japanese soldiers on her arms and feet."

Apologize for what? Listen up, "angry koreans" , world is tired of your endless silly meowing, whinning and crying. Do a simple thing : shut up !

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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