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Osaka may end San Francisco sister city ties over 'comfort woman' statue

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By Johannes Eisele

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some in South Korea say Japan has not done enough to atone for its wartime misdeeds.

They can never believe that Japan "has done enough", because the gravy train stops when that happens. No matter how many deals are signed, how much compensation is made to them (and their descendents), how many apologies are made, it will never be enough

35 ( +54 / -19 )

LagunaToday 07:22 am JSTTake a deep breath, Yoshimura. You clearly know nothing about San Francisco, and hyperventilation will only draw more attention to an historical crime you'd simply like everyone to forget. There is a plethora of monuments pointing to the contributions of the Japanese-American community to the Golden State, the injustice the community endured when incarcerated during WWII, and the bravery many of their sons displayed on European battlefields. Begrudging the historical memory of others in one of the most cosmopolitan, tolerant cities in the world is petty and counter-productive.

Those monuments are significant to the history of the United States and belong on U.S. soil. The Comfort Women system is not one of them.

19 ( +32 / -13 )

How about a memorial for the Tiananmen Square Massacre in New York. I think its a great idea. Not far from the U.N would be perfect.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

I wish we could all have peace one day and focus on what is important.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Totally inappropriate and fraught with unintended consequences, stoking and inflaming an issue that needs to be addressed with much greater finesse than through in-your-face deliberate provocation. Chinese involvement is transparent malicious mischief making, calculated to deepen the historical antagonism and drive a wedge, not promote healing and reconciliation. Erecting statues is no substitute for engagement and back channel diplomacy.

17 ( +25 / -8 )

The Korean comfort women issue and this stature have absolutely NO relevance to the United States or San Francisco. The supporters of this issue have zero business erecting this stature anywhere in the world outside of Korea. Osaka's reaction is petty for sure, but the idea that a public park in the U.S. is an appropriate place to commemorate a completely unrelated cause is idiotic.

14 ( +27 / -13 )

South Korea and Japan have signed an agreement ending this Comfort Women issue permanently in 2015. Japan has fulfilled it's end of the bargain. Either South Korea stands by it's international agreements or it has zero credibility as a nation.

The Comfort Women system run by the Imperial Japanese Army in WWII is just one of several such systems. Germany ran one during WWII. France ran them before, during and after WWII. South Korea itself ran one right into the 1980s to service US troops. When are people going to wake up to this hypocrisy?

This propaganda attack is run by the Chong Dae Hyup, a south Korean activist organization backed by China designed to break apart the US, South Korea, Japan strategic alliance. The U.S. needs to pressure the Moon administration moves to get the issue under it's control if it expects US assets based in Japan to support the defense of South Korea. The U.S. also needs to get a handle on these activities in the United States.

13 ( +31 / -18 )

shallotsToday  

Japan created an empire throughout Asia based on a belief in racial and cultural superiority, right? 

The English did the same thing to 70% of the globe, but everyone in the west seems happy to forget that!

12 ( +20 / -8 )

Back on topic please.

Im not sure this puts the Osaka Mayor in a good light, be the bigger person and don't make a big deal about it.

Again the statues.. hmm don't know how I feel about it.. statues surely are a touchy subject right now.

The think that I think is interesting is that this is shows a massive difference about how Korean and even Chinese go out into the world and, for better or worse, build communities which are big enough to have influence. Japanese tend not to, which again Im not saying is good or bad, but if you do want international visibility and influence getting out into the world is a good start.

11 ( +21 / -10 )

More blighting of San Francisco by zealots. Protest, by all means, but a permanent statue? Balderdash.

11 ( +27 / -16 )

unwilling to take the steps needed to get it done.

Because apologizing nearly every decade and providing compensation is not enough?

11 ( +31 / -20 )

Disgusting and ugly statue. Who would be happy to see this except for Koreans or others who have a lifetime hatred for Japan/Japanese? Just an ugly, horrible reminder. And, yes, for how damned long does Japan have to apologize? I'm sick of hearing about this!

11 ( +26 / -15 )

It truly is the issue that just won't go away. Bar taking sides and jumping on either wagon, the Mayor of Osaka should at least realize that threatening to cancel a sister city relationship a) draws world wide attention to the issue,

b) makes him look like a revisionist, of which some hard core versions in Japan are just plain ghoulish ( even if there were only a handful of young women forced into prostitution it still happened )

c) plays right into the hand of the Korean/china narrative.

Top work mate.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Yasukuni Shrine honors Japan's war victims, and Korea complains; now Japan complains that other countries are honoring their war victims.

The only difference being that Yasukuni also enshrines war criminals, and members of the Japanese government, including sone PMs, visit it.

I'd advise Chinese and Korean government officials to visit the sex slave memorials and tell the Japanese government to go eff itself.

Japan remembers its war dead, including war criminals, in Japan. This comfort women memorial was placed in San Francisco, US. BIG DIFFERENCE.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Take a deep breath, Yoshimura. You clearly know nothing about San Francisco, and hyperventilation will only draw more attention to an historical crime you'd simply like everyone to forget. There is a plethora of monuments pointing to the contributions of the Japanese-American community to the Golden State, the injustice the community endured when incarcerated during WWII, and the bravery many of their sons displayed on European battlefields. Begrudging the historical memory of others in one of the most cosmopolitan, tolerant cities in the world is petty and counter-productive.

9 ( +26 / -17 )

The fight is right, especially after Japan has made countless apologies and paid millions in gomenasai. There is no need for those statues anywhere outside of Korea and they do nothing but inflame the issue.

9 ( +32 / -23 )

Chinese make up around 20% of San Francisco's population while Japanese are about 1%. So China wins this one! Don't worry, Japan has the advantage in Hawaii. It is better to find a sister city there.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

The world was dragged into that war. It's an international mistake that shouldn't be forgotten. Japan is great at silencing people within its own borders, but others outside of Japan are not always so easily silenced and bullied.

Correct. So we should also be erecting global memorials to the US firebombing of Tokyo and Osaka, plus global memorials to the only two nuclear bombs to have been dropped upon civilian cities in Japan, by the US. Around 100,000 people were killed in the Tokyo firebombing. Remember that too.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

One wonders whether its a deliberate tactic on behalf of Chinese in San Francisco to sew division between South Korean and Japan. Nothing would please the Chinese more than a split between the U.S, South Korea and Japan alliance. That is very high on their wish list. Regardless of history, that is something that we must be aware of and must be resisted.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

girl_in_tokyo

Japan honors their war dead and victims at Yasukini IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY.

Korea is building these statues OUTSIDE OF THEIR OWN COUNTRY in countries that directly have no connection to the issue.

There's about a country mile of daylight between the two.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

NO ONE who demands tehse statues be removed and the issue dropped have ground to stand on until they demand Hiroshima and related monuments be closed down

Completely irrelevant and completely misses the point. These memorials to Korean comfort women are being placed in countries around the world - educational fact, San Francisco is in the USA, not Korea. Hiroshima's peace museum is in Japan - the Japanese have a right to place a domestic memorial to the nuclear bomb dropped upon them by the Americans.

Some of these posts are going beyond sense today - is this poster actually demanding that Hiroshima's peace museum be closed down..?!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

When asked for comment, San Francisco replied shouganai, ne?

7 ( +22 / -15 )

Japan created an empire throughout Asia based on a belief in racial and cultural superiority, right? Is this really remembered? People focus on certain crimes they believe happened. I'm not convinced either way because there's such a fierce debate about historicity and I don't feel in command of the facts enough to decide what's true. It seems to me that statues are probably a bad idea, outside of the places directly affected by the event. My reaction is that the Korean community in America and Australia is a bit unreasonable by forcing these seemingly non sequiturs into these spaces. However, on the other hand, the big picture issue in Asia of the greater crime in Japan's history should be recalled by Japan, for the sake of the Japanese, and by all effected. What's wrong with this picture? I think by focusing on events that are legitimately in dispute the greater fact of Japan's real and obvious history gets lost. Japan is, today, a very reasonable country. Recalling the general historical fact of it's past imperial project would further enhance Japan's credibility. No?

7 ( +16 / -9 )

I hope the next monument is for all the millions Chineese people Mao killed, perhaps then they will stop promoting there nation dividing propaganda.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

@Ricky...by far the best post on this issue. The mayor would have served himself, the people of Osaka, and the people of Japan well by keeping is mouth shut.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I agree with the comments that the statue is not relevant to the US so it doesn't really have any business being on public land here. In Korea, China, Philippines etc it's OK. But I feel like these are popping up over the US as a way to try to make Japanese feel unwelcome in those areas rather than as a way to resolve the issue.

And there is something very ironic about the statues in the way they try to internationally shame Japan, but South Korea has never once even recognized the countless Vietnamese women their soldiers raped during the Vietnam War or the half-Korean children born as a result. These Vietnamese women are still struggling to have their voices heard.

If S. Korea wants the statues to truly represent the struggle for human rights, the country also needs to come clean and offer support for the hundreds of victims who are still alive. Otherwise these statues just make it look like some kind of p*ssing contest. South Korean former comfort women DO speak up about this issue as well but for the sake of politics it tends to get overlooked.

Perhaps the biggest problems with Korea, Japan, and probably most other countries in the world is that they expect sympathy when their own people are victims but don't extend that same sympathy towards others as much, especially when their own country is the aggressor. Nationalism and pride are rearing their ugly head around the world quite frequently these days and people continue to suffer needlessly as a result.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

South Korea and Japan have signed an agreement ending this Comfort Women issue permanently in 2015. Japan has fulfilled it's end of the bargain. Either South Korea stands by it's international agreements or it has zero credibility as a nation.

I believe the statues outside of South Korea have nothing to do with the government though (I may be wrong).

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I have been following Korean's "hatred" against Japan over decades.

Obvisouly Korea is using "comfort woman issue" to advance its position.

It would make a more sence to build statue in US of all poor "post ww2" korean comfort women who served US soldiers sexually, under Korean goverment after ww2. They sued Korean goverment, but no apology, no statue nor compensation unlike Japan did.

This is soo hypocrite, Korea, you need to acknowledge your own problem!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitutes_in_South_Korea_for_the_U.S._military

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-usa-military/former-korean-comfort-women-for-u-s-troops-sue-own-government-idUSKBN0FG0VV20140711

If you care soo much about damn woman human rights issue, why not bring up this as well?

Oh right, Korea and US, they don'T want to be in a position to be blamed, right?

Meanwhile, the brave Korean woman,park yuha, who wrote the truth about comfort woman, is now facing a second trial for 3 years prison after she won first trial.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/world/asia/korean-comfort-women-park-yu-ha-japan.html

https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20170927-00003163-chosun-kr

Speak up! people in the world!

Something is soo wrong about this country, Korea.

6 ( +19 / -13 )

There are several aspects to this caper.

The first is that Japan has not fully, properly and categorically put this to bed. That it allows revisionist viewpoints of what is widely known in the region as categorical fact is disingenuous, irresponsible and dishonest, frankly.

That other cities like San Fransisco consider it reasonable to allow these kinds of statues in it's cities is a bit beyond me. If it were for American sexual slaves of the IJA, I'd say no problem. For Korean women? Well, then why not one for every nationality of woman in the world who has been subject to sexual slavery? It becomes a very political statement, suddenly - not simply an act of humanism.

South Korea and their politicians continue to shamelessly kick this political football around to garner nationalist votes, knowing full well Japan has paid money for the South Korean victims. This is just as heinous in my opinion. I have very, very little respect for such opportunistic manoeuvrings.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

JtsnoseSep. 29  09:28 pm JST

I do not think it is a good idea to break diplomatic ties, such as the sister cities project with a city such as San Francisco. Especially, over something which happened long ago during a war . . . the war is over . . . but the need for International cooperation still remains.

That's something the people on the SF City council should have thought about before approving this monument.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Im afraid that nothing good comes out of San Francisco. If I see another " comfort woman" statue appear, I'll scream. Political correctness gone amok. Next thing you know some twisted librarian will call Dr. Seuss books racist! Wait. That was yesterday. Just ignore these people. Maybe they will go away.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Go ahead and cut ties with San Francisco. Curious to see how this works out for Osaka. I can't imagine this hurting San Francisco's popularity as a tourist destination

5 ( +12 / -7 )

smithinjapan: Actually, that's what Japan is doing.

I totally DISAGREE. Japan has aplogized and paid compensation since 60's, follwed by Murayama PM, Abe PM. They have done much enough.

I give you a very simple question to show who is actually using woman issue politically

Answer me if you can.

"Give me a good reason, why "Post WW2" korean comfort women serving US soliders don't get any apology or compensation from Korea and US or memorial statue , while women serving Japanese got so many?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jlfAqR8uBc

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitutes_in_South_Korea_for_the_U.S._military

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-usa-military/former-korean-comfort-women-for-u-s-troops-sue-own-government-idUSKBN0FG0VV20140711

Listen to their voice!!

Listen to those poor womens's cry!!

All women should be treated equally whether  exploited sexually by Japanese soliders ora US soliders!

They are not different, they are same issue!

Don't separate them with political reason!

5 ( +16 / -11 )

Bad PR move by the mayor.

Now the world will hear about. Otherwise who would know?

For people who oppose, is your problem that you think (1) it happened but japan has apologized or (2) it’s a lie.?

If(1), then is it wrong to have holocaust statues or museums in other countries or should Germany complain? Would it be wrong to have a statue of a black slave in a country that didn’t have slaves?

If (2), I think that even if you think 95% of the comfort women were volunteer prostitutes, that still leaves thousands who were tricked, and it’s a fact that many died overseas in terrible circumstances. Is it wrong to have a statue in SF to remember them?

As for

“The English did the same thing to 70% of the globe, but everyone in the west seems happy to forget that!”

Nobody forgets that.

Esp the countries who have fun at the Commonwealth Games every four years.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Mainstream historians say up to 200,000 women

I have a PhD in history and have been working as a professional historian for more than 40 years but I had not seen the term "mainstream historians" until it started cropping up in articles about the "comfort women" a few months ago.

I have no idea what a "mainstream historian" is and since little of the writing by professional historians who have worked on this subject has been translated, I have no idea who journalists who use this term are talking about.

Of those historians who have written in English or whose writings have been translated, the two best known are Yoshimi Yoshiaki and Tanaka Yuki. Both are overtly left wing. Of the two, Tanaka gets relatively little attention probably because he devotes about half of his book "Japan's Comfort Women" to widespread rape (or so he claims) by American GIs in occupied Japan and their use of a Japanese government-encouraged "comfort women" system after surrender. The subtitle of his book is "Sexual Slavery and Prostitution During World War II and the US Occupation."

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Korea needs to get over it. Tired of all this BS about comfort women time and time again. It's over.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Japan wants the world to remember Japanese victims of war (Hiroshima etc), but wants to erase the past regarding victims of imperial Japan.

The problem with many Koreans like yourself and others on this website is that you guys don't refuse to understand or acknowledge that Japan does not have an agenda when it comes to the US and the bombing of Hiroshima. The comparison is completely moot since the Japanese are not taught to HATE the US all their lives and spread half truths to the world.

Case in point: the comfort women issue. All this falsehood of statue building to demonstrate peace is nothing but a farce for those that have a modicum of knowledge regarding this subject. This statues are designed as a smear campaign against Japan and nothing more. If the Koreans truly believed in the remembrance of these victims, what have they done for women that are still entrapped in the sex slaves of today? Sexual trafficking hasn't died down after WW2 but kept continuing to this day. There are Korean prostitutes getting busted in Los Angeles and Seattle just to name a few places outside of Korea. The Korean government had prostitution ring during the Korean War to service American GIs. Finally, no apologies or compensations were made regarding the issue with Lai Dai Han and other atrocities that occurred in Vietnam at the hands of the Koreans. In other words, this isn't about female victims involved in the sex trade.

But, if this statue really is about the actual comfort woman itself, I truly feel bad for those comfort woman since the organization that's building these statues are using the victim's cause only to further their anti-Japan agenda and not about the comfort women themselves. In 1965, the Korean and Japanese government signed a normalization treaty that absolved all legal remedies that the action of empire of Japan has done to Korea. Thus, legally speaking, Japan is not liable for they Korea has signed and received money from Japan (about twice the South Korean GDP at the time). However, in the 90s, Japan created a half civic and half governmental program (Asian Women's Fund) to provide another form of atonement specifically for the comfort women issue: this time, a moral remedy alongside the legal remedy that has been resolved between the two countries previously in 1965. During this time, about 12 Korean women decided to accept the apology and received the aids provided from the Asian Women's Fund but were met with fierce resistance from the Korean civic organization and the government. For some reason, the comfort women who actually experienced and were victimized by the Imperial Japanese military were harassed for deciding to accept the offer; exemplifying how the Korean government and its civic group is demonstrably portraying that their interest is different than that of the actual victims.

Finally, the two governments reached ANOTHER agreement regarding this issue in 2015. The ad infinitum steps by the civic group and the Korean government is nothing more that a smear campaign against Japan. At the time, people were sympathetic to the cause of the comfort women (and rightly so). However, when digging a bit further and researching a little more into the subject, one will find out that this issue is not black and white with Koreans being a complete poor little victims. People will realize that there were some that were forced to becoming a comfort women while some were actual prostitutes. Many of the Korean comfort women were sold into it by their own families because of their financial situation and some were deceived to become one by none other than Korean brokers. The list of grey zone can be unending but more importantly, the fact that questioning the lies told by Koreans will label you as a nationalist revisionist, is the most ridiculous and uneducated form of ad hominem harassment that most people are unlikely to endure.

Hopefully, more people will look into this subject and realize that it isn't just black and white as most things in life or history is made it out to be. It is up to people researching and disseminating the truth will people understand what really happened and what is going on right now with the reason behind the statue building.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

HeckleberrySep. 29  05:14 am JST

@Ossan

When has Germany ever apologized or made payment to the women it abducted and forced into prostitution in military brothels (what you call sex-slaves) during WWII?

Is there a single monument to victims of IJA's sexual slavery in Tokyo? Even one?

Do you always answer a question with a question? Is there a single monument to the Vietnamese victims of sexual slavery in Seoul? Even one? Is there a single monument to the women kidnapped by Germany for their military brotels in WWII in Berlin? Even one? How about a single monument to all the women worked in the Bordel militaire de campagne in Paris? Even one?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

gaijinpapaToday  03:05 pm JST

@Tina Watanabe

“Accutually, all militaries of any countries had comfort women systems”

that is simply not true.

But Germany did. And France before during and after WWII. Japan set up comort women for the US Occupation troops. South Korea did the same from the Korean War onwards right into the 1980s. All true, you can look them up.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Osaka has threatened to cut its sister city ties with San Francisco over a memorial to wartime sex slaves.

And if they still don't after they cut ties, then what?

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Last year City of Freiburg in German that became sister city with Matsuyama city, finally turned down a replica of the comfort women from Suwon City Korea, due to protest from Matsuyama . Even at one time Freiburg accepted Suwon’s proposal to install that statue.

Nevertheless finally first comfort women monument in Europe is established this year, inside park in Wiesent, which is part of the district of Resenburg , German.

So if they able to put the one in San Francisco, it will be added up existing monument in U.S. namely Union City Plaza New Jersey, Palisades Park New Jersey, Glendale California, Nassau N.Y, Virginia. We'll see how SF respond to Osaka.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

While NK threatens nuclear destruction on Japan and the US, SK finds the time and money to go around on a world tour erecting statutes for a long dead non-issue seemingly to sabotage relations between Japan and America. This is our "ally" and I'm beginning to question SKs in Japan too

4 ( +16 / -12 )

sakurasukiToday 08:58 am JSTLast year City of Freiburg in German that became sister city with Matsuyama city, finally turned down a replica of the comfort women from Suwon City Korea, due to protest from Matsuyama . Even at one time Freiburg accepted Suwon’s proposal to install that statue.

Nevertheless finally first comfort women monument in Europe is established this year, inside park in Wiesent, which is part of the district of Resenburg , German.

How do you say hypocrisy in German? Shouldn't they be erecting monuments of the women who were forced to serve in Germany's WWII military brothels first?

"According to records, at least 34,140 European women were forced to serve as prostitutes during the German occupation of their own countries along with female prisoners of concentration camp brothels.[1] In many cases in Eastern Europe, the women involved were kidnapped on the streets of occupied cities during German military.."

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

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-nazis-brothels/new-book-reveals-horror-of-nazi-camp-brothels-idUSTRE57G45X20090817

4 ( +12 / -8 )

I thought that they were pulling down statues in the US.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The city of Higashiosaka has been in a similar comfort woman statue feud with Glendale, CA, for several years already.

http://www.city.higashiosaka.lg.jp/cmsfiles/contents/0000011/11653/25.7.25shokan-e.pdf

4 ( +4 / -0 )

IMO, these fail because they don't name the officials and the companies who profited from the slavery.

Japan can say we've made reparations and apologies.

It may be better to identify those who profited, and perhaps get better redress.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Past hostilely can be reconciled, with dignity and respect. If only the South Korean Government would cease appeasing the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan.

16 September 2015, British Embassy Minister attends unveiling ceremony at reconciliation event in Nagasaki for allied POW memorial unveiled in western Japan.

Julia Longbottom Minister at the British Embassy Tokyo, represented the British government at a ceremony at Koyagijima Junior High School near Nagasaki said:

It’s a fantastic example of the impact that Japanese volunteers and civil society can have. All those who visited were deeply touched by the humanity and the warmth of their Japanese hosts. One visitor told me that coming to Japan for this event had ‘changed everything’. I found it an important reminder of the power of sharing information, and forging human relationships to achieve reconciliation.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/allied-pow-memorial-unveiled-in-western-japan

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Lots of Koreans strutting up and down Omotesando. They don't seem too bothered by all of this.

Osaka should just find another sister city. I nominate Birmingham, Alabama.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Korea, the land of Comfort Women, continues to embarrass itself. Is this particular statue to commemorate the comfort women in the 'Comfort Stations' it set up for American troops during the Korean War?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

this comfort woman subject will never end no matter what japan do to compensate.

it is better just to forget it, there is no way you can please all. why people not move forward instead of keep digging in the past?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

but the idea that a public park in the U.S. is an appropriate place to commemorate a completely unrelated cause is idiotic.

There's a Mandela statue in London.

A Bobby Sands street in Tehran.

A Che mural in Derry.

Who says people and events cannot be commemorated globally?

3 ( +18 / -15 )

One of the best posts of the year from Tamarama. Independent, sensible, and detailing the faults on all sides. Read it and be educated.

The first is that Japan has not fully, properly and categorically put this to bed. That it allows revisionist viewpoints of what is widely known in the region as categorical fact is disingenuous, irresponsible and dishonest, frankly.

That other cities like San Fransisco consider it reasonable to allow these kinds of statues in it's cities is a bit beyond me. If it were for American sexual slaves of the IJA, I'd say no problem. For Korean women? Well, then why not one for every nationality of woman in the world who has been subject to sexual slavery? It becomes a very political statement, suddenly - not simply an act of humanism.

South Korea and their politicians continue to shamelessly kick this political football around to garner nationalist votes, knowing full well Japan has paid money for the South Korean victims. This is just as heinous in my opinion. I have very, very little respect for such opportunistic manoeuvrings.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

TigersTOkyoDome: How about the Children's Peace Statue in Santa Fe? The Sadako Peace Garden in Santa Barbara? Sadako Peace Day on August 6th in the US? the drama "1000 Cranes" being performed world-wide?

Right... Evidently the US was not involved in causing Sadako's plight? The US had nothing to do with the bombs that wiped out two cities, which is what we remember by the cranes? To never repeat and keep some form of peace?

These specific statues, while I respect what they should represent (even if there is much debate about why we are singling out these particular women), are not necessarily in the right country. It would be like erecting a memorial to the Tianemen square massacre in SF - uninvolved parties.

However none of these arguments detract from the poor PR move from the Osaka mayor, but building a sneaky my memorial on private land and then in a week donating it is definitely an underhanded move.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

HeckleberryToday 10:22 pm JST@sensei258

And you know this how? Japan should try making at least 10% of the effort that Germany has made, before claiming no amount of compensation or apology will be enough.

When has Germany ever apologized or made payment to the women it abducted and forced into prostitution in military brothels (what you call sex-slaves) during WWII?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Back on topic please.

@Laguna: Calling SF 'tolerant' is not accurate at all. Once upon a time, when I used to visit UCB free speech was the norm worth fighting for; now it is not. At least for now, SF is definitely not 'tolerant'.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Given the fact by researchers in Korea and Japan that most of the Korean comfort women were not forcibly brought to frontline brothels by the Japanese imperial army and were typically common prostitutes brokered by Korean agents erecting these false statues all over the World is completely inappropriate. Osaka is right to protest and japan really needs to do a better job to get the truth out there to the western public that are deceived into the wholesale lie or at best embellishments by the Norks and their Skorean and Chinese sympathizers.

2 ( +33 / -31 )

Political bickering. No point in discussing it until people are ready to be civil and also realize that most of the people involved in promoting or against this were not even alive anytime near th occasion. If their goal is to have someone else proven wrong or seem bad in the eyes of others, or public shaming it’s counter productive at this point.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

DisillusionedToday 09:57 am JSTNihonRyu - Given the fact by researchers in Korea and Japan that most of the Korean comfort women were not forcibly brought to frontline brothels by the Japanese imperial army and were typically common prostitutes brokered by Korean agents

Wow! There's one in every crowd! Let me fix your opening statement, "Given the fact by 'Japanese' researchers..." - You should have taken the blue pill!

You are obviously unaware of recent research by South Korean historians.

http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.com/

http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-comfort-women-by-chunghee-sarah-soh.html

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Whilst there is nothing wrong with memorials to comfort women, this activist group are going about their projects in an antagonistic manner. Why create a private memorial then plan to offer it as a public space? In the US? Why place the Seoul statue in the same street as the Japanese consulate?

The private memorial didnt cause any ire. So why create this plan to offer the space publicly?

If anyone had any thoughts of respect to the comfort women, they would have placed their memorials in spaces which dont reignite feelings of 70 year old hatred (definition of 70 year old hatred: see smith's many posts).

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Either that is a pretty tame slap on the wrist, or your attempt to fit Japan and Germany in the same box failed.

On the contrary, Germany's much much better in comparison as far as war attrocities contrition goes.

And the vote for the loonies is a given in any society. It's called democracy. Doesn't change the fact that majority are smart enough to discern fact from fiction,make the right choices and contribute to a practical future. All because the government before fought tooth and nail to quell any idealogies that are contrary to way of life. It's really that simple.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wallace FredToday 06:03 pm JSTSouth Korea and Japan have signed an agreement ending this Comfort Women issue permanently in 2015. Japan has fulfilled it's end of the bargain. Either South Korea stands by it's international agreements or it has zero credibility as a nation.

OK. Let's paint a similar scenario. Let's imagine for a moment that germany behaved in similar way to it's approach to it's contribution to human attrocities in this millennium.

We don't have to imagine anything. Germany had a military prostitution system in WWII.

"According to records, at least 34,140 European women were forced to serve as prostitutes during the German occupation of their own countries along with female prisoners of concentration camp brothels.[1] In many cases in Eastern Europe, the women involved were kidnapped on the streets of occupied cities during German military and police round ups called łapanka or rafle."

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I was in my early teens when I watched the movie "Sandakan No. 8" and I was shocked to learn that young girls were sold into sexual slavery by my beloved Japan. It took a while to realize that this seemed to be common practise not only by Japan but in general. So let's put the facts together:

In the 20th century females were abducted, sold and tricked to serve as prostitutes in brothels. There's not doubt about this fact.

Japan had her share in this loathsome practise. This cannot be disputed either.

A large part of those unfortunate women were Koreans. I guess we still agree on this.

After the war, Japan has made several apologies and paid a large sum of money to compensate the victims. This can be checked by searching Wikipedia.

South Korea invested the money to develop the infrastructure.

The poor victims didn't get the compensation money.

While the rest of the world moved on and other countries did not make an issue of the hideous practice of abducting girls for brothels, South Korean nationalists hijacked the issue and started to erect statues in other countries.

Japan gets annoyed and protests about that.

If I have overlooked a bit, please remind me.

IMHO Korea has no business placing statues all over the world. Should Israel put a Holocaust memorial in, let's say, New Zealand? Or Canada? If they do it in their own country, fine with me - bad taste still, but okay. But dragging the world into their mindset feels wrong.

And please leave Germany out. When Willy Brandt dropped to his knees at Warszawa it was an outstanding gesture of humility leading to much controversy at home. Some things can't be compared to Japan.

Would Korea expect a similar gesture? By a Japanese representative? By Abe? Or by the Tenno himself?

I'm afraid nothing would be good enough to Korean nationalists. Nationalists are made that way: Let's wallow in our anger, for it is all we have left.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I just noticed there's a line in my post that could be misunderstood - I did not mean it were bad taste if Israel having Holocaust memorials all over their country, but South Korea having Comfort Women statues even in buses and in front of the Japanese embassy is definitely going too far. Out of proportion, one might say.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

 Abe "apologized" (half-arsed as it was) and then pays tribute to Yasukuni?

There’s the first problem, it’s a serious misunderstanding of the purpose of Yasukuni and pettiness to think an apology is insignificant because a country wants to honor the men and women who died defending it.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

mtuffizi - You are absolutely correct. No number of apologies or financial compensation will make this issue end as far as many Koreans are concerned. Agreements can be made but they mean nothing; they will not be honored. Koreans would rather play the eternal victim and keep fighting a war that was won or lost a long time ago. As long as people prefer to live in the past and refuse to move forward, nothing will ever change.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yes folks it's this lack of true empathy and contrition that will keep these statues propping up more.

1 ( +33 / -32 )

Wallace Fred,

Define "true empathy and contrition".

1 ( +4 / -3 )

NihonRyu - Given the fact by researchers in Korea and Japan that most of the Korean comfort women were not forcibly brought to frontline brothels by the Japanese imperial army and were typically common prostitutes brokered by Korean agents

Wow! There's one in every crowd! Let me fix your opening statement, "*Given the fact by 'Japanese' researchers..." - *You should have taken the blue pill!

1 ( +12 / -11 )

It is very unfortunate that the actual victims -- the comfort women -- continue to have their narrative hijacked and politicized in the name of anti-Japanese nationalistic sentiment by South Korean politicians and China's communist party. That is all these statues are, nothing more.

Vocal minority in Japan are still in denial that they have committed unspeakable atrocities during their occupation of their neighboring countries. It doesn't take a genius to realize during a war, fragile human mind will do anything including murder, rape, torture, etc. And such acts were committed and recorded. What Japan should be doing is teaching their younger generations in school of these horrible acts so that it wouldn't be committed again. Instead they are fighting a futile battle to revise their history. This will only earn them scorn of their neighbors who are becoming as rich and more powerful than Japan.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Those monuments are significant to the history of the United States and belong on U.S. soil. The Comfort Women system is not one of them.

Accutually, all militaries of any countries had comfort women systems.  Japan called them comfort women, not  prostitues, out of respect for them who serve the men who sacrifice their lives for the country.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Does being a sister city have any real benefit? San Fran better not let Osaka hold them hostage or I may have to terminate my relationship with Frisco. I know they don't want that!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Ossan

When has Germany ever apologized or made payment to the women it abducted and forced into prostitution in military brothels (what you call sex-slaves) during WWII?

Is there a single monument to victims of IJA's sexual slavery in Tokyo? Even one?

Plenty of monuments all over Berlin.. when I visited I almost thought it was overdone, can't walk around in Berlin without reminders of their past wrongdoings.

In Japan however, mainstream politicians continue to deny and downplay their wrongdoings to this day, while the younger generation are blissfully ignorant of their recent history, and accuse SK of fabricating history.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japan should try placing ONE monument to their war victims in Tokyo, before saying no acts of contrition will be good enough for SK. Leave Germany out of this? Why? Because the steps they have taken make you look bad?

PREACH!!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

besides, they are all the same.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Osaka mayor looking like a mean-sprited child with no human empathy or contrition. Same old sad story. When will they ever learn?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Osaka severing ties with San Fran - seems to be small minded and insular. There must be 1,000s upon 1,000s of companies, societies, organizations, schools, families and individuals that share mutual bonds between the 2 cities (& countries) in fields as unrelated as science, sport, culture, business etc.

That one person believes he has the righteous power to symbolically cut such wonderful ties still doesn't get it.

Pompous grandstanding for the bleaters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The supporters of this issue have zero business erecting this stature anywhere in the world outside of Korea. Osaka's reaction is petty for sure, but the idea that a public park in the U.S. is an appropriate place to commemorate a completely unrelated cause is idiotic.

It's a way to acknowledge human atrocities in the past and to make sure that we wouldn't forget so it won't happen again in the future, since humanity doesn't recognize countries border.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

Good! Who needs a "sister" that threatens and blackmails, and more importantly demands that history be buried or else they'll sever ties with you. San Francisco doesn't need this intolerant garbage.

0 ( +17 / -17 )

This is a great learning opportunity for Osaka leadership to show the history of Japan, like other countries involved in colonialism, has unpleasantly but needs to be discussed in this global world to move forward- as Canada's Prime Minister at the UN did recently.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20QqRtLoLFw

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Carol TakahashiToday  08:37 am JST

Disgusting and ugly statue. Who would be happy to see this except for Koreans or others who have a lifetime hatred for Japan/Japanese?

I would.

I love Japan, I think most Japanese people are pretty decent (after all, I've chosen to live here), and I would be absolutely happy to see statues commemorating people who have been harmed by Japanese Imperial aggression.

You're an adult: you're allowed to have complex opinions. It's not necessary to entirely support team-Japan on everything all the time. It's not even necessary to conceptualize your opinions in terms of national teams.

Just an ugly, horrible reminder. And, yes, for how damned long does Japan have to apologize? I'm sick of hearing about this!

Privilege is the ability to demand not to hear about other people's suffering because you personally aren't interested in it.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

It's so scary people not able to learn from the past.

It's always the ignorant that falls prey to propaganda first and they will continue to believe by shutting their eyes and ears repeating the same lies over and over again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One wonders whether its a deliberate tactic on behalf of Chinese in San Francisco to sew division between South Korean and Japan. Nothing would please the Chinese more than a split between the U.S, South Korea and Japan alliance. That is very high on their wish list. Regardless of history, that is something that we must be aware of and must be resisted.

I believe it's the wish of the benefactor(s) to donate land to a city park for the sake and love of their city not in order to erect a statue. Given the history of the two nations, it is not surprising that the statue was permitted when approached by the Koreans.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This statue has nothing to do with San Francisco. It has nothing to do with "peace" or "education" or "remembering." It is propaganda, pure and simple, a cause for those with nothing more constructive to do for some, a meal-ticket for others. If it had anything to do with sexual exploitation by the Japanese military during WWII, it would feature a Japanese woman as well. But, admitting that Japanese women were also victims would ruin the whole revisionist purpose of these statues: to sow discontent and animosity among countries and cause friction with Japan. Disgusting, divisive tripe that does nothing but stamp upon the memory of all who suffered in the name of popular politics and cash.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

A couple of areas that many have issues with the constant bleating of the comfort woman issues propagated by S.Korea. (backed by Norks and China)

1) There is much evidence that IJA were not directly involved directly in the kidnapping or misling the poor women sent to the front lines, in addition, overwhelming majority were willing paid prostitutes that profited from the system. Testimony shows that many of them went on their own and others were unfortunately sold into unsavory brokers by their own parents. (these were hard times and remember Koreans at that time were considered citizens of the Japanese empire for couple decades already.) Japanese system of wartime brothels were no more unique than the system established during the U.S./Korean War or the many brothels set-up in Japan during occupation. (Individual hardships and circumstances and suffering occurred then to with the like of unsavory pimps, human trafficking, etc. which still continues to this day in many places around the world.) The U.S. Army's own investigation into a wartime brothel in Burma suggested including extensive interviews with Korean comfort women found that the system was well run and the women were treated quite fairly and profited tremendously in some cases and many even fell in love and married IJA personnel returning to Japan, etc..

2) I think S.Korea is very disingenuous about the whole comfort women system during that period and do not want to see the complete picture or accuracy into the historical situation and rather focus on specific emotional experiences by individuals that are seeking financial gain and extrapolating it for their own political and anti-Japanese motives. Every major city in America, Japan, or Australia are filled with Korean run massage parlors which are really brothels in disguise. Many of them use Japanese names for their establishment and the girls working as well use Japanese names as to prop-up the perceived brand value of these prostitution houses or disguise their Korean roots. (I find it very distasteful given they act like their honor was so shattered for being forced into prostitution 70yrs ago.) http://koreanreality.wixsite.com/korean-realities/prostitution-in-us

Which begs the question how much different was it back 70yrs ago for Korean women/pimps to want to profit from IJA comfort women system?

3) Why would they put these statues up outside of S.Korea or Japan? I really believe even the Japanese would be open to having statues here if there were overwhelming evidence that the majority of comfort women suffered terribly by the IJA and they were directly involved in wholesale kidnapping and raping of these women. (Not saying isolated individual cases did not ever occur which I am sure it did.) Historical evidence and non-biassed third party research paints a very different picture from the rabid foaming at the mouth hysterical anti-japanese crowd manipulating some of the remaining comfort women's recollection of what "Really" happened.

Perhaps, it would be appropriate for Japan to put-up Takeshima memorials all over the world propagating the illegal occupation by S.Korea and trying to make it an international issue. But alas, Japan has too much class for that.. (It's not like S.Korea would be ever willing to take that to IJA to settle the issue once and for all as Japan suggested.) Japan has paid and apologized many times over the comfort women/WW2 issue which is at heart one of the problems, instead of doing the necessary to dispute the falsehood propagated by the comfort women issue they take the appeasement approach which only encourages the Korean special interest groups to go further and want more..

0 ( +5 / -5 )

UCB isn't famous enough to be abbreviated

Once upon a time, when I used to visit UCB free speech was the norm worth fighting for; now it is not

0 ( +0 / -0 )

news like this always brings new trolls and fake accounts to the JT yard.

Carol Takahashi finds a statue disgusting, and doesn't want to be reminded of Japan's ugly history, so thinks Japan shouldn't apologise for what happened any more.

Fine, missus. no need to apologise, but there is every need to remember, so that the sins of your forefathers are not repeated.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

OssanAmerica: "Those monuments are significant to the history of the United States and belong on U.S. soil. The Comfort Women system is not one of them."

Wrong. They are symbols of peace, and the suffering of victims of war put out to see so they are not repeated. When you equally demand that statues, monuments, and parks such as the Sadako Peace Park and statue of Sadako Sasaki be removed from Seattle and other parks, you will be able to stand on the soapbox and preach what other nations should or shouldn't do. Don't see you demanding that park be plowed over and statues removed.

So long as there are human beings in the US, and all human beings suffer in war and through abuse, there is no reason that they cannot erect a statue to try and acknowledge and prevent it further.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

OssanAmerica: "You are obviously unaware of recent research by South Korean historians."

i like how yoh intentionally pluralize "historian" when quoting exactly ONE. Who are the others, bud? I can give you former IJA accounts -- plural -- of coercion , rape, and murder of Asian women forced into sexual slavery, as well as heaps of historians with proof of it happening. Short of 2-channel anecdotes from people born and raised on Japanese texts, why do you choose to believe this ONE professor when you never believe South Koreans to begin with?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

some in South Korea say Japan has not done enough to atone for its wartime misdeeds

The Japanese government has transferred ¥1 billion ($9.8 million) to a South Korean fund established to help women who were forced into wartime brothels for the Japanese military, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in one report.

Then about 2 years later, $8.3 million. That's how much the government of Japan agreed to pay 46 South Korean women on Monday, the only public survivors of Japan's campaign of sexual terror in the Korean peninsula during World War II.

And a few years later, group of South Korean women who were forced into sex slavery by Japan during World War II in order to serve its soldiers announced that they will sue the Japanese government for $20 million in a California district court unless it makes suitable amends before then.

I am not taking sides here, but this is only about greed and money. Threatning to cancel the relationship with the sister city of SanFran will not be a good move at all. Given the history with this topic will only end in some large amounts of money being paid.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The statues should not be causing ire in any way if Japan has truly abandoned IJA sympathies. The statues should be an opportunity for improving Korea relations. If Abe for example visited the statue in Seoul and placed flowers on it, replacing visiting Yasukuni, that would improve relations and show actual contrition. It doesn't even matter if anyone likes it or not. It's about actions speaking louder than words. Abe doesn't have to say anything.

Japan should be on the same side of this, accepting that this was a dark time for itself and take the responsibility of reminding anyone and everyone that thinking badly of foreigners has bad consequences that must never be forgotten. Then showing there is a brighter path to the future becomes another form of statesmanship. Building bridges to the future.

If you can't see that then this will not end until you do

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

On this issue, We DON'T need their notice, at all !! Good riddance!!!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Speaking as a Westerner in California, I do not understand the point of view of the mayor of Osaka. Is the mayor saying that it never happened? Or perhaps, that it did happen, but that it is inappropriate for San Francisco to acknowledge that happened? Or is the problem something else entirely? I do not understand.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I do not think it is a good idea to break diplomatic ties, such as the sister cities project with a city such as San Francisco.  Especially, over something which happened long ago during a war . . . the war is over . . . but the need for International cooperation still remains.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I only wish to mention, that China, Korea, Japan, share a common ancient history, with each other's culture influencing each other . . . for example the Yayoi period in ancient history indicates similarities between each of the three countries peoples - so, don't you think it is better all three should work together to get along.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They still haven't severed ties yet? haha. More empty threats I guess, and now more sulking in the corner at the realisation that not only did the threats NOT have the desired effect, the issue is even more well-known world-wide and Japan looks even more pathetic and evil for it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They still haven't severed ties yet?

It seems Osaka city assembly is opposed.  Probably they want to travel to San Francisco at public expense.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

tinawatanabe: "It seems Osaka city assembly is opposed"

It seems they have an ounce of common sense, then, unlike the mayor, who is now crying over a draft beer, probably.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Go ahead, cancel the sister city agreement and embarrass yourselves on the international stage rather than owning up to it for the sake of the " they were all paid professionals " denialist right wing crowd.

Im sure San Francisco will survive just fine.

-2 ( +21 / -23 )

There are some Japanese women who have just come out (again, as they are constantly not heard) and talked about being forced into systematic prostitution from the IJA . What's not to believe? These denialists are beyond ridiculous.

If Japan learned some tact, and just admitted to their wrongs - as opposed to trying to bury the truth and brainwash their kids - the issue would go away. Look at Germany. Quite respectable how they atoned for their sins - and a fine nation nowadays that is respected in the international community.

Japan OTOH... they are doing it to themselves. And like last time, the people are allowing their politicians to destroy the country and their own futures... again!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Japan - number 1 and holding in the category of self-inflicted wounds...

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Yes, let's imagine a right wing German political party (AfD?) known for harshly targeting "others" (non-Germans) being handed a substantial number of seats in Parliament in 2017. Either that is a pretty tame slap on the wrist, or your attempt to fit Japan and Germany in the same box failed.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"South Korea and Japan have signed an agreement ending this Comfort Women issue permanently in 2015. Japan has fulfilled it's end of the bargain. Either South Korea stands by it's international agreements or it has zero credibility as a nation."

These statues are not put up by the SK government. What people do with private donations in other countries is not the SK government's concern. On the contrary, it's Osaka and by extension, Japan, that's losing face -- big time -- in the international arena by making this petty, small-minded behavior.

In the US new books and documentaries are continually produced to make certain no one forgets the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII ; you don't see Americans getting up in in arms to protest this "deliberate prolonging" of a shameful episode.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

A Realist: "Agreements can be made but they mean nothing; they will not be honoured."

When Japan has no honour on the issue, what's the point just taking money and agreeing on it? The very day Abe made the "agreement" with Park, his wife and others visited Yasukuni, black trucks went wild, and lawmakers and many Japanese alike, and people like yourself I'm sorry to say, continued to shout about how it's a lie and deny it ever happened.

"Koreans would rather play the eternal victim..."

He says, playing the victim. NO ONE plays the victim on this issue more than Japan or the people who stick up for the vile denial of history. Korea doesn't "play" victim, they ARE the victims of Japan's wartime aggression. You guys sure love to forget that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

NihonRyu: "Given the fact by researchers in Korea and Japan that most of the Korean comfort women were not forcibly brought to frontline brothels by the Japanese imperial army and were typically common prostitutes brokered by Korean agents erecting these false statues all over the World is completely inappropriate"

The 'Facts' as presented to you by Japanese revisionists, not the actual facts.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

hachikou: "I totally DISAGREE."

It doesn't matter if a revisionist disagrees with the facts.

""Give me a good reason, why "Post WW2" korean comfort women serving US soliders don't get any apology or compensation from Korea and US or memorial statue , while women serving Japanese got so many?"

I'll answer your question, but you'll just ignore the facts and throw in off-topic remarks and questions regardless. First, the US should apologize for any wrong doing and atrocities committed as well. Second, Japan DENIES it -- same as you do, and people like NihonRyu, OssanAmerica, etc., and say they were all well-paid prostitutes and volunteers, or their parents sold them, and NONE were forced, etc. Japan is, in fact, using the issue here to blackmail SF, so YES, THEY are the ones turning this into international news, not Korea. Had the Osaka mayor said nothing it would not be news at all, but Japan is once again denying sexual slavery, and hence such statues are more important than ever, in a time where women are STILL being sold into sexual slavery the world over. But YOU want to ask off-topic questions about other nations in reply to the topic.

But since you are for the removal of statues, do you think the memorials to Sadako Sasaki in other countries should be removed? and why the double standard if not? Would you agree those statues are meant as symbols of peace and to remember what happened and avoid it again? Then why is it so hard for you to see the statue of a sex slave in order that we be reminded of the horrors of war (not just atomic bombings and when Japan was victim) so that we not repeat them?

NO ONE who demands tehse statues be removed and the issue dropped have ground to stand on until they demand Hiroshima and related monuments be closed down (I mean outside Hiroshima as well).

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Correct. So we should also be erecting global memorials to the US firebombing of Tokyo and Osaka, plus global memorials to the only two nuclear bombs to have been dropped upon civilian cities in Japan, by the US. Around 100,000 people were killed in the Tokyo firebombing. Remember that too.

Go ahead. I think you'll find that the world is not in denial about all that...

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

For people who oppose, is your problem that you think (1) it happened but japan has apologized or (2) it’s a lie.?

...or both.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

South Korea and Japan have signed an agreement ending this Comfort Women issue permanently in 2015. Japan has fulfilled it's end of the bargain. Either South Korea stands by it's international agreements or it has zero credibility as a nation.

OK. Let's paint a similar scenario. Let's imagine for a moment that germany behaved in similar way to it's approach to it's contribution to human attrocities in this millennium.

Let's say instead of contrite disavowal of their horrible past,they succumbed to out right denial and in some cases callous revision of history.

Do you honestly believe the world would give them a slap on the wrist? If not, then why should Japan be treated any differently?

Throwing money at a problem and signing some hamfisted apology surely can not serve to portray any kind of empathy. Like I've said before, anything short of a contrite disavowal of past attrocities from the government coupled with intense reeducation of the populace regarding this terrible period,will lead to more statues springing up.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

If so it is Osaka's loss.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Korea needs to get over it. Tired of all this BS about comfort women time and time again. It's over.

Sure. The moment proper acts of contrition on par with what Germany did post-war are performed.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

And please leave Germany out. When Willy Brandt dropped to his knees at Warszawa it was an outstanding gesture of humility leading to much controversy at home. Some things can't be compared to Japan.

Would Korea expect a similar gesture? By a Japanese representative? By Abe? Or by the Tenno himself?

I'm afraid nothing would be good enough to Korean nationalists. Nationalists are made that way: Let's wallow in our anger, for it is all we have left.

Why do people continue saying "nothing will be good enough for SK" when Japan to this day (a) glosses over their shameful past in their history textbooks and leaves their younger generation ignorant about these issues, in contrast to their German counterparts, (b) mainstream politicians including the PM continues to deny or downplay their wrongdoings, in complete contrast to their German counterparts, (c) allows anti-Korean demonstraters to march into Korean enclaves in Tokyo, in complete contrast to their German counterparts?

Japan should try placing ONE monument to their war victims in Tokyo, before saying no acts of contrition will be good enough for SK. Leave Germany out of this? Why? Because the steps they have taken make you look bad?

Japan wants the world to remember Japanese victims of war (Hiroshima etc), but wants to erase the past regarding victims of imperial Japan.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

hachikou: "Obvisouly Korea is using "comfort woman issue" to advance its position."

Actually, that's what Japan is doing. No one's running around demanding memorials for Japan be removed world-wide, and yet here's Japan demanding the world acknowledge when it'st he victim, and ignore when it was committing the atrocities, with THREATS!

This reminds me of whenever the UN wants to recognize something Japan doesn't like, Japan threatens them, holds back its dues, blackmails them, extorts, then turns aroudn the next day and asks to be recognized for something. They won't cut ties with SF because Osaka would be the bad guy (they already are with this), and would miss out as being recognized as a sister city in a far more popular destination. SF should just ignore them and let them sulk for a while before they forget about it.

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

I honestly hope SF says, "If that is the spirit of sister-city relations you wish to engage in -- blackmail and threats -- then please feel free to end the relationship immediately, as you have threatened to do."

Wouldn't THAT put the mayor in his place! Of course, he'd cry foul and claim to be a victim, but it'd be funny to watch him slither back in horror at the international embarrassment he's made of himself, the city, and the nation as a result of his threats.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

@smith: I agree with  all of your comments.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Then they should be in every city in the world until Japan gets the message

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Because apologizing nearly every decade and providing compensation is not enough?

You can apologize a million times, and it won't ever be close to enough because of the actions that occur after every single one is made. Abe "apologized" (half-arsed as it was) and then pays tribute to Yasukuni?

Would YOU accept an apology from someone who then goes and pays respects to the very symbol of what caused the problems in the first place? Would YOU think he was sincere?

You don't apologize for something and then go on to say that the actions you apologized for never occurred either, as Abe is trying his damnedest to white-wash history as well.

The wording matters. No apology so far has been without ambiguity either.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

TigersTokyoDome: "Around 100,000 people were killed in the Tokyo firebombing. Remember that too."

This, from a poster who says people who want statues dedicated to peace removed need to acknowledge similar Hiroshima-related statues (like that in Seattle, for one) be removed is "irrelevant". Classic. Furthermore, no one denies the fire bombing. Do you admit the IJA kidnapped/coerced women into sexual slavery?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

TigersTOkyoDome: How about the Children's Peace Statue in Santa Fe? The Sadako Peace Garden in Santa Barbara? Sadako Peace Day on August 6th in the US? the drama "1000 Cranes" being performed world-wide?

I mean, those aren't about peace, right? Not about suffering and certainly no statue is erected to remind us of the loss of innocents in war, and the suffering caused by war in general, right? They are all political tools by the Japanese government in coordination with the evil US to conspire, right?

So, again... if the statues depicting innocent women duped into sexual slavery cannot serve as reminders of the suffering of war and how we should not repeat it should be torn down, do you admit that the statues of others also depicting suffering that are erected in other nations should also? Or is it just "different" again?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

tinawatanabe: "Accutually, all militaries of any countries had comfort women systems. Japan called them comfort women, not prostitues, out of respect for them who serve the men who sacrifice their lives for the country."

Doesn't matter what Japan calls them to gloss over it's atrocities in euphemism, and the men who raped them deserve no respect, especially when you call the women willing prostitutes and ignore the fact that many were coerced, raped, and murdered.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

I've seen many statues resembling war convicted "heroes" in Japan. Even of people who massacred and carried out extensive suppression during WW2!

It's like they are being idolized for a reason. That's OK, but when other countries want to memorize and preserve their scares, that's not supposed to be OK for Japan!? That's just hypocratically done! Your doing the same thing Japan with your war convicted "heroes".

Japan has to learn to tackle set-backs, definitely when you're doing the same thing! To preserve memories about "great" the Empire of Japan was, without taking self-criticism!

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

@sensei258

They can never believe that Japan "has done enough", because the gravy train stops when that happens.

Care to elaborate on exactly what this 'gravy train' is for SK? Are you suggesting SK somehow continues to receive money from Japan? Your position is typical of many pro-Japan posters, but can you actually back it up? I hope you're not talking about the rather paltry sums agreed between Japan and SK in 2015.

No matter how many deals are signed, how much compensation is made to them (and their descendents), how many apologies are made, it will never be enough

And you know this how? Japan should try making at least 10% of the effort that Germany has made, before claiming no amount of compensation or apology will be enough.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@Tina Watanabe

“Accutually, all militaries of any countries had comfort women systems”

that is simply not true.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

TigersTokyoDome: "Completely irrelevant and completely misses the point."

No, YOU missed the point, clearly, because...

"Hiroshima's peace museum is in Japan - the Japanese have a right to place a domestic memorial to the nuclear bomb dropped upon them by the Americans."

As I said earlier, there are other parks in the world which are dedicated to peace and feature the story and suffering of Sadako, for example, which was officially opened... wait for it... August 6th!

http://www.historylink.org/File/9352

Now, while you're eating that crow, are you going to demand that the park be paved over and the statue of Sadako removed?

"Some of these posts are going beyond sense today - is this poster actually demanding that Hiroshima's peace museum be closed down..?!"

Kind of moot given that you could not read the original posts and chose instead of simply ignore the facts (not surprising, but still).

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Yasukuni Shrine honors Japan's war victims, and Korea complains; now Japan complains that other countries are honoring their war victims.

The only difference being that Yasukuni also enshrines war criminals, and members of the Japanese government, including sone PMs, visit it.

I'd advise Chinese and Korean government officials to visit the sex slave memorials and tell the Japanese government to go eff itself.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Korea is building these statues OUTSIDE OF THEIR OWN COUNTRY in countries that directly have no connection to the issue.

The world was dragged into that war. It's an international mistake that shouldn't be forgotten. Japan is great at silencing people within its own borders, but others outside of Japan are not always so easily silenced and bullied.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

San Francisco. One of the most progressive cities in the world.

There can never be enough statues to right the wrongs committed against not just the "comfort women" but women all over the world.

-9 ( +14 / -23 )

They can never believe that Japan "has done enough", because the gravy train stops when that happens. No matter how many deals are signed, how much compensation is made to them (and their descendents), how many apologies are made, it will never be enough

Yes they can be made to believe it, but Japan is unwilling to take the steps needed to get it done.

-14 ( +15 / -29 )

Japan should just keep apologising without condition and without end, until Korea says it's OK to stop. The first and biggest victims (by far) of Japanese militarism were the ordinary Japanese people. In their name as well as all the other victims, there should be literally endless apologies. Statues? Ignore them except as symbols of all those who suffered alongside the Japanese people.

-20 ( +0 / -20 )

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