politics

Abe says he is 'deeply pained' over 'comfort women'

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What in the world is so hard for Abe to say sorry? (Because he isn't and he doesnt want to lie)

14 ( +20 / -6 )

I don't think U.S. Congress is the time and place for Abe to issue another apology.

Similarly, imagine the British PM apologizing for the colonization of India and the Amritsar massacre (which has not happened yet) in a speech delivered in Paris.

A new apology should be delivered in Seoul, followed by a handshake with Park.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

Is this a controversial war shrine or a temple of patriotism all those public servants keep visiting?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

“I am deeply pained to think about the comfort women who experienced immeasurable pain and suffering as a result of victimization due to human trafficking,” Abe said

Victimization due to human trafficking?? Who was repsonsible for this trafficking ?? Let me guess, not the Japanese army - perhaps those horrible Koreans or Chinese but certainly not the Japanese or its soldiers. Another subtle attempt by Abe to distance the Japanese army from its own history...

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Well - on the bright side he admits the trafficking and forced prostitution and immeasurable suffering as a result DID happen. That is progress in itself given many deny even that happened.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Prostitution was a legal matter in those days. I don't think the Korean comfort women were forced to engage in the profession by the Japanese army. Korea is not saying how poor they were in those days and probably the girls did not have other choice but to become the comfort women to help their families. The similar thing occurred in Japan in those days. Girls from poor farmers of Tohoku were sold to the prostititution organizations by their fathers.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Yeah, Abe, I feel your pain.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One step forward, two steps backward, way to go Abe.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Not as pained as they are, eh Shinzo ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe was born in 1954, 9 years after the war. How can he feel the pain?

Political solutions to the problems of Japan-South Korea relations will continue to fail as long as each country’s identity is framed against the other. Japan has its own victim complex from defeat of WWII, the atomic bombing, and a sense of being discriminated against in the postwar of their actions, making it difficult for Japan to perceive itself as an aggressor. There are many similarities between the two countries that reinforce their differences. Japan and South Korea political leaders are protecting their approval ratings by domestic politics. Both leaders need to address the past not simply as a legal issue between the two governments, but in a way that also addresses the lingering hurt of colonization at a personal and political level. Ultimately, South Korea will have to determine precisely what actions it will accept from Japan as expressions of remorse that would then enable the two countries to move their relations forward.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Well, if that really is the case, then stop calling them 'comfort women' for starters. Japan is the only country that uses this wording. Not only is it demeaning, but it's downright false.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

As long as the Japanese nationalists leading this country continue to call this past barbarian and savage treatment of women as "comfort women" instead of naming the things as they are, that is a slavery of women which went deep against human dignity, and as long as the Japanese media (including this site) continue to use the same terminology as those nationalists, don't expect any progress on the matter from the Japanese side.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Sex slave is a coined and inappropriate word.

UNITED STATES OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION

Report No. 49: Japanese Prisoners of War Interrogation on Prostitution

A "comfort girl" is nothing more than a prostitute or "professional camp follower" attached to the Japanese Army for the benefit of the soldiers.

http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

-18 ( +3 / -20 )

"The White House would like to see better ties between South Korea and Japan,"

So would a lot of South Korean and Japanese companies. For example, Samsung products sell well everywhere except in Japan, and Toyota products sell well everywhere except in Korea.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not as deeply pained as all those poor women raped by Japanese soldiers though.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

"A "comfort girl" is nothing more than a prostitute or "professional camp follower"

Or, a girl or woman who was kidnapped and forced to have sex with cruel Japanese soldiers.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

“But actions and words by officials have essentially cancelled out those apologies; hence the finger-wagging about Japan’s sincerity.”

Bingo!

“I am deeply pained to think about the comfort women who experienced immeasurable pain and suffering as a result of victimization due to human trafficking,”

The lout can't even bring himself to say by whom, or use the word 'rape', and of COURSE he can't apologize! What a sad sack. I hope the public keeps the pressure on him about this issue.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Baby steps, baby steps.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

enough already - doesn't seem to matter if any prime minister apologises, in a few years they'll go at it again. Everyone seems to have forgotten that this was resolved in the 50's. The Koreans and Chinese will always find a way to make Japan look bad and conveniently forget what had been done in past. Perhaps we should keep harping on for the next 30 years about Vietnam and the things that were done there. Japan paid their price and has done only good since the war. Enough is enough

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

not as as they were. Still, a guess a step in the right direction.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is that all you can say Mr. Abe? Shameful.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye last Sunday warned “time is running out” for Tokyo to apologize.

...said the President that has laid down no consequences ever.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

We believe you Abe. You're such an honest politician. After all, you've never once in your life said one thing outside of Japan while the complete opposite at home.

/sarcasm

1 ( +6 / -5 )

“But actions and words by officials have essentially cancelled out those apologies; hence the finger-wagging about Japan’s sincerity.”

Bingo!

“I am deeply pained to think about the comfort women who experienced immeasurable pain and suffering as a result of victimization due to human trafficking,”

Yeah, right -- meanwhile this sorry little man can't bring himself to use the word 'rape', as the sex slaves were, nor can he bring himself to say WHO was involved in the 'trafficking', nor apologize. It's like yesterday when he was praising Sugihara as a Japanese hero -- he forgot to mention that it was people like his granddad that murdered him for not following Japan's rules. Oops! He has perfect chances to ACTUALLY show remorse, and apologize -- no one holds him responsible for the actions of the past except when he tries to justify them. If he said, "Sugihara was an amazing man and what a hero and humanitarian is, and it's disgraceful we had him killed for it", or, "These women went through horrible experiences, forced by Imperial Japan, and I feel great remorse for this. We should never repeat it", he would be praised and praised, and seen as a true statesman. But he refuses to say, and to be.

1 ( +7 / -7 )

Mainstream historians say an estimated 200,000

No, they do not. Mainstream historians do not agree on the number. Korean nationalist scholars put the number at 200k plus.

The truth of the matter is as simple as it is disturbing:

No one will ever know, because Imperial Japan destroyed much of the paper work.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Let's all pause for moment and feel for Mr. Abe's pain. If he feels any pain it should be from his foot constantly going into his mouth. I expect the U.S. government is also feels considerable pain because asinine remarks like this are causing considerable difficulties between Japan and U.S. Asian allies, particularly South Korea, and important trading partners like China.

Why cannot Abe just reaffirm the Murayama apology and be done with it?

Doing that would be the most practical thing. That Abe is not practical, being more concerned with how his dead progenitors might see him than working smoothly with his neighbors, makes him a dangerous leader, a loose canon and someone not to be trusted as America's military sidekick.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There is no evidence that Japan's comfort women were any worse than USA's. Why does USA have to force Abe to mention about comfort women when Abe is in USA? USA should stop using South Korea to bash Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As a Korean, I do understand Abe's fickled position. If he does apologizes in front of the Congress, he would be absolutely politically crucified by his Japanese constituency and his political allies. It would be condemning himself to a political suicide. As a Korean, I see no point forcing this man, and forcing Japan to apologize, when they don't mean it nor intend to. True apologies come from the heart, half attempts of forced apologies are never satisfying and it will never be fully accepted. Apologies are worthless bunch of words anyway, it's the kinds of behaviour that backs up the apology are what is far more important. I'm sorry, but I don't agree with those Koreans and Korean Americans who are demanding an apology from a source who will never truly be sorry.

So what's the answer here then? Give up, move on, and pretend words don't mean anything? It's repulsive to even think of South Korea cooperating with Abe's right wing government who's constantly flung dung at you. I say just ignore this troll and the country that this troll represents, and move onto something better.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Prime Minister Abe smiled assuredly to himself as he considered his subtle wording, the gradations of meaning mostly lost on his Western audience, which would reassert the rightful historical context of the noble mission led by people like his father. This feeling of self-satisfaction was only marred by an uncomfortably sharp memory and subsequent arousal at seeing his father's wartime souvenir photos of Korean comfort women and last night's spicy stewed okra from Michelle Obama's organic garden that was doing a Bataan Death March through his lower intestine. Keeping to the Japanese virtue of brevity in expression like the incomparable haiku he excused himself..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What about US Goverment? any apology to Comfort women? The apologies were already done by Japanese goverment, former prime minister Murayama and Kono.

US goverment never apologized to Korean comfort women after WW2. Or never even recognized the fact these poor korean women were exploited sexually, and some of them were even killed by occupasion army.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/11/us-southkorea-usa-military-idUSKBN0FG0VV20140711

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhqhLwptwp0

Build the statues in US to show remorse, and write this in american high school text book as a shame. Never try to whitewash the history!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Meanwhile in Japan...

"In its most recent round of approvals of junior high school history textbooks, Japan’s Education Ministry insisted that the single brief reference to ‘comfort women’ must be accompanied by the words, ‘it is now the government’s position that no confirmed materials directly suggesting the forcible taking away of comfort women by military or officials have been found." Excerpt from "Japanese war apologies lost in translation," East Asia Forum http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2015/04/26/japanese-war-apologies-lost-in-translation/

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sex slave is a coined and inappropriate word.

UNITED STATES OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION

Report No. 49: Japanese Prisoners of War Interrogation on Prostitution

Sunrise777, you are peddling the favorite Japanese nationalist's version of the "evidence". Have you even bothered to read their report that you parrot?

.

http://www.reddit.com/r/badhistory/comments/2rvc3p/this_document_claims_the_korean_comfort_women/

Without reading the document this would seem like solid evidence to back up their argument. In fact I believed this to be the case as well. However, upon reading the document I noticed something quite bizarre. The report actually contradicted much of their arguments. Contrary to illustrating the comfort women as volunteers and professional prostitutes, the report claimed the women were decieved, that they were previously unaware of prostitution before volunteering, that they had been decieved by claims they would be working in hospitals and factories, and that they were given advanced payments which turned out to be debts which would take up to a year to pay back The report stated that the comfort women were "... generally believed to be going to comfort wounded soldiers, as in going to hospitals to take care of them, putting on their bandages and so on...", how they had been promised "...easy work in new land. A great future in Singapore" and that beforehand "The majority of the girls were ignorant and uneducated, although a few had been connected with 'oldest profession on earth'" Even the report itself states the women had been decieved "Many women believed these kinds of false explanations, applying for jobs overseas and getting a few hundred yen in advance payments". Since when did deception equate to consent? Even Marano acknowledges "some" of the women were decieved into prostitution in the video description but that doesn't seem to impact the arguments in his videos at all. Additionally, the report stated that the comfort women were tied down with debts from the advanced payments and could not leave until these debts were completed: "They were forced to work under army regulations and for the ‘owner of the comfort station.’ The term depended on the amount of the advance payments, which their family obtained to clear off the debts. The term varied from six months to one year." Please note the report used the word forced. Even so, if the comfort women had the "prerogative of refusing a customer" as Yon and Marano argue, did they have the "prerogative of refusing to be a comfort woman"? The report would suggest no. In fact, the report explicitly states the only way a comfort woman could go back to Korea is if they could pay back their debt. One does get the impression there was a subtle coercion. Yes, you can refuse customers - but you won't go home if you do. Furthermore, the women could not have went home at this stage of the war even if they had paid their debts. They were transported across the Pacific by ships at which by 1944 were being sunk by Allied submarines. Again, there is a subtle coercion here. Choosing between prostitution and most likely drowing at sea. With regard to the money the Comfort Women earned, the report states that the women often had to pay extortionate prices for food and accomodation. "Many "masters" made life very difficult for the girls by charging them high prices for food and other articles." The report also claims the comfort women were paid 1,500 yen monthly. Of that, they had to give half (750) to the House Master. Additionally, they were paid in Burma in “Southern Development Bank Notes” The hyper inflation in Burma was 30 times that of Tokyo, meaning the 1,500 yen in Southern Development Bank Notes equated to about 50 yen. The report's claim, and Marano's and Yon's impression. that the comfort women could go into town and buy whatever they wanted with 50 yen is absurd. The OWI report also stated that half the women were legally minors (under 21). Japan had signed the International Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Women and Children of 1910 and 1921 forbidding the trafficking of minors. So even if we do assume that 1) These women volunteered knowing full well they'd be sent to brothels (not true) 2) They had freedom to refuse service (also not true) The trafficking of minors was a huge breach of Human rights, let alone international law, at the time. I suppose a prostitute under 21 today would not be much of a shock. There are, after all, plenty of pornstars who are 18. Nonetheless, this was a blatant disregard for international law. Before either the pro-Korean or pro-Japanese side use this report it should be noted there are several drawbacks. The biggest being the number of comfort women interrogated, which the report claims was 20. Can we really generalize the experiences of 50,000-200,000 by citing the experiences of 20? It's impossible to assume that all comfort women were decieved, kidnapped, or that all volunteered through just by reading one report (as what many do on either side of the debate). Secondly the report recieved its information entirely from the two Japanese House masters. They would have undoubtedly gave information biased in their favour. Marano's and Yon's uncritical, no blatantly selective, use of passages from the report is just amazing. To claim the comfort women had free will and justify it with a report which refuted such a claim is beyond belief.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

WatchingStuff

You're such an honest politician.

There are no honest politicians. What, do you think Park seriously cares for these comfort women? If she did, there would already have been consequences for Japan, instead of just "moral pressure". She's clearly using them for an image-boost. It's not like Businessmen care either. And if Businessmen don't care, the chance is pretty high that politicians don't care. Why do you think that "time has been running out" for Tokyo without any real consequences for a while now?

If Park cared about these comfort women, she would have acted, not spoken.

Abe cares as much as Park does - no bit. You can assume that they're both equally aware of the other party not caring. This is exactly why these comfort women will never truly see justice. Park would never endanger economical ties that would benefit both countries in favor of "a few half-dead women who were raped in a war that is long over".

Abe probably knows this really well and will give no apology because he thinks SKorea can't touch him as it is right now. This would also explain Park's, as of now, empty threats. The only thing she can do is PR smear campaigns which can very well also backfire.

It seems heartless, but heartlessness is what politics are about. Sentiments such as "honesty" or "sincerity" have never had a place in politics. I thought history taught you people as much.

(I will probably get at least 15 downvotes from this, but I don't care as long as you get the big picture.)

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Furan, what can Park do? I think you're being a bit silly here.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

You can see the world biggest IDIOT here..

Mike Honda, athought he is Japanese american, who has been working against Japan because he is from where many Chinese and Korean American voters. He has been advocating the apology from Japan for comfort women.

Is he doing this for a justice? Because he is a good guy? He cares women so much? out of conscience?

Now the moment his true identity revealed. Facing the fact that there were comfort women exploited by American soliders as well.

.

Honda says "IT IS DIFFERENT."

https://koreasparkling.wordpress.com/2007/05/05/diggin-own-grave-rep-mike-honda/

.

How can it be different? Does he mean, "I feel sorry , all comfort women sexually exploited because by Japanese soliders"? and if he finds some of women actually served to American soliders, then all of suddent he won't feel sorry at all??

People USE history for their own reasoning.

But history sometimes has a biggest TWIST!!!!!

Shame on you, Mike Honda!

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

At least it is not like he said "I don't care about it".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mainstream historians say an estimated 200,000 women from Korea, China and other Asian nations were systematically raped by Japan’s imperial forces in military brothels. WHO are the mainstream historians? DO your home work for purely for historical reasons not political reasons. These historians used for a propaganda makes me sick,

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Yogi Zuna. I think Abe made his comment well. This is a Well balanced comment. More than that, it would have affected to the history. Then I would need to call him a revisionist. What you know is a propaganda.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is a lot of information in Japanese about the use of "comfort women" by US troops in Japan. And pictures. Maybe this is why the US government is not big on the issue.

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%89%B9%E6%AE%8A%E6%85%B0%E5%AE%89%E6%96%BD%E8%A8%AD%E5%8D%94%E4%BC%9A

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Again, just TRY to imagine the President of Germany not recognizing WW2 war crimes against jews and for Angela Merkel to visit war shrines dedicated to Hitler, Goebbels, etc. and then not apologize for the holocaust. Its the 21st century ffs

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@drakedogma Yasukuni Shrine is not dedicated to a Hitler or Geobbels. It is dedicated to all soldiers who died in wars. The class A criminals should not be enshrined there because they did not die in war. Only a far rightist would consider execution for war crimes to be dying in war. Neither emperor Hirohito nor Akihito has gone to Yasukuni since they were enshrined. Anyway, to get back on topic, there are vast records of "comfort women" (I don't like that term, but rather "sex slaves") on all sides of the war. There were mass rapes of Germans and French by US soldiers, and mass rapes of Chinese by Japanese soldiers. Again, I say the US is not big on the issue because of what would come out if there were a publication showing the sins of all sides against women.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

gokai_wo_maneku, there's a world of difference between some US troops using volunteer Japanese prostitutes who worked for money, versus Japanese troops using women who were deceived, and forced into sex slavery, unable to quit when they wanted to. This is just an attempt to muddy the issue and to deflect the criticism of Japanese views.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Translation: he couldn't care less about this issue, really.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You don't see him demanding the USA to apologize for the two atomic bombs they dropped on them. It's over and done with. Move on.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

There are 2 underlying and criticsl issues here. (1) japanese people have never been educated about the bad things they have done. It is not taught in schools or discussed in official channels. For example: When I tried to discuss the Nanjing Massacre and also comfort women issues with my 40 year old Japanese friend, she really did not believe it, and was fairly dismissive saying that all countries do bad things in war and that Japan had been victim of propaganda to justify America's use of the atom bomb (I am just repeating her view). No amount of discussion was sufficient to dissuade her view that there was no proof Japanese did anything wrong (presumably because she had not been taught the truth). (2) Just my view based on anecdotal evidence, but I think a majority of Japanese still are incredibly prejudiced towards nationals of most Asian nations and really look down on Chinese in particular, and also Koreans ( with the limited exception of some Korean celebrities at the youth level). Japan sees itself as a higher nation. I am not wanting to offend by saying this, but many Japanese believe mainland Chinese are dirty, rude, uncultured and money focused (translation: jealous of their economic success). It is difficult for politicians to apologize against the background of pervasive prejudicial thinking of this type. I hope and pray there will be strong leaders in Japan who will educate their young and help eradicate these prejudices, but until then, even were an apology to be made ( which is unlikely) it will not really be representative of broader Japanese opinion and so could not really be taken seriously. I really hope the next generation of Japanese will prove me wrong.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Shame on you, Mike Honda!

I suspect Mr. Honda welcomes your hate.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe says he is 'deeply pained' over 'comfort women'

We are all deeply pained by Mr Abe's inability to truly apologise

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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