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Academics call on Japan to face up to its history

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Germany remembers what happened, sincerely acknowledged its past wrongdoing and the world has accepted it and moved on.

Japan tries not to remember but to forget, and yet they still wonder why the world can't forget along with them.

Two differing approaches begetting two different outcomes. You reap what you sow.

36 ( +53 / -17 )

Totally agree with that (y)

17 ( +28 / -11 )

How many days has it been since yet another Japanese politician apologized? And, wait for it, ignored yet again?

Signatories of the letter include John W. Dower, professor emeritus of history at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose book “Embracing Defeat” masterfully tells the story of Japan’s rise from the ashes of WWII.

Nice plug John. 18 books. You must be proud.

-38 ( +18 / -56 )

Reformed Basher or Formed Lapdog? Your master must be very proud of you. Enjoy the free beer tonight at his table.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

All Abe needs to do is not give any inkling that he is refuting what happened during WW2, reinforce previous apologies (if he does not want to apologize), stop changing school text books, don't visit or send offerings to Yasukuni (unless the war criminals are taken out) and stop the equivalent of Nazis marching at Yasukuni. If Abe did those things (which are not extensive) it would take a lot of the wind out of their critics and put themselves on a similar footing as Germany and help the country to no end.

I know I will get the thumbs down and the usual comments that "Japan has already done this and that..." but to those commentators you should understand that like a lot of the people who make comments like mine its because we love Japan and want the very best for the country. By denying what happened during WW2 or trying to soften it does the country no favors and just holds it back.

33 ( +42 / -10 )

"sandhonour" - NO thumbs down!! You are right!

Those academics got it right, too and I can only hope that this will influence the Abe government! But I got my doubts, as always!

17 ( +25 / -8 )

Academics call on Japan to face up to its history

Hear hear

10 ( +20 / -10 )

Sandhonour

You are absolutely right. That is also exactly how I feel about this kind of issue, and about Japan. Just a tragic succession of avoidable own goals doing untold damage.

11 ( +15 / -5 )

Why don't we read the open letter, here?

https://networks.h-net.org/system/files/contributed-files/japan-scholars-statement-2015.5.4-eng_0.pdf

OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF HISTORIANS IN JAPAN

One of the most divisive historical issues is the so-called "comfort women" system. This issue has become so distorted by nationalist invective in Japan as well as in Korea and China that many scholars, along with journalists and politicians, have lost sight of the fundamental goal of historical inquiry, which should be to understand the human condition and aspire to improve it.

Exploitation of the suffering of former "comfort women" for nationalist ends in the countries of the victims makes an international resolution more difficult and further insults the dignity of the women themselves. Yet denying or trivializing what happened to them is equally unacceptable.

Historians disagree over the precise number of "comfort women," which will probably never be known for certain. Establishing sound estimates of victims is important. But ultimately, whether the numbers are judged to have been in the tens of thousands or the hundreds of thousands will not alter the fact of the exploitation carried out throughout the Japanese empire and its war zones.

15 ( +22 / -7 )

Would anyone see people in Nazi uniforms marching at the Brandenburg gate in Berlin? No. Yet here we have right-wing fools marching at Yasukuni shrine. It's high time Japan cured itself of its historical amnesia, confronted its past - and looked to the future free of shame.

22 ( +37 / -15 )

@AFP

Men in Imperial Army uniforms take part in a ceremony at the controversial Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, where 14 of Japan's top war criminals from WWII are buried

Stop rewriting history, Japan!

That's AFP's job!

14 ( +19 / -6 )

Would've been nice if these academics had handed the letter to Mr Abe while he was in the US recently. But we can't have everything

4 ( +15 / -11 )

I looked through the signers list. Why is there no historian in the list who wrote books on comfort women, such as C Sara Soh, Park Yu Ha, Yoshimi Yoshiaki, Hata Ikuhiko, George Lyndon Hicks, etc.?

-12 ( +11 / -23 )

Why is there no historian in the list who wrote books on comfort women, such as C Sara Soh, Park Yu Ha, Yoshimi Yoshiaki, Hata Ikuhiko, George Lyndon Hicks, etc.? because then those right wing nutters could cry foul, saying some of these academics have vested interests. since there are none then these academics are voicing there concerns about the path Japan is heading down. but there still be some pathetic excuses that people will make to try and discredit them

10 ( +17 / -7 )

Problem with Japan is that it was never cleansed of its militarist/imperialist past or denazified, as was the case for Germany. Japan actually wants to forget the past, that is what is unacceptable here. Abe is still playing same tricks to keep his idiot nationalists base.They are like donkeys, he keeps giving a bone to make them happy. Visit shrine, give offerings to show support. This kind of insincere apology is actually to fool his idiot constituency.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

If those historians really want to make an impact in Japan, why is there no japanese translation of this "letter" available? Just asking. They could buy an ad site in the asahi or mainichi newspapers.

Japan commited crimes during the war; fact. The japanese imperial army was actively involved in Human trafficking, they enslaved thousands of women and children from asian and some european countries and used them against their will as prostitutes. (Japanese author Jun Takami writes about this in his war diaries). The current japanese government denies the involvement of the japanese army but refuses to declassify documents from the war which could proove the involvement of the army.

But to critizice the japanese government is easy, you should not forget who was responsible to establish the powers and political system after the war. It was the US occupation forces. They purged thousands of left or liberal teachers, government workers, journalists, union members out of their jobs. And the ones who were resonsible for the whole mess were back in their old places in no time.

This is a huge difference from what happened in Germany.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Andreas ZachcialMay. 08, 2015 - 07:11PM JST

If those historians really want to make an impact in Japan, why is there no japanese translation of this "letter" available?

There is.

https://networks.h-net.org/system/files/contributed-files/japan-scholars-statement-2015.5.4-jpn_0.pdf

0 ( +8 / -8 )

If those historians really want to make an impact in Japan, why is there no japanese translation of this "letter" available? Just asking. They could buy an ad site in the asahi or mainichi newspapers.

There is already a lot of translation available on Japanese webs. This PDF is one of them.

https://networks.h-net.org/system/files/contributed-files/japan-scholars-statement-2015.5.4-jpn_0.pdf

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Thanks for the link. But in this way it can reach only a small group of japanese people who will be sharing the same view more or less already. Why not the more direct way and over an ad in the newspaper? (They could at least try it).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is.

This letter, like all of the "evidence" you posted above, was provided by people of little academic worth. This latter to the Japanese government on the other hand - was published by nearly 200 academics from various countries - including Pulitzer prize winners. That comes up trumps here

4 ( +9 / -5 )

*I read this letter.

https://networks.h-net.org/system/files/contributed-files/japan-scholars-statement-2015.5.4-eng_0.pdf

I couldn't agree more on below. .

"Such work must resist national and gender bias, and be free from goverment manipulation, censorship and private intimidation. We defend the freedom of historical nquiry , and we call upon all goverments to do the same"

"There is no easy path to a "correct history". Much of the archive of the Japanese imperial military was destroyed." .

And Internet is the key to solve these problems. It has a freedom of speech beyond nations, and also helps to find "lost" documents.

. I would love to ask two question

.

[QUESTION 1]-----------------------------------

On the spirit of "no easy path to a correct history", this letter needs to be open for debate as well. it needs to show the reference just like any scientific paper does, so that it clarifies and removes uncertainty. For example, the letter says

The actions of local procurers who provided women to the military may never have been recorded.

I thought it was recorded.

List of crime by Korean procurers kidnapping Korean women in Korea in newspaper. It also shows how much police tracking down theses pimps and help korean women.

http://dametv.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2013/09/news-c78b.html

Japanese Military official document from top

http://blog-imgs-53.fc2.com/r/o/b/roboukoishi/gunkanyo1.jpg

Classified Order No.745 by Japanese Army entitled "Regarding Recruites of Female Workers at Military Comfort Houses" issued on March 4, 1938 reads:

"Concerning the recruitment of female workers for organizing comfort houses at..., there are many cases that recruiters were apprehended and interrogated by the police authority due to their way of recruitment being similar to kidnapping.

Therefore, from this time forth, the recruitment shall be implemented under the control of dispatched armies..., so that the utmost caution shall be taken to conserve the dignity of the Army of Japan and prevent this matter from developing into a social problem.**

.

[QUESTION 2]-----------------------------------

On the spirit of freedom, I would love to ask,.... Is the US planning to face the comfort women for US soliders and apologize to them? Will it be on a high school text book ?

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

I am done. :)

*

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

CH3CHO its good you copied and pasted the open letter because it demonstrates why this issue will not go away and that why supporters such as yourself of Japan's current stance need to take another look at how you are approaching things and why it is difficult for you to build relations with your "cousins' across the sea.

You see in the open letter you copied and pasted, you only chose to highlight what served your means but failed to highlight the points made either preceding or after those parts such as "..This issue has become so distorted by nationalist invective in Japan as well as in Korea and China...". There is also "nationalist ends in the countries of the victims makes an international resolution more difficult and further insults the dignity of the women themselves. Yet denying or trivializing what happened to them is equally unacceptable. Then there is the last part which you have forgotten to highlight which essentially concludes why the comfort issue will not go away:

"But ultimately, whether the numbers are judged to have been in the tens of thousands or the hundreds of thousands will not alter the fact of the exploitation carried out throughout the Japanese empire and its war zones." and therein lies the root of your problem - the denial that such events occurred. Until you realize that you and your ilk will need to continue the head scratching....good luck with that.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Why' this even news.

-23 ( +7 / -29 )

The Japanese language version of the historians' statement was issued simultaneously with the English version, distributed by internet, sent to Japanese mass media, and to representatives of the Japanese government.

Here is the link to the English version:

https://networks.h-net.org/system/files/contributed-files/japan-scholars-statement-2015.5.4-eng_0.pdf

And here is the link to the Japanese version:

https://networks.h-net.org/system/files/contributed-files/japan-scholars-statement-2015.5.4-jpn_0.pdf

Both are dated May 4, 2015.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Christopher GlenMAY. 08, 2015 - 07:32PM JST

This letter, like all of the "evidence" you posted above, was provided by people of little academic worth. This latter to the Japanese government on the other hand - was published by nearly 200 academics from various countries - including Pulitzer prize winners. That comes up trumps here

Glen, I prefer quality argument to argument from authority. Nevertheless, if you believe these guys are authoritative, you might not like this lettter b/c if you read between the lines it is clear how weak "your side" is. The assertions are bold but when it comes to reviewing the evidence:

Much of the archive of the Japanese imperial military was destroyed.

It means "Speaking fairly, we don't have enough evidence. Instead of conceding defeat, we dream the evidence is in that burned pile."

The actions of local procurers who provided women to the military may never have been recorded

Translation "Again, we have no evidence."

But historians have unearthed numerous documents demonstrating the military’s involvement in the transfer of women and oversight of brothels.

The bar is being ridiculously lowered here. If they arrested a brothel owner for bad behavior, that would count as oversight and escorting a convoy with said women will be "involvement" in the transfer of women. Having to use such words would seem to belie the absence of truly strong documentation.

But ultimately, whether the numbers are judged to have been in the tens of thousands or the hundreds of thousands will not alter the fact of the exploitation carried out throughout the Japanese empire and its war zones.

The high-end numbers are probably unsubstantiable, so their importance is downplayed in preparation for a total defeat.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Academics the world over can complain all they want but Abe will be deaf to their call. He will not listen to anyone who is not in lock-step with his way of thinking and policies.

If NHK publishes the letter, people in the country will take it as fact and THEN the government will need to take action. Never happen, but nice to dream about.

7 ( +10 / -4 )

I don't know Shimazaki San, I kind of have to agree with Glen San here, there is a some quality there and not just authority. I haven't met that many Pulitzer prize winners at my local matsuri let alone at my old University and I doubt whether I will get the chance to meet one! As for saying the academics don't have any evidence clearly they do but because they are educated and well adjusted individuals and understand that there are vested interests on both sides i.e. Japan & Korea/China they are giving a balanced and reasoned view.

The other thing you need to have a think about relative to what you wrote is that if you committed a crime would you keep evidence of it? If you say "Yes" then please let me suggest that you don't join your local yak association.

8 ( +9 / -2 )

Glen, I prefer quality argument to argument from authority. Nevertheless, if you believe these guys are authoritative, you might not like this lettter b/c if you read between the lines it is clear how weak "your side" is. The assertions are bold but when it comes to reviewing the evidence:

Some of these guys won Pulitzer prizes. I think they know their history better than Mr Abe and his friends

6 ( +11 / -4 )

Andreas ZachcialMay. 08, 2015 - 07:11PM JST

The current japanese government denies the involvement of the japanese army but refuses to declassify documents from the war which could proove the involvement of the army.

All the relevant documents were disclosed here. http://www.awf.or.jp/e6/document.html

sandhonourMay. 08, 2015 - 07:42PM JST

You see in the open letter you copied and pasted, you only chose to highlight what served your means

Just compare the AFP article and the original open letter by the historians. I do not think I need to hi-light the parts already mentioned in the article. What is worth talking about in the comment section is what is NOT mentioned.

Christopher GlenMay. 08, 2015 - 07:32PM JST

This letter, like all of the "evidence" you posted above, was provided by people of little academic worth. This latter to the Japanese government on the other hand - was published by nearly 200 academics from various countries - including Pulitzer prize winners. That comes up trumps here.

The English version and the Japanese version are signed by the same 200 academics including Pulizter winners.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

The English version and the Japanese version are signed by the same 200 academics including Pulizter winners.

If that is the case, supporting links to these "Pulitzer prize" signators please. As for content posted which is right-wing in origin, I regard it with extreme suspicion.

All the relevant documents were disclosed here

This is a case in point. The fact is, there is not a single mainstream historian who believes a single word of Japan's version of WW2 history. What does that tell you?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Andreas ZachcialMay. 08, 2015 - 07:29PM JST

Thanks for the link. But in this way it can reach only a small group of japanese people who will be sharing the same view more or less already. Why not the more direct way and over an ad in the newspaper? (They could at least try it).

The open letter has already been reported by many of the main stream Japanese news media.

NHK http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20150507/k10010072281000.html

NTV http://www.news24.jp/articles/2015/05/08/10274561.html#__utma=1.1361579374.1431085865.1431085865.1431085865.1&__utmb=1.2.9.1431085881689&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1431085865.1.1.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&__utmv=-&__utmk=190551595

Asahi http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASH575KGGH57UHBI01Y.html

Mainichi http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20150507k0000e030103000c.html

Sankei http://www.sankei.com/world/news/150507/wor1505070046-n1.html

Toyo Keizai http://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/68890

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

Much of the archive of the Japanese imperial military was destroyed. It means "Speaking fairly, we don't have enough evidence. Instead of conceding defeat, we dream the evidence is in that burned pile." The actions of local procurers who provided women to the military may never have been recorded Translation "Again, we have no evidence."

They obviously have evidence otherwise they wouldn't state that Comfort women and Japanese massacres happened now would they.

You really believe that these historians have some reason to attack Japan don't you. They have no interest in authentic historical research, they simply want to discredit Japan because, oh I don't know they hate Japanese, right?

You and a lot of people in Japan seem to have a very deep inferiority complex and/or are paranoid that everyone who says something negative about Japan just say it because they hate Japan.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

They obviously have evidence otherwise they wouldn't state that Comfort women and Japanese massacres happened now would they.

Actually your logic is misplaced, it's because there is no evidence they can state that there were no massacres or comfort women issues and it's all in the "figment of their imaginations".

If there was actually evidence, (there is little if any on the Japanese side because they burned it all) it would be much harder to deny.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think a lot of right-wing Japanese people (such as the poster above) are very satisfied with the current situation.

They are satisfied because they can spend all their time denying certain actions that they believe didn't happen.

Deny, deny, deny... that's all they have do...

I suppose every country has committed atrocities. Mine included.

Based on the excellent research of my own country's historians, I want to learn about the atrocities my country has committed.

I also think those terrible things should be discussed openly and taught at secondary school. TV documentaries should be made about them.

I think if I spent all my time and energy denying things rather than talking about the atrocities that happened (based on the research of my own country's historians)... well, I would be a very strange person.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

But it says an apparent refusal by some on the right

I can't say I hear "some on the left" saying anything different to "some on the right", but anyways...

I guess someone has heard of all these scholars, and they might have a good point but this right / left nonsense doesn't have anything to do with it so far as I can tell.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese neto-uyo would have us believe that everybody is in on the same lie about sex slaves in the Japanese Imperial Army, except the Japanese politicians who are telling the truth.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I also think those terrible things should be discussed openly and taught at secondary school. TV documentaries should be made about them. I think if I spent all my time and energy denying things rather than talking about the atrocities that happened (based on the research of my own country's historians)... well, I would be a very strange person.

It would also just go to show that you are not Japanese too. To openly admit and apologize for a fault means having to take responsibility for the action, hence Abe's being unwilling and actually unable to say those two little words.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I know a woman who told me her father told her while a soldier in Manchuria during WW2 there were comfort women for them to use. According to him he went to the woman's room when it was his turn but did not have sex with her. He talked with her for the "appropriate" time before making way for the next. There must be more first hand "confessions" collected out there surely? NHK, isn't it time for a quality, accurate, warts and all drama of that period like the remarkable "Un Village Francais" about WW2 occupied France?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@choiwaruoyaji

Based on the excellent research of my own country's historians, I want to learn about the atrocities my country has committed.

Good for you, glad you can beat yourself up about your country's past. Thumbs up. Personally I like to look back on the British Empire NOT as a force of evil. I don't deny what the Empire did was wrong at times, but I don't curl up in a ball and beg forgiveness from the ancestors of those killed in the name of Queen Victoria or King George. What was done by my ancestors has nothing to do with me... and neither should the post war Japanese generations be made to feel guilty. This constant mud slinging really needs to stop: if people don't want to learn about their country's past wrongs that's up to them. Then again I bet you most of the population of Japan knows perfectly well what was done by the IJA, but you know what... who are we to tell them what to think? I keep getting told I shouldn't tell the Japanese to stop whaling because it's their country... fair enough, so why is it okay to tell them to apologise for something that happened 70 years ago?

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Christopher Glenn

This is a case in point. The fact is, there is not a single mainstream historian who believes a single word of Japan's version of WW2 history. What does that tell you?

It tells me you've never read anything by Howard Zinn.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I read through CH3CO's Japanese media links to this story, including NHK, and all of them are reporting that the world historians are on Japan's side. This is basically how the Japanese media is reporting this story to their people, and now the Japanese people who are reading this story are probably thinking that the world historians are on their side. Japanese media is now a total joke. It's state controlled propaganda machine.

Japan's government is putting pressure on their papers to report this and spin them into supporting their positions. Japan likes to tout freedom of speech when there are hate protest marches, but when it involves freedom of speech that goes against government position, that all comes crashing down. Japanese government now even threatened to close down a peace museum that has exhibits of Japan's war time aggressions. The Japanese government made them remove all the offending articles that goes counter to what Japan wants the world to see.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

YubaruMAY. 08, 2015 - 09:08PM JST They obviously have evidence otherwise they wouldn't state that Comfort women and Japanese massacres happened now would they. Actually your logic is misplaced, it's because there is no evidence they can state that there were no massacres or comfort women issues and it's all in the "figment of their imaginations". If there was actually evidence, (there is little if any on the Japanese side because they burned it all) it would be much harder to deny.

Your'e wrong, there is ample evidence. There are hundreds of from eyewitnesses testimonies. The evidence is overwhelming, and that's precisely why we find it in every text book in the world! The only thing difficult to say for sure is the numbers involved.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Lots great remarks here!! All the usual pro-Japan commentators are awfully quiet.

The renowned "world scholars" and their institutions / Pulitzer Prize winners and other academics are finally confronting Japan openly. I'm loving it too-

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This is basically what all the Japanese media are reporting.

187 world historians stated their position on the question of WWII history, to support and encourage peace and friendship in Asia. They supported the position that history be stated without any prejudice. The letter will be delivered to Prime Minister Abe. The letter says it praises Japan's efforts of democracy but states the issue of Comfort Women is becoming a problem. It says this is becoming a problem due to nationalism from South Korea and China who have distorted the facts surrounding the comfort women issue. The letter also said research on history should not be interfered by governments and should be free. The letter also praised Prime Minister Abe for his speech in the congress, and the letter stated that everyone should work to promote peace and friendship in Asia by looking at the past history's wrong doings without prejudice.

I would like to point out, they are not even reporting the rest of the letter. They just totally cut off the meat of the letter and interpreting the letter as they fit.

Japan media a total joke.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

@Thunderbird2

I think you have completely misunderstood my post.

you can beat yourself up about your country's past.

I don't do that and am not suggesting that.

but I don't curl up in a ball and beg forgiveness

I don't do that either.

But I am interested in learning about my country's history in an honest and objective manner.

I bet you most of the population of Japan knows perfectly well what was done by the IJA

It's interesting that you should say that. Please try asking your Japanese acquaintances.

Japanese people sometimes say to me, "Oh, yes, Japan did some bad things during WW2" but when I ask them "Exactly what bad things?" the majority won't or can't say or else (very reluctantly) give one vague example, usually with the excuse that "well, all countries do such things in wartime".

Please try asking your Japanese friends about exactly what atrocities they will accept were committed by Japan.

It's interesting to get their reaction.

By the way, as an example, here is link to Japanese wartime behavior on the island of Nauru.

http://www.japanfocus.org/-Yuki-TANAKA/3441/article.html

It's strange... there isn't any mention of this history on the Japanese Wikipedia page for Nauru...

who are we to tell them what to think?

Not me... and this is exactly my point.

People from all countries should look hard at their own country's history, based on the excellent research of their own country's historians.

You seemed to miss that.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"It tells me you've never read anything by Howard Zinn."

Howard Zinn, the self-described anarchist/socialist, is a mainstream historian? Jeepers creepers!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Your'e wrong, there is ample evidence. There are hundreds of from eyewitnesses testimonies. The evidence is overwhelming, and that's precisely why we find it in every text book in the world! The only thing difficult to say for sure is the numbers involved.

You don't get it, there is NO Japanese evidence, hence the Japanese refusing to admit there was anything from their side that they did wrong. All of THEIR evidence was burned, rather conveniently, and since the IJA and the Emperor were not held responsible for what occurred history has been blurred (to say the least) from the Japanese side.

While the world agree's with what happened Japan doesnt, and until Japan DOES there is little that can be done but continually bitch and complain, and as the people sadly pass away, from the Japanese point of view...this too will pass.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yubaru

You don't get it, there is NO Japanese evidence, hence the Japanese refusing to admit there was anything from their side that they did wrong. All of THEIR evidence was burned, rather conveniently, and since the IJA and the Emperor were not held responsible for what occurred history has been blurred (to say the least) from the Japanese side.

What are you talking about man. Are you saying every country has evidence about historical events that they withhold from historians around the world? Are you forgetting that America had access to pretty much anything they wanted access to after the war given that they governed the country.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Generally, about 90% of Japanese politicians do respect and understand the feings of the countries Japan invaded in the first half of last century. However, there is a minority of right-wing block-heads that continually attempt to downplay and deny the events of Japan's imperial rule of Asia. This is where the problems come from. And, sadly, the current prime minister is one of the minority. Japan only has to silence these right-wing twits and it would stop the animosity. They also have to stop editing history textbooks.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

As these scholars & their alma mater continue to press Japan's buttons, look for more denial. Especially when the media tries to (which it eventually will) sell it to the masses.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Serrano

Zinn is taught in High Schools in the US, and is required reading (in whole or in part) )in a fair chunk of the undergrad level history courses dealing with US history in the English speaking world. Probably one of the very very few historians the average man in the street could name - does that constitute "mainstream"?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Question: why are so many of you posters here who are apart of the gaijin community so dogmatic when it comes to Japan apologizing? I mean, if you're not Chinese or Korean what gives? If you're American, English, or Australian, stick to the Christian script you were most likely brought up with: let he who is without sin cast the first stone!

What's with apologies in terms of war? Japan did what it did simply because it could. They were lions; the others were prey. No need to apologize for strength.

We can get moralistic, but nature doesn't recognize that. Only strength is honered by her.

Yes, with the evolution of consciousness comes responsibility, but we are still beasts by nature. War has been with us from the beginning.

Apologies are for the weak! The strong neither need or want such things. They move on!

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

Nice plug John. 18 books. You must be proud.

Just read this story, and I was immediately wondering how many posts it would take before someone would attack the messenger(s), which is the standard, knee-jerk reaction of all Japanophiles to any criticism. Luckily, I was not disappointed, as ReformedBasher was the 4th poster. When will you folks realize that kind of response does not do Japan any good, as it only makes Japan look more immature, and even guilty to anyone looking at things objectively.

“This year presents an opportunity for the government of Japan to show leadership by addressing Japan’s history of colonial rule and wartime aggression in both words and action,” the letter says.

I guess the answer to my question is in the above line from the letter. Despite your "love" for Japan, you recognize that Japan is wholely incapable of showing leadership on this issue, so it is easier to try to throw mud at however makes the point -- does not matter who, noted international scholars, SK, China, U.S. Congress, etc.. Because sligning mud is so much easier than owning something.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Yes we all know that. During World War II, many atrocities happened. Americans did it too like the Germans and their allies. Wonder if there was a sincere apology made by the American militaries to Japanese women.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

@Mr. Noidall

Question: why are so many of you posters here who are apart of the gaijin community so dogmatic when it comes to Japan apologizing? I mean, if you're not Chinese or Korean what gives? If you're American, English, or Australian, stick to the Christian script you were most likely brought up with: let he who is without sin cast the first stone!

White supremacy/ethnocentrism—Let's face it, it does exist. Ask any non-white people.

50-cent party a.k.a paid trolls and keyboard warriors—They do, too, exist. You see some posters on other news sites. You see their names on Disqus and Facebook and same old comments. They are on it for 24/7.

Comments section is much more neutral on JT Facebook. You'd see much less posters with some political agenda and more people who simply express love and friendship towards Japan and other countries. Why? Because FB holds less anonymity. No silent downvoters, either.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

.Most of Korean comfort women were professional prostitutes and most of them were fooled and humantrafficked and scamed by Korean agents NOT by Japanese. Korean professor Pak Yuha of Sejong University researched these facts and made it clear to the public but she was threatened by Korean public because she told the truth. There is no freedom of press and speech in Korea. Koreans want to hide these misdeeds commited by Korean. During Korean war, Korean government helped establich brothels managed by Korean agents, who bought comfort women from their parents. Lately these sex slaves filed suits against Korean government but they were ignored. During Vietnam war, Korean soldiers raped numerous Vietmam women. It is true some of Asian women were made sex slaves by Japanese army but how can you say all the comfort women were forced to be a sex slave? US service men raped too many Asian women. Can we say all the US service men are rapist? even now US army had comfort women paid by US army in Afganistan NYtimes said" a Filipino prostitute in Afghanistan was put on the Blackwater payroll under the “Morale Welfare Recreation” category, and that the company had billed the prostitute’s plane tickets and monthly salary to the government" How do US react to that? Why don't Academics call on USA and Korea to face up to its shameful history? .http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/11/us/11suit.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=prostitute%20%20filipino%20%20%2020afganistan&st=cse

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

sandhonourMAY. 08, 2015 - 08:23PM JST

The other thing you need to have a think about relative to what you wrote is that if you committed a crime would you keep evidence of it? If you say "Yes" then please let me suggest that you don't join your local yak association.

My reply to this is simply to appeal to Western legal tradition. You can't expect people to self-incriminate. If the pile that's left is not big enough, it's an acquittal.

I agree that the names sound pretty impressive. My beef is the quality of their argument. The assertion is strong but when it comes to the evidence pile, it is wishy-washy and seems like they are preparing to retreat before the battle is even fought. They don't for example say "There is strong evidence the Japanese military directly coerced TWO HUNDRED thousand women". Rather, they go for wishy-washy words like "involvement" and "the numbers are being debated".

They also complain about destruction of evidence - as you point out, you expect people to burn evidence, and if you still got a nice pile, you don't bother complaining about people burning evidence and get right on to showing how the pile you have could convict him.

Considering the feelings of the average American (or Westerner for the matter, and most of these guys seem to come from American universities) on this issue, if the evidence is good enough for it, a strong unambiguous statement is good. The only real reason to give a wishy-washy statement is so that they can fall back if whacked.

The worst thing is, Japan actually tried to do something of what they propose b/w 1990 and 1995 - to issue something apologetic sounding and even some cash without being too fussy about the exact numbers or the exact degree of "involvement" or coercion. Korea (especially) chose to maximally exploit this generosity (so badly even our dear Pulitzer winners feel obliged to say something about it) on both degrees.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

CH3CHO, you and your kind and Japanese media keep loudly touting one tiny part of the letter and hold it as if these historians are backing Japan, while completely ignoring the rest of the letter. Why do you think the 187 world historians addressed the letter to Mr. Abe? Because they support him, or because they couldn't just sit there and do nothing while Mr. Abe continue to rewrite and beautify Japan's record in WWII? Be honest here, please. Speaking of honesty, why is it that only Asahi managed to print the letter word for word, yet all the rest of Japanese media completely filtered the letter to make Japan look good to her people? I didn't include Asahi as part of the "Japanese media", because Japan discredited Asahi for "fabricating the comfort women".

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Whenever a Japanese official apologizes, another one denies it. No wonder the Chinese and Koreans keep on demanding sincere apology from Japan. Japanese of conscience keep apologizing, and Japanese right wingers keep denying. This give impression that the apologies were not sincere and the victims keep demanding for sincere apology. This cycle has no end in sight. It is typical vague comments by Japanese politicians which are meant to satisfy both parties in an issue. So, if you expect an apology over the matter you are clearly going to be disappointed. When the Japanese politician apologizes, take it with a grain of salt. They were only trying to make “people think they apologized" but it is not their real intention.

It’s true that East Asia is still divided by the memory of war that had torn it apart. When Japanese politicians pay tribute to the Yasukuni shrine, they are also paying tribute, whether they intend to or not, to an imperial order in which Japan violently controlled its neighbors. Every year, over 100 high ranking Japanese politicians goes to Yasukuni to pray in front of 14 Class A, including Abe few years ago. Maybe the ill advised Japanese politicians action of going to Yasukuni speaks louder than words and the perception by the neighboring countries are interpreted as insincere apology. That era is over and Japan’s economy is shrinking and its population declining as both China and South Korea rise in power and stature. But as long as Japan’s leaders continue living in the past, they will struggle to prepare their country for its future.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Question: why are so many of you posters here who are apart of the gaijin community so dogmatic when it comes to Japan apologizing? I mean, if you're not Chinese or Korean what gives? If you're American, English, or Australian, stick to the Christian script you were most likely brought up with: let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Actually, the Christian "script" is:

AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' 31"The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

Which, as a Christian we believe that, on the times when you do mistreat your neighbor, a sincere, heart-felt apology is required to cleanese one's soul .. You have heard of confession have you not? And Japan's semantics/word-smithing around this for almost 70 years now, is the exact opposite of this.

But, religious beliefs aside, as a U.S. citizen, who's tax dollars go to the collective defense of both Japan and SK, it makes me sick to know that Japan is keeping that alliance from being as effective as it could be, due to its refusal to adequately address its past. So, we have every right to be "dogmatic", as you put it.

Yes we all know that. During World War II, many atrocities happened. Americans did it too like the Germans and their allies. Wonder if there was a sincere apology made by the American militaries to Japanese women.

The second knee-jerk reaction by Japanphiles: "But Mommy, lots of kids were doing it too." Grow up folks. Morality is absolute, not realtive. You either look into your soul and decide what you did was wrong, or not. And if it was, you own up to it, not hide behind what others may or may not have done. And I guess you missed the part of the letter that said:

The scholars argue that even by the standards of wartime sexual violence and military prostitution in the last century, Japan’s so-called comfort women system “was distinguished by its large scale and systematic management under the military”.

So, even by relative comparison, Japan's actions were disgusting.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

jersey boy thank you for replying to Mr Noidall. I would like to add the following:

Question: why are so many of you posters here who are apart of the gaijin community so dogmatic when it comes to Japan apologizing?

Because they understand the damage that Japan's denial or softening of its WW2 past does to the country and want the best for Japan. A lot of the people who write on these boards "criticizing" Japan live here, have Japanese wives or partners or have lived in the country for a fair amount of time and just want the country to have better relations with its 2 main neighbors Korea and China. "Yes" it goes both ways meaning China and Korea need to stop harping on but why does Japan need to give them an excuse especially when terrible things did occur. It defies all logic and sense. Govts like Abe don't help that cause at all either.

As for the comment:

**What's with apologies in terms of war? Japan did what it did simply because it could. They were lions; the others were prey. No need to apologize for strength.

We can get moralistic, but nature doesn't recognize that. Only strength is honered by her.**

Well if Japan during the war acted like nature it would take only what it needed to feed and then move on. I am no David Attenborough (see BBC nature documentaries) but nature is tough but also fair. It neither tortures nor incarcerates a people. Unfortunately Japan did partake in the prior sentence. So comparing Japan's act of war as an act of nature is off mark.

Some commentators have made comments well the white people did it during the colonial times etc and they don't have to apologize so why should we? Well the difference here is 1) they don't deny it 2) they don't try to obfuscate it by saying it was only 2,000 not 200,000 and lastly fortunately or unfortunately (for the right wingers out there) WW2 was probably the first war where it was well documented on film or records retained (that were purposely destroyed) so the memory does not easily fade. Welcome to the 21st Century!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

This seems interesting.

Academics vs Academics

I have been looking for a paper submitted to American Historical Association (AHA) by Jason Morgan, a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin. It is the counter claim against 19 historians for the serious distortion of academic freedom. 19 historicans among those in this open letter. I can only find the newspaper article that cited his paper, and not being able to find his paper itself. :(

. .

Article of Sankei newspaper that introduced Morgan's paper.

http://www.sankei.com/column/news/150502/clm1505020007-n1.html

English Translation above article is below [Source for below translation] http://white.ap.teacup.com/nishitatsu1234/3168.html

Academic freedom seems to be still thriving even in the U.S. Concerning argument by 19 historians on the U.S. side who impeached the protest by Japanese side against wrong descriptions in an U.S history textbook regarding comfort women issue, sharp criticism is projected by a rising American scholar.

.

It is the criticism to say it is scholars on the U.S side who don't seriously watch the facts regarding comfort women issue, and contain rational protest by Japanese side with the words of incomprehensible booing of "right-wingers" and "revisionism."

.

It is Jason Morgan, a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin, a researcher over Japanese history who expressed the criticism, and took a form of posting on the bulletin of American Historical Association (AHA). Even though he is a new comer as a scholar, 37 years old. He has many involvement in Asia, and has unique career such as lived in China and South Korea for the sake of survey, and managed a translation company for four years in Japan, then returned to the academic world in the U.S. Now, he is studying legal system history of Japan as a Fulbright Fellow at Waseda University.

.

The beginning of Morgan criticized his senior historians on U.S side is the descriptions in the textbook published by McGraw-Hill Education in the U.S. As you know, the textbook says that "Japanese military forces killed many comfort women" and "comfort women were gift to the forces from the emperor," based on the fiction of "Japanese military forces systematically forcibly took away 200 thousands females."

.

In last November, Japanese Foreign Ministry required correction to the publisher and authors, but rejected by both. In response to this move, in last March, scholars on U.S side released the statement to say that the descriptions in the textbook were correct, and the protest by Japanese side was violation against freedom of academic and speech.

.

Concerning the statement, Prof. Alexis Dudden at the University of Connecticut, who is well known for her impeachment against Japan regarding comfort women issue, took a main role, and totally 19 persons signed that such as Prof. Carol Gluck at Columbia University and Prof. Herbert Ziegler at University of Hawaii who is an author of the questioned descriptions in the textbook. The points of the statement was placed on the March issue of the monthly bulletin of AHA in the form of a statement, represented by Dudded.

.

Morgan compiled the counter argument against this statement in the later half of April, then posted that on the bulletin. He also released that on another web site and so on. The points of the counter argument are as follows;

.

The statement by 19 persons criticizes the Tokyo's argument of raising the facts regarding comfort women as suppression of speech. But it doesn't show that facts as the ground of criticism.

.

The statement adopts the survey by Yoshiaki Yoshimi as the only logical ground of "the theory of 200 thousands forcible taking away." But even he admits that there are no evidences of forcible taking away.

.

The statement violates the basic moral of historian by ignoring the false reporting by the Asahi Shimbun and false testimonies by Seiji Yoshida that U.S researchers obviously depended. .

The statement deals with the Japanese side that raising the facts regarding comfort women with insulting labeling words "right-wingers," "revisionism" and so on, and rejects serious discussion.

.

The statement treats the Tokyo's move as equal to suppression of speech by a dictatorship state such as China, and ignores the record of they themselves have implemented survey with the fund offered by Tokyo's institution(s).

.

Morgan, who expressed above mentioned argument, emphasized that "I think that the conditions that nobody in the Japanese history academic world in the U.S. opposes the clearly wrong opinion by these 19 persons is the serious distortion of academic freedom." I want to think that a new wind is born among the researchers in the U.S. about Japan that have no ear to hear the argument based on the facts on Japanese side regarding comfort women issue.

I already know that one of leading figures among 19 historicans and this open letter is

Prof Alexis Dudden at the University of Connecticut......

I checked about her, gosh,...she is far from neutral view, claiming that Dokto island,disputed island between Korea and Japan belongs to Korea. I can smell "Politics" here.. :(

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Oh c'mon! This again? Really? Guilt trips. So according to this logic, I should ask the children of the man who murdered my father for an apology, and i should constantly harass them yea? Even though they had nothing to do with it? Dumb... Really dumb.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

hachikou May. 09, 2015 - 07:29AM JST It is the counter claim against 19 historians for the serious distortion of academic freedom. The beginning of Morgan criticized his senior historians on U.S side is the descriptions in the textbook published by McGraw-Hill Education in the U.S. As you know, the textbook says that "Japanese military forces killed many comfort women" and "comfort women were gift to the forces from the emperor," based on the fiction of "Japanese military forces systematically forcibly took away 200 thousands females."

Based on fiction? Approximately 75 percent (3 out of 4) of Korean and Chinese comfort women died in WWII, and most survivors were left infertile due to sexual trauma or sexually-transmitted disease. Can you say the same today? The women cried out, but it didn't matter to Japanese soldiers whether the women lived or died. They were the emperor's soldiers. Whether in military brothels or in the villages, these soldiers raped without reluctance and beatings and physical torture were said to be common. In the “Comfort Station” many were systematically beaten and raped day and night. Even the Japanese doctor raped many of them each time he visited the brothel to examine us for venereal disease. Some were forced into slavery even when they were not old enough to have started menstruating. After the war, the court testimonies state that these prepubescent girls were repeatedly raped by Japanese soldiers while those who refused to comply were executed.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

But, religious beliefs aside, as a U.S. citizen, who's tax dollars go to the collective defense of both Japan and SK, it makes me sick to know that Japan is keeping that alliance from being as effective as it could be, due to its refusal to adequately address its past. So, we have every right to be "dogmatic", as you put it.

This is a severe case of bending over backwards to make a bogus point! You need to be worried about most of your taxes being spent on militarization, publically funded private enterprises, and other domestic scams before you chide Japan dogmatically about something that happened seventy years ago.

Some commentators have made comments well the white people did it during the colonial times etc and they don't have to apologize so why should we? Well the difference here is 1) they don't deny it 2) they don't try to obfuscate it by saying it was only 2,000 not 200,000 and lastly fortunately or unfortunately (for the right wingers out there) WW2 was probably the first war where it was well documented on film or records retained (that were purposely destroyed) so the memory does not easily fade. Welcome to the 21st Century!

Yeah, welcome to the 21st century where many white people refuse to admit white supremacy even exists. Welcome to the 21st century where America mobilizes its imperialism in the guise of freedom and democracy. Why don't you ask America to apologize to Iraq and Afghanistan for killing hundreds of thousands and more of civilians? I doubt your living in Japan is affected by the tensions between these Asian nations. It seems you're just working overtime to hijack a cause. Your time in Japan could be better spent than harping on Japan about something that you have no personal connection with. You only know it through what you said yourself: documentaries. <>

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

sfjp330

I am here open to anything.

Approximately 75 percent (3 out of 4) of Korean and Chinese comfort women died in WWII

Died because of what? 75percent is a number. So would you please write a reference that supports what you wrote? Link to document? So that we can share the knowledge? Make this board more meaningful with full of knowledge. Also I will check your source to see any other equivalent / contradictory source.

And there are many Japanese comfort women as well, what happened to them, did 75 percent of them die too?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

What are you talking about man. Are you saying every country has evidence about historical events that they withhold from historians around the world? Are you forgetting that America had access to pretty much anything they wanted access to after the war given that they governed the country.

Did I say that? No, what I am saying is that JAPAN tells everyone since there is no proof, from their side, that the stories are over exaggerated and that all apologies were made and reparations paid. There should be no further need for any more.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@hachikou

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women ‎ Comfort women were women and girls (plus a small number of men) who .... Korean women comprised 51.8 percent, Chinese 36 percent and Japanese 12.2 percent. ... Approximately three quarters of comfort women died, and most survivors ...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Then again I bet you most of the population of Japan knows perfectly well what was done by the IJA,

No, they do not. As this link shows http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21226068 Written by a Japanese correspondent too

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Whilst I am generally very supportive of Japan as a whole, this thing from the far right oyajis about so called "revisions", "watering downs" of past apologies and "re-clarifications" is occurring on a FAR too regular basis, brings great anger to me , and in my opinion, nothing practically good has come out of it, only ammunition for China's state sponsored ultra-nationalistic racial hate machine masquerading as "patriotism" that does nothing good for Japan, and only helps the PRC in their diversionary tactics from their own domestic issues.

PLEASE STOP doing it. The apologies were done in the past (Murayama in 1995) so please let that one be and let it stick. If you don't want to listen to the pandering arguments that's fine. I'm also very aware of the very real potential that China will not truly bury the hatchet IF the "apology they seek" is truly offered up (having a boogeyman on a speed dial to help divert attention from all those pesky internal issues is really irresistible for a one party government). But ask yourself what PRACTICAL good has it done for Japan as a whole. Think practically please.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

PLEASE STOP doing it. The apologies were done in the past (Murayama in 1995) so please let that one be and let it stick.

Really? Then why did these people not heed that advice? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1544471/Japanese-PM-denies-wartime-comfort-women-were-forced.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/shinzo-abes-inability-to-face-history/2013/04/26/90f5549c-ae87-11e2-a986-eec837b1888b_story.html http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/ishihara-agrees-with-nagoya-mayors-nanjing-massacre-denial

As other posters have said, one official makes an apology, then a whole bunch of others deny it. That shows one thing to the world: insincerity

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Really? Then why did these people not heed that advice? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1544471/Japanese-PM-denies-wartime-comfort-women-were-forced.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/shinzo-abes-inability-to-face-history/2013/04/26/90f5549c-ae87-11e2-a986-eec837b1888b_story.html http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/ishihara-agrees-with-nagoya-mayors-nanjing-massacre-denial As other posters have said, one official makes an apology, then a whole bunch of others deny it. That shows one thing to the world: insincerity

Did I say I supported Ishihara's view? Stop cherry picking what I was saying please. You've only said the same thing as I was stating, and that's the whole ANNOYING as HELL thing about why they can't just let that stick and have to keep on "revising", and "clarifying", and whatever name they like to spin up to make themselves feel better.

It's definitely not doing Japan any practical good, is it?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well, true enough. It can all be traced back to SCAP's decision to exempt the emperor of any responsibility for war crimes (while hanging a few scapegoats) and pardoning the rest - including Abe's grandfather. Thus Japanese people have never truly accepted responsibility for what happened. Interestingly enough, public sentiment in the 1950s in the leadup to the US security treaty was very pacifist. While China's economy was seen to be weaker than Japan's that kept the nationalists in check a little bit. Now China has overtaken Japan for no 2 spot - it has given the nationalists an excuse to "beat their drum". All dissenting sentiment is being drowned out by their noise.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Abe"s "tendency" to whitewash the past is in fact a conspiracy of the Japanese right wind, from the LDP to the nationalist generational terrorists to create a wall consisting of big lies. The comfort women issue is one thing. Unit 731 is another. The US did not punish Ishi Shiro and his fellow monsters but were put on the U.S. payroll.

What happened before could happen again, with the same results.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@sfjp330

Thanks for the information. First, let me say Wikipedia about comfort woman, Japanese site and English site are very different. It is almost like we need 4 of them, Japanese interpretation, English interpretation, and each for Japanese language and English language...

. .

CLAIM "only 25percent Comfort women survived" in Wikipedia

Is this true?????

I was able to track to the root for its credibility as below. .

[Start]

Wikipedia "Approximately three quarters of comfort women died" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women#cite_note-53

|

citing

|

"It is estimated that only 25 percent of the comfort women survived" Supranational Criminal Prosecution of Sexual Violence,page 8 53 de Brouwer, Anne-Marine 2005 http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=JhY8ROsA39kC&dq=war+rape+in+ancient+times&q=comfort#v=snippet&q=comfort&f=false

|

citing

|

"Of the twenty-five percent who survived ", page 92 War Crimes Against Women: Prosecution in International War Crimes Tribunals By Kelly Dawn Askin http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=ThfzGvSvQ2UC&q=comfort+woman#v=onepage&q=308&f=false citing 308,Parker Chew

|

citing

|

Karen Parker and Jeniffer Chew,1994 Karen Parker and Jennifer Chew wrote "Only about 25 per cent of these women are said to have survived these daily abuses." citing the Arafune's baseless statement http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seijuro_Arafune#cite_ref-5

|

citing

|

[End]

Wikipedia Seijuro Arafune says "There are claims that 142,000 Korean comfort women are dead, killed by the Japanese military's sexual abuses".

None of Arafune figures have any basis whatsoever. ....... Moreover, at that time, no mention was made of comfort women.[2] However many reports and books cited this figure directly or indirectly as if the figure is a fact**

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seijuro_Arafune

So,... the idiot, Seijuro Arafune's remark that 142,000 Korean comfort women are dead , explains all....only 25 percent survived given that there are 200000 total. But as wikipedia says, there is no basis in his claim and then unfortunate chain of citation.... treated as if it is true.. That is the comfort woman. .

now i will show how testimony also is unreliable, next time.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Thanks for the information. First, let me say Wikipedia about comfort woman, Japanese site and English site are very different. It is almost like we need 4 of them, Japanese interpretation, English interpretation, and each for Japanese language and English language...

As will all right-wing links, I'll take it with a very big pinch of salt. It seems the only country that doesn't really know much about WW2 is Japan. Funny that

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Speaking of honesty, why is it that only Asahi managed to print the letter word for word, yet all the rest of Japanese media completely filtered the letter to make Japan look good to her people? I didn't include Asahi as part of the "Japanese media", because Japan discredited Asahi for "fabricating the comfort women".

I note AFP also is not "printing the letter word for word". Are they dishonest?

@hachikouMAY. 09, 2015 - 11:49AM JST

Seems like good detective work. Nice.

@Christopher GlenMAY. 09, 2015 - 12:03PM JST

As will all right-wing links, I'll take it with a very big pinch of salt. It seems the only country that doesn't really know much about WW2 is Japan. Funny that

Instead of labeling things left or right wing, perhaps you should study them and see if they are more convincing than people just rambling in the air. Just above, you see a "right-winger", digging deeper into the muck than most of us (most of us will see a credible-looking citation and accept).

Back to the topic, here's my suggestion for making useful letters of this sort.

First, review the evidence between the group.

Second, take out any unsupported assertions. This is a bit subjective, but if you start mumbling the below (all based on opening letter under scrutiny), they are obvious red lights.

"A lot of evidence was destroyed." "Numbers aren't important." "There's a lot of evidence supporting 'involvement'." "Legalistic stances ..." "Trivializing..." "Despite inconsistencies..."

These are all signs that you internally already acknowledge you don't have sufficient oompf for your point, before actually getting to whether it'll sustain even handed external scrutiny. Cut any point that relies on these to hold.

Third, set up an assertion that can actually be solidly backed by the evidence without wishy washiness.

Fourth, when writing the letter, openly, freely and strongly acknowledge the less than well supported claims and condemn them for playing a strong role in keeping reconciliation from happening. Perhaps also a side note on how this whole issue had become politicized rather than objective. Call on the world to acknowledge this.

Fifth, state your new, revised claim that can actually be backed (you might want to enclose a few of your choiciest morsels) in the strongest, most confident terms and call for an apology for only that amount.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

"... [Sex slavery ] was distinguished by its large scale and systematic management under the military”.

Yep.

So, here the problem: most of us, y'know, homo sapiens, readily view the transgressions of our neighbors with extreme prejudice, while are willing to overlook or 'take in context' the depredations, insults and injustice we inflict upon those near us.

It is human nature. We are a tribal species.

Foreigners [vis a vis Japan] largely view the behavior in Japan's Imperial past as, well, excessively aggressive, needlessly savage and, in the end, unjustified. Japan's conservative elite views it as, at worst, a mistake solely because it failed. Victors Justice an all.

Here we have 20 academics who are Japanese and condemn their tribe's past. This, in-and-of-itself, is not praiseworthy. Transferring one's tribalism to another tribe ("pacifism," Marxism, international socialism, etc) is the same thing all over again, if, and this is key, it is done for identity and not results.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Instead of labeling things left or right wing, perhaps you should study them and see if they are more convincing than people just rambling in the air. Just above, you see a "right-winger",

Mr John Dower and his colleagues will do me micely in that regard

digging deeper into the muck than most of us (most of us will see a credible-looking citation and accept).

That would be most material that right-wingers post. A right-winger by definition would be someone who supports cancelling Article 9, denying the volumes of mainstream evidence that supports the sex slaves - and basically denying everything that doesn't paint Japan as the poor little victim. If that's what you believe, then that's where you stand.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

You need to be worried about most of your taxes being spent on militarization, publically funded private enterprises, and other domestic scams before you chide Japan dogmatically about something that happened seventy years ago.

Mr. Noidal -- LOL. You conveniently want to shift focus from Japan's errors to supposed issues with how the U.S. government spends tax dollars. Complete rubbish. The fact is that those seventy years Japan has prospered since the end of the war were buy and large financed by the U.S. taxpayer and consumer. So we have every right to comment when we see Japan reverting back to its pre-war political leanings.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@jerseyboy

It's clear you're a believer in American exceptionalism.

Typical American elitist thinking. "It's our right..." " were responsible for everything good..."

Using your argument we can safely and correctly say that the entire third world has financed the American lifestyle to this day. But you wouldn't argue that they have a right to get dogmatic about you're American way of life would you?

This beef that China and Korea have with Japan is not yours to cook.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

A right-winger by definition would be someone who supports cancelling Article 9, denying the volumes of mainstream evidence that supports the sex slaves - and basically denying everything that doesn't paint Japan as the poor little victim

It seems that the historians (and sociologists, IR experts ... etc) we are discussing today don't share your unbridled confidence in the so called "volumes of mainstream evidence". Maybe they know something you don't, and carefully crafted their statement to give the politically correct (in the US) answer while not leaving themselves in a compromisng position?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Great links Chris Glen. Thanks.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

"Zinn is taught in High Schools in the US, and is required reading (in whole or in part) )in a fair chunk of the undergrad level history courses dealing with US history in the English speaking world."

Jeepers creepers!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@hachikou

Thanks for the Sankei link regarding the letter of Mr. Jason Morgan. Many were looking for the original letter but it seems it has not yet published on American History Association's page. Michael Yon just posted a link to a page that quotes the entire letter from Mr. Jason Morgan.

http://ykdckomori.blog.jp

---Quote---

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Dear AHA Editor,

I noted with much sadness the letter signed by nineteen American historians of Japan published in March. I have profited from many of these historians’ work, but in this case their hasty coalition reveals the powerful orthodoxies that constrain historical writing in general, thus warranting an outsiders’ response. I also hope here to repair some of the damage done by their attack on the Japanese government.

Missing from the letter’s papal bull-like dogmatics is a nuanced consideration of fact. To correct this lacuna, I humbly recommend Prof. Hata Ikuhiko’s Ianfu to senjō no sei, which eschews presentist politics in favor of documentary evidence. (Even the American historians’ own referee, Yoshimi Yoshiaki, has said publicly that he could find no evidence of the forced recruitment of women in Korea, putting Yoshimi in agreement with Hata.)

Furthermore, the Americans fail to note that in 2014 the Asahi Shimbun formally apologized for years of untenable ianfu reporting by Uemura Takashi, whose mother-in-law is the main comfort-woman activist in Korea. The Asahi falsehoods, in turn, mirrored the sordid confabulations of novelist Yoshida Seiji, who conjured up wild scenes of sexual enslavement on Jeju Island. When Prof. Hata investigated and found Yoshida’s claims baseless, Yoshida admitted he had made it all up. It took some twenty years, but eventually even the Asahi followed suit.

The American scholars, though, vow never to retract. Such vows are easier when one can cavalierly dismiss all contrary opinion as “conservative” or “rightwing.” One does not expect much rigorous debate from the same academy that brought us “micro-aggressions” and “trigger warnings,” and this is no exception. Indeed, “conservative” and “rightwing” are clear signals, like the old Graecum est, non legitur in the margins of vellum manuscripts, that something is a priori out of bounds and not to be taken seriously. Hazel Motes founded the Church Without Christ; likewise, on the comfort women issue, the American academy now proudly specializes in History Without Facts.

The obverse of this manufactured consensus is the inevitable charge of “revisionism.” In a sealed episteme, though, revisionism is all we’ve got. Either you are working within the anthill, or you are an invader from the outside. It is a dizzying tautology: the academy laboriously weeds out all opposition, and then compares the skeptical to Holocaust deniers. This shock-and-awe ringisho style of enforced consensus building is certainly good at getting everyone either to agree on something or else find another job, but the conclusions thus reached are hardly convincing to those who want something more than mere argument from authority (or from democratic majority, which amounts to the same thing). Not everyone works this way, of course; I personally know many historians who are models of dispassionate scholarship, but outing the objective-minded seems tantamount to escorting Moses to the edge of the Sinai. In any event, the enforced silence within the American academy, in comparison with the buzzing and jousting in Japan, is telling one way or another. Perhaps we can just chalk it up to blinding nationalism, but that cuts both ways, too.

Many of the letter writers themselves have probably experienced the lively Japanese academy under the sponsorship of the same Japanese government that they now accuse of practicing Turkey- and Russia-like intimidation. The Americans’ outrage over two moth-eaten paragraphs thus sounds more than a little out of tune. After several silent decades of enduring the Ienaga Saburō-school of historical sanctimony, the Japanese government meekly requested a meeting with the publisher of a fictionalized textbook. Why cry “censorship” over such a harmless—and long-overdue—request? Doesn’t anyone besides the nineteen self-appointed ephors and those in their anthill get to have any historical say?

The irony lies in how well this is all playing in Beijing and Seoul—both strongholds of actual censorship. The Chinese communist dictatorship needs no introduction on this score, and South Korea, for its part, recently released Katō Tatsuya, a journalist whose crime was repeating an unflattering rumor about President Park Geun-hye’s personal life. It is unthinkable, by contrast, that Uemura Takashi should face detention in Japan for his reporting. May we really equate a lone request for a meeting with what the PRC and the ROK do as a matter of quotidian policy?

We shall see if a quixotic graduate student can find a job in the “all things considered” American academy after a letter like this one. Perhaps. But even the great Prof. Hata was subjected to shameful persiflage when he delivered a scholarly talk at Princeton University, so the Japanese academy, it seems to me, is the far better place in which to work.

We shall also see if, someday, a Japanese historian looks back and congratulates the American academy for seeing the IMTFE narrative in its death throes and magnanimously embracing defeat. In any event, in 2015, it is the Japanese academy that ought to be giving the lecture on historical inquiry.

Sincerely,

Jason Morgan

---End Quote---

And I agree with Alexis Dudden. She does get criticism on NYT and other publication occassionally but she seldom responds. Her name has been quite well-known in Japan now. According to her, Japan's territorial disputes with South Korea, China and Russia is the very sign of Japan's militarism and the world needs to be fearful of Japan's 'expansion'—yeah, really.

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So we have every right to comment when we see Japan reverting back to its pre-war political leanings.

No you don't, I am American as well and you had nothing to do with the development of Japan after WWII, you have zero right, you just have your OPINION and it helps to use the words "I THINK, or something along those lines because you are not the mouthpiece of America.

And btw, America screwed up Japan royally in many ways in the process, so I wouldn't be all that proud of what you are claiming to be a part of.

Typical American elitist thinking. "It's our right..." " were responsible for everything good..."

Typical? Not always, with him? Yeah quite a bit, BUT your assessment is off the mark too. You make it sound as if only those involved have a say in the matter.

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Reformedbasher:

How many days has it been since yet another Japanese politician apologized? And, wait for it, ignored yet again?

Yeah, I gave you a thumbs-down. So sick of apologists. There were maybe two official statements of apology and then followed by top politicians and PMs ruining everything and denying this and that. And Abe has done FA.

These right-wingers can sing and dance as much as they like within Japan. But they can't do anything outside. And the more they deny, the more the rest of the world can see through the smiles of Abe. In fact, go on, please harass more foreign reporters and publishers. These politicians are their own enemies. Korea and China (who are no longer as poor or downtrodden as the good old times of the Great East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere) can just sit back and watch.

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The comfort women issue is a complete miss informed campaign spread by Korea and Japan,( endorsed of course by japan), as it is the one issue that japan can prove some show that that it was not more or less brutal to sex servicing women during the war then most other nations.

The issue is actually welcomed by japan and probably sponsored by japan in Korea in order to divert international interest in the real more awful misdeeds of the imperial japanese armies.

Infact the IJA like the Wehrmacht relied on strict rules to prevent sexual disease and the korean women trafficker were not allowed to bring in sick women (sexual disease sick or other wise sick). Just imagine slave women trafficked to the front sucked in to their own pee, the soldiers would have died sick on their own . . . so any logic would like to prevent this from happening.

Now the IJA was present in china from 37 up to 45 in most regions of asia. Each time an entire different army and different strategy. IJA forces on dutch controlled Indies, basically did a pretty nice job in the first 2 years to some how not rape and kill randomly. Less women were actually forced in to prostitution then under dutch colonial rule previously. . . . the same case goes for many other conquered places by the IJA.

Each time however the japanese came under heavy fire and had to retreat in defeat, they completely switched their strategy for everyone involved and that is precisely the sex slave issue as well as all the apology japan has to make:

Japan is guilty for committing horrible crimes against humanity each time their army body was put under stress (which is normal in war). Each time own losses were heavy or the army fought in retreat, they went mad and disregard any human standards. They forced their own soldier to die like trash as canon fodder, to accelerate this they dropped any professional army rules and let the soldier under stress go berserk.

Thats medival war fare and had nothing to do in 1945.

The comfort women suffered from this army behavior and not from institutionalized rape slavery from the beginning. I would even say that the women alive today have no clue of the horrors other prostitutes had to go through until their violent death. The biggest crime against IJA prostitutes is not their status of being semi forced, trafficked or enslaved . . . . thousand of them were killed on front lines with japanese soldiers, by japanese soldiers in madness . . . . canon fodder.

Canon fodder is the crime japan has to apologize for. Disregarding the will to live of their own soldiers and then assuming that any affiliates to the japanese (own civilians, forced labors, foreign sex workers) had to die with them as well, is the first crime japanese have to address . . . . the second only being the systematic killing of up to 2.000.000 chinese civilians in china, all raped, mutilated, burned or bayoneted down by brainwashed poor japanese young boys.

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Four Points. FIRST, while the Pulitzer is prestigious it does not automatically mean an historian's viewpoint on each and every topic is unassailable.

SECOND, history scholars are not above a certain "herd mentality." The herd mentality clearly kicked in among the 19 who signed that first letter to the Amer. Historical Assoc. defending Ziegler's "academic freedom." Many of them were not even Asian scholars and knew little about the comfort women issue. But mention "academic freedom" and academics rally almost without thinking.Ziegler's passage in the Rand-McNally textbook that concerned Japan was: "The Japanese army forcibly recruited, conscripted, and dragooned as many as 200,000 women aged 14 to 20 to serve in military brothels, called ‘comfort houses,’” ... And the Japanese military “massacred large numbers of comfort women to cover up the operation.” Ziegler's text is overreaching and far from impartial considering that there are a number of Japanese and Korean scholars (Hata, Park Yu-Ha, Sarah So) who agree that the number was not even close to 200,000 and who agree that the system was managed licensed prostitution and the military by and large was not involved in coercing or even recruiting the women. Yes there were abuses to the system by unscrupulous recruiter/brokers (mainly Koreans who sometimes tricked Korean women). and yes there were dozens of women who were taken by lower rank soldiers in War Zones while in battle (e.g. Indonesia) .But if caught brokers and soldiers were punished as VIOLATIONS of the comfort system regulations.

THIRD I sympathize with all the comfort women whether they were willing or unwillingly participants. How they became a comfort woman and what kind of life they lived during and after varied from woman to woman. Some saved enough money to set up their own brothels or bought houses, some lived in penury. But I believe Japan has already shown its remorse by offering the public Kono apology to all comfort women in 1993 followed by individual apologies and atonement money via the Asian Women's Fund over and above the compensation Japan had given Korea in 1965 Treaty. If a Korean woman did not receive a personal apology and money it is because she was ordered by the South Korean government and the NGO Chondaehyop to refuse. I recently found out 7 accepted publicly and approx ~53 accepted under the table. Shockingly, the South Korean government denounced these women as traitors, published their names as prostitutes, and took away government support. (Park Yu-ha)

FOURTH. . The one tiny glimmer of impartiality in the Open Letter is: "This issue has become so distorted by nationalist invective in Japan AS WELL AS IN KOREA AND CHINA that many scholars, along with journalists and politicians, have lost sight of the fundamental goal of historical inquiry, which should be to understand the human condition and aspire to improve it." Many readers will gloss over this sentence (as has the South Korean press). I imagine certain scholars had to lobby to get that sentence included. But if scholars take that sentence to heart maybe they will stop posturing and dig deeper to seek truth from fact.

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while the Pulitzer is prestigious it does not automatically mean an historian's viewpoint on each and every topic is unassailable.

No, but it renders their research a whole lot more credible than that favoured by right-wingers. Moreover they are doing no more than espousing what is being taught in classrooms all over the world. It is Japan that refuses to see the light here

1 ( +6 / -5 )

---No, but it renders their research a whole lot more credible than that favoured by right-wingers. Moreover they are doing no more than espousing what is being taught in classrooms all over the world. It is Japan that refuses to see the light here --- Of course I am well-aware of the prestige of a Pulitzer, but neither it nor the MacArthur (the genius award) nor a Guggenheim gives a scholar a free pass or a promotion. I refused to be bedazzled by titles Scholarship has to be judged on its own merit. Otherwise you're just a lemming or sheep, or whatever favored organism you choose. . Like any other scholar a Pulitzer Prize winner must do years of careful and meticulous research. And just because some scholars have fewer prizes to add to their CV does not mean they do not do ground-breaking work.

For there to be progress in discussion over Japan's comfort women or any other issue, scholars must maintain an open mind. But it seems some scholars are quickly labeling other scholars "apologists" and "rightists" if they don't join the chorus that goes: "Japan did bad things during WWII; ergo we can say and believe anything negative about Japan we want, including the lie that Japan kidnapped and enslaved 200,000 women. So there! " Well, that is not scholarship, That is academic group think. Japan is an easy target because it lost the war, and we (the US and the KMT) had a head start with our de-humanizing propaganda machine against Japan even before the war (and in order to coax Americans into the war.. There is a lot of information out there about every topic under the sun, and unless one has unlimited time to do research you tend to believe what is easiest to believe. That is human nature. So, I guess it is easiest to believe Japan kidnapped women. But sometimes ones fondest beliefs are shaken when new information surfaces and a new narrative emerges and former scholarship is revised. Happens all the time -- in the field of history, astronomy, biology, etc. Remember the Forest of Khatyn Massacre of Polish officers that was blamed for decades on the Germans, and everyone was prepared to believe it, though the Germans denied it. Well it wasn't until the 1990's that it was revealed that the Soviets had actually committed the massacre. And so books were revised to reflect that new information. The term "revisionist" is an overused pejorative that is meaningless. It's been picked up by historians, but its been most frequently used when referring to those who deviate from the stricts socialism party line as espoused by the leader. So, Deng Hsiao Ping was a revisionist and purged from the CCP, but maneuvered to regain influence with his Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.

From my understanding Japan's curriculum is more influenced by the socialist-leaning teacher's unions than the conservatives. There is of course variation from school to school.

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hachikouMay. 09, 2015 - 07:29AM JST This seems interesting. Academics vs Academics: I have been looking for a paper submitted to American Historical Association (AHA) by Jason Morgan, a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin. It is the counter claim against 19 historians for the serious distortion of academic freedom. 19 historicans among those in this open letter. I can only find the newspaper article that cited his paper, and not being able to find his paper itself. :(

Mr. Michael Yon refered to the original statement, and you can read it through above NYtoday's post.

http://michaelyonjp.blogspot.jp/2015/05/honest-abe-american-academy-gets-it.html

http://michaelyonjp.blogspot.jp/2015/05/academic-wall-of-shame.html

I totally agree with Mr. Morgan and Mr. Yon. Historians should be based on the facts. And in the statement signed by 187 academics;

"Important evidence also comes from the testimony of victims. Although their stories are diverse and affected by the inconsistencies of memory, the aggregate record they offer is compelling and supported by official documents as well as by the accounts of soldiers and others."

Where are those official documents? I have read so many contradictions in their testimonies. But they have never been clarified so far.

"Historians disagree over the precise number of “comfort women,” which will probably never be known for certain."

Such uncertain number of victims has been written on the plates to criticize Japan like a confirmed number. What would they say about that?

Japan has never denied the existence of comfort women for Japanese milityary. This is the reason why Asian Women's Fund was established to help them, but it was rejected by Korean civic group.

In any case, it is so disgusting that Japan has been criticized by such uncertainties. It is exactly what academics should do; to clarify and corroborate such uncertaintities.

Apparently, their statement this time, as well as the one by 19 academics before, has been exploited by Korean media, omitting many parts that are unconvenient for them, especially the following.

"One of the most divisive historical issues is the so-called “comfort women” system. This issue has become so distorted by nationalist invective in Japan as well as in Korea and China that many scholars, along with journalists and politicians, have lost sight of the fundamental goal of historical inquiry, which should be to understand the human condition and aspire to improve it."

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The comfort women issue is a complete miss informed campaign spread by Korea and Japan

Yes! And my point is is that a bunch of foreigners who feel slighted by Japanese society have hijacked this issue and have tried to make it their own. This is a problem. Yes Japan did bad things in the past. But why do so many foreigners get dogmatic about Japan apologizing when comfort women have nothing to do with them, while their countries have done equally if not much worse.

<>

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Yes! And my point is is that a bunch of foreigners who feel slighted by Japanese society have hijacked this issue and have tried to make it their own. This is a problem. Yes Japan did bad things in the past. But why do so many foreigners get dogmatic about Japan apologizing when comfort women have nothing to do with them, while their countries have done equally if not much worse.

Then why do we have sex slaves from Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan etc, as well as the above mentioned countries. Their accounts have been further corroborated by those of POWs. Are they agents of China and South Korea as well. The only entity that is doing itself a disservice by denying what's common knowledge is the Japanese government, and their flunkeys

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In addition towards the fact Japan committed the most war crimes in Asia than any other countries during WW2, all this problem happen because there are people in Japan who try to deny their war crimes. That is why you always see people outside Japan told Japan to face up to its history as there are a lot of revisionist in Japan. I don't know if most Japanese acknowledge their WW 2 crimes or not but Japan need to do something on the revisionist who are giving Japan a lot of bad reputation to Japan and make the world doubt Japan's sincerity in Japanese apologize.

Japan are easy target because they lose the war? Don't make me laugh. German are loser in the war too but you don't see people constantly push the past war issues towards German right? The root for all this problem is not people being bias trying to demonize Japan but rather, the revisionist in Japan who are giving Japan bad names.

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I understand Japan dragging a bit on that matter.

Is it Japan that's dragging? I think it's the winners of the war that doesn't let go of the issue.

If all that Japan's regret, apologies, compensation, financial and manpower aid, and 70 years of peaceful contribution to the entire world gets canceled out because of a few what-you-like-to-call 'right-wingers (but left-wingers are okay? How so?)' and 'revisionists' which, seriously, do exist in any other countries, so should everybody's-good-girl Germany's sincere attitude because of the existance of neo-Nati and right-wingers in Germany.

Nope. If Japan deals with the revisionists, people will start moving on

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The letter is titled "Open Letter in Support of Historians in Japan", rather than "Open Letter in Support of Former Comfort Women".

https://networks.h-net.org/system/files/contributed-files/japan-scholars-statement-2015.5.4-eng_0.pdf

If the title is the true reflection of its content, this part of the letter has to be the main point.

Like our colleagues in Japan, we believe that only careful weighing and contextual evaluation of every trace of the past can produce a just history. Such work must resist national and gender bias, and be free from government manipulation, censorship, and private intimidation. We defend the freedom of historical inquiry, and we call upon all governments to do the same.

So, the academics defend the freedom of historical inquiry, and therefore, historians should have academic freedom of interpreting history, which should be free from government intervention.

But the letter takes a strange turn, and go on to say something totally contradicting.

This year presents an opportunity for the government of Japan to show leadership by addressing Japan's history of colonial rule and wartime aggression in both words and action.

The process of acknowledging past wrongs strengthens a democratic society and fosters cooperation among nations.

In our classrooms, students from Japan, Korea, China and elsewhere discuss these difficult issues with mutual respect and probity. Their generation will live with the record of the past that we bequeath them.

The letter suddenly says that it is the Government that is to acknowledge the history, and that the future generation should be given the Government acknowledged history. Where has the academic freedom of history without government intervention gone?

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I agree.

I think that Japan should apologize for facilitating sex slavery in its borders. However, I think that the America should also apologize for allowing its soldiers to utilize them. If our argument against Japan allowing sex slavery is inherently a moral argument, then the same argument should scrutinize American soldiers for actually having sex with the slaves. The victims should be apologized to, whoever enforced sex slavery should apologize for that, and whoever had sex (or was allowed to have sex) with the women should also apologize. Japan is not the only one should should apologize, if our argument is moral.

But what if our argument had nothing to do with morals?

If we used logic, Japan does not have to apologize, and neither does America. A reason that the men have sex with the women is to be "comforted" during the stressful times. That makes sense. But the argument is moral. Japan is not the only one who needs to apologize. For example, a married man who goes to a strip club cannot say to his wife, "The strip club should apologize! It shouldn't have been there to tempt me!" This hypothetical man should have exercised self-control as to honor his wife, at least in a monogamous relationship. I think that American military should also confess that they did not make a rule against sleeping with comfort women during WWII.

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Only, why is this always about Japan ?

Because of denialists and revisionist in Japan. Not because Japan lost WW 2. Germany lost WW 2 but you don't see the world push W 2 issues to Germany right?

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If we used logic, Japan does not have to apologize, and neither does America.

That logic means that even though using sex slaves is wrong, Japan is excused because America did it too, and America is excused because Japan did it too.

Sorry, but I don't see how that 'logic' works. Why is something that is wrong suddenly not wrong because someone else does it? I was taught 'two wrongs don't make a right' when I was growing up. Are you saying that two wrongs in fact do make a right?

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My advice to Japan is that stop playing the victim card as if the entire world are being bias and against Japan. Instead, do something about Japanese revisionist who try to play down or deny Japan WW 2 atrocities.

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as if the entire world are being bias and against Japan.

Nope, they are not. Japan waged a war of aggression over half the world. Japan alone fired the first shots alone at Pearl Harbour - regardless of what America did to contribute to that act. So it is for Japan alone to silence its revisionists once and for all. They are the country's own worst enemy

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The Yasukuni Shrine...represents the millions of soldiers who gave their lives for Japan. And for this....the Japanese people must give their respect for their sacrifice. A few, very few, were branded war criminals....by the victors. But they fought for Japan, and they too, deserve the peoples respect.

Consider the following.......

Harry Truman was not tried as a war criminal...because he was on the side of the victors... And the use of atomic bombs on Japanese civilians.......was not a war crime?

Three million Koreans were bombed to death during the Korean War. Was this a crime against humanity?

Up to 45 million Chinese were killed and/or starved to death during the years 1958-1960. The biggest mass killing in the history of mankind. Were the members of the Chinese Communist Party considered criminals?

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. A few, very few, were branded war criminals....by the victors. But they fought for Japan, and they too, deserve the peoples respect

Nope, they deserve revulsion. But they could easily be commemorated at a different place - one that won't stoke controversy.

And the use of atomic bombs on Japanese civilians.......was not a war crime?

And the Nanking massacre, Unit 731, coercion of sex slaves - were not war crimes either?

Up to 45 million Chinese were killed and/or starved to death during the years 1958-1960. The biggest mass killing in the history of mankind. Were the members of the Chinese Communist Party considered criminals?

That may be so, but this thread is about Japan's lack of acknowledgement for its war crimes

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Japan is the ONLY country in the world that has modernized, industrialized, democratized and still struggles with fascist ideology from 20th century. You can point to atrocities committed by US, Korea, or European countries but none of these countries deny their past history let alone glorify it the way that Japan does.

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I think Mr. Abe really wants to support his right wing allies. He's looking to honor his grandfather by following in his footsteps. Abe's not really going to backtrack. He set his course and will run it until it runs out of steam. Here's my worry: Abe says he's not going to war, but he's opened the doors for any future right winger to come in and destroy the peace. He's laying that base now. A man of peace he's not. In the meantime we have a neighbor - Korea - who's slowly being pushed into China's open arms. Those two nations have common grievances toward unfinished WWII Japan business, regardless of who thinks Japan's done enough kowtowing or not. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama back in the WH has no understanding of what's really going on in Asia and Asian minds. The China threat is all he sees. He knows not how to make peace without his Rambo costume. Peace is not exactly at our doorsteps.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In the meantime we have a neighbor - Korea - who's slowly being pushed into China's open arms

That is true. I assume you are referring to South Korea. Japan could be doing more to establish more amicable relations with its former colony. South Korea is more valuable as a true ally of Japan - than that of China

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HOTMAIL

I read through CH3CO's Japanese media links to this story, including NHK, and all of them are reporting that the world historians are on Japan's side. This is basically how the Japanese media is reporting this story to their people, and now the Japanese people who are reading this story are probably thinking that the world historians are on their side. Japanese media is now a total joke. It's state controlled propaganda machine.

The Japanese media so pathetic. What a bunch of sore losers. They'll twist anything in order to portray themselves favorably. Not surprising for the country that labels itself a victim during WW2.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The Japanese media so pathetic. What a bunch of sore losers. They'll twist anything in order to portray themselves favorably. Not surprising for the country that labels itself a victim during WW2.

Couldn't agree more. They are digging themselves into a very deep hole

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Christopher GlenMAY. 09, 2015 - 02:57PM JST

As usual, you must be hoping I don't read these links.

Ok here we go then http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201202280033

http://shanghaiist.com/2012/03/03/tokyo_governor_shintaro_ishihara_th.php

This is about a different issue than the one at debate.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1544471/Japanese-PM-denies-wartime-comfort-women-were-forced.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/shinzo-abes-inability-to-face-history/2013/04/26/90f5549c-ae87-11e2-a986-eec837b1888b_story.html

We are finally getting to comfort women, but seeing even our historians here are not so sure ... I can't blame him.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201305270109

A quick glance suggests Hashimoto makes sense here, since that's in essence how the Kono statement is constructed - a typical diplomatic construct of ambiguity that allows both sides to interpret it their way and feed it to their citizens. Unfortunately for bilateral relations, the Koreans broke the unspoken agreement on this kind of thing - by insisting that their interpretation is the only correct one internationally.

http://www.nigerianherald.com/news/japan-academics-call-on-tokyo-to-face-history

This actually links to another site in Asia.called AsiaOne. It takes the same basic slant as AFP up here, and I don't deny some choose to interpret it that way. Such an interpretation, however, must be made with eyes closed to the actual text.

http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/japan-academics-call-tokyo-face-history

@Pukey2MAY. 10, 2015 - 08:41AM JST

Yeah, I gave you a thumbs-down. So sick of apologists. There were maybe two official statements of apology and then followed by top politicians and PMs ruining everything and denying this and that. And Abe has done FA.

I find it appalling how freedom of speech is so undervalued in the West.

@Christopher GlenMAY. 10, 2015 - 10:20AM JST

No, but it renders their research a whole lot more credible than that favoured by right-wingers. Moreover they are doing no more than espousing what is being taught in classrooms all over the world. It is Japan that refuses to see the light here

What is being taught in classrooms the world over is not the same as the truth. And if you want to call them credible, you have to live with what they actually wrote, not how AFP "optimistically" sees it, and the real text is strong in the front but hollow in the back.

@WhirledPeasMAY. 10, 2015 - 12:50PM JST

Well argued.

@Christopher GlenMAY. 11, 2015 - 11:15AM JST

Then why do we have sex slaves from Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan etc, as well as the above mentioned countries. Their accounts have been further corroborated by those of POWs. Are they agents of China and South Korea as well. The only entity that is doing itself a disservice by denying what's common knowledge is the Japanese government, and their flunkeys

Why do more countries necessarily increase credibility? It is possible that when Indonesia and Phillipines were conquered, in the mess a few were grabbed, but that's a local problem and to make too much of it would be like to turn the intermittent rapes in Okinawa by US Marines into something "with the 'involvement' of the US military". It's also not very difficult for them to bend little "details" like their recruitment (why admit you looked at a recrutiment poster when you can say they grabbed you)?

There is an advantage to numbers. The more there are and the more countries they come from, the more gullible people like you believe that ALL of their stories are true. But that's not really true.

The so-called POWs actually show what a very restricted problem this is. They dug for people to try. They found a Lieutenant (and even he only made his brothel IIRC AFTER an attack from a resistance movement). His case gets branded all over the world. But actually, if your display case is a Lieutenant, it is a very local matter.

@WatchingStuffMAY. 13, 2015 - 12:33PM JST Do you have any reading comprehension ability in Japanese. Here's what happened with the links - overall, they are no worse than AFP's takes, if not much better.

NHK http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20150507/k10010072281000.html

Selective quoting of both PLUSes (acknowledging Korea and China have also bent history) and MINUSes (don't minimize the problem).

NTV http://www.news24.jp/articles/2015/05/08/10274561.html#utma=1.1361579374.1431085865.1431085865.1431085865.1&utmb=1.2.9.1431085881689&utmc=1&utmx=-&utmz=1.1431085865.1.1.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&utmv=-&__utmk=190551595.

Mentions "Don't deny". The praise is quoting the fluff text at the front. Is this positive?

Asahi http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASH575KGGH57UHBI01Y.html

Translation of fulltext.

Mainichi http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20150507k0000e030103000c.html

Sections insisting Japan is at fault are quoted.

Sankei http://www.sankei.com/world/news/150507/wor1505070046-n1.html

Possibly the most insightful so far. Sometimes what is NOT said is equally important, and the fact that they don't even try to hold the "200,000" position is actually quite significant.

Toyo Keizai http://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/68890

This is a specialist paper and makes a longer analysis of the text - in essence this is a "Don't make too much of it, Korea."

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We are finally getting to comfort women, but seeing even our historians here are not so sure ... I can't blame him.

I've no idea what they are. I do know what sex slaves are though. Japan has a lot of unresolved issues with them.

Possibly the most insightful so far. Sometimes what is NOT said is equally important, and the fact that they don't even try to hold the "200,000" position is actually quite significant.

This is irrelevant. The number isn't fixed, but the fact that lots of Chinese civilians were massacred is indisputed.

(acknowledging Korea and China have also bent history)

Japan leads the way here. I don't take right-wing links seriously.

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Those men in Imperial Army cosplays have no relation with Yasukuni shrine. Anybody who want to pray for souls can go there. The shrine does not care what costume you wear unless you go up the inner shrine with a reservation.

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WatchingStuffMay. 13, 2015 - 12:33PM JST

The Japanese media so pathetic. What a bunch of sore losers. They'll twist anything in order to portray themselves favorably. Not surprising for the country that labels itself a victim during WW2.

I suggest you read the links by yourself, to see if they are "twisting" anything. I have read all of them and I have the opposite opinion from Hotmail's. At least I can say, Asahi reported the word by word translation of the whole open letter, which makes Hotmail's remark untrue.

In a related topic, this is what Korean Congress did yesterday.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2015/05/116_178809.html

The National Assembly passed a resolution Tuesday that criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for not facing history squarely and calls on him to apologize for atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

Lawmakers adopted the resolution unanimously with 238 votes cast during an extraordinary session.

The resolution denounces Abe for barely touching upon the issue of sexual slavery in his U.S. Congress speech on April 29.

Formally denouncing the head of Government for some speech made at the Congress of a foreign country is un-diplomatic to say the least.

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Anybody who want to pray for souls can go there. The shrine does not care what costume you wear unless you go up the inner shrine with a reservation.

It's the 14 war criminals who are enshrined there that's causing the problem

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It's the 14 war criminals who are enshrined there that's causing the problem

The problem isn't that a few leaves on the tree are spoiled, but that the very roots of the tree are rotten. If you prune the 14 bad leaves off the tree, you are still left with a rotten core.

Chinese and Koreans are not angry that Japanese politicians regularly visit a shrine that glorifies a few war criminals. They are angry that Japanese politicians visit a shrine that glorifies war in general and in particular, the extreme suffering they endured during WWII and Japanese colonial rule.

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There are over 1000 war criminals there.

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They are angry that Japanese politicians visit a shrine that glorifies war in general and in particular, the extreme suffering they endured during WWII and Japanese colonial rule.

Yes, but the "sting" would be taken out of their anger if the names of the 14 class A war criminals (and yes I know there are more lesser war criminals enshrined there) were removed - along with those of the Koreans who died in Japan's service (if their relatives have requested it)

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And as always on this discussion people forget that the government has NO control over the Shrine due to separation of church and state in the Constitution.

The government has already asked the shrine to remove those names but the owner ignores them. They were also secretly enshrined there in 1978 there and the Emperor refuses visiting since that time.

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The government has already asked the shrine to remove those names but the owner ignores them

The "owner" also has a revisionist museum next to the shrine. No, if the government wanted those names removed they have two choices. (1) Remove the names or they'll stop sending donations. (2) Go and revere the war criminals at a less controversial place

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Christopher.

How would they achieve No.1 legally?

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What is done can always be undone. There is always option no2 of course. Still sensible. If politicians were interested in option no 2, we all know they'd pick that one. Of course they're only interested in annoying China and South Korea so they likely won't

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Option 2 is not on the Table.

Your Option 1 assumes that the shrine gets donations directly from the government (illegal), Doubt that there are records what donations are made by government officials with their private income to private institutions.

Shinto had some very strict rules about enshrined souls.

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I am going to make one post here. I cant stand the deflection that is going on by some Japanese people here. Bringing up other countries and dragging them in the mud is ridiculous and you should be ashamed of yourselves for not squarely looking history in its face and admitting to the crimes that were committed by your forefathers. Calling all the Korean women plain prostitutes is ridiculous and you are letting your pride get in to the way. Stop deflecting off on to what OTHER countries did. This is not about them. When there is a story related to that, than pile in their. But it is just sad to see the deflection, denials and the silly excuse making that is going on. Want to know why China and South Korea have a problem? Look at the picture above, your deceptiveness and denial and then you will see and understand. Does not matter how much you pay. It matters what you teach and say. Want to keep your pride? Then stop mudslinging and deflecting and then you might have some peace. Peace out.

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sandiegoluvMay. 13, 2015 - 08:04PM JST

I am going to make one post here. I cant stand the deflection that is going on by some Japanese people here.

Which comment are you talking about? Anyway, there are not so many Japanese people here. Most are Americans and Britons.

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CH3CHO - I think the people know how I am talking about. They actually used their names and I have not seen better tap dancing on Star Search. I am also talking to the overzealous Japanophiles.

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Japanese conservatives, however, say no official documents prove government involvement in the system; they say the women were common prostitutes engaged in a commercial exchange.

They have also argued that memories of the survivors cannot be trusted and are highly politicised in an issue that serves as one of the main geopolitical fault lines running through East Asia.

These are disgraceful assertions. Absolutely disgraceful. You can almost guarantee that officials at the time destroyed as much incriminating documentation as they could - very common practice for all armies about to be overrun. Just because Japan can't point to official documentation proving it officially recorded these events does not mean other countries don't remember or know what happened. The most pig headed, insulting, arrogant position.

To assert the survivors cannot be trusted is a shame on the country. It's slanderous.

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sandiegoluvMay. 14, 2015 - 12:39AM JST

So, you do not know if they are Japanese. Then, why do you need to use the ethnicity card? How about

I cant stand the deflection that is going on by some people here.

Rather than

I cant stand the deflection that is going on by some Japanese people here.

In addition, who said this?

Calling all the Korean women plain prostitutes is ridiculous and you are letting your pride get in to the way.

I searched the whole section, but could not find such comment. Maybe, my search was not perfect, so I apologize in advance. But would you show me the comment you were talking about?

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Want to keep your pride? Then stop mudslinging and deflecting and then you might have some peace. Peace out.

Precisely

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@CH3CHO - First of all, you know that most of the people who are getting riled up are Japanese. Get off this, "I am using the ethnic" card. You are also deflecting. Stick to the subject at hand. Furthermore, the comment of them being just plain prostitutes has been deleted as far as I can see.

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sandiegoluvMay. 14, 2015 - 04:20PM JST

Furthermore, the comment of them being just plain prostitutes has been deleted as far as I can see.

OK. So you were accusing a comment that no one knows who wrote it and what it was like.

First of all, you know that most of the people who are getting riled up are Japanese.

How do I know? You should recognize that you are using a very dangerous logic here to change criticism against a deleted comment into criticism against an ethnic group. Let us keep it civil. If you want to criticise a comment, criticise the comment.

Want to keep your pride? Then stop mudslinging and deflecting and then you might have some peace. Peace out.

I searched this comment section and found that you are the only person who is talkning about "pride." I am not interested in pride and, I believe, neither are most of the people here.

I am interested in truth. The open letter admits that historians do not know much about Ianfu. Japanese government has long disclosed huge amount of archived documents relating to Ianfu. So has US government. But Korean government has not, and will not. I have read all the released documents available in the internet and speak from that view point. Yes, there are a lot of unkowns. Calling unknown unknown is not deflection, but is a required attitude for the search of truth.

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I am interested in truth. The open letter admits that historians do not know much about Ianfu. Japanese government has long disclosed huge amount of archived documents relating to Ianfu. So has US government. But Korean government has not, and will not. I have read all the released documents available in the internet and speak from that view point. Yes, there are a lot of unkowns. Calling unknown unknown is not deflection, but is a required attitude for the search of truth.

One letter does not cover the hundreds of thousands of sex slaves I'm afraid. That argument doesn't wash here

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My own country did some really bad things during WWII, human vivisections and more. The allieds couldn't decide if we were a victim or participant yo the 3rd Reich so we hot split into sections (one per ally and occupiers for 10yrs.

We are still paying repatriation now to the victims.

Overall european countries have made peace and moved on.

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CH3CHO Once again, Stick to the topic at hand. Stop trying to pick a fight. I am going to ignore you and your deflections tactics. I stand by what I said, if you dont like it, that is your problem. Your habit of going back and checking this and that of who said what is kind of childish. You are trying to discredit me instead of discussing the topic at hand. I understand why. Unfortunately, your argument does not hold water and that is why you are going off on a tangent about who said what.

I am interested in truth. The open letter admits that historians do not know much about Ianfu. Japanese government has long disclosed huge amount of archived documents relating to Ianfu. So has US government. But Korean government has not, and will not. I have read all the released documents available in the internet and speak from that view point. Yes, there are a lot of unkowns. Calling unknown unknown is not deflection, but is a required attitude for the search of truth.

You say you are interested in the truth. Sorry, I only see deflection and denial. ONE LETTER and that is all that you need to discredit all the survivors and all the other historians who wrote the report. Yours seems to just be a convenient truth, the truth that YOU want to believe. One person discounts everything else? WOW! You have read all the released documents? So, what are you saying? You are the only enlightened one in this conversation? Respectfully, I seriously doubt that very much.

Now, I have made my comments and do not want to discuss any further. I find the other side of the house wanting to much to believe certain things, and when challenged they have a habit of deflection, deflection, deflection and trying to discredit the person, as opposed to the point that is being discussed. That is a big waste of time. Have a nice day.

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It"S MEMay. 14, 2015 - 06:55PM JST

We are still paying repatriation now to the victims.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Treaty_of_San_Francisco

Article 14(b) San Francisco Peace Treaty says the Allies waives all the compensation claims of the Allies and their citizens, and Article 26 says Japan is to conclude similar peace treaties with other countries. Japan concluded similar treaties with Taiwan in 1952, Korea in 1965, and China in 1972, and all the compensation claims were cleared. These settlements with economic aids should have ended animosity.

However, Koreans ignored the treaty and demanded compensation in the US and US Supreme Court turned down the claim citing the treaty. http://www.internationalcrimesdatabase.org/Case/775/Hwang-Geum-Joo-v-Japan/

Japan established Asian Women Fund in 1995 from government money and donation from Japanese citizens to pay compensation for former comfort women, but Korea rejected the offer and pressured Korean former comfort women not to receive money from AWF because Japanese government should pay the compensation directly. http://www.awf.or.jp/e2/foundation.html

Now, Korean former comfort women vow to keep demanding compensation, and Korean Government is after them.

I see no possible way to settle, after the treaty, the court ruling and rejection of AWF.

sandiegoluvMay. 14, 2015 - 07:56PM JST

ONE LETTER and that is all that you need to discredit all the survivors and all the other historians who wrote the report.

I am talking about the open letter in the article, signed by nearly 200 academics, including Pulitzer Prize winners.

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Ahem, I am from an European Country other than Germany.

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Now, once I can agree with you CH3CHO. I completely agree with your post above. Good job. But that still does not give the right for denials to take place here. I think that you and I may be talking about different letters. My apologies.

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Now, once I can agree with you CH3CHO. I completely agree with your post above. Good job. But that still does not give the right for denials to take place here. I think that you and I may be talking about different letters. My apologies.

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I see my original comment was not published, however, I received a reply from the Executive Director of the Association for Asian Studies referenced in the article which adds another perspective to this discussion.

Firstly, the original letter was called, "Open Letter In Support Of Historians In Japan", not did not in any way "call on the nation to face up to its World War II crimes, including its system of sex slavery".

Secondly, the organization does not seem to know who drafted or organized it.

Lastly, it does not represent the official view of the Association which is avowedly apolitical.

I wonder if the signatories have been duped? And by whom?

Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding the "open letter in support of historians in Japan" that was recently published in a Japanese newspaper. It is our understanding that a number of scholars informally discussed these issues at our recent conference, but we do not know who drafted the letter or organized the initiative. The letter was signed by nearly 200 scholars of Japan, many of whom are AAS members, but the statement does NOT represent an official position of the association. The AAS is defined in its constitution as a "non-political" member association, and only in extremely rare circumstances are formal statements representing the views of the entire association issued. Individual members are free to express their personal views on any topic or issue relevant to the field of Asian Studies, but they may not speak on behalf of the AAS.

I hope this helps clarify the situation.

Sincerely,

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Luce-A. Ummmm, the letter that you supposedly received is questionable. I think we need to see that letter published in a paper to be believable. My apologies there. There would be a hell of a lot of trouble if the signatures were forged or if names were just put on there against their wishes, dont you think? LOL I dont think anyone was duped at all. And yes, it does ask Japan to face up to its past. Case in point in point.

This year presents an opportunity for the government of Japan to show leadership by addressing Japan’s history of colonial rule and wartime aggression in both words and action

Here is the open letter. A very good letter. The undersigned scholars of Japanese studies express our unity with the many courageous historians in Japan seeking an accurate and just history of World War II in Asia. Because Japan is a second home as well as a field of research for many of us, we write with a shared concern for the way that the history of Japan and East Asia is studied and commemorated.

In this important commemorative year, we also write to celebrate seventy years of peace between Japan and its neighbors. Postwar Japan’s history of democracy, civilian control of the military, police restraint, and political tolerance, together with contributions to science and generous aid to other countries, are all things to celebrate as well.

Yet problems of historical interpretation pose an impediment to celebrating these achievements. One of the most divisive historical issues is the so-called “comfort women” system. This issue has become so distorted by nationalist invective in Japan as well as in Korea and China that many scholars, along with journalists and politicians, have lost sight of the fundamental goal of historical inquiry, which should be to understand the human condition and aspire to improve it.

Exploitation of the suffering of former “comfort women” for nationalist ends in the countries of the victims makes an international resolution more difficult and further insults the dignity of the women themselves. Yet denying or trivializing what happened to them is equally unacceptable. Among the many instances of wartime sexual violence and military prostitution in the twentieth century, the “comfort women” system was distinguished by its large scale and systematic management under the military, and by its exploitation of young, poor, and vulnerable women in areas colonized or occupied by Japan.

There is no easy path to a “correct history.” Much of the archive of the Japanese imperial military was destroyed. The actions of local procurers who provided women to the military may never have been recorded. But historians have unearthed numerous documents demonstrating the military’s involvement in the transfer of women and oversight of brothels. Important evidence also comes from the testimony of victims. Although their stories are diverse and affected by the inconsistencies of memory, the aggregate record they offer is compelling and supported by official documents as well as by the accounts of soldiers and others.

Historians disagree over the precise number of “comfort women,” which will probably never be known for certain. Establishing sound estimates of victims is important. But ultimately, whether the numbers are judged to have been in the tens of thousands or the hundreds of thousands will not alter the fact of the exploitation carried out throughout the Japanese empire and its war zones.

Some historians also dispute how directly the Japanese military was involved, and whether women were coerced to become “comfort women.” Yet the evidence makes clear that large numbers of women were held against their will and subjected to horrific brutality. Employing legalistic arguments focused on particular terms or isolated documents to challenge the victims’ testimony both misses the fundamental issue of their brutalization and ignores the larger context of the inhumane system that exploited them.

Like our colleagues in Japan, we believe that only careful weighing and contextual evaluation of every trace of the past can produce a just history. Such work must resist national and gender bias, and be free from government manipulation, censorship, and private intimidation. We defend the freedom of historical inquiry, and we call upon all governments to do the same.

Many countries still struggle to acknowledge past injustices. It took over forty years for the United States government to compensate Japanese-Americans for their internment during World War II. The promise of equality for African Americans was not realized in US law until a century after the abolition of slavery, and the reality of racism remains ingrained in American society. None of the imperial powers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including the United States, the European nations, and Japan, can claim to have sufficiently reckoned with their histories of racism, colonialism, and war, or with the suffering they inflicted on countless civilians around the world.

Japan today values the life and rights of every individual, including the most vulnerable. The Japanese government would not tolerate the exploitation of women in a system like the military “comfort stations” now, either overseas or at home. Even at the time, some officials protested on moral grounds. But the wartime regime compelled absolute sacrifice of the individual to serve the state, causing great suffering to the Japanese people themselves as well as to other Asians. No one should have to suffer such conditions again.

This year presents an opportunity for the government of Japan to show leadership by addressing Japan’s history of colonial rule and wartime aggression in both words and action. In his April address to the US Congress, Prime Minister Abe spoke of the universal value of human rights, of the importance of human security, and of facing the suffering that Japan caused other countries. We applaud these sentiments and urge the Prime Minister to act boldly on all of them.

The process of acknowledging past wrongs strengthens a democratic society and fosters cooperation among nations. Since the equal rights and dignity of women lie at the core of the “comfort women” issue, its resolution would be a historic step toward the equality of women and men in Japan, East Asia and the world.

In our classrooms, students from Japan, Korea, China and elsewhere discuss these difficult issues with mutual respect and probity. Their generation will live with the record of the past that we bequeath them. To help them build a world free of sexual violence and human trafficking, and to promote peace and friendship in Asia, we must leave as full and unbiased an accounting of past wrongs as possible.

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Feel free to contact the AAS and confirm their position yourself.

The AAS is on record as not know who drafted or organized the original letter.

The report of false, the "group" did not publish anything.

The letter is anonymous and its context has been entirely distorted and twisted from "supporting Japanese academics" to, laughably, demanding the whole of Japan "face up to its history" ... which really means, accepting the Chinese or Korean propagandists' spin of it.

**At present, and until proven otherwise, all we can suspect the signatories have been duped as to the intention of this letter.

All we can be 100% sure of is that it is not the official position of the AAS, and the AAS is being unfairly dragged into this business.**

The reporting also raises questions about the credibility of the AFP.

You don't seem to realise how unusual, and thereby discrediting, it is for such a letter to be anonymous.

Personally, my first bet would be one of the Korean-American groups behind the comfort women statues.

Perhaps you could find out for us?

Personally, I would say Korean and Chinese academics require their independence and freedom supported, never mind their persons protected if they dare step outside of the partyline, far more vigorously than Japanese. It was, after all, Japanese feminists and academics, such as Yoshiaki Yoshimi, who first brought evidence to light.

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This has been a dicey affair from the start.

Having lived in Japan for a while, I can say from the people I dealt with, they don't know altogether the full extent of what the Japanese did in WWII (whether it was Darwin, Nauru, Shanghai, or the numerous atrocities of Unit 731). Despite this, the naivety on their part cant' be helped when they are kept in the dark by the government (the bigger issue here).

We all should theoretically know about the San Francisco peace treaty, which should have left this issue done and dusted. From the observations I made while in Japan researching the topic, the Japanese government in some capacity have formally apologized no less than 15 times all in all.

However, what is problematic is the nature of the apologies (especially for the Chinese and the Koreans), and I can totally agree (sympathize) with this. For every Japanese minister that steps forth and says "Sorry for those deeds," there is another that will say "the events can't be proven." It should be noted, I don't need to prove this point, its well documented (Abe presently functions as a denialist for that point).

Given this, if one were on the receiving end of such an apology, I can't imagine any person would take it as legitimate. All in all, it's more than just a tad half ***ed when you can't get any national uniformity. This is why praise is lavished on the Germans for their war time reparations; the recognition is universal from them and its constant.

I can't speak for the Koreans or Chinese, but being on the receiving end of intermittent apologies and then denials (making for inconsistency), doesn't help to make any apology look genuine. Regrettably, this is where things stand.

I think, as these Pulitzer prize scholar guys said, there are errors occurring on all parties' part here. For as bad as the constant denial following the initial apology is (on the Japanese side), the action of using this as a point to try and embarrass Japan hardly makes them (Chinese and Koreans) look noble either. The actions of both states actually work to belittle the suffering of the women involved; that saddens me too. This isn't to say that what the Japanese and Koreans are doing is as significant in magnitude as the Japanese, its merely to point out, that they are also committing acts which aren't noble.

I have no vested interest one way or the other, but letting the facts be seen for what they are 'should' be the objective here. From what I've observed, there are interesting/curious facts to note on the side of the Koreans assisting the Japanese, as well as with the actions of the Japanese soldiers themselves...both parties it would seem should hang their heads in shame....however guilty some of the Koreans may have been in this, it doesn't take away from the suffering of the women. Even if the claims that they were whores before the war are true...being forced to serve as a military whore 'against their will' doesn't seem legally just or fair. This is the issue! Denial of their 'will' should never have been permitted. Those that had oppressed these women and denied them freedom of choice should be made known and judged accordingly (looking at you Yasukuni Shrine).

The argument on both sides is obviously more complicated than what a few paragraphs may encompass, but I hope I've hit the crux of the matter here. Essentially, there is a lot of grey in the discussion, the wrongdoing to the women involved is not one of them (that's black and white). I hope you guys can keep that in mind in all the nationalistic rhetoric.

On with the discussion!

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Luce A. I just gotta laugh at the side stepping. How about this. Provide links to what you are talking about. Also, even if all you say is the gospel, are you trying to say that all that has been said is not true? The atrocities committed by the Japanese in WWII did not happen? Is that where you would like to go with this? I sincerely hope not. The prisoners and comfort women were all lying? The Japanese did not commit horrible brutalities on their neighbors?

@Anthony All very, very excellent points. BRAVO!!!

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Links to what?

I am an adult. There's a world beyond what's written on the internet. I asked the executive director of the AAS himself and if you don't believe me, go and ask him yourself.

What would be more interesting would be to identify the originators of this letter and their agenda.

"Anthony" just rolls out the usual, well worn memes; that apologies have not been made, or are not sincere or have been contradicted, and obfuscation of extent of the San Francisco Treaty etc.

These are tired tools in the information war that is going on.

Just as China has flooded the consumer market with cheap, low end and pirated junk that breaks the first time you use it, expect the same to happen in the arena of logic or academic discussion.

Already in the Western media, reports are being published at how China is losing its propaganda war because it is being too cack handed, to distorted and aggressive. It's treating Westerners like it would its own people and it won't work. It's too unsubtle and Westerners will resent it. The low level Korean activists are probably even worse, far too emotional, angry and unrealistic.

Again, that kind of drama may work in Korea but beyond its borders it just looks ridiculous.

Korea wants to do anything to distract from the culpability of its own government, leaders and citizens in the prostitution business that served not just the Japanese but also the Americans. Indeed, the UN figure for 1950 is that there were 1 million korean women involved in servicing the US Army, many of them ex-ianfu. The business being run by and financially benefiting the same Korean people.

This is what this is all about from the Korean and Korean-American activist point of view. it's just a distract from the truth, not a desire to find it ... which is what the historians are saying should happen.

Basically no one is Japan is denying what happened, they are denying the hyperbole and exaggerated claims, and outright lies they are being accused of.

It might work in Korea but it won't work in Japan nor most of the Western world.

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I can agree with you on many points. You are correct that the Koreans and Chinese are using this for their own gain and that there were many South Korean prostitutes who served the Japanese and Americans. Blah, blah, blah. But in reality you are only deflecting and throwing blame at others in the hopes that the world will not pay attention to what Japan has done its refusal to teach correct history. That is the whole problem here. A full an honest apology and a desire for history to be correctly taught. The western world is tiring of Chinese and Koreans continuing to focus on this issue but not as much as you would hope. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Prime Minister Abe to face Japan's history. As she said, Germany knows something about this. After World War II, Germany engaged in a painful national "coming to terms with the past" that ripped open old wounds so that they could properly heal.

Have a good read, please. http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/28/opinions/honda-abe-comfort-women-issue/index.html

https://www.congress.gov/bill/110th-congress/house-resolution/121

I think we are getting tired of the complaints but we are also getting tired of deflectionist and deniers. We are tired of people saying, "Yeah, we might have done some bad things, but it is not as bad as you think" or "But you did it to".

Oh, and as for Anthony. Don't you hate when someone opposing you is dead on correct and you can not refute it in detail but just attack the whole? Yeah, I do too. In those times I like to graciously accept defeat. HIs points are dead on correct and even goes to says this about Japan;

We all should theoretically know about the San Francisco peace treaty, which should have left this issue done and dusted. From the observations I made while in Japan researching the topic, the Japanese government in some capacity have formally apologized no less than 15 times all in all.

See, he is actually giving Japan credit for apologizing. But he is correct in saying;

Given this, if one were on the receiving end of such an apology, I can't imagine any person would take it as legitimate. All in all, it's more than just a tad half ***ed when you can't get any national uniformity. This is why praise is lavished on the Germans for their war time reparations; the recognition is universal from them and its constant.

I think he did a great job!!! And most people are tired of the apologies and contrition being followed up by excuses and finger-pointing. I know I am.

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The problem is, people like you don't want "history to be taught correctly", they want Japanese children indoctrinated into grossly exaggerated, spirit breaking falsehoods, and at inappropriate age and Japan's political and economic standing in the world to be perpetually damaged.

Putting aside the habitually fanatical nutjobs and xenophobic racists, I'd say that

a) From the South Korean point of view, it's all about damaging Japan's "brand value" to promote Korea's "brand value".

b) From the Chinese point of view, it's all about damaging American's political and, potentially military, support of Japan for when China flexes its muscles, increases its belligerence and starts openly aggressing within the region. And,

c) Within the USA, there has always been a small but influential clique of capitalists and politicians - sometimes right up to a presidential level - who have favoured their luck with investment in China rather than Japan.

The underlying problem is that the history has not been done properly yet and everyone from the nutjobs to the professional propagandists do not want it to be done because it will expose the claims being made as largely groundless.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

An interviewarticle of Prof Alexis Dudden and Prof Jordan Sand by Peter Ennis on the "open letter" was published here on May 16. http://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/69928

DUDDEN: We got 187 scholars with wildly divergent specializations to come together based on each of us noticing a troubling atmosphere. A lot of the recent presentation of the comfort women issue has been quite constricted. It is not full-on censorship from the highest level. Rather, there seems to be a narrowing of what is considered permissible speech.

I think her comment rather undue. The widest range of publications from right to left on Ianfu can be found in Japan. You can verify that just by googling in Japanese.

In the United States, certain views are called revisionist, nationalist, and right-wing, and cannot be published. We should not forget it was Alexis DUDDEN that called for political pressure from the US to influence the historical discussion on Ianfu in Japan. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alexis-dudden/call-a-slave-a-slave_b_5572282.html

In South Korea, it is hopeless. Any academic work can be banned by court if it is against Korean nationalism. http://ajw.asahi.com/article/asia/korean_peninsula/AJ201502180058

The Seoul Eastern District Court on Feb. 17 said sales and publication of "Comfort Women of the Empire," written by Park Yu-ha, a professor of Japanese literature at Sejong University, can resume only after the passages are deleted.

The interview article is worth reading with a huge grain of salt.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Luce-A - WOW. I am a bit surprised but mostly disappointed. But I will give you some props for points A and B. They were spot on. BRAVO!

However, revisionist like yourself have played very well into their hands. Revisionists and the opportunistic Japanese politicians who have been able to dupe their voters into believing that Japan was only trying to save Asia from western colonialism, that the comfort women issue has been a lie and all the things that foreign people say that Japan did before and during WWII, wether personally witnessed or researched are completely wrong. But that is only for their own political gain, not for the gain of the country at all. It is too short-sighted and does the country more harm than good. They have played very well into SK, NK, and Chinese government hands all too well. The revisionist in Japan need an enemy just like the South Korean, North Korean and Chinese governments. The four love and need each other in order to survive. Without their demagoguery, the political entities can not survive at all on good ideas alone. Teaching hate and patriotism is a very powerful political tool that has been used since the beginning of time and are their tools for keeping power.

The problem is, people like you don't want "history to be taught correctly", they want Japanese children indoctrinated into grossly exaggerated, spirit breaking falsehoods, and at inappropriate age and Japan's political and economic standing in the world to be perpetually damaged.

No, very untrue. People like me want all people to squarely look at history in the eye without making any excuses for it at all. Pretty much like the Germans have done. I deeply respect Germany and so does pretty much the rest of the world for really coming to grips with its past and making sure that their kids know the truth about what their forefathers did and I believe that all countries should follow this path. It is not "Spirit Breaking" at all. Have the Germans lost their spirit? NOT ONE BIT AT ALL. They are quite proud of who they are and understand that there is a difference between THEM and the people who committed those atrocities. They are not one in the same at all. Just like I am not the same person who kidnapped and enslaved millions of Africans and feel that it must be taught. My spirit has never been broken over the issue at all. I didn't do it and as an American I am not one bit ashamed of their actions because I know that those people and I are different people. My spirit was not broken when I learned the horrible things that my forefathers did at all. I thought it was horrible and something that should never be repeated, but taught at a young age as well.

"Falsehoods"? Are you calling the witnesses from so many countries who tell the same stories, LIARS? If so, that is truly sad.

I think you are holding onto history to tightly as if it should be a glorious thing, and it should not because history is evolution and evolution is violent and there is nothing glorious about violence at all. History has nothing to do with you at all. It is not something that YOU or I did. It is something that someone of the same race did and not something that you should take pride in or lose your pride over. I am sure that you take pride in the accomplishments of Japanese achievements around the world. I am sure you also feel shame when a Japanese does something horrific like spreads poisonous gas on a busy train, shoots and kills a large group of people in an Israeli airport or eats someone in France. But why should you feel pride or shame in these things? It has nothing to do with you at all because it is not you. You need to separate the two. This version of history is only grossly exaggerated because you do not want to accept it and are looking for any reason at all to deny it.

I am sure you do not have a problem with Japanese high school students going to Nagasaki and Hiroshima at all do you? You feel it is educational in order to teach that war is wrong, right? If Japanese kids can be shown those awful things at such an impressionable age then how is it inappropriate to teach them what Japan did wrong at that age? They go their to learn that war is wrong, right? They look at Japanese people as being the victims of the bombings right? But showing them Japan's crimes would be too humiliating, I guess. Looks very self-serving from most people's point of view. Frankly, I think that children from the USA should be going there. Your children need to be going to Manilla to learn about what was done there by the Japanese military to those poor people, or some other places in Asia. The South Korean and American kids need to be going to Vietnam and learning about what their forefathers did as well. History must be taught to our youth without any kind of excuse making whatsoever by our own people.

One final point. I asked you to provide links or proof to your letter that you posted a while back. You scoffed at that. Ummmmm, what are we supposed to do? Take your word for it? We don't know who you are or how reliable your information is at all. We need proof. Is that not what you are trying to tell us as well? That you need proof and that there is no proof to support the claims of so many people who criticize Japan for it's WWII past? See how it works?

SMH at this comment. It shows that you hold only hold history as a glorious thing when in reality history is just evolution and evolution is violent. There really is nothing glorious about history at all. Seems to me that for you, history

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

sandiegoluvMay. 18, 2015 - 02:16PM JST

However, revisionist like yourself have played very well into their hands

ad hominem

Revisionists and the opportunistic Japanese politicians who have been able to dupe their voters into believing that Japan was only trying to save Asia from western colonialism, that the comfort women issue has been a lie and all the things that foreign people say that Japan did before and during WWII, wether personally witnessed or researched are completely wrong.

Strawman argument.

People like me want all people to squarely look at history in the eye without making any excuses for it at all.

This is it. It is not discussion. It is suppression of discussion that you want.

But it is history. Both sides are welcome to discuss the matter to find out truth. No one participating in the discussion today is "guilty" or "indebted" to the Ianfu.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@ CH3CHO

If it is ad hominem, then debate it. Are you not a Revisionist? Is that not what you aspire to do? You do not want to change what has been said about the past? The fact is revisionists have played very well into their so-called enemies hands. The Chinese and South Koreans governments love that Japanese politicians continue to call for another review of its past. It changes the populace focus of attention from what is going wrong in their own world to an enemy created by their governments. Does it not work for all politicians involved? Is there any reason to doubt that? I think not.

Straw man argument; The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. Hmmmm, I have not done that either. Revisionists have actually ignored the actual position of the victims and substituted it with a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.

Do politicians here in Japan not cow-tow to a so-called "Apology-Fatigued" population of people who are only shown their own side as being the victims and hardly at all shown anything about the horrible things that their forefathers did? Is that incorrect? I seriously doubt it. Frankly there is only one apology worth really anything at all, while the others are just word semantics and are followed up with doubts and a desire to see things written in stone, whilst claiming that it is all made up. Funny how the guilty burn or shred their documents right before the proverbial "you-know-what hits the fan and then claim lack of evidence within their own offices, but goes after the witnesses and calls them all liars.

Calling something this or that is not a defense at all nor does it prove why I am wrong either.

I really like the links that you provided. However, your comments were a little sad to read;

In the United States, certain views are called revisionist, nationalist, and right-wing, and cannot be published.

I have no idea what you are talking about here or what country you are actually talking about. Don't discredit the USA to make Japan look good with innuendos like this. The USA has come pretty far in talking about its past and trying to teach it. No, it is not perfect at all, but I would say that it sure has gone farther into teaching history than Japan has.

We should not forget it was Alexis DUDDEN that called for political pressure from the US to influence the historical discussion on Ianfu in Japan

LOL. And? And? What is the point of that? So what? I think you are forgetting that this was an effort done by 187 people and Prof Dudden was just ONE of them. It was not solely done by the professor. I am sure there were many conflicting opinions in this and the final was what everyone agreed on. I think that Prof Alexis Dudden and Prof Jordan Sand and their group probably know a lot more than either you or I do.

As for South Korea. Well, freedom of speech is not quite was goes on there. That is true. I really love how the Asahi Newspaper picked up the ONE story about ONE South Korean book that has had to be edited before it can go into print. Typical, typical Japanese newspaper, trying to say, "See, see"! LMFAO. I bet you do not even know the actual reason as to why the court ruled that Park Yu-ha has to change things in her book. I know I don't I only heard that some points hurt the honor of the victims. Well, the SK government has a responsibility to make sure that those women do not suffer undue stress so there really is no problem with that at all. She might have said some really hateful things there. We dont know.

I think the link that first two links that you provided were very good but they do not need to be taken with a grain of salt.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@ sandiegoluv

The history has not been done yet, so how can it be revised?

What people like you want is for decades worth of propagandists' spin to be accepted without question ... and so make such a big hullabaloo that anyone concerned about their credibility or career goes no where near doing that history.

Are the remaining war time prostitutes reliable witness? Sadly no. Not my opinion but even the opinion of the Korean NGOs promoting their interests, who rejected the majority as unreliable witnesses.

For example, the case of Lee Yong-soo who has variously claimed how,

In a 1992 Report submitted to Korean Council for Ianfu she was "Delighted to receive a red dress and leather shoes from a man wearing clothing resembling a uniform. Went along with him right away".

In 2000, to the Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal how she was, "Deceived by Japanese man (comfort station proprietor)"

Then in June of 2002 that she was, "Kidnapped at bayonet point at the age of 14".

But by 2004 she claimed she was, "Kidnapped by a man wearing clothing resembling a People’s Army uniform".

And in 2005 that she was, "Kidnapped by a man wearing clothing resembling a military uniform and brandishing a rifle".

Yong-soo went on to tell the Hearing at U.S. House of Representatives in 2007 that she was 16 years old when she ran away with her friend, Kim Punsun "tip-toing out of the house after her ... leaving without telling her mother".

Then in 2007, in a Japan Times article, how “On an evening in 1944, Japanese soldiers forced their way into 14-year-old Lee’s home and dragged her out by the neck.” and,

to the FCCJ (Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan that, "A soldier and a woman entered her house between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. on a bright moonlit night. [The soldier] pointed a sword at her, covered her mouth and removed her from her house" and,

If you were a historian, would you accept her as a reliable witness?

And which version would you accept?

The poor old women are having the last of their dignity stripped from them, being treated like "political footballs" and tutored to lie and exaggerate.

What's most remarkable in all of this business is, despite all the efforts and politicking over the last 20 years, how little to no supporting evidence has arisen.

To which the propagandists then squeal ... "but they destroyed it all!". A statement that underlines their historical ignorance of the workings of the Imperial Army (probably one of the most bureaucratic in all history).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Luce A.

The history has not been done yet, so how can it be revised?

Nonsense. WWII is history. It is done. Denying it helps nothing at all.

What people like you want is for decades worth of propagandists' spin to be accepted without question ... and so make such a big hullabaloo that anyone concerned about their credibility or career goes no where near doing that history

Ad hominem? is that not what you just accused me of? But you will do it by calling me a propagandist? You squeal when I call you a Revisionist, while your is the view Propagandist view to say the least..... Please take a read here at the interview..... http://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/69928

You talk about ONE witness. ONE! As if she is the the only witness to this.... She is not. So many people have come forward to talk about their mistreatment by the Japanese military. And you pick just one inconsistent. If you really had an open mind you would realize how that shows that you are the propagandists like yourself are grasping at anything and everything to hold on to national pride.

And as for this;

To which the propagandists then squeal ... "but they destroyed it all!". A statement that underlines their historical ignorance of the workings of the Imperial Army (probably one of the most bureaucratic in all history).

There is an easy reply to it.......Take a look at the links.

http://asiancorrespondent.com/122216/china-releases-new-evidence-of-japans-wwii-sex-slave-policy/

Unearthed evidence to Japan's actions that could not be burned. Oh and then there is this;

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/international/japan-burnt-8000-classified-documents-before-the-end-of-wwii/article4484865.ece

So, yeah people who have nothing at all to hide bury and burn the information. Yeah, I don't think so. You can not and have not successfully refuted a single thing that I said, but go on and label my comments as ad hominem and straw man attacks but then turn around and do the same thing. Add to that switching gears. Now, I know why I don't argue politics with people like yourself. You will never change your mind and will defend a position until it can not be defended and then switch gears and go off on another course of debate because you want to deny history. I am done.

Good luck with rewriting history. But remember the statement made by George Santayana, philosopher, from Reason in Common Sense "Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.". Revisionist ideas like yours set the country right on that course. Have a great day. I am done talking with you. No disrespect. But I am bored with this debate now. It was truly a waste of time.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

sandiegoluvMay. 19, 2015 - 02:15AM JST

is that not what you just accused me of?

No. It was I, not Luce A.

China's release of "new evidence" is a welcome news, though way over due. The problem is that the news does not say anything about the content of the "new evidence." As I said, I am interested in truth. China should fully open their evidence now, rather than hiding the truth.

Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.

One thing is sure. You admit Lee Yong-soo is not telling the truth. The Korean activist grouop, Cheong Sin Dae Mun Che Dae Chaek Hyeob Wi Hei, is responsible for sponsoring her to the floor of US Congress to tell untruth.

If you are not satisfied with one, here is another. Korean former Ianfu Kim Koon Ja also testified before US Congress. Her two versions of testimonies are recorded on page 30 and page 32 of this transcript. Her testimonies are totally contradicting. http://archives.republicans.foreignaffairs.house.gov/110/33317.pdf

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I do apologize for mistaking who was saying what. Oh, and now you have ONE more example. Oh, dear lord please. TWO. Oh, dear lord let's change all the history textbooks now. Give me a break. I supposed the countless women who have told their stories around the world should all be dismissed as fabricators due to these two women who you say did this and that. Sorry, not buying it. Now, as I said to the other poster, I am done talking with he/she and that goes for you two. You both seem to be living in denial and no matter I said or showed YOU, you would never change your minds anyway. Please have a pleasant day.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

sandiegoluvMay. 19, 2015 - 11:05AM JST

I supposed the countless women who have told their stories

How many of their stories have you read? Which Korean Ianfu story do you think is convincing?

I have read quite a number of Korean Ianfu stories and none is convincing interms of how they became an Ianfu. Did any of them say they were abducted by Japanese soldiers? http://www.koreaverband.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/biographies_KoreanComfortWomen_english.pdf

By the way, two Korean former Ianfu has ever testified before US Congress. Both of them gave contradicting testimonies. Two out of two is 100%.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Did any of them say they were abducted by Japanese soldiers?

It's weird you are always so hung up on who abducted them, when it's the fact that they were used as sex slaves that is the complaint. The abduction is simply a precursor to the main crime.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

StrangerlandMay. 19, 2015 - 01:53PM JST

It's weird you are always so hung up on who abducted them, when it's the fact that they were used as sex slaves that is the complaint. The abduction is simply a precursor to the main crime.

Abduction is a crime world wide. Prostitution is not a crime in many countries, especially in Europe even today. It was not a crime under pre-WW2 Japanese laws.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

it's the fact that they were used as sex slaves that is the complaint.

Prostitution is not a crime in many countries

What does prostitution have to do with it? We're talking about the keeping of sex slaves.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

CH3CHO: "Which Korean Ianfu story do you think is convincing?"

'Ianfu' is a word made up by the Japanese, as a euphemism, to cover up the heinousness of their acts. As such, any 'ianfu stories' are likewise things conjured up by the Japanese. Now, sex-slave stories, there are many, many which have been verified as fact, and many IJA troopers have admitted to kidnapping and forcing women into brothels. THOSE you don't even look at because you're too busy with your denial.

"Abduction is a crime world wide. Prostitution is not a crime in many countries, especially in Europe even today."

FORCED prostitution is not the 'prostitution' you tell yourself every night these women were engaged in. It was sexual slavery -- which IS a crime, and which the IJA was actively engaged in.

Luce-A: "The history has not been done yet, so how can it be revised?"

What on earth are you talking about. As you guys like to say, "These things happened 70 years ago! China and South Korea need to forget it!!" and now you're saying "history has not been done yet"? What you MEAN is that it has not be REwritten yet, which is why people are questioning Abe's actions. You canNOT rewrite what has happened, as much as you and your winger groups like.

Hell, on another thread just today you actually said "Japanese believe in equality, which is why it is hard to believe they would kidnap Koreans and that it was actually Koreans doing it"!!! The most blatant example of brain-washing and denial I have ever heard in my life! You are a prime example of the things you claim China and North Korea does to its people. Amazing!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ smithinjapan

There's nothing particularly more "heinous" about the Korean prostitution industry during the Japanese occupation of Korea and the Korean prostitution industry of any other time, except that the industry did very well financially. Not as financially well as when the Americans arrived and increased its numbers to 1,000,000 (UN figure, 1950) but everyone from the women to the brokers and brothel owners did well ... until the war effort collapsed.

The error in your thinking is taking a handful of incidents, e.g. battlefield rapes, and extrapolating without any evidence that all within the industry must have been treated in the same way. You're wrong.

Multifold evidence suggests otherwise.

When I and others state, "The history has not been done yet", it means just that. It's not an area which has actually been well studied, not all the evidence has been found.

People are confusing propaganda with history. Obviously, for many, the propaganda version has become "the history" in their minds and they are wrong. So wrong, we need to start by throwing such a view out and starting from scratch again, this time based on all the evidence.

What's actually going on is that the extortionists in Korea and China, and the habitual Japan Hate mob, are attempting with all of their vigor to obstruct the history from being done - by making it a subject matter few historians would dare to study - and to establishing a public consensus on the basis of repetition of a fictitious and grossly exaggerated account.

You have misquote me. I don't know what it is you are referring to. Of course, we all know that Koreans ran the Korean sex industry, were brokers, abductors etc ... even the Ianfu's accounts confirm this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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