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Asia should put WWII behind it: Singapore PM

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So politicians can find words of wisdom and common sense, thank you Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for those honest and truthful words of wisdom. I had totally lost all faith in politicians and the political systems of the world, but you have restored some credibility to the political office. People in general don't like to hear the truth spoken, something most political leaders of the world know little about, "TRUTH". So lets hope your speech was translated fully and correctly into Chinese, Japanese and Korean so the political leaders have no doubt as to what you said. Wether they act on your words is another topic of discussion .

15 ( +18 / -3 )

I couldn't agree more. (although, Asia should probably put benevolent dictators behind it as well)

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Wish this man was in charge of all the countries. A voice of reason can truly sound amazing.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Lee is correct. The world war II ended 70 years ago and that is basically three generations ago. Anyway, if the western world carried on about WWII like their Asian cousins, Europe and Germany would be a miserable place to be today. It's funny though that China and Korea complain about Japan's WWII behavior but they love to vacation in Japan and buy up everything they see. Sounds like a lot of media BS hype to me.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

I agree totally with his statement but this guy is a puppet to the UK/West just like his father before him (the first SP PM) what is the real agenda these days I'm not so sure.

-22 ( +3 / -25 )

China and Korea are the only ones who cry out.

With exception of them, every Asian countries moved on.

Time to China and Korea to be mature and stop acting like spoil kids.

-18 ( +13 / -31 )

No different from what Obama and crew have been saying for years, but always good to hear other leaders putting the pressure on.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Mitsuo MatsuyamaMAY. 30, 2015 - 05:08PM JST China and Korea are the only ones who cry out. With exception of them, every Asian countries moved on. Time to China and Korea to be mature and stop acting like spoil kids.

And that is EXACTLY the attitude Lee Hsien Loong is encouraging to end!!

Very telling that it came form a Japanese person.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

As for a new Japanese apology or statement. How about giving signs that anti-Japanese sentiment will no longer be fostered by their governments, educational systems and politicians for a start? How about giving a sign that any new statements on the issue won't go ignored, disregarded or belittled? What's the point in apologizing if the other part isn't willing to forgive? And finally, China and Korea shouldn't expect a debasement from the Japanese government or people as an apology. Stubbornness sure is a common thing those three governments share.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

... says the man who is sitting on the fence and does nothing.

-17 ( +5 / -22 )

@CGB

"Sitting on the fence and doing nothing".

A bit like a tennis umpire, then?

Surely the best person to be volunteering an opinion?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Very balanced view from Singapore and I wish Japan moves first by acknowledging the past war crimes and initiate talks with Korea and China regarding these historical matters. Blaming each other is quite unproductive in the age when the World has plenty of issues that we have to solve together.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@matsuyama: that's a typical self-righteous Japanese view, especially Japanese people don't even know or they ignore the profound sufferings caused by Japan to the Chinese and Koreans. How would Japanese people feel if the situation was the opposite?, with Japan invaded, tens of millions slaughtered/experimented on, and 70 years later any apologies are tainted by insincerity and contradictory actions or unbelievable insensitive/revisionist propaganda and excuses and twisting of the facts and extrapolation (on the part of the guilty party, to try to wash off the blood on its hands)? Try to imagine those kinds of brutal sufferings and their consequences and try to be in the shoes of those tens of millions of innocent lives who were massacred, and then imagine how you would feel if these sufferings were further insulted by revisionist behavior of the guilty party before you can tell Korea and China to forget/move on... I am sure the Japanese would still harbor deep pain, anger and outrage even 70 or 1000 years later (especially when historical facts are now whitwashed). Instead of telling Korea and China to "move on", how about those like you tell Japan and Abe to stop whitewashing Japan's wrongs and to teach the truth?... THEN you can come here and tell the victims to "move on". Remember what the writer Murakami said in his wisdom: Japan has the duty to continually apologize and face its atrocities and wrongs until Korea and China do not need it anymore (or even if Korea and China do not need it anymore).

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

In order to move on, the parties need to come to terms with what happened in order to move on.

If Japan takes on Germany's example, then both China and Korea should accept and move on immediately in order to cooperate with one another so that Asia can prosper. Look how close the EU countries are.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

“It is past the time to put this history behind us properly, like the Europeans have done,”

Aren't the Russians and the Ukranians still fighting over territory?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Finally someone with sense. I really like his attitude. It is refreshing. His points were all spot on correct.

@Ringman - Love how you flipped it around. It is so true. I also think the Japanese would be far from forgiving anytime soon. Can not expect something from someone when you can not do it yourself.

@Matsuo - And this is exactly the problem. You don't have any right to say "mature and stop acting like spoil kids". They do. Not you. This attitude is one big reason that this problem continues on today. They were the victims and if your government would;

properly apologizing, without the word games and excuses

teach history correctly to its children, void of excuses

showed the plight of the Asian victims of IJA during the war as opposed to only how much your own people suffered, which makes you seem like you are playing the victim card

had war memorials to your victims

stop letting the Prime Minister visit Yasukuni Shrine even though the past and present Emperor refused to visit it after the war criminals were interred there

had your leaders visiting Asian memorials that were dedicated to the victims of the IJA

stop calling the comfort women common prostitutes and liars

These things have to be fixed before you can say anything about them being immature. The side on the wrong can not say anything negative to its victims when it has not done all it can to repair the issue and make amends. It can not be prideful and arrogant towards its victim. That is wrong and why we are still in this situation.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Is anybody going to listen the right advice tendered by the Singapore Prime Minister Lee and modify the approach adopted during all these years after the end of World War II towards Japan ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I love Singapore, and here is just one more reason to love it more!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

How about giving a sign that any new statements on the issue won't go ignored, disregarded or belittled?

None of the previous apologies have been ignored, disregarded, or belittled. What makes you think any new ones would be?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I hope CNN has caught up with this story as well as major television stations in Japan, Korea and China. I so totally agree with what the Singaporean PM says. Let's move on ... PLEASE!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@sandiegoluv. Well put. Shinzo Abe is the one regurgitating the problem over and over and trying to rewrite the history. The recent statement by the group of prominent Japanese historians urging Abe to stop from denying and twisting the history shows there are still many Japanese with conscience. Abe is an arrogant and opportunitic politician to gain the power by siding with old right wing remnants of WWII. History can not be changed by aggressors or victims. History is history of facts.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@tegomas, you are right: if only Japan would drop its humanless pride and follow Germany's good example.

@sandiegoluv: thank you, and your expanded point and list of the things Japan has at least the moral duty to do are one clear and unambiguous way to show its sincerity and face up to its atrocities. Japan should also build some kind of monument to cement its remorse and to show its human connectedness to the tens of millions of Chinese (the largest number of victims) and Koreans and other victims.. that is, if Japan still has the human soul to take this step (instead of paying homage at Yasukuni the Imperial Japanese soldiers who massacred tens of millions as basically "heroes" etc - in what universe would any decent people or country do that?).

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

All the while China ramps up there hatred. Yeah! puck you china and you're BS ways

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Look how close the EU countries are.

Bad example. Consider that they are already talking about possibly pushing Greece out of the Eurozone, not to mention the UK referendum on their future membership.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

But Park has refused to sit down one-on-one with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

I do not blame Park who did not want to sit with Abe. Most of the female leaders do not trust Abe is trustworthy, honest and diplomatic. Whenever Abe denied about comfort women issue, many women do not want to talk with Abe.

The more Abe deny about the past, the more he will lose foreign female friends. Park will never sit with Abe alone. She prefer to sit with Obama alone because Obama is gentle, friendly and down to earth.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

China and Korea are the only ones who cry out.

With exception of them, every Asian countries moved on.

Time to China and Korea to be mature and stop acting like spoil kids.

We will move on when Japan stop deny their atrocities.

Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara: There was no Nanking Massacre http://shanghaiist.com/2012/03/03/tokyogovernorshintaroishiharath.php

Nagoya mayor sticks to 'Nanking Massacre' denial http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behindnews/socialaffairs/AJ201202280033

NHK Governor: Nanjing Massacre ‘Never Happened’ http://thediplomat.com/2014/02/nhk-governor-nanjing-massacre-never-happened/

This decision comes after a group of 37 local assembly members complained that passages from “Kuni ga Moeru” (“The Country is Burning”) printed in the magazine’s Sept. 16 and 22 editions “distorted history” by describing Japanese soldiers massacring civilians in the Nanjing Massacre of 1937.

The politicians claim no such massacre took place.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2004/11/12/national/manga-account-of-nanjing-massacre-axed-amid-protests/#.VVwIWrmqqkp

37 politicians here claim Nanking massacre did not happen.

By the way, Korea and China are not the only one. USA congressmen and western academician are also with them.

Nearly 200 academics write an open letter calling on Japan to face up to its World War II crimes http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-07/academics-urge-japan-to-face-up-to-world-war-ii-crimes/6453842

U.S. lawmakers urge Japan's leader to reaffirm war apologies http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201504240019

Just curious, how many Japanese people here who think Rape of Nanking or comfort women are lies/fabrication?

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

A wise and statesmen like comment, one I wholeheartedly concur with, but I'm afraid it will fall on deaf ears in Beijing and Seoul. As we all know, the Chinese communist government has made a strategic decision to vilify and demonize Japan, to further it's territorial claims and to strengthen the narrative that only the party can protect China's "dignity". For SKorea, no leader yet has had the courage or political will to tell the public what it does not want to hear, that the country is mature enough to move beyond it's victim mentality, and after 70 years, its time to put all the historical recriminations with Japan behind it.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The recent statement by the group of prominent Japanese historians urging Abe to stop from denying and twisting the history shows there are still many Japanese with conscience.

I must have miss out. Can you show me link/source for your claim here?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Has anyone calculated the economic cost of all this enmity?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Words of wisdom and eloquently put.

"China and Korea are the only ones who cry out. With exception of them, every Asian countries moved on. Time to China and Korea to be mature and stop acting like spoil kids."

Oh dear. In addition to completely missing the point, you have inadvertently proved Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to be correct. Might I suggest you bother to read the article next time before commenting.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Has anyone calculated the economic cost of all this enmity?

I guess you want to analyses for the benefit and losses between actively apology demanding nation vs passively apology ignoring nation of Asia.

When Singapore gained full self-government from the British colonial government in 1959, waves of anti-Japanese sentiments arose within the Chinese community and they demanded reparations and an apology from Japan. The British colonial government had demanded only war reparations for damage caused to British property during the war. The Japanese Foreign Ministry declined Singapore's request for an apology and reparations in 1963, stating that the issue of war reparations with the British had already been settled in the San Francisco Treaty in 1951 and hence with Singapore as well, which was then still a British colony

Singapore's first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew responded by saying that the British colonial government did not represent the voice of Singaporeans. In September 1963, the Chinese community staged a boycott of Japanese imports (refusing to unload aircraft and ships from Japan), but it lasted only seven days.

With Singapore's full independence from Malaysia on 9 August 1965, the Singapore government made another request to Japan for reparations and an apology. On 25 October 1966, Japan agreed to pay S$50 million in compensation, half of which was a grant and the rest as a loan. Japan did not make an official apology.

As a purchasing power parity of individual, Singapore is third richest nation behind Qartar and Luxemburg. South Korea and China who are major critic of Japan are five star performers of economy in Asia.

As a GDP, China and India may be higher than Singapore. However their average individual citizen quality of life is not good like Singapore.

If Singapore has shut up and never embarrassed Japan about WWII, it will never become the Dynamic successful economy of Asia. Myanmar and Philippines which are friendlier to Japan are not doing well like Singapore, South Korea and China.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Asia needs more statesmen like this man.

Hear, hear, sir.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Congratulations to these wise words of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,a truly visionary leader. Singapore is an example of excellence, for sure a result of good quality leaders along all its history. Overcome, move on,build a new relationship, a new beginning.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@ringman

I am sure the Japanese would still harbor deep pain, anger and outrage even 70 or 1000 years later

Do you hear Japan whining like some Koreans and Chinese at the USA? Nope, just like many Koreans and Chinese do to Japan, they just go there on holiday and for shopping.

Sooner or later everyone in the world is going to accept that the Japan Hate Mob is just that, like the crazy guy on the street who is always muttering to himself and arguing with ghosts.

Singapore have always been very reasonable and progressive about all this, e.g. refusing Korean demands and excesses, even though they have a good case to complain.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

of course if your father was part of propoganda office of japanese imperial army :)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Abe is 100% correct. Abe did not go far enough. It is China,Korea, Philippines and Netherland committed the atrocities against Japan. Well done Abe, a good and faithful servant to Japan. You should replace your Emperor who is a descendant of Korea. Who knows you may have some Korean blood yourself. You should have your DNA test soon.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@Franz

You've just frazzled my sarcasm/irony detector.

No idea if you're serious or not.

Actually, no idea what your point is....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nothing is going to happen until President Park in Korea stops being president and her generation move on. Her Dad was president too, hated Japan and let nobody around him forget that. This is the one change that we need to wait for.

The Chinese government is quite opportunistic, though scared to death that China might fragment. The 'bash Japan' card will come out again on a needs basis. The Japanese government reflects variously the self-as victim attitude naivete recollection that in a few lucid moments Japanese prime ministers have expressed remorse and when the wind is blowing the right way less dovish words, policies and gaffes. I do note expect any of this to change.

Meanwhile at local levels lots of investments and exchanges are occurring and people generally are getting along.

Prime Minister Lee is a pragmatic man just like his dad, and he is right. Probably there are more people of a similar pragmatic bent around in China, Japan and Korea nowadays, even if their governments are not.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

He is right, learn from it but don't use the past as an excuse for present behavior. Let's be honest China isn't mad at Japan for what they did in WW2, they're mad at them for being buddies with the US. For the most part the other Asian countries have gotten past what Japan did in WW2, just we did. Wonder when China will apologize to S. Korea, Tibet, and Vietnam for their aggression towards those countries.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What a useless no-brainer statement. Yeah, everybody ought to grow up. But they won't by just declaring "Hey, you should grow up!"

The devil is in the details, and this guy states them not.

“It is past the time to put this history behind us properly, like the Europeans have done,”

Yeah, lets look at how the Europeans did it shall we? They did by by not putting it behind them!! I started talking to a German about the war and he was FAR too young to have had anything to do with it. Yet, he instantly started apologizing and I had to tell him to stop because it was not his fault. I was just wanting some details I could only get from a German. Totally different from how it goes with Japanese. And guess what? If we analogize Asia as Europe, then Japan is Germany. But Japan is not remotely handling WWII like German, thus, it never ends.

This is the hard truth Lee blandly skips around. The aggrieved cannot be expected to put the past of an aggressor behind them when the aggressor is not the least bit contrite. His child cannot even deal properly with the child of the aggressor when that child is both ignorant of his father's past and even justifying it. No way. Forget it.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Japanese government officials sent a letter to a state retirement home where Korean comfort women are living out their last days. In the letter, the it had the Japanese right wing government official's insult, calling the women common prostitutes.

And they dare to point out that it's South Korea who are causing these bad feelings. How about Japan make the first move by not doing things like this, stop making insulting comments, and stop whitewashing history in public as well as in school classrooms? This is something that Japan has never tried. Then the rest will follow.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@Mitsuo Matsuyama China and Korea are the only ones who cry out.

With exception of them, every Asian countries moved on.

Time to China and Korea to be mature and stop acting like spoil kids.

Spot on

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

As far as I can understand from those who criticize my comment, the "move on" thing has to be conditional.

Now, let me tell some things.

The same way China and Korea suffered from Japanese back in those days, the same occurred with Singapore, The Philippines, Taiwan, etc... However, those countries decided to move on unconditionally.

What Filipinos suffered during that time is not much different than what China and Korea suffered. They could act like spoil kids, but they decided to be mature and move on. Now they have good relationship with Japan.

Moreover, regardless of what kind of degree was such suffering, forgiving someone is not such conditional thing.

The USA never apologized for what they did in HIroshima and Nagasaki; however, Japan forgave and decided to move on.

The Brazilians never apologized for what they did with Paraguayans during the Paraguayan war, and yet the Paraguayans decided to move on.

Napoleon Bonapart never apologized to Englishmen and other Europeans, yet those countries decided to move on and rebuild new good relationship with France.

There are a bunch of examples of matured nations.

But you know, you are the one who will decided what to do.

You may decided to forgive for real and move on what is a wise decision.

Or you may decided to act like spoil kids and apply the principle of forgiveness as conditional thing what is a stupid decision.

It is up to you kids, It is up to you kids.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Nearly 70 years, academics and politicians of Japan had mostly tried to avoid conflicts

For nearly 70 years, your academics and politicians are the ones causing conflicts with your words and actions. I don't know know what you're talking about.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@luce-A & matsuyama:

Japan doesn't "whine" because they started the war/invasion/slaughter (they are the guilty party, as posters have said above); How can Korea and China "move on" when Japan keeps the wounds festering and making contradictory behavior regarding their remorse ?; I asked how would you feel if your country/culture/people were invaded and tens of millions of your amcestors were slaughtered and experimented upon and today the guilty party is still whitewashing/trying to change the facts ( even intimidating U.S. textbook publishers and foreign journalists)? ; You talk big lecturing China and Korea to "move on", but are gutless to admit Japan is not right in trying to take revisionist steps to deny its war crimes and are hypocritical to not dare go tell Japan and Abe to stop their denying of Japan's guilt; Your reasoning is warped, as each victim country has its own scale of devastation caused by Japan, and how do you know there aren't those in Singapore etc who feel Japan has not done enough to atone for its sins; Japan slaughtered tens of millions , not to mention experimented on and raped and plundered, and you don't even talk about the unimaginable sufferings but of course it is easy for you to lecture Korea and China to "move on" like this was just a schoolyard fight; Sure , "move on", but only after there are concrete steps by Japan, like a monument to show Japan's profound remorse and human connectedness to the victims, and Abe not using double standards and going to Nanking and Manchuria and kissing he earth and apologizing deeply to the graves of the tens millions that his grandfather and cronies were part of exterminating.

If Japan can take these fair steps as the guilty party, like Germany did, and when you have the humanity in you to put yourselves in the shoes of the tens of millions of victims, and tell Abe to stop changing history... then maybe we "move on"... until then, it's useless lecturing us and so take your callous inhuman BS nonsense elsewhere please. You and Japan have no say nor any right to tell the Koreans and China to "move on", especially Abe can do as he pleases changing history via his own fascist hungry agenda.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

ringman2

Doesn't matter who start the war, Japan also suffered from this war by having more than 500.000 thousands causalities/victims, yet nobody here is whining.

We are not arguing who started the war and who didn't start the war, but we are discussing about the act of move on.

The problem on you guys is that you in fact don't wanna to move on and want to make excuse and more excuse to not do such thing.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@Kobe White Bar Owner

You really don't know much about Singapore do you? They often speak out against influence from the West. Well sorry to 'confuse' you with the facts.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Doesn't matter who start the war

Yes it does matter. It matters a lot. Japan refuses to admit that it started the war and that it invaded Asia, then pretend that Japan tried to save Asia from the white Europeans. That is your official history, a false history. And you expect people to remain silent while your nation keep continue to push that false history on rest of the world? Weak countries like Philippines, Vietnam, etc remain silent because their officials depend on Japan money. China and S.Korea who suffered the most (China) and the longest (Korea), don't depend on Japan money.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Hotmail.

Regardiless of Japan's position about history thing, it doesnt change the fact that the two Korea and China need to learn to be more mature. Your comment just go against what this Singapore leader says.

Depending on Japanese money or not, you always cried like spoil kids. In 1965 Korea was still suffering from terrible condition and needed Japanese money to reconstruct herself . Even with this condition, some right-wing Koreans whined at Japan.

When you forgive, you should do it unconditionally. Just think about that.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Mitsuo Matsuyama, Japan should be the last country to demand "maturity". My god.. if ain't the pot calling the kettle black. Look how your statesmen acted, and are still acting. Forgiveness? Has Japan every asked for forgiveness? Nope.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

"“Japan has already expressed remorse or apologies for the war in general terms… but on specific issues like comfort women and the Nanjing Massacre, its positions have been less unequivocal,” Lee said."

Exactly!

Mitsuo Matsuyama: "Regardiless of Japan's position about history thing, it doesnt change the fact that the two Korea and China need to learn to be more mature."

Not when Japan's position is not only incredibly immature, but is full of flat out lies, racism, misogyny, and supports war crimes among other things. And seriously, YOU are talking about being 'mature' when you say: "China and Korea are the only ones who cry out" and cannot bring yourself to admit Japan's wrongdoings?

"The USA never apologized for what they did in HIroshima and Nagasaki; however, Japan forgave and decided to move on. The Brazilians never apologized for what they did with Paraguayans during the Paraguayan war, and yet the Paraguayans decided to move on. Napoleon Bonapart never apologized to Englishmen and other Europeans, yet those countries decided to move on and rebuild new good relationship with France. There are a bunch of examples of matured nations"

You... ummm... forgot Germany apologizing for the Hitler and the Nazis, Mitsuyo -- the worst example of a war criminal in history along with Japan. Shouldn't you be taking into account THAT example specifically when talking about TRULY moving on?

You say "The US never apologized for the atomic bombs..." as though you believe they should, no? else why mention it? I bet if I said, "they don't have to apologize because they did nothing wrong. Japan willingly asked for it" you and others would be rightfully upset, no? And you forgot to mention heaps of other examples of nations that have truly moved on after sincere apologies and amends were made.

"Doesn't matter who start the war, Japan also suffered from this war by having more than 500.000 thousands causalities/victims, yet nobody here is whining."

It most certainly does matter who started the war. And speaking of 'not whining'... ummm... how many times have you repeated this now?

"We are not arguing who started the war and who didn't start the war, but we are discussing about the act of move on."

Yes, as a matter of fact. You can't start a war and then say "it doesn't matter who started it, let's just move on" when you lose, Mitsuo. Trust me, even without the US not starting it you guys whine plenty about crimes they have committed against the Japanese. If they HAD started it we'd never hear the end.

"The problem on you guys is that you in fact don't wanna to move on and want to make excuse and more excuse to not do such thing."

No one will ever move on, ever, until you admit to what your ancestors did, plain and simple. Other nations -- and it's not "just China and South Korea" -- are bringing up history; it's the entire world, including Lee, and until you admit to history of course nothing will move on. The only difference is that it's not THEM being immature. It's you. You are posting comments that are EXACTLY the kind that Lee says Japan has to apologize for and stop denying history. Well done for proving his point.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Hotmail

Why do you say that? Japan asks your country to be mature because the same is mature.

Japan like Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, and so on were humiliated by Westerns, but most of them including Japan decided to move on except Korea and China.

Filipinos suffered from Spanish colonization, yet they don't demand apologies from Spanish government.

Mexicans suffered from Spanish colonization that explore them and raped their people, yet they dont demand compensation or apology from Spanish government.

And there are a bunch of examples invoving countries that suffered from colonization.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Mitsui Matsuyama

Filipinos suffered from Spanish colonization, yet they don't demand apologies from Spanish government.

Mexicans suffered from Spanish colonization that explore them and raped their people, yet they dont demand compensation or apology from Spanish government.

And there are a bunch of examples invoving countries that suffered from colonization.

Yet Spain never denies any part of their history, unlike Japan who denies even their recent history. The problem is not about whether Japan apologizes or not, the problem is that Japan doesn't believe they've committed any atrocities, making the apologies in the past insincere. I've said this here before, and I'll say it again, Japan doesn't need to apologize, they just need to admit the truth.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I must agree, they have to unite or China roll over everyone in a new version of the

大東亞共榮圏

Greater East Asia co-prosperity Sphere.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ringman and smithJapan

So you guys think that the act o forgiving should be conditional?

Just a question.

The Singapore leader think different than you guys who think Korea and China must move on.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

"Asia should put WWII behind it: Singapore PM"

I totally agree with this guy. Japan should learn to move on, and leave their past savagery/Japan History as it is. Stop whining, trying to whitewash what had already happened. By doing so, Japan is making the past to become a present matter. Learn to be shameful about your parents or grandparents, but Move On!

Admit the past, and learn to Move On! And ban the hate speech demonstrations; be civilized. In this way, Japan will have more tourists from China and South Korea.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

what is apparent here is that the message from the Singaporean leader is not being listened to : it is being reinterpreted to meet the opinions people already had.

Japan is not a country looking for war, denying war, begging for war. it s a country of peace, which if you compare a Japanese citizen with one from the US, EU and most Asian countries you will find that on most topics the idea of sending troops, taking up arms and such - is not in the vocabulary.

the anger that is present is for an older breed that all but wiped out during the war, almost all of the Japanese Troops died in the war- where most of the other countries that fought in the pacific theater survived.

you talk so well of Germany - yet that country was run by Nazi's well into the mid 60's, don;'t believe me- go check. the west was more concerned about Russia by then. and for the 50's into the late 60's they were not really telling their children much about the war.

war is horrible, the thing is this one is long past, we need to let the wounds heal- all this does is keep them fresh and keeps the hate alive- that is never good for the soul

2 ( +4 / -2 )

When he said Asia should move on, he was meant to other Asians regarding Japan.

No matter what Japan does, others should learn to forgive and move on, and not the other way.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Mitsuo Matsuyama: "So you guys think that the act o forgiving should be conditional?"

Forgiven for what, Mitsuo? That's the problem. According to you Japan did nothing wrong. Japan should be forgiven for it's heinous crimes, yes, but you see they canNOT be forgiven unless there is something to forgive, right? So, so long as you claim there was no rape of Nanjing or sexual slavery, how on earth can they ever be forgiven? Just imagine someone said to you, "Mitsuo. Please forgive me." and you said, "For what?" and you said, "NOTHING! Why? is it conditional?" Now you are defeating your own arguments!

"The Singapore leader think different than you guys who think Korea and China must move on."

We don't think Korea and China, or any other nation, should move on until Japan admits what it has done. And if you meant that LEE thinks China and Korea should move on and applaud his words, you left out quite an important part of what he said:

"“Japan needs to acknowledge past wrongs, and Japanese public opinion needs to be more forthright in rejecting the more outrageous interpretations of history by its right-wing academics and politicians,” Lee said.

“Japan has already expressed remorse or apologies for the war in general terms… but on specific issues like comfort women and the Nanjing Massacre, its positions have been less unequivocal,” Lee said."

I guess you missed those parts in agreeing with Lee, eh, Mitsuo?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

"No matter what Japan does, others should learn to forgive and move on, and not the other way."

Are you saying that others should move on, so Japan can dwell on the past, whitewashing its war crimes/history?

Most of the people had already moved on, until Japan had instigated, whitewashing its war crimes/history. Don't you think Japan should also Move On, leaving the past/war crimes as it is?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

SmithJapan

Nope, I didnt miss anything Smith. Even though he said such thing, he didnt say that people should forgive Japan in conditional manner. I think you are the one who misunderstand his words. Despite of everything that happened in that time, he said that countries in Asia should move on, that means that WWII belong to the past and the new generation including current leaders should look at Japan in other way. Not as a enemy, but as friend country.

Now, since you said that he said that forgiveness should be in conditional manner, so just show me this part. I did nt see this part.

JohnY921

Japan as well as the rest of whole Asia has already moved on. The rest of Asia has building good relationship with Japan. They dont care about war anymore, actually they dont want to talk about it anyway.

Now, Korea and China moved on? No, not even tried that. Chinese refused SDF forces during Sichuan Earthquake because those guys linked Japanese help with the past. The same SDF would help Korea last year regarding ferry incident, but SK refused it because of history.

It means that both China and Korea still care about Japan past aggression and didnt move on. When you decide to move on, you dont care about past thing. By the way, many Korean young generation today even dont care about it and want to build friendly relations with Japanese. The young ones moved on, but the right wing Koreans/Chinese not.

Here is some questions for you guys.

1- Do you see in Japan anti-Korean or anti-Chinese education? If so, can you give some source about it?

2- Do you see in Japan anti-American Education? If so, can you give some links?

3- Why do you think forgiveness should be conditional? I think it is funny, especially when it comes from a Christian guy who has as leader a man(Jesus) who said everyone should forgive others unconditionally

Any other Asian nations forgave and decided to move on, except China and Korea. Why so? Oh yeah, WWII and colonization stuff right? lol...Others also suffered from Japan in the past the same thing, however, they dont hold grudge against Japan anymore.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

1- Do you see in Japan anti-Korean or anti-Chinese education?

Yes, just go to Tokyo and Osaka, young 14 year old school girls scream for massacres of Koreans on streets, and nobody bats an eye, instead cheer and laugh. You also have mass public protests calling for ethnic cleansing of Japan, with house wives who push their baby strollers. Every book stores are stacked high with anti Korean materials that would make even KKK and Neo Nazi's blush with embarrassment. Japan is right now in midst of a mass hysteria and hate against Koreans. I don't know what you're talking about that there is no anti-Korean education going on, when the evidence is everywhere in Japan. Remember, Japan is the only country in the world that had protests in front of their TV stations that there were too many Korean TV shows. Some maturity.. and I'm rolling my eyes.

Any other Asian nations forgave and decided to move on, except China and Korea.

I think you're sweeping everything with a broad stroke here. Ask the Philippine, Taiwan, and Dutch Comfort Women if they forgave Japan's whitewashings. Ask if the former British and US POW's forgive Japan's whitewashings and lies that Japan didn't abuse the POW's. Ask those 400 world historians who recently wrote a letter to Abe, asking Japan to become honest, ask them if they're concerned.

Others also suffered from Japan in the past the same thing, however, they dont hold grudge against Japan anymore.

Once again, and I'm going to hammer it into you, until you get it. It's not the bad deeds that Japan did in the past, it's the current disturbing pattern of whitewashing, glorification of the past military Japan, and insulting behaviors/comments against the victims by your leaders that are causing this conflict. It is really up to Japan to stop this by listening to Japan's own 200 historians who recently signed a petition, asking for the Japanese government to stop making up fake history to glorify their Japan's military history leading up to WWII. Can Japan do that? I highly doubt it can.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

1- Do you see in Japan anti-Korean or anti-Chinese education? If so, can you give some source about it?

Please look at yourself. If you want additional information, please google it, "Hate speech demonstrations, legal only in Japan!" Please study it.

2- Do you see in Japan anti-American Education? If so, can you give some links?

No, Japan has great respect for American and European things. It's okay to be Asians.

3- Why do you think forgiveness should be conditional? I think it is funny, especially when it comes from a Christian guy who has as leader a man(Jesus) who said everyone should forgive others unconditionally

I’m sorry but I don’t get your humor. Please ask a Christian.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hotmail

Yes, just go to Tokyo and Osaka, young 14 year old school girls scream for massacres of Koreans on streets, and nobody bats an eye, instead cheer and laugh

That is funny, you give an example of a girl as if she were an example o anti-Korean education in Japan. Just give links and not pretend that you know about the topic.

Ask the Philippine, Taiwan, and Dutch Comfort Women if they forgave Japan's whitewashings.

Are you talking about old people opinions and feelings, or are you talking about government and their people as a whole? Just decide what topic you wanna talk. Im talking about government and their people who decided to move on. By the way during the typhon incident in the Phillipines old ladies welcomed Japanese troops and said that they dont hold more grudge against Japan.

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/75365/japanese-troops-welcomed-back-in-typhoon-hit-philippines

it's the current disturbing pattern of whitewashing, glorification of the past military Japan, and insulting behaviors/comments against the victims by your leaders that are causing this conflict.

Regardless of one country"s decision about textbook thing, forgiveness should not be conditioned to it. To me it is just an excuse to justify your weakness. You just cannot forget about it.

JohnY921

Please look at yourself. If you want additional information, please google it, "Hate speech demonstrations, legal only in Japan!" Please study it.

lol... that is funny, I asked about an example of anti-chinese education in Japan and the only thing you do is writing things that has nothing to do with my question. Next time go and provide a link that talk about anti-chinese education in Japan.

I’m sorry but I don’t get your humor. Please ask a Christian.

I realized that you lost in your argument by not answer my question.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Lee said Asia should put behind the past but himself is not doing it and instead arrogantly trying to dictate who should do what in order to achieve peace between Asian neighbors. Lee is talking like a serious scholar but thinking like low grader.Most important Lee is trying to do something good for Asia we can only wish him good luck...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Regardiless of Japan's position about history thing, it doesnt change the fact that the two Korea and China need to learn to be more mature.

Honestly speaking, neither Japan nor China are mature about this. China has anti Japanese propaganda while Japan try to whitewash and lies about history. Regardless Korea and China mature about this or not, Japan itself is certainly not mature when it try to whitewash history. As Singapore PM said.

“Japan needs to acknowledge past wrongs, and Japanese public opinion needs to be more forthright in rejecting the more outrageous interpretations of history by its right-wing academics and politicians,” Lee said.

“Japan has already expressed remorse or apologies for the war in general terms… but on specific issues like comfort women and the Nanjing Massacre, its positions have been less unequivocal,” Lee said.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan as well as the rest of whole Asia has already moved on.

Nope. Lying and whitewash about history is certainly not moved on.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@matsuyama: you added new comments ("China/Korea must forgive") and asked more one-sided questions, but evaded my original basic points and questions. How would Japanese people feel if Japan had been brutally invaded and tens of millions of Japanese were massacred/experimented/raped etc and today the guilty party gives more pain by way of whitewashing and denials of the facts.?... Are you so sure the Japanese would easily "forgive and move on" even 70 years later? And "it doesn't matter who start(ed) the war"... so you mean it doesn't matter tens of millions of victims were slaughtered by Japan, and so with that view, likewise millions of Jews massacred by the Nazis? So with that thinking, Japan again can invade another country and later says to the victim country to "move on" ? You and Japan don't talk about the truth or the facts or answer if it is wrong for Japan to keep whitewashing its atrocities and for not setting up a monument to symbolize its profound remorse/to respect the victims, yet you accused Korea and China for not being "mature" and for "not forgiving" and for "not moving on"?? And if you think Japan is so "mature", then why it invaded and killed tens of millions of people and why now Japan still struggles to accept the truth about its own behavior? You claimed that Japanese people suffered during the war (and I do not belittle that), but why don't you ask yourself then why Japan started the war?.. And it is incomparable if you talk about Japan's sufferings as the aggressor and the profound and total annihilation Japan brought to the tens of millions of victims and their countries (including live human experimentations, human sexual slavery etc). You should listen to the other fair-minded posters here (sandiegoluv, hotmail, smithinjapan, hasaram, living memory, Scap65 and others) as they offered even better arguments regarding your views.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

“Japan needs to acknowledge past wrongs, and Japanese public opinion needs to be more forthright in rejecting the more outrageous interpretations of history by its right-wing academics and politicians,” Lee said.

“Japan has already expressed remorse or apologies for the war in general terms… but on specific issues like comfort women and the Nanjing Massacre, its positions have been less unequivocal,” Lee said.

Well...it is easy to people just take part of his speech that they most like and ignore the part that he says "They should move on"

While you Chinese and Koreans are here trying to convincing people that Japan is not mature and Korea and China is mature, Japan is helping people in the Philippines, Nepal, Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia and other nations.

Japan is one of the countries that has most positive view around the world.

I have lived in 3 countries and all of them talk good things about Japan.

Regardless of history, modern Japan has done a lot of good job in her mission.

I personally I feel proud for JSDF and their wonderful job.

Nobody here teach anti-Chinese or anti-Korean education. The people don't care about WWII stuff, and I think it is right. Let the past be in the past and let the elderly solve their own problems. For us who was born after war, we should build a wonderful Japan.

Regardless of textbook quality and context, it will not make Japanese hate or diminuish Koreans and Chinese anyway.

By the way, it is not only my opinion. Even Koreans with open mind think the same way.

You should not force people to change. You are the one who need to change.

From the moment that you show your best example everyone will admire you more and more.

PS: dont make long comments because I will not read. Thanks, now lets go to next topic.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

@Mitsuo

PS: dont make long comments because I will not read. Thanks, now lets go to next topic.

That's not fair. It is ridiculous for you to say such a thing when you yourself just posted some long ones.

Haruki Murakami: "Japan must repeatedly say sorry to China, Korea and the other countries it invaded in the 20th century until its former victims have heard enough". A very true point.

Look you have no right to say that they should stop acting like spoiled children. No right whatsoever. The side in the wrong can never say such a thing to its victims. With so many revisionists out there calling the comfort women common prostitutes and saying this didn't happen and that did not happen, the apologies are meaningless. You are bring up example of Napoleon and other things that are much farther into history than Japan's actions in WWII.

What is white Americans told the American Indians who lost their land to stop acting like spoiled kids? It happened more than 100 years ago? Or how about if they told African Americans the same thing as well? They have not been slaves for more than 150 years. It would sound terrible.

Apologies are meaningless when there are people out there who call the victims such horrible names as is being done now. Please scroll up and see what I said about what Japan needs to do to solve its problems with its neighbors. As for America apologizing? That is another debate altogether. Post about it and then we will talk. But stop linking them. The worst things were done by the Japanese and by the Germans. One country has done everything it can to make its neighbors forget the past, while the other has had trouble doing the same thing.

Now, I will give you this. I am sure to get voted down by both sides, but that is okay. The fact of the matter is that the Chinese and Korean governments love people like PM Abe and other revisionist. It really helps them to stay in power. Vilify the Japanese and you change the focus of your own failures and stay in power. I dont think the governments want peace at all because they are too busy teaching hate which is quite different than the other countries. the P.I. and Singapore. But the revisionists like Abe play straight into their hands and that is not for Japan, it is for their own power. While the revisionists who are not politicians in Japan only care about pride. It is altogether very sad that the politicians in Japan play by the same rules as the Chinese and Korean governments. They know that the public is "apology fatigued" and they try to stroke the flames of it as much as they can. None of the governments involved in this mad squabble have peace in mind or their countries better interest.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Mitsuo

Well...it is easy to people just take part of his speech that they most like and ignore the part that he says "They should move on"

Neither Japan nor China has move on. Japan deny their past war crime while China try to bad mouth about Japan using WW 2. Denying past war crime is not moving on. Do me a favor. Show me a quote from Japanese politician who specifically admit Rape of Nanking. As Singapore PM said, Japan position on comfort women and the Nanjing Massacre has been unequivocal.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Mitsuo Matsuyama

You are not addressing the issues brought up by other members at all that is the fact that Japan did not move on when Japan deny their WW 2 atrocities. Instead, all you did is deflecting the issues.

When he said Asia should move on, he was meant to other Asians regarding Japan.

How do you know he mean other Asian except Japan? If you keep reading his other quotes, he also did say Japan need to stop denying it. Chances are, he mean both China and Japan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

“At the same time, Japan’s neighbors need to accept Japan’s acknowledgements, and not demand that Japan apologise over and over again,” the premier added.

As it is heartfelt everyone will accept.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Jandworld - Yes, that is very true. I think many people have missed that very important point. I believe the speech by this man was meant for all people involved. For example;

“Japan needs to acknowledge past wrongs, and Japanese public opinion needs to be more forthright in rejecting the more outrageous interpretations of history by its right-wing academics and politicians,” Lee said.

He is clearly saying that Japan should admit its wrong and that the public needs to oppose the, as he puts it so well, "THE MORE OUTRAGEOUS INTERPRETATIONS OF HISTORY by is RIGHT-WING ACADEMICS AND POLITICIANS". That means to stop buying into what we all know to be untrue.

However, he is also calling on China and the Koreas to end its never ending request for apologies from Japan.

“At the same time, Japan’s neighbors need to accept Japan’s acknowledgements, and not demand that Japan apologise over and over again,” the premier added. “The history of the war should not be used to put Japan on the defensive, or to perpetuate enmities into future generations.”

He is clearly calling on the Chinese and Koreans to knock it off. And they need to. I completely agree. But I do have a hard time believing that will EVER happen with people on the aggressor's side calling the victims liars common prostitutes and other unsavory things.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Mitsuo: "While you Chinese and Koreans are here trying to convincing people that Japan is not mature and Korea and China is mature..."

That says it all right there, Mitsuo, thanks. Anyone pointing out that Japan needs to own up to its history is "you Chinese and Koreans". I'm not either, and neither is Lee, who made the comments Japan needs to address its past (which you ask us to ignore and say just 'move on'), and probably most of the posters. Second, no one has said Korea and China are not being immature except you. Most posters, if not all, in fact, have said the governments of all the nations involved in this are being immature, except perhaps Lee in his statement.

"I have lived in 3 countries and all of them talk good things about Japan."

No... you only listen to the good comments. You remind me of someone I know who travels overseas and always says the highlight of her travels is hearing about how great Japan is. Obviously she's not going to listen to, and just ignore, the people who aren't busy helping her pat herself on the back.

"PS: dont make long comments because I will not read. Thanks, now lets go to next topic."

You don't read anyway, and have proven that if you DO read you don't actually let the words enter your head, let alone think about them. You live in a world of denial, plain and simple -- the same denial that Lee said, quite clearly when addressing Japan's inability to come to terms with the past, is conditional in the region moving on. And true to form -- you want us all to keep things short, sweet about Japan, and to move on from something you do not wish to discuss because you'd rather "forget". Well done!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

:Japan need to acknowledge past wrong", Japan is already squeeze like a mice under the broom in regards to this matter and no mater how it interprets the past it always will be this way...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

if you look at the handful of developed economies of asia, you will find that they are made up of east asian or mainly east Asian societies. Incidentally, the iq level of these 5 economies are also the 5 highest in the world. Instead of bickering with each other, think of what we all can achieve if we all can work together for the common good of our countries. Im a Singaporean and i don't quite like my pm but i agree with him on this one. Lets all work together and make this region the best in the world.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"It is past the time to put this history behind us properly, like the Europeans have done," Lee said

Europeans have not paid compensation to their former colonies. Is this his point?

"Japan needs to acknowledge past wrongs, and Japanese public opinion needs to be more forthright in rejecting the more outrageous interpretations of history by its right-wing academics and politicians," Lee said.

I think this kind of attitude by the PM of this authoritarian country is what the 450 historians worldwide were against.https://networks.h-net.org/node/22055/discussions/69206/open-letter-support-historians-japan#replies

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.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I think this kind of attitude by the PM of this authoritarian country is what the 450 historians worldwide were against.https://networks.h-net.org/node/22055/discussions/69206/open-letter-support-historians-japan#replies

Naah..I, the 450 historians mean this kind of politicians.

TOKYO—A major U.S. publishing company rejected a request by the Japanese government to change passages in a history textbook about women who were forced to serve in Japanese military brothels during World War II.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-publisher-rejects-japan-over-textbook-on-comfort-women-1421299438

0 ( +1 / -1 )

HansaramJun. 01, 2015 - 12:54PM JST

TOKYO—A major U.S. publishing company rejected a request by the Japanese government to change passages in a history textbook about women who were forced to serve in Japanese military brothels during World War II.

I think a textbook publisher is responsible for the correctness of what is written in it. McGraw-Hill Education published in its textbook that there were 200,000 comfort women. It seems the 450 historians are no longer behind McGraw-Hill by this statement.https://networks.h-net.org/node/22055/discussions/69206/open-letter-support-historians-japan#replies

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.

McGraw-Hill should correct the numer, as its error is pointed by the government and confirmed by 450 historians arround the world.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@CH3CHO

Yes, but the 450 historians also said establishing sound estimates is important. 200 000 might not be exactly accurate but could be estimate.

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

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

The 450 historians also stated clearly that women are FORCED to become prostitute by Imperial Japanese army. So the historian that dispute it are right wing academics which Singapore PM mention in his quote.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

HansaramJun. 01, 2015 - 02:57PM JST

Yes, but the 450 historians also said establishing sound estimates is important. 200 000 might not be exactly accurate but could be estimate.

Since 200,000 is inaccurate, the number should be corrected. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/japanese-historians-contest-textbooks-description-of-comfort-women/2015/03/17/6e5422e3-09a3-4d96-a520-8a5767ab93e4_story.html

Now Japanese professors, led by Hata, are taking action, writing to McGraw-Hill to contest the textbook’s statement that as many as 200,000 women were forcibly recruited to be comfort women for Japan’s imperial army.

I think textbooks should be fact-based.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There are growing, unsubstantiated questions about whether the Japanese Imperial Army kidnapped 200,000 sex-slaves (Comfort Women) in World War II. Mostly from Korea.

A $30 million US Government Study specifically searched for evidence on Comfort Women allegations.

After nearly seven years with many dozens of staff pouring through US archives -- and 30 million dollars down the drain -- they found a grand total of nothing.

The final IWG report to Congress was issued in 2007. (Linked below.)

Nobody should be writing about Comfort Women issues without reading this report cover to cover.

Many of the unsubstantiated claims are coming from Korea. Korean allegations have led to unexpected twists.

During WW2, Korea was actually part of Japan -- roughly in the way that Puerto Rico is part of the USA.

Many Koreans were members of the Japanese military. So any allegations that the Japanese military kidnapped 200,000 women implies that Koreans were involved in kidnapping Koreans. This is an uncomfortable reality.

So today, South Korean President Park Geun-hye constantly accuses Japan of kidnapping these shiploads of women.

Imagine how this boomerangs back. President Park is saying that Japan -- and her daddy was an officer in the Japanese Army at the time -- kidnapped uncounted tens of thousands of women from Korea as sex-slaves. Yet there is no evidence that Korean men fought back. (Were Korean men just simply cowards unwilling to defend their women's honour or was this fabricated or the very least fabricated? (Take a thorough look at the U.S. report on comfort women below and search comfort women within the document if you don't have time to read cover to cover.)

http://www.archives.gov/iwg/reports/final-report-2007.pdf

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@Nihonryu -

A $30 million US Government Study specifically searched for evidence on Comfort Women allegations. After nearly seven years with many dozens of staff pouring through US archives -- and 30 million dollars down the drain -- they found a grand total of nothing. The final IWG report to Congress was issued in 2007. (Linked below.)

The link that you provided here has nothing to do with that. That was a report dealing with classifying, declassifying and disclosure acts. Of course it would not be conclusive one way or the other. In fact the only reference to guilt, lack of guilt or any focus on the subject comes from Senator Feinstein of California and one other person. Are you sure that you have given us the correct document? If so, where is it that you are talking about cause I read it and the focus point seems to be quite different.

Many of the unsubstantiated claims are coming from Korea. Korean allegations have led to unexpected twists.

Someone's word about what happened is unsubstantiated simply due to a desire to dismiss it. If that is true than it is also true that we can not even believe the No 49 report on comfort women or anyone's testimony at all.

During WW2, Korea was actually part of Japan -- roughly in the way that Puerto Rico is part of the USA.

I think the best word there would be ROUGLY. It was not a willing occupation and for the most part the Koreans did not like the Japanese at all but being a hermit country as it was with little no industrial power it was brutally forced to be part of Japan. It citizens were second class citizens. The Japanese rulers forced Koreans to adopt Japanese cultural and religious practices. Modern Korean nationalism rose in response, often linked to religious communities. These included “new religious” traditions, including Cheondogyo—a Confucian-based faith that arose from peasant rebellions in the early nineteenth century—as well as Christianity, whose followers accounted for a disproportionate number of those involved in resistance to Japanese occupation. These religious trends greatly influenced the March First Independence Movement of 1919. The Japanese responded to the peaceful demonstrations with force, and over the next year, thousands of Koreans were killed by the Japanese army. For the first ten years Japan ruled directly through the military, and any Korean dissent was ruthlessly crushed.the wartime mobilization of 1937-45 had reintroduced harsh measures to Japanese colonial rule, as Koreans were forced to work in Japanese factories and were sent as soldiers to the front. Tens of thousands of young Korean women were drafted as “Comfort Women” - in effect, sexual slaves - for Japanese soldiers. In 1939, Koreans were even pressured by the colonial authorities to change their names to Japanese names, and more than 80 percent of the Koreans complied with the name-change ordinance.

Many Koreans were members of the Japanese military. So any allegations that the Japanese military kidnapped 200,000 women implies that Koreans were involved in kidnapping Koreans. This is an uncomfortable reality.

Yes, there were many of them in the military. For most of them joining the Army was the best thing that they could do. It was not willfully done at all. It was out of necessity. As for Koreans kidnapping their own women, that could have happened. Africans sold fellow africans to slave traders. So what? Most of the women were fooled into becoming comfort women. Most were illiterate and could not understand the terms of their contracts. They believed they would be working in hospitals and other places, not brothels. Once there, they had no choices at all.

I read your document, cover to cover and could only find comfort women mentioned four times. This was not in depth report on the subject at all.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@sandiegoluv The comfort women issue started in 1977, a Japanese author (and known communist) by the name of Seiji Yoshida made claims in speeches and newspapers that during World War II he had forcibly rounded up young women in Jeju Island and other places in the same manner as African slaves to serve in brothels for the Japanese military. His story was later published as a fictional novel in 1983. In September 1982, before the novel was published, without authentication, the Asahi Shinbun (known left leaning newspaper) reported as a “historical scoop” his claims as fact. In initial stages, the Asahi continued to insist the crux of the problem was that these women had been forcibly recruited, citing testimony from Yoshida and other sources. However, the testimony and data used by the paper as a basis for its reasoning were later undoubtedly disproved.

The Korean government erroneously seized upon this issue, resulting in a serious deterioration of diplomatic relations between Korea and Japan. Korea has made demands for separate reparations, and has insisted that Japanese history textbooks should include a discussion of this issue. It also took the issue to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, which issued a report in 1996 continuing the misunderstanding. Of late, several statues have even been erected by Korean American organizations in cities in the United States honoring the comfort women trying to promote and perpetuate the original lie/misconception.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

sandiegoluvJun. 01, 2015 - 05:49PM JST

Tens of thousands of young Korean women were drafted as “Comfort Women” - in effect, sexual slaves - for Japanese soldiers.

There is no such fact that Korean women were "drafted".

In 1939, Koreans were even pressured by the colonial authorities to change their names to Japanese names, and more than 80 percent of the Koreans complied with the name-change ordinance.

The name change was optional. You can clearly see that from the leaflet attached to Wikipedia article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C5%8Dshi-kaimei In addition, the rule was that a Korean did not need to turn in name change form, and by not turning in, one cloud retain one's traditional name. There were quite a lot of famous Koreans, including the King of Korea himself, who did not change their names. There was no penalty for not changing.

The problem I see is that you blindly believe in Korean propaganda. I used to believe in Korean propaganda, only to find it was wrong years later. That was one of my most embarrassing experiences in my life. I suggest one should verify what Koreans say by reliable primary sources.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@NihonRyu

I have neither quoted Mr. Yoshida, nor do I respect him. Either way he lied. But this is not the first time that the issue came up. Just ask the Dutch. Mr Yoshida’s descriptions form only a tiny part of the overwhelming evidence for Japan’s crimes against the comfort women. I think that you need to go and look at the situation with the Dutch. Were they lying? No, of course not. Here is the problem. The Dutch situation shows a clear and obvious behavior pattern shows how the Japanese military was way before Mr. Yoshida opened up his mouth. And there were complaints WAY before Mr. Yoshida as well. The problem is that they were largely ignored. In Korea, women lost their honor if they admitted to being those women. They had to keep their mouths shut. Their diginity was taken away from them and there was no support system for them. People had been complaining and thanks to his dubious testimony the issue actually received global attention. Yes, that truly is the reason that this issue has become so big. Sad to say and happy to say.

Now as I have said in the past, and I am sure that you agree, the korean and chinese governments have been opportunists in this situation. I really well never deny that. But there are more than 200 women from so many countries that tell the same degrading stories.

Now before you address me again, please explain why you gave us something that was not what you said it was. What you gave us was not anywhere near what you said it was and your words were actually misleading. You said that before anyone writes a thing about the comfort women they should check what you posted but it seems like what you submitted had nothing to do with the US proving nothing at all. That was not even the point of the article. The point of it was how things are done. Not about who said what and was true nor untrue. Kind of seemed like false advertisting to me. It seems to me that you were trying to bury us in paperwork that would have us admitting things that we did not read. And now you are jumping off to completely different points. Convenience? I think so.

Tens of thousands of young Korean women were drafted as “Comfort Women” - in effect, sexual slaves - for Japanese soldiers.

There is no such fact that Korean women were "drafted".

A debatable point, that is true. I tend to believe that the women were tricked into joining up. I do apologize. I did copy and paste that. I actually meant to delete that ONE part.

The problem I see is that you blindly believe in Korean propaganda. I used to believe in Korean propaganda

Really? The problem that I SEE is that you are focused on minor issues and still have not replied to the two posts that I sent that showed where you are wrong. You are just jumping into an argument that does not include you so as to help us to forget certain very good points on another post. Cut and run. Address those points first. IO am not going to do what you want me to and fight two different points.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Put it behind? Well that's what Countries like China and S Korea who suffered the blunt of Japan's aggression have been doing for the past 70 yrs... BUT when you have a hawkish PM reminiscing the Imperial prowess of the past and keep hashing up the past by denying History and challenging the past apologies Japanese leader have made than it becomes very difficult to leave it Behind.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Asia should put WWII behind it: Singapore PM

A comment clearly designed to win support from Shinzo Abe. Japan has to openly admit its wrongdoing in WW2, and start teaching it properly in its history books. Only then can people "move on"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Christopher

Great comments. But think about it. EVEN the emperor says it!!!!! If anything we should expect him at this time to say the opposite. Boy, this must really be making the right wing angry. He is giving Abe a black eye and is doing something completely unacceptable. They have to be so angry about this. I can only say. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

China and the Koreas need the political issue, so even if Japan does the right thing and stops the Yasukuni embarrassment, it won´t stop. Not in my lifetime.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

200 cases?

Miriam Gerhardt has the number of German women were raped by British, American and French soldiers after the end of the Second World War as in the 100s of 1,00s.

German records include specific details of those conceived in rape cases, on the basis of there being 100 rapes for each birth she came up with a figure of 190,000 rapes by American soldiers alone.

Soviet archives confirm that around two million German women were raped by Soviet soldiers (Gerhardt estimates 500,000).

In Japan, during the American Occupation, the American authorities imposed wide-ranging censorship on the Japanese media which including bans on covering serious crimes such as rape committed by the US military, but the Japanese media used to work their way around it by reporting the perpetrators vague, such as "by a tall man" so everyone knew who it meant.

"People in glasshouses ..." they want to make Japan look bad to hide their own ongoing crimes.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Luce, can you please explain to me how the victims of Japanese crimes against women are in glass houses? Because that's who is telling us about Japan's crimes against them, not the British or Americans. In any case even if it were the Brits / Americans "throwing stones" your argument would still be a tu quoque fallacy

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Luce-A,

you are completely missing the point, which is that the Japanese government is blaming the victims in insisting that all women in Japanese military brothels were informed volunteers. Apples and oranges!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Yoshitsune,

Please stop trying to twist what I am saying.

"Those in glasshouses" are the nations who habitually accuse Japan, e.g. the US Military's consumption of 1,000,000 Korean comfort women by 1950, their seervicemen literally selling the women as part of the chattel of apartments and they came and went from the country.

I was thinking about this today and I came to one conclusion that for some Americans in this debate, sustaining the 'vanity' of American exceptionalism requires other peoples or nations to be created as "exceptional bads" to draw attention away from their own nation's dark shadow.

Their imaginary "evil Japan" plays a convenient scapegoat for them to do so.

@WilliB,

That's not what's being said or done at all.

Try revising all the official apologies first before you make such statements.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

In Japan, during the American Occupation, the American authorities imposed wide-ranging censorship on the Japanese media which including bans on covering serious crimes such as rape committed by the US military, but the Japanese media used to work their way around it by reporting the perpetrators vague, such as "by a tall man" so everyone knew who it meant.

"People in glasshouses ..." they want to make Japan look bad to hide their own ongoing crimes.

How do cases of wartime rape change the fact that Japan forcibly coerced up to 200,000 women into sexual slavery. The old argument "others did it, therefore we aren't so bad" doesn't wash here

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Luce

The article we're commenting on has nothing to do with America. The "stone thrower" in this case is the prime minister of Singapore. And in the case of the comfort women, the "stone throwers " are women who say they were raped. No glass houses there.

Are the Americans in glass houses? Irrelevant. Even if they are, it has nothing to do with whether Japan should acknowledge its own past misdeeds. You're trying to undermine American posters' arguments based on their being American and on America being hypocritical. Fallacy bingo! The former is ad hominem, the latter tu quoque.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, I think I was referring to the commentators on this discussion thread.

Of course, with respect to VIetnam etc, it would apply equally to Koreans or Korean-Americans.

What could be more plainly irrational and illogical, perhaps even immoral, than wanting to push guilt onto individuals who were not responsible for action you claim happened?

And before you plan on replying "No one is accusing living Japanese for crimes they did not commit", then what could be more plainly irrational and illogical than wanting to punish the already dead?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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