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Denying WWII sex slavery stains Japan's honor: Kono

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“Not accepting facts, denying what has undoubtedly happened… or saying it was all right to do it because others did it… this kind of behavior is a stain on the honor of Japan and its people.”

A few lapdog foreigners on this site who deny history right along with their Japanese masters won't like that comment.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Maybe under Kono and Murayama's leadership, they should've started teaching their younger generations what they were apologetic for in schools. They should have removed war criminals from the Yasukuni Shrine. Doing those things would've had a much more positive impact to all sides than saying "sorry" or giving money. China and Korea wouldn't have anymore reason to keep bringing up the past anymore. Instead, you actually have many Japanese who genuinely believe they haven't done anything wrong, and that they were the main victims of WW2. Some of these people become Prime Ministers of the country, like Abe.

27 ( +29 / -2 )

A truly remorseful country will have the DIET debate, accept the Kono statement AND the Prime Minister, speaking on behalf of the Japanese people issue a truly remorseful apology. There is precedence in US, the Reagan administration and Congress issued an apology on behalf of the American people for Japanese people interned during WWII. There is Honor and Grace by admiting past errors, but no, only in Japan, let's keep analysing, keep investigating till we are 100% satisfied there is no lie.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Kono is a true peacemaker, and a former leader that Japan can take great pride in.

Diplomatic ties with South Korea—established 50 years ago this month—were “improving in various ways” after the two mid-90s statements...

I have pointed this out a number of times in JT comments threads.

These warming relations were particularly the case at the grass roots level, that is until former governor Ishihara started stirring the pot with his moves to purchase the Senkaku/Diaoyu islets (which in turn renewed controversy over the Dokdo/Takeshima islets), and was substantially exacerbated when Abe under his "beautiful (ie. unblemished) Japan" mindset announced that his cabinet would revisit the Kono Statement by issuing "a forward-looking statement that is appropriate for the 21st century," followed by other remarks and ploys (such as government-mandated textbook revisions). For her part, President Park Geun-hye only further fed the flames among the South Korean Public.

These three leaders reversed years of hard work by past administrations and citizens groups toward enabling upbeat bilateral relations.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

Denying WWII sex slavery stains Japan's honor

Oh, do you think so? What a massive revelation that is, NOT!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Kono was visiting China Maybe hes being paid by the cccp

-40 ( +1 / -41 )

A small sign that there is a hint of a tiny amount of integrity buried deep inside the rotting corpse of Japanese politics.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

'Kono was visiting China Maybe hes being paid by the cccp'

I understand your cynical attitude towards many Japanese politicians given the circus we see but perhaps Kono is a genuinely honorable man. There are some around.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

So these are two politicias who did what they thought was right back then,. And look where relations are now. They failed. Miserably. So what makes them think they are qualified to dicatate how the current administration should proceed on the issue?

-32 ( +3 / -35 )

CrazyJoeJUN. 10, 2015 - 07:22AM JST A truly remorseful country will have the DIET debate, accept the Kono statement AND the Prime Minister, speaking on behalf of the Japanese people issue a truly remorseful apology.

Apologies tend to be given when there is a belief that those apologies will be accepted, at least in part, and that dialogue between the two sides will be advanced. So unless there are strong reasons to do so, most leaders avoid it. The problem is, in China and Korea there has been very little readiness to accept Japan’s efforts to promote reconciliation, and as a result, those efforts have tended to founder.

With the Koreans, there has been an unwillingness to help the Japanese find ways of reconciling when the Japanese have tried to do so. The Asian Women’s Fund, which the Korean government did not support and in fact subverted by establishing a separate, rival support system for the former comfort women. There is also a good reason to question whether the Chinese really want or care about reconciliation. When Zemin went to Tokyo in the late 90's, he blasted the Japanese about the past in ways that prevented the Japanese from offering the kind of written apology that they gave South Korea President Kim Dae-jung that same year.

Chinese leaders have preferred taking a hard line on Japan. This has been especially so when there are divisions in the Chinese leadership, and on a deeper level may have something to do with the Chinese leadership being deeply worried about their legitimacy. The Chinese leaders need to strike a nationalistic tone in part because there is greater internal skepticism about one-party rule.

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

Ossan, they didn't fail.

Diplomatic ties with South Korea—established 50 years ago this month—were “improving in various ways” after the two mid-90s statements, he said.

Abe and Ishihara did.

But that improvement has faltered in recent years. “I am genuinely disappointed at this,” he said.

There you have it. The proof is in the pudding.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

You cannot dull a rusted blade

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

This has got to be about business in the end right? I mean Japan is a corporate state that runs on exports. Relations with China are important for business, I would have thought. And the leaders of these corporations can weigh in on politicians like Abe, who seem intent on poking China in the eye with a stick.

On the other hand, Abe has decided to throw his lot in with American foreign policy which is based on destablizing other countries. You can't have it both ways. Either Japan is based on business and making money, in which case the Japanese work to have good relations with their Asian neighbors, who they do owe an apology to for killing some 20 million of them in the war, which was unprovoked. This is like murdering and raping 20 million people. You don't just say, well, I have apologised enough to the children of these victims.

That is just plain evil. People in Japan need to call a spade a spade and call Abe out on his evil behaviour.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

they should've started teaching their younger generations what they were apologetic for in schools.

@ThePBot

Exactly! Just as Abe conveys "feelings of deep remorse for the war," but never mentions specifically what it is that he is remorseful about (the war?), the same applies to the classroom.

In their peace curriculum, students in Japan by and large are taught war is bad, that Japan should not go to war again, and that the nation is remorseful — that is all well and good. But students are given the message that this remorse stems not so much from suffering caused by Japan as from suffering Japan endured in terms of deaths, hardships among Japan's soldiers and citizens, the nuclear bombings and the nation's ultimate defeat. The ultimate message being "we should pursue peace so this doesn't happen to us again."

14 ( +15 / -1 )

“Not accepting facts, denying what has undoubtedly happened… or saying it was all right to do it because others did it… this kind of behavior is a stain on the honor of Japan and its people.”

Absolutely spot on. Sincerely wish there were more politicians in Japan who exercised even a fraction of Kono's sense and morality.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

A truly remorseful country will have the DIET debate, accept the Kono statement AND the Prime Minister, speaking on behalf of the Japanese people issue a truly remorseful apology. There is precedence in US, the Reagan administration and Congress issued an apology on behalf of the American people for Japanese people interned during WWII. There is Honor and Grace by admiting past errors, but not only in Japan, let's keep analysing, keep investigating till we are 100% satisfied there is no lie.

This is absolutely correct. But America has not been the only country to apologise for their bad behaviour in the past - and certainly not only in situations where war was incolved. Australia apologised to its Aboriginal people. New Zealand apologised to its Maori people. And of course German remains embarrased to this day that an entire nation was responsible for what happened. Japan's failure to provide an unreserved acknowledgement and apology reeks of arrogance, and it is an arrogance that nobody wants anything to do with or accept.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Kono was the leader of the LDP at its lowest point, basically everybody else of any note had been excluded from leadership through corruption. His outlook and his personality harks back to an earlier period of Japanese politics, when there were still some men of honor about the place. Although, I always saw him as a pretty ineffectual leader (he never possessed the ruthlessness to keep the factions in line), he has always played the war responsibility question with a very straight bat. The biggest concern is, however, what will happen when people of his ilk start retiring from politics.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

“Not accepting facts, denying what has undoubtedly happened… or saying it was all right to do it because others did it… this kind of behavior is a stain on the honor of Japan and its people.”

I admire Kono's integrity, and he's right.

However when this is presented in children's textbooks for them to learn about I think it should be put in context. It shouldn't say it was "all right to do it because others did it", but the fact that this sort of thing was common practice world-wide at that time should be included, because the objective of history is to teach, not to blindly and ignorantly condemn one's grandfather or great-grandfather.

By that definition there's not a single historical figure who wouldn't be a criminal. Even Jesus would be a criminal guilty of assault and battery, as well as destruction of property, for his actions in the temple in Jerusalem - as certified by the eyewitness accounts of his own followers!

So there is an important distinction here. Japan shouldn't deny or excuse its actions, but it should present them in the proper historical context.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Japanese who genuinely believe they haven't done anything wrong, and that they were the main victims of WW2. There is no doubting that the Japanese killed millions of people, that they set up brothels for their soldiers where the women were not free to leave, that they raped many in the countries that they invaded, and caused great suffering among Asians and they have admitted this and apologized more than once. The feeling among the revisionists is perhaps that, however, in the context of the time when the world was being overrun by the "Southern Barbarians" there was very little else to be done other than do what they did. Do we see other imperialists apologizing for wiping out the cultures on vast areas of the globe? My country, Britain alone had invaded 90% of the world's countries, and forced the Chinese to purchase narcotics for 100 years. Rather than apologize, our historians write jokey books about the Opium wars, and wear a poppy when they visit Hong Kong! Bearing in mind these facts, I guess for people like Abe, apology sticks in their craw. It is very ill form to criticize others so there is an impasse, which may only be surpassed when Japanese right wing says, "Yes we were really bad, and we are very very sorry, but we were up against that immeasurably vile 'Southern' horde." This may take a while.

While I was writing this Nicholas Tee points out that the Souther Barbarians have apologized. There is this from http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/our-country/our-people/apology-to-australias-indigenous-peoples And emphasizes "Stolen Generations" (the removal of children from indigenous parents to be Westernized as portrayed in "Rabbit Proof Fence") while speaking in a stolen country. Is it likely that that the indigenous persons addressed take the "apology" seriously? Corntassle and Holder claim that it is a non-apology (e.g. land rights are off the table) http://www.corntassel.net/CorntasselHolder.pdf

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

OssanAmerica

So these are two politicias who did what they thought was right back then,. And look where relations are now. They failed. Miserably. So what makes them think they are qualified to dicatate how the current administration should proceed on the issue?

Wow, I refuse anyone can be this dull. Kono and Murayama aren't the two politicians that failed miserably, since they didn't cause the deteriorating relationships with Japan's neighbors like you see now. That's Abe's fault, Ishihara's fault, and the rest of these extreme right-winger nuts fault. Japan was pretty close with her neighbors before the crazies took offices of almost every major political spot in the country, effectively reversing the hard work by Kono, Murayama, and others who truly were the ones who looked forward in the 21st Century.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Yeah, but, it's not just the sex slavery issue. It's the whole attitude towards the history of the imperial rule of Asia. The Japanese history textbooks are full of misnomas and deleted truths. Even the unprovoked attack on a Pearl Harbor is written as a necessity in some textbooks. Japan has a very long way to go to atone for their aggression in the first half of last century. It's very easy for the aggressor to forget it and move on, but it's impossible for the the victims to forget and forgive.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

TPBot,

Not sure if you were here in the 90s when this stuff went down, but Murayama-san got the PM gig because the right wing ldper's CHICKENED OUT, they DIDNT want to apologize for WWII on the anniversary & they were VERY LOUD about it, was pretty disgusting to witness.

That said I do admire Kono-san & Murayama-san, they DID RIGHT, & when the right winger got back in they DESTROYED a lot of progress.

It sucks to have abe here in power on the 70th anniversary, like I have been saying he should STAND DOWN & the Emperor should do the 70th speech & then the Diet & abe ratify it!!

Never happen though. I am afraid this August is Japans last real chance to change its disgusting ways wrt to WWII & with abe as PM.......I don't hthink he has the stones to do what is RIGHT!

Hope I am proved wrong.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Mainstream historians agree that around 200,000 women, mostly from Korea but also from other Asian nations, were systematically raped by Japan’s imperial forces in military brothels during World War II.

When will AFP realize there is no such agreement by mainstream historians, as is evidently shown in the open letter by the 450 world known historians last month? 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.

Some historians also dispute how directly the Japanese military was involved, and whether women were coerced to become "comfort women."

Their readers may receive the disservice of untrue view of the world. It is as if japanese right wingers are challenging the established facts, whereas historians do not have any such agreement.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

We'll see how mature Japan's Abe can be.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

People in the world likes to be recognized for what they did. Even if its wrong. Kono is known by his statement. He wants to be remembered that way. Guess what Kono. Nobody cares

-19 ( +1 / -20 )

Can we ever stop seeing this kind of news? It appears too hard for someone to just say 'honto ni sumimasen' .... though some have made some form of apology. Sorry, for not saying much in my comments. Someone step up for the Japanese government ... and I bet THAT (if any) will not be accepted .... if it ever happens!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kono is absolutely right about the "stain on the honor of Japan and its people". All the people who post here who disagree with Kono or the need to address the issue because it wasn't so bad or numbers are exaggerated do a great disservice to their country.

Nearly all the people posting in agreement with Kono and Murayama want the best for Japan and understand that the Japan during WW2 is not the Japan of today and rationalize why Abe's actions or inactions are so important. Is it that difficult to understand that by sincerely addressing WW2 Japan will be free from its past? Again don't compare Japan with China or South Korea in not wanting to apologize because that is immature. If Japan thinks it is above these 2 countries then do the right thing and what China or South Korea does regarding their past wrongs is irrelevant. If you keep on comparing your action with China's or South Korea's then you put your country at the same level as them (which I know is something you don't want do you????).

5 ( +6 / -1 )

“In relations with South Korea and China, we have to start with facing up to the truth, facts,”

Exactly! These men TRIED to start such relations, as men of integrity and honor, but sadly men with neither of those qualities obviously never bothered to take up the torch, and instead have constantly sought to put and keep it out.

OssanAmerica: "So these are two politicias who did what they thought was right back then,. And look where relations are now. They failed. Miserably."

No, THEY didn't fail. Those who succeeded them, and those who deny the truth, yourself included, are the people who have failed, and need to apologize.

"So what makes them think they are qualified to dicatate how the current administration should proceed on the issue?"

That's easy. The current politicians are not qualified at all. Period. On the contrary, what makes YOU qualified whereas these men, former politicians and experts on the subject, not qualified?

Ossan, you, posters like KiyoshiMukai CH3CHO and others, constantly come on here and blame the South Koreans for Japan's FORCED and coerced sexual slavery, denying it happened that way and instead calling it 'willing prostitution' and insulting the victims, and honestly wonder where things have gone wrong? Some on here, like kiyoshiMukai inevitably posted above, blame things STILL on China and South Korea, and now that historians, lawmakers, and even the public in Japan want Abe to reiterate the apology for the sake of relations, you guys are struggling to continously say it's "Only China and South Korea who are whining". No one but the worst of the wingers agrees with the denialists, my friend, and that's what Kono is saying when he says you need to 'start' coming to terms with the facts and with history. Until then, you guys indeed put a stain in Japan's honor, and no apology will EVER be taken seriously from ANYONE in the world while the atrocities Japan committed in the past are denied, publicly, by politicians and the like here.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Korean Dictionary says

apology: noun (pl. apologies) -a regretful acknowledgement of an offence or failure -a formal, public statement of regret, such as one issued by a newspaper, government, or other organization -sthg you can get money from the other person with (esp. Japan)

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

“Not accepting facts, denying what has undoubtedly happened… or saying it was all right to do it because others did it… this kind of behavior is a stain on the honor of Japan and its people.”

Smart thinking from someone willing to truly want Japan to be its best by looking its past squarely in the eye and not trying to rationalize, eqivocate, or justify. That's what real leadership is all about.

So these are two politicias who did what they thought was right back then,. And look where relations are now. They failed. Miserably. So what makes them think they are qualified to dicatate how the current administration should proceed on the issue?

The opposite kind of thinking -- looking for any excuse for Japan to weasel out.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I suspect that Korea and China will never be satisfied with any apology, and they are happy to keep rejecting apologies and pressing for new apologies because they can turn this position into a popular one among the people in their countries. While recognizing Japan’s guilt in this matter, we also need to recognize the political posturing on the parts of Korea and China, who want to keep this issue fresh and unresolved for the purpose of personal political gain.

What about the settlement in 1965? After the settlement, majority of these conscripted workers never received anything from their own government. Even if the 1965 settlement included the comfort women, what makes you think that Korean government would've disbursed the compensation money to these victims? Their government didn't care about their own people. The South Korean government needs to be forthright about the fact it spent the $800 million in compensation money and take some responsibility itself, instead of blustering that Japan “hasn’t apologized nor compensated enough.” If the South Korean government had done it’s part back in the 1960′s and disbursed compensation efficiently to those Koreans conscripted by the Japanese during WWII, much of the problems wouldn’t exist today.

Why did Korean government hid and deny until 2005 (40 years later) to release a secret file to their own citizens of the $800 millions that Japan to Korea in 1965? Rather than deny, Park should say that Korean government used up the money designed for individual compensation.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

It would be far better to fully apologize once and for all, and then Japan and it's neighbors could move on and spend more time on all the other important issues that have to be settled between them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sex slavery is a fact of life across Asia today. Why all the sensitivity about admitting it happened in wartime?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So these are two politicias who did what they thought was right back then,. And look where relations are now. They failed. Miserably.

Same logic the Obama haters use, and equally incorrect in both circumstances.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It would be far better to fully apologize once and for all

I doubt that's possible. While people can perhaps apologize for their ancestors' deeds, they can't apologize for those who are yet to come. Who knows what the next prime minister's views will be.

Better surely to build a large and significant public monument in memory of all who suffered during Japan's occupation of much of Asia and during the Pacific war. With the Tokyo Olympics coming up, it would have been a great opportunity to time the opening of such a monument with the opening of the Olympics.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I am sorry to say that any serious student of history can say such sad afflictions of civilians happened in every war in history, and on a large scale. Japan is NOT alone or unique in this, Russia committed widespread such attacks on women when Berlin was captured, US forces did the same on the civili8an French population which resulted in a hatred of the US in many parts of France to this day, it is part of history. What IS unique is the attempt largely by China to shame Japan for political reasons and Korea to a lesser extent. Time to look forward, no one is trying to hid the past, some are just trying not to be forced to live in it.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

What IS unique is the attempt largely by China to shame Japan for political reasons and Korea to a lesser extent

And now we're back to the "well others did it too" line of excuses.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Abe has said he agrees with previous government pronouncements on the conflict, but does not think it appropriate to continually apologise for events more than seven decades ago.

That is because he, Hashimoto, Ishihara and others on this thread have continually failed to grasp one simple, fundamental point: it doesn't matter how many times you apologise - if you keep denying what you did after apologising the cycle never ends. That is why Japan is still dealing with this 70 years on. Germany has long since made amends, to the point people wouldn't complain if they didn't apologise on some war anniversary or other. The fact they continue to do so even now - while correctly teaching history in schools - speaks volumes about their sincerity. I for one am tired of Japan's victim hood mentality. Always talking about how bad The atom bombs were (true) but ignoring Nanking, Unit 731, the sex slaves etc. Mr Abe is a symbol of this attitude. Well spoken Mr Kono

3 ( +4 / -1 )

“As Abe has said he agrees with previous statements, he should repeat them and erase international questions and misunderstandings” about his position, Murayama said."

That would be too simple.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ sfjp330 JUN. 10, 2015 - 01:58PM JST

I suspect that Korea and China will never be satisfied with any apology, and they are happy to keep rejecting apologies and pressing for new apologies

While there surely are nationalistic forces in South Korea and China that exploit the sex slave issue it is not true that South Korea and China rejected any apologies from Japan.

On the international diplomatic stage neither SK nor China engage in any kind of baseless Japan bashing, but almost always react to concrete actions on the Japanese side like visits to Yasukuni, announcements of rethinking former apologies or deleting references to Japanese atrocities from the school textbooks.

Trying to paint a truly remorseful Japan that is constantly rejected by SK and China unfortunately is not backed up by reality.

Not being credible on the international stage for how it is viewing its war time history is not due to any SK or China propaganda, but purely a Japanese self made dilemma.

What about the settlement in 1965?

If you believe the 1965 treaty was about paying a lump sum and thus solving all history related conflicts you don't seem to understand the reality of international diplomatic relations, nor do you seem to understand the human psyche.

Just look at Germany that despite several such treaties is still reviewing various requests for compensation and is still going out of its way to comfort the victims of its war rage.

The South Korean government needs to be forthright about the fact it spent the $800 million in compensation money and take some responsibility itself,

As you hinted at yourself the South Korean was forthright about that fact, published the related documents in 2005 and took some heat for that. The reason that this took so long was clearly related to fact that Korea was under a dictator when the 1965 treaty was made and even after South Koreans fought their way into a democracy in the 1990ies it took a while before the government could openly admit the shortcomings of its predecessors.

Odd enough the current President Park is the daughter of the dictator who cheated on his own people.

But please note that former comfort women from various nations were more then anything else expecting a clear and univocal expression of remorse and an official acknowledgement of responsibility from the Japanese government.

While the Japanese government did acknowledge "moral responsibility" it did step short of also taking clear legal responsibility and hid behind the 1965 treaty which didn't include the comfort women at all and therefor couldn't have provided them with any compensation.

Thus the Asian Women's Fund was a structure to provide some kind compensation without taking full legal responsibility and it is understandable that most of the former comfort women didn't like that.

Now Abe is rejecting even moral responsibility and in the 1990ies he and his nationalist buddies in the LDP were strongly opposing any apologies and were responsible for the half-heartedness with which the issue was treated.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The atrocities of the Japanese Imperial Army committed prior to and during WWII are on a par with Nazi Germany's. The sex slave issue is a minor issue in comparison. Japan has a lot to answer for.

Kono and Maruyama went a long way to defusing some of the pent up anger in China and the Koreas. Any trust that had been developed was negated by the actions of Abe and his ultra right wing friends.

One small step forward.

Ten paces back.

Thank you Mr Abe.

You are doing to Asian diplomacy what you are doing to Japanese economics.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

For the record, what Kono actually said was he questioned whether Abe need to make any statement at all. I think he should not.

Japan has paid and paid and apologized.

It's just the propagandists working over to create the idea that it has not.

Japan as an enemy is just too convenient to internal and international dynamics to make them want to let go of it.

No apology will ever be enough so Japan so just say, "enough is enough".

The big problem is that China, especially, has not evolved sufficient to accept the rule of law in the international sphere.

Japan has no more to do than ask, "do you want to do business decently and in a proper manner or not?".

It's the same as dealing with unruly adolescents ... sometimes "love" is just not enough.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I agree with Kono. At this point in time the problem is not so much with what happened in regards to sex slavery, but that current Japanese either do not know about it or refuse to believe it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

bam_boo JUN. 10, 2015 - 09:35PM JST But please note that former comfort women from various nations were more then anything else expecting a clear and univocal expression of remorse and an official acknowledgement of responsibility from the Japanese government.

The comfort women issue was not raised by South Korea for individuals who suffered under Japanese colonization as it negotiated a treaty with Japan in 1965. In 1992, Korean prof. Ahn Byeong-jik of Seoul University talks about Japanese comfort station system. An investigation conducted in South Korea by Professor on 40 survivors resulted in all testimonies not being credible. He also concluded that half of comfort station owners were Korean. The fact that half of comfort stations were run by Koreans maybe surprising to you. The brutality of some segments of the Imperial Japanese military is well known and have been tried at the Tokyo trials. Problem is that surviving Korean comfort women tells different version each time they recount their experiences. The South Koreans started attacking even the good will of former PM Murayama who spent working for the surviving comfort women as a head of AWF. Based on the testimonies that they gave, many are now questioning the stories behind it. If this is a court of law, one needs to prove their allegations and it's really not up to Japan to disprove them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

first of all it's ludicrous to think Japan has the right to end the 'apologies'... the reason it's still an issue is because Japan simply haven't accepted it's crimes completely and apologized enough.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't know why revisionists always try to reduce the "comfort women" issue to Korea. There are accounts from women from at least 8 countries about being enslaved by the Japanese military. While around half of the "comfort women" probably came from Korea it is by no means a Korean Japanese issue.

@ sfjp330 JUN. 11, 2015 - 04:18AM JST

The comfort women issue was not raised by South Korea for individuals who suffered under Japanese colonization as it negotiated a treaty with Japan in 1965.

Yes, simply because it was not known then to which extent women's rights were violated by the Japanese military. Nobody had done an international research on the issue and for obvious reasons the abused women were very reluctant to come forward with their stories.

That the accounts are not 100% consistent after 50, 60 or 70 years is no surprise at all, that is just how the human brain works. While there surely was societal pressure in Korea we can not say this from Indonesia, the Philippines or Taiwan.

We know of at least 400 first hand accounts of former sex slaves from various nations that are consistent in all main points depicting a pattern of violence against women by the IJA that is shocking and that hasn't been properly accounted for or punished in any trial. And as with all violence agains women we can be sure that we only know of the tip of the iceberg.

An investigation conducted in South Korea by Professor on 40 survivors resulted in all testimonies not being credible.

This is pure misinformation. Prof. Ahn Byeong-jik did not conclude that all testimonies were not credible. What he did conclude was that most likely the majority of Korean "comfort women" were not abducted forcibly directly by the Japanese military from their homes, like it apparently did happened frequently in China, the Philippines and Indonesia.

I don't think An Byeong-jik is disputing the fact that a vast majority of the Korean comfort women were recruited under false pretenses and this means that they were forced and raped at some point. The majority were by no means experienced prostitutes like many right-wingers would like to make you believe.

The fact that half of comfort stations were run by Koreans maybe surprising to you.

No, that's a widely known fact that often Korean managers were involved, but also we know well that they were not doing independent business and were henchmen for the IJA.

The Prof. Ahn Byeong-jik you mentioned also found first hand evidence (beside Prof. Yoshimi and others) that the Japanese military was directly involved in the management of the comfort stations on all levels and even organized the trafficking of the women.

The brutality of some segments of the Imperial Japanese military is well known and have been tried at the Tokyo trials.

Well known by who? Apparently not by Abe and a large part of the LDP who are rejecting the outcomes of the Tokyo trials and try to make us believe that Japanese war criminals were just "faithful subjects". That is exactly what the Yasukuni visits are all about.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The fact that half of comfort stations were run by Koreans maybe surprising to you

And the fact that everyone here already knows that may be surprising to you - and it doesn't change anything with regards Japan's need to face up to what it did.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan has paid and paid and apologized.

It's just the propagandists working over to create the idea that it has not.

Nope. Supporting mainstream links please

0 ( +2 / -2 )

bam_booJun. 11, 2015 - 02:00PM JST

I don't know why revisionists always try to reduce the "comfort women" issue to Korea. There are accounts from women from at least 8 countries about being enslaved by the Japanese military.

I do not know why you keep confusing rape victims with ianfu.

We know of at least 400 first hand accounts of former sex slaves from various nations

Most of the testimonies you gave link to were those of rape victims, not those of ianfu.

That the accounts are not 100% consistent after 50, 60 or 70 years

Why do we see unproportionally high inconsistency among Korean accounts? It cannot be explained by fading memory. I think they are doing it intentionally, and if they are doing it intentionally, rest of their testimonies may not have value.

Truth should be the guide and their accounts do not help.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

CH3 - concerning rape & ianfu - please research a little more widely.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

browny1Jun. 11, 2015 - 08:00PM JST

CH3 - concerning rape & ianfu - please research a little more widely.

I bet you do not realise the difference between rapes and prostitution.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I do not know why you keep confusing rape victims with ianfu.

There were a number of women kept by the Japanese military. Some were there voluntarily and were prostitutes, others were not there voluntarily, and were sex slaves. All are being called comfort women. The problem with this being that the right wingers find examples of some of them being prostitutes, and use this to claim that they were therefore all prostitutes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@ CH3CHO JUN. 11, 2015 - 07:36PM JST

I do not know why you keep confusing rape victims with ianfu.

We have loads of evidence that a large part of the Korean "comfort women" were innocent young women who were deceived, sometimes also sold, trafficked to foreign countries and forced into prostitution.

What you seem to have problems to understand, CH3CHO, is the fact that those "comfort women" were not professional prostitutes and for them being in a comfort station meant an ongoing nightmare of constantly being raped.

They were in a place they didn't know in the middle of Japanese controlled territory had no knowledge of the local language and mostly no experience of being anywhere else then at home with mama. They couldn't just run away, they had absolutely no rights and nobody to complain to and often had to pay back a huge amount of money.

That's what all those accounts tell us very clearly and that's why it is perfectly OK to talk about rape and sex slaves in relation to "ianfu" or "comfort women".

Kono and Murayama studied all the evidence, read all the numerous accounts and realized that the only credible thing Japan can do is to show unconditional remorse and search for reconciliation.

@ Luce-A JUN. 11, 2015 - 09:08PM JST

The problem with the Hate mob is that they want the biggest number, 100% to be victims or "slaves", and for Japan to be 100% responsible.

Nitpicking about numbers and details seems to be your business, and that of most right-wing Japanese.

I, and I suppose most other people here who agree with Kono and Murayama, just care about a clear and univocal official acknowledgment of Japan's responsibility for the habitual and wide spread violence against women in Asia during WW2 and the necessary concrete steps to realize reconciliation.

By the way, are Kono and Murayama also part of your notorious "Japan hat mob", Luce-A?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

bam_boo JUN. 11, 2015 - 02:00PM JST We know of at least 400 first hand accounts of former sex slaves from various nations that are consistent in all main points depicting a pattern of violence against women by the IJA that is shocking and that hasn't been properly accounted for or punished in any trial.

Your misinformed. The history shows that main allegations had been proved in a Dutch court under Western rules of evidence as far back as 1948. That court, which had been convened in what was then the Dutch East Indies had considered allegations that Japanese army officers had forced many Dutch women seized in the Dutch East Indies into sexual slavery. One Japanese military official was executed and eleven other Japanese citizens were sentenced to jail terms. The Dutch went on in 1956 successfully to press the Japanese government to pay compensation to the women.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

StrangerlandJun. 11, 2015 - 08:41PM JST

I do not know why you keep confusing rape victims with ianfu.

There were a number of women kept by the Japanese military. Some were there voluntarily and were prostitutes, others were not there voluntarily, and were sex slaves. All are being called comfort women.

No, rape victims were not called ianfu. If you think otherwise, please show some evidence. Anyway, ianfu means a prostitute in Japanese.

bam_booJun. 11, 2015 - 10:51PM JST

We have loads of evidence that a large part of the Korean "comfort women" were innocent young women who were deceived, sometimes also sold, trafficked to foreign countries and forced into prostitution.

"The loads of evidence" is nothing but inconsistent accounts by Korean former ianfu decades after the war with little proof value. How can you prove if they were deceived? Reading Korean testimonies, I think they were more likely to know the nature of their job than not.

bam_boo JUN. 11, 2015 - 02:00PM JST

We know of at least 400 first hand accounts of former sex slaves from various nations that are consistent in all main points depicting a pattern of violence against women by the IJA that is shocking and that hasn't been properly accounted for or punished in any trial.

Japanese soldiers who committed rapes were punished by Japanese martial court during WW2. There are many records of such trials. This is another difference between rapes and prostitution.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

No, rape victims were not called ianfu. If you think otherwise, please show some evidence. Anyway, ianfu means a prostitute in Japanese.

Ok, then lets stop talking about the ianfu. No one thinks Japan needs to atone for the keeping of prostitutes, it's the sex slaves that need to be atoned for. So please, enough of your talk about ianfu, they are not relevant to the issue.

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@ CH3CHO JUN. 12, 2015 - 10:05AM JST

No, rape victims were not called ianfu. If you think otherwise, please show some evidence. Anyway, ianfu means a prostitute in Japanese.

Have you ever taken a look at the AWF website, CH3CHO? Apparently not because otherwise you would know that the term "comfort women" is now commonly used to refer to women who were confined by the Japanese military in one or another way to serve their "needs".

For helping you a bit with definitions here what is written on the AFW site:

"The so-called "wartime comfort women" were those who were taken to former Japanese military installations, such as comfort stations, for a certain period during wartime in the past and forced to provide sexual services to officers and soldiers."

Are we settled here, or do you want to further engage in a discourse about semantics, CH3CHO?

And as we're defining terms, to help you with the term "rape", this is what wiki says:

"Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority..."

This is exactly what the hundreds of accounts of women from various nations are describing.

I'm with Kono and Murayama here who don't care about semantics, or details and numbers, but about where the responsibility for crimes agains women during WW2 lies and they clearly say: it lies with Japan.

"The loads of evidence" is nothing but inconsistent accounts by Korean former ianfu

I have easily counted more then 400 first hand accounts by women from South Korea, North Korea, China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia (includes Holland). I have linked them in other JT threads and can link them again here if necessary.

Japanese soldiers who committed rapes were punished by Japanese martial court during WW2.

Quit absurd effort to try to make us believe that all rape cases were duly punished. We have numerous accounts of massive rape sprees by the IJA from all over Asia, but of course most of them from China.

We know that this was such a massive problem that the IJA decided to built up the comfort station system, but not to protect any women, just to not weaken the IJA's fighting strength.

How can you pretend that all those were tried? Singular cases yes, but surely not even the majority. Where do you think the IJA's Asia wide notorious fame during WW2 for being completely inhuman came from?

To face war time history means to face the dreadful reality of what humans are able to do to humans in certain situations.

@ sfjp330 JUN. 12, 2015 - 02:11AM JST

Your misinformed. The history shows that main allegations had been proved in a Dutch court under Western rules of evidence as far back as 1948.

I know that case well, but please tell me, why does it contradict any of my arguments?

It was the only case related to IJA comfort stations that came out still during the war and it is an exception as western women were involved. The reason that it came out - so that even the IJA couldn't ignore it during WW2 - and that it was properly tried was related to this fact. The asian women didn't have the western experience of women's liberation and didn't yet have such a backup in their communities and families. It's that simple.

This case is rather to be seen as proof for how bad the IJA treated women all over Asia then as proof for the truthfulness of the Japanese military.

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bam_boo JUN. 12, 2015 - 01:04PM JST It was the only case related to IJA comfort stations that came out still during the war and it is an exception as western women were involved.

After the war, the Chinese and the Dutch prosecution teams at Tokyo each presented evidence of the Japanese military's comfort system in territories occupied by Japan. Dutch has sought to prove a widespread practice of what was characterized as enforced prostitution, and introduce few of the cases. Even if the IMTFE had convicted, the reasons would probably not have been as progressive as in the tribunal's judgment, which gave as little play as possible to paternalistic assumptions about gender and race reflected in WWII era international laws and legal sensibilities. The Dutch prosecutors at Tokyo spoke in terms of enforced prostitution, whereas the charge before the Tokyo's women's tribunal was sexual slavery, not recognized as an international crime until the 1990's. Maybe this is the reason why Korea didn't claim compensation for comfort women in 1965.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Even if the IMTFE had convicted, the reasons would probably not have been as progressive as in the tribunal's judgment, which gave as little play as possible to paternalistic assumptions about gender and race reflected in WWII era international laws and legal sensibilities.

Don't really get what you are trying to say here.

It is a widely accepted fact that the Tokyo tribunal didn't properly address the violations of women's rights, not because the violations were not violations then, but because it was a male dominated court and female issues were apparently not very high on the agenda.

Further it was not known at that time how the whole system of comfort stations and exploitation of women worked and how deeply the IJA was involved.

Also except for the Dutch former comfort women there were almost no first hand accounts then, because victims were reluctant to come forward with their humiliating stories for obvious reasons.

The Dutch prosecutors at Tokyo spoke in terms of enforced prostitution, whereas the charge before the Tokyo's women's tribunal was sexual slavery

Are you trying to be sophisticated here? Could you explain to us why it matters whether you call the same crime "enforced prostitution" or "sexual slavery"?

Enforced prostitution, just like human trafficking, was a crime then. Nowadays the umbrella term "sexual slavery" is commonly used to refer to the a set of different crimes against women.

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bam_booJUN. 11, 2015 - 02:00PM JST Yes, simply because it was not known then to which extent women's rights were violated by the Japanese military. Nobody had done an international research on the issue and for obvious reasons the abused women were very reluctant to come forward with their stories.

Are you kidding? Park had access to all the secret information and knew the details. Park was an elite product of the Japanese colonial system and trained at the Army Staff College in Japan, did not hesitate to use the Japanese capital and money in abundance for economic development. Facts are Park's military government did not have to take into consideration the rights of the individual to seek compensation. As the old regime under the 1965 treaty began to disintegrate, we have had no clear picture of a new bilateral system replacing the old 1965 system.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

bam_booJun. 12, 2015 - 01:04PM JST

"The so-called "wartime comfort women" were those who were taken to former Japanese military installations, such as comfort stations, for a certain period during wartime in the past and forced to provide sexual services to officers and soldiers."

Excise me. Where does it say that rape victims are comfort women? Do you mean that all prostitutes are rape victims becaause they have to provide sex once they have received money?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@ CH3CHO JUN. 13, 2015 - 03:32AM JST

Excise me. Where does it say that rape victims are comfort women?

I was just giving proof that all the accounts I mentioned above were "comfort women" and sex slaves according to accepted definitions.

In a former post you were denying that fact:

bam_boo:

We know of at least 400 first hand accounts of former sex slaves from various nations

CH3CHO:

Most of the testimonies you gave link to were those of rape victims, not those of ianfu.

They were all confined in one or another way in IJA camps or in comfort stations and thus it is perfectly appropriate to refer to them as "comfort women".

Do you mean that all prostitutes are rape victims because they have to provide sex once they have received money?

No, I mean that comfort women who didn't choose to become prostitutes, but were deceived and forced to are being raped every time a man takes them, even if they receive money. That is also why they are commonly referred to as sex slaves.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

bam_booJun. 13, 2015 - 08:04AM JST

They were all confined in one or another way in IJA camps or in comfort stations and thus it is perfectly appropriate to refer to them as "comfort women".

Why is it appropriate? Comfort women or ianfu received money for sex. If not, she is not a comfort woman.

It seems you are attempting to include all the rape victims into "comfort women", and then characterize "comfort women" by the testimonies of the rape victims. The truth is that "comfort women" and rape victims are two different categories and have different characteristics.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Why is it appropriate? Comfort women or ianfu received money for sex. If not, she is not a comfort woman.

Really?

Comfort women were women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army before and during World War II.

Source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women

It seems you are using the term differently than the accepted meaning of the term. So you'll have to come up with a new word, or start using it the same as everyone else.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Everyone talks about how remorseful the Germans are, but I've met several who basically say, "Germany was invaded by an outside force called the Nazis. They were not us, they were separate (Austrian) and thus there is much less responsibility on Germany than everyone thinks."

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ Strangerland JUN. 14, 2015 - 03:54PM JST

Thanks a lot for clarifying.

@ CH3CHO JUN. 14, 2015 - 02:45PM JST

If you are not able to follow a logical chain of reasoning it doesn't make sense to engage with you in any kind of fact based discourse here.

Though please note that it doesn't help your cause at all to just keep on repeating the same baseless misconceptions again and again.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I do not know why you keep confusing rape victims with ianfu.

A small number of "prostitutes" did exist, but they are largely eclipsed by the hundreds of thousands of sex slaves.

If you are not able to follow a logical chain of reasoning it doesn't make sense to engage with you in any kind of fact based discourse here

No argument there.

Everyone talks about how remorseful the Germans are, but I've met several who basically say, "Germany was invaded by an outside force called the Nazis. They were not us, they were separate (Austrian) and thus there is much less responsibility on Germany than everyone thinks."

Supporting links please, because I've met a lot of Germans who make no such claim. As usual, Kono is a wise man

1 ( +1 / -0 )

StrangerlandJun. 14, 2015 - 03:54PM JST

Comfort women were women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army before and during World War II.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women

Oh, so you took it from Wikipedia. But you fail to quote the following sentenses in the same paragraph of the Wikipedia article.

The name "comfort women" is a translation of the Japanese euphemism ianfu (慰安婦) and the similar Korean term wianbu (위안부).[4][5] Ianfu is a euphemism for shōfu (娼婦) whose meaning is "prostitute(s)".[6]

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Oh, so you took it from Wikipedia. But you fail to quote the following sentenses in the same paragraph of the Wikipedia article.

This thread is not about the small number of "comfort women", but the huge number of sex slaves.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The name "comfort women" is a translation of the Japanese euphemism ianfu (慰安婦) and the similar Korean term wianbu (위안부).[4][5] Ianfu is a euphemism for shōfu (娼婦) whose meaning is "prostitute(s)".[6]

As it says in the quote, it's a euphemism.

The term refers to girls who were kept in sexual slavery. You may not like that, but it doesn't change the fact that it is what it refers to.

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Mr. Kono is a true Patriot and a Hero in minds of majority of Japanese who wishes lasting peace and mutual cooperation in Asia.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wikipedia probably is a good source to grasp a rough idea of things you don't know much about, but it can never be a credible source since it can be extremely biased depending on the general acknowledgement of each countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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