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WWII sex slavery indescribable wrong: ex-PM Murayama

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Respect to this gentleman.

66 ( +65 / -2 )

Good on Murayama for taking the stance and initiative to meet with these actual surviving "comfort women" face to face and making those comments. No doubt he will accused of being a traitor by the rightists before he even gets back to Japan.

42 ( +45 / -4 )

Well, finally there's someone decent after all the nonsense lately from the far-right. I think these kind of voices should get picked up more than the crazy far right noise.

36 ( +42 / -6 )

Well, this is the thing, and Murayama seems to get it. When you do something wrong, it stays wrong, however much time as passed.

It doesn't mean you have to grovel about it every single time, but it doesn't mean that the matter should be forgotten and swept under the carpet either.

You don't just apologize once or twice fully or half-heartedly and then want to forget about it, and get annoyed when people bring it up again. Trying to excuse it, or deny it, or minimise the damage, is just plain crappy behaviour.

Good for him.

35 ( +38 / -4 )

Thing is they have apologized. Numerous times. Far more then the once or twice you say. Look it up. This is just petty. Japan can apologize over and over again and I get the feeling it will never be enough. They will always want more. Oh. Also. Here's the list. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

-30 ( +20 / -47 )

Well said, Murayama-Sensei. The abuses dealt out to the "comfort children" and "comfort women" of many nations are beyond the imagination of decent people, and decent people like Mr.Murayama need to publicly hammer down the denialists and whitewashers that are rearing their ugly but dangerous heads.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Good on Murayama. It's a shame Park refused to meet him--she should know he's one of the only politicians who don't deny what happened and desires to make amends.

16 ( +25 / -9 )

He of the amazing eyebrows. Of all the apologies given over the years by various Japanese politicians, the one that Murayama gave perhaps resonated the strongest.

However, old Tomiichi seems to be swimming against the tide of current opinion. The party that he once led is now a shambles, the current PM is the grandson of a former Sugamo Prison resident (Nobusuke Kishi), and certain leading lights in the LDP believe that democratic protest against draconian legislation is paramount to terrorism.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Japan must solve it,”

Solve what?

@CajunH20 exactly. Here is the correct link btw: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

I count at least 10 apologies regarding Comfort Women. Plus didnt Japan also pay a kind of lump sum.

Japan also set up some kind of funding in 2002: http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/policy.html

And laaaast but not least a list of how much money has been paid: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6530197.stm

-18 ( +15 / -32 )

CajunH2O

Thing is they have apologized. Numerous times. Far more then the once or twice you say. Look it up. This is just petty. Japan can apologize over and over again and I get the feeling it will never be enough. They will always want more.

For every apologies, it's only fair that we list non-apologies and denials that erases past apologies:

"It's obvious to anyone that the comfort women were necessary."

Toru Hashimoto, Mayor of Osaka

"There were 'comfort women' in any warring nations. It was not just Japan that did it."

Katsuto Momii, NHK manager

"The nanking massacre was a hoax made up by the GHQ to excuse the atomic bombing atrocities. Japan had never invaded other nations but freed Asia from Western imperialists."

Naoki Hyakuta, famous novelist of "Eien no Zero", which glorifies kamikaze pilots, and NHK manager

"Comfort women, nanking massacre, Japanese aggression - all lies, none of it ever happened."

Toshio Tamogami, ex-SDF General and Tokyo governmental election candidate

24 ( +39 / -14 )

Thing is they have apologized. Numerous times. Far more then the once or twice you say. Look it up. This is just petty. Japan can apologize over and over again and I get the feeling it will never be enough.

I agree with you to a point. Apologize and be over with it. However, constant denials by Japanese politicians (Abe in 2007) and others (Momii in 2014) make past apologies insincere.

Good on Murayama, though.

25 ( +32 / -7 )

Good for Murayama! Hats off to this respected man!!!

25 ( +27 / -2 )

He does have great qualities on the international scene. If all of Japanese politicians and leaders posses his type of quality and humility, Japan will be in a much better place right now.

Its really a simple and genuine expression. Something that should be imprinted in Japan's traditional culture. When you messed up, admit fault and do a seppuku and acknowledge your guilt and punishment. Its so blunt yet pure in spirits. Nowadays, its that ugly face that these political, social and business leaders whom absolutely knew the truth of that part of history but refuses to face its truth. The worst part is that seems to be the trend in mainstream Japan these days. It doesn't get more mainstream than your leader, governor, mayor, legislators, and now media tycoons who should absolutely uphold the integrity of journalism and news integrity. Its very sad and frustrating to see how Japan is turning out these days. I'm very disappointed in Japan and the Japanese people for tolerating and allowing this trend to flourish.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

Well, I'm sure he won't be asked for any input into the Japanese high school textbooks. I mean, how dare he state the blatant truth? He is an ex-leader of Japan!

Unfortunately, the Korean government are also to blame for this situation. Japan paid billions of yen to these women during the early nineties, but the Korean government used the money for infrastructure reforms and didn't pass it on to the victims. Now, this little indiscretion has been forgotten, of course, and the Korean people are back to seeking money from japan.

1 ( +14 / -13 )

@CajunH2O & papigiulio

You are right, various leaders have offered generalized apologies to WW2 victims, including sex slaves. The problem is, every time one is offered it is always followed shortly thereafter by a denial by some prominent politician. The country doesn't get to "sincerely apologize" then take it all back later on. Right-wing blowhards have had free reign to deny past war crimes with impunity, while the political leaders of the day quietly admonish, saying things like, "The comments were 'inappropriate' " and back up their outbursts with public visits to Yasakuni Shrine and allowing textbook whitewashing.

There MUST be an complete, unadulterated, public apology from the Japanese government while also making it a crime to deny in any way Japanese crimes of aggression in Asia during the 30's and 40's. Then, and only then can Japan have the high road when it comes to Korea and China complaining. Jaoan should be completely honest and forthcoming for once and beat them at their own game.

17 ( +23 / -6 )

As far as I remember, Murayama's words of apology to Japan's wartime victims went beyond the statements of his predecessors. While previous prime ministers have used the word "owabi" (apology) in specific cases like such as Japan's occupation of Korea, Murayama was the first to apply it comprehensively to everyone who suffered at Japanese hands. (including women forced into sexual slavery for the Imperial Army and laborers drafted for Japan's mines and factories). I have nothing but respect for Mr. Murayama.

25 ( +27 / -3 )

If you apologise for something you have to be consistent; it's no good saying, "we apologised before so now we are going to start denying what we did, because you know, after you apologise for something, that's it, you can deny it later, right?" Are the people you apologised to really going to believe your sincerity if you begin denying the original actions? Come on folks.

12 ( +20 / -8 )

Disillusioned

Unfortunately, the Korean government are also to blame for this situation. Japan paid billions of yen to these women during the early nineties, but the Korean government used the money for infrastructure reforms and didn't pass it on to the victims.

Uh, you're talking about the 60s, not the 90s (comfort women were not recognized in the 60s). And I'm pretty sure they didn't paid them "billions of yen". And it was NOT Japan - it was the Asian Women's Fund which is not part of the Japanese government. The Japanese government set it up specifically so that it is not part of the Japanese government.

So basically the Japanese government has NOT officially compensated the victims. It was unofficial. I'm sure the reason was because they don't want to pay too much money and get sued and stuff like that.

4 ( +17 / -12 )

"Thing is they have apologized. Numerous times."

That's not technically wrong, but you don't understand the background. For decades, Japan repeatedly denied it despite a horde of evidence. Then a Japanese researcher Yoshimi Yoshiaki working independently published Japan-based evidence (the Japanese dismissed gaikoku sources out of hand), forcing a reluctant Japan gov't to come clean in 1993 with an apology.

Tokyo responded with a private fund for compensation, as using Japanese taxpayers' money was out of the question. In the meantime, a number of Japanese leaders and senior officials, including Abe, started denying it all over again!

That's why Murayama, who at 89, is one of the very few Japanese in this debate old enough to have experienced the wartime era, is urging that Japan finally get its act together and stop all the lies, deceptions and backtracking.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Powerful words from Murayama - total respect for him ....and those funky eyebrows he rocked with such panache!

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Good for him, a wise and compassionate gentleman.

I wish Abe and the Osaka mayor, if so confident in their views, had the guts to go to Korea and say their opinions face to face to these women.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

JeffLee

Tokyo responded with a private fund for compensation, as using Japanese taxpayers' money was out of the question.

No, that's not true. It used both the taxpayers' money and donations.

¥565m ($4.7m) was raised in donations from the Japanese people, and given to 285 comfort women from Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines, each of whom received about 2m yen ($16,700) ¥770m ($6.5m) in taxpayers' money was provided to pay for medical fees for these women, and for 79 other women from the Netherlands ¥370 million ($3.1m) was spent building medical facilities and old peoples' homes in Indonesia, rather than compensating individuals there, and the rest was used for the fund's running costs and other smaller projects

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_Women%27s_Fund

So in total, they only paid about $15 million? I don't think that's nearly enough. $16,700 is very cheap for a lifetime of suffering and not to mention the medical fees that they may need.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Wish people would stop citing Wikipedia as a reliable source.

0 ( +13 / -12 )

Wow, accepting the fact, as it is, seems to be an admirable act in Japan.

Hopefully, Mr. Murayama could make Shizo's wish come true, to meet the presidents of China and South Korea.

Japan needs China and South Korea for they are the 2nd and the 3rd largest trading partners.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Wow... respect, this guy did something really good!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

and what "sources" do you have for your comments, Hongo?

murayama is correct in saying that the majority of japanese people understand this issue correctly, and that it's only a few politcians who want to downplay the issue of comfort women. but at the same time, do the korean comfort women want every politcian to go and apologize ? that demand is ridiculous and will never happen. i think they should just accept murayama's apology and move on.

6 ( +13 / -8 )

So in total, they only paid about $15 million?

A big part of that was the resistance that the Korean right wing put up to the fund - they waged a successful campaign to prevent women from coming forward to collect. It had something to do with the fact taht there was private funds involved, rather than it being a 100% government payout.

I didn't understand that reaction then, and I don't understand it now. The point of the gesture (passing the hat around so that ordinary citizens could contribute) was suggested and adopted as a way for the Japanese people themselves to show their remorse along with the government.

Not a lot of people want to talk about it, but there were quite a lot of people who donated their own cash to the fund out of sincere remorse only to have the Korean right wing effectively spit in their faces to score a few political points at home.

4 ( +11 / -8 )

hokkaidoguy

A big part of that was the resistance that the Korean right wing put up to the fund - they waged a successful campaign to prevent women from coming forward to collect. It had something to do with the fact taht there was private funds involved, rather than it being a 100% government payout.

Which goes against the right-wing notion the the "Koreans are only asking for more money from Japan!" - lol...

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Japan and South Korea spent more than 14 years negotiating a treaty to settle these wartime compensation issues. It was successfully concluded and Japan paid out billions to the South Korea government.

Japan went further and offered to compensate individual victims of Japanese crimes. The Korean government refused to allow this and decided that they would accept Japanese money and then distribute it to the Korean people who suffered under the Japanese. The only problem with this is that the Korean government never distributed money to individual victims and instead put all of the money into infrastructure projects.

Korea also agreed to never again seek compensation from Japan. All issues relating to the war were to be settled in full.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

Murayama, who as prime minister issued an apology in 1995 for Japan’s wartime aggression,

Does anyone still remember what Korea did to Murayama in 1995?

When Murayama issued an apology to the former comfort women and established Asia Womens Fund to pay compensation to them in 1995, Korean government issued a government order that any former comfort woman who receives money from AWF will be no longer eligible to receive pension from Korean Government.

Remember, San Francisco Peace Treaty prohibits Japanese Government to pay compensation to war victims. That was why they needed to establish a fund.

Read Article 14(b) and Article 26. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Treaty_of_San_Francisco

-1 ( +19 / -19 )

The money was given to 285 comfort women from Korea, which is probably most of the comfort women that are/were still alive in 1994.

Japan and South Korea spent more than 14 years negotiating a treaty to settle these wartime compensation issues. It was successfully concluded and Japan paid out billions to the South Korea government.

Stop repeating the same crap over and over again, this has to do with bringing justice to the comfort women. It has nothing to do with whatever Japan and S.Korea signed in the past.

You clearly don't care about comfort women, so maybe you can just do us all a favor and shut up.

-2 ( +16 / -18 )

Justice can be done to the comfort women if the Korean government would distribute more of the money Japan already paid for their suffering.

-1 ( +11 / -13 )

@Rickyvee

Sources? Who needs sources.... I just wing it (MA from Hongo TAFE and BA from another IARU institution).

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Now here is a guy who restores my faith in politicians! Somehow he still remembers that he's human, good on him! Let him talk!

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Awesome! Finally some contriteness. If all the Japanese politicians had this heart, Korea and China wouldnt have any arguments against Japan to stand on. Be the bigger man Japan! And even more importantly, follow the example of this guy and feel for the victims who are still alive.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Is there an sincere, heartfelt, official apology by the Chinese Communist Party for the 45 Million or so people that Mao Zedong killed during the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, which unlike WWII happenede during peace time?

I would like to imagine China being under the same self righteous standards as some of the people here purport to arrogantly apply to Japan.

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

Here's the way I see things at the moment - Murayama gave a heartfelt apology but some politicians poured cold water on that. Other PMs have apologised, and other politicians have again poured cold water on it. Now, when a PM apologises that should be accepted as being from Japan as he is the chap in charge, yes? So why is a denial or whatever but some wally in the DIET or a crusty old General/newspaper editor taken seriously? They don't speak for Japan.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

The word "comfort woman" should cease to be used when one is obviously talking about sex slaves. Its like referring to the Chinese tortured by Unit 731 as "maruta". Its the exact same thing. Its using the sick words of sick people and giving their sickness a legitimacy. Please just stop doing that.

Its men like Murayama that make people respect Japan. Its non-men like Abe that keep hate of Japan flowing.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Yes! Respect for this guy. Unfortunately, he apologized for nothing. South Korea wants more! More and more apology and compensation. The loop never ends. Long live Murayama! He is the evidence of South Korea's never ending need for apology. Even the president doesn't want to pay him a little chit chat saying she's too BUSY.

2 ( +15 / -13 )

titaniumdioxide

Unfortunately, he apologized for nothing. South Korea wants more! More and more apology and compensation. The loop never ends. Long live Murayama! He is the evidence of South Korea's never ending need for apology.

The Japanese government never officially and legally apologized and compensated in the first place.

1 ( +14 / -13 )

A combination of arrogance, vanity and narcissism prevent Japanese politicians from properly confronting their nation's past. Refusing to recognize the past raises the danger of repeating it. Unfortunately few politicians have the selfless integrity and common sense of former PM Murayama. Who, I can guarantee you is already being castigated in the right-wing media for his remarks in Seoul. I hope he is spared the fate of another Japanese socialist, Inajiro Asanuma, who was cut down on a public stage by a right-wing fanatic in 1960.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Eiji TakanoFeb. 12, 2014 - 04:38PM JST

The money was given to 285 comfort women from Korea, which is probably most of the comfort women that are/were still alive in 1994.

Here comes another piece of misinformation. Here is a link to the official AWF site. http://www.awf.or.jp/e3/dissolution.html

We had implemented the project for 285 former comfort women in The Philippines, Korea and Taiwan, and we completed the necessary procedures.

http://www.awf.or.jp/e3/korea.html

Kim Dae-Jun became President of the Republic of Korea in March that year. In May, the new administration decided that, although it would not demand state reparations from the Japanese Government, it would pay 31.5 million won (at the time, about 3.1 million Japanese yen), plus an additional 4.18 million won from capital collected by the Korean Council ("Chongdaehyop,") as living expense subsidies to each former comfort woman who vowed to refuse Asian Women's Fund project benefits. The Government of the Republic of Korea paid this sum to 142 people, but did not pay it to 11 people - the seven who had accepted Fund benefits in the early stages, and four others who did not sign the written oath because they had accepted Fund benefits.

It is clear Korean Government financially punished former comfort women who received money from AWF.

0 ( +16 / -15 )

@Eiji Takano

Japan already paid compensation to South Korea in the 1960s for its wartime crimes.

The AWF was just bonus money.

-2 ( +13 / -14 )

Did South Korea actually accept this apology from him at the time, or did they bicker and try twisting the knife some more, anyone know? Did the issue come to light again because some silly J politician then rescinded it out of the blue or did some silly South Korean politician stir it up again to score domestic points?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

CH3CHO, what on Earth are you talking about? It says that the Korean government paid to the comfort women who did not want to accept money from the Asian Women Fund. How is that a "punishment"? Jesus Christ, you are full of distortions.

Upgrayedd

Japan already paid compensation to South Korea in the 1960s for its wartime crimes.

Which did not include comfort women because they weren't even recognized then! Get it through your head!

And "bonus money"? Jesus Christ... this is not 2chan, use better words please.

2 ( +16 / -14 )

There is often a barrage of criticism of Japanese politicians in the comments section with some of it warranted. Good to see a man of decency and principle. They are there.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Park should have met him, would have sent a meaningful message to Abe.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

@eiji Takano

The Japanese government never officially and legally apologized and compensated in the first place.

Ok, I give up. What exactly would an "official and legal" apology look like?

-3 ( +12 / -14 )

Which did not include comfort women because they weren't even recognized then! Get it through your head!

No that isn't correct. The Japanese-Korea treaty settled "all" wartime issues - historical and future.

"The High Contracting Parties confirm that the [b]problems concerning property, rights, and interests of the two High Contracting Parties and their peoples (including juridical persons) and the claims between the High Contracting Parties and between their peoples[/b], including those stipulated in Article IV(a) of the Peace Treaty with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, [b]have been settled completely and finally[/b].

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

@Eiji Takano

Follow up question,

Why didn't South Korea recognize the plight of comfort women while they were negotiating (for 14 years) with the Japanese?

-2 ( +12 / -13 )

Because they weren't coming forward at the time, duh.

Now, will you stop trying to play down or deny the existence of comfort women... thank you.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

Murayama, who as prime minister issued an apology in 1995 for Japan's wartime aggression, said it was time for Tokyo to finally resolve the issue of the so-called "comfort women" who were drafted into military brothels.

If you think this is new development, you are new to the issue. As the report says, Korea refused the apology by Murayama in 1995 when he was the Prime Minister of Japan, because an apology by the Prime Minister is not formal enough. Now, he is nothing but a retired politician who is repeating the same apology. Korea will not accept an apology by a retired politician.

One can tell AFP is just parroting the material given to it by supporters/activists group without checking the facts. None of the Korean former comfort women claims they were "drafted". This kind of misinformation would add up and make things hard to solve.

-8 ( +11 / -18 )

Because they weren't coming forward at the time, duh.

That's rather convenient.

You'd figure that there would be some women around Korea who would have come forward with their horror stories of being kidnapped and turned into a sex slave immediately after the war. But no one came forward until the 1990s...

What didn't the parents or neighbors of kidnapped women come forward?

-9 ( +9 / -17 )

Upgrayedd

You'd figure that there would be some women around Korea who would have come forward with their horror stories of being kidnapped and turned into a sex slave immediately after the war. But no one came forward until the 1990s...

Imagine that you've been kidnapped, raped and turned into a sex slave. Would you be so eager to come forward? It's hard enough for women to come forward today, let alone more than half a century ago when there was even more stigma and discrimination against women.

Anyhoo, historians have known about the existence of comfort women since the 60s.

Stop trying to deny the existence of comfort women.

4 ( +18 / -14 )

You'd figure that there would be some women around Korea who would have come forward with their horror stories of being kidnapped and turned into a sex slave immediately after the war. But no one came forward until the 1990s...

They came forward, but the SK government wanted nothing to do with them. SK didn't start talking about the issue until democracy arrived in the late 80s - and by that point they had a LOT of things on the domestic front that they didn't want to talk about very much.

Japan became a very convenient foil about 1988.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Interesting to see all the people loving Murayama now. At the time he was a PM he was mostly thought of as a joke. When he established AWF - please recall that any victim who accepted the AWF compensation also received a signed apology from Murayama - he was ridiculed as a shyster who was trying to pass off a non-governmental apology as "good enough". Perhaps if ROK had swallowed their pride and worked a bit harder with Murayama instead of mocking his sincerity we wouldn't be in the situation we are in today. Almost twenty years wasted.

-5 ( +8 / -12 )

Eiji TakanoFeb. 12, 2014 - 06:11PM JST

Anyhoo, historians have known about the existence of comfort women since the 60s.

Absolutely. Anyone knew there were comfort women. Korean President Mr. Pak who was an Imperial Army officer knew comfort women. Yet, South Korean government renounced all of the compensation claims of Koreans in 1965 treaty. That absolutely includes compensation claims of former comfort women.

In addition, San Francisco Peace Treaty prohibits Japanese government to pay compensation to war victims.

-8 ( +11 / -18 )

Can we just appreciate this kind of dignity and honesty than trying to sensationalise something out of thin air? Nobody cares if Murayama was incompetent at the time he was in position because Abe is doing hell of a worse job. The only one happy with Abe are the elderly and pro Japan nationalists.

SK government is as bad as Japan when it comes to liberalism. I bet Sex slaves were the last thing on their mind.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

SK government is as bad as Japan when it comes to liberalism. I bet Sex slaves were the last thing on their mind.

That can't be true. The post-war negotiations with Japan were their only opportunities to get Japan to pay compensation for the colonial period. That had 14 years of continuous negotiations to build their case for more compensation and they certainly knew about comfort women. As pointed out above, the Korean President was a distinguished officer in the Japanese military and would have known about the system.

Korea had every reason to document the crimes of Japanese and add to the pile of money they should receive in compensation...But they left out the comfort women? Why is that?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

CH3CHO

Yet, South Korean government renounced all of the compensation claims of Koreans in 1965 treaty. That absolutely includes compensation claims of former comfort women.

That changed in 2005:

Tokyo's official position is that all claims for compensation were "completely and conclusively" concluded in the 1965 normalization treaty. In fact, Seoul itself tacitly was in agreement with Japan's stance until the 1990s, when a group of comfort women argued that the government could not take away an individual's right to be compensated. Subsequently, Korea announced in 2005 that comfort women, Sakhalin draftees, and atomic bomb victims would be exceptions to the treaty.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/KOR-01-221113.html

1) Japanese government has admitted that it coerced women into forced prostitution.

2) Forced labor and prostitution of women under the age of 21 was against the international law, which Japan signed in 1932

3) Japanese government has not punished a single perpetrator of the forced recruitment of comfort women.

The comfort women system was conceived, planned and supervised by the Supreme Headquarters of the Japanese Imperial Forces and the Japanese Government in Tokyo. Orders, authorizations and permissions for various actions in relation to the comfort women were directed by the authorities from Japan.

In a legal opinion on the issues submitted to the Korean Constitutional Court in April 2009, I emphasized the fact that Art. 2(1) of the 1965 Agreement did not put an end to Japan’s responsibilities toward the comfort women. This becomes clear when we recall that the Convention concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour (No. 29) adopted by the International Labour Organization in 1930 was ratified by Japan in 1932. The first sentence of Article 2 prohibits forced labour of women. The Japanese Government has acknowledged that coercion was widely employed in recruitment and treatment of the comfort women. Article 25 stipulates that "The illegal exaction of forced or compulsory labor shall be punishable as a penal offence, and it shall be an obligation on any Member ratifying this Convention to ensure that the penalties imposed by law are really adequate and are strictly enforced."

Many of the abductees were juveniles when they were taken to become comfort women. Japan has acknowledged that almost all of the women were taken by deception or coercion. The obligations for punishment continue to bind the current Japanese Government.

Despite its obligations under international law, except for the rare cases mentioned below, Japan has failed to investigate and punish even a single perpetrator of the crimes committed against the comfort women. This non-punishment should be condemned as one of the worst examples of de facto impunity in world history.

http://www.japanfocus.org/-Totsuka-Etsuro/3885

So basically, not much has been done regarding bringing justice to the comfort women other than saying that "We have apologized and compensated (now stop bugging us)".

1 ( +15 / -14 )

Can we just appreciate this kind of dignity and honesty than trying to sensationalise something out of thin air?

The point is, Vince, that "this kind of dignity and honesty" was exactly what Murayama showed in all his comments and actions on this matter while he was PM and afterward during his efforts with the AWF.

The fact that this man is still willing to travel to ROK and meet with some of the very same folks who spit on his earlier initiatives is a testament to his convictions and the sincerity of the apology that he delivered as PM. - you know, the apology that I must have read a thousand times on this board never happened or wasn't good enough.

So not exactly "thin air".

The only one happy with Abe are the elderly and pro Japan nationalists.

Wrong. The business community is very happy with Abe and so is anyone who has money invested in the TSE. In fact nearly every Japanese person I ask approves of Abe's performance to date. While most gaijin disapprove. Wonder what that tells you ...

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

@Upgrayedd

You'd figure that there would be some women around Korea who would have come forward with their horror stories of being kidnapped and turned into a sex slave immediately after the war. But no one came forward until the 1990s..

Had I been one of them, I would certainly rather wish to hide the fact... Maybe only women can understand why they didn't "come forward"... It's certainly nothing to be proud of ! Thank you Mr. Murayama for understanding and doing your best to make amends.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Eiji TakanoFeb. 12, 2014 - 06:49PM JST

Do you remember that the former comfort women filed law suites against Japanese Government in the US? Why did none of them win?

Subsequently, Korea announced in 2005 that comfort women, Sakhalin draftees, and atomic bomb victims would be exceptions to the treaty.

Does that change anything? Korea is just ignoring the traety it signed through its President and ratified though its Congress. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Agreement_Between_Japan_and_the_Republic_of_Korea_Concerning_the_Settlement_of_Problems_in_Regard_to_Property_and_Claims_and_Economic_Cooperation

Article II

3 As a condition to comply with the provisions of paragraph 2 above, no claims shall be made with respect to the measures relating to the property, rights, and interests of either High Contracting Party and its people which were brought under the control of the other High Contracting Party on the date of the signing of the present Agreement, or to all the claims of either High Contracting Party and its people arising from the causes which occurred prior to that date.

Unless Koreans recognize the treaty it signed and ratified, things will go nowhere. Is it too much to ask?

-8 ( +7 / -16 )

"It used both the taxpayers' money and donations."

Thanks for the clarification. Public money still wasn't given to the individuals, but rather funding medical costs and infrastructure, so that it could be classified as overseas assistance, which all developed countries give to developing countries anyway.

Direct compensation to victims from public funds - such as what the US paid to interned Japanese-Americans -- is still unacceptable to the Japanese govt.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

JeffLeeFeb. 12, 2014 - 07:17PM JST

Direct compensation to victims from public funds - such as what the US paid to interned Japanese-Americans -- is still unacceptable to the Japanese govt.

San Francisco Peace Treaty prohibits Japanese Government to pay compensation to war victims of foreign nations. Read Article 14(b) and Article 26. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Treaty_of_San_Francisco

Japanese-Americans are American citizens. The money go from American government to American citizens.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Good for Murayama. Once upon a time Japan had a honest prime minister. Were he or someone like prime minister today and the LDP out of power Japan would have much smoother relationships with its former victims and other nations as well. Abe and his host of deniers have brought nothing but shame on Japan.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Omg, some fact hating idiots are thumbing down... Lol.

Fact. The Japanese government has admitted that it forcibly recruited comfort women as young as 14. It's up to the Japanese government to punish the perpetrators and llegally compensate the victims.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

Park should have met him, would have sent a meaningful message to Abe

Making Japanese apologize again is their aim to invite him to Korea. Mr. Murayama must be happy to receive a spotlight again at his age 90.

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

Eiji TakanoFeb. 12, 2014 - 07:39PM JST

Fact. The Japanese government has admitted that it forcibly recruited comfort women as young as 14. It's up to the Japanese government to punish the perpetrators and llegally compensate the victims.

Oh, give me the names of the perps, if you can. I love to see the trial. It will clear a lot of things.

-5 ( +8 / -12 )

Eiji TakanoFeb. 12, 2014 - 07:39PM JST Omg, some fact hating idiots are thumbing down... Lol. Fact. The Japanese government has admitted that it forcibly recruited comfort women as young as 14. It's up to the Japanese government to punish the perpetrators and llegally compensate the victims.

Folks that disagree with your opinions are idiots, wow.

Now, concerning these perpetrators of these crimes, did you ever hear of the war crime tribunals?

Now about the Compensation argument, 1965, end of discussion.

If the Korean government really gave a hoot about these they would have gotten compensation for them in the 1965 treaty.

But, those women were a footnote not worth mentioning by the Korean government. Why? Answer that question and win the prize.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

I'm not the one who is persecuting... Lol. Jesus Christ.

I'm not sure that the perpetrators are still even alive today. What we know is that none of them have been punished after WW2

How many times do I have to say that the Japanese government has admitted that it forcibly recruited comfort women? It still seems to me that you can't accept that fact for some reason.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

A truly strong man he is.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

What a sad indictment to both Japan and SK that this is still a controversial issue in the year 2014.

People generally take sides in this argument and point fingers at the country they want to blame and deflect attention from the country they want to protect, but here's what I think.

Japan is guilty of repeatedly denying or downplaying their past war crimes, which weakens the landmark 1995 apology offered by Murayama. Repeating "but we've apologised" while senior politicians including the PM, defence chief, mayor of a prominent city and governor of Tokyo have all denied or cast doubt on past wrongs is disingenuous. However, ensuring freedom of speech exists while preventing denial of war crimes is a tricky issue and there are easy answers.

SK is guilty of repeatedly seeking apologies without being prepared to accept one. Japan has paid compensation which the SK government failed to pass on to the individual victims. While SK can call for Japan to stop denying past wrongs, the matter of monetary compensation is closed. If individual victims feel they have not been adequately compensated, the compensation should come from the SK government.

Both sides are too stubborn to back down, and sadly I suspect all remaining victims will pass away of old age, and this issue will continue to remain a thorn which continues to create ill will between the two neighbours.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

CH3CHO and Upgrayed,

What do you personally feel about the comfort women.

You are right, japan paid money back in the 60's.

But, do you personally think it would be good for Japan to do more for them?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Japan must rightfully and truthfully apologise for what they did in WW2 and China 100 years ago so that they can put China to shame for what they did in the 60s and 70s. So long as Japan continues to deny their acts of terror, China will have something to shield them!

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Too much discussions are being focused on country-to-country level, they did this, they did that, but none of the actual victims in the question - the comfort women.

It's as if they're only trying to defend Japan's (or Korea's) position - for whatever the reason. Are they lawyers hired by their own government to defend them? No? Then why are they so desperate to defend their own governments? It makes no sense.

A lot of the Japanese and Korean people feel that they are one with their own governments, even though clearly that's not the case. They tend to take attacks and criticisms of their countries personally and they often feel that an attack on their country is an attack on themselves. They think that their characteristics are reflected on their own governments, and vice versa.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

A brave and honest man willing to face facts and apologise for the sins of his country. A dead and unfeeling man stirs up even more trouble for the country out of self interest. That dead man is Shinzo Abe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While SK can call for Japan to stop denying past wrongs, the matter of monetary compensation is closed. If individual victims feel they have not been adequately compensated, the compensation should come from the SK government.

Indeed, the compensation should come from the SK government. If SK didn't ask more money for the sex slavery issue, maybe right-wing Japanese politicians would stop to deny it. You know, it's not like in Europe Germany continues to pay compensation eternally or it has actually paid everyone. For example, they never paid any compensation to the Greeks. Lately Greece asked war reparations that they never got from Germany, but Germany rejected the request.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324474004578443081332166430

When some people say Japan should copy Germany, I doubt they know the real situation in Europe. It's easy to say "sorry" when you refuse to pay for your mistakes.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Murayama is just an extreme leftist with disillusioned ideology. Japan did not institutionally force women into sex slaves. I don't know just how many times I have to say this. This issue was fabricated by the Japanese leftist journalists and brought up as an international issue when some Koreans decided that it would be a good business. When rape is concerned, people just blindly stigmatize the supposed offender. I understand that's human nature but this is supposed to be an argument based on historical records. Some of the Korean comfort women are even claiming that they were kidnapped by helicopters, for christ sake. They were generally prostitutes trying to earn a living.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Alex80

Indeed, the compensation should come from the SK government.

The SK government did pay for the comfort women. Even though it actually makes no sense since it was Japan that caused damages and SK had nothing to do with it. So why you are even suggesting this is beyond me.

If SK didn't ask more money for the sex slavery issue, maybe right-wing Japanese politicians would stop to deny it.

Sorry, but the right-wingers don't want to see any blemishes on their part. They will deny everything from nanking massacre to Japanese aggression.

I expect more thumbs downs from the revisionists and thumbs up for the deniers from those who actually post nothing because they have nothing to say but to deny.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

Ok, I give up. What exactly would an "official and legal" apology look like?

Easy answer. Make the official apology into a bill and pass it with a vote in the Japanese Parliament. Like what the US did, when they apologized and paid compensation to Japanese American internment survivors.

How hard is that? In Japan, that's impossible apparantly due to an overwhelming opposition and national pride - which proves Korea's position that Japan is really not sorry at all.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Guratan

Murayama is just an extreme leftist with disillusioned ideology. Japan did not institutionally force women into sex slaves. I don't know just how many times I have to say this. This issue was fabricated by the Japanese leftist journalists and brought up as an international issue when some Koreans decided that it would be a good business. When rape is concerned, people just blindly stigmatize the supposed offender. I understand that's human nature but this is supposed to be an argument based on historical records. Some of the Korean comfort women are even claiming that they were kidnapped by helicopters, for christ sake. They were generally prostitutes trying to earn a living.

Jesus Christ... this is truly sickening. You're basically a historical revisionist and a denier. What you're saying may go well with your middle-aged right-wing drinking buddies in izakayas, but it does NOT go well in English speaking communities. Thanks.

The. Japanese. Government. Has. Already. Admitted. It. It admitted that it forcibly recruited comfort women. What you're saying goes against the official stance of the Japanese government. I guess you're anti-Japanese?

Can the mods do something about these historical revisionist trolls? How are they any different than the Holocaust deniers, etc?

9 ( +17 / -8 )

It's good that he's so forthright about the issue, but the comments on this board are interesting - lots of love for his apology now but very little shown in other threads for his original apology in 1995. Why?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

hatsoff, because the dishonesty about this in Japan is so bad, that even just one guy, just one guy making an honest statement, is thought of as remarkable. In other countries in other examples, visits by Murayama wouldn't raise any eyebrows. It's gotten that bad in Japan when it comes to war time honesty. Unfortunately, there will now be more people who will add this visit to their "Japan apologized" total count. Pathetic really.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

SK is guilty of repeatedly seeking apologies without being prepared to accept one. Japan has paid compensation which the SK government failed to pass on to the individual victims. While SK can call for Japan to stop denying past wrongs, the matter of monetary compensation is closed. If individual victims feel they have not been adequately compensated, the compensation should come from the SK government.

Mitch, I am stunned. Truly stunned. Big thumbs up on your entire post, and I've never ever thought that once before.

If we could all at least agree on this much it would be such a big step forward for both countries.

No more denying, no more apologies, no more minimizing and no more compensation.

Lets all try to find a way forward that doesn't keep us in slavery to a history that happened while most of us weren't even alive.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Eiji TakanoFEB. 12, 2014 - 10:05PM JST

It's called a dIscussion Takano. Do you intend to call me a revisionist if claimed that Hitler was murdered by an extraterritorial? Well, in that case you should ask me proofs of my claim. I do know that the Japanese officials acknowledge the existence of comfort women and apologized a number of times like this Murayama did in the past. And what were their reasoning behind those apologies aside from their very confused and blind "pacifist" ideology?

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

The SK government did pay for the comfort women. Even though it actually makes no sense since it was Japan that caused damages and SK had nothing to do with it. So why you are even suggesting this is beyond me.

Japan paid war reparations to SK, but SK government didn't give the money to victims, they used for other projects. Now if you deny this fact, you are revisionist as much as a Japanese right-wing politician in denial about war crimes.

Sorry, but the right-wingers don't want to see any blemishes on their part. They will deny everything from nanking massacre to Japanese aggression.

The US always wanted that Japan was a right-wing country, and some war criminals weren't punished. For all the major nations involved (China, SK, Japan and US) in the Pacific region nationalism in this area is strategically useful, sadly. Anyway, maybe if SK stopped asking for money over and over again, Japanese right-wingers would stop denying war atrocities over and over again, and both the countries could move on.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

hidingoutFEB. 12, 2014 - 10:19PM JST SK is guilty of repeatedly seeking apologies without being prepared to accept one. Japan has paid compensation which the SK government failed to pass on to the individual victims. While SK can call for Japan to stop denying past wrongs, the matter of monetary compensation is closed. If individual victims feel they have not been adequately compensated, the compensation should come from the SK government. Mitch, I am stunned. Truly stunned. Big thumbs up on your entire post, and I've never ever thought that once before. If we could all at least agree on this much it would be such a big step forward for both countries. No more denying, no more apologies, no more minimizing and no more compensation. Lets all try to find a way forward that doesn't keep us in slavery to a history that happened while most of us weren't even alive.

I agree Mitch's post was generally well-balanced - then you go and selectively praise him for the side of his comment that SK was responsible for. You're not praising him for pointing out that Japan is also at fault. Hey, they both need work to do, why can we all accept that.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I don't think that they're asking for money per se

You are wrong sir. From the article above (which I assume you read before commenting on):

"One of the three women, Kang Ul-Chul, told Murayama through an interpreter that the Japanese government should apologize properly to the former sex slaves and provide compensation."

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

I’d like to suggest Japanese government to look for another way to settle this issue; instead of repeating those seemingly empty apologies or arguing about been-there-and-done-that in terms of compensating these victims , it puts Japan’s war-time atrocities including the subject of sex slavery into school textbooks, mandatorily and truthfully. In this way, children in Japan can learn something voluble from a dark page of Japan’s history. We, the Americans, learn the subjects of slavery and racial discrimination (the sinister parts of American history) from our social study textbooks, and students in America find out why such practices are inexcusable and why those crimes committed to mankind are so evil.

For people who are not aware: After Virginia legislature’s passage, New York State in the US has introduced a similar bill that requires 'East Sea' name to be put in school textbooks. (New Jersey State would be slated for the next one on the line.)

Here is a thing: if Japan does not do it voluntarily to teach the true accounts of history, other countries in the world will do it for Japan because truth can’t be covered or blocked forever.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Japan paid war reparations to SK

I think people here should stop trying misrepresent the 1965 treaty for what it really was.

Nowhere in the 1965 Japan/Korea Normalization Treaty of 1965, stated that this was a "war reparation", nor was it stated anywhere that it was a "compensation".

The treaty was signed, by Korea and Japan, to normalize ties. In return for Korea agreeing to normalize the diplomatic ties with Japan, and agree not to bring war damage claims against Japan, Japan gave Korea, $250 million in grants and $550 million in development loans.

But nowhere in the treaty it says "compensation" nor "reparations". Why? Because Japan worded the treaty to avoid they did anything wrong, and Korea agreed to go along with it.

Granted, Korea agree to drop the war reparation demands at that time, and for the most part, they have dropped most claims. But Korea's position is that there are two issues that are still exempted from the treaty: the Comfort women and the matter of back wages owed to forced laborers. These two cases were not known at the time of 1965 treaty, so Korea's position is that they should be compensated.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

I agree Mitch's post was generally well-balanced - then you go and selectively praise him for the side of his comment that SK was responsible for.

I did not. I specifically said that his "entire post" was great. I added those words hoping to avoid being called out as you just called me out.

You're not praising him for pointing out that Japan is also at fault.

I am. Because the points he mentioned were fair. Some in Japan have "denied". Some in Japan have "minimized". Check my post again to find those words.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@chucky3176: I guess you read the original treaty, included the 1,200 pages of diplomatic documents that recorded the proceeding of the treaty, disclosed by the South Korean government in January 2005. Your country wasn't the only one that has been occupied during its history. My country has been invaded way more than yours, but, for example, we are not asking to the France war reparations for what Napoléon Bonaparte made to us. The world must remember but also move on.

The treaty didn't include comfort women.

But included individual compensations, so they were included as well.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Good on Murayama.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Alex80, again, South Korea fulfilled all the agreements of the treaty to not claim damages, except for the Comfort women case, which was outside of the scope of the treaty. Then there is the case of the 7 South Korean forced laborers who filed a lawsuit in Korea against several Japanese companies in Korea including Sumitomo, where a lower provincial court ruled in favor of the claimants. But that too is up in the air, because the higher supreme court has yet to rule on it. So we're basically down to the Comfort Women issue currently because there are no demands in South Korea against Japan, for war reparations. For instance, lawsuits like the 1970 case where survivors of 1920 Japanese massacre of 500 Korean villagers with Japanese burning down their homes as a retaliation for some resistance movement by Koreans...the survivors were claiming compensation for relatives killed and their homes/properties destroyed, was struck down by Korean court, to keep the 1965 treaty with Japan. It's one reason why Japan hasn't seen a lot more lawsuit claims of damages from Koreans (other then the comfort women and the forced laborers claiming wages).

So it is just this issue with this case of the last 55 surviving Korean Comfort Women.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Read CH3CHO in regards to the Agreement Between Japan and the Republic of Korea Concerning the Settlement of Problems in Regard to Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation which covers "all claims". If you have a problem with the interpretation of the treaty, the Korean government are free to file suit at ICJ for Japan's final position is that they have settled everything in relates to the annexation period.

Having said that, There is no denying that Japanese military controlled these units as evidenced by documented records of Japanese government retrieved by Tomiichi Murayama himself who spent the rest of his political days gathering as much evidence when he was a head of the Asian Women Fund. Their "involvements" are summarized by the following.

-Issuing passports to comfort women, verifying their age. -Order for weekly medical examination by military doctors to check for VD with hundreds of reports summarizing the results. -Order to carefully screen the operators for some are recruiting underage girls under false pretenses. -Supply orders for "condoms" because the local area did not have them. -Setting up price and working hours -Warnings not to use brothels set up by locals for it appears that they are growing in spurts due to presence of IJA soldiers and therefore, hasn't complied with the regulations (VD screening, age, how they were recruited, etc.) -Warning to soldiers to pay the prepaid ticket before the actual service for it was reported by operators that some have skipped paying. -Reports of fighting among IJA soldiers because of their affection towards a particular comfort woman. -Advisement to the soldier to pay for the property damage incurred at the brothel to the operator.

And of course, there are documents/reports issued by Allieds when IJA surrendered which includes shocking documents. For instance,

Rabaul

-Women between ages 20~25, the fee is 2.5 yen which includes condoms. The drinks are quite expensive. -Operation hours between 8 am~6pm. However, certain upper class military can stay overnight at a price. -Women can refuse service if the customer does not use condom.

Burma

-According the Korean operator there, his restaurant business wasn't doing to well so he decided to operate the comfort station. -He recruited women from ages 19 to 31 paying in advance from 300 yen~1000 yen per woman. -In his operation, his women earned between 300 yen~1,500 yen a month of which a minimum of 150 yen per month was collected by the operator from each women.

http://www.awf.or.jp/pdf/0051_5.pdf

After years and years of investigation by the said organization, there still exists NO EVIDENCE that the military at the very top ordered recruitment of women forcibily for the said recruitment was conducted by private operators themselves. Was their misconduct among these private operators? Yes.

http://14819219.at.webry.info/201207/article_2.html

Were there force and coercion conducted by certain military units? Yes. As in the Semarang case which the responsible personnel were reprimanded by IJA and subsequently punished via IMFTE in Indonesia.

As to the surviving Korean comfort women, Prof. Byeong-jik Ahn of Seoul National University spent three years investigating the testimonies of these comfort women. Of the 40 or so, he concluded that most of their testimonies were unreliable and confirmed only two were "forced" but not from the IJA. He quit after three years because he felt that this organization wasn't interested in finding out the true nature of the comfort women system but their motive was to pick a fight with Japan.

Prostitution was legal during that time and unfortunately, many rural women were sold off by their family members including Japan.

-11 ( +6 / -16 )

Jeez, how many times does Japan have to apologize for this. Yes it was horrible and wrong, but Japan paid the price with the destruction of its cities by nuclear and conventional bombing and occupation for.seven years after the war. Does Russia ever apologize for the thousands df women raped in Eastern Europe by the Red Army? Does China ever apologize for the millions who died during the Great Leap Forward or the radical excesses of the Cultural Revolution? He'll, they still have the mass murderer's image on their currency. I am sick and tired of Japan being held to a different standard. Just because some Japanese politicians make stupid comments is no reason for other nations to take advantage of the suffering endured by the comfort women in order to beat up Japan.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Read CH3CHO in regards to the Agreement Between Japan and the Republic of Korea Concerning the Settlement of Problems in Regard to Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation which covers "all claims".

And I keep telling you and him the same thing. It was a cooperation and restoring of relations treaty which South Korea has fulfilled its bargain to not claim war reparations in exchange for Japanese loans, so stop calling it as "reparations" or "compensation" or "apology", when it wasn't. The only sticking point is the comfort women, because they were outside of the scope of the treaty. The Asian Women's fund was turned out by most of the women, not because the "South Korean government forced them not to accept them" (which is a complete lie made up by Japanese right wingers), but because their rights activists advised against accepting the fund because they were not officially on paper, endorsed by Japanese government. What the women want the most is the recognition from Japanese government, not just throw some cash at them and tell them to go away.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Do Japanese really believe that another apology and another compensation would solve this problem? I think Koreans real intentions are much larger than that.

-8 ( +7 / -16 )

Japan paid war reparations to SK

When Japan was in a war against South Korea to pay back any reparations for that?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

People who remember WW II time (old people) knew existence of so called 'sex slave' beccause it was not secret. For JP girls, then, if they could not enter girls middle school after 6th grade, they went 7 and 8th to finish elementary school and then drafted to Joshi-teishin-tai ( military prostitution forces). Don;t think JP Military forces hid these systems, They were proud to use females for war cause. Murayama is old enough to know that time. Some younger people think it was not t true but it was not secret. Japanese Military Gvt was prouded girls could be working for war cause.

Back to topic. Murayama must be sick and tired of NHK head, Hashimoto, and other younger politicians talking with their imagination. Salute to Mr. Murayama. ,

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Just as denials end up negating former apologies, new apologies can help negate some of the recent denials. Anyone who thinks a gesture like this doesn't slightly improve relations doesn't know what they are talking about.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

When Japan was in a war against South Korea to pay back any reparations for that?

What in the world are you talking about? What "reparations" is South Korea demanding? The 55, 90+ aged comfort women who want Japan to recognize them?

Do Japanese really believe that another apology and another compensation would solve this problem? I think Koreans real intentions are much larger than that.

I think Japan is just waiting until they're all dead, thinking everything will be OK.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

And I keep telling you and him the same thing. It was a cooperation and restoring of relations treaty which South Korea has fulfilled its bargain to not claim war reparations in exchange for Japanese loans, so stop calling it as "reparations" or "compensation" or "apology", when it wasn't.

It's "settlement of claims" as indicated in the title of the agreement. It encompasses "all peoples". It's not the Japanese government fault that Korean government at that time were also conducting their own "comfort women" system at that time for U.S. soldiers hence they felt no need because they themselves felt these women were not within the "scope". Like I said, if the Korean government has a problem with it, they are more than free to take it up to ICJ to settle this matter.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

looking at this thread, who is the PM is important because it sets the tone of conversation for the people. They can either be for or against what the PM has said, and usually as in times of war, they want to be "patriotic" and in agreement. As they say, the victor decides what is treason. In this case, the PM decides what is an acceptable view of history.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

WAR is an "indescribable wrong". Sex slavery is but one element of multiple, indescribable wrongs. The difficulty lies in times of so-called peaceful relations when all the former enemies stand to gain economically from partnerships and trading relationships.

The war continues, then, at a psychological level and this sort of bickering and posturing (over apologies and islands and what not) fosters no good will. It does nothing to stabilize regions or positively build relationships between nations that now need to work together to achieve strong economies, share technologies and better the lives of their people. Always, it's the common people who lose the most.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

AlexNoaburg, the PM Abe's words, on the same day Muryama's comments were: "South Korea is using these lies about Comfort Women to insult Japan". And many of his fellow comrades chimed in with similar sentiments. Reported in Korean news here.

http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2014/02/12/2014021204225.html?news_Head1

Why doesn't Japan just come right out and say it, Murayama is an old man who doesn't know what he's talking about, his apology is worthless because it doesn't represent our true sentiments, so we will cancel his 1992 apology. At least then, we can get past this Japanese side's "we apologized many times, so why Koreans can't move on" syndrome, and deal with the issues with all gloves off, instead of Japan hiding behind fake apologies?

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Why doesn't Japan just come right out and say it,

What is this "Japan" you are referring to chucky? As far as I know, "Japan" has wide arrange of views from historians, public officials, and general population. During the course of the last 20 years thanks to the internet as well as the extensive research conducted by the AWF themselves headed by Murayama, the concept that "MORE THAN 200,000 WOMEN AND GIRLS WHO WERE ABDUCTED BY THE ARMED FORCES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF IMPERIAL JAPAN. 1930's - 1945" which is stated on the plaque of comfort women statue is simply not true.

What the Japanese former PM's including Murayama and Koizumi are apologizing for is the circumstances under Japanese rule that these women had to be sold off by family members to prostitution, coerced and forcibly recruited by unscrupulous operatores and brokers, and law enforcement officials who did not enough to prevent such crimes when it happened.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

CajunH2O said:

"Thing is they have apologized. Numerous times. Far more then the once or twice you say. Look it up. This is just petty. Japan can apologize over and over again and I get the feeling it will never be enough. They will always want more. Oh. Also. Here's the list".

Sorry, but thing is, "they" have not. Not really. What's the point of saying "Sorry, yadayadayada..." and then turning right around and saying "But not really, because yadayadayada..."? Japan may have mouthed the words of an apology before, but it has amply shown by its subsequent speech and actions that it does not even understand the concept of an apology, clearly regarding an apology as a verbal formula that, when ritually spoken, both absolves it of past sins and immunizes it against future accountability. In other words, Japan, collectively, seems to have apologized only so that it can say "But we've apologized already! What more do you want?"

Uh-uh, nope, nyet, not on your life. As another commenter stated, when you're sorry, you stay sorry; that's what Germany has done, and that's why Germany occupies a higher moral ground than Japan. Germany has made certain that the bad apples in its government can never try to deny or cosmeticize its past guilt, by erecting huge public monuments, sponsoring museums and encouraging works of art, literature and cinema attesting to the facts of its war crimes. There are the 'stumbling stone' paving tiles that are placed in front of former Jewish homes and businesses so that passersby will know a Jew lived or worked there once, before being packed off to the concentration camps.

When has Japan done anything that even comes close to so publicly coming clean with its own war crimes? Oh, I forgot -- even the reality of Japan's war crimes is being called into question by high officials, isn't it. The Bataan Death March either never happened, or was perpetrated by Korean guards. The Nanjing Massacre either never happened, or was grossly exaggerated, or was perpetrated by Koreans. The Comfort Women either were voluntary prostitutes, or if they really were forced into sexual slavery, it was at the hands of Korean criminals. And so on.

Poor, innocent, misunderstood Japan has been falsely accused of so many horrible things. Never mind the mountains of evidence and personal testimonies from American, British, Filipino, Australian, Dutch, German, Vietnamese, French, Indonesian and Burmese witnesses, all making the same accusations against Japan, it's all made up by lying Koreans, right?

11 ( +17 / -6 )

I think the only way to know Japan is truly conscientious of past war crime would be to sack those old foggies from NHK and LDP who can't control their mouths from blubbering. They are representating Japan and they should be more responsible of consequences. So far they seem far too rigid or stubborn to be cooperative with anyone. They are stuck in their own bubbles to be unable to think from the different perspective, the same symptoms all the nationalists suffer.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

nigelboyFeb. 12, 2014 - 11:41PM JST

And of course, there are documents/reports issued by Allieds when IJA surrendered which includes shocking documents. For instance,

You missed the most shocking part of Report No. 49 :

" Early in May of 1942 Japanese agents arrived in Korea for the purpose of enlisting Korean girls for "comfort service" in newly conquered Japanese territories in Southeast Asia. The nature of this "service" was not specified but it was assumed to be work connected with visiting the wounded in hospitals, rolling bandages, and generally making the soldiers happy. The inducement used by these agents was plenty of money, an opportunity to pay off the family debts, easy work, and the prospect of a new life in a new land, Singapore. On the basis of these false representations many girls enlisted for overseas duty and were rewarded with an advance of a few hundred yen."

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The inducement used by these agents

Suin Kim. Already covered it.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

slowguy2,

One of the best comments that I have read on this site. Cheers.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

You missed the most shocking part of Report No. 49 :

You also missed this as well.

"While in Burma they amused themselves by participating in sports events with both officers and men, and attended picnics, entertainments, and social dinners. They had a phonograph and in the towns they were allowed to go shopping."

...They lived in near-luxury in Burma in comparison to other places. This was especially true of their second year in Burma. They lived well because their food and material was not heavily rationed and they had plenty of money with which to purchase desired articles. They were able to buy cloth, shoes, cigarettes, and cosmetics to supplement the many gifts given to them by soldiers who had received "comfort bags" from home."

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

I am not good at English, but I want to tell you what I was actually taught, at school, about history. (I am a Japanese girl, currently attending to one of Japanese high schools. Probably needless to say, I am not a right-wing or left-wing person.)

You perhaps dont know this fact, but Japanese history textbooks including Yamakawa's ones, which are used by most of the students in Japan, write what Japan did to SK during the war. And actually, my history teacher told me what 'sex slavery' is. ( I mean jugun ianhu.)SO, most Japanese teenagers feel sorry about them or at least know its existence.

However, some of you are just thinking 'Japanese have too much pride, so they are denying their own faults and hiding the fact' or something like that. I am really sad to know that. Not all Japanese are so called netouyos.

Actually, my Korean friends, who are in my class, are very proud of being Korean, but everyone accepts them properly, and we are getting along with one another very well.

Of couse some Japanese are careless netouyos, and its a sad thing. But some Koreans mistakenly or carelessly think 'Japan is enemy and its always Japan that is wrong.' You know, its a sad thing too. So I want you to know one thing: What politicians (such as Abe) say is not always what everyone in Japan thinks. Dont think stereotypically.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

As an Englishman, and you know? We went toe to toe with anyone and sometimes came off worse, I don't see the reason to hang on to all this resentment.

The French rib us, we rib them, the Germans too. God knows how many people Nazis pissed off. Should I dislike Scandinavians for the Vikings? They were hardcore. The world's first heavy metal band, I'd say. I like the Swedes, and the Danes. Especially the ladies.

Let it go FFS.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Near luxury in Burna. Wasn't if the time people lived in roofless shucks and if there were roofs, it was a house?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

He also criticized some Japanese politicians and opinion-makers for making “nonsensical remarks” about the former sex slaves and stressed that the vast majority of Japanese people understood the wrong that had been committed.

Finally, a voice of reason in an Abe-led sea of blind nationalism. "Beautiful Japan" my a@@!!!!!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Near luxury in Burna. Wasn't if the time people lived in roofless shucks and if there were roofs, it was a house?

"In Myitkyina the girls were usually quartered in a large two story house (usually a school building) with a separate room for each girl. There each girl lived, slept, and transacted business"

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

nigelboy, could you please stop with this nonsense that the sex slaves weren't coerced and that they were fed well and paid well? Who believes this crap? Taking 20 or so priviledged Japanese prostitutes who were hired for few select Japanese officers with high ranking, does not mean it disproves the vast majority of comfort women. It doesn't matter how they were recruited, volunteered, or coerced or whatever, because as soon as Japanese military prevented these women to leave when they wanted, and forced to have sex with dozens of Japanese soldiers in the front battle lines, then they are abused sex slaves endorsed by the Japanese military government, period. Or are you claiming also that the women were able to come and go as they pleased, and that they were not captives?

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Abe ought to start the apology by sacking the fools at NHK who poured gasoline on the fire. Of course Abe might want to avoid Yasukuni too. Given all the foolish actions by Japanese politicians lately I suppose another apology is in order. But I'm starting to wonder if anybody would believe it. How many years of avoiding foolish actions would it take for people to believe the Japanese government was actually sincere? I don't know any more.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

chucky3176

Those exerpts from the interrogation reports "AT THAT TIME" not some ever changing testimonies without witnesses to collaborate those individual accounts some decades after. If any party that is due for "proving" is the Korea's side.

I repeat.

What the Japanese former PM's including Murayama and Koizumi are apologizing for is the circumstances under Japanese rule that these women had to be sold off by family members to prostitution, coerced and forcibly recruited by unscrupulous operatores and brokers, and law enforcement officials who did not enough to prevent such crimes when it happened.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

And the whitewash continues.

Excuse me, but what exactly was the Comfort Women's fund but an honest attempt by the Japanese government to apologize and offer reparations to comfort women? That some comfort women did in fact accept both disproves the anti Japan crowd.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Answer my question Nigelboy, were the comfort women allowed to come and go as they pleased, and that you're absolutely sure that they were not held captives in military camps and in battle fields by the Japanese soldiers who were guarding them. Please answer this, no more going around quoting partial documents or linking to some fringe 2ch nationalist sites.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Answer my question Nigelboy, were the comfort women allowed to come and go as they pleased

As per AWF documented archives, it depends on the operator as well as how much debt these women had.

and that you're absolutely sure that they were not held captives in military camps and in battle fields by the Japanese soldiers who were guarding them.

Depends on the unit and the situation in the battle field. As the AWF documents indicate, some units completed the tour of duty and went back along with the operator and the women. Some operator along with the women attached themselves to another military unit as per documents. Some women also went back after their debt was paid as per AWF documents.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

As the AWF documents indicate, some units completed the tour of duty and went back along with the operator and the women. Some operator along with the women attached themselves to another military unit as per documents. Some women also went back after their debt was paid as per AWF documents.

Stop being so vague and answer the question directly. What percentage of women were held forcibly as captives, versus those who weren't. What you are basically saying, just by your language, I get the impression you're claiming very few women were held captives. Is that correct?

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Stop being so vague and answer the question directly. What percentage of women were held forcibly as captives, versus those who weren't. What you are basically saying, just by your language, I get the impression you're claiming very few women were held captives. Is that correct?

Your questions results in a vague answer. What do you expect? To answer your last question, based on primary evidence which includes interrogation reports by Allieds from captured units, there is little evidence to suggest that majority were held captives.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

nigelboy, while on the surface you seem to be perfectly reasonable, and despite the vast testimonies by comfort women, when scrutinized, your position is far more right wing than the japanese populace. i suppose even nazis had their foreign sympathizers.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

nigelboy, while on the surface you seem to be perfectly reasonable, and despite the vast testimonies by comfort women, when scrutinized, your position is far more right wing than the japanese populace

I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say but when you are trying to dissect history, the evidence that's weighed the most are primary evidences which includes documents (which btw includes testimonies) AT THAT TIME. This is what I used on my exerpts as well as the link to AWF's.

Can we stop with the lame references to "Nazi".

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

Common sense comments from Japan's only socialist prime minister since 1948.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

as a foreigner, you should know there is a fine line between asian foreigner and white foreigner to the japanese. the right wing japanese's blaming of western powers as cause for their entry into the war is proof of this. imagine in your scenario when the chinese and koreans are defeated, who do you think these rightwingers will target next? first it's the foreigners at home, then abroad. i'd advocate more tolerance if i were you.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

as a foreigner, you should know there is a fine line between asian foreigner and white foreigner to the japanese. the right wing japanese's blaming of western powers as cause for their entry into the war is proof of this. imagine in your scenario when the chinese and koreans are defeated, who do you think these rightwingers will target next? first it's the foreigners at home, then abroad. i'd advocate more tolerance if i were you.

If you done any research on post war Japan, right and left wing element has been dominated within the domestic population with domestic issues. This "comfort women" issue will end when Korean government realizes general Japanese population consensus is "enough is enough". Even the recent comment by NHK head isn't making headwaves like it use to before. Heck. You know the attitude among the general population is changing when the Cabinet spokesperson (Suga) when asked about these issues simply dismisses it with "settled in 1965".

So no. I do not expect "foreigner" lynching or hate crime in the level of Europe or U.S.

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

"Can we stop with the lame references to 'Nazi'"

Uh, no people will not, because those references are not lame however much you think so. Imperial Japan signed the Tripartite Pact in 1940 along with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Are people supposed to dismiss this fact as irrelevant? A few years later, some independence fighters in Burma, disillusioned with the nature of Japan's occupation of their country, noted that the Japanese were among the most obsessively race-conscious people they had ever encountered. So much for fighting a "war of anti-colonial liberation" against the West. Turns out some Burmese thought the Japanese were more race-conscious than the British.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

There were near luxury houses in Burma, British style all over in country. I read in old magazines that there were no tatamis or futons and (weather ?) Japanese joshi teishin tai young girls had to act in froups. Including to be raped by J military men, They used outside vegetable growing to urinate etc. Must be awfully kuxury living for nigel boy.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

The fact of the matter is, the Japanese government HAS apologized and offered reparations to not only comfort women, but other victims of Imperial colonialism and aggression.

In fact, in the 1965 normalization treaty between Japan and South Korea, the then Japanese government specifically offered to compensate individual victims of Japanese colonialism, and the offer was refused by the SK government. The SK government used this compensation instead to fund its own public works projects, laying the foundation of what contributed to the success of the SK economy to this day.

As stated before, some comfort women were persuaded by the South Korean nationalists to refuse compensation and apologies via the comfort women fund, because such a fund established with the assistance of the Japanese government was not 'sincere.' How ironic.

And now yet again we have the anti Japan crowd engaging in convenient amnesia and white washing of what Japan did and what Japan didn't do. Now it's back to square one, Japan has 'never' apologized or properly atoned for its past. When you mention the facts to the anti Japan crowd, they'll revert to the ever reliable, 'it's not enough, no Japanese politician has begged and groveled on his knees for forgiveness like the Germans did.'

The Japanese government will overcome this duplicity by its haters.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Uh, no people will not, because those references are not lame however much you think so.

They are lame much in the same way if I were to use Soviet Stalin references to the rest of the Allied members. In other words, they are mostly lame because this issue has absolutely nothing in connection other than your "Tripartite Pact". It's an illogical fallacy

-16 ( +5 / -21 )

..They lived in near-luxury in Burma in comparison to other places. This was especially true of their second year in Burma. They lived well because their food and material was not heavily rationed and they had plenty of money with which to purchase desired articles. They were able to buy cloth, shoes, cigarettes, and cosmetics to supplement the many gifts given to them by soldiers who had received "comfort bags" from home."

The schools were not two stories and did not have too many classrooms. Girls were packed in each room and had to go one room to be group raped, the magaznes had on articles. They did not mind bare feet. If they were kucky, waraji they wore if Geta once in a shile. Shoes? scarce even in Japan. Rsetsuyaku was mottoemind you, Geta time. cigarettes> Cigarettes? The time was not after 1945. Money? Even soldiers deid not get paid well. Japan itself had food shortage. Haikyu time, Everywhere in Japab had fod shortage,

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The fact of the matter is, the Japanese government HAS apologized

In fact, in the 1965 normalization treaty between Japan and South Korea, the then Japanese government specifically offered to compensate

These have been addressed numerously in this topic as well as in many others by many other posters. Please, either read the previous comments that counters these points, or add something new to the discussion. Repeating the same stubborn argument over and over again is not going to make this issue go away.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

There has never been any apology from the "state". The apologies only came from Asian Women Fund and two personal apologies from the PM (which do count as something). What needs to be done is that Japan finally settles this for good and all by making a state redress, officially apologize to the comfort women and legally repatriate them.

America has done it to the Japanese Americans who were injustly imprisoned during WW2. They never whined about having to apologize or repatriate. Why can't Japan?

Saying that Korea will never be satisfied is just unfounded and it's just an attempt to demonize an entire nation by saying that the entire populace is irrational and beyond reasoning. That is nothing but an absurd racist claim. No entire nation can possibly be filled with people who are completely irrational. This goes for both Japan and Korea.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

There were near luxury houses in Burma, British style all over in country. I read in old magazines that there were no tatamis or futons and (weather ?) Japanese joshi teishin tai young girls had to act in froups. Including to be raped by J military men, They used outside vegetable growing to urinate etc. Must be awfully kuxury living for nigel boy.

We're not talking about the Teishintai which was enacted in 1943 due to shortage of workforce (mainly factories) since men were recruited for combat.

The schools were not two stories and did not have too many classrooms. Girls were packed in each room and had to go one room to be group raped, the magaznes had on articles. They did not mind bare feet. If they were kucky, waraji they wore if Geta once in a shile. Shoes? scarce even in Japan. Rsetsuyaku was mottoemind you, Geta time.

This is Burma where U.S. troops captured Japanese unit. The report, which is in the above link file (awf) which I linked to already, details the comfort women (mostly Korean). Do concentrate here Toshiko.

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

The apologies only came from Asian Women Fund and two personal apologies from the PM

This is so correct. When Murayama announced his apology in 1995, there was great hope in South Korea that finally Japan has come through, and there were positive but cautious responses from Koreans. But when the Korean media reported couple of days later that only 26% of the Japanese Diet members supported the resolution, and that the majority of the Japanese government did not agree with Mr. Murayama's apology, and that this was turned into a mere one apology by one man, the Korean hopes were dashed. Although we appreciate Mr. Murayama's sentiments of hope and reconciliation, it still doesn't represent the majority of Japanese government official statement in 1995. Even today, right after Mr. Murayama visited the Comfort Women in their homes to give support, Mr. Abe, annoyed that Mr. Murayama went to Korea, countered Mr. Murayama's comments by saying Korea is attempting to use the comfort women lies to insult and attack Japan. So once again, one positive statement by a former Prime Minister, canceled out by the current Prime Minister.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

oldman_13FEB. 13, 2014 - 04:39AM JST The fact of the matter is, the Japanese government HAS apologized and offered reparations to not only comfort women, but other victims of Imperial colonialism and aggression.

For the umpteenth times, we know. You are sounding like a parrot now and the same goes for other nationalists. You should stop embarrassing yourself.

Even the recent comment by NHK head isn't making headwaves like it use to before. Heck. You know the attitude among the general population is changing when the Cabinet spokesperson (Suga) when asked about these issues simply dismisses it with "settled in 1965".

The very definition of downplaying the nationalistic fervor.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Citizens and residents of Japan can be extremely proud of ex-PM Murayama for his strength and integrity. Well done!

9 ( +13 / -4 )

This was the original draft of Murayama apology in 1995 that DID NOT pass the Japanese Diet.

JAPAN HAD FOLLOWED A MISTAKEN NATIONAL POLICY OF COLONIAL RULE AND AGGRESSION THAT CAUSED TREMENDOUS DAMAGE AND SUFFERING TO THE PEOPLE OF MANY COUNTRIES, IN PARTICULAR THOSE IN ASIA. IN THE HOPE THAT NO SUCH MISTAKE BE MADE IN THE FUTURE, I REGARD, IN A SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, THESE IRREFUTABLE FACTS OF HISTORY, AND EXPRESS HERE ONCE AGAIN MY FEELINGS OF DEEP REMORSE AND STATE MY HEARTFELT APOLOGY. THE NATION OF JAPAN MUST CONVEY THE HORRORS OF WAR TO ITS YOUNGER GENERATIONS SO THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST WILL NOT BE REPEATED.

When this draft was announced, there were cautious responses around the world, of hope mixed in with some reservations, but undoubtedly still positive. Korea welcomed the apology as reported here:

[CND, 08/15/95] SEOUL -- After the 50th anniversary of the WWII, Japanese prime minister Murayama expressed his "heartfelt apology," following which were mixed reactions around the world, AFP reports. Murayama conceded that Japan stipulated a wrong national policy, took a path of war rendering "tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations." China welcomed the apology, but pointed out that the Japanese militarism are still haunting around among some cabinet members and components of the society. The British government praised the apology, noticing Murayama's mentioning British POWs in the Second War, yet British war veterans questioned if the apology came from Murayama himself or from the Japanese government; some, along with the veterans of Holland, are still appealing the Japanese government for war compensations. The U.S. hailed the apology and expected friendly ties with Tokyo. South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia all responded positively towards the apology. (Frank LING, Daluo JIA)

If Japan had stuck to this original draft made by Murayama, I doubt things may not have gotten this bad between Japan and Korea today.

Instead, the overwhelming majority of Japanese Diet, condemned Mr. Murayama's original statement. The debate waged until the Japanese Diet, in its attempt to placate outside sentiments, but unharm Japan's right wing stance, decided on a much water down statement. Not only that, 9 members of Murayama's cabinet ministers attended the Yasukuni right after Murayama's statement. Murayama not only could not pass the apology in the Japanese Diet, he could not even stop his own cabinet ministers from making a protest statement. Murayama's water down apology reported here:

[CND, 08/15/95] TOKYO -- In a press conference on the 50th anniversary of Japan's surrender in WWII, Prime Minister Murayama delivered a carefully worded apology for the wartime atrocities Japanese caused during its invasion of Asia, Dow Jones News reported. "I ... express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology," said Murayama. "[Allow] me also to express my feelings of profound mourning for all victims, both at home and abroad, of that [wartime] history." Earlier this year, the Japanese Prime Minister failed to push a much stronger statement of apology through the Japanese Parliament due to resistance from right wing politicians, Dow Jones News reports. (WU Fang, Jian LIU)

So everybody wonders why Japanese apologies are not taken seriously. Japan can't even pass the apology in the Diet, they had to fight over the wordings of "regret", and "remorse" to barely come up with something barely acceptable.

Now the current administration want to rescind that too.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

"JoeBigs", for gods sakes, I'm not talking about "who", I'm talking about "what", what the government as an entity should legally address. It's not as if the PM says something and the entire direction of the governmental organ is decided. We're not talking about individuals. The Japanese government needs to make clear of its direction, and show that its committed to the rest of the world. The Japanese government needs to say "this is our stance, this is what our view, this is our direction and we're committed to it" and make it a legal reality.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Nice group of upvoters I can feel here...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"JoeBigs", for gods sakes, I'm not talking about "who", I'm talking about "what", what the government as an entity should legally address. It's not as if the PM says something and the entire direction of the governmental organ is decided. We're not talking about individuals. The Japanese government needs to make clear of its direction, and show that its committed to the rest of the world. The Japanese government needs to say "this is our stance, this is what our view, this is our direction and we're committed to it" and make it a legal reality.

Eiji Takano, I think you're mistaking here. The Japanese government does indeed have a strong stance. Their stance is, we did nothing wrong but we do feel sorry for the bad feelings and regret the sufferings that may have caused by war.

I don't think this non-apologetic apology shrink wrapped as an apology will change any time soon, really. So there's no sense demanding any more apologies from Japan when none are coming.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Nigelboy: Have you interviewed Joshi Teishin Tai members after WW II? You are not familiar with Japanese culture. Girls and boys were separated since 3rd grade and no factories used girls in factories if there was at least one man. Girls were considered living devil, then.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Eiji TakanoFeb. 13, 2014 - 06:45AM JST "JoeBigs", for gods sakes, I'm not talking about "who", I'm talking about "what", what the government as an entity should legally address.

To start I hope you don't lose your cool and start with the usual name calling, try and act civil for a bit.

Now, you're not getting the question, first off you need to say who will give the apology. So as to satisfy you on that level. If you want the head of state then it will be the Emperor, if you want the government then it will be the Prime Minister or do you think that the entire Diet should exclaim this new apology at once?

Someone needs to be the one that says it, you have to pick someone.

Remember, Japan is a Constitutional Monarchy, meaning the Emperor is the head of State while the Prime Minister is the head of the government and the Diet is the body.

So who first off, who shall make this apology you believe has never come?

Eiji TakanoFeb. 13, 2014 - 06:45AM JST It's not as if the PM says something and the entire direction of the governmental organ is decided.

Correct, Japan is a democracy and not a Monarchy or dictatorship, different people are allowed to have different opinions.

Eiji TakanoFeb. 13, 2014 - 06:45AM JST We're not talking about individuals.

Your still not getting it, there has to be someone who says the words. If there is no one then there is silence and you won't be satisfied.

Eiji TakanoFeb. 13, 2014 - 06:45AM JST The Japanese government needs to make clear of its direction, and show that its committed to the rest of the world.

That will never happen, Japan has a Parliamentary Government which is, believe it or not a democracy. So being a democracy not everyone thinks alike.

Ever better to a family gathering and a talk of politics began? How many of your relative will think alike?

Eiji TakanoFeb. 13, 2014 - 06:45AM JST The Japanese government needs to say "this is our stance, this is what our view, this is our direction and we're committed to it" and make it a legal reality.

Again, this brings us back to state treaties and we are back in our merry-go-round ride. You want the government to say sorry, but the Prime minister is the head of the Government, but he isn't a dictator.

So, what he says someone else will not agree with.

0 ( +5 / -4 )

do you think that the entire Diet should exclaim this new apology at once?

You just answered your own question. It's not like if this wasn't attempted in Japan before, which failed miserably and will fail again if attempted. Why? Because the majority of Japanese government in the Diet thinks Japan did nothing wrong so no need to apologize. Since Japan is a democracy, and they have the right to believe what they want, fine. But don't go around the world claiming that Japan "apologized", don't misrepresent facts. It would be better for Japan instead, to say "we have nothing to apologize for". That would be more honest.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Nigel. Have you interviewed former teishin-tai members? They were sex slaves. Tgey did not work for factories because only boys were used as girls were considered devil female, then. They saidf Shudan Gokan after they were shipped out. The time was when girls and boys were separate since 3rd grade. Factories did not use girls because girls were considered living devil and so they became sex-slave force members.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@ moe kamakura

Well written!

But "What politicians (such as Abe) say is not always what everyone in Japan thinks. Dont think stereotypically."

Okay, so if Japanese know the truth, there should be national outrage that their PM could be so ignorant.

So please tell your friends to do something.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I know one thing, Park refusing to meet Murayama is just a show how much she hate Japan, and this shows that Korean goverment isnt interested with ending this, Korean goverment main purpose of existence is bashing Japan , and they spend huge amount of money for that . And their propaganda against Japan didnt stoped when Murayama was PM of Japan.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

PeacetrainFEB. 13, 2014 - 07:23AM JST @ moe kamakura Well written! But "What politicians (such as Abe) say is not always what everyone in Japan thinks. Dont think stereotypically." Okay, so if Japanese know the truth, there should be national outrage that their PM could be so ignorant. So please tell your friends to do something

Good idea: What will you recommend to these crummed up Japanese? Not riot, not human bombing but some easy activity.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I know one thing, Park refusing to meet Murayama is just a show how much she hate Japan

I know that's what Japanese media have been reporting. But that's not true. Murayama's requests came too late in his visit, and according to the Korean deputy floor leader, a meeting could not be arranged because of scheduling conflicts. Instead, they proposed a meeting with the Korean PM instead. If she was playing hardball like she did against Abe, she would have said so. Unlike Murayama, Abe couldn't even managed to meet with the Korean PM, what does that tell you about what Seoul thinks of Abe?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Tomiichi Murayama is a decent and brave man. Japanese rightist should learn when to shut up. What Japanese government should do is to officially apologize to comfort women and make monetary compensation.

Part of the reason why Korean government keeps whining is to cover their own wrongdoings during the war. Korean people recruited by Japan during the war did terrible things in China, some of them even worse than Japanese soldiers.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Murayama san, a true Japanese with conscience, he's renowned, well respected and to me, a nobel peace laurate, Well done!! hope he'll not receiving death threat from uyoku (rightist) upon his return to homeland.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

chucky3176Feb. 13, 2014 - 06:31AM JST

This was the original draft of Murayama apology in 1995 that DID NOT pass the Japanese Diet.

JAPAN HAD FOLLOWED A MISTAKEN NATIONAL POLICY OF COLONIAL RULE AND AGGRESSION THAT CAUSED TREMENDOUS DAMAGE AND SUFFERING TO THE PEOPLE OF MANY COUNTRIES, IN PARTICULAR THOSE IN ASIA

Such a bill was never ever discussed in the parliament. That is why it did not pass the parliament. I verified this by the database of the parliament.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Whether you believe the compensation issue has been settled or not fully settled, I hope people do believe that the sex slavery was very wrong. What kind of world do we live in though...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

CH3CHO, the 26% of the Diet, was "For" , while 47% were "Against". It doesn't matter what you checked. The Murayama statement wasn't going to be backed by the Diet, that is why they changed the wording, changing the meaning and the mood of the statement completely. Other then that, what exactly is your point then? Are you claiming that majority of Japanese politician backed Murayama's original statement?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@chucky

When was that vote taken?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

chucky3176Feb. 13, 2014 - 09:43AM JST

CH3CHO, the 26% of the Diet, was "For" , while 47% were "Against".

Where did you get those numbers? There is no record that the "bill" was ever discussed in the parliament.

The Murayama statement wasn't going to be backed by the Diet,

A statement of Prime Minister does not need a resolution of the Parliament.

But what I am saying here is your way of presenting things. By saying "the statement did not pass the parliament", people get the impression that the statement was turned down by the parliament, whereas the statement was not discussed and was not planned to be discussed in the parliament in the first place.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Are there any examples of a prominent Japanese politician officially downplaying a previously issued war apology in their official capacity as a representative of Japan?

Personal statements don't count.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Upgrayed. Years ago, when Hosokawa was PM, he apologized and all opinon magazines and weeklies had big sales reporting Hoskokawa's apology. Well, Murayama was from Socialist Party with LDP together and made many news when he was PM but Hosokawa is blue blood of blue blood person so it was sensational.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

CH3CHO, from here.

In 1995, at a ceremony in Beijing at the Marco Polo Bridge (scene of the Japanese Army attack in China in 1936), Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama expressed publicly his personal feelings of remorse and apology to victims of Japan's aggressive war. However, Murayama's apology was only a personal one, not shared by the majority of his colleagues in the Japanese government. He failed to make a formal and official apology in the so-called "No War Resolution." In the Japanese Diet, only 26% of the members supported the Resolution and 47% were opposed.

http://www.global-alliance.net/SFPT.html

He failed to make a formal and official apology in the Japanese Diet because he was up against a stiff Japanese parliamentary resistance, and this was the best he could muster, without offending the powerful Japanese right wing politicians that dominated the Diet:

http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/NanjingMassacre/NMNWR.html

It really doesn't matter if there was a vote in the Diet or not - that's just technicality. The bottom line: There was not enough support for official apology in the Diet because the opposition to it was just too great.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

chuckt abive is right, His own Party members criticized him. Social Democratic Party. Wan't he the one created a fund to compensate so called Comfort Woman?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

CH3CHOFeb. 13, 2014 - 10:02AM JST chucky3176Feb. 13, 2014 - 09:43AM JST CH3CHO, the 26% of the Diet, was "For" , while 47% were "Against". Where did you get those numbers? There is no record that the "bill" was ever discussed in the parliament.

I did some searching and I believe I have found it.

In 1995, at a ceremony in Beijing at the Marco Polo Bridge (scene of the Japanese Army attack in China in 1936), Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama expressed publicly his personal feelings of remorse and apology to victims of Japan's aggressive war. However, Murayama's apology was only a personal one, not shared by the majority of his colleagues in the Japanese government. He failed to make a formal and official apology in the so-called "No War Resolution." In the Japanese Diet, only 26% of the members supported the Resolution and 47% were opposed.

But, this wasn't about the comfort women it was about something totally different. But, those that seek any reason will use anything they can to win.

http://www.global-alliance.net/SFPT.html

If you really want to do something try and find out where global-alliance gets it's main donations from. Now that one is a fun ride. Everything of this organization points to Communist China's propaganda department.

http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/40_S4.pdf

Another very good read as to how the propaganda is being distributed.

If you google what he wrote you will find the same posting in many forum sites. Even though that supposed vote and those numbers had nothing to do with the Comfort women issue. Now, no where else have I been able to find that, only in the Communist China funded site.

So, those numbers could have come from anything and used and manipulated for a political purpose.

As for chucky3176 and his constant use of it, it just what he most likely has seen and read in one of those many sites that the Nationalist Korean's and Communist Chinese have been posting.

Also it gives him something to show the people. But, if chucky3176 can actually provide some proof to back up his numbers I would love to see it.

But, as with most of the folks that toss mud against a fan I wouldn't hold my breath.

CH3CHO, the 26% of the Diet, was "For" , while 47% were "Against".

chucky3176Feb. 13, 2014 - 10:37AM JST

CH3CHO, from here. http://www.global-alliance.net/SFPT.html He failed to make a formal and official apology in the Japanese Diet because he was up against a stiff

Again, that had nothing to do with an apology to the Comfort Women. Next, you are getting this from a non-profit organization that has links to Communist China's propaganda department, you do know that, right?

3 ( +6 / -2 )

Weren’t Abe, Katsuto Momii and some J apologists born after WWII?

The Japan times has an intense article today about Yasui Kaneko, a soldier admitting it was all true. There were sex slaves, raping, and pilaging.

Yasuji Kaneko, 87, still remembers the screams of the countless women he raped in China as a foot soldier in the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II.

Some were teenagers from the Korean Peninsula serving as sex slaves in military-run brothels. Others were women in villages he and his comrades pillaged as they battled in eastern China.

“They cried out, but it didn’t matter to us whether the women lived or died,” Kaneko said in an interview at his Tokyo home. “We were the Emperor’s soldiers. Whether in military brothels or in the villages, we raped without reluctance.”

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2007/03/04/news/soldier-confirms-wartime-sex-slavery/#.UvwdxRf_CSo

The more Japan deny about the past, the more they will be embarrassed at the present and there will be no hope of better future as decent and honest nation.

0 ( +4 / -5 )

Yasuji Kaneko, 87, still remembers the screams of the countless women he raped in China as a foot soldier in the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II.

This guy has already been called out in Japan for lying about being a member of Unit 731. Be careful what sources you use.

5 ( +8 / -2 )

Which branch of the government has what power is spelled out in the Constitution. Japanese constitution Article 73 says that diplomacy belongs to the function of the Cabinet headed the Prime Minister. Powers of the Parliament is spelled out in articles 41 though 64, but they do not contain any diplomatic power except giving consent to treaties.

Diplomatic statement issued by the Prime Minister approved by the Cabinet is formal and binding.

Any resolution on diplomacy, such as an apology to foreign nations by the Parliament, is not formal or binding.

I hope people understand the Japanese constitution before making demands.

0 ( +6 / -5 )

JoeBigs

Now, you're not getting the question, first off you need to say who will give the apology. So as to satisfy you on that level. If you want the head of state then it will be the Emperor, if you want the government then it will be the Prime Minister or do you think that the entire Diet should exclaim this new apology at once?

LoL the Emperor is NOT the head of the state! I'm sorry but you clearly don't understand politics at all! He has no actual legislative power at all and he is merely a symbolic figure of Japan, yadda yadda yadda.

I suggest that you study harder.

That will never happen, Japan has a Parliamentary Government which is, believe it or not a democracy. So being a democracy not everyone thinks alike.

lol!! You clearly don't understand what or how a government is supposed to work...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It's easier if you just accept that Japan is NOT a democratic state as we imagine one to be. In reality the politicians don't hold much power, the bureaucrats do. On paper it's supposed to be a constitutional monarchy, but in reality it doesn't function as one at all. The conservative LDP had ruled for more than 50 years. Japanese politics is dominated by the conservative right-wing and they work very hard to keep out any liberals. And the liberals in Japan mostly don't even try to gain power.

It's the same reason why it can't quit nuclear even though most of the population is opposed to it.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

LoL the Emperor is NOT the head of the state! I'm sorry but you clearly don't understand politics at all! He has no actual legislative power at all and he is merely a symbolic figure of Japan, yadda yadda yadda.

I'd suggest that it's you who doesn't understand politics. There are heads of state all over the world without power. The Japanese emperor is one of them. It's not about politics, it's English vocabulary....

2 ( +5 / -2 )

Yes, but he's a symbolic one... lol. The Emperor actually holds no power. What the Emperor says has virtually no significance to the Japanese government. Yet JoeBigs thinks that the Emperor says something and the entire direction of the Japanese government will be changed... lol.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Eiji TakanoFeb. 13, 2014 - 11:34AM JST JoeBigs LoL the Emperor is NOT the head of the state! I'm sorry but you clearly don't understand politics at all! He has no actual legislative power at all and he is merely a symbolic figure of Japan, yadda yadda yadda. I suggest that you study harder.

In other words you shall not answer the question, nor try to follow any form of decorum. Sadly, but I expect as much from you.

Now, since you are a citizen of Japan please read your own Constitution. BTW, do you actually know the responsibilities and duties of the Emperor? His responsibilities are covered in the Constitution of 47'. Read it, and enjoy.

http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/constitution_and_government_of_japan/constitution_e.html

Eiji TakanoFeb. 13, 2014 - 11:34AM JST lol!! You clearly don't understand what or how a government is supposed to work...

So, Japan isn't a Constitutional Monarchy with a Unitary state? Thank you for showing me your supreme knowledge, we will have to inform Japan that it isn't what it thinks it is!lol Wow.....

2 ( +7 / -3 )

This guy has already been called out in Japan for lying about being a member of Unit 731. Be careful what sources you use

There is nothing new in Japan. There are revisionists in Japan who used to say someone is lying and fabricating. I tis the root cause of insincere apology issue. Unit 731 has many links in Youtube. I guess Youtube documentaires will be lies too.

In US, Karl Rove said John Kerry lied about the Vietnam service. Kerry may be exaggerated. However Karl Rove by himself big lier too.

The Source is Japan times who will be accountable for what they published. If I can not source from Japan times, I have to source from Korean times. It can be said that source is biased too.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

In other words you shall not answer the question, nor try to follow any form of decorum. Sadly, but I expect as much from you.

Because your question doesn't make sense, or is irrelevant, lol.

Now, since you are a citizen of Japan please read your own Constitution. BTW, do you actually know the responsibilities and duties of the Emperor? His responsibilities are covered in the Constitution of 47'. Read it, and enjoy.

I have read the constitution (not that it's that important, since hardly anyone takes it seriously), and you still don't understand the role of the Emperor... lol... The Emperor does jack and he has no real role or power. He is merely a symbolic figurehead of Japan.

So, Japan isn't a Constitutional Monarchy with a Unitary state? Thank you for showing me your supreme knowledge, we will have to inform Japan that it isn't what it thinks it is!lol Wow.....

no, lol, what I mean is that any nation is supposed to have a "leader" (it's not necessarily a single individual and he or she alone does not decide everything) that is a representative of the nation. A nation should be clear of its stance, where its headed, what its views are or it would obviously create confusion to the other countries that have to deal with said country. You can't say one thing to say, China, and then later somebody else who is supposed to represent the nation say something else that contradicts what was said before. How is China supposed to deal with Japan, when it's saying two different things?"

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The Emperor of Japan is "offically" a symbolic head of state but lets look at what can't happen without his official signature...

Acts of Parliament cannot become law The Diet cannot convene The Diet cannot begin elections for new members Cabinet members cannot start their work Diplomats from foreign countries cannot represent their countries in Japan No treaty can be ratified

Among others

3 ( +5 / -1 )

The Emperor actually holds no power. What the Emperor says has virtually no significance

Yet your country wants him to apologize?

-2 ( +3 / -4 )

Yet your country wants him to apologize?

lol @ "your country". You mean Japan? Sure, if you say so... lol.

-1 ( +4 / -6 )

They haven't just apologized only after someone's statement of denial. And either way. As many apologies and monies paid to victims I don't care who denies what. There's always going to be some fool who says something crazy. The views of a small number of silly people shouldn't invalidate the apologies made in the past. And that's exactly what's happening. One guys says something silly and suddenly china and Korea forget the apologies made and money paid and demand more. Accept the apology and move on. And understand that there will always be silly folk who deny things. Worry about a small number of people with a messed up opinion shouldn't cause problems for the majority who want to truly move on.

-1 ( +4 / -4 )

That's what I mean. Japan lacks a clear direction, a political core or a central authority that decides its stance and have power over its own organization. There WILL always be idiots that deny, etc, but they need to be taken care of by the central authority.

If Japan says that "We as a nation admit that the forced recruitment of comfort women was wrong, and we will do whatever we can to correct it from now, blah blah", then anyone who says otherwise it will be needed to take responsibility by say, resigning.

I don't think that it's simple as saying "move on". But Japan does need to get its act up and make a political core that CAN take care of all the "idiots" that pop up every now and then. Japan currently does not have such a system set up. That's why the deniers keep popping up, which creates confusion among other countries that have to diplomatically deal with Japan.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Eiji TakanoFeb. 13, 2014 - 02:32PM JST

But Japan does need to get its act up and make a political core that CAN take care of all the "idiots" that pop up every now and then. Japan currently does not have such a system set up. That's why the deniers keep popping up, which creates confusion among other countries that have to diplomatically deal with Japan.

Japan is a free democratic country and I am proud of it. We do not need such a system that "takes care of isiots".

You say that Japan should create a secret police that eliminates people who say something against the government. If that ever happens, you are most likely on the top of the hit list.

-2 ( +6 / -7 )

CH3CHOFeb. 13, 2014 - 11:27AM JST Any resolution on diplomacy, such as an apology to foreign nations by the Parliament, is not formal or binding. I hope people understand the Japanese constitution before making demands.

That's the problem folks think Japan is like nation. Let's be honest, even if every living thing in Japan were to at once bow and in unison ask for forgiveness it would still not be enough.

Because, the core reason of this argument is the need by Communist China and Korea is to have their treaties with Japan nullified. So they can get more money and concessions.

This is about money and nothing else.

Korea signed the 1965 treaty and not once did they say a peep about the Comfort women. But, now they are fawning all over them like the government even gave them a second thought from 1951 to 1965.

Money make the world go round and if the Korean government has to pay compensation as they agreed they would back in 65' the cost would be 8x greater.

Eiji TakanoFeb. 13, 2014 - 12:55PM JST Because your question doesn't make sense, or is irrelevant, lol.

It is your opinion and more power to you.

Eiji TakanoFeb. 13, 2014 - 02:32PM JST That's what I mean. Japan lacks a clear direction, a political core or a central authority that decides its stance and have power over its own organization. There WILL always be idiots that deny, etc, but they need to be taken care of by the central authority.

Your argument is that even though Japan's Emperor, Prime Minister's, Ministers and Ambassadors have apologized on numerous occasions that isn't good enough for you because Japan doesn't have a dictator to make a single apology, got it.

UpgrayeddFeb. 13, 2014 - 01:08PM JST The Emperor of Japan is "offically" a symbolic head of state but lets look at what can't happen without his official signature...

You have stated the obvious, most of us that have read the Japanese Constitution understand the role of the Emperor. But those that have not have not and will not.

The issue for the young lad, is even though he has been corrected on numerous occasions he can't admit he has been corrected. If he did that, he would have to face the fact that his position is flawed.

So, he has painted himself into a corner that he can't escape from, it's either fight or admit fault. With youth comes stubbornness and pride, I don't fault him for this. I just hope that one day he will wake up from the mire that is his youth.

-2 ( +5 / -5 )

lol, you clearly don't even know what I'm even talking about.

CH3CHO

You say that Japan should create a secret police that eliminates people who say something against the government.

No, I'm obviously talking about people who REPRESENT the people, the government. Japan can't have two masters at the same time, so to speak. There can only be single "leader" at a time. Japan can't claim to have one stance, then another contradicts it, unless say, Japan divides into two factions, like East Japan and West Japan, etc.

I'll give you an example to make it more concrete.

If the Japanese people as a whole say that the comfort women were lies, etc, then it needs to have a representative (the government) that holds that view. Japan needs to make it clear to itself and the world that it holds that view. It's Japan's responsibility that comes with holding that view, like alienating other nations or even starting a war.

On the other hand, if the Japanese people decide that the comfort women were wrong, then by the same token it needs to make clear of its view. It needs to work at it to keep that view, like sacking any government officials who deny comfort women, etc. It needs to make it into a law, it needs to have rules that the country will keep on working at the issues concerning comfort women.

Remember, Japan or any nation can't have two masters at the same time without dividing up.

Japan is a free democratic country and I am proud of it.

If you were so "proud" of it, then you should work hard at it to make it more democratic, because the current Japanese political system clearly ain't democratic, it's bureaucratic dictatorship.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Eiji Takano and CH3CHO, please do not address each other any further on this thread. All you are doing is bickering and going around in circles.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The views of a small number of silly people shouldn't invalidate the apologies made in the past. And that's exactly what's happening. Accept the apology and move on. And understand that there will always be silly folk who deny things. Worry about a small number of people with a messed up opinion shouldn't cause problems for the majority who want to truly move on.

Easier said than done. It's hard to "move on" for some people when these "silly people" are in the position of power (Abe, Hashimoto, Ishihara, Tamogami, Momii, et al.).

4 ( +7 / -3 )

WWII sex slavery indescribable wrong: ex-PM Murayama

From what I know, this is a fact recognized by most of the historians. There is no political message and no apologize. The number of victims or the detailed atrocities are out of scope. It was wrong, period.

If this could be embedded in the general Japanese population and in the history books this matter would cool down by itself naturally, which does not mean forgotten, but assimilated as a historical event.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It looks like chucky is simply posting whatever he can find on the internet that's in English. This is why I don't trust them for they either never gets the fact straight or flat out lie.

As CH3CHO alluded to, what chucky and the rest are asking for is a non binding apology which simply does not represent the official position of the Japanese government. To prove this, during Murayama's tenure, he did in fact submit a resolution apology to the Diet in June of 1995, approved by the lower house.

http://www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~worldjpn/documents/texts/docs/19950609.O1J.html

Not to much fanfare. Reason? Because Cabinet statements, like the ones followed by Murayama later, carries more weight under the Japanese Constitution. Furthermore, Cabinet statements which falls under (閣議決定)requires approval from all Cabinet ministers submitted to the Imperial Household Agency which is then stamped with the seal from the Emperor himself.

これらの事項についての閣議決定の書類は,毎回,閣議の後に陛下のお手元に届けられ,陛下は,これを丁寧にご覧になった上で,ご署名やご押印をなさいます。

http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/activity/activity/01/activity01.html

Therefore, by calling Murayama Statement as "personal" therefore not official on one end while on the other spectrum, placing substantial weight on statements made by PM's, public officials, and other lawmakers to the press and Diet sessions more so than that of Cabinet decision simply tells me that Korea never wanted to accept an apology in the first place. They want to keep this alive.

As to the future of this comfort women issue by the Japanese government and the Japanese population, the general consensus I get is that "we had it up to here". 20 years of research has been done by historians and organization like AWF since the Kono Statement and there is nothing that supports Korea's assertion that "MORE THAN 200,000 WOMEN AND GIRLS WHO WERE ABDUCTED BY THE ARMED FORCES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF IMPERIAL JAPAN. 1930's - 1945".

-11 ( +3 / -13 )

I give Murayama a lot of credit for stating an obvious yet hard truth for the Japanese people. The Germans reacted to their wrongdoings to the Jews (and others) by revulsion and then regret. The Japanese have mostly been in denial or simply want to forget it ever happened. Seeking to minimize the sex slaves as-wells-as the human experimentation, the annexation of Korea, etc may make themselves feel less guilt about their past but just makes others more upset with them. In the US the issue of slavery is analogous. There was a long period of denial - about 100 years - but eventually acceptance. At some point the Japanese will also have to accept what happened because their neighbors will never let it go until they do. It's a pride thing for most Japanese people.

7 ( +7 / -1 )

Please no more apologies! How can you apologize on behalf of others that are almost all dead?

It is now time for acceptance of what the nation and ancestors did wrong in order to give peace to the survivors of this wrongdoing and to avoid it happens again!

This is not a political issue, this is an education issue.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Nigel. Have you interviewed former teishin-tai members? They were sex slaves. Tgey did not work for factories because only boys were used as girls were considered devil female, then. They saidf Shudan Gokan after they were shipped out. The time was when girls and boys were separate since 3rd grade. Factories did not use girls because girls were considered living devil and so they became sex-slave force members.

No. Like I said before, the law was enacted to fulfill the labor shortage since men were going into the battle field. The law was revised in August of 1944 where women aged 14-40 were ordered to work in military factories. (女子挺身勤労令)

http://www.geocities.jp/shougen60/shiryo/kikukai11-3.html

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/ishikawa/kikaku/066/1.htm

-8 ( +3 / -10 )

nigelboyFEB. 14, 2014 - 12:59AM JST Nigel. Have you interviewed former teishin-tai members? They were sex slaves. Tgey did not work for factories because only boys were used as girls were considered devil female, then. They saidf Shudan Gokan after they were shipped out. The time was when girls and boys were separate since 3rd grade. Factories did not use girls because girls were considered living devil and so they became sex-slave force members.

No. Like I said before, the law was enacted to fulfill the labor shortage since men were going into the battle field. The law was revised in August of 1944 where women aged 14-40 were ordered to work in military factories. (女子挺身勤労令)

So your references are Japan goody goody propaganda .com by men. Totalitalian Govt was very proud that useless girls would be working for war cause by becoming Guntai baishunfu. You never met them and writing about them,

5 ( +6 / -1 )

So your references are Japan goody goody propaganda .com by men. Totalitalian Govt was very proud that useless girls would be working for war cause by becoming Guntai baishunfu. You never met them and writing about them,

Nope. I gave you links (which includes accounts) while you offered nothing other than some Japanese words you insert now and then. Not impressed.

Since they were factories for military, they were subjected to numerous bombing raids.

http://www.kyodo.co.jp/photo-archive/shuusenkinen/attachment/%C2%8Cr%C2%8Eu%C2%8Dh%C2%8Fe%C2%82a%C2%8Bi%C2%98j%C2%95o%C2%8Ed/

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Nigel: Japanese custom was legalize ewxisting system later. When Japan desice to invade Southern Asia, hurriedly created Joshi TeishinTai. They created so called sex slave without legalizqtion. Factorie3s military did not use girls because girls would degrade products and men workers. That was not secret. They were proud to declare that. __

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Nigel: Japanese custom was legalize ewxisting system later. When Japan desice to invade Southern Asia, hurriedly created Joshi TeishinTai. They created so called sex slave without legalizqtion. Factorie3s military did not use girls because girls would degrade products and men workers. That was not secret. They were proud to declare that.

You make no sense as usual. Prostitution was legal in Japan in those days. Men were fighting OVERSEAS creating a huge labor shortage for the war efforts. Why on gods earth would the Japanese government recruit hundreds of thousands of women for sex slave within mainland Japan as well as serve in mainland Japan when their "clients" are fighting overseas?

The "men" workers at that time were filled by Korean immigrants pursuant to the government order linked below.

http://www.digital.archives.go.jp/DAS/meta/listPhoto?KEYWORD=&LANG=eng&BID=F0000000000000008046&ID=M0000000000001776250&IS_STYLE=eng&NO=

Are you claiming that these Teishintai women served as sex slaves for Korean men?

-8 ( +3 / -10 )

Teishintai members were not women yet. They were drafted abter 8th grade. They could have served Korean Men as Men are Men and females are females who were ranked less than pets and above fish. Of cause any males were above pets. Japanese saying for generations Inu ya neko wa shujin ni chuboku. Onnawa shujin ni somuku.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Because I don;t know there were Korean Soldiers there. Do you? BTW, in Japan, there were prostitution house zones in areas (yukaku) and regional cities had their regional laws. Yoshihara in Edo were there before Meiji legal system. Men using Prostitution houses were just Japanese customs, Aren't Korean men are men? Those girls just obeyed orders.

Sex slaves from Korea, etc, Japanese totalitalian Govet just created for sex hungry soldiers. They did not legalized. they just did.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It's pointless, right wingers, especially the Japanese right wingers will never admit to anything. We'll have to get the left in power to solve this mess.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

nigelboy: You are the one if they had sex with Korean men, Since these girls were drafted to serve soldiers, hence I answered your question properly. Korea, Japan stole quite a while ago and Korean men became Korean soldiers. They did not migrate to Japan. Japanese Government shipped to Japan on ships between Korea and Shimonoseki. Not migration.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Since these girls were drafted to serve soldiers, hence I answered your question properly. Korea, Japan stole quite a while ago and Korean men became Korean soldiers.

???? Joshi Teishintai is a domestic ordinance that was applicable to women of mainland Japan due to the labor shortage as a result of Japanese men going into battlefield overseas. To make it simpler so a third grader would understand, THERE ARE NO SOLDIERS TO SERVE because they were gone fighting the war. Many women also did the same thing in Britain and U.S. as part of the war effort.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Now, from 1951 until 1965 the Korean government had an opportunity to address this problem and see compensation for these women. But they didn't because they didn't care about these women.

The Korean government took the money and ran. It didn't do as it said it would do with the money it got. The Korean government handed out a measly sum instead and spent the rest on pet projects.

Now, 48 years later after the signing of the 1965 treaty these women are demanding an acknowledgement, apology and money. But, Japan's point is, the 1965 treaty should have already covered all that, but no one want to listen to what is legal and binding.

Folks on the Korean side want Japan to pay, but when Japan brings the fact that the 65' treaty was signed in good faith by both parties it doesn't have to. But, again this isn't good enough, because facts and reality isn't what is at the heart of this argument.

The fact of the matter is that the Korean government doesn't want to pay Compensation to these women, hell they didn't dispurse compensation in 1965. If they have to pay compensation today they would have to pay 8 times what the dollar was worth in 1965.

So, how can the Korean government get around this? Easy, they try and nullify the treaty by making the Japanese government bow down to pressure. Then if the Japanese government does bow to this pressure they get to eat their cake and have more.

Then the flood gates will open of folks who never got compensation. Everyone who thinks they lost a loved one or think they can make a quick buck will be lining up with their demands in hand.

Again, at the core of this entire argument is, the 1965 treaty nullifies all demands.

And all the demands are based on trying to get paid.

Now, let's not bring up the fact that Korea employed Comfort women during the Korean Conflict and considers those women to be prostitutes and won't compensate them a dime for the services they rendered.

But, one mans prostitute is another mans victim.

It always comes down to the money and this case is no different.

So if these women want Compensation they best seek it where they should have from the word go, the Korean Government.

But the Korean government will never shell out a dime, so they will continue to go after Japan.

Now, if they want an acknowledgement an apology then look back to 1995 and they will have both.

But, they won't accept that because if they do they won't get any money for their families.

So, these women will continue to be pawns in the game of politics.

As for the Comfort Women of the Korean Conflict, well that fight is just beginning. So Korea, you can only keep the plight of those women silent for so long. So, get ready for a fun ride.

Eiji TakanoFeb. 14, 2014 - 05:27AM JST It's pointless, right wingers, especially the Japanese right wingers will never admit to anything. We'll have to get the left in power to solve this mess.

To point a finger at one side when denying their argument without even trying to understand why they make a point is, as you say pointless.

-7 ( +2 / -7 )

There were same amount of boys in Japan, Are tyou imagining Japan had only girls to send to factories> Same age boys who could not go to middle schools were drafted to Shonen Gi Yu Tai for factories.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's pretty hard to believe that the Japanese right wingers still want to deny the comfort women and sweep it under the rug, even though the entire world is in agreement that the Japanese government employed a comfort women system, and that it was wrong. Even harder to believe is that they actually believe that this is due to Korean propaganda being spread to the world.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

So if these women want Compensation they best seek it where they should have from the word go, the Korean Government.

Many women in Korea tried but the Korea government themselves rejected majority of their claims.

http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LPOD&mid=sec&sid1=&oid=143&aid=0000070428

332 cases submitted, 155 case investigations completed and only 16 were awarded compensation. BTW, you just had to prove that you were a comfort women for the government doesn't require you to show how you were to become one.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Eiji TakanoFeb. 14, 2014 - 06:47AM JST It's pretty hard to believe that the Japanese right wingers still want to deny the comfort women and sweep it under the rug, even though the entire world is in agreement that the Japanese government employed a comfort women system, and that it was wrong. Even harder to believe is that they actually believe that this is due to Korean propaganda being spread to the world.

Don’t generalize this issue to all comfort women. Japan already compensated and binding 1965 treaty with Korea. Almost all (I dare not to say all) Korean comfort women were sold by parents or applied for the job voluntarily. Some Korean comfort women said they cannot forgive their parents rather than Japanese soldiers. Koreans distort their history heavily and provide very intensive anti-Japan education. Their elementary school history book have so many descriptions to plant seeds of hatred against Japan and Japanese people.

-6 ( +1 / -6 )

Now, from 1951 until 1965 the Korean government had an opportunity to address this problem and see compensation for these women. But they didn't because they didn't care about these women.

Not surprising considering the fact that Korean government operated the same system for decades thereone after even the later years of Park Chung Hee. (with Pak daddy's signature)

http://japan.hani.co.kr/arti/politics/15985.html

Seoul city officials seeking registration for comfort women for UN forces.

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%95%E3%82%A1%E3%82%A4%E3%83%AB:Registration_of_comfort_women.jpg

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Nobody in the world agrees with the Japanese right-wingers' stance that "they have already apologized" or that "comfort women didn't exist" or whatever. Get over it.

Almost EVERY COUNTRY thinks that Japan should do more in regard to the comfort women issue. Stop trying to make excuses by saying "we already apologized or compensated", blah blah blah.

And of course here you have the crazies denying that comfort women even existed.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I just saw History channel on TV an hour ago. When the Japanese attacked Malaya and Singapore, many young girls were forced to be comfort women. I cried when they interviewed an old lady who said that they all were housed in individual rooms and had to have sex with 20 men in the morning, 20 in the afternoon and 20 at night. What kind of animals do such things and now to deny, reject and ridicule!!! The shame then those young girls went through and the shame people who make light such acts!!!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Asian2013Feb. 15, 2014 - 12:21AM JST What kind of animals do such things and now to deny, reject and ridicule!!!

Deny, reject, ridicule? Have you read the 1965 treaty? In 1965, South Korea agreed never to make further compensation demands against Japan, either at a government or individual level, after receiving U.S. $800 million. After you finalize the settlement, and receive all the monies as demanded, are you going back to the accuser 40 or 50 years later and say "it's not enough, give more money"? These comfort women should take up the issue with their own goverment.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

A salute to Mr. Murayama. No truth will be concealed.

9 ( +8 / -0 )

@sjfp330- I am not a proponent of paying more money. But for goodness sake, don't downplay the pain afflicted to those comfort women. And for God sake, don't deny the facts. You just can't admit the wrong years ago and now try to downplay everything. Remember, in Malaya and Singapore, we were not at war when the planes came bombing! What happened then for a few years, were sheer torture! Today we remember the day that Japan attacked Singapore with memorial services. Care to join a minute of silence!

9 ( +8 / -0 )

avigator:

A salute to Mr. Murayama.

Indeed. One of the very Japanese politicians to have some conscience and to show true sincerity. Others that have followed may have belittled or brushed aside his apology, but there are people out there who will always remember him for what he has done to try and bridge the gap between the East Asian countries.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

sfjp330Feb. 15, 2014 - 04:54AM JST

Have you read the 1965 treaty? In 1965, South Korea agreed never to make further compensation demands against Japan, either at a government or individual level, after receiving U.S. $800 million. After you finalize the settlement, and receive all the monies as demanded, are you going back to the accuser 40 or 50 years later and say "it's not enough, give more money"?

Can you prove 1965 Korea-Japan treaty covered the compensation for the Korean comfort women coerced by the Imperial Japanese Army? The Japanese government does not even admit the existence of these women. How can you say Japanese government compensated them in the treaty?

J

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The Japanese government has admitted the existence of comfort women... But not in 1965.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Yeah Japan did some really bad things in the war... But what about Americans who dropped a bomb on a city with 80 percent civilian? What about other countries who still practice torture? I think Japan has done good to apologize and people should get over it.

-6 ( +0 / -5 )

Suin KimFeb. 16, 2014 - 02:28PM JST

Can you prove 1965 Korea-Japan treaty covered the compensation for the Korean comfort women coerced by the Imperial Japanese Army?

It is amazing that Korean Government keep their nationals ignorant of their modern history.

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

Article II

3 As a condition to comply with the provisions of paragraph 2 above, no claims shall be made with respect to the measures relating to the property, rights, and interests of either High Contracting Party and its people which were brought under the control of the other High Contracting Party on the date of the signing of the present Agreement, or to all the claims of either High Contracting Party and its people arising from the causes which occurred prior to that date.

Did the cause of damages of comfrot women happen before 1965, when the treaty signed? If the answer is yes, the compensation claims no longer exist.

Koreans need to understand the 1965 treaty, before we can talk about the comfort women issue any further.

-7 ( +0 / -6 )

The 1965 treaty ending all compensation claims is completely false. You can still make compensation claims regarding comfort women. Besides comfort women weren't even compensated in the 1965 treaty.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The English in these Japan Today articles is indescribably wrong.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

CH3CHOFeb. 17, 2014 - 09:36AM JST

Citing that article can’t be the answer to my question.

There’s no any clue the victims who sexually enslaved under the Japanese military were addressed during the fourteen years of treaty negotiations and the sex slavery issue was included in the scope of claim of treaty. That issue was emerged for the first time in the early 1900s and then Japanese government denied Japanese Imperial government’s involvement in the comfort women issue. It was in 1993 when Japanese government apologized for Japanese military involvement. How can one say the non-issue in the treaty was solved in that treaty?

I wonder how many Japanese people know in 2005, the Korean government disclosed the records of the proceedings of the treaty even though some were not in favor of Korean position and Japan refused to do disclose them. Why? According to Asahi Shimbun, the Foreign Ministry stated reason was that disclosure of the documents in question would put Japan at a disadvantage in future negotiations with South Korea and North Korea.

However, fortunately, the Tokyo District Court ordered the Japanese government to disclose them in 2012. I look forward finding out how the Japanese side negotiated the agreement and if the comfort women was dealt or not.

Next time, I may comment on if the 1965 treaty deprived individual victims of their rights to seek compensation or.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Citing that article can’t be the answer to my question.

It is. It's not the Japanese government fault that Korean counterparts didn't bring forth the issue which pretty much states that they themselves felt that these women weren't "forced" as they later claimed. Also bear in mind that such system was in place during Korea during the Korean war and the U.S. force occupation afterwards as evidenced by recent discovery of Park regime's direct involvement in the housing and medical treatment of these women.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

sfjp330 Feb. 14, 2014 - 06:58AM JST

Korean comfort women were sold by parents or applied for the job voluntarily.

Majority of comfort women were Koreans. There were also Pinoys, Taiwanese, Chinese too. Were all those women sold by their parents or applied for the jobs? Japanese currency was almost worthless before the end of WWII.

I was born and raised in Myanmar. I have never heard about Myanmar or Burmese women were sold by their parents during WWII. They were gang raped by J soliders. It is also true for rest of the comfort women. If there were only Korean women for that topic, your debate may be logical. However majority of Myanmar or Burmese do not buy your propaganda. As a poor nation, our government is depending on Japan aids and technology. As a private citizen, we do not need to shut up for pleasing Japan authority fabircating the history. Pls come and visit to Myanmar or Burma for doing some research about J imperial soldiers crime against humanity.

Koreans distort their history heavily and provide very intensive anti-Japan education

In Myanmar, we have Arm Force day (known as revolutionary day in past). Before that days, TV programs and media were awashed with full stories of Japanese imperial soliders atrocities. During WWII, Myanmar people called J soliers as short men (Nga Pu) as nick name of Burmese. Myanmar have been ruled by British for 100 yrs. However British was are nothing barbaric comparing with J imperial arm. According your logic, Myanmar distort thier history heavilty and provide very intensive anti- Japan education.

Japan is rich enough to change the history with Yen. The histoy of that issue fromPhillipines, Taiwan, PRC, ROK, DPRK and most of SE Asian nations versions will be very different from J version.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Athletes Feb. 18, 2014 - 09:10AM JST Majority of comfort women were Koreans. There were also Pinoys, Taiwanese, Chinese too. Were all those women sold by their parents or applied for the jobs? Japanese currency was almost worthless before the end of WWII. However majority of Myanmar or Burmese do not buy your propaganda.

Subject of this discussion was about South Korea. However, when discussing the ethnic origin of the women, 80-90 percent of the comfort women were Koreans. After the Pacific War broke in 1941, Japan attacked Singapore, the Philippines, Burma and the East Indies. The JIA military occupation swept to southeast Asia and spreading comfort stations with it. As the Japanese occupation widened, there was a definite change in the way women were recruited for the comfort stations in the new southeast territories. The transport of comfort women to those territories came to be under the control of the Japanese military without any intervention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Even in 1942, after the recruitment in Korea, many Korean women were sent in a transport to Burma and other parts of Southeast Asia. These women and girls were not clearly told they would be required to serve as comfort women. On the basis of those false representations many girls enlisted for overseas duty and were rewarded with an advance of a few hundred yen. In such cases the agents tricked them, basically recruiting them against their will. Later on, we all know that in such places as Philippines, Indonesia, Burma and other areas of Southeast Asia, native women were forced to be comfort women. The village officials would receive a request from the occupying forces, and would act on the request. It was not uncommon for women to be taken against their will. It is well known that in Indonesia some Dutch women internees were taken to comfort stations. They were coerced into becoming comfort women.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

AthletesFeb. 18, 2014 - 09:10AM JST

I was born and raised in Myanmar. I have never heard about Myanmar or Burmese women were sold by their parents during WWII. They were gang raped by J soldiers. It is also true for rest of the comfort women.

Rape victims and comfort women were two different issues. You should not call rape victims comfort women.

The system of comfort women was based on Japanese government policy, whereas rapes were against Japanese government policy. Rape offenders were punished in Japanese martial court.

Comfort women were paid, whereas rape victims were not paid. Comfort women received periodical medical checks to prevent STD and other contagious diseases, whereas rape victims did not receive any medical care. Here is a link to a US report on comfort women in Burma written in 1944. http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

In Myitkyina the girls were usually quartered in a large two story house (usually a school building) with a separate room for each girl. There each girl lived, slept, and transacted business. In Myitkina their food was prepared by and purchased from the "house master" as they received no regular ration from the Japanese Army. They lived in near-luxury in Burma in comparison to other places. This was especially true of their second year in Burma.

The document during WW2 gives better picture of comfort women.

Japan is rich enough to change the history with Yen.

I do not think so. It is well known that China and both Koreas rewrote their histories. From their perspective, true history looks false.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

CH3CHO and sfjp330

According war crime tribunal 2000 for the trial of Japanese miltary sexual slavery stated that they were enslaved through abduction from Phillipines, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, Taiwan and China.

Majority of comfort women have been forced and abducted by J imperial army. Sometimes J officer told head of small villages to round up the girls of certain age them to work for J force.

If they refused, J soldiers threatened to destroy the village, kill elders, children and other violent measures. In most of these cases, the women witnessed the Japanese army or its recruiters murder family members who tried to defend the women from being taken.

The Japanese used several means to recruit women for the comfort stations. One such means was deception.Some have been promised as working as nurse, waitress, typist or maids.**The Japanese army also forcibly abducted women and girls both in the colonies and the occupied territories.

In a very few cases, desperate J authority bought licensed prostitutes to work at the comfort station which has been confusing with majority of girls have been forced with threats and torture of their relatives. It is possible that first comfort women stations employed the licensed prostitutes. After the Nanking massacre, they all have been changed to sex slavery facilities.

There are confusion among JT poster as all of comfort women were licensed prostitutes. It is untrue and misleading.

At the end of World War II, the Japanese military destroyed or withheld many documents on the comfort stations system.

http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1242&context=bjil

0 ( +2 / -2 )

nigelboyFeb. 17, 2014 - 11:40PM JST

It's not the Japanese government fault that Korean counterparts didn't bring forth the issue which pretty much states that they themselves felt that these women weren't "forced" as they later claimed.

It seems that you admit 1965 tready didn’t include comfort women.

Also bear in mind that such system was in place during Korea during the Korean war and the U.S. force occupation.

You need to say concretely what such system is and the what the analogy is between the wartime comfort women and the professional prostitutions to persuade you are right.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It seems that you admit 1965 tready didn’t include comfort women.

The agreement states"All peoples"

You need to say concretely what such system is and the what the analogy is between the wartime comfort women and the professional prostitutions to persuade you are right.

I don't need to. I've already stated what it is. What the Korean government operated afterwards is the "Same" system.

How dare you undermine the atrocities and outright human right violations conducted by the Korean government lasting well into the 80's.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

heynongFeb. 18, 2014 - 11:28AM JST

CH3CHO and sfjp330

According war crime tribunal 2000 for the trial of Japanese miltary sexual slavery

It is a mock trial in year 2000, which was nothing but a show. No defendants were there. The show does not prove anything. The lawyers need to get real rather than indulge themselves in a show.

In addition, the cases look more like rape cases than comfort women cases.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

heynong Feb. 18, 2014 - 11:28AM JST

Thanks a lot for sending Scholarly research link which is very informative. It has more credible and balanced because the research was based on Japanese scholar too.

CH3CHO

In year 2000, how many of defendants have survived? At the end of World War II, the Japanese military destroyed or withheld many documents on the comfort stations system.Nevertheless, some important documents survived, such as the one uncovered in 1992 by Professor Yoshiaki Yoshimi. Lawyers have to research for months and years for their thesis for getting post graduate degree. They have to travel to the relevant locations too. Lawyers research are more real because they have to show their documents in the court. They can not cheat or lie to the international court. If they have done, it will be professional misconduct.

It is from heynong link. I have read it for five times because it was come from Japanese comfort station record.

In 1992 by Professor Yoshiaki Yoshimi, the author of a book entitled Comfort Women. 3 This memorandum,entitled "Matters Concerning the Recruitment of Women to Work in Military Comfort Stations" ("Recruitment Memo"), 4 was sent on March 4, 1938, by adjutant in the Japanese War Ministry to the Chiefs of Staff of the North China Area Army and the Central China Expeditionary Force.*

Most of the rape cases were before the rape of Nanking. Japanese soldiers were committing rape indiscriminately and on a large scale, they often contracted venereal diseases and other illnesses.These diseases caused loss of strength and required expensive medical treatment before soldiers and officers could resume their war duties. Military oversight of the comfort stations, even where the facilities were run by private operators,included medical examination of the women by Japanese military doctors to assert their virginity and health, thus reducing the incidence of venereal diseaseand the attendant loss of manpower and expense of treatment.

That horror of Rape of Nanking reached Emperor Hirohito, who was appalled by the negative image of the Imperial Army that the incident had created. According to Japanese historians, the Emperor asked his Ministers,Counselors and Military Chiefs to devise ways to restore the "honor of Japan"and stop the condemnation by the international press. The Emperor's aides proposed two ideas. The first was a reform of the Military Code, a task in whichthe Emperor as well as his Army and Navy Commanders, and his Ministers were involved. The second was the creation and systematic extension of what the Japanese military euphemistically called "comfort stations."

Comfort stations are for long term pleasure machines supported by emperor. Gang rape cases which were committed by individual were not authorized by emperor. Although it was free, emperor worried about the sexually transmitted deceases and bad publicity.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

ZenpunFeb. 18, 2014 - 05:21PM JST

I am glad you are developing correct understanding of comfort women issue.

Comfort women system was organized to prevent rapes. That was a historical fact. Prostitution was not illegal those days, as it is not illegal in many of European countries now. Yet, former PM Murayama as well as Japanese government is of the opinion that prostitution was wrong. No one disputes here.

What is disputed is how Korean women were recruited as comfort women. Were they drafted, as the most vociferous activist group insists? Were they abducted and if so by whom? Were they deceived into prostitution and if so by whom? The testimonies of Korean comfort women are so much contradictory on this point that no one knows what really happened.

If you think special investigation team on this issue should be organized to find out what happened, you are with Abe. But his initiative for special investigation in 2007 was blamed by Koreans and Americans as an attempt to rewrite history. I have no idea. The case is left unknown.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Comfort women system was organized to prevent rapes. That was a historical fact. Prostitution was not illegal those days, as it is not illegal in many of European countries now. Yet, former PM Murayama as well as Japanese government is of the opinion that prostitution was wrong. No one disputes here.

The first Comfort Women Station was established in Shanghai in 1932 to prevent the imperial troops from raping and contacting sexual diseases but it failed to achieve that because the troops continued to rape torture and murder civilians until the end of WWII.

The Rape of Nanjing (Nanking) happened at the end of 1937, five years after the first prostitute station was established.

The Imperials troops raped young women/girls and even very young children.

The savagery of the Imperial troops towards the people of every race conquered by them between 1937 and 1945 is not easy to explain. Many times following the rapes the troops decapitated the victims or drove their bayonets into their bellies or wombs. Gang rape was common. The troops frequently drunk and destructive rages.

The brutality of Imperial Japan should never be forgotten, and the 25 million plus civilians killed in the Pacific War including more than 20 million Chinese.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

CH3CHO Feb. 18, 2014 - 06:27PM JST

Were they drafted, as the most vociferous activist group insists?

Yes! It is according berkeley edu link. That link is based on Japanese document obtained from comfort stations.

Were they abducted and if so by whom?

Yes! They were abducted by divisional recruitment officer and imperial soldiers. If you read the post and link of heynong entirely most of them were forced. It was from heynong post. My apology for heynong for parroting his post again.

If they refused, J soldiers threatened to destroy the village, kill elders, children and other violent measures. In most of these cases, the women witnessed the Japanese army or its recruiters murder family members who tried to defend the women from being taken.

The Japanese army also forcibly abducted women and girls both in the colonies and the occupied territories

Were they deceived into prostitution and if so by whom?

I will parrot the heynong link again.

The Japanese used several means to recruit women for the comfort stations. One such means was deception.Some have been promised as working as nurse, waitress, typist or maids.

The testimonies of Korean comfort women are so much contradictory on this point that no one knows what really happened.

When I read Athletes post, there were rape cases existed in Burma during WWII. According heynong and zenpun post, there were two types of comfort women existed. Pre Nanking massacre comfort women were most of them were rape victims. Post Nanking massacare comfort women were forced into prostitution with threat for their killing their relatives and buring the rural village.

Professor Yoshiaki Yoshimi published the book about comfort women back in 1993. He is 100% Japanese by himself and scholar. Other arguments were not credible because they were nationalistic version which were entertaining die-hard nationalists.

Yet, former PM Murayama as well as Japanese government is of the opinion that prostitution was wrong. No one disputes here.

Forced prostitution was wrong. Athletes, heynong and Zenpun and I am disputing they were not willing volunteers.

The point is not only about old Korean women issue. All nationalities involved as sex slaves had their versions. J version is lonely planet of that issue. Even Netherlands has their Dutch version which is different from J version.

Athletes said Myanmar have been ruled by British for 100 yrs. They have no resentment and anger over British unlike Japan. There were Myanmar Prostitutes employed by British too. Some even may fall in love with British. Japan ruled Myanmar only from 1942-45. Most of them were forced sex slaves. J soldiers love to slap everyone on the road during the invasion of SE Asia. No wonder no Asian trust Japan was innocent as Saint.

If you think special investigation team on this issue should be organized to find out what happened,

How many comfort women left over now? Japan is waiting for all of them disappear. It will be huge financial burden for Japan if they have to compensate every victim. Japan is buying time for saving the fortune.Later on it will pretend as nothing has happened. However it has to sacrifice for diplomatic relation with near by neighbors.

Every comfort stations employed licensed prostitutes was unreal. It was the fantasy of Hirohito. For Myikyina of Myanmar case was so rare. if Japan had to give the luxury life for all of women as mistresses, it was financially impossible. Most of them were sex slaves being treated as half human.

My guess is it will take many generations for Japan to cool down that issue. For nearby neighbors, Japan has lost the credibility as decent and honest nation. When the credibility has lost, it will never come back.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

nigelboyFeb. 18, 2014 - 12:09PM JST

I don't need to. I've already stated what it is. What the Korean government operated afterwards is the "Same" system.

You need to say concretely what the “same system” to show your argument is on the right track. You may not distinguish the wartime comfort women who were sexually enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Army from non-wartime professional prostitutes.

How dare you undermine the atrocities and outright human right violations conducted by the Korean government lasting well into the 80's.

You should say concretely what the atrocities and outright human right violations conducted by the Korean government in your mind. The Korean formal governments did some wrongdoings. That’s the fact and no Koreans deny and undermine it. But what does the former Korean government’s wrongdoings have to do with the comfort women sexually victimized by the Imperial Japanese Army? Attacking Korean former government is Japanese right-wingers’ childish tactic to deny, minimize and downplay the atrocities and outright human right violations conducted by the Imperial Japanese Army. “We are not guilty because you did it, too” attitude is not effective as Toro Hashimoto case showed.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In 1992 by Professor Yoshiaki Yoshimi, the author of a book entitled Comfort Women. 3 This memorandum,entitled "Matters Concerning the Recruitment of Women to Work in Military Comfort Stations" ("Recruitment Memo"), 4 was sent on March 4, 1938, by adjutant in the Japanese War Ministry to the Chiefs of Staff of the North China Area Army and the Central China Expeditionary Force.*

Do you have any clue as to what that document states exactly? The above memorandum clearly shows that the top of the military prohibited forced recruitment of women by unscrupulous operators which was prevalant in that area.

Professor Yoshimi has over time "expanded" the definition of "force/coersion" to include economic hardships among families who sold their daughters to deception tactics used by operators since he has yet to find any evidence to suggest that such actions were condoned by the Japanese government. What he basically ended up doing is to categorize ALL PROSTITUTION including what is going on today all over the world to fit his expanded definition.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Professor Yoshimi has over time "expanded" the definition of "force/coersion" to include economic hardships among families who sold their daughters to deception tactics used by operators since he has yet to find any evidence to suggest that such actions were condoned by the Japanese government.

If the daughters were sold to the Japanese military, it means that the military condoned it, whether or not the Japanese government officially condoned it. When you purchase a human, they are a slave. When that slave is used for sex, they are a sex-slave.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If the daughters were sold to the Japanese military, it means that the military condoned it, whether or not the Japanese government officially condoned it. When you purchase a human, they are a slave. When that slave is used for sex, they are a sex-slave.

Strangeland

Daughters were sold to private operators who in turn attached themselves to a military unit. It's no different than a French operator who recruited french women to service Germany forces who occupied the area. It's no different than a Vietnamese operator who recruited Vietnamese women to service U.S. forces in Vietnam. They are, by your expanding defintion, a "sex slave".

You need to say concretely what the “same system” to show your argument is on the right track. You may not distinguish the wartime comfort women who were sexually enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Army from non-wartime professional prostitutes.

Suin Kim

They were recruited to provide those "services" to armed forces in the area. How they were "recruited" by operators or why they have become one (sold by families due to economic hardships) is the same.

That’s the fact and no Koreans deny and undermine it.

That's a load of BS. I haven't seen any movement by the Korean government to address this issue. It's only recently that an opposition lawmaker within Korea revealed the Pak regime's direct involvment in the system. Furthermore, you yourself are doing a great job "undermining" it.

Practice what you preach and then you might get a little sympathy from the general Japanese population.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Daughters were sold to private operators... They are, by your expanding defintion, a "sex slave".

How is my definition expanding? A person who is sold is property, and therefore a slave. When that slave is used for sex, they are a sex slave. When the Japanese military uses those slaves for sex, the Japanese military is using sex slaves. There is no way around it.

It's no different than a French operator who recruited french women to service Germany forces who occupied the area.

If the women were recruited and not sold, then yes, it's very different because it's the difference between a slave, and a willing participant.

It's no different than a Vietnamese operator who recruited Vietnamese women to service U.S. forces in Vietnam.

Again, if the women were recruited and not sold, then yes, it's very different because it's the difference between a slave, and a willing participant.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How is my definition expanding? A person who is sold is property, and therefore a slave. When that slave is used for sex, they are a sex slave. When the Japanese military uses those slaves for sex, the Japanese military is using sex slaves. There is no way around it.

Which is applicable to pretty much all military brothels at that time. Thanks.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Japanese can only confront their past when Europeans confront their past. Japanese Imperialism and European Imperialism are cut from the same fabric. The legacy of Imperialism has to be dealt with as a whole and a settlement must be made as a whole. It wasn't just Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If the women were recruited and not sold, then yes, it's very different because it's the difference between a slave, and a willing participant.

"..... I do not mean to imply that prostitution was unknown in Vietnam before the long war. As Peter Arnett told me, "Prostitution was a time-honored tradition. Certain heads of families would not think twice before routinely selling their daughters if they needed the money." But as the long war progressed, prostitution increasingly became the only viable economic solution for thousands of South Vietnamese women......"

Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape -Susan Brownmiller

.."Traffickers work within this system. Recruiters who work for foreign employers travel around the countryside offering poor young women opportunities for work abroad, often giving parents advance payments on their daughters’ wages (Cruz, 2002). As thousands of Filipinas go abroad expecting to find work, many are now in circumstances of sexual exploitation by US troops in South Korea similar to those they were in when the U.S. military bases were in the Philippines..."

Modern-Day Comfort Women:The U.S. Military, Transnational Crime, and the Trafficking of Women

..."Sex Among Allies is, nonetheless, an important study that deals with Korean prostitution around American military installations from the 50s to the late 80s, particularly with their change prompted by the "Nixon" Doctrine of 1971. The premise that not only did prostitution thrive among American servicemembers and Korean women during this time but that it was sanctioned by the American military and the Korean government is alarming. As such, the illegal business were allegedly managed by local police and enforced by club owners. Negative impacts on society such as rampant spreading of venereal disease, racial tensions among white and black soldiers (and local business owners) and the social stigma of association was the women's to bear alone. The book's objectively is called into question by placing virtually all blame on both governments' efforts to promote prostitution as a means of recreation for soldiers; the women to sacrifice themselves to be "personal ambassadors" from Korea. Many of these objections were addressed in a mass cleanup effort in the early 1970s. The story Professor Moon tells, however, is unmistakably genuine. The social stigma of such work forced many women, mostly from low educational backgrounds, to be stuck in a constant cycle of debt and abuse with little chance to better themselves. .."

Sex Among Allies: Military Prostitution in US-Korea Relations

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Which is applicable to pretty much all military brothels at that time. Thanks.

It depends. Some brothels were filled with volunteer women, others were filled with sex-slaves (and some with a combination of both).

Your reply does seem to think that you are saying that if other countries used sex slaves, then it excuses Japan for using sex slaves. That unfortunately doesn't work. Two wrongs don't make a right, or even a not-wrong.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Your reply does seem to think that you are saying that if other countries used sex slaves, then it excuses Japan for using sex slaves. That unfortunately doesn't work. Two wrongs don't make a right, or even a not-wrong.

Nope. It's called "Practice what you preach".

The absurdity in all of this is that such practices are happening still yet very little is addressed by the accusers while Japan had already apologized and have compensated (twice).

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I preach the non-use of sex-slaves, and I practice that as well. So I do practice what I preach.

And whether it's still happening or not, does not change that it happened in the past, nor does it negate the wrongness of it happening in the past.

The problem is people who try to justify it by saying 'well other people did it too', and 'it's still happening now', as if those somehow make it all ok. They don't. It's not all ok.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The problem is people who try to justify it by saying 'well other people did it too', and 'it's still happening now', as if those somehow make it all ok. They don't. It's not all ok.

Forgive me but I see a REAL problem when people don't address the recent and most definitely "current" situation because too much effort is being placed on this "Japan comfort women" issue. I repeat. It's absurd.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Forgive me but I see a REAL problem when people don't address the recent and most definitely "current" situation because too much effort is being placed on this "Japan comfort women" issue.

It's not a zero-sum game. They are both issues that should be addressed. They are separate issues, that should, and can both be addressed. It's not like human trafficking isn't an issue in the world: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&biw=&bih=&q=stop+human+trafficking&btnG=Google+Search&gbv=1

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's not a zero-sum game. They are both issues that should be addressed. They are separate issues, that should, and can both be addressed. It's not like human trafficking isn't an issue in the world:

"Should" be addressed. Yes. But in Korea's case, it would mean to start apologizing and compensating their own people as well as Fillipinos for running the same system for 3 decades. It also means addressing the Lai Đại Hàn in Vietnam. Perhaps you can explain to me why this isn't happening.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

But in Korea's case, it would mean to start apologizing and compensating their own people as well as Fillipinos for running the same system for 3 decades.

It's a separate issue. It has nothing to do with the Japanese use of sex-slaves in the war. So it's really quite irrelevant to the topic at hand. That said, I applaud your energy behind condemning the Korean actions, and I think that if you are serious about it, you should become an activist about it - but that you should do so in the relevant places, rather than trying to justify Japanese wrongs by saying that the Koreans were also wrong.

It also means addressing the Lai Đại Hàn in Vietnam.

See above.

Perhaps you can explain to me why this isn't happening.

No, I really can't. But if you start a website or post somewhere relevant in regards to these issues, and post a link, I'll be happy to go comment there as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's a separate issue. It has nothing to do with the Japanese use of sex-slaves in the war. So it's really quite irrelevant to the topic at hand. That said, I applaud your energy behind condemning the Korean actions, and I think that if you are serious about it, you should become an activist about it - but that you should do so in the relevant places, rather than trying to justify Japanese wrongs by saying that the Koreans were also wrong.

It's a universal issue. You even gave a google search result for it. I'm not "serious" about it. I'm merely questioning the Korean government's lack of "seriousness" about it and your propensity to place more weight on events that ended 70 years ago while completely UNDERMINING the events afterwards.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

nigelboyFeb. 19, 2014 - 12:31AM JST It's no different than a Vietnamese operator who recruited Vietnamese women to service U.S. forces in Vietnam.

How can you compare? There is no comparison from Vietnam war situation to comfort wormen under Japanese rule in WWII. Approximately 75 percent (3 out of 4) of Korean and Chinese comfort women died in WWII, and most survivors were left infertile due to sexual trauma or sexually-transmitted disease. Can you say the same today? The women cried out, but it didn't matter to Japanese soldiers whether the women lived or died. They were the emperor's soldiers. Whether in military brothels or in the villages, these soldiers raped without reluctance and beatings and physical torture were said to be common. In the “Comfort Station” many were systematically beaten and raped day and night. Even the Japanese doctor raped many of them each time he visited the brothel to examine us for venereal disease. Some were forced into slavery even when they were not old enough to have started menstruating. After the war, the court testimonies state that these prepubescent girls were repeatedly raped by Japanese soldiers while those who refused to comply were executed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How can you compare? There is no comparison from Vietnam war situation to comfort wormen under Japanese rule in WWII. Approximately 75 percent (3 out of 4) of Korean and Chinese comfort women died in WWII, and most survivors were left infertile due to sexual trauma or sexually-transmitted disease

How does one come up with such figure when the scholars are still discussing the approximate number of these comfort women? How does one explain the conflicting details you described by both U.S. Army report and SEATIC?

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nigelboy Feb. 19, 2014 - 06:09AM JST How does one come up with such figure when the scholars are still discussing the approximate number of these comfort women?

Approximately three quarters of comfort women died.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women ‎

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Approximately three quarters of comfort women died.

And I asked you how does one arrive at the figure.

Wiki cites Supranational Criminal Prosecution of Sexual Violence which in turn cites War Crimes Against Women: Prosecution in International War Crimes Tribunals which in turn cites another paper and the loop continues.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Nigelboy,

You made a direct comparison U.S. forces in Vietnam War to JIA during the WWII. How does anyone with common sense make this comparison?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You made a direct comparison U.S. forces in Vietnam War to JIA during the WWII. How does anyone with common sense make this comparison?

Because the archived documents indicate such comparisons is not only warrented but needed in order to put a global and fair perspective. Additionally, it's a current issue and sorely needs to be addressed because it almost always involves human trafficking.

It does not take a genius to "copy/paste" graphic accounts to simply conduct a brutality pi$$ing contest.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

nigelboy Feb. 19, 2014 - 07:18AM JST Because the archived documents indicate such comparisons is not only warrented but needed in order to put a global and fair perspective.

There is no fair perspective on the actions of JIA. Japanese has been divided since the end of WWII and it is nothing new that your side always finds the excuses and even makes up the history which is very distorted. At least a half of Japanese population firmly believe that comfort women is the human rights issue and not the national pride and honor issue that you and your J-goverment advocates.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is no fair perspective on the actions of JIA. Japanese has been divided since the end of WWII and it is nothing new that your side always finds the excuses and even makes up the history which is very distorted. At least a half of Japanese population firmly believe that comfort women is the human rights issue and not the national pride and honor issue that you and your J-goverment advocates.

As you stated in your previous post about Korean government's failure to address this issue, it wasn't even a human rights issue back then.

This is what you stated.

In 1965, the Japanese goverment asked Korean goverment to show the concrete number of conscripted workers and soldiers, dead and injured and how much unpaid wages were. They asked to "show the evidences and they would pay". Korea agreed and investigated them. What I want to clarify here is that Korea didn't claim the compensation for the war time prostitutes. Why didn't they? It's because there was no abducted prostitute. Nobody said at the time in Korea, those prostitutes were abducted. Everyone knew there were many women who were so poor that they sold themselves to live and the Japan army didn't have to abduct Korean women. There were many Korean volunteers for Japan army at the time. Therefore Koreans didn't claim it at that time. It's the Korean goverment's problem if they did not disclose the comfort women issue at the time. What did South Korean goverment do with the $500+ million that Japan paid already?

As you eloquently stated, it's settled.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

nigelboy,

You have a comprehension problem. We know about the 1965 settlement. However, why is half of your people still firmly believing that "comfort women is the human rights issue"? Regardless of the treaty, many citizens in Japan believes these women were treated badly. You talk about fair perspective on the actions of JIA during the WWII and you made a direct comparison to Vietnam war with U.S. troops. Is this the best you can do to distort your history? Do you actually believe there is a comparison of actions taken by Japanese Military in 1931-1945 to U.S. troops in Vietnam?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You have a comprehension problem. We know about the 1965 settlement. However, why is half of your people still firmly believing that "comfort women is the human rights issue"? Regardless of the treaty, many citizens in Japan believes these women were treated badly. You talk about fair perspective on the actions of JIA during the WWII and you made a direct comparison to Vietnam war with U.S. troops. Is this the best you can do to distort your history? Do you actually believe there is a comparison of actions taken by Japanese Military in 1931-1945 to U.S. troops in Vietnam?

Regardless of the treaty, many people in Japan felt sympathy for them, hence the movement towards their elected officials to do more which resulted in more apologies and establishment of Asian Women Fund. As to your second half of the question, I've already cited my sources. You are more than welcome to read more about it if you prefer to engage in graphic details.

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sfjp330Feb. 19, 2014 - 05:58AM JST

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

It is just an urban legend. There are no bases for the "75% death rate".

The legend probably comes from McDougal report, http://www.awf.or.jp/e1/facts-07.html that cites a comment by Japanese politician Seijuro Arafune that condemns baseless compensation claim by South Korean government that they even alleged that 145,000 out of 200,000 comfort women were killed. South Korean government has not yet disclosed any basis of their claim. How could anyone use a comment that condemns a baseless allegation as evidence that the condemned allegation is true?

FlyfalconFeb. 18, 2014 - 07:36PM JST

You say that comfort women were drafted. But none of the Korean former comfort women say they were drafted. If you know any Korean former comfort women who testify they were drafted, please inform me.

The Japanese army also forcibly abducted women and girls both in the colonies and the occupied territories

Those cases are rape cases. They are not comfort women cases.

Athletes said Myanmar have been ruled by British for 100 yrs. They have no resentment and anger over British unlike Japan.

You cannot be serious on this. What happened to the last princess of Burma? Who was the biggest supporter of General Aung San?

Athletes, heynong and Zenpun and I am disputing they were not willing volunteers.

Why there were so many newspaper ads in Korea for job opening of comfort women? http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%95%E3%82%A1%E3%82%A4%E3%83%AB:COMFORTA%EF%BD%84%EF%BD%84.GIF

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This discussion is just freaking sad. Read the transcripts from the tribunals. The American ones, the Australian ones, the British ones. That treaty that keeps getting quoted also says Japan accepts the judgement of the the tribunals. But that doesn't seem true.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What happened to the last princess of Burma?

She became the beggar in India. It was still better than sex slave by J imperial soldiers. The biggest supporter of Gen Aung San was Japanese before British troop came back to Myanmar with allies force.

Mr. Yoshimi went to the Defense Agency’s library and combed through official documents from the 1930s. In just two days, he found a rare trove that uncovered the military’s direct role in managing the brothels, including documents that carried the personal seals of high-ranking Imperial Army officers.

Faced with this smoking gun, a red-faced Japanese government immediately dropped its long-standing claim that only private businessmen had operated the brothels. A year later, in 1993, it acknowledged in a statement that the Japanese state itself had been responsible. In time, all government-approved junior high school textbooks carried passages on the history of Japan’s military sex slaves, known euphemistically as comfort women

DESPITE the government’s efforts to hide the past, Mr. Yoshimi succeeded in painting a detailed picture of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery: a system of military-run brothels that emerged in 1932 after Japan’s invasion of Manchuria, then grew with full-scale war against China in 1937 and expanded into most of Asia in the 1940s.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/31/world/asia/31yoshimi.html?pagewanted=all

In Japan, there is the reputable organization Violence Against Women in War-Network Japan) established in 1998

In 1993, after intense pressure from VAWW-NET, then Chief Cabinet spokesman, Yohei Kono, finally acknowledged the army’s role in sexual servitude and apologized to the victims but there was no commitment to individual compensation.

Japanese revisionists lobbied hard and in 2007, the prime minister at that time, Shinzo Abe, declared there was “no evidence” to prove the women were coerced in the “strict sense of the term.”

http://www.visionews.net/japan-the-uncomfortable-comfort-women-issue/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

NathawFeb. 19, 2014 - 12:20PM JST

The biggest supporter of Gen Aung San was Japanese before British troop came back to Myanmar with allies force.

He fought against UK for the independence of Burma, and he won independence. He changed sides because UK promised independence of Burma and Japan was losing. But the promise was not kept and Burma went back to a British colony at the end of WW2.

DESPITE the government's efforts to hide the past

Then why was a prominent Japanese politician Arafune Seijuro openly talking about comfort women in 1975?

Japanese revisionists lobbied hard and in 2007, the prime minister at that time, Shinzo Abe, declared there was "no evidence" to prove the women were coerced in the "strict sense of the term."

That is why he called for further investigation. It is true there is no evidence that thousands of Koreans were forcibly taken as comfort women. The document Yoshimi found was an instruction not to allow recruiters to take women forcibly. Yoshimi concluded army is indirectly involved in recruiting comfort women in un-forcible manner. How can you call it a "smoking gun"?

ka_chanFeb. 19, 2014 - 11:44AM JST

This discussion is just freaking sad. Read the transcripts from the tribunals. The American ones, the Australian ones, the British ones

As far as I know, none of those transcripts have any mention about comfort women. It is Dutch one or Chinese one. But neither mentions Korean comfort women.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The 32 Japanese documents newly revealed by Jilin Provincial Archives regarding "comfort women" show in detail the Japanese government and military's role in abducting, trafficking and forcing women to provide sex to Japanese soldiers.

According to documents dating from March 27 to April 19, 1945, the Anshan Branch of the then Japanese Central Bank of Manchou had transferred money to the Japanese troops under the name "public funds for the military's use to buy comfort women." Similar cases of "transfer of public funds" could also be found in other telephone records.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-01/09/c_133032727.htm

4 ( +4 / -0 )

zichiFeb. 19, 2014 - 01:55PM JST

According to documents dating from March 27 to April 19, 1945, the Anshan Branch of the then Japanese Central Bank of Manchou had transferred money to the Japanese troops under the name "public funds for the military's use to buy comfort women."

So, you mean those documents vindicate comfort women were prostitutes. No money would be needed if comfort women were randomly abducted. It is well documented that the contract term of comfort women was 2 years and they could get advance payment of the 2 year wages upon contract. This also matches the newspaper ads of comfort women in Korea during ww2. http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%95%E3%82%A1%E3%82%A4%E3%83%AB:COMFORTA%EF%BD%84%EF%BD%84.GIF

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

From the New York Times

"DESPITE the government’s efforts to hide the past, Mr. Yoshimi succeeded in painting a detailed picture of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery: a system of military-run brothels that emerged in 1932 after Japan’s invasion of Manchuria, then grew with full-scale war against China in 1937 and expanded into most of Asia in the 1940s."

"Between 50,000 and 200,000 women from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere were tricked or coerced into sexual slavery, Mr. Yoshimi said. Thousands from Korea and Taiwan, Japanese colonies at the time, were dispatched aboard naval vessels to serve Japanese soldiers in battlefields elsewhere in Asia. Unlike other militaries that have used wartime brothels, the Japanese military was the “main actor,” Mr. Yoshimi said."

“The Japanese military itself newly built this system, took the initiative to create this system, maintained it and expanded it, and violated human rights as a result,” he said. “That’s a critical difference.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/31/world/asia/31yoshimi.html?pagewanted=print&_r=0

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zichiFeb. 19, 2014 - 02:37PM JST What is your point?

DESPITE the government's efforts to hide the past,

I do not think there were any government efforts to "hide". Anyone knew comfort women.

Between 50,000 and 200,000 women from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere were tricked or coerced into sexual slavery, Mr. Yoshimi said.

He roughly estimates there were 50,000 to 200,000 comfort women. But he does not say all were tricked or coerced.

Unlike other militaries that have used wartime brothels,

We should not forget those victims. It is disgusting the political leaders of some of theose nations categorically deny the facts.

The Japanese military itself newly built this system, took the initiative to create this system, maintained it and expanded it, and violated human rights as a result,

I agree with his argument that prostitution is violation of human rights. I hope people do not forget all the prostitutes in Europe and elsewhere whose human rights are violated NOW.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I agree with his argument that prostitution is violation of human rights. I hope people do not forget all the prostitutes in Europe and elsewhere whose human rights are violated NOW.

It well known and not denied that the German Nazi had a system of military brothels with about 500 of them with about 35,000 prostitutes. The leaders of Germany have not denied this. The Nazi SS raped and murdered tens of thousands of women.

A big difference with wartime Japan is at the Tokyo War Trials only about 14 Class A criminals were found guilty compared with many hundreds of Nazi officers and troops and even today, some of those Nazi are still being discovered to bought to trial.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

zichiFeb. 19, 2014 - 03:09PM JST

A big difference with wartime Japan is at the Tokyo War Trials only about 14 Class A criminals were found guilty compared with many hundreds of Nazi officers and troops and even today, some of those Nazi are still being discovered to bought to trial.

Germany paid compensation to the state of Israel but not to each jewish victim. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reparations_Agreement_between_Israel_and_West_Germany

In 2000, 5 years after Asia Womens Fund was established, Germany established Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" to pay compensation to individual victims of forced labor in concentration camps. The Foundation was half funded by the private sector and half funded by the government, just like AWF. The big difference is that supporter group of victims did not go so far as to blame the foundation because half of the money comes from private sector. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_%22Remembrance,_Responsibility_and_Future%22

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

By 1948 Germany had paid $413 billion in reparations. Japan paid $43 billion or about 10% paid by Germany. In a peace treaty agreement in 1952, Japan agreed to pay $1.1 billion.

Germany also paid reparations to Israel (450million DM) and to the World Jewish Congress (3billion DM) to help compensate survivors.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

San Francisco Peace Treaty has this waiver clause.

Article 14

(b) Except as otherwise provided in the present Treaty, the Allied Powers waive all reparations claims of the Allied Powers, other claims of the Allied Powers and their nationals arising out of any actions taken by Japan and its nationals in the course of the prosecution of the war, and claims of the Allied Powers for direct military costs of occupation.

Post war treaty of Germany does not have similar clause.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

nigelboyFeb. 19, 2014 - 12:31AM JST

They were recruited to provide those "services" to armed forces in the area. How they were "recruited" by operators or why they have become one (sold by families due to economic hardships) is the same.

You are wrong. Keep in mind the issue is the comfort women falsely induced and forced to be sex slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army. Comparing them with the non-wartime professional prostitutes itself is nonsense.

That's a load of BS. I haven't seen any movement by the Korean government to address this issue. It's only recently that an opposition lawmaker within Korea revealed the Pak regime's direct involvment in the system. Furthermore, you yourself are doing a great job "undermining" it.

I said about the wrongdoings of the former Korean government. As to the so-called “system” you vaguely mentioned, it has nothing to do with the wartime sex slavery Imperial Japanese Army involved in an inhumane manner. Japanese government also involved in the comfort women system after the WW2 for GIs. What do you think about it? You can find some analogy from that with the so-called non-wartime Korean system. Bringing up the non-wartime Korean professional prostitutes in the debate on wartime sex slavers to justify Japan’s wartime atrocities doesn’t work at all. Why don’t you learn from the way Toru Hashimoto used to try in vain to justify wartime comfort women?

Practice what you preach and then you might get a little sympathy from the general Japanese population.

LOL. I practiced what I preached. What I want from the general Japanese population if I have is the correct understanding on history between Korea and Japan and Korean people, not the cheap sympathy misled by the ill-minded Japanese right wingers’ logic.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You are wrong. Keep in mind the issue is the comfort women falsely induced and forced to be sex slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army. Comparing them with the non-wartime professional prostitutes itself is nonsense.

Not wrong at all. I already gave exerpts from the situation with comfort stations in Korea.

I said about the wrongdoings of the former Korean government. As to the so-called “system” you vaguely mentioned, it has nothing to do with the wartime sex slavery Imperial Japanese Army involved in an inhumane manner. Japanese government also involved in the comfort women system after the WW2 for GIs. What do you think about it? You can find some analogy from that with the so-called non-wartime Korean system. Bringing up the non-wartime Korean professional prostitutes in the debate on wartime sex slavers to justify Japan’s wartime atrocities doesn’t work at all. Why don’t you learn from the way Toru Hashimoto used to try in vain to justify wartime comfort women?

There isn't a difference. The system continued for years where operators were taking advantage of impoverished women. The mere fact that you are dismissing this three decade long corruption without any notable efforts by the Korean government speaks volumes about their idiotic behavior.

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