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Historic S Korea-Japan deal stumbles over statue

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Regardless of whatever agreement was made, history is not going to look kindly on Japan if they allow this deal to fall apart because of a freaking statue. The fact that it was even a condition in the first place makes it look like Japan's leaders don't genuinely feel contrition and are simply paying out to get victims to shut up.

24 ( +28 / -4 )

Unfortunately a difficult no-win agreement with miscommunication and misunderstanding.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

If the statue is really meant to be the peace monument, it is my view that placing it in front of the Japanese Embassy is not serving its purpose, as it is only inciting hatred. Protestors want the Japanese not to forget the pains of those suffered, and I get that. But there is more suitable places to erect it as a symbol to promote peace and future partnership between two nations. My suggestion is in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Next to Sadako statue or the statue that commemorates the Korean forced labourers who died in Japan.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Unfortunately Abe and his right wing history whitewashers haven't realised that when you apologise, you do it from the heart and you take what comes.

Perhaps they never will.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Japan should put up a big sign in Korean on their embassy wall explaining Korea's own "comfort women" episode in Vietnam, and the resulting Lai Đại Hàn. And they should list the brutal massacres committed by Koreans in that war.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

American diplomats negotiate historic nuclear deals in the middle east, European diplomats negotiate complex debt deals to save the Euro, but all Japanese diplomats do is make demands about a bronze statue of a little girl sitting across the street from one of their embassies. Pathetic.

Even if Japan is successful in moving the statue, they come off looking absolutely ridiculous. Japan needs to grow up if they want other countries to take them seriously.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

The Korean people want this to be over. The Japanese people want this to be over. But this will NOT be over if the governments don't do this SERIOUSLY. Leave the statue where it is at, for God's sake, and just shut up, Abe and co. Stop trying to buy the Korean government, because even if they agree, the Korean people clearly won't, and then nothing will be solved.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Let Japan take down all statues remembering the atomic bombings first -- you don't take down statues commemorating tragedy just because it's embarrassing to one country to remember. This is on Japan, not Korea.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

Let Japan take down all statues remembering the atomic bombings first

Yeh right, its the same thing

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Pictures showing the crude history and boards telling about the japanese agression all over Seoul (bilingual permanent signs especially where the tourists flocks, Cheonggyecheon riverside as an example) and they stumble over a statue?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

history is not going to look kindly on Japan if they allow this deal to fall apart because of a freaking statue. The fact that it was even a condition in the first place makes it look like Japan's leaders don't genuinely feel contrition and are simply paying out to get victims to shut up. what does contrition have to do with the statue? if koreans really want to forgive and forget, why not remove the statue as a symbol of that? do koreans really want to continue to punish japan for this tragedy ad infinitum? why is the onus always on japan? both countries want to move on from this tragedy, but korean nationalism wants to remind japan everyday about the comfort women issue.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@Thunderbird

"Pictures showing the crude history and boards telling about the japanese agression all over Seoul (bilingual permanent signs especially where the tourists flocks, Cheonggyecheon riverside as an example) and they stumble over a statue?"

Right so this highlights whats really the issue: The issue is not white washing history or the presence of the statues themselves - if it was Japan would be demanding the museum, etc to be taken down too.

The issue is about the location of the statue. They could move it smack in the middle of Myongdong for example and have more people (including Japanese tourists) see it.

Smith's analogy, as always, is just hilariously off the point. What are you like 8?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

A cruel story that had been fabricated to instill hate you mean.

As for the statue since it is placed on public land the government can remove the statue, it's called eviction by state order since they are occupying state property it doesn't matter if it was erected by a private organization, if it's on public property the state can change any and all agreements in terms of lease of land if there is even one.

Basically the Koreans are still stalling.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Let Japan take down all statues remembering the atomic bombings first

Oh? And how many of those are placed directly opposite the US Embassy? If it were up to me, I would take the deal and let the Koreans keep the statue where they want. But at least compare like with like.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/Article.aspx?aid=3013314

“The Korean government acknowledged the Japanese government’s concerns over the statute for the security of the embassy,” Yun said. “The Korean government will try to find an appropriate resolution by consulting with concerned civic groups.”

This is what Korean Foreign Secretary Yun promised.

South Korea’s foreign ministry has also stressed that because the statue was put up by civic groups, it has no right to order its removal.

We know the statue is on a road that belongs to the government. Why is it so hard to relocate the private thing that is on a road to somewhere else? Why would a private organization have perpetual right to put the statue on public land? If I put something on a Korean road, cannot Korean government remove it because it belongs to me?

Koreans cannot fool anyone by that BS.

katsu78JAN. 08, 2016 - 07:33AM JST

Regardless of whatever agreement was made,

I, kind of think, whatever agreement with Koreans is meaningless. This is another meaningless agreement to be added to the large list of meaningless agreements.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

You know, all Japan has to do is acknowledge this statue and support it to openly admit their guilt and remorse over the sex slave issue and all this petty bickering would go away. I know full well that, both sides are responsible for the bickering, but it is Japan's denials and downplaying that has caused the trouble.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Removing the statue was not a part of the recent agreement. Japan pretending it was and threatening non-compliance with the terms that were agreed can only result in failure of the deal. How about each side doing what it publicly agreed to do?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Meh, I had enough of this crap already. Nothing will ever change and neither side will ever move forward. Not the aggressor who gives conditions for an apology and neither the supposed victims (not the sex slaves themselves but everyone else advocating) who already spent so much time hating, were raised to hate (high school students protesting) and simply anyone who uses this issue as a nationalistic blah.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

theeastisredJAN. 08, 2016 - 10:53AM JST

Removing the statue was not a part of the recent agreement.

Keep denying. But the evidence is clear. Technically, Korean government agreed to "try" to remove the statue. But since the statue is on a piece of land that belongs to the government, Korean government can easily remove the statue, if it tries.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Did you not read the agreement?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Just let the deal go through Abe, statue or no statue. Letting a few senior citizens get your goat over a statue make you look like petty tyrant. Drop the statue demand and stop the other nonsense

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The statue should remain as a reminder of the brutal war crimes that caused it to be there in the first place.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Korean government can easily remove the statue, if it tries.

No doubt it can. But that’s irrelevant, isn’t it, since it did not promise to do that. I will happily ‘keep denying’ things that are not true.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Perhaps something needs to be done to get the Koreans attention. Tell me again why Japan needs the Republic of Korea?

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

YuriOtani

Tell me again why Japan needs the Republic of Korea?

Tell me again why the world needs an Abe governed right wing Japan?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Yogi ZunaJAN. 08, 2016 - 12:07PM JST

The statue should remain as a reminder of the brutal war crimes that caused it to be there in the first place.

But Pak administration has agreed to remove or relocate it.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

YuriOtaniJ; Tell me again why Japan needs the Republic of Korea?>

Korea is a powerhouse in the region, a solid ally of the US, a buffer zone against North Korea

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Thousands of businesses depend upon trade with Korea. Japan cutting off ties with Korea would be hurting every single one of the Japanese citizens who depend upon that for their living. It would be a pretty cold government that decided it didn't care about the lifestyles of its citizens because of a statue.

But Pak administration has agreed to remove or relocate it.

No they didn't.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

North Korea is not a threat to Japan. It is a country that has Mig 21's and Mig 15's in its Air Force! North Korea is only a threat to South Korea and most Japanese do not care about the Korean civil war or supporting America's allies. In other words it is not our war. North Korea has zero chance of being able to attack Japan. We have the 3rd largest Navy in the world. It would be a turkey shoot over the Sea of Japan and it will be iron bottom sea with their ships.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Let Japan take down all statues remembering the atomic bombings first -- you don't take down statues commemorating tragedy just because it's embarrassing to one country to remember. This is on Japan, not Korea.

Agreed

0 ( +3 / -3 )

YuriOtaniJan. 08, 2016 - 01:01PM JST

North Korea has zero chance of being able to attack Japan. We have the 3rd largest Navy in the world. It would be a turkey shoot over the Sea of Japan and it will be iron bottom sea with their ships.

Brave words from someone living in the US.

You forgot to mention they have nuclear weapons and would much rather target them at Japan than their southern cousins on the Republic of Korea.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

One of the above posters is right: Japan could easily turn this on its head by embracing the statue and taking ownership of the symbolism. Send an embassy minion out there every day to say a prayer, leave a paper crane, whatever. And insist that SK provide the necessary extra security. It'll be gone in a year.

What's the alternative, move the embassy?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Once again Japan back tracks on their agreement. If Japan is truly sorry, they would not be demanding things in return for their apologies. It's just ridiculous the behavior from Japan. SK should not work with Japan in North Korean missile crisis. Let Japan deal with North Korea on their own. Leave the statue where it is, to remind Japan, on a daily basis so that they never forget the history, and to prevent Japan from erasing all remnants of their war crimes.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

We are moving back to Okinawa this summer.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

YuriOtani

North Korea is only a threat to South Korea and most Japanese do not care about the Korean civil war or supporting America's allies. In other words it is not our war>

Most Japanese people not careing, & the majority toothsucking on global issues ... yeah go Japan...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

CH3CHO: "Keep denying. But the evidence is clear. Technically, Korean government agreed to "try" to remove the statue. "

So, hang on... saying, "They never said they would move the statue" meets with "Keep denying. But the evidence is clear" from you, followed by, "Well... uhhh... TECHNICALLY they said they would TRY to... but... uhhh... same thing! No denying it!"?

YuriOtani: "We are moving back to Okinawa this summer."

So you've only been spouting hate from the US for... how long now? Your question about how Japan needs South Korea was more than answered.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Can you imagine if Poland erected a statue of a starving little boy in concentration camp garb in front of the German Embassy there? Why is it okay to constantly rub Japan's wartime past in its face with this statue?

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Foreign Minister said in public.

will strive to solve this issue in an appropriate manner through taking measures such as consulting with related organizations about possible ways of addressing this issue.

Foreign Ministry said just a week later

We only promised to look into the possibility of moving the bronze. Because the statue was put up by civic groups, it has no right to order its removal

What does bilateral agreement between 2 key nations in Asia mean to them? It’s just a week

No wonder it did not want to write agreement down into textformat to be signed off.

Remove the statue, inprint it into it's national flag instead, which is even better.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

CH3CHO: I think you ought to know, especially with the Japanese government that you look up to, "strive to" and "do" are two very different things. Perhaps the intent is there -- I know I strove to pass my last Hangul test -- but there is always room for failure, or at the very least it takes time. We're striving for world peace, are we not?

But you said nothing about 'striving' or 'trying' in your initial posts up to a couple of posts ago, you said, matter of factly, "South Korea promised to remove the statues".

So, you lied. And now that you have admitted they did not say they would, you guys can all stop saying it now.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Can you imagine if Poland erected a statue of a starving little boy in concentration camp garb in front of the German Embassy there? Why is it okay to constantly rub Japan's wartime past in its face with this statue?

Might be because prominent members of the Japanese government keep denying that there were such things as "Comfort" Women whilst the Germans are honest with their war guilt?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

LogicJAN. 08, 2016 - 08:03PM JST

Might be because prominent members of the Japanese government keep denying that there were such things as "Comfort" Women whilst the Germans are honest with their war guilt?

That alleged denial is a propaganda. http://www.japanfocus.org/-alexis-dudden/2368/article.html

“The fact is, there is no evidence to prove there was coercion,'' Abe said.

This is where it started.

Then Alexis Dudden misquotes,

On March 1, 2007, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo denied the comfort women.

This is probably what Logic quoted. But the misquote by Alexis Dudden does not stop there.

Technically, Abe denied Japanese governmental responsibility for the forced coercion of women and girls into the system of sexual slavery that involved an estimated 80,000 to 200,000 victims from throughout Asia, particularly Korea and China.

Abe did not deny existence of comfort women or Japanese governmental responsibility.

Who is Alexis Dudden?

Kozo Mizoguchi wrote this article for the Associated Press on March 1, 2007. Alexis Dudden, who wrote the introduction, is associate professor of history at Connecticut College and a Japan Focus associate. She is the author of Japan's Colonization of Korea: Discourse and Power. Posted at Japan Focus on March 2, 2007.

A historian should not alter facts. But if a historian who does not hesitate to misquote writes a history textbook, you have a mess like this. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/american-academics-condemn-japanese-efforts-to-revise-history-of-comfort-women/2015/02/09/e795fc1c-38f0-408f-954a-7f989779770a_story.html

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

With the explostion of N Korea's nuclear bomb, this issue has fallen out of the news. Probably to the relief of both sides.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We're striving for world peace, are we not?

You have no authority over the world but SK govt has full authority over the street. All it has to do is issue an order.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The anti Japan crowd relishes this development.

This is exactly what they wanted, more ammunition to continue in their never ending demonization of all things Japan.

It is unfortunate the Japanese officials let this petty argument derail the deal. It was a bad move on their part.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Like I have harped on other threads like this japan needs to EARN IT!

They need to back up their $$$ with some honestly, surely that's not too much to ask after 7+decades of insincerity(with the exception of Murayama san & perhaps Kono-san, the rest have been simply lieing)

Come on Japan show Korea YOU MEAN IT, it will take time, maybe 10-15years perhaps, but saying the statue has to go after agreeing to pay a few measly $$$ is LOW CLAS, in fact its NO CLASS.

Japan why on earth do you continually get this wrong all the time!!

As one poster above( & several else where) the Japanese ambassador should be heading out front & laying some flowers say once a week. Ditto for when higher diplomats visit Korea.........would certainly be a nice start.

But NO Japan says no $$$$ unless the statue is removed, how embarrassing & an utter lack of tack or class!!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It was a bad move on their part.

US shouldn't have interfered. Japan had told SK it would be difficult to strike a deal on short notice (end of year) but SK seemed pressured US to interfere.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

US shouldn't have interfered.

They didn't.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan should at least put the money in a trust fund to show integrity of the agreement. Then it'll be up to the Koreans to live up to their side of whats been promised.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan should at least put the money in a trust fund to show integrity of the agreement. Then it'll be up to the Koreans to live up to their side of whats been promised.

That's how Japan has been betrayed many times in the past.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

That's how Japan has been betrayed many times in the past.

No they haven't.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I was under the impression the statue was on public property, in which case South Korea has every right to decide what can be placed where. If it's on private property, then it's a different story.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Koreans were worried the deal would give them nothing left to whinge about. The deceitful Korean gov't has saved the day again. No worries folks, just keep on whining away. Perhaps in a few more generations you will have washed away the stain of your collaborators.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

As for South Korea, perhaps Abe should just give in and give them everything they want and see what happens? I do think Imperial Japan did a lot of really bad things and our government has the responsibility to correct the wrongs. So Abe do the right thing and take out all of the conditions. As for the statue ignore it or sell postcards of it in the embassy. The more importance you give it the more important it becomes. Again take away the conditions Abe and lets move forward!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Again take away the conditions Abe and lets move forward!

You live in US so your knowledge about Koreans is only as good as Americans'.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The statue stays. Good on South Korea

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

just get rid of the statue and get on with it. this sorry stuff is getting a bit sad. makes south korea look cheap.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

No, Japan looks like a petulant bully for insisting it be moved. Shinzo Abe should fall to his knees in front of the statue and beg forgiveness for Japan. Then....everyone can move on

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

No, Japan looks like a petulant bully for insisting it be moved.

The statue itself is a petulant bully against Japan's Embassy.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The statue itself is a petulant bully against Japan's Embassy.

No.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

tinawatanabe: "The statue itself is a petulant bully against Japan's Embassy."

Wow... now you're blaming an actual STATUE for Japan's kidnapping and rape of women from around the world and your inability to acknowledge it. Your shame knows no bounds.

Chrisopher: "No, Japan looks like a petulant bully for insisting it be moved. Shinzo Abe should fall to his knees in front of the statue and beg forgiveness for Japan. Then....everyone can move on"

Exactly!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Well, a private Japanese association could setup a counter-statue of their choice at the south korean embassy in tokyo.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Don't believe the local government would allow something that goes against International treaty.

Stooping down the level of morality to get even is something Japanese does not do.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

That would be most unwise, Jumin

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Triring JAN. 10, 2016 - 01:42PM JST Stooping down the level of morality to get even is something Japanese does not do.

If you remember few year ago, two Japanese government officials visited Palisades Park, New Jersey, and they wanted local administrators to remove a small monument from a public park. The monument, a brass plaque on a block of stone, was dedicated in 2010 to the memory of so-called comfort women, tens of thousands of women and girls, many Korean and Chinese, who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during WWII. The Japanese authorities wanted Korean memorial removed. The consul general said the Japanese government was willing to plant cherry trees, donate books to the public library and do some things to show that we’re united in this world and not divided. But the offer was contingent on the memorial’s removal. The town officials rejected the request, and the delegation left.

The second delegation arrived few weeks later with four J-government reps. Their approach was less diplomatic. These Japanese politicians, tried and asked that the monument be removed, to convince the Palisades Park authorities that comfort women had never been forcibly conscripted as sex slaves. They said the comfort women were a lie, that they were set up by an outside agency, that they were women who were paid to come and take care of the troops. Downplaying of history still continues.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Exactly

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

So you're dismissing YuriOtani's opinions on the basis that she only has second-hand knowledge of Korea, yet you think your own second-hand knowledge is sound? And she is of course Japanese herself, so your argument really doesn't make sense at all. You hate a country you don't even know, which you must surely see isn't a very strong position.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

sfjp330

So?

They are not stooping down to SK level spreading misinformation appealing to emotion only instead of making an argument based on fact. The so called comfort women changed their story so many times you can't tell heads from tales from their stories. It's not their fault either being used as propaganda by their so called support group, Chong Dae Hyup which is just an anti-Japan lobby group back by communist NK.

If you have any argument please read the following link before hand.

http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/summary-of-professor-park-yuhas-book.html

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

That is irrelevant in any case

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Triring JAN. 10, 2016 - 07:24PM JST They are not stooping down to SK level spreading misinformation appealing to emotion only instead of making an argument based on fact. The so called comfort women changed their story so many times you can't tell heads from tales from their stories.

After the war, the Chinese and the Dutch prosecution teams at Tokyo each presented evidence of the Japanese military's comfort system in territories occupied by Japan. Dutch has sought to prove a widespread practice of what was characterized as enforced prostitution, and introduce few of the cases. The history shows that main allegations had been proved in a Dutch court under Western rules of evidence as far back as 1948. That court, which had been convened in what was then the Dutch East Indies had considered allegations that Japanese army officers had forced many Dutch women seized in the Dutch East Indies into sexual slavery. One Japanese military official was executed and eleven other Japanese citizens were sentenced to jail terms. The Dutch went on in 1956 successfully to press the Japanese government to pay compensation to the women.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Precisely

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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