politics

Japan disappointed at S Korean leader's summit refusal

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By Kyoko Hasegawa

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A weak dog is barking again. Don't pay attention to it.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

I see a lot of comments on yesterday's story have called for Korea to 'get over it' and 'stop living in the past' because Japan has offered numerous apologies in the past.

But to me that is not the issue. The issue is that these apologies were later followed by statements from Japanese politicians that are completely contrary to the spirit of the apology.

For example, what good is an apology for the past wrongdoings, if the Japanese PM himself denies there was any coercion in recruitment of sex slaves in military brothels?

Are Koreans supposed to think "oh well the Japanese PM denies any wrongdoing and basically claimed victims of comfort women were paid prostitutes, but that's okay because they've previously offered an apology" ?

That most posters here are pro-Japan is understandable, but trying to see the other side of the argument helps at times..

15 ( +33 / -18 )

A weak dog is barking again. Don't pay attention to it.

Are you talking about Japan or Korea? (I'm NOT being sarcastic; I'm really wondering which country it is that you're referring to).

0 ( +6 / -6 )

It seems Japan is not happy with issue being discussed on BBC...if so Japan should vent her grievances through WSJ !

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday that the Abe government stands by the 1995 pronouncement, including the part that refers to Tokyo’s “aggression”.

“We, as the Abe cabinet, stand by” the so-called Murayama statement, Kishida told the upper house’s foreign affairs and defense committee.

Respect to Japan for this move. Well done.

But why was it even questioned in the first place? Is it common outside Japan for politicians to consider reneging or revising past apologies? Someone please post some examples if there are any.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

Japan (along with Russia) did weaken the Korean peninsula and was a major factor in it being split into North and South. Yeah, I'd think Korea has grounds to demand more than just an empty-hearted apology.

-8 ( +8 / -15 )

Mitch Cohen Nov. 06, 2013 - 07:35AM JST Is it common outside Japan for politicians to consider reneging or revising past apologies?

Is it common outside Korea for politicians to reneg on a treaty?

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Mitch Cohen

But to me that is not the issue. The issue is that these apologies were later followed by statements from Japanese politicians that are completely contrary to the spirit of the apology.

These views and statements, which are indeed irresponsible and widely condemned, are not official statements. South Korea needs to focus on the official statements on behalf of the country that represent the people of Japan. Mr Abe has personal views on this - quite disgusting ones, but his personal views are not the official position Japan takes on the issue and tea cabinet has clearly said they stick by the 2005 apology.

President Park is being irresponsible. If she doesn't want to meet with Abe because of his personal views - fine, say so. But to say Japan has not apologised is simply being disingenuous and very divisive.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

Well, I expect South Korea is disappointed at Abe's plans to turn Japan back into the military run country it was before WWII.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

These views and statements, which are indeed irresponsible and widely condemned, are not official statements.

True. I accept that.

Neither was President Park's interview, but that didn't stop everyone insulting the entire country of South Korea.

When was the last unofficial, passing comment from a German chancellor downplaying their past wrongdoing? That it was not an official statement that is entered into the records in parliament make it somehow okay?

Why is it that when J-politicians say something provocative/outrageous/plain wrong, people say 'oh well he's just an idiot' and stop at blaming that individual, but when Korean politicians do the same it is claimed Koreans are full of some deep-seated inferiority complex and are brainwashed from the time of conception to hate all things Japan?

4 ( +18 / -14 )

No one can make Koreans accept the numerous Japanese apologies. What the world can do is refuse to cow to the Korean and Chinese talking points that there has been no apology or Japan has not changed. This is simply not true. So why is Korea and China so rampant with Japan about WWII now? The answer is because both have weak leadership and shaky ruling governments. Because of this the two governments are using nationalism, specifically nationalism combined with anti-Japanese tilt, to rally their base of domestic political support. Japan is just the "traditional" enemy and that is being used as a way to vent domestic anger at the local leaderships failure to solve local issues.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

In his next speech, Abe should make a point of thanking Park's father for his illustrious WW2 service.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Relations between South Korea and China have improved under Park, a Chinese speaker, which the Asahi Shimbun described as 'nudging closer'. It further expressed concern that Japan is becoming more isolated. Some commentators including Martin Jacques sees it as inevitable that China's neighbours will fall under its sphere of influence, particularly countries where anti-Chinese sentiment isn't as pronounced as you'd find in Japan and the Phillipinnes. It's only the outlook of one leader, but perhaps this is a more permanent change which could see Japan become more isolated, less relevant and useful only when those governments need to drum up a bit of nationalist sentiment. We are not past the Japan bashing stage yet in Korea, but Park's interview on BBC did have a sense of Japan passing.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Is it common outside Korea for politicians to reneg on a treaty?

@sfjp330 - Did the treaty clearly state Korean government waives the right for Korean individuals to claim damages? If so, why not simply disclose that part of the treaty, and the issue is solved once and for all.

President Park is being irresponsible. If she doesn't want to meet with Abe because of his personal views - fine, say so. But to say Japan has not apologised is simply being disingenuous and very divisive.

@Tamarama - She never said Japan has not apologised. Japan has apologised, and to claim the contrary is like saying water is not wet. What she did say was that Japan has not taken an apologetic stance to resolve some of the unresolved issues (including that of comfort women).

The answer is because both have weak leadership and shaky ruling governments. Because of this the two governments are using nationalism, specifically nationalism combined with anti-Japanese tilt, to rally their base of domestic political support.

@notasap - What's your take on the rising tides of nationalism sweeping Japanese politics in the past decade? Ever thought the same applies to Japan? Or is it okay when Japan does it but it's not when Koreans do it?

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Mitch Cohen Nov. 06, 2013 - 07:56AM JST When was the last unofficial, passing comment from a German chancellor downplaying their past wrongdoing?

Just like Japanese politicans going to Yasukuni, in 1985, German Chancellor Kohl and Reagan had official ceremony at the Bitburg military cemetery that contain 49 SS and over 2,000 soldiers with a new willingness to downplay the Nazi past.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

When Ms. Park came to power, Abe sent his deputy, Aso Taro to congratulate her. had he been serious about making ties with Korea stronger, he would have gone himself.

-4 ( +8 / -11 )

These views and statements, which are indeed irresponsible and widely condemned, are not official statements. South Korea needs to focus on the official statements on behalf of the country that represent the people of Japan. Mr Abe has personal views on this - quite disgusting ones, but his personal views are not the official position Japan takes on the issue and tea cabinet has clearly said they stick by the 2005 apology.

@Tamarama - I disagree there. To have an official government apology followed by Japanese PM's 'personal views' that taint the apology is not acceptable.

Let's use an Australian example. Imagine if Abbot gave an interview to SMH saying that the stolen generation was exaggerated. Do you expect Indigenous Australians to think "yeah that's okay, because Ruddy offered a formal apology in 2007"?

The Japanese PM is elected by the people of Japan, who knew of his personal views on these issues ranging back to 2007. Abe's 'personal views' represent the views of the Japanese voting public who voted him into power.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

@MitchCohen...my take on the rising tide of nationalism in Japan is the same for Korea and China. Its a domestic audenence that these nationalist are talking to and why? Because despite the success of Abenomics, Japanese are feeling pinched economically and are frustrated. Of course the average Japanese are also the target of a much more organized anti-Japanese movement in Korea and China and so there is some defensiveness driving Japanese nationalism that I don't think is central to the larger aspects of the nationalism in China/Korea. When politicians, be they from wherever, serve up red-meat, its usually for local consumption.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

japan and abe never learned their idiot mistakes.

-1 ( +12 / -12 )

I hope she doesn't change her mind.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

South Korea is kissing Chinese feet because traditionally Korea has been a vassal state of the Chinese dynasties. Despite owing their existence to the United States and being defended by them, South Korea wants to sit on both sides of the fence "just in case" China becomes the dominant strategic power in Asia. They expect the U.S. to protect them while they help China upset our strategic policy. Sickening.

BertieWoosterNov. 06, 2013 - 07:50AM JST Well, I expect South Korea is disappointed at Abe's plans to turn Japan back into the military run country it was before >WWII.

You obviously have no idea what Japan was like prior to 1945. An astonishingly naïve comment.

-4 ( +10 / -16 )

Mitch CohenNov. 06, 2013 - 08:33AM JST I disagree there. To have an official government apology followed by Japanese PM's 'personal views' that taint the apology is not acceptable.

Japan has officially admitted to the practice, and the 1993 statement offered an apology. True, the apology was not voted on by the parliament, but it is nonetheless an official apology.

The other side of this issue is how much it has become politicized in places like China and Korea, as well as in Japan. But Abe isn’t alone playing the politics of personal gain with this issue. China and Korea do the same thing, redirecting anger and dissatisfaction with the countries’ politicians and leadership to Japan. I suspect that China and Korea will never be satisfied with any apology, and they are happy to keep rejecting apologies and pressing for new apologies because they can turn this position into a popular one among the people in their countries. While recognizing Japan’s guilt in this matter, we also need to recognize the political posturing on the parts of China, Korea, and others who want to keep this issue fresh and unresolved for the purpose of personal political gain.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

These views and statements, which are indeed irresponsible and widely condemned, are not official statements. South Korea needs to focus on the official statements on behalf of the country that represent the people of Japan.

The point is that there never really has been an official apology from Japan. There have been speeches given by Prime Ministers as apologies but they haven't gone far enough. The reason that so many Japanese politicians have been able to deny war crimes so soon after these apologies is because they were not passed by parliament. Japan needs a parliamentary resolution to be passed as a full apology voted on by all the members of the diet. It also needs to make denial of war crimes and atrocities illegal. Then Japan as a nation can say it has apologised, up until now Japan has not apologised, various prime ministers have made apologies, which is not the same thing.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

These views and statements, which are indeed irresponsible and widely condemned, are not official statements.

Holy Cow.... Abe, Hashimoto, Taro Aso, and probably at least three quarters of the Japanese government that probably silently agree with those three who utter controversial remarks at least once every month that P'o the Koreans, are not officials that represent Japan?

Come on.

Korea buys $60 billions of worth of goods per year from Japan, while selling only puny $25 billions worth of goods to Japan. That $25 billion a year isn't worth enough to want Korea to try to grin and bear Japan's constant insulting remarks from Japanese top politicians, and try to salvage this relationship. Because there are virtually no economic or political incentives for Korea to do so.

0 ( +8 / -7 )

pochanNov. 06, 2013 - 08:51AM JST

The point is that there never really has been an official apology from Japan. There have been speeches given by >Prime Ministers as apologies but they haven't gone far enough. The reason that so many Japanese politicians have >been able to deny war crimes so soon after these apologies is because they were not passed by parliament. Japan >needs a parliamentary resolution to be passed as a full apology voted on by all the members of the diet. It also needs >to make denial of war crimes and atrocities illegal. Then Japan as a nation can say it has apologised, up until now >Japan has not apologised, various prime ministers have made apologies, which is not the same thing.

Japan has apologized and South Korea signed and ratified the 1965 Treaty. It's disgraceful that South Koreans ignore this fact. Your list of "demands" is ridiculous.

-9 ( +7 / -17 )

These views and statements, which are indeed irresponsible and widely condemned, are not official statements. South Korea needs to focus on the official statements

If only official words and deeds are what matter, then you will also need to take into consideration the fact that the official position of Japan on the issue of reparation is that the US government had waived Japan from paying reparation to China, Korea and other victims in the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty. And Japan will not pay one single cent of reparation beyond what was stipulated by the Americans in the treaty.

So can you accept the fact that Japan has never paid reparation to many of its victims including Korea and China since ODA grants and loans aren't official and aren't reparation at all?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Chucky3176, you say "and probably at least three quarters of the Japanese government that probably silently agree with those three who utter controversial remarks" So what you got is pure speculation fueled on emotion and extant bias...great, I'm sure such views are going to help. You also say "Korea buys $60 billions of worth of goods per year from Japan, while selling only puny $25 billions worth of goods to Japan" Thus we see in your thinking 60 Billion is something, 25 Billion is puny...I'm guessing billions don't count in your thinking until 30 Billion? Also you end by saying "Because there are virtually no economic or political incentives for Korea to do so." Yet, two sentences prior you said that they do 25 Billion in business in Japan...so I would say that there are 25 Billion reason not as you claim "no economic...incentives." You do a good job of arguing both sides simultaneously.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

“We are extremely disappointed that concerns were expressed in this interview”

So he's not upset with SK's refusal to meet, per se, he's upset they made Japan look bad in the international media.

“Japan has been explaining to the South Korean side our position over past issues such as perceptions on history and comfort women, and we’ve asked them to accept it,”

Sorry, but you can't say things are one way and then simply ask everyone to accept it then not expect this kind of result when they don't. I believe South Korea has asked Japan to accept that the islands are Dokdo and the property of South Korea, but you don't see Japan saying, "Hey, okay. We accept it. Thanks", now do you?

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Japan has apologized and South Korea signed and ratified the 1965 Treaty. It's disgraceful that South Koreans ignore this fact. Your list of "demands" is ridiculous.

I think that the Korean Prime minister was completely wrong in what she said and even more wrong to say it through an international news organization but it seems to me there is wrong on both sides. In what way is this list of (two) demands ridiculous? Isn't it better for Japan to say we have done everything we can rather than leave space for doubt? There have been numerous apologies but when these are followed by denial or down playing of atrocities you can understand why Korea and China can take advantage of the fact these apologies were not officially passed by parliament. And finally a treaty and an apology are two different things and you are deliberately conflating them.

I don't know what I am even replying to you, In really don't think there is any room for discussion with you judging by your previous posts

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@notasap

South Korea’s reliance on exports to Japan fell around fifty percent in a last decade, and that is alot. South Korea’s exports to Japan have grown at a slower pace almost every year. Samsung and LG retreated in the Japanese market and Hyundai withdrawl from the passenger car market. South Korea's priority is China and U.S.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No denying that the Japanese empire did reprehensible things on the Korean peninsula and elsewhere in East Asia, particularly during the war years.

But even so, is it not problematic for a South Korean president to say that there is no point in holding a summit with a Japanese leader? There are still a lot of issues of common concern (and mutual interest) IN THE PRESENT that the two could work on. Refusing to consider anything else because of anger over things that happened 70 years ago seems both irresponsible and disingenuous--like a performance for certain domestic (and Chinese) audiences that should not be encouraged.

The upswing in Japanese nationalism in recent years gives me pause; but Chinese and Korean nationalism strikes me as more destructive in the present day.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Japan has apologized and South Korea signed and ratified the 1965 Treaty

You're one of the people here who have kept insisting Japan had absolutely done nothing wrong, and that Comfort women were prostitutes and basically repeating the same old views and lines that are taught and are popular in Japan. So then the question is, what did Japan apologize for, if they didn't do anything wrong? For the record, the Comfort women issue didn't come to light until 1990, 25 years after the 1965 treaty.

South Korea is kissing Chinese feet because traditionally Korea has been a vassal state of the Chinese dynasties.

You have a very little understanding of Korea. S.Korea has very little love for China, and S.Korea has its own seriously maddening issues with China including infringing Chinese fishing boats and Chinese treatment of North Korean refugees. But South Korea is pragmatic. They will not throw away relationships when there are vital national interests at stake. And that could be national defense (USA), or economic (China). Now think. Why do you think S.Korea will not try to jeopardize and throw away a relationship with a country that buys $130 billion worth of goods and is home to $150 billion worth of Korean investments? As much as you would like to make this complex, it's really very simple. It's the economy, stupid. And Japan simply offers little economic interest for Korea, compared to China, for Korea to hang in there and bear stupid Japanese comments and actions, like Korea does with China. Korea's economic interest in China, dictates that even if China does something seriously bad to S.Korea, it makes the Korean government very difficult to respond. Japan chose the other way, and decided to take on China over some rocks, and look how they're paying the price.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Japan needs a parliamentary resolution to be passed as a full apology voted on by all the members of the diet. It also needs to make denial of war crimes and atrocities illegal.

Make denial of war crimes illegal?

South Korea issued official pardons for their WW2 war criminals. How's that for denial?

Maybe it's not Japan that needs to come to terms with history.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Japan is full of stupidity and hypocrites

Otherwise, how can you explain that they are still surprised when they constantly deny their war crimes and backstabbing their neighbors. They still expect kindness and friendship in return?

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

All I'm saying sfjp is 25 Billion aint no chicken feed and never mind it not being puny...sure S. Korea is trading with China more, I for one am glad, as trade will bind nations closer than almost any one thing and trade in the region is dependent on the region's economy being healthy. But we are still having a circular debate on the real issue....that S. Korea is making a case that Japan has not asked for forgiveness when it fact it has. In reality, as I've said, these anti-Japanese position are more about domestic issues in Korea and China than by moves from the Japanese Government. What they do is entice those who reflexively support Korea, China or Japan to hold fast to that position and not recognize the why of such positions. And of course this use of nationalism to garner domestic political support is not new nor is it confined to the East Asian states...think 2002 in the US, 2009 in Russia, 2002 in much of Europe etc.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The 1965 treaty between Korea and Japan does not mean S.Korean president has to meet with Japanese PM who have been insulting his neighbors all the time. Where in the treaty clause does it say S.Korea must meet with rude neighbors? Where in the treaty clause does it say S.Korea must meet with the Japanese PM who have tried to use economic weapon against S.Korea to sabotage the economy? But I'm sure some people here will say the 1965 treaty says S.Korea must meet with Japan no matter what.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

South Korea issued official pardons for their WW2 war criminals. How's that for denial?

Reprehensible no doubt, just like the US pardoning Japanese war criminals. I'm not on the side of Korea or Japan, there is enough blame all round.

Why not make denial of war crimes illegal, both Germany and Austria have done it. It isn't just right wing groups in Japan denying Nanking and comfort women, it is prominent and sometimes high raking politicians. Anyone who thinks this is not a problem is blinkered and doesn't have Japan's best interests at heart. You can understand why other countries see the apologies as insincere when a few days later there is a well timed denial from some politician (almost as if by design). It doesn't matter the crimes that Korea or China have done or are still doing, Japan has to clean it's own house. Without a complete parliamentary resolution on the issue the cleaning has been so thorough.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

notasp, when you sell more to that person, than what you buy from him, then it is up to you to make him happy so that he continues to buy more from you, so that you can bank the surplus that results from the transaction. That's called business and relationship 101. I think Japan recently forgot about that.

All I'm saying sfjp is 25 Billion aint no chicken feed and never mind it not being puny...sure S. Korea

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Guru29Nov. 06, 2013 - 09:10AM JST So can you accept the fact that Japan has never paid reparation to many of its victims including Korea and China >since ODA grants and loans aren't official and aren't reparation at all?

That is false. Reparations were paid to South Korea, and offered to China. China opted for ODA instead.

"The Korean government demanded a total of 364 million dollars in compensation for the 1.03 million Koreans conscripted into the workforce and the military during the colonial period,[7] at a rate of 200 dollars per survivor, 1,650 dollars per death and 2,000 dollars per injured person.[8] South Korea agreed to demand no further compensation, either at the government or individual level, after receiving $800 million in grants and soft loans from Japan as compensation for its 1910–45 colonial rule in the treaty"

" Chiang Kai-shek waived reparations claims for the war when the ROC concluded the Treaty of Taipei with Japan in 1952. Similarly, when Japan normalized its relations with the PRC in 1972, Mao Zedong waived the claim of war reparations from Japan."

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

hokkaidoguy said: "In his next speech, Abe should make a point of thanking Park's father for his illustrious WW2 service".

'Honest Abe' should also clearly explain why it was impossible for a talented Korean like the elder Park to express that talent except by working within the Japanese system, instead of under Korea's own flag. Wouldn't want to cherry-pick historical facts now, would we?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Instead of criticizing the Koreans and complaining about President Park's view, it is time for us Japanese to contemplate why Japan has totally failed to become a Germany in East Asia. The Germans used be as barbaric in Europe and Russia as the Japanese in East Asia and the Pacific. The Japanese have a lot to learn from the Germans.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

That is false. Reparations were paid to South Korea, and offered to China. China opted for ODA instead.

Except that they didn't call it "reparations", Japan admitted to nothing in 1965 when they gave partial grants and mostly loans with interests attached to them which were all paid back long time ago. The treaty and loans were more like "good will" treaty, or more accurately they called it the "Japan Korea normalization treaty" which restored diplomatic relations. I don't recall any apologies made in 1965. The only apologies were made by individual Japanese PM's and individual Japanese politicians on the behalf of their own selves - not in the behalf of the Japanese nation. That's because the Japanese Diet will never approve a Parliamentary endorsed apology - that would be considered a treasonous act by many in Japan, and I doubt that government that passes the apology bill will even remain in power. This is why this "we have mad so many apologies" claim by many here, is such a phony excuse.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Koreans are the last people who can critisize Japan about war crimes considering the fact that many Koreans committed war crimes as Japanese soldiers in WWII. And lets not forget what Korean troops did to many innocent Vietnamese girls during Vietnam war.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

A real and meaningful "apology" starts by deeply regreting the actions incurrered. What good does any treaty brings if one is not entirely sorry for things done and the other accepting such remorse.

It is time for these two to keep on stepping forward simply because...Yesterday - History, Tomorrow - Mystery, and Today - Gift...that is why we call it - Present!

Gift each other unconditional friendship and future generations will thank you for it.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Honest Abe' should also clearly explain why it was impossible for a talented Korean like the elder Park to express that talent except by working within the Japanese system, instead of under Korea's own flag. Wouldn't want to cherry-pick historical facts now, would we?

He volunteered. He specifically requested to be sent to China. He made the choice, and no one forced him.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Instead of criticizing the Koreans and complaining about President Park's view, it is time for us Japanese to contemplate why Japan has totally failed to become a Germany in East Asia. The Germans used be as barbaric in Europe and Russia as the Japanese in East Asia and the Pacific. The Japanese have a lot to learn from the Germans.

I disagree. Until WW2, war was almost constant in some part of Europe. In fact, one only has to look at the countries that made up former Yugoslavia to see that war has not completely died out.

But, returning to your example of Germany, the Allies would be very hypocritical to suggest that they were peaceful countries before the world wars. Although Germany was punished for both world wars, everybody moved on. Because that's how things worked. Plus, the fact that half of Europe was taken over by the Soviets, with little more than diplomatic protests, gave everybody a lot more to worry about at the time.

In Japan's case, the situation is different. Taiwan and most of the other countries that were invaded by the Imperial Japanese forces have moved on. And I would say the same applied to these countries also - they were used to strife and had more pressing concerns after the war. So did South Korea and China, but now their politicians gain points be rehashing old grievances and posturing. At least South Korea is unable to do much more than whine. You and I will probably be dead and buried before they stop though. As far as I'm concerned, it should be a crime to apologize further because it's obviously not having any positive affect. In fact, it only makes things worse.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Reparations were paid to South Korea, and offered to China. China opted for ODA instead.

You got it all wrong. China didn't opt for ODA and it wasn't even mentioned in the treaties. Furthermore, the Japanese government had even clarified that the ODA (consisted of mostly loans) weren't reparation. That means the Japanese government did not pay reparation to either China or Korea.

South Korea agreed to demand no further compensation, either at the government or individual level, after receiving $800 million in grants and soft loans from Japan as compensation for its 1910–45 colonial rule in the treaty

That's not possible since the Japanese government did clarify that the grants and loans weren't reparation.

"Chiang Kai-shek waived reparations claims for the war when the ROC concluded the Treaty of Taipei with Japan in 1952. Similarly, when Japan normalized its relations with the PRC in 1972, Mao Zedong waived the claim of war reparations from Japan."

China used the word giving up not waiving. And if Japan were willing to pay reparation, would China have given it up?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Taiwan and most of the other countries that were invaded by the Imperial Japanese forces have moved on.

@ReformedBasher - Have they? This is barely weeks old.

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201308140029.aspx

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-08/14/content_16894178.htm

He volunteered. He specifically requested to be sent to China. He made the choice, and no one forced him.

@Hokkaidoguy - Korea was under Japanese rule. If Park was a university professor, he would've been one in a Japanese Imperial Univerisity. If he was a blacksmith, he would've made weapons for Japanese Empire. If he was a teacher, he would've taught in a Japanese controlled school.. and so on.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

This thread tells it all...what happens when Japan gets criticised? Excuses and finger pointing very little self facing navel gazing. It's all about the victim card. While pleading ignorance about the victims. Try as hard as they are to be a power in the region, the neighbours remember what happened last time and have dismissed Japan as a drunken uncle at a wedding.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Mitch:

100 protesters from a country of 23.34 million. Its the noisy people that get the press - same in Korea, same in Japan. What is so hard for people to understand about that? Its not like its ALL of Japan or ALL of Korea or ALL of Taiwan that's hating on each other.

Plus, I think you mean months old, weeks old makes it seem you simply want it to seem more recent than it actually was.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

100 protesters from a country of 23.34 million.

Thanks Tokiyo for replying before me.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@reformedbasher

But you can't deny that Germany also differs from Japan in the ways that has been mentioned, it has sincerely and unequivocally apologized and moved on. Yes various Japanese Prime Ministers have been sincere apologies but this work is undone every time a high ranking politician denies an atrocity. Why are these people not expelled from their parties? If the apologies were sincere many high ranking politicians and governors would be expelled from the ranks of LDP. Can they we expected to believe Japan's apologies are sincere when apologists and war crime deniers are in the ranks of governing party? Expel all war crime deniers from the mainstream parties and send them to the loonies on the right wing fringes and then they can say that their governments apologies were sincere, if not it is all hot air.

Do you think that in Europe a minister that made comparable remarks would be allowed to stay in a mainstream party? They would be asked to leave that party and that is the point. How many Jiminto politicians have made remarks denying atrocities at some stage in their career, including the current Prime Minister. These people are only sorry that Japan lost the war.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

[Inertia- is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its motion (including a change in direction). In other words, it is the tendency of objects to keep moving in a straight line at constant linear velocity, or to keep still. ]

I can't help wondering if this term could be used when attempting to explain Korean-Japan relations at times like this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The arguments in this thread are as usual based on a limited set of ideas. Japan did something wrong a long time ago, therefore they should forever be treated with suspicion of wanting to do the same again. If Japan makes a minor change in military spending – the whole country is becoming militarized and aggressive. I wonder how that logic works?

Japan can not be a real democracy and therefore they can not be allowed to express different opinions within the diet or among its people. Basically they should think as one (which fits with the accusers, sometimes racist stereotypes) and that is in line with what China and SK thinks.

Since Japan in fact was guilty of war crimes a long time ago every apology from the government will forever be dismissed as “not sincere”, fake or virtually non-existing. This seems to be a necessary idea in order to keep the complaining running indefinitely. Japan is isolated and not liked by anyone. On the contrary, Japan is very well liked for good reasons by most countries in the world. Only very few countries (read two) dislike japan. That’s all.

The whining from people is one thing but from the politicians perspective there is definitely something else than the obvious issues in play here, people. Might be worthwhile investigating a bit.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

100 protesters from a country of 23.34 million.

@ Tokiyo - and yet what is the response from the posters here when a report says a handful of Koreans are protesting against Japan? I sure haven't seen that kind of dismissive response. It's usually something along the lines of brainwashed masses who are endlessly trying to destroy Japan or some variation of that..

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Yes various Japanese Prime Ministers have been sincere apologies but this work is undone every time a high ranking politician denies an atrocity. Why are these people not expelled from their parties?

That's quite simple. The parties themselves agree with the deniers. Why would they expel them?

-5 ( +5 / -9 )

@pochan

Who are you to decide whether an apology is sincere or not? What do you look for? Facial tics? Accelerated breathing?

Please don't use Germany as some shining example to emulate. There are plenty of people even now who want to rewrite Nazi history, not all of them Germans.For that matter, were you aware that that the SS had volunteers from countries other than Germany?

I still shake my head at how countries like Italy and Romania got off so lightly. And I also shake my head at people who try to argue their case with simplified versions of history.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Who are you to decide whether an apology is sincere or not? What do you look for? Facial tics? Accelerated breathing?

Lack of the denials or attempts at revisions following the apology is usually a good sign.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

@ Tokiyo - and yet what is the response from the posters here when a report says a handful of Koreans are protesting against Japan?

We're talking about the leader of a country here. Don't compare apples and oranges.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Who are you to decide whether an apology is sincere or not? What do you look for? Facial tics? Accelerated breathing?

Not me, I'm not the one to say whether or not they are sincere or not. I am making the point that when politicians from the same party deny atrocities and are allowed to remain in the ranks of the party it undermines the apology and makes it look insincere.

Please don't use Germany as some shining example to emulate.

I'm not but even you have to admit they have done a better job of coming clean than Japan.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

ReformedBasher, the president of Korea don't like Abe the war denier and comfort women slave system advocate. She obviously thinks he's a creep, so no point in meeting with people like that. What possibly can they discuss when they have nothing in common? Would anyone waste their time meeting with neo Nazis? Waste of time, so really no point of this meeting.

An Execrable Ignorance - A Glimpse at Japan's Neo-Nationalists And Their War Crime Denials

http://www.nationofchange.org/execrable-ignorance-glimpse-japan-s-neo-nationalists-and-their-war-crime-denial-1332769676

A very good read, that explains why the so called apologies that are so highly touted by some, are always undermined not only by many Japanese politicians with big mouths, but also by many average Japanese who are even worse when it comes to denials - a proof of total failure (or more likely, refusal) of Japan's education system and their media to educate their own people. I think this forum is a very good example of the same people this article talks about.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Tokyo refuses to apologize for “past wrongdoings

Yeah, yeah. How many more times will Park wish to press the replay button, attempting to show her country how tough she is, while she should be more serious about making an effort in stabilizing peaceful relations in Asia through dialog.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

while she should be more serious about making an effort in stabilizing peaceful relations in Asia through dialog

Agreed.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

South Korea is kissing Chinese feet because traditionally Korea has been a vassal state of the Chinese dynasties.

Japan has apologized and South Korea signed and ratified the 1965 Treaty.

Reparations were paid to South Korea, and offered to China.

every day with these 3, ossan. you know any other tunes?

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

@Mitch Cohen - Korea was under Japanese rule. If Park was a university professor, he would've been one in a Japanese Imperial Univerisity. If he was a blacksmith, he would've made weapons for Japanese Empire. If he was a teacher, he would've taught in a Japanese controlled school.. and so on.

Not sure what you're getting at here. It seems like you're suggesting that Koreans who fought for Japan in WW2 are completely absolved of guilt or wrongdoing simply because they're ethnic Koreans.

Hundreds of thousands of Koreans fought for Japan. They don't get a pass any more than the Austrians or the Vichy French. This is the history that Korea desperately needs to stop whitewashing.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Just ignore Korea and stop supporting their Olympics in 2018. Unless they become willing to work together as a problem solver. Why Japan needs to give money and skill, man power for set up the ski venue for them also making snow for them?While they are making some negative campaign for 2020 Tokyo for political reasons. Ms.Park is in England and France now. She is complaining about Japan there as well. Why don't you say it to Abe directly. Korea must stop a political extortion.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

@80393

every day with these 3, ossan. you know any other tunes?

Unlike some, Ossan has no need to change his tune. Facts are a constant.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Chucky I looked at your reference. Wow, you may want to read such articles with more critical glasses. There will probably never be a shortage of pseudo-science on the net in order to help people convince others about some point, no matter how weird. Id call the article a nice contribution to fiction with enough relevance to make it sell to those who are selectively looking for confirmation. Please stay somewhat rational.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Instead of criticizing the Koreans and complaining about President Park's view, it is time for us Japanese to contemplate why Japan has totally failed to become a Germany in East Asia. The Germans used be as barbaric in Europe and Russia as the Japanese in East Asia and the Pacific. The Japanese have a lot to learn from the Germans.

Maybe because Germany was divided into 2 separate countries, lived 40 years as separate countries, do not claim from Poland and Russia former Germanese territories. Also lost in war about 9 million of people (Japan - only 3 million). Also in Russia and CIS coutries about 200000 Germanese museum exhibits, 2 million of books. Also millions of different goods were taken from East Germany. Also in East Germany, for example, children had to study in elementary school Russian. I never heard that in Japanese elementray school children had to study, for example, Chinese or Korean.

Japan wasn't separated, still claims South Kurile islands, nothing is taken out from museums, plants, houses. Japan was "lucky" in comparison with Germany. Ah, yeah, atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were conducted by the United States. So Japan should ask from nowadays "ally". But even with Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japanese lost in WWII less than Germanese.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

You know, reading and taking part in threads like this... it's like WW2 ended only a couple of years ago.

How about we mention a few things that S Korea needs to apologise for?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:South_Korean_war_crimes

As for Japanese PM apologies for Japan's war crimes not being good enough for S Korea, how about this:

XUAN LOC, Vietnam – A Korean bishop attending the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) here has apologized for war atrocities committed by South Korean troops during the conflict that Americans refer to as the Vietnam War and Vietnamese call the American War.

Is that an offiicial apology?

So before S Korea throws more stones, it had better look to its own dirty past.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

In his next speech, Abe should make a point of thanking Park's father for his illustrious WW2 service.

That would be gold.

Is it common outside Korea for politicians to renege on a treaty?

And excellent question. A shame that Mitch has not done you the courtesy of a reply. One wonders when the PM of ROK is embarrassing herself and her nation on the BBC talking about how Japan "say(s) there is no need for an apology, and no need to acknowledge their past wrongdoings" (blatant falsehoods), why the interviewer never thought to ask her this question.

Assume for a moment that the ROK position is accurate (Japan hasn't apologized, refuses to admit their wrongdoing, and deliberately makes statements designed to be hurtful to victims) ... wouldn't all that still be better than a country that reneges on its treaties?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Japanese lost more lives in the US air raids all over Japan than in the two atomic bombs.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Also maybe articles like this http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/news/131105/plc13110509210006-n1.htm tease Korean government?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Unlike some, Ossan has no need to change his tune. Facts are a constant.

@basher- unlike whom?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Good for Park and SK. She has both the wisdom and guts. Many politicians in Asia have some wisdom but no guts. If Japan is willing to apologise and never ever renegade on their apologies, then Asia should move on and forget their atrocities and cruelty. However if Japan insists on ding-donging with different people of influence and power, then why should Asia roll over play dead? Park refuses to talk and I am sure South Koreans support her as we in Asia do. If only politicians and leaders in Asia have the same guts and determination, then Japan will not be so arrogant. Now Japan wants to spend money to divide Asia and maybe the Philippines will roll over. South Korea and China are our torch bearers!!!

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Read through a list of Japan's apologies. They are many and varied:

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

Interestingly, 2 of these "apologies" were made by Abe's grandfather in 1957, a man accused of, but not charged with war crimes. Unfortunately he "regrets vexation" or he "expresses sorrow for what occurred". There was nothing really resembling an apology. In the 1960s the expressions were "regrettable" and "remorseful". in the 1970s Japan was "conscious of the damage caused". By the 1980s Japan had "become aware of its responsibility in inflicting damage". In 1984 the Emperor himself said it was "regrettable" that there was an "unfortunate past". Nakasone again expressed "deep regret".

In 1989 Japan again "regretted" and was "conscious of" its past, and expressed "sorrow" for its actions. in May 1990, PM Kaifu uses the word "sorry" for the first time. It took 45 years for Japan to get anywhere near even using the word. Miyazawa in 1992 apologized both for the war and for the comfort women, and further apologies followed that seemed to be sincere.

Japan has clearly gone backwards. It's leading politicians are extremists like Abe, Aso, Hashimoto and Ishihara. Japan still has elected politicians who are revisionists and the current leader had a grandfather who was accused of war crimes. Abe denies Unit 731, Nanjing massacre and the comfort women, and has repeatedly said the real apologies that started in the nineties should be rescinded. That's not good enough. I believe some of the past apologies were sincere, but Japan is now run by a right-wing extremist who denies Japan's atrocities and wishes to rescind apologies. I'm not pro-Korean, and am fairly anti-Chinese, but if I were President of South Korea, I could not possibly hold a summit with a man like Mr Abe.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

has repeatedly said the real apologies that started in the nineties should be rescinded.

Actually, I believe that, bowing to pressure at the time, Abe has said as early as the beginning of this year that he did not intend to revise or recind former PM Murayama's 90's apology. Am I mistaken in this?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This makes interesting reading:

The Japanese government officially accepted the requirement for monetary compensation to victims of war crimes, as specified by the Potsdam Declaration. The details of this compensation have been left to bilateral treaties with individual countries, except North Korea, because Japan recognises South Korea as the sole legitimate government of the Korean Peninsula. In the Asian countries involved, claims to compensation were either abandoned by their respective countries, or were paid out by Japan under the specific understanding that it was to be used for individual compensation. However, in some cases such as with South Korea, the compensation was not paid out to victims by their governments, instead being used for civic projects and other works. Due to this, large numbers of individual victims in Asia received no compensation.

During the treaty negotiation with South Korea, the Japanese government proposed that it pay monetary compensation to individual Korean victims, in line with the payments to Western POWs. The Korean government instead insisted that Japan pay money collectively to the Korean government, and that is what occurred. The South Korean government then used the funds for economic development. The content of the negotiations was not released by the Korean government until 2004, although it was public knowledge in Japan. Due to the release of the information by the Korean government, a number of claimants have stepped forward and are attempting to sue the government for individual compensation of victims.

Naughty!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

but Japan is now run by a right-wing extremist who denies Japan's atrocities and wishes to rescind apologies.

Three points. First, only in the mind of a truly paranoid socialist would Abe qualify as a "right-wing extremist". Like most Japanese, he's actually very middle of the road. Compared to some of the socialists running Western countries he may lack in political correctness, but he's certainly no further to the right than say Obama in his policies.

Second, lets be factual please. Abe has not "denied atrocities". That is actually a very serious allegation you make. Lets see you back it up with a direct quote. Start by checking the meaning of "deny".

And third, he has made no move to rescind any apologies. In fact this very article states that the current administration "stands by" the Murayama statement - which nobody able to read could deny is as complete an apology as anyone could ever receive.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

So hidingout, then tell us what Abe's position is, on the Comfort Women, WWII invasions/colonization of Asia.

If all those quotes we read, were just simple misquotes and misunderstandings, then you tell us what his position is.

And third, even having forces that attempt to rescind any apologies is already too late, the damage is done. Doesn't that prove the charges that the apologies were not sincere?

And Chamkun, that's ridiculous, that Japan giving aid to Korea for 2018 Olympics. Where you getting those false stories? Is that what Japan media is claiming, or did you get that from 2ch?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

It is very hard to see anything convincing with your point SaxonSalute. A few fundamental problems may look like this. The argument is based on a few choices of words, lifted out of its context. Im sorry but that can't support your point. Did you read the japanese text in original or as a japanese person understand them when you identified what was an apology and the status of it, or did you read a translation without a cultural interpretative frame? If the latter holds then Im sorry to say that there is no legitimacy whatsoever in your choice of words. You may as well state your point without support. You know intercultural relations only work when you start by avoiding to define for the the other how they should speak and construct meaning to you. Park seems to understand this even if I think she is making the wrong choice here.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Asahi Shimbun reports that there have been anti-Korean hate protests held all throughout Japan. In the recent past, there were protests in Tokyo and Osaka where there are many ethnic Koreans. But now the protests are spreading all through Japanese cities and counties, as there have been recent hate protests in Hokaido, Aomori, Yamagata, Kunma, Chiba, Aichi, Shizuoka, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Oyita, Nara, etc. These types of news gets reported in Korean media, and they do effect government policies at a national level. Don't think that Park Geun Hye didn't see the pictures of Japanese protestors holding up signs that comfort women are frauds and prostitutes, kill all Koreans. Then you have controversial reports of Abe and his government official comments, coupled with all that, no Korean officials are in the mood to meet with any of the Japanese politicians who are seem to be having a jolly old time fanning and encouraging the national mood.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Did you read the japanese text in original or as a japanese person understand them when you identified what was an apology and the status of it, or did you read a translation without a cultural interpretative frame?

So in that case the apologies were meant for a Japanese audience. Silly me I thought they were apologizing to the people that they committed the atrocities against. Sorry the apologies would have to at least stand up to translation in a number of Asian languages at least, so it might be better that they are not ambiguous in the translation. Better yet they should have been translated by the Japanese parliament and delivered, so there can be no misunderstanding.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There are still people posting here under the false assumption that Japan fought against Korea during WWII hence the lame comparisons of Germany and the Holocaust. Read a book for god sakes. Koreans during that time, volunteered, fought alongside Imperial Japanese Army much like Austria. They don't get to stand on the opposite fence in regards to this issue but should be going around the world making apologies tours.

The current President's father volunteered, and served for the IJA. He had, in all likelihood, witnessed and/or made use the comfort women system during that time and yet while he served as a leader of SK, did absolutely nothing to address this issue when the treaty was signed in 1965.

These are just a few of many "whitewashed" Korean history that almost never is addressed among the population in Korea. If Korea chooses not to address these, then fine. Just don't expect the Japanese lawmakers and people to accept your version of history.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

only in the mind of a truly paranoid socialist would Abe qualify as a "right-wing extremist"

Shinzo Abe is a fascist and a fanatic of the Yasukuni shrine (State Shinto or Imperial Shinto) which preaches fascism and holy war.

Abe has not "denied atrocities"

Regarding Abe's view on Japan's fascist past, Narusawa Muneo summarized it into the following points in his particle "Abe Shinzo, a Far-Right Denier of History":

-As soon as Abe was elected in 1993, he became a member of the LDP’s “History and Deliberation Committee.” This committee held about twenty meetings with right-wing scholars, and as a result, published a book called “Overview of the Greater East Asia War,” on August 15th, 1995, the fiftieth anniversary of Japan’s defeat in the Asia-Pacific War. The book argues: 1) “The Greater East Asia War” (the Asia-Pacific War) was not an aggressive war, but a war for self-existence and self-defense, and for liberation of Asia from Western powers; 2) Events such as the Nanjing Massacre and the “comfort women,” are fabrications. Japan did not commit war crimes and was not a perpetrator; 3) Since “biased” school textbooks contain false information about Japan’s wartime activities, a “textbook struggle” (an attack on education) is necessary. Abe still holds these positions.

-In December 1994, a right-wing group called “Diet Members’ League for the 50th Anniversary of the End of War” was formed to counter a parliamentary move to pass a resolution (Murayama's apology) in August 1995, critically reflecting on Japan’s aggressive war. Abe was selected as deputy executive director. This group organized the “Steering Committee of Japanese People’s Movement for the 50th Anniversary of the End of War” in conjunction with far-rightist religious groups (mostly Shinto). It led twenty-six prefectural assemblies and ninety municipal assemblies across the nation to pass resolutions opposing the critical resolution and arguing that Japan did not invade its Asian neighbors.

-The same right-wing members of LDP in June 1996 formed a new group to attack history textbooks, called “Bright Japan - League of Diet Members,” and Abe was appointed deputy executive director. In February 1997, he formed a group called “Group of Young Diet Members for Consideration of Japan’s Future and History Education,” and became its executive director (“Young” was dropped from the group’s name in 2004).

-Abe has always been on the frontline of such groups and has worked hard to scour descriptions of Nanjing and the sex slaves, who he argues were “prostitutes,” from textbooks. He pressured not only education ministry officials responsible for textbook screening, but also presidents of textbook publishers and textbook authors, to remove references to such crimes, claiming that they were “distorted.”

-While Abe was Chief Cabinet Secretary, he complained about the content of an NHK (Japan’s national public broadcaster) program on the sex slaves issue before it was broadcast, demanding that the head of the Broadcasting Bureau make the program “fair and objective,” or resign. As a result, significant changes were made to the program before it was screened on January 30, 2001. One of the changes was deletion of the part where the Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal, held in Tokyo in December 2000, deemed the rapes and the military sex slavery system by the Japanese military as “crimes against humanity,” and held Japan and Emperor Hirohito responsible for them.

-On August 4, 1993, during the Miyazawa administration, then Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono Yohei released a statement on the result of a study into the “comfort women” issue commonly called the Kono Statement. The fiercest criticism against the Kono Statement came from within LDP, namely Abe. He and his “Group of Young Diet Members for Consideration of Japan’s Future and History Education,” called Kono to a meeting and argued that Kono had recognized the “coerciveness” of the act without convincing evidence, as the Korean side demanded so, but Kono stuck to his guns. At the House of Representatives Budget Committee on May 27, 1997, Abe further said there was no need to specifically reference the issue in textbooks unless the women were coerced, and no document had been discovered to verify this.

-On June 14, 2004, Abe, then Secretary General of LDP, told a symposium organized by the “Group of Diet Members for Consideration of Japan’s Future and History Education,” that “there was no such historical fact as the military comfort women,” totally ignoring the Kono Statement. Abe went on to say that he would actively work with MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) to “improve textbooks,” meaning the removal of all descriptions of “military ‘comfort women.’”

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

nigelboy, you keep insisting on those lies. Please you go read some serious books, not 2ch publications. There are no serious historians who claim Korea was an ally of Japan. Even France had collaborators and people who sold out their country to get personal gains. But nobody in their right mind, claim France and Germany were allies, nor are there claims that Korea and Japan were allies, by pointing to collaborators. Of course, I do know that's how many Japanese view it as, but that doesn't make them true, nor does it mean the rest of the world will fall for that.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

chucky3176,

You pointed out again the idiotic fantasy version of Korean history which is the inconvenient fact that majority of the population "collaborated" in the war efforts. This is proven by the fact that in 1942, the Korean applicants versus IJA quota exceeded 62.4 times. Kempeitai system was abolished by 1920. Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, who basically operated in China, lost funding from Chiang Kai Shek because of their ineptittude (complete lack of support in the Korean peninsula), funded themselves by selling porn mags. This is why the Allieds rejected Korean's request to be on the side of the Allieds.

As much as you want to believe the Korean fantasy version that the people in the Peninsula were resisting Japan's annexation era throughout the course of the 35 year period, this is yet again another example of Korean's fabricating history.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

nigel, unfortunately for Japan, most, if not all the world, believe the Korean fantasy history, over the Japanese revisionist history. As for the Japanese claims of the Korean military draft, we all know how Japanese governement/military at that time, recorded the forced drafts as "voluntary", when in reality it wasn't. That's well documented, if you cared to go outside of researching Japan misinformation sites and publications, and instead research the real history publications put out by the rest of the world.

The kinds of neo nationalist information put out by Japanese rightwing, and believed by the Japanese man on the street, are the real problems, not the debate whether Japan apologized or not. It's the entire attitude of Japan as a nation, that is the fueling this resentment - not the fact whether Japan apologized or not.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

nigel, unfortunately for Japan, most, if not all the world, believe the Korean fantasy history, over the Japanese revisionist history. As for the Japanese claims of the Korean military draft, we all know how Japanese governement/military at that time, recorded the forced drafts as "voluntary", when in reality it wasn't. That's well documented, if you cared to go outside of researching Japan misinformation sites and publications, and instead research the real history publications put out by the rest of the world.

In your dreams chucky3176. If the Japanese government wanted to "force draft", they would of issued such order just like they did in Japan mainland. Common sense and logic goes out the window when Koreans desperately defend their distorted version.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Nigel, they did order the forced draft. They didn't trust the Koreans with guns because they were rebellion risks for Japan, but because they didn't have a choice when Japan needed more manpower. Most of the Koreans were used as supply muels and dispatched to construction units. But anyway I can't believe we're down to this level, even arguing over whether Japan colonized Korea or not. Not only they deny they didn't invade Asia, they deny just about every facet of negative things done by Japan. It's absolutely exasperatingly ludicrous. Like I said, it's the entire attitude of the Japanese, not just the question of the apologies. This is directed at those non-Japanese supporters of Japan who claim Japan apologized so why Korea can't let go.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Nigel, they did order the forced draft.

The compulsory draft for Koreans was implemented on September of 1944 and the establishment of the training occurred during Jan-July of 1945. Hence, those Koreans who were "forced", majority did not see any action.

Prior to this, it was strictly voluntary for Koreans unlike the Japanese in the Japan's mainland where compulsory draft was implemented where military divisions can choose the personnel based on mandatory draft registration (imlemnted in 1927 where males of 20 years must register and conduct physicals) list.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Think this through again Nigel. Why did they have to force the draft in 1944, when there were so many Korean 'volunteers' who joined, as you claim? Why the need to draft, when they're pouring into Japanese army to fight for the emperor and Japan? Now the truth. Because all those men 'volunteered' where young men who were either pressured or blacked mailed into 'volunteering', then they were recorded as volunteering to join. And you're right, they didn't implement the draft until 1944 because Japanese themselves didn't know what to do exactly because they needed Korean manpower, but didn't trust most of them enough to give them guns (some allies!). So Japan made them volunteer, pressed them into supply line troops and laborers and some them who showed loyalty to Japan were put into POW camps as guards. Later in the war, as it became increasingly clear that making them 'volunteer' wasn't doing enough and wasn't speedy enough to recruit more men, they implement the draft system, by out rightly coming out and dropping all pretenses.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Okay Narusawa Muneos text is very critical, well argued and seem to be thoroughly founded in an understanding of the political scene in Japan for some time. However even if the historical accounts about Abe is reasonable you still have to separate between what Abe did and what he is doing now. I still cant se how Abe actually could get away with seemingly idiotic revisions about Japans ww2 history. Rather I think such changes, given that he still is a revisionist, would be the final blow to his government. Surfing the wave of threats from China to strengthen the self-defence is one thing but treating the Japanese people as idiots is another thing. They will not accept such a move.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

chucky3176Nov. 07, 2013 - 01:21AM JST Nigel, they did order the forced draft

The "forced draft" I believe went into effect at the tail end of the war. Before then Koreans in the Japanese military were volunteers. Not all who volunteered were accepted though. Japan and Korea started a volunteer military system in 1938. Korean military participation

★1939 Applicants 12,348 Accepted 613

★1940 Applicants 84,443 Accepted 3,060

★1941 Applicants 144,743 Accepted 3,208

★1942 Applicants 254,273 Accepted 4,077

★1943 Applicants 303,294 Accepted 6,300

And no, this isn't Off-Topic.
-3 ( +0 / -3 )

So hidingout, then tell us what Abe's position is, on the Comfort Women, WWII invasions/colonization of Asia.

Did you read the article? His position is that he "stands by" the Murayama statement. If you want to suggest otherwise I'm going to need you to provide a direct quote instead of following your PM's lead and just making stuff up willy nilly.

If all those quotes we read, were just simple misquotes and misunderstandings, then you tell us what his position is.

"All" those quotes chucky? If there are so many quotes proving Abe to be a denier of atrocities then why don't you post up a few? Like I said to Saxon earlier, I'll ask you to have a good look at the meaning of the word "deny" before you continue down this road of falsehoods.

And third, even having forces that attempt to rescind any apologies is already too late, the damage is done. Doesn't that prove the charges that the apologies were not sincere?

No it doesn't. It proves that some J-pols got frustrated by the constant apology denying that comes out of ROK. Heck this article alone contains several quotes that prove your PM to be an apology denier. Even you concede that there have been "some" apologies that have met your standards. Given that your country received money, and an apology from Japan how do you justify the current attitude of your PM who says that "“If they continue to say there is no need for an apology, and no need to acknowledge their past wrongdoings, then what good would it do?” This is a proven falsehood. How do you feel about your PM traveling around the world telling lies? And how do you feel about your country reneging on official treaties it has signed? Don't you think both of those things are far worse than anything Japan has done over the last sixty years?

But now the protests are spreading all through Japanese cities and counties, as there have been recent hate protests in Hokaido, Aomori, Yamagata, Kunma, Chiba, Aichi, Shizuoka, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Oyita, Nara, etc.

All through Japan hey chucky? I would sure like to see a link for that claim. Not from some ROK newspaper either. Seriously doubtful.

These types of news gets reported in Korean media, and they do effect government policies at a national level.

I thought you said ROk was fine with ignoring Japan? Now you say they are scouring the backwater prefectures of Japan looking for haters? And basing their national policies on what a handful of Japanese may do or say. Its truly sad to see how ridiculous ROK government looks in this whole fiasco. Paranoia out of control.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

then tell us what Abe's position is, on the Comfort Women, WWII invasions/colonization of Asia.

His position is very clear : while he is a PM, as he is not an historian, he doesn't comment history. That's the right position. That is sincere or forces himself, nobody cares. His job is to represent Japan. Then when he is no longer in government, as a person, he can say any stupidity on internet or in bars, just like you do.

Now the truth. Because all those men 'volunteered' where young men who were either pressured or blacked mailed into 'volunteering',

They were pressured into becoming career military in Imperial Armies, enrolling even before WW2 ? Like this guy :

Following the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, he decided to enter the Changchun Military Academy of the Manchukuo Imperial Army. He graduated top of his class in 1942 and was recognized as a talented officer by his Japanese instructors, who recommended him for further studies at the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in Japan. After graduating third in the class of 1944, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in Japan's elite Kwantung Army, and served during the final stages of World War II.

You know who it is. Did he say he was pressured ? Ask his heir.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Japan is “extremely disappointed” that South Korean President Park Geun-Hye sees no point in a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an official said Tuesday.

extremely disappointed? do they really expect that asking for a meeting with a neighbor like this will be very easily accepted like that? did they really mean what they ask to SK or they just want to make relations much more complicated. i am not sure whether this is an intelligent official response from Japan. it looks more like an emotional response. or maybe it simply shows the kind of habit that Japan also don't want to humble herself when it comes to such matters but perhaps making themselves always on the top. how can u find new close friends if u will always want to be like that.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@80393

Do I really need to name people?

If Japan has apologized and paid compensation, well, that's it, end of story. If you don't like that, tough luck. The South Korean government should not accuse the Japanese government of revising it's history when it's doing the same thing.

As mentioned above, if Park was really interested in doing the right thing, she should be mending fences, not making things worse.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The more Japan apologizes, the more Korea demands apologies.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

The more Japan apologizes, the more Korea demands apologies.

yep, and the more japan downplay history's reality, the more they will expect future meeting invitations to be accepted and respected. :))

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

history's reality

Since we are talking about reality, did the government of ROK, acting of its own free will, sign a document in 1965 that stipulated negotiated terms for an end to all quarrels with and claims against Japan stemming from the events of WW2?

Did the government of ROK then purposefully hide the very existence of this agreement (and all the money they received) from its own citizens?

And finally, is the government of ROK currently behaving as if such a document never existed, was never signed and is not legally binding?

This who understand "reality" will answer yes, yes and yes to those three questions. And really, that's all anyone needs to know on the subject. Document signed, checks cashed, apologies accepted, matter resolved.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Document signed, checks cashed, apologies accepted, matter resolved.

u must be right, but, u keep on skipping u'r own politicians' actions and words in downplaying what your cruel history has done to u'r neighbours..of course u already paid large sums of money, thats the fact, but of course another fact is politicians are also still downplaying and try their best to hide what should not be hidden to free Japan from all the hates and pain that still inflicts its very next door neighbors.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

chucky3176Nov. 07, 2013 - 12:12AM JST

There are no serious historians who claim Korea was an ally of Japan

I can easily say this comment is the clear evidence that Koreans learn whitewashed history. Whatever whitewashed history you learn, the fact is that Korea was a Japanese Ally during WW2.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@basher

Do I really need to name people?

only if you have a point.

all i meant was giving the same 3 bits of information on every thread about japan, china and korea is just lazy and boring. im not asking anyone to change the facts or their own opinions. just make a new argument once youve worn out your keyboard rehashing the same 3 time and again. this goes for both sides of the argument.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

So, Korea wants to be a tributary state of China again? Japan will not help you next time.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@80393

I'm confused as to how the facts Ossan mentions can be challenged.

No matter how the "Japan is bad and Korea is good" crew present their "arguments", the facts cannot be denied.

So why on earth should he have to omit them?

Because they are "boring"? Have you ever considered that the South Korean government is boring? Because I think a lot of people here do.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

kuukuNov. 07, 2013 - 09:21AM JST

Japan is "extremely disappointed" that South Korean President Park Geun-Hye sees no point in a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an official said Tuesday.

extremely disappointed? do they really expect that asking for a meeting with a neighbor like this will be very easily accepted like that

That is what is called diplomatic tongue. Abe has no business to spend his time to meet Korean president. Yet, saying so straight is not diplomatic. He needs a white lie to make it sound diplomatic.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Indeed it is political tongue. "Extremely disappointed" in my book reads this is a matter we are interested in, consider to respond more positively, deliberate on the things you may gain from accepting our proposal.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

well, whether u call it diplomatic tongue or what other names u might give it, i will think the president of SK also has made the right decision in not considering this meeting, as the response "extremely disappointed" to me it also shows how forceful this kind of invitation was, i think leaders as well sometimes have to test their counterparts on how sincere they are to whatever they propose.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@basher

So why on earth should he have to omit them?

omit them??? they are posted on every related thread!

I'm confused as to how the facts Ossan mentions can be challenged.

im not challenging them. are you too dense to see that the "japan is bad korea is good crew" is the mirror image of the "japan is good korea is bad crew"? dont you think the truth lies somewhere in between? and yes, im sure the south korean govt is boring. touche

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japanese politicians express exasperation over repeated requests for contrition by South Korea, pointing to numerous apologies and a 1965 agreement that normalised relations and included a large payment to Seoul.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Whatever whitewashed history you learn, the fact is that Korea was a Japanese Ally during WW2.

If Korea was an Ally of Japan during WW2, why is it that Japan sent colonial governors to Korea instead of ambassadors?

The fact is Japan only managed to colonize Korea after the war in 1894 and after the Japanese murdered Koreans who resisted the colonization including Empress Myeongseong:

"The assassination, which took place on Oct. 8, 1895, left its mark in history for its viciousness and brutality. The writer Fusako Tsunoda in her book on the murder wrote, "Everywhere there were cries, 'Where is Queen Min?' The assailants approached a group of court ladies who were trembling with fear and slaughtered two of them who were especially beautiful. One of the victims bore a faint trace of smallpox on her temple, allowing the assailants to verify that she was Queen Min." Tsunoda also said, "After many years, one of the assailants confessed that they violently slashed and committed unspeakable atrocities on the body of the empress."

Japan thoroughly covered up its responsibility. The empress' body was burned and Japanese government propaganda portrayed the assassination as the result of a power struggle between Myeongseong and her father-in-law Heungseon Daewongun.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Oct. 8, 1895

Excellent. Now we are going back to the 1800s to find stuff to complain about.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@80393

are you too dense to see that the "japan is bad korea is good crew" is the mirror image of the "japan is good korea is bad crew"?

If one side uses fact and the other side is in a state of consistent denial, then I fail to see how they are the same and that I'm dense. But I'll tell the think-tank I work with to consider firing me because some guy online thinks I'm stupid.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Guru29Nov. 08, 2013 - 12:45AM JST

Whatever whitewashed history you learn, the fact is that Korea was a Japanese Ally during WW2.

If Korea was an Ally of Japan during WW2, why is it that Japan sent colonial governors to Korea instead of ambassadors?

Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have Governor Generals. You would say they were not UK Allies during WW2.

Joking aside, I am really sick with Koreans saying they were not Japanese ally during WW2. Their whitewashing of history will never end.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@basher

If one side uses fact and the other side is in a state of consistent denial

and which side is which? the ones you consider the "japan is bad korea is good crew" feel just as certain about their views as you feel about yours and thats how they are the same. if you agree with ossan that "korea is just kissing chinese feet", id like you to show how that is a fact. if you agree with ossan that "They (s. korea) expect the U.S. to protect them while they help China upset our strategic policy.", id like you to show how that is a fact. coming on here and saying this is a fact and that is a fact doesnt make it one. prove it. until then, their views are just as valid as yours.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Where have I said that I agree with "Korea is just kissing Chinese feet"? My view is that the South Korea government has been deceitful about it's own past and is hampering harmonious relations with Japan by making ridiculous claims.

But I have to agree that Korean relations with mainland China seem more important than integrity, considering what did with Taiwan. If you are not aware, please read up on how South Korea betrayed Taiwan in favour of the PRC in 1992.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Korea%E2%80%93Taiwan_relations

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Unlike some, Ossan has no need to change his tune. Facts are a constant.

im sorry, is this not what you wrote?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

"Korea is just kissing Chinese feet"

I am wondering when South Korea will start claiming apology of China for the numerous wrongs doing during the Korean War and the continuing division of South and North of its country. I am sure that Chinese army killed hundreds of thousands of Koreans. If China had not intervened, Korea would have been united in 1950.

Has China apologized for the wrong doing during the Korean War? Has China apologized for the continuing division of Korea? Yet, South Korea is happy to show its willingness to serve China.

Maybe, it is because, for South Koreans, South Korea is to apologize to China for the wrong doings of militaristic and fascist administration of President Yi Seung Man.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@80393

im sorry, is this not what you wrote?

Your apology is accepted. I don't necessarily agree 100% because we are not the same individual and, as such, we have different ideas. I agree with what he says about Japan's moves and Korea's hindrance with regards to moving on. I also agree that the South Korea government has written their own version of history.

@hidingout

Excellent. Now we are going back to the 1800s to find stuff to complain about.

Actually I think it is good to go back this far. Japan annexed Korea. Let's look at that. They took over the government with the approval of Korean supporters. As opposed to the Koreans who wanted the Chinese help instead. Both groups might consider themselves patriots and the other group as a bunch of traitors. Let's not forget the Chinese and the Russians were also playing around on Korean soil. The annexation was violent, but was not a full scale invasion. The Japanese did bad things once they took over but they were not out exterminate the Koreans. The fact that they went to lengths to modernize the country says a lot. The attempts to assimilate were inconsistent. There were genuine attempts to make Korea a "partner" rather than just a colony, but I won't argue that things were harsh. I'm not trying to whitewash anything, but if Korea was colonized for 35 years, it's fair to say that some integration did place. We're talking 2 generations here. Yes, there were Koreans who joined the IJA and those who benefited from Japanese rule. Ms. Park's father was one of those. She knows full well that South Korea was deceitful about how they handled Japanese normalization of relations. But even that took place in the 1950s. It's now the next century. There are lots of Koreans and Japanese nowadays who are on friendly terms.

Look at all of the other countries that made peace. First generation, trust still not 100%. Second generation, "what's the fuss"? 3rd generation, "Gee, Granddad, did we really fight them?". This is the normal pattern. It's time to drop the animosity.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I don't necessarily agree 100% because we are not the same individual and, as such, we have different ideas.

you dont necessarily agree100%? you repeatedly called them facts! facts are not opinions. your inability to distigush between the two makes clear why you think your arguments are coherent.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@80393

I just outlined what I agreed with. Your inability to comprehend this is tiresome, but you can easily verify the Japanese apologies, reparations, agreements, as well as Korea's own dark history on the Internet. If the details show up on numerous sites, and are not the ravings of uyoku, I'll accept them as fact even if you don't want to.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

your myopic view of the situation is tiresome. there are more sides to an issue the than one to which you cling. you write as though everything you believe is rooted in evidence and is an obvious fact while anyone who strays from that and sees the issues from a different angle is just "making ridiculous claims".

The South Korean government should not accuse the Japanese government of revising it's history when it's doing the same thing.

cant you see the absurdity here?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

No. But feel free to tell yourself that I'm interested.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japan: "We 'regret' the inconveniences caused to you during colonization. But this is not an apology." "You were our ally during WWII anyhow." "No, you were our slaves!" "Sorry I didn't mean that." "Those women were just prostitutes anyhow!" "Oh, I mean we're sorry." "No, we're not sorry." "Yes, we're sorry we lost WWII." "How many apologies do you want?" "What do you mean? We never apologized to you. We were the victims of the war." "We built your economy. You owe us." Sad and pathetic Japan.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@guru

Don't you know the President's father was high ranking Japanese military officer? If Korea was an enemy of Japan how could it be possible?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@tina

Korea wasn't exactly an ally either. But some Koreans took advantage of the situation.

In any case, I guess Ms. Park is only scoring political points.

@80393

Take my ball and go home? Not only do you corner me with your irrefutable logic, you go for the jugular and show your true intellectual power. I must concede defeat. Until next we meet.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

your concession is accepted. just out of curiosity, if youve any interest left in this thread, who are the "some" in your original post, "Unlike some, Ossan has no need to change his tune". your next post made it sound as if the answer was obvious, but ive no idea.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japanese need to stop going to South Korea for holiday and let the Chinese tourists with their great manners take over. Then we will see how Koreans feel about Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

DudeDeuce, Korea buys far more from Japan, then vice versa. Any boycotts will hurt Japan more because they have more to lose than Korea.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

READ BELOW IF YOU WANT TO KNOW THE REAL DEAL !!!

Folloiwing is an excerpt from LA Times Dec 2012 "Newly installed Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was quoted he would RETRACT Japan's 1995 official apology made for suffering caused to Korea and China. Although other low level officials have suggested retracting apologies in the past, the words coming from Abe himself are bound to inflame anti-Japanese sentiment in China and the Korean peninsula and put the new government off to a bad start with its neighbors"

So how can you have a serious talk with a PM who proclaims such blasphemy...this is like pouring an acid onto a open wound that was slowly healing. President Park who is a first woman elected to the post has special concerns over Mr. Abe's DENIAL that “comfort women” who serviced Japanese troops were ever forced into sexual servitude. This is a most sensitive issue in South Korea, where women now in their 80s and 90s regularly protest outside the Japanese Embassy in Seoul over the lack of a proper recognition and apology.

So please tell me... if t the table was turned around would you support your leader from having a meeting with an insulting official from another country who have rejected the true historic accounts of your nation?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Basher

Yes, Korea was annexed at the time. I thought CH3CHO meant by ally "mikata" people who fought together.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Three points. First, only in the mind of a truly paranoid socialist would Abe qualify as a "right-wing extremist". Like most Japanese, he's actually very middle of the road. Compared to some of the socialists running Western countries he may lack in political correctness, but he's certainly no further to the right than say Obama in his policies.

@hidingout - I agree that calling Abe an 'extremist' is over the top, but mainstream journalistic outlets like The Economist and Forbes seem to have no qualms over calling him an 'arch-nationlist' and a 'right wing nationalist', so while calling him an extremist isn't as paranoid as you claim it is.

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21569046-shinzo-abes-appointment-scarily-right-wing-cabinet-bodes-ill-region-back-future

http://www.forbes.com/profile/shinzo-abe/

Second, lets be factual please. Abe has not "denied atrocities". That is actually a very serious allegation you make. Lets see you back it up with a direct quote. Start by checking the meaning of "deny".

Abe has denied there was any plausible evidence to say the comfort women were coerced into sexual servitude, in 2007.

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

And third, he has made no move to rescind any apologies. In fact this very article states that the current administration "stands by" the Murayama statement - which nobody able to read could deny is as complete an apology as anyone could ever receive.

Are you sure he has made 'no move' to rescind or revise any apologies? Then why does the Asahi Shinbum report that Abe has had long held plans to revise the 1993 Kono statements?

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201302010077

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

tokyodoumoNov. 09, 2013 - 04:21AM JST

Newly installed Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was quoted he would RETRACT Japan's 1995 official apology made for suffering caused to Korea and China.

To be more precise, he said that committee of historians should be organized to study the facts about the comfort women and that, if the presumptions of the Japanese government in 1995 were proved to be untrue, the apology should be revised.

Only the people who fear their lies proven lies would refuse scientific research into the facts.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

To be more precise, he said that committee of historians should be organized to study the facts about the comfort women and that, if the presumptions of the Japanese government in 1995 were proved to be untrue, the apology should be revised.

So Abe denies there is enough evidence at this moment in time to make conclusions, and says more historical research is needed.

But if we can't draw conclusions based on the existing evidence now (70 years on), we will never be able to reach that point in the future, when all the survivors have passed away and any historical evidence is even more dated than now. To suggest there isn't enough evidence now is a form of denial, although I'm sure you disagree.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Mitch CohenNov. 09, 2013 - 09:18AM JST

But if we can't draw conclusions based on the existing evidence now (70 years on), we will never be able to reach that point in the future, when all the survivors have passed away and any historical evidence is even more dated than now. To suggest there isn't enough evidence now is a form of denial, although I'm sure you disagree.

I thought you were accusing Japan for comfort women based on convincing evidence. But it seems you or the Korean Government does not have such evidence.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

To suggest there isn't enough evidence now is a form of denial, although I'm sure you disagree.

He's saying-- let's form conclusions from the evidence from both sides. The comfort women debate actually started in Japan by Japanese researchers. The Koreans have been hand-picking evidence before scrutinized and listing them down as facts, whether later proven to be false or not. Anyone who disagrees with their position is labelled a righ-wing nationalist or a Japan-lover... & their arguments are discarded based on that label. The only "truth" they are interested in is the one that fits the argument they have been parroting for a couple decades. You either agree with their list of grievances, or you are 'in denial' or 'distorting history'.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He's saying-- let's form conclusions from the evidence from both sides. The comfort women debate actually started in Japan by Japanese researchers. The Koreans have been hand-picking evidence before scrutinized and listing them down as facts, whether later proven to be false or not.

Very well said slump. But don't you think it goes both ways, with Japan hand-picking evidence to suggest these girls (as young as 15) were voluntary prostitutes, who got paid well and enjoyed a luxury lifestyle? It's okay to be biased because we ALL are, but it helps to recognise the bias in yourself. I know I am biased, but do you?

Anyone who disagrees with their position is labelled a righ-wing nationalist or a Japan-lover... & their arguments are discarded based on that label. The only "truth" they are interested in is the one that fits the argument they have been parroting for a couple decades. You either agree with their list of grievances, or you are 'in denial' or 'distorting history'.

Again, do you think the likes of Abe, Ishihara and Hashimoto are interested in any 'truth' other than the one where the comfort women were voluntary prostitutes?

It's not a black or white issue. No doubt some women went voluntarily to escape poverty etc, but to suggest that the majority of these young girls were voluntary prostitutes is denial and distortion of history. The fact is the UN, the US Parliament, and the European Parliament have all passed resolutions calling for Japan to stop rewriting history.

It even specifically addresses individuals like yourself. See point number (3).

That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the Government of Japan— (1) should formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed Forces’ coercion of young women into sexual slavery, known to the world as "comfort women", during its colonial and wartime occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands from the 1930s through the duration of World War II;

(2) would help to resolve recurring questions about the sincerity and status of prior statements if the Prime Minister of Japan were to make such an apology as a public statement in his official capacity;

(3) should clearly and publicly refute any claims that the sexual enslavement and trafficking of the "comfort women" for the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces never occurred; and

(4) should educate current and future generations about this horrible crime while following the recommendations of the international community with respect to the "comfort women".

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Mr. Cohen

But don't you think it goes both ways ....I know I am biased, but do you?

My opinion/reaction to your stance below:

He's saying-- let's form conclusions from the evidence from both sides.

Your words-- not mine:

So Abe denies there is enough evidence at this moment in time to make conclusions, and says more historical research is needed.

That implies he wants all the evidence (from both sides-- biased or not) to be taken into consideration when formulating the truth-- at least that which can be proven. You can say all you want about the Japanese right-wing, but at least they base their arguments on some form of logic.

By the way, you don't seem to understand Abe's stance. He does not deny a percentage of the comfort women were coerced, but, that there is no evidence whatsoever that the Japanese government had a systematic policy to coerce those victims. (In those cases where former comfort women testified they were coerced-- their claims stem from being tricked into thinking they were being offered a different job by their broker. ...their Korean broker.) It is a very complex issue that requires civilized debate. Moreover, it is an issue that not only pertains to Japan, but all countries that have had brothels set up for their troops. That include the US, European countries, and many members of the UN.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I'm London Irish and very republican in my views. The David Cameron apology to the Irish people of the bad deeds done to them by Britain and British forces instantly made a massive difference to the Irish people. With that apology centuries of resentment and hatred by the Irish for the English was brought down. It was needed and it was very welcomed. Japan has yet to apologize properly. A proper apology makes all the difference. If however the British PM kept visiting shrines that celebrated the Irish deaths of Bloody Sunday or the massacre at Croke Park you can believe that the Irish people would still be consumed with hate for the English. It's also what actions you do that counts and not just the words as well. However British politicians don't do go to war shrines to celebrate the soldiers who murdered innocent Irish people, that is the fundamental difference. I have to say though its a fascinating read this comment section and i can see some of the pro-Japanese posters views and i also do agree with some of them. Yours confused! :)

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

This is all the fault of the LDP which has been in power for more than 50 years and they are in power yet again - causing so much diplomatic trouble. Is it any wonder? They are a bunch of looney right-wing militarist nationalists wanting to go back to the good old days of 1930's fascist Japan. They are utterly incompetent at diplomacy because they never had to deal with it thanks to the U.S. dealing things for them.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Hey Ashley I think you may be making things a bit too simple in your pro-china argument. If you are of Irish decent then you know that the problems in the northern Ireland is brewing under the surface. The political initiatives and the tiredness of constant violence made the difference in achieving the somewhat peaceful situation. No apology can change the situation. And by the way the british politicians that you mention don't go to war shrines, they go to the many imperial war museums. Don't make a mistake about how proud many british are over their imperial and war history. In speaking of proper apologies then you should go back to read the apologies uttered by Japanese PM:s over time. There is some very real stuff there. No the problem is not Japanese, its SK and China that need to take a few steps out of their policy around historical atrocities. The responsibility lies with their governments that refuses to start a systematic help service for those of their own people that needs to deal with personal traumas. Stop using your people for petty political purposes.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Going to the Yasukuni shrine is offensive not only because there are war criminals enshrined but because the shrine revises, glorifies and justifies the past Japanese imperialist war aggression.

And of course there's some butthurt person downvoting all my comments.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Abe has denied there was any plausible evidence to say the comfort women were coerced into sexual servitude, in 2007.

Some "comfort women" Mitch, not all. Some.

Are you suggesting that all comfort women were rounded up and forcibly held by the Japanese military?

Do you think there were no prostitutes whatsoever?

Those who were forced (an abominable crime no doubt) received apologies and compensation. Of course no amount of apology or compensation can make up for the suffering some of the women must have endured. This is the point. Koreans are demanding more apologies and more compensation for something that can never be fixed by an apology or by any amount of money. I don't care how saintly a person is, if that person is raped over and over she mostly likely never forgives. Forgiveness is not attainable for the Japanese as far as the victims themselves are concerned.

What bothers me is that the entire ROK is behind this notion that Japan needs to keep apologizing and paying more compensation. You know that old joke about the definition of insanity, right? Why would the Japanese want to keep doing the very thing that has gotten them nowhere so far? I understand those poor grannies who were legitimate victims carrying their hatred of Japan to their graves. I do not understand the current 2013 government of ROK demanding - in public, on the BBC no less - that Japan keep apologizing.

No more demands; no more apologies and no more compensation. It has to stop here. Its getting really mental.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

This is ridiculous. As a Japanese, I wish that all the right-wing comfort women deniers would just shut up. I really wish that the left in Japan would do more to counter the insane right-wingers. Actually it has nothing to do with (true) right-wing, it's the insane nationalists who think that glorifying the Japan's past is the right thing to do. Both the right and the left in Japan need to stand up to this kind of nonsense. When given the truth, I'm sure that most people in Japan, both right and left, would be appalled and be against this kind of thing. They just don't know the facts.

hidingout

Do you think there were no prostitutes whatsoever?

Does it matter that whether they WERE prostitutes or not? Jesus H... some people really just lack in morals. It was basically government-run brothel (which the conditions were mostly atrocious), and prostitution is certainly not legal in war.

Those who were forced (an abominable crime no doubt) received apologies and compensation. Of course no amount of apology or compensation can make up for the suffering some of the women must have endured. This is the point. Koreans are demanding more apologies and more compensation for something that can never be fixed by an apology or by any amount of money. I don't care how saintly a person is, if that person is raped over and over she mostly likely never forgives. Forgiveness is not attainable for the Japanese as far as the victims themselves are concerned.

Then when the H are there people (like you) who keep popping up and up saying that they never were "comfort women", or in any case, they were prostitutes and not raped, etc?

More thumb downs from the insane right-wingers, please.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Does it matter that whether they WERE prostitutes or not? Jesus H... some people really just lack in morals. It was basically government-run brothel (which the conditions were mostly atrocious), and prostitution is certainly not legal in war.

It does matter. If you are accused in court of a crime do you want to be accused of only the crimes you actually committed, or do you want to have a bunch of bogus charges thrown on the pile for good measure?

Then when the H are there people (like you) who keep popping up and up saying that they never were "comfort women", or in any case, they were prostitutes and not raped, etc?

I'm sorry that you were not able to understand my earlier post. In that post its quite clear that I condemn Japan for the fact that ANY "comfort women" were victimized. There's no excuse for it, no matter whether prostitution is illegal or not.

There is a clear problem that arises however when ROK "activists" , seeking to prolong the ill will, bring forth claims of a dubious nature fifty, sixty, seventy years after the fact. Shame on those activists for rejecting the AWF and for suggesting that anyone who questions their propaganda is "an insane right-winger".

Nice meltdown btw ;)

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Eiji

Don't you know there are many vietnam women raped by Korean soldiers, and ther are many children born between them? And where are children of those comfort women and Japanese soldiers? I have never heard of any news about those babies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Children....

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Eiji TakanoNov. 10, 2013 - 08:50PM JST

It was basically government-run brothel (which the conditions were mostly atrocious), and prostitution is certainly not legal in war.

I see where you get things wrong. Even now in the 21st century, prostitution is legal in most of the European countries. In such a country, the Government issues permission of prostitution, which looks as if the government is controlling the prostitutes.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Not many people around the globe actually know how Japan has addressed this problem historically. Have they given compensation in the past? Was there an agreement? Japan needs to shed light and publish what exactly has been done up to this point(backed with facts). Only then can the international community have a better understanding of why this is going on as long as it has. Many countries were aggressors during wartime including but not limited to US, Britain, Spain, Russia, Germany, etc...so if it's a matter of war crimes, Japan is not alone.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not many people around the globe actually know how Japan has addressed this problem historically. Have they given compensation in the past? Was there an agreement? Japan needs to shed light and publish what exactly has been done up to this point(backed with facts). Only then can the international community have a better understanding of why this is going on as long as it has. Many countries were aggressors during wartime including but not limited to US, Britain, Spain, Russia, Germany, etc...so if it's a matter of war crimes, Japan is not alone.

The matter is settled via Agreement Between Japan and the Republic of Korea Concerning the Settlement of Problems in Regard to Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation of 1965 whereby "The Contracting Parties confirm that [the] problem concerning property, rights and interests of the two Contracting Parties and their nationals (including juridical persons) and concerning claims between the Contracting Parties and their nationals.....is settled completely and finally. "

http://www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~worldjpn/documents/texts/JPKR/19650622.T9E.html

What was "secret" to Korea was the negotiations that lead up to the said agreement which was disclosed in 2005 or so by Korea where it was they who insisted that they take on the responsibility of individual payments despite Japan's insistence to pay them individually. Another thing to note during these negotiations are that South Korea government negotiated on behalf of North Korea as well for they stated that the NK regime is not the representative of the Korean peninsula. In other words, the monies received from Japan includes NK.

http://www.f8.wx301.smilestart.ne.jp/honyaku/honyaku-2/718.pdf

pg 115-117

Not only this, Japan including the government, companies, and individuals who resided or operated in the Korean peninsula had relinquish their assets which at that time was estimated to be around $5 billion.

And again, Korea was part of Japan who fought along with Japanese much like Austria were to Germany. There were no "war crimes" against Koreans by the Japan nor any legitimate state most importantly, the Allieds, determined them to be at war with Japan.

After WWII, many Asian nations who were under colony of Western powers became independent. To best of my knowledge, I have yet to see an instance where the former powers and their coporations/individuals relinquish all their left behind assets and on top of that, give compensation.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

CoconutE3Nov. 13, 2013 - 01:30AM JST

Not many people around the globe actually know how Japan has addressed this problem historically.

Read this link. http://www.awf.or.jp/e-guidemap.htm

It is a site of Japanese Government sponsored Asia Womens Fund. The English translation is a little awkward but shows you what you want to know.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

CH3CHO Thanks for the link!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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