politics

Japan pulls back on denials of WWII sex slaves

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P.S. I like how you attempt to downplay the acts of the Japanese forces by referring to the women who were held captive & used as sex slaves as comfort women. I am sure that being held captive & used as a slave would not be very comforting to any person.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Toshiko: You are an angry individual. Did I say that you committed those acts? No, I didn't, so why are you getting so defensive about it. Also, regarding the acts in the Philippines,my wife is from the Philippines. That's where I heard the stories. Ever hear about the Bataan death march, where Japanese soldiers marched prisoners without water & food until they died? In a lot of cases, when prisoners would collapse from exhaustion, the soldiers would behead them on the roadside.

I am not the only person who knows of these things. Perhaps you have never heard about these things, because the only things you read are sanitized version of history, a.k.a. propaganda.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mark Elrade: You should report your claim to UN because you will be the only one who has this story. Not even Phillipine Govt. claimed. Japan did not have such custom. Also, sue Japan if you think it is true story, UN will appreciate your claim if it find your claim is true,

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Mark Elrod: Since this article os about comfort woman, you should write your story to another article instead of writing to me as if I did such actions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

MarkElrod: I Never wrote American servicemen raping women in Vietnam & Korea. . I wrote about comfort women I read in Japanese Reference books Japanese people read. Japan has too many years of history that students used reference books to study details I don't live in Japan but I can't imagine Japanese school use about 20 volumes of history text books in one grade. I only wrote about comfort women here.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@toshiko: Yes, there were cases of American servicemen raping women in Vietnam & Korea. However, it was not a widespread practice as it was with the Japanese forces.

My wife's grandfather told her stories about Japanese soldiers, in the Philippines, raping women in front of their husbands & families, forcing the husbands & families to watch, & then beheading them afterward, ensuring the last thing they witness before death was the woman being raped.

Additionally, Japanese soldiers used to cut of the arms & legs of Koreans & Filipinos & hang their body parts from trees.

That is totally barbaric behavior. There are no accounts of American soldiers doing things that barbaric. The Nazis & Japanese did barbaric stuff, because the Nazis viewed all non-Anglo Saxons as inferior beings & the Japanese viewed all non-Japanese people as being inferior beings. They dehumanized them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As far as I can see this is not an article about apologies, it is one about withholding evidence of atrocities.

The evidence cited by this article was submitted during the 1946-1948 International Military Tribunal for the Far East. Surely you're not trying to imply that Tokyo - which basically was the one on tribunal then - somehow managed to suppress that evidence and "forget" that it existed? Wouldn't you think the ones CONDUCTING the tribunal would have made a comment or two about the evidence and/or testimony disappearing from the tribunal chambers?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Urqinchina

We are not talking about China here. We all know there are brainwashing in China too, BUT in democratic Japan? This is a 'crime' on the national scale!

Why does it take so long to clear the air on WWII sex slavery commited by Imperial Japan? There is something very very wrong with Japanese style democracy. It is more like manipulated democracy than real democracy since it is run by LDP almost all these years!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Please note, Japan never "apologize" because the word used is actually "regret" in Japanese language. Do not think it is a sincere apology. It is really a denial or responsibility. Which is why everybody is still pissed with Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Just waiting for the last victim to die before they realy, realy admit the wrong... it is all about compensation.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Actually Japan is way past version 2! China needs to let it go and everyone can get on with the future.

A quick search will find over 50 made by Japan since the 50s. How many will are there from China to the countries that they have attacked, invaded, or otherwise coerced over the years?

@oedo - the amount of deaths inflicted by china on other sovereign nations pale in comparison to the TENS of MILLIONS of chinese who died as a result of the pacific war. it's like a drop in the ocean.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Finding out the names of textbooks that do not mention Japanese war crimes and comfort women is quite easy if you speak Japanese. However, it's impossible because they do not exist.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Every single textbook in Japanese junior high schools mentions Japanese war crimes and comfort women.

Which textbook used down in Okinawa does not mention comfort women and war crimes?

You want to know why I don't answer specifically? Because I really can't stand it when folks over exaggerate their points for whatever reason to make their points.

What you have stated is impossible, and you had the opportunity to retract it, but didnt. So forget it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Which textbook used down in Okinawa does not mention comfort women and war crimes?

Come on down here and find out for yourself!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Which textbook used down in Okinawa does not mention comfort women and war crimes?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Okay I'll give the answer. Every single textbook in Japanese junior high schools mentions Japanese war crimes and comfort women.

Oh really, come down here to Okinawa and you might learn something.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You would support your point so much better by providing direct information that supports your allegations, rather than laying down a gauntlet knowing fully well that it's next to impossible to provide the information you ask for.

Okay I'll give the answer. Every single textbook in Japanese junior high schools mentions Japanese war crimes and comfort women.

The one textbook that tried to downplay Japanese crimes and generally tried to not mention them at all, was Atarashii Rekishi Kyokasho. The textbook was used by a grand total of 8 public schools (of which 5 were for disabled children). For reference, there are over 10,000 junior high schools in Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In actual fact it is pretty much irrelevant whether the sex slaves are mentioned in Japanese textbooks or not because it is an issue related to the very end of the history that is covered. By accident or design this period, covering the war and related issues, is generally either rushed, skimped on or ignored at the tail end of high school. Almost every Japanese knows this. The result is that the only real event that lodges in the mind of students, more often than not because of a school trip but perhaps because of history class coverage and the large photo of the mushroom cloud in the textbook, is the dropping of the atomic bombs.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You can read about comfort women in Japanese textbooks. Please post the textbooks that don't mention it and the number of schools that use them.

You would support your point so much better by providing direct information that supports your allegations, rather than laying down a gauntlet knowing fully well that it's next to impossible to provide the information you ask for.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nice to see Japan pulling out of these denials. They had a real brass neck denying them in the first place. It is a comfort that there will be full investigation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ah_so: "It is funny how the Japanese seem only to count the evidence and testimonies of Japanese solders as valid, dismissing the evidence of victims."

Actually, they usually discount the evidence and testimonies of former Imperial soldiers when it does not fit their need, citing "fuzzy memories" and what not. I'm only surprised they're allowing the memories in this case to be acknowledged, and I'm quite sure Abe is cursing and denying them still once the cameras are off.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why did The AP need to report the opinion of Communist Party member, bot not that of Nariaki Nakayama on March 8th this year? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra7Dj51AniI

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It is funny how the Japanese seem only to count the evidence and testimonies of Japanese solders as valid, dismissing the evidence of victims.

The is equivalent to a claim of rape being dismissed by the police because the rapist has not voluntarilly confessed to it.

Actually, why did I write "equivalent"? It is exactly the same!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Also please post, if you can, Abe's original statement about comfort women not being forced into slavery in the original Japanese. I don't think he said what you think be did. I remember the news about it and the Japanese was something along the lines of whether or not there was a systematic process in place for the Japanese military to kidnap Korean girls and turn them into sex slaves at gunpoint.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You can read about comfort women in Japanese textbooks. Please post the textbooks that don't mention it and the number of schools that use them.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Upgrayedd: "The Japanese government has not denied any war crimes."

Funniest thing I've heard all day. We know you can't read about sexual slavery in the textbooks here in Japan, thanks in large part to Abe himself, but try at least reading the article:

"Abe has acknowledged so-called “comfort women” existed but denied they were coerced into prostitution, citing a lack of official evidence. He also has repeatedly vowed to reassess apologies by past Japanese administrations."

He has had to backtrack TWICE on his denials of sexual slavery, and yet still denies they were coerced when people who were actually there, and who coerced them, admit to it. I could go into an entire list of denial of war crimes, but it would be off topic.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The Japanese government has not denied any war crimes.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Ossan: "They already did in 1994."

And have been constantly denying sexual slavery since. You yourself blame South Koreans for the forced sexual slavery. Abe himself has now twice had to backtrack on his denials and says they won't rescind an apology, so cut the 'they already did stuff' when the government is constantly denying it -- it's obvious they're not genuine.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Yubaru-sabL I copied from Wikipedia. The term is also used for the women and girls engaged by the South Korean government for sexual services for US Military personnel in the 1950s

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yubaru-san: Last sentence, it was Japanese military practice, I wrote. Not American military in Korea. Another goofing of mine. I will check about American military men's use of comfort women in Wikipedia to write here. (I use Wikipedia English now)

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@tony Ew Right at this moment , I have my sons Chinese social studies book from junior high school in front of me. Shall I start quoting the Chinese version of history verbatim from it ? For example , the first man to conquer Mt Everest was Chinese!! As far as I can see, China, Japan and the two Koreas all need to revise their textbooks to more accurately portray history.

Your complete comments cover all 4 countries and also some other countries in the world as well.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Later American did same practice in Korea. More kidnapped than coerced.

I would love for you to back up this claim with facts.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@chucky3176May. 09, 2013 - 12:44PM JST

It took the threats from the US government, to put a fear in Abe to retract his nationalist plans. Irate Obama basically told Abe, if you ever rewrite history, it's not going to be good for Japan's relations with the US

That is what I thought! Korean president Park in Washington DC given standing ovation in Congress being a very good US ally. Japan? Just full of trouble, so POTUS Obama tell Abe, that's it! Come on board, be a team player or else!

Seriously since Japan keeps having this nationalist streak problem all these years, it is time for her to revise the school textbooks and stop brainwashing her citizens. Only then when they become adults they do not become so nationalists which is the reason why these politicans always have to appease them to win their votes, like putting a show visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, some praying for votes, some really hard core nationalists.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

It's good to see these deliberate and methodical steps along the path of truth. However, this alone can not heal Asia. All countries involved have to be willing to move forward to make it work.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Mark Elrod: As I recall Japanese encyclopedia I read, all countries in southeast Asia girls were either coerced or kidnapped for sex slavery. Later American did same practice in Korea. More kidnapped than coerced.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It took the threats from the US government, to put a fear in Abe to retract his nationalist plans. Irate Obama basically told Abe, if you ever rewrite history, it's not going to be good for Japan's relations with the US. So how does Abe extract himself out of this predicament that he put himself in, trying to please his right wing constituency without offending the US? Come up with this excuse that they have new documents - evidence that the comfort women claims may have some merits (without fully acknowledging that it did happen), so we'll just leave things the way they are for now.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Elbuda Mexicano | Not only Japan thinks it can re write history, look at the Russians, Chinese and yes the USA too! We are only human, so we are all CORRUPT but must wake up and see the horrors we are ALL guilty of as a human race.

Good point Elbuda. Holding people collectively responsible will only work when the group contains everybody on earth, including oneself.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@mark Elrod You are right. Also in S E Asia. Check the archives and see what they did to pregnant women!!! Hardly any off-spring of SEAsian mothers and Japanese soldiers. Ever wonder why? They can deny the horrendous acts but history cannot be changed! Not in a hundred years!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It wasn't just Chinese women they forced into sexual slavery, they did it in the Philippines, as well.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Kami, of the Japan Communist Party, also asked whether the government had ever updated its archives to reflect more recent findings than the earlier investigation. The answer was no.

No. But Tomichi Murayama dedicated the rest of his political career under Asian Women Fund to find such evidence but the archives which included evidence collected by the Allieds during IJA capture showed no evidence that the IJA had a policy of abducting or recruiting women by force.

Did certain middlemen use such tactics to recruit women? Yes. Did certain military units used such tactics to recruit women overseas? Yes. Are these two examples exclusive to IJA only before and after WW2? No.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

As far as I can see this is not an article about apologies, it is one about withholding evidence of atrocities. Now it is this kind of thing that undermines and devalues apologies however many have been made. And there are still millions of Japanese who doubt that coerced sexual slavery arranged by the military ever occurred. This should not be the case if it is historical fact and/or the official position. Unfortunately, apologies, whether heartfelt or not at the time, are often seen by the home crowd as something that are merely done to pacify the outsiders and that for which the apology is made remains open to dispute in their minds. Lets make it clear to everyone once and for all that it happened, same as Germany acknowledges the atrocities it committed, so that doubters are simply regarded as the cranks they are.

And, if we want the US and Britain and Australia and everyone else to own up to theirs and apologise then that is a separate issue and laudable though it may be should be dealt with separately and not merely used as relative justification for atrocities elsewhere.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nandakandamanda: I forgot to mention that. It was not Japanese English /dictionary. It was Japanese Dictionary for Japanese people. 'nihongo-jiten'. That kind dictionary was used for Japanese children, then. In USA. English dictionaries are usually explanation of English in easier English, Just like that, we used to use Japanese Dictionary to study literature, etc. Probably Japanese people know Japanese histories from ancient era to now.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

NandaKandamanda: I should write the time we were reading. OK, I was in a first year of a girls middle school when WW II was over. So, we middle school girls were anxious about learning I-An-fu and other histories. No TV era and books and magazines beside manga books were only entertainment. San-sei-do was an excellent book publisher but we used other heavy Japanese encycropedias. I believe 20 volumes, each about 10 cm thickness. I forgot which publisher because it was so many years ago. I had Kenkyusha's English Japanese dictionary because we had to learn English by books, then. Movies, only school brought us together when they were OK for students.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@John Master

@Peter Payne No. Japan's apologies lose their meaning whenever their PMs try to revise their apologies.

Since China and Korea never accept an apology as "sincere", when it helps meet their political goals, each successive Japanese PM is forced to revise and reissue an apology with the hope that China/SK will stop playing games, grow up, and let things go. Let's move on!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

@Peter Payne No. Japan's apologies lose their meaning whenever their PMs try to revise their apologies.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Japan has apologized 43+ times. The other side will not listen. They have no ears to listen.

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

For the record, America NEVER talks about the atrocities we committed in Vietnam, and Americans of a certain political stripe (you know the one) will actually bring out the "oh that was a long time ago" argument even though it was not. All countries have a different perception of their own history than other countries.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

@ OssanAmerica,

Tomiichi Murayama is a descent man and PM of Japan. His apology has been a sincere apology. In his apology statement on female as sex slave the word "coerce" was left out.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Well after all these consistent denial for years Abe government finally comes clean with this big issue of coercion of female as sex slave.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Tony

Man up, apologize some more. For each new comfort woman coerced, apologize in person. Show Japan is really civilize by apologizing in public again, Version 2 sounds better!

Actually Japan is way past version 2! China needs to let it go and everyone can get on with the future.

A quick search will find over 50 made by Japan since the 50s. How many will are there from China to the countries that they have attacked, invaded, or otherwise coerced over the years?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

PS Perhaps the latest versions of these dictionaries do. (?) Mine are not so new.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

toshiko, I understand what you are saying. If the word is in mainstream dictionaries in Japan, then it shows the concept as a generally accepted fact, right?

Not all seem to have the word though. I just checked and neither Proceed's Japanese-English dictionary, (used by high school students), nor Sanshodo's Jirin21, Encyclopedic Dictionary (in Japanese) 辞林21 三省堂 list IANFU. 慰安婦

My XXX electronic dictionary does, however.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not only Japan thinks it can re write history, look at the Russians, Chinese and yes the USA too! We are only human, so we are all CORRUPT but must wake up and see the horrors we are ALL guilty of as a human race.

2 ( +9 / -8 )

japan thinks it can just rewrite history

-9 ( +10 / -20 )

I believe Tomoko Kami is a lady. It is a common knowledge of existence of Comfort Women, "I-an-fu' Why we knew? Japanese Dictionary (jibiki) and encyclopedia (hyakka jiten) had articles on i-an-fu..

8 ( +10 / -2 )

@OssanAmericaMay. 09, 2013 - 09:10AM JST

LH10May. 09, 2013 - 08:53AM JST it's so disappointing japan is looking the other way. THEY NEED TO ADMIT AND APPOLIGIZE.

They already did in 1994.

"..then prime minister Tomiichi Murayama, stating "As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women."

Oh my. I takes a Communist party guy in Japan to force the issue to the open while all the other party members pretend nothing bad happen.

Man up, apologize some more. For each new comfort woman coerced, apologize in person. Show Japan is really civilize by apologizing in public again, Version 2 sounds better!

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

LH10May. 09, 2013 - 08:53AM JST it's so disappointing japan is looking the other way. THEY NEED TO ADMIT AND APPOLIGIZE.

They already did in 1994.

"..then prime minister Tomiichi Murayama, stating "As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women."

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

it's so disappointing japan is looking the other way. THEY NEED TO ADMIT AND APPOLIGIZE.

2 ( +11 / -8 )

They will make sure they destroy or 'lose' any incriminating documents before they re-investigate the matter.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

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