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Japan rejects S Korean mention of wartime 'comfort women' at U.N.

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By Stephanie Nebehay

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"Japan is of the view that Minister Kang Kyung-wha's bringing up the issue in her statement this morning is totally unacceptable and I myself conveyed our position to (South Korea's) permanent representative here," he added.

It's attitudes such as this that will never allow the issue to be put into the history books and gotten past by both countries.

Just because you don't want to hear about it, does not mean that it did not happen, and once you can accept that fact, and quit bitching about it, and acknowledge that it is in fact history, then it will never go away!

-14 ( +19 / -33 )

Seems the desire for self harm extends beyond the West these days into South Korea. I truly do not understand what South Korea hopes to gain by bringing this up at every opportunity. Talking about events that happened 80 years ago. 80 years for heavens sake. You made an agreement in an effort to see Japan and South Korea move on in their relationship. Unless you you truly intend to take out retribution on Japan beyond a few statues then aren't you better off moving on?

22 ( +36 / -14 )

@Matt Hartwell, when does Japan have to do the same? By constantly making complaints and "rejecting" comments made are they not just as guilty?

Japan has NEVER fully accepted responsibility. It takes more than words or money, it takes acknowledging that it occurred, and including an honest accounting in history books, so further generations can accept and understand the horrors of war.

-16 ( +18 / -34 )

South Korea has recently sought to revisit the issue.

Yeah, that’s gonna happen when you have Japanese historians downplaying and straight up denying the were ever comfort women. My favorite is the joker that claimed all 200,000 women and children from different parts of Asia all volunteered to become sex slaves. Then there is the other joker claiming it was ok because it was war. With all this rhetoric coming from Japan I am not surprised that Korea won’t let it go.

-13 ( +16 / -29 )

Time for petulant Korea to give back the money they took 5 years ago with the agreement to stop publicizing the issue after Japan apologized.

You can't take the money and not hold up your end of the bargain.

Childish and classless again on Korea's part

11 ( +30 / -19 )

some nations chose to look forward to shaping new relations, other childish petulant nations cling to events that happened over 8 decades ago.

Class vs immaturity

13 ( +27 / -14 )

YubaruToday 07:09 am JST

Japan has NEVER fully accepted responsibility

It's this constant repeating of a lie that keeps this issue going. South Korea and Japan negotiated the 2015 Agreement which not only included monetary compensation but a Prime Ministerial Apology, as South Korea wanted. Both nations agreed that this agreement permanently resolves the issue. Japan has fulfilled it's part of the agreement but South Korea is reneging on it. Not only are they in breech of their Agreement but they are further aggravating the issue with actions like this article.

The Moon administration is aligning itself with China and North Korea, and because South Korea is yet unable and unwilling to let US Troops leave and stop defending them, they are collaborating with China to break apart the US-Japan alliance, the MAJOR obstacle to China's aspiration of regional dominance.

16 ( +31 / -15 )

We can go on and on what a "sincere apology" by the nation looks like (acknowledging it and having statesmen apologize for it several times during 20th. century), or we can cringe in disgust at how little, undignified nation is using dead people's memory to play victim card and receive some more monetary satisfaction to keep itself shut. Abe and Polish have some on-par political opponents in Korea.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

@Matt Hartwell

I truly do not understand what South Korea hopes to gain by bringing this up at every opportunity.

To remind Abe san that the comfort women issue is not over.

You made an agreement in an effort to see Japan and South Korea move on in their relationship.

The agreement was already declared dead. Moon announced Korea would act as if the agreement didn't exist. This is what he meant by it, and Japan would see more of it.

Unless you you truly intend to take out retribution on Japan beyond a few statues then aren't you better off moving on?

In Korea, they often talk of wars as means of final settlement. If there was an occation for war with Japan, they wouldn't refuse it. At least Roh Moo Hyun didn't back in 2007.

@Dango bong

Time for petulant Korea to give back the money they took 5 years ago

The money is already in an escrow account titled to the government of Japan. Japanese government refuses to take back the money.

-20 ( +8 / -28 )

How can it be sincere if that part of Japan's history is suppressed in school textbooks?

Again, take it 'like a man' and admit your mistakes like Germany did, or forever live being shamed by Korea and other nations at every opportunity. Trying to buy silence on the issue with the NDA type approach as in a few years ago is not the right way.

-12 ( +13 / -25 )

@Daniel Naumoff

We can go on and on what a "sincere apology" by the nation looks like

It's very clear. Moon wants Abe san bow before comfort women in person, admit that the Imperial Japanese government ordered their forced conscription, and apologize in the name of the state of Japan.

using dead people's memory to play victim card

Comfort women demanding apology from Abe san are very much alive and kicking, 34 of them.

-16 ( +9 / -25 )

History is a part of civilization. Abe made a huge mistake to provoke neighbors by denying history unilaterally. If the 14 'Class A' war criminals can be honored by Abe in Yasukuni Shrine, why can't the real victims be remembered by all civilized people at UN ? 80 years can't erase justice. If Japan wants to be a part of United States of Northeast Asia, then say no to incitements to divide neighbors by non-pacific nations.

-14 ( +10 / -24 )

It’s all objective.

If history is worth moaning over, how far back do you go to apologize?

And how long do you hold the grudge against others?

When you see nationalism and politics being more involved than truth and moving forward, you remember we are humans and just bickering as always.

18 ( +23 / -5 )

Just for the record. Please read the following:

Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono

on the result of the study on the issue of "comfort women"

August 4, 1993

  The Government of Japan has been conducting a study on the issue of wartime "comfort women" since December 1991. I wish to announce the findings as a result of that study.

  As a result of the study which indicates that comfort stations were operated in extensive areas for long periods, it is apparent that there existed a great number of comfort women. Comfort stations were operated in response to the request of the military authorities of the day. The then Japanese military was, directly or indirectly, involved in the establishment and management of the comfort stations and the transfer of comfort women. The recruitment of the comfort women was conducted mainly by private recruiters who acted in response to the request of the military. The Government study has revealed that in many cases they were recruited against their own will, through coaxing, coercion, etc., and that, at times, administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitments. They lived in misery at comfort stations under a coercive atmosphere.

  As to the origin of those comfort women who were transferred to the war areas, excluding those from Japan, those from the Korean Peninsula accounted for a large part. The Korean Peninsula was under Japanese rule in those days, and their recruitment, transfer, control, etc., were conducted generally against their will, through coaxing, coercion, etc.

  Undeniably, this was an act, with the involvement of the military authorities of the day, that severely injured the honor and dignity of many women. The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.

  It is incumbent upon us, the Government of Japan, to continue to consider seriously, while listening to the views of learned circles, how best we can express this sentiment.

  We shall face squarely the historical facts as described above instead of evading them, and take them to heart as lessons of history. We hereby reiterate our firm determination never to repeat the same mistake by forever engraving such issues in our memories through the study and teaching of history.

  As actions have been brought to court in Japan and interests have been shown in this issue outside Japan, the Government of Japan shall continue to pay full attention to this matter, including private researched related thereto.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

How can you remedy the situation?

You can fess up to what happened.

You can say sorry

You can offer money as compensation.

What you can expect in return:

No more demands for compensation.

You can ask that the matter not be mentioned again.

What you can't ask is:

They forget what happened.

They shouldn't commemorate what happened.

What your obligations should be:

To not deny what happened.

Teach what happened as historical fact.

What's so difficult here?

-12 ( +10 / -22 )

The perfect storm , a nation that has learnt the safe warm space of victimhood collides with a nation that struggles to express itself well and doesn't know how to debate in a simple, straightforward and open way. The results speak for themselves.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Just for the record yet again: Please read the following:

Announcement by Foreign Ministers of Japan and the Republic of Korea at the Joint Press Occasion

December 28, 2015

Foreign Minister Kishida( for Japan)

The Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) have intensively discussed the issue of comfort women between Japan and the ROK at bilateral meetings including the Director-General consultations. Based on the result of such discussions, I, on behalf of the Government of Japan, state the following:

(1) The issue of comfort women, with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time, was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of large numbers of women, and the Government of Japan is painfully aware of responsibilities from this perspective. As Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister Abe expresses anew his 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.

(2) The Government of Japan has been sincerely dealing with this issue. Building on such experience, the Government of Japan will now take measures to heal psychological wounds of all former comfort women through its budget. To be more specific, it has been decided that the Government of the ROK establish a foundation for the purpose of providing support for the former comfort women, that its funds be contributed by the Government of Japan as a one-time contribution through its budget, and that projects for recovering the honor and dignity and healing the psychological wounds of all former comfort women be carried out under the cooperation between the Government of Japan and the Government of the ROK.

(3) While stating the above, the Government of Japan confirms that this issue is resolved finally and irreversibly with this announcement, on the premise that the Government will steadily implement the measures specified in (2) above. In addition, together with the Government of the ROK, the Government of Japan will refrain from accusing or criticizing each other regarding this issue in the international community, including at the United Nations.

 Foreign Minister Yun for ( Republic of Korea )

The Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Government of Japan have intensively discussed the issue of comfort women between the ROK and Japan at bilateral meetings including the Director-General consultations. Based on the result of such discussions, I, on behalf of the Government of the ROK, state the following:

(1) The Government of the ROK values the GOJ’s announcement and efforts made by the Government of Japan in the lead-up to the issuance of the announcement and confirms, together with the GOJ, that the issue is resolved finally and irreversibly with this announcement, on the premise that the Government of Japan will steadily implement the measures specified in 1. (2) above. The Government of the ROK will cooperate in the implementation of the Government of Japan’s measures.

(2) The Government of the ROK acknowledges the fact that the Government of Japan is concerned about the statue built in front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul from the viewpoint of preventing any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity, and will strive to solve this issue in an appropriate manner through taking measures such as consulting with related organizations about possible ways of addressing this issue.

(3) The Government of the ROK, together with the Government of Japan, will refrain from accusing or criticizing each other regarding this issue in the international community, including at the United Nations, on the premise that the Government of Japan will steadily implement the measures it announced.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

But only yesterday they sure wanted to get Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors out there to talk about how Japan suffered in the war. This is the denial and hypocrisy people were talking about yesterday.

Well done, Japan! Hope this brings even more light on the issue, and shows you for the hypocrite you are. Not only that, but unfortunately thanks to this kind of action, you completely undermine the push to "remember the horrors of war" that you wanted yesterday by sending out the aforementioned bombing victims to tell their stories.

-8 ( +15 / -23 )

Now let us look section 3 of FM Yun's statement, which states the following:

(3) The Government of the ROK, together with the Government of Japan, will refrain from accusing or criticizing each other regarding this issue in the international community, including at the United Nations, on the premise that the Government of Japan will steadily implement the measures it announced.

South Korean broke the agreement. It is that simple.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

@econstats

Compare the Kono Statement with the Abe Statement

The Kono Statement

Comfort stations were operated in response to the request of the military authorities of the day. The then Japanese military was, directly or indirectly, involved in the establishment and management of the comfort stations and the transfer of comfort women. The recruitment of the comfort women was conducted mainly by private recruiters who acted in response to the request of the military.

The Abe Statement

with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time

The Kono Statement clearly accepts that the Japanese government ordered the conscription of comfort women.

The Abe Statement does not accept that the Japanese government ordered the conscription of comfort women. Instead, the Abe Statement accepts the moral responsibility of comfort women stations operated in territories controlled by Japan even though Japan denies that the Imperial Japanese government ordered their establishment.

So as far as the Korean government is concerned, the Abe statement is null and void. An acceptable form of apology by the Korean government would be Abe san reading the Kono statement before the comfort women in person, because the Kono statement accepted that the Imperial Japanese government ordered their conscription and this is the key point of the present day dispute.

-17 ( +6 / -23 )

@econostats

South Korean broke the agreement. It is that simple.

Moon already said his administration was going to act as if the agreement didn't exist. What were you expecting? It's back to the good old days of diplomatic warfare over comfort women.

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

Look we do it as individuals too. Selective memories, patchworking the stuff we need to create our desired character. It's an illusion, but everyone does it. Japan just does it on a national scale that's all, and the old guard that so wants to believe Japan is ONE special race hold onto it even tighter. Incorporating the shadow is done by only a brave few willing to face their darker natures. A bunch of old clones in suits doing groupthink, forget about it.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

The comfort women agreement is a dead agreement, just like the Treaty of Portsmouth.

Holding onto the Treaty of Portsmouth won't get Japan the Kuril islands returned.

Holding onto the comfort women agreement won't get Japan to stop the comfort women humiliation around the world.

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

Doesn't explain why can't Japan be more supportive

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

But only yesterday they sure wanted to get Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors out there to talk about how Japan suffered in the war. This is the denial and hypocrisy people were talking about yesterday.

So true.

Japan wants the world to remember the Japanese victims of WWII, but is quick to brush away any victims of the IJA during the same era.

SK's mention of the comfort women should not harm SK-Japan relations any more than Japan's efforts to promote accounts of the A-bombs harms USA-Japan relations.

But truth is SK's mention of comfort women DOES harm SK-Japan relations.. this is because of years of Japan's efforts to deny or downplay its war time atrocities which means it's become a highly charged political issue.

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

Japan did what SK wanted at the time and fulfilled their end of the bargain. Now SK wants to toss out the agreement because some people have provoked the issue yet again. It's a great way to splinter the alliance. So the question becomes, is it NK or China that got the provocateurs going?

14 ( +20 / -6 )

And only a few days ago many on social media (including here on JT) thought the Kodaira-Lee hug was 'the start of a new chapter between the 2 nations', that 'the course of History had changed' etc LOL!

These 2 will never change as long as they're run by pollies whose entire life is dictated by 'saving face' bs (their own & their nation's).

Although Japan's handling of the situation is certainly not beyond reproach, SK's narrow-minded and puerile approach on the subject is nauseating. Imagine a world where each and every nation/individual/husband/wife/business etc keep bringing up others' past & mistakes ad nauseam? So glad old Europe chose the other option i.e. make amends & move on with their future.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

The etiquette of "safe" and "polite" conversation demanded by Japanese "Faulty Powers" international diplomacy is redolent of a dog chasing its own tail, always appearing to entail the pathetic, specious special pleading: "Don't mention the war!"

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

So glad old Europe chose the other option i.e. make amends & move on with their future.

This x100.

But Japan is no Germany. In fact they're polar opposites in how they chose to approach mending ties with their neighbours.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

In 2015 when South Korea and Japan signed the Agreement which both nations termed a "“final and irreversible resolution”, there were 47 surviving Comfort Women. Of these, 36 accepted the settlement and PM Abe's Prime Ministerial apology. So what the Moon administration is doing now certainly isn't for the surviving Comfort Women.

Is South Korea prepared to be seen by the world as a childish culturally backwards country that is unable to respect the rule of law and stand by it's international agreements and not fit to engage in matters with the international community?

13 ( +22 / -9 )

But Japan is no Germany. In fact they're polar opposites in how they chose to approach mending ties with their neighbours.

Exactly, but the extremists here get butt-hurt when you point out that fact. They simply can't face up to reality.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

It's this constant repeating of a lie that keeps this issue going. 

Wrong, it's folks that think the agreement between the two countries is enough to settle the issue. Japan is working overtime to BURY it, and that is a fact.

People who refuse to accept the history are relegated to repeated

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

Is South Korea prepared to be seen by the world as a childish culturally backwards country that is unable to respect the rule of law and stand by it's international agreements and not fit to engage in matters with the international community?

The 'agreement' was deservedly broken.

When Japan takes the issue seriously, I believe Korea and the world will also. Until then, sorry to say, but it's Japan that looks like the 'childish culturally backwards country' that you mention.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

Is South Korea prepared to be seen by the world as a childish culturally backwards country that is unable to respect the rule of law and stand by it's international agreements and not fit to engage in matters with the international community?

For the record I do not agree with the 2015 agreement but think that the current SK government needs to respect the agreement signed by the previous Park administration.

However, the endless posts where people like yourself worry about "SK being seen as a country that won't honour their agreements etc etc" are unnecessary, because truth is 99.9% of people outside SK and Japan do not care about this issue, or aren't even aware of it.

It is as pressing an issue in the minds of the average Joe outside SK and Japan, as the Macedonia/FYROM naming dispute.

-17 ( +0 / -17 )

HeckleberryToday 10:13 am JST

So glad old Europe chose the other option i.e. make amends & move on with their future.

This x100.

But Japan is no Germany. In fact they're polar opposites in how they chose to approach mending ties with their neighbours.

Germany also had a military brothel system during WWII. To this date Germany has not recognized, much less apologized to the victims. The Comfort Women issue is not one where one should bring up comparisons with Germany.

"The women forced into these brothels came mainly from the Ravensbrück concentration camp,[2] except for Auschwitz, which employed its own prisoners.[3] In combination with the German military brothels in World War II, it is estimated that at least 34,140 female inmates were forced into sexual slavery during the Third Reich."

The Foreign Ministry of the Polish Government in Exile issued a document on May 3, 1941, describing the mass kidnapping raids conducted in Polish cities with the aim of capturing young women for sexual slavery at brothels run by the German military.[5] On top of that, Polish girls as young as 15 – classified as suitable for slave labor and shipped to Germany – were sexually exploited by German men at their place of destination.[5] In Brandenburg, two Polish Ostarbeiter teens who returned home to Kraków in advanced stage of pregnancy, reported to have been raped by German soldiers with such frequency that they were unable to perform any of the worker's designated labour.[5]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_military_brothels_in_World_War_II

14 ( +21 / -7 )

Germany also had a military brothel system during WWII.

Great! Maybe you can go and post that in Germany Today...

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

AgentXToday 10:26 am JST

But Japan is no Germany. In fact they're polar opposites in how they chose to approach mending ties with their neighbours.

Exactly, but the extremists here get butt-hurt when you point out that fact. They simply can't face up to reality.

"A 1977 German report by a neoconservative historian from Baden-Württemberg,[9] Franz W. Seidler, contended that the foreign women who were made to register for the German military brothels had been prostitutes already before the war."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_military_brothels_in_World_War_II

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Is South Korea prepared to be seen by the world as a childish culturally backwards country that is unable to respect the rule of law and stand by it's international agreements and not fit to engage in matters with the international community?

I have no problems with whatever Korea talks about as long as Japan continues to thumb it's nose at their own history.

Yasukuni, rewriting textbooks, not only about the comfort women, but regarding too many issues regarding the war, and the IJA's part, making complaints about any country that "disagree's" or has an issue, talking about refusing funding for UNESCO projects, and an almost total failure to educate the generations of children about Japan's part in the war. Not to mention Japan openly playing the victim card with Hiroshima and Nagasaki,

Your thinking is that money is all it takes to resolve any problems.

Who is the childish backward one?

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

they were not comfort women they were sex slaves

I propose building a statue of libery sized monument

of a sex slave so it will never be forgotten

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

YubaruToday 10:42 am JST

Is South Korea prepared to be seen by the world as a childish culturally backwards country that is unable to respect the rule of law and stand by it's international agreements and not fit to engage in matters with the international community?

I have no problems with whatever Korea talks about as long as Japan continues to thumb it's nose at their own history.

Irrelevant to the Comfort Women issue as negotiated between South Korea and Japan.

Your thinking is that money is all it takes to resolve any problems.

Wrong. It is South Korea that requested the money and Japan that complied.

Who is the childish backward one?

South Korea under the Moon administration, and people who do not respect legally binding agreements between two sovereign nations. Such as yourself.

9 ( +19 / -10 )

Both sides are wrong here.

South Korea is exploiting, in a cheap way, what happened with the comfort women and Japan should make a very clear and direct apology, do it at the UN and get done with it.  Let South Korea after that, bring it up as often as they want and keep a dignified silence. 

Japan must live up to its atrocities in the 2nd world war, as the allies should do as well over Dresden for example. But, the winner writes history. 

War is horror, besides the killing rape and forced sex is part of any war. Prostitution thrives where ever an army base is located, also in peace times.  There is no war were soldiers, militia, rebels, do not rape.  Yes, it was shameful what the Japanese army did, it is more shameful not to apologies for it, clearly and without reserve. It would show bravery not weakness to do so, BUT it should also be the very last time Japan is asked to do so. So, the UN , seems like the best place to do that.  There must be a time for forgiveness, and I am careful when i say that, I fully understand a number of the victims and their families can never forgive nor forget and that must be accepted, but nations must be able to move on, or war, never stops.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Yasukuni, rewriting textbooks, not only about the comfort women, but regarding too many issues regarding the war, and the IJA's part, making complaints about any country that "disagree's" or has an issue, talking about refusing funding for UNESCO projects, and an almost total failure to educate the generations of children about Japan's part in the war. Not to mention Japan openly playing the victim card with Hiroshima and Nagasaki,

Spot on, Yubaru!

Too many things!

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

The issue seems all over whatever S Korea doesnt like. Move on!  Dont stay in the past forever.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

"The Kono Statement clearly accepts that the Japanese government ordered the conscription of comfort women."

Yet, the korean government demands more .

Why should the Japanese government issue any more apologizes when the koreans will throw it right back in Japan's face?

"So as far as the Korean government is concerned, the Abe statement is null and void".

Even though FM YUN stated in the public and for the record:

"The Government of the ROK values the GOJ’s announcement and efforts made by the Government of Japan in the lead-up to the issuance of the announcement and confirms,that the issue is resolved finally and irreversibly with this announcement"

Pacta sunt servanda-agreements must be kept!

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Japan's issue is all over, so It seems now time that S Korea better to start to resolve the big issue of "Lai Dai Han" during Vietnam War. Vietnam has been demanding appoloty and compensation for a long time.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

"Comfort women' is not isolated phenomenon, Abe's revisionism denies many and even worse events like this. Japan tolerated the view that many crimes during war2 were justified or less criminal. Northeast Asians have done quite a lot to forgive Japan, even pardoned Japan. But Abe took all of good wills by neighbors for granted. Abe even tries to rearm Japan and abandons peace constitution. The fact that Abe still believes that force is the only way to resolve problems means he learned nothing from history. Abe even proposed the quad alliances against China, forgetting that China waived $trillion war reparation of Japan. Abe is morally wrong, diplomatically stupid, economically suicidal. Japan will be abandoned by neighbors if Abe wouldn't change his heart.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Told you all.

I predicted that this comfort women issue would yet again be raised by the South Korean government.

When the 'landmark' agreement between Japan and South Korea to formally apologize and offer compensation to the comfort women was settled in 2015, then president Park and others seemed to refer to this as THE final resolution to the comfort women issue.

But I knew better. Back then, I predicted that eventually the South Korean government would renege, and with the egging on of the anti Japanese nationalists, go back to doing what they do best, antagonize Japan every chance they get with the comfort women issue, and conveniently ignore the 2015 settlement. What good is any settlement, apology, or agreement when the other hostile party always backtracks and engages in revisionist history of their own?

Like I always say, it doesn't matter what Japan does, it will never be enough to the anti Japan crowd. The apology wasn't 'enough' because PM Abe didn't go down on his knees to apologize. The money was 'meaningless' because it was funded by the Japanese government. So on and so forth. The Japanese government has every right to express their disapproval of these deceitful tactics by the South Korean government and nationalists.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Many have pointed out this is history over 80 years old and they are right. It is.

Many point out that an agreement was reached to settle this issue between the two governments and this is also true.

I point out that no effected individuals signed any agreement to settle this issue.

I point out that you cant really make an agreement to settle the issue then change your history books to cover it up like it never happened.

I also point out that in two countries with freedom of speach you cant tell people they cant speak of historic events as they please or that they cant speak of personal opinions on historic events. You can say you disagree with their opinion.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Econstats,

I don't know if you were in Japan when the Kono Statement was made, I was, and the LDP members were FURIOUS about it & extremely vocal in its OPPOSITION to that statement & STILL ARE to this DAY!

Ditto for Murayama san's take of the 50th Anniversary of the end of WWII, in case you weren't here, the LDP did NOT want to stand up & do this so they let in  Murayama san who did an EXCELLENT job, but once again the rank & file LDP members were absolutely FURIOUS about it & extremely vocal in its opposition.

So YOU cant really say that abe & his ilk agree with ANYTHING wrt to the Kono statement, I guarantee that they DO NOT!

There fixed all this for ya!

1 ( +8 / -7 )

kwattToday 11:45 am JST

Japan's issue is all over, so It seems now time that S Korea better to start to resolve the big issue of "Lai Dai Han" during Vietnam War. Vietnam has been demanding appoloty and compensation for a long time.

And well they should.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/23/asia/south-korea-vietnam-massacre-intl/index.html

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Why is this worthy of mention an the UN?  They have enough to be getting on with without this ancient history being dredged up.  what are they supposed to do about it?

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Does anyone actually believe that Japanese young people don’t know about the war? Please, that’s preposterous.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Interesting and disturbing link, Ossan.

Humans are inhuman.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Kang said that the victims, now women in their 80s and 90s, were "still striving to restore their dignity and honor"

How do you give back to someone their dignity and honor after 80 years? Large sums of monies were given to compensate for the wrongs done, but that will never be enough. 9.4 mil per person of the 47 survivors is like $200,000 per person. They are asking for something that maybe Japan cannot return after 80 years. I mean, don't get me wrong! It is ATROCIOUS as to what happened to these women, but at least they can share in their country's honor that this can never happen again and have dignity in that aspect.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Does anyone actually believe that Japanese young people don’t know about the war? Please, that’s preposterous.

Please take your head out of the sand!

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21226068

From 2005, which is when those in their 20's were in school!

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=306187

Quote:

To this day Japanese high school students are taught that World War 2 began for their nation when the United States for no apparent reason began dropping atomic bombs on Japan.

-17 ( +4 / -21 )

Good to hear the Japanese government is not so stupid as to ever acknowledge this non-existent "issue" ever again. SK has turned into a joke country so always a good laugh hearing SK have a cry about prostitutes over and over again. Hopefully they continue this amusement as otherwise they wouldn't have anything left

9 ( +17 / -8 )

I predicted that this comfort women issue would yet again be raised by the South Korean government.

Everybody predicted but US (Biden) forced this agreement and made Japan  pay 1 Trillion yen to save a troubled SK shipping company which Americans had stakes, as a fee to "settle" comfort women issue.

Of course neither SK or US  wants to settle this.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Such atrocities must never be forgotten or hushed. Same goes for new Polish laws on the Holocaust. You cannot bury the truth.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

OssanAmerica: "Is South Korea prepared to be seen by the world as a childish culturally backwards country"

Like Japan is on this issue? Wasn't Japan only yesterday saying the atrocities of war should not be forgotten and wants to send Hiroshima victims and Nagasaki victims abroad? Oh... wait... "that's different", isn't it? You personally have denied the IJA coercion of women into sexual slavery, saying the women were all "well-paid prostitutes", so no surprise to see you calling the victims "children" on this issue, and the aggressors "victims".

-11 ( +10 / -21 )

tinawatanabe: "Of course neither SK or US wants to settle this."

Wrong worried. Neither the US, SK, or the ENTIRE WORLD want this swept under the carpet and the memories of the atrocities to end with the death of the old ladies and the rewrite of Japanese textbooks to claim Japan is the victim. Well, the entire world except Japan, of course.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SK Foreign Minister may be a North spy just like President Moon who want to divide SK and Japan, and unite North and South as one Korea.   It is possible that China and US are co-authers of this story

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Notice how often when a person in a Western nation criticizes its leaders its often widely publicized and folks agree or oppose while in Japan if a foreigner criticizes the Japanese government it's suddenly a Japanese vs foreigner issue? Jingoism is alive and well here.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

Good to hear the Japanese government is not so stupid as to ever acknowledge this non-existent "issue" ever again. SK has turned into a joke country so always a good laugh hearing SK have a cry about prostitutes over and over again. Hopefully they continue this amusement as otherwise they wouldn't have anything left

@dcog - If you ever met Mrs Jan Ruff O'Hearn, an Australian 'comfort women' to the Imperial Japanese Army during WW2, would you call her a prostitute?

You've really adopted the Netto-uyoku view of the world regarding Japan in a few short years haven't you?

Here she is, on ABC's Australian Story a few years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mard9WrYn2I

-14 ( +7 / -21 )

Another desperate attempt by Moon's government to distract from the real issues affecting SK at the moment. If you don't like the deal hand back the money!

15 ( +20 / -5 )

Comfort women demanding apology from Abe san are very much alive and kicking, 34 of them.

True, but of those 34 women, 26 accepted the settlement negotiated between Abe and Park.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Effort to reconcile has been made by Japan, however, not to the satisfaction of every sector of Korea and I’m not sure if that’s realistically possible.

Im of the opinion that any agreement only settles compensation but does not and should not forbid any future discussion or allusion to past history.

The subject of slavery and the plight of those enslaved in the US isn’t ever forbidden and neither should any sex slave experience Europe or Asia.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Japanese denial of the truth of its crimes against humanity begs for international condemnation.

-18 ( +4 / -22 )

Lots of mad five-yenners down-voting people here. Everybody playing the victim card here. Milking Hiroshima and Nagasaki for all it's worth. Next time you want the sex slaves to shut up, then stop sending people to 'educate' others outside Japan about something which actually put an end to the suffering of others in East Asia. We all know what happened in the empire. Talk about having your cake AND eating it.

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

"I truly do not understand what South Korea hopes to gain by bringing this up at every opportunity."

Rather than objecting every time, it may be better for the Japanese to just write off South Korea's mentioning of the comfort women/sex slaves issue as a kind of mental addiction akin to representatives of Arab states trashing Israel and Zionism at every opportunity in the U.N. At some point, Japan and South Korea are going to have to agree to disagree on the comfort women/sex slaves matter. The gap between the two sides is unbridgeable. The Japanese political class is dominated by hereditary politicians whose grandfathers and other forebears played major roles in the Japanese government during the 1930s and 1940s.

Meanwhile, in South Korea, it is mainstream opinion that what the Japanese tried to do Koreans from the 1910-45 period was no different than what Germany did to European Jews from 1933 to 1945. Korean reasoning argues that while there were no gas chambers or death camps set up by the Japanese in Korea, the intent was the same--to end the existence of a separately existing Korean nationality and ethnicity through forced assimilation. Never mind that forced assimilation really isn't the same thing as mass extermination; Koreans have been educated and conditioned to see no difference between the two.

Japan's government will never, ever declare that their country's treatment of Koreans was similar to Nazi Germany's treatment of Jews. Japanese resistance to the Germany-Japan comparison has hardened in recent years. The two sides just need to agree to disagree. When Abe Shinzo waxes poetical about his grandfather and champion of Japanese imperialism Kishi Nobusuke, when Moon Jae-in mentions the unforgivable crimes against humanity committed by Japanese soldiers--the other side would do well to just ignore it and move on.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

By the reaction to the link I posted to the story of Australian 'comfort woman' Jan Ruff O'Hearn, I guess lots of people here deny that she was forced into sexual slavery?

Therein lies the problem - people argue ad nauseam that enough has been done, but people right here on a mainstream site (as opposed to an ultranationalist site) are denying history, to this day.

Here is another link to the brave woman's story. Her testimony is valuable because Japanese and pro-Japan gaijin are quick to discredit SK women's testimony (because we all know SK can't be trusted right?), but the story of this Australian woman is typical of how many were forced into sexual slavery.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-17/jan-ruff-oherne-comfort-woman-wwii-japanese-government-apology/7174174

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

South Korea's obsession with this ridiculous issue just makes them look in need of psychiatric treatment.

It was a war. Men were killed. These women weren't. So frankly the whole issue is pretty trivial.

As for expecting a country to apologise, that is absurd. Only a person can apologise - and only for what he has done himself. The idea of apologising on behalf of someone else is meaningless. So expecting today's politicians to apologise for what their countrymen did in a previous century is so stupid that you would have to be mentally deficient to even propose it.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

HeckleberryToday 04:34 am JST

By the reaction to the link I posted to the story of Australian 'comfort woman' Jan Ruff O'Hearn, I guess lots of people here deny that she was forced into sexual slavery?

No, everyone here is smart enough to know that the article is specifically about South Korea and Japan, and their 2015 Agreement. As a bilateral issue, South Korea's position on Comfort Women does not include those of other countries.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

By the reaction to the link I posted to the story of Australian 'comfort woman' Jan Ruff O'Hearn, I guess lots of people here deny that she was forced into sexual slavery?

Exactly. Utter, nationalist denial. It's so ugly.

The irony being that if a lot of these pro-Japan types were around during the war (or if things in Japan should deteriorate to similar levels again), they will be the first to be rounded up. Or perhaps they just make these comments as some kind of 'sport' from their armchairs in distant countries... with little understanding of the Japanese psyche both then and now.

As a bilateral issue, South Korea's position on Comfort Women does not include those of other countries.

Nice attempt at a deflection. One of many you have posted on this issue...

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

the war is over. gee, for 7 decades. time to move on kids. be progressive. i mean, liberals are progressive, right?

14 ( +16 / -2 )

the war is over. gee, for 7 decades. time to move on kids. be progressive. i mean, liberals are progressive, right?

Again, I wonder would you ask survivors of the Holocaust or survivors of the A bombs to move on?

Forgive, if you can but never, ever forget.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Toasted HereticToday 09:39 am JST

the war is over. gee, for 7 decades. time to move on kids. be progressive. i mean, liberals are progressive, right?

Again, I wonder would you ask survivors of the Holocaust or survivors of the A bombs to move on?

Forgive, if you can but never, ever forget.

When you consider that those are two examples of civilians, men women and children being killed in horrendous ways, and that both are well documented and without dispute, it is rather offensive to equate them to the Comfort Women issue, a military prostitution system that is far from fully documented, contradicts exiting US military documentation and relying on testimony that even some South Korean scholars have declared contradictory and unreliable.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The root of the problem is that there were some maybe quite a few tragic cases of misled Korean girls and ladies by Korean brokers that sent them to the front-line brothel system on fake promises or outright trickery. No doubt that occurred as it does today all over the world by unsavory types promising young vulnerable women a chance at a supposedly better life. During that time many were sold by their own family (fathers) who were desperately poor to feed an extra mouth, etc. This happened to Japanese as well. But also many of the Korean women and Japanese women were clearly simple prostitutes as well. It is hard to fathom that there were no economically motivated women that were part of the comfort women system as there is ample evidence that there was..

Even today, in a time when S.Korea is economically much more prosperous, there are so many, many Korean women working as prostitutes all over the world, here in Japan, U.S. Europe, Canada, Australia with ample evidence. (All the massage parlors they have set-up all over is an e.g.)

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Comfort Women issue, a military prostitution system that is far from fully documented

The first things the defeated armies did was destroy documents that implicated them in crimes against humanity. This is war 101.

But also many of the Korean women and Japanese women were clearly simple prostitutes as well.

That is not being denied. Those who were forcibly pushed into it are the reason there are complaints. Like the (now) Australian lady above who describes:

"One day Japanese troops came to make a selection, dragging 10 terrified women and girls from their families to life as forced sex slaves in a military-run brothel."

There is simply no logic in insisting that it never happened.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

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