politics

Japan says it has no plan to revise wartime sex-slave apology

64 Comments

Japan has no plan to revise a landmark 1993 apology over wartime sex slavery, the government's top spokesman said Monday, despite a controversial review of the statement which has sparked a backlash at home and abroad.

The landmark apology, known as the Kono statement, acknowledged official complicity in the coercion of women from across Asia into a system of wartime brothels, an issue that draws particular resentment in neighboring South Korea.

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye has warned Japan that it would face "isolation" if it pushed ahead with a move to revisit the apology.

"The government does not intend to revise the Kono statement," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo Monday.

In 1993, after hearing testimony from 16 Korean women, the Kono statement offered "sincere apologies and remorse" to the women and vowed to face the historical facts squarely.

The current review was aimed at verifying historical facts, Suga said.

"There have also been suggestions that Japan might have negotiated with South Korea over the content of the apology" at the time, he added.

It was unclear what would happen if Tokyo's review was at odds with the official apology.

Japan and South Korea will hold talks at the vice-minister level this week, the Japanese foreign ministry said, in a move which local media said could help mend their strained ties and open the door to a meeting of top leaders.

Japan's Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki will visit Seoul on Wednesday and Thursday to meet with his newly appointed South Korean counterpart Cho Tae-Yong, the ministry said.

Respected historians say up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea but also from China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan, were forced to serve as sex slaves in Japanese army brothels.

But the government of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly said evidence given by "comfort women" -- a euphemism for those forced to work in military brothels -- that forms the basis of the apology is to be re-examined.

Repeated wavering on the issue among senior right-wing politicians has contributed to a feeling in South Korea that Japan is in denial and is not sufficiently remorseful.

The move to revisit the statement has raised eyebrows not only in South Korea, but also in the United States and among Japanese historians.

A senior official at the US embassy in Tokyo has expressed "strong concern" over Tokyo's plans, the Tokyo Broadcasting System reported Monday.

An embassy press officer declined to comment on the report.

Also Monday, in an editorial in the English-language Japan Times, Hugh Cortazzi, Britain's ambassador to Japan from 1980 to 1984, warned that Abe "has endorsed comments that seem aimed at undermining...the 1993 Kono apology".

"Sadly, sensitivity is not a quality that comes easily to Japanese politicians," he added.

On Friday, a group of Japanese historians stood behind the apology, and slammed any move to change it as "unforgivable".

© (c) 2014 AFP

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The government does not intend to revise the Kono statement,

but it intends to continue sabotaging it by insinuating that the women's testimonies were unreliable, that they were nothing but opportunistic prostitutes, that such things happened in all countries during wartime, and that we should not judge such matters by today's moral standards.

Some apology.

6 ( +19 / -13 )

“But the government of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly said evidence given by “comfort women”—a euphemism for those forced to work in military brothels—that forms the basis of the apology is to be re-examined.”

On one hand, I am glad that Yoshihide Suga cleared the air a bit and prevented Japan from further agonizing neighboring countries and its longtime ally, on the another hand, I am concern about J-gov’s back-and-forth stance on its wartime atrocities

Frankly, the whole episode (an attempt to revise the Kono statement) makes Abe’s characters look very questionable, not to mention negative perceptions casted on Japan from the international community.

However, Japan's correction on its mistake should be encouraged.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Since South Korea doesn't recognize the Kono statement as an apology what difference does it make to the whether it's revised or not? Or do they recognize it as an apology?

-11 ( +16 / -27 )

Many things have already happened between Japan and Korea. The efforts made by Japan from the end of the 1980s, including the Kono Statement of 1993 and activities by the Asian Women's Fund toward Korea from 1995 till 2002, are not insignificant. The activities of Korean NGOs that put the political objective of pursuing Japan's legal responsibility above the personal wishes of some comfort women who accepted and appreciated Japanese apology, very problematic.

There seems to be complete lack of trust between PM Abe and President Park. Park faces a fundamental problem because she is the daughter of Park Chung-hee, who led Korea's industrialization by utilizing his contacts with Japan and "compromising" with them. Since Park Chung-hee's "compromised" approach to Japan and the 1965 normalization agreements with Japan are severely criticized in Korea, it isn't easy for Park Geun-hye to exert leadership and bring the two countries closer to reconciliation.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

“Sadly, sensitivity is not a quality that comes easily to Japanese politicians,” he added.

Stupidity and arrogance, on the other hand.....

6 ( +12 / -6 )

This revision arguments began between Suga and politicians who claim the Ianfu stories are phony, Suga yelled at that ultraconservative he will prove the Ianfu existed. That was a big arguments. Then more denial politicians came out. People blamed Abe but it was Abe''s top ,am Suga and denial peoples heated argument. It seemed Suga finally won the argument. This means Abe is not for revision. Good for Suga. He has been too busy for everything but he is gaining none ultra conservative LDP members support. . Not only Kono, but Murayama apology, exists too.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why change your minds again? This is like third time in the last year now. Stop talking about it, which makes the issue bigger and bigger, and just do it, then get it over with.

-3 ( +11 / -15 )

Japan officially apologised and paid reparations decades ago, Park's father squandered the money and Park conveniently forgets that her father accepted the apology and tried to score political points by thrashing out this non issue to try to avert the fact that her family already used the reparation money.

If I apologised to someone who kept bringing up the topic decades later to cause dessention and using it to sour relations after awhile I would retract my apology too. Some very basic human relationship skill is missing from the Korean side , and they have always lacked in that area anyway.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

It sounds like Suga is beating a different drum than the rest of the LDP.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Frankly, the whole episode (an attempt to revise the Kono statement) makes Abe’s characters look very questionable.

Why? Abe's comments have been consistent from day one. His stance has been that his government "stands by" the statements issued by former administrations. If you have a quote from Abe saying anything different I encourage you to post it up. And if you have no such quote, then perhaps you should refrain from posting that Abe has "attempt(ed) to revise the Kono statement", don't you think?

All of this fuss was kicked up by far right opposition members which have nothing to do with Abe's character. ROK hardliners need to learn some basic reading comprehension skills.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

If the Japanese had been really determined to abide by the truth, they would have concluded the case much earlier. Of course, apology does not have to be an empty exercise.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Chucky, Abe and his cronies in the LDP are the fringe in Japan. Why does the ROK bash our entire country every time these people shoot their mouths off to receive attention? Historians in Japan have put down their blather as nonsense. Now Koreans will continue to bash Japan. lastly when in modern Japan have their been mobs killing Koreans? So many young men are "herbivore" men and the protestors in the black vans are drunk. So please do not stir up trouble with not true things. There are no mobs in Osaka and Tokyo.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

enough already... enemies will always be enemies... and now is a good time to kick Japan when they know that no one is going to fight back... kind of bully behavior... ROK needs Japan support to get rid of their dictator that looks like PSY.. and China is not your friend.. and Russia shows they are thieving land stealing bullies... stand your ground.. one word in response to all that is Hiroshima... there was no justification for that horror and still no one has apologized for the human suffering and immoral act.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

All of this fuss was kicked up by far right opposition members which have nothing to do with Abe's character.

Not directly, but either he is unable to control the members of the party he leads, or he is willfully letting them speak because he agrees with them. Neither option paints his character very well - either he is an incompetent leader, or he is a history white-washer.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

i think lots of people are confusing a few ultraconservative right-wingers with the "official" view of the government. no PM has ever denied or tried to rewrite the kono statement. it's a lot of sensationalist reporting by news outlets mostly in china and SK.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Japan makes this issue about reopening comfort women investigation, beats the drum, then pulls back again. And people here are blaming this on the ROK again. Unbelievable. lol... Does Japan ever take responsibility for what they say instead of blaming others?

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Chucky, Abe and his cronies in the LDP are the fringe in Japan

They are the people who have been elected to represent and speak in the name of Japan. Therefore they are most definitely not the fringe.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Kimokekahuna Hawaii; please educate yourself. You are confusing your Koreas.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@hidingout "Why? Abe's comments have been consistent from day one. His stance has been that his government "stands by" the statements issued by former administrations. If you have a quote from Abe saying anything different I encourage you to post it up. And if you have no such quote, then perhaps you should refrain from posting that Abe has "attempt(ed) to revise the Kono statement", don't you think?

Hmm.. Really? are you living in a parallel world or you chose to ignore the facts, or both. :)

Please allow me to quote two paragraphs from a peice of Japan’s major newspaper to remind you on Abe’s flip-and-flop (his distinctive behavior trademark) stance regarding the essence of the Kono statement.

Here we go,

“In March 2007, when Abe first served as prime minister, his Cabinet approved a document that said, "There was no mention in the documents discovered by the government (in the course of the study that led to the Kono statement) that directly pointed to forcible transport of the women by the military or the authorities."

During the Liberal Democratic Party's leadership race last September, Abe showed signs that he wanted to revise the Kono statement when he said: "Many people do not know about (the March 2007) decision by the Cabinet. There will be a need to once again confirm that the Kono statement has been revised.""

BTW, please don’t waste your time to rebut since I am not interested in this type of denial game.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

he is unable to control the members of the party he leads.

Like who? The guys shooting off their mouths on this are not members of the LDP. In a democracy opposition party members have the right to bring their "pet" topics to the floor. The LDP response has been only to say "yes, yes we will investigate" - which if you know anything about Japan is the same as saying nothing.

Its crystal clear to anyone paying attention that Abe has never publicly supported any retraction or modification of former statements relating to WW2. It is therefore disturbing to see so many people who either don't know what the words "opposition lawmaker" mean, or know, but are willfully attempting to tarnish the entire government based on the words of a few fringe opposition members.

Abe and his cronies in the LDP are the fringe in Japan.

Hardly. Abe's views are very mainstream. And he has conducted himself with utmost decorum in the face of small-minded attacks from haters and people who can't read.

-5 ( +5 / -9 )

So this was also all a misunderstanding too?

LOL...

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Like who? The guys shooting off their mouths on this are not members of the LDP. In a democracy opposition party members have the right to bring their "pet" topics to the floor.

Some googling shows that I may have been wrong. I couldn't find any clear information on which politicians called for a review of the apology, but there was a quote attributed to an opposition party member a few times.

The LDP response has been only to say "yes, yes we will investigate" - which if you know anything about Japan is the same as saying nothing.

I know lots about Japan. But unfortunately for them, it's not the same as saying nothing. It gives credence to the calls for a the apology to be revised. Combined with Abe's previous comment that "there is no evidence to prove there was coercion", at best it gives the impression that his government backs the calls for a revision of the apology, and at worst they actually do back these calls.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

They do back these calls, but got scared by reactions from the United States, and worry about Japan's reputation damage if they go ahead.

at best it gives the impression that his government backs the calls for a revision of the apology, and at worst they actually do back these calls.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Ossan: "Since South Korea doesn't recognize the Kono statement as an apology what difference does it make to the whether it's revised or not?"

As usual, you miss the point. It is recognized as an apology, but quite hard to take seriously when people like yourself and radicals in government continuously undermine it and claim atrocities never happened, that the comfort women were all well-paid, volunteers (prostitutes, in your words), etc. You literally have politicians in Japan STILL to this day claiming Nanjing never happened, sex-slaves were not coerced, and that the whole colonization experience benefitted Japan's neighbours, etc.

Anyway, not revising the apology is a baby-step in the right direction towards mending ties, but it should never have needed clearing up to begin with, and it's still pretty certain Abe will press on with the 'reexamination' of the apology. Gotta love the back and forth of the so-called leaders here.

-1 ( +8 / -10 )

One of my Japanese “acquaintances” directly told me that the "comfort women” were given adequate money for their services and furthermore, that some of them even became rich. I asked this “aqquaintence” if he thinks any women were forced to work as sex-slaves - and he said, probably not. To say the least, I was quite shocked.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Only due to foreign pressure.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

all the women were offered $16,000 each, most refused. Oh yeah, that's going to make them rich.

One of my Japanese “acquaintances” directly told me that the "comfort women” were given adequate money for their services and furthermore, that some of them even became rich

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

chucky - he was agreeing with you, for god's sake.

To say the least, I was quite shocked.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Christopher SmithMar. 11, 2014 - 10:46AM JST

Here is a link to the confession of Korean former comfort woman Mun Ok Ju which is translated and published by her supporter group. http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E6%95%99%E7%A7%91%E6%9B%B8%E3%81%AB%E6%9B%B8%E3%81%8B%E3%82%8C%E3%81%AA%E3%81%8B%E3%81%A3%E3%81%9F%E6%88%A6%E4%BA%89-Part-22-%E6%96%87-%E7%8E%89%E7%8F%A0/dp/4816695192/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394504211&sr=1-1

It may surprise you, but, in the confession, she wrote that she saved enough money to buy houses in Korea and send the money to her mother, which made her so proud. She also wrote that, since Burma produces a lot of gems, they are cheap and she bought diamonds.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

While it is true that no PM directly tried to alter the Kono and Murayama statements it is also true that they publicly supported a rejection of the ideas contained within it. For Abe to say his government has consistently stood by these statements is a fabrication. On a trip to the US during his first stint as Prime Minister he very publicly raised the view that perhaps the women had not been coerced but were merely the willing entourage of the Army at the time. So all those people saying "Abe never did this", or "Abe never did that'' do your homework. This is precisely why (a few months ago) Abe coming out saying "It has always been our position that..." is particularly heinous. Because it clearly has not always been their position. And by all indications they will continue to vacillate back and forth on what their official, semi-official and personal opinions are on this issue-which makes any position at all a moot one.This back and forth about face is the perfect fodder for Koreans who would then in turn use every opportunity to aggravate and exaggerate.. In propaganda wars either side will settle for less than the truth if it paints them favorably.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

On Friday, a group of Japanese historians stood behind the apology, and slammed any move to change it as “unforgivable”.

Of course the anti Japan crowd will conveniently overlook this

1 ( +4 / -3 )

One of the key tenets of nationalist thinking is to manufacture the idea that 'government' and 'country' are the same things. They are not mutually inclusive terms. Therefore, it is possible to have a completely unfavorable view of a government while having a deep love for the country itself. To paint all commentators that disagree with the shenanigans of the Japanese government as the 'anti-Japan crowd' is to fall into that blinkered nationalistic way of thinking that presupposes that government and country are a single entity.

It is fantastic that a group of Japanese historians stood up on Friday, and it is probably thanks to them that the current nightmare of a government announced they would stop their foolishness for a while.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"In a meeting of the Lower House Budget Committee in February 2006, the minutes claim Shinzo Abe said, 'There is a problem as to how to define aggressive wars; we cannot say it is decided academically', and 'It is not the business of the government to decide how to define the last world war. I think we have to wait for the estimation of historians.'"

"In 1997, as the bureau chief of the 'Institute of Junior Assembly Members Who Think About the Outlook of Japan and History Education', Abe led the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform. The group was responsible for authoring a history textbook published from Fusosha which was heavily criticised by China, South Korea, and many Western historians for not including full accounts of or downplaying Imperial Japanese war crimes during World War II, such as the Nanjing Massacre as "Nanjing Incident" and the policy of utilizing "comfort women".

According to the BBC, "On his official homepage, (Abe) questions the extent to which coercion was applied toward the Comfort Women, dismissing Korean "revisionism" as foreign interference in Japanese domestic affairs."

According to the Daily Yomiuri, " In a Diet session on October 6, 2006, Abe REVISED his statement regarding comfort women, and said that he accepted the report issued in 1993 by the sitting cabinet secretary, Yohei Kono, where the Japanese government officially acknowledged the issue. Later in the session, Abe stated his belief that Class A war criminals are not criminals under Japan's domestic law." (emphasis added)

In Abe's bestselling "Towards A Beautiful Japan," Abe claims that Class A war criminals who were adjudicated in the Tokyo Tribunal after World War II were not war criminals in the eye of domestic law."

According to the Japan Times, "In response to a United States Congress resolution by Mike Honda, Abe denied any government coercion in the recruitment of comfort women during World War II, in line with a statement made almost ten years before on the same issue (see above), in which Abe voiced his opposition to the inclusion of the subject of military prostitution in several school textbooks and then denied any coercion in the "narrow" sense of the word, environmental factors notwithstanding."

Abe's a dyed-in-the-wool historical revising rightist, do doubt about it. This is based on Abe's long, sordid and well-documented track record of historical revisionism. And can anyone doubt that if he thought he could get away with it politically, he would surely erase the Kono Statement from Japanese history in a heartbeat!?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And again it does not matter one bit what japan says or does the bleaters will still bleat and whinge and moan and slag, no win when its just a bunch of cry baby whiners all the time. AND here is the proof.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Why are they "reviewing" the facts if they have no plan to revise the apology? Haven't they got better things to do?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Here is another account by Korean former comfort woman Mun Ok Ju.

http://www.fubaisha.com/search.cgi?mode=close_up&isbn=1106-5

In her account, she remembers one day a drunken Japanese soldier came to her comfort woman room and tried to assault her. As it turned, she ended up killing the drunken soldier. She was taken to the Japanese martial court for manslaughter. But the court found her not guilty on the ground of self defense.

You may not believe this, but this is what she confessed in the book.

You really do not know the comfort women issue as long as you only read the newspaper articles. You need to read the testimonies of comfort women.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

So what was all this hoo haa about? Seems like a distraction for the media so Abe can continue with his funneling of money to construction companies.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@boweevil

this is a link to abe's address to the us congress in 2007: http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/205968.html

as you can see, it's a pretty pro-korean report. that being said, it never mention that abe " very publicly raised the view that perhaps the women had not been coerced but were merely the willing entourage of the Army at the time" during his time in front of congress. so you need to get your facts straight.

no one is denying that abe is a right-wing nationalist who favors a pro-japan view of history. but that doesn't change the fact that the "official" gov't view on "comfort women" has never been altered. so the koreans repeated call for further apologies from every member of the japanese gov't is aimed directly at stoking nationalism in korea and sympathy around the world. neither of which will change abe's opinion and others of his ilk.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

CrazyJoeMar. 11, 2014 - 09:14AM JST

If the Japanese had been really determined to abide by the truth, they would have concluded the case much earlier.

I rather think Japan faces a lot of difficulties because it is really determined to abide by the truth. It is so hard to make senses out of the testimonies of Korean former comfort women. I recommend you read some of their testimonies, at least. http://archives.republicans.foreignaffairs.house.gov/110/33317.pdf

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

His 2007 address to Congress was not the only time he brought this matter up in the US during his first time as PM.

There are numerous other examples or 'facts' that indicate he does not stand by the position. Fact: His own government is currently, even as we speak, trying to undermine the position by a further study on the issue. Fact: He has tried to undermine any discussion of this issue whether it be on government funded advisory boards to NHK or in textbooks that haven't met his approval.

Don't split hairs on this. Fact: His official stance is one of abiding by the statement... His private position on it is to undermine it every chance he gets. Is it a fact that his government's official stance is to stand by the statement. Yes. Does he stand by the statement in actual fact? No, all evidence would suggest the contrary.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yes!! perfect. Why revise if it causes confusion?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Finally, some reason.

But the group of morons who started this have done a lot of damage.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oldman: "On Friday, a group of Japanese historians stood behind the apology, and slammed any move to change it as “unforgivable”.

Of course the anti Japan crowd will conveniently overlook this"

It's always amusing, the insecurity of people who trumpet their good points about while insisting the past be forgotten when dealing with the bad. And what's with the bottom-of-the-barrel "anti-Japan" garbage? Since when does disagreeing with a select group of right-wingers qualify you as "anti-Japan"? If anything the people who disagree with any revision, as with the people you pointed out in your quotation, they are PRO-Japan while the nut bags who want t revise the apology and change the constitution are the true anti-Japan crowd, for they are embarrassing the nation and hurting ties.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Abe and his cronies in the LDP are the fringe in Japan

I rather think Japan faces a lot of difficulties because it is really determined to abide by the truth.

@YuriOtani and CH3CHO - It is difficult to know if you are serious, with comments like these.

How is the PM and his ruling party a 'fringe' in any country?

And that second statement.. wow, a stark example of black and white thinking, almost at propaganda level.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

So let me get this straight - the DIET are NOT going to revise the apology? So what is all the fuss about?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Mitch CohenMar. 11, 2014 - 04:43PM JST

You should have, by now, read some of the testimonies of Korean former comfort women. What do you think? I cordially think we need to review the testimonies to know the true nature of the comfort women issue so that Koreans and Japanese can agree. What I think very strange is that it is only Japanese side that brings facts to the discussion. Why does not Korean side bring any facts?

Have I heard your response to the contradicting testimonies of the Korean former comfort woman?

http://archives.republicans.foreignaffairs.house.gov/110/33317.pdf

Written testimony of Ms Lee Yong Soo.

In the autumn of 1944, when I was 16 years old, my friend, Kim Punsun, and I were collecting shellfish at the riverside when we noticed an elderly man and a Japanese man looking down at us form the hillside. A few days later, Punsun knocked on my window early in the morning, and whispered to me to follow her quietly. I tip-toed out of the house after her. I lift without telling my mother. I followed my friend until we met the same man who had tried to approach us on the riverbank. He looked as if he was in his late thirties and he wore a sort of People's Army uniform with a combat cap.(page 20)

The oral version

I live in Taegu, South Korea. My name is Lee Yong Soo, and sometimes I am a 14-year-old girl, and I look outside my window, and there is a girl, and there is a Japanese man, and they are saying something to each other, and they are gesturing me to come out. I did not know anything. I did not know what was going on but they gestured me to come out so I came out, and as you seen her dress, the girl and the Japanese soldier put their hand on my shoulder, and covered my mouth, and the soldier put something against my back, and like that in the middle of the night I was taken away. (page17)

0 ( +5 / -5 )

On Friday, a group of Japanese historians stood behind the apology, and slammed any move to change it as “unforgivable”.

Once again this highlights that fact that the whole Japanese population doesn't share the same view. It is the minority. The problem is that the minority in question are in prominent positions either in Government or in high ranking positions associated with the government. No doubt, if the choice was given to the ordinary Japanese people to vote on, it would show a different view to that of the minority in government, but I don't doubt that the ordinary Japanese people are growing tired of the constant bashing they are receiving from both Korea and China. There are people in all 3 of the governments concerned that have the ability to turn all the current problems around. It needs to be said though that the current problems would be easier to resolve if they weren't being constantly inflamed.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Although it is widely known, it's is worth reading this paper: "Report No. 49: Japanese Prisoners of War Interrogation on Prostitution."

http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is a damned if you do damned if you don't issue for Japan. Korean and Chinese will never accept a single apology Japan has given because if they did they could not extort anything out of Japan.

This core issues are about money, territories and a giant Napoleon complex.

For Communist China Senkaku's natural resources and control of the seas are their goals. Invasion is in the winds, but they can't do it right now because they will appear like the thugs that they are.

So Communist China must do everything it can to make Japan look like the bad guy. So when they do invade they can justify it by claiming they are the victims.

As for Korea's refusal to accept any apologies, well that onion has many layers.

Korea accepted the 1965 treaty and used all the money to build their infrastructure and pass out much needed money to their industries. Now, people are asking for their fair share and instead of paying what the Korean government owes it's people it points a finger at Japan and uses propaganda to push it's hordes to do whatever it takes to get Japan to pay.

In other words they want to rid themselves of the 1965 treaty with Japan and if they do they can make new demands.

Second layer of this onion is the Takeshima islands that they invaded in the early 1950's. They believe if they push Japan enough and make them seem like the evil nation then they can demand Japan give up their rightful claim. Because they know they would lose if they accepted Japan's proposal to take that issue before the ICJ.

Last layer of this onion, the Korean government needs a big bad boogeyman to blame because their economy isn't number one in Asia. Who better than Japan of the past. This is the giant Napoleon complex

This propaganda war is about money, territory and a giant Napoleon complex.

chucky3176Mar. 11, 2014 - 11:06AM JST all the women were offered $16,000 each, most refused. Oh yeah, that's going to make them rich.

Thank you for showing us what this issue is really all about........More money out of Japan...

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

This issue is light Friday the 13th it never goes away!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good! Revisionist lawmakers could not convince Abe cabinet. Suga would not yell that he will prove Ianfu existence to an ulrta conservative lawmaker at a Diet session without knowing what Abe thinks about the issue.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

For anyone who believes that such "apology reconsideration" comments aren't coldly calculated would be a fool.

I'll admit, I at first was appalled by his stupidity with this (I also recall Abe mentioning something similar about a year ago.). Yet with a bit of consideration, as much as I am not a fan of the man, this is a pretty smart strategy and a pretty cunning ruse in forcing the issue. Bravo, Abe-san.

You see, in South (and North) Korea, Japan is a demon, unable to own up to its past evils, and has never ever admitted to its historical wrong-doing. This is what they believe because this is what they were taught (I lived there 3 years). Korean schools and media and politicians never mention the Kono statement (aka formal comfort woman apology) or 1965 treaty, and since they are never mentioned, then in the hearts and minds of the general Korean population they never happened.

BUT, when Abe or his legion utters such statements, which were surely planned I now say, it throws the apology into the spot light. It LURES the Korean media and politicians into mentioning it, to admit that such an apology was once formally made (yet somehow conveniently forgotten?). And all the Korean people scream "Only the heartless Japanese would retract that apology!" whereas just prior to all this ruckus they were screaming "Only the heartless Japanese would have never apologized for such acts!"

So, as you can see, the Korean media/politicians have fallen for the trap. In making so much harrumph over this potential retraction, they inadvertently pointed out that Japan actually DID apologize once upon a time, and now with Abe saying he'll simply just stick to the apology, lets look at the result:

OK, Abe is considered evil for ever reconsidering the apology. But this is certainly better than the belief that Abe's country never apologized in the first place; Korean people learned through their own channels that an apology even existed; Korean media/politicians can no longer point out as easily the utter heartlessness of the Japanese who never apologized for or own up to their sins; The Koreans holding continual protests outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul can't shout with conviction about a lack of apology anymore; And all those who said "Only the heartless Japanese would retract that apology!" need to now examine this line of thought in that if the apology isn't retracted, would this therefore make the Japanese less heartless?
0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Since South Korea doesn't recognize the Kono statement as an apology what difference does it make to the whether it's revised or not? Or do they recognize it as an apology?"

@OssanAmerica -- My god, what do you hope to gain by STILL beating that long-dead horse? By know people are well aware the problem is not so much with the Kono statement itself, but the subsequent denials, demurrals and sabotaging of the Kono statement by Japan's other high-ranking officials. Are you clear on that? If you keep this up, you will end up giving people the impression that you are deliberately putting on an act in order to try and make it seem that Koreans totally ignore the Kono statement, which is simply false. In fact, you already have created that impression of yourself. Give it up -- you're only making it worse for Japan's defenders and apologists.

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This clarification is good. But let's see how long it lasts before someone else kicks this up again. There is no way China can make Japan look bad in the international community. Only Japan can make Japan look bad. China can only reinforce Japan's badness! With Abe and his gang, it is so easy for China and SK to make Japan look bad to the alarm of the US. When Abe placates Putin to prevent China gaining the upper hand, the US will have new reasons to be angry with Japan. Abe, however can't be bothered and will continue to put Japan in bad light, without needing any help from China or SK!

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Here we go again...

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Japan says it has no plan to revise wartime sex-slave apology

Good.

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Kono and Murayama were not only people who apologized.

Hosokawa. Former PM. When his comments were published in many Japanese magazines, sales went up. Of cause the articles included history lessons of his ancesotrs' and their territories in Kyushu.

Hosokawa made several unprecedented moves toward atonement with Japan's Asian neighbors during his term as prime minister. In his first news conference in office, he made an unprecedented statement acknowledging that Japan waged a war of aggression in World War II. He later said: "You can obviously define 'aggression' in any number of ways, depending on context. But if you have any common sense, you just cannot say in good conscience that Japan was not the aggressor when Japan did in fact cause tremendous anguish and loss of life in China, Korea and Southeast Asian nations in order to protect its own interests. I knew my opinion was going to invite heated controversy."

On 6 November 1993, he visited South Korea, where he had a summit with President Kim Young-sam in Gyeongju and again offered a clear apology to the Korean people for Japan's actions in the war, statements which were widely applauded in Korea. Hosokawa viewed the Japanese annexation of Korea as "wrong" and rejected the common view in Japan that it was with Korea's consent and was beneficial to Korea. On 19 March 1994, he visited China, and the two governments signed an agreement of cooperation in environmental protection.

In May 1994, right-wing extremist Masakatsu Nozoe fired a gunshot into the ceiling of a Tokyo hotel where Hosokawa was giving a speech, in apparent protest of Hosokawa's statements.

Hosokawa's acts toward China and Korea inspired Russian president Boris Yeltsin to apologize to Hosokawa for the Soviet detention of Japanese prisoners of war in Siberia. Hosokawa later speculated that if both men had remained in office longer Russian-Japanese relations would have improved significantly. Hosokawa also had a good personal relationship with Bill Clinton, but trade disputes between Japan and the United States dominated US-Japan relations during Hosokawa's tenure.

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Abe and his Aide is going to extreme right direction that will lead the return of the evil imperial Japan army. Accomplishment of Abe in 2013:

Deny Tokyo Trial Deny comfort women Deny WWII war crimes Changing constitution for imperail army return and bring back evil emperor to be head of States. Openly admitted himself an extreme right member in front of UN. Increase military spending even under US protection. Worshipped the ghostly WWII war criminals Shrine as an great insult to all WWII victims. There is no hero there. Keeping the stolen islands that is not belong to Japan. Changing school text and put incorrect history to school children. Still not repent from WWII compare with Germany which is much much better than Japan. Hiding the nuclear weapon materials which violates the constitution.
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chcky wrote all the women were offered $16,000 each, most refused. Oh yeah, that's going to make them rich.

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Which year $16,000 is offerred????

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Mister Ed, CH3CH,

On Friday, a group of Japanese historians who stood behind the apology, and slammed any move to change it as “unforgivable”, put forth over 400 relevant documents they dug up to show that only two governments during the world war 2, had sex slave system. They were Nazi Germany and Japan.

Now argue with those Japanese historians, using your carefully chosen facts and figures, or books written by Japanese nationalists.

When your own historians are saying completely different from what you and the Japanese government is attempting to whitewash, then you have a bit of a problem sorting out your positions.

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@chucky: When your own historians are saying completely different from what you and the Japanese government is attempting to whitewash, then you have a bit of a problem sorting out your positions.

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Japanese Govt is not attempting to whitewash. It just decided not to whitewash. Suga was using these historias to prove there really were Ianfu system. His argument with an ultra conservative politician was a little while ago. Did you forgot the JT report of that one? .

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"The Kono statement offered “sincere apologies and remorse” to the women and vowed to face the historical facts squarely."

Abe is playing at Sherlock Homes some twenty years after Kono?

Somehow, suddenly, Abe knows the truth after all these years?

This is why Abe seems out of step with the dignity the Japanese people have shown. Dignity earned through facing historical facts squarely. This is why Abe is perceived as needlessly reckless in act and word.

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toshiko, a news article in Korea just aired. It certainly looks like the Japanese government has back peddled. The two country's foreign ministers met last week in a hotel in Korea. They talked about holding the two country summit. The Korean side demanded that Japan stop all the revisionism talks, before the talks can begin. The Japanese side complained that Korea is engaged in world wide campaign to isolate Japan. The Korean side countered, it's really Japan who's enaged in campaigning and that they should stop the movement to stop the comfort women memorial in the US. Both ended the meeting, agreeing to not try to instigate each other, and agreed that higher talks should be scheduled to hold a two country summit. Both countries are under pressure by Obama to make up, and I figure Abe has figured that rolling back the apology will roll back the talks with Korea again.

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@chucky, Thank you for new info. Japan and S korea are neighbors. Glsd they have open talks now. When Suga got heated argument against an ultra conservative lawmaker in a Diet session, I was wondering how Suga will prove existence of Ianfu. So, I checked about Kono apology. I found. Following was Kono story. Defence Agency Library ! We older people who read Newspaper articles during WW II knew but I did not think of library. Suga and Abe must have found many LDP lawmakers who hate those idiots who try to revise or distort history.

Kono is well known as a controversial figure within the so-called comfort women debate, for the official statement he made in 1993, when he was Chief Cabinet Secretary. In his statement, made after historian Yoshiaki Yoshimi announced he had discovered in the Defense Agency library in Tokyo documentary evidence that the Imperial Japanese Army established and ran "comfort stations", he essentially admitted that the Japanese Imperial Army had been involved, directly and indirectly, in the establishment of comfort facilities, and that coercion had been used in the recruitment and retention of the women. His subsequent call for historical research and education aimed at remembering the issue became the basis for addressing the subject of forced prostitution in school history textbooks.

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