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Japan starts review of wartime sex slave apology

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What a waste of time. I can't believe I'm paying for this as a taxpayer. And who says Korea is the only one who can't let this issue go?

28 ( +36 / -10 )

Silly.

Why even dance with the devil on this one, if they have said they won't revise the statement? I cannot possibly, for the life of me, see how this can lead to anything constructive at all.

Because whilst it might scratch an itch for a bunch of old right wingers, it opens Japan up to have the overwhelming evidence of their wartime atrocities revisited upon it by external sources who have well documented and absolutely not forgotten what happened in WW2.

I guess that is what happens if you don't silence the fools though.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

And who says Korea is the only one who can't let this issue go?

Only both Koreas and China use this as political issue between them and Japan. As POLITICAL issue - not social or historical.

-8 ( +11 / -19 )

Japan needs to do this now, because at the end of the war it deliberately destroyed most of its original records and documents - which would have served as evidence. They then spent a few decades in denial, saying "there is no evidence" (!)

So today, they are paying the price for their deceitful actions of the past.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Only both Koreas and China use this as political issue between them and Japan. As POLITICAL issue - not social or historical.

Ahhh... I see. And there I go assuming Abe might have had a nationalistic revisionist political agenda behind reviewing the apology. I didn't realise he was just interested in the historical truth.....

4 ( +11 / -7 )

This is what we pay taxes for?

It's going to take this "secret team" until the end of this year to discover what would take one person an hour or so on a computer and a visit to a library.

And they have already decided - even before the "project" has begun that Kono's statement will not be revised.

I wonder what the salary of one of these "intellectuals" is?

I'll bet it's a bit more than 650 yen an hour!

16 ( +22 / -6 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that a “verifying team” would study how the apology was reached and the historical facts it was based on, with their probe expected to be completed later this year.

The Kono statement was never based on facts, it was a random out of surprise statement.

-21 ( +5 / -26 )

It is in Japan's best interest from a security and economic standpoint to do whatever needs to be done to improve its relationship with South Korea. Sure, 150+ of these J-goverment reps has the knowledge that what they are doing by going to Yasukuni is continuing to anger other countries, especially Korea and China. This is not a simply a domestic matter, but it has strong political motives behind it. The problem for South Korea is that they keep bringing up the issues of compensating sex slaves and asking Japan to make a contrite apology for the suffering during the Pacific War. In the 1965 agreement, Japan settled all matters with WWII issue with South Korea and paid $500 million. SK goverment agreed to handle the individual compensation for conscripted workers, but kept to themselves. What the SK goverment's action from the treaty shows they really didn't care about their own people's welfare. Korean goverment needs to provide transparency to the millions that were suppose to compensate for individuals in Korea, but what happened to the millions? SK goverment needs to clarify what they promised on this agreement. It doesn't matter if Japan tries to improve relations with SK, there's is no end to SK demand and it will not end even if Japan apologizes.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Japan said Wednesday it has begun a controversial review of its landmark 1993 apology over wartime sex slavery, a historical legacy that still stokes regional resentment, while stressing that it had no plans to revise the statement.

As usual the far left reads what it wants to reads and skips over the rest.

All nations have their own reason to review it's past

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that a “verifying team” would study how the apology was reached and the historical facts it was based on, with their probe expected to be completed later this year.

Japan is doing something no other nation in this circus is willing to do.

Communist China has washed away it's atrocities for the last 87 years and South Korea hasn't even looked into the atrocities they committed in the last 65 years.

But, the far left only wants to point out that Japan is bad and everyone else is good. How about looking into the mirror and see what demons you are hiding.

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

The AFP has its own slant on this topic which goes beyond the borders of "history", it's repetition of the term "respected historians say up to 200,000" and "sex slave" is typical of that. Neither are true statements. The 200,000 figure arose as a high estimate from one Japanese historian, Yoshimi Yoshiaki, and has never been supported with any evidence.*

Even Yoshimi has changed his position now.

In a 1997, Kono clarified that there were no documents showing the government took measures to recruit the women through force. Countless academics and journalists have spent more two decades searching for evidence that military authorities were directly involved in the procurement of comfort women but have not found any.

Even the U.S. Congressional Research Service memorandum entitled “Japanese Military’s ‘Comfort Women’ System” states that the military may not have directly carried out the majority of recruitment, especially in Korea where "the majority of the recruitment of comfort women seemed to have been done by civilian recruiters (Koreans) who used deception and pressure on families rather than physical coercion".

On the other hand, many adverts in high ranking papers like the Keijo Nippo, still exist which offered wages three times higher than starting salaries for graduates of Keijo Imperial University, and plenty of evidence of the wealth the military prostitutes made.

(As a comparison, according to the China Daily, 16 September 2000, over a six-month period more than 110,000 victims of kidnapping or human trafficking most of them forced into prostitution were rescued in China alone).

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

@JoeBigs

I think the difference is that most countries rely on independent historians and academics to set the record straight. They don't hand pick those historians and put them directly on the government payroll.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Mister Ed May. 29, 2014 - 08:35AM JST (As a comparison, according to the China Daily, 16 September 2000, over a six-month period more than 110,000 victims of kidnapping or human trafficking most of them forced into prostitution were rescued in China alone).

How can you compare? It's a joke. You made a comparison to China's 110,000 victim of kidnapping, and how many died? Hardly any? In WWII, three-forth of these comfort women did not survive the war. There is no comparison to the brutality and abuse these women faced with IJA.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Japan's wartime government was "directly involved" in impressing women from Korea, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines and the Netherlands into service as prostitutes. Japan should continue investigating the issue and reveal the total number of women mobilized as well as the exact role the government played in the program.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

While a review to verify if the comfort women were actually telling the truth backed up by historical documents is seemingly normal, I am concerned on the fact that this 'secret team' (AKA historians on the uyoku dantai payroll) would let their predetermined political positions get in the way of the reviewing process, nitpick a few good points at the expense of the torrential downpour of the bad ones and then come out saying 'Haha! They were lying all along!' with a report not peer-reviewed internationally or backed up by hard evidence. Hoping for the sake of Japan and regional stability that it doesn't come to that.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Well, it has been a few days.... guess it's time for the Abe government to open mouth and insert foot again.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Didn't we just read this same cr@p a month or so ago ? Why do these numb skulls keep banging on with this subject, bury it and leave it buried ! Flogging of dead horses should be forbidden by law.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I learned as a kid not to mess with a hornet's nest, I mean the real hard way,,,

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@sfjp330

It's no joke ... those are 100,000 happening today which we can do something about. Nothing can be done about events 70 years.

There is no evidence to support a statement like "3/4 did not survive". It's a meaningless statement. A statement of wishful thinking, more propaganda from the Japan Hate mob.

Unfortunately, the study of real history does not work like it does in China. You cannot just make statements up, inflate, exaggerate and have state propagandists repeat them ad infinitum until they are accepted.

You need to have evidence.

@CrazyJoe

Actually, Professor Yoshimi who started the idea of the high estimate of 200,000 figure, became the leader of a team of nine researchers on the issue. The results of their work is called "Joint Research: Comfort Women Servicing the Japanese Military". The book documents all the empirical research relating to the recruiting of comfort women in Korea and states that recruiting there was done not by authorities (the military, the police or the Governor-General’s office), but by private brokers.

In The People’s Korea magazine he wrote, “Official documents attesting to coercive recruiting of women (slave hunts) by government or military authorities have not yet been discovered.” Further more, Wada Haruki, a Tokyo University professor emeritus and enthusiastic supporters of the Asia Women’s Fund, stated that “there is no documentary evidence for the claim that there was direct coercion by government or military authorities.”

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that a “verifying team” would study how the apology was reached and the historical facts it was based on, with their probe expected to be completed later this year.

One can only ask the obvious question -- WHY? And anyone who says SK and China are "too sensitive" about Japan's position on its wartime atrocities, should realize the impact this sort of self-serving action has. A true embarrassment. For God's sake, Japan, this was all over 70 years ago, stop trying to make the passage of time allow you to feel better about yourselves.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

THe moderator is ghod, end of story.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It's time for the pathetic oyaji-san in power to admit what happened in those historical times. Regarding the well-documented and egregious Japanese war crimes during WW2, it is not moral or honest to deny history.

Watch this comment get deleted too, seems Japan Inc. can't handle criticism on this site lately.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

So my tax money is paying for 5 secret people to research something for 6-7 months? Sounds like a good job to me.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This only happens in Japan.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@EthanWilber, "This only happens in Japan"-- I think revisionism is in vogue all over the world. In the US feminism is rewriting history to downplay the contributions of men, US history would have you believe that the entire population of the US south was slaveowners and made no other contribution of any kind or nature in their 150 year history, the cowboys never fought the Indians but rather beat them in underhanded ways and purposefully caused disease. There is no "history" just the interpretation of history. The closest you can ever get is to BY YOURSELF read and examine the primary documents of the time and not take the sugar easy way of listening to a biased historian or even worse a politician.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I could have sworn Abe said they wouldn't be revising anything ? Obviously a step to "calm down" the issue on Comfort Women but, as usual, he goes back on his word. With all his provocation, I'm a little surprised that WWIII hasn't yet broken out...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

All nations have their own reason to review it's past

Japan's reason is that the hereditary oligarchs running everything prefer to define the truth in terms of pleasant, agreeable fantasies rather than hard, ugly facts that might give the impression that their fathers and grandfathers were all stupid, useless, corrupt and evil, which would sort of imply that they are too and thus diminish the confidence that gullible, elderly voters place in them.

Japan is doing something no other nation in this circus is willing to do.

Communist China has washed away it's atrocities for the last 87 years and South Korea hasn't even looked into the atrocities they committed in the last 65 years.

Sounds like they're all doing exactly the same thing to me.

But, the far left only wants to point out that Japan is bad and everyone else is good. How about looking into the mirror and see what demons you are hiding.

That's what Japan is doing, is it? Personally I would be very surprised if any of these "experts" (ultranationalist delusional fantasists) see any demons at all.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

@mister ed

i agree with most of your comments, but there is the idea of indirect coercion. those korean recruiters were working on behalf of the japanese gov't. so the gov't was complicit in "forcing" some korean women into sexual slavery. they can't wash their hands completely on this subject.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The winds are blowing favorably for Japan right now. Do you really want to needlessly turn the negative attention back on yourself??

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So what is this all about (again)?? If respected historians say that "up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea but also from China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan, were forced to serve Japanese soldiers during the war." what is there to review? Maybe that it was "only 199.999? Or that the Kono-statement should have never been made?

YES, they are drifting further and further to the right. Japan - look at what Germany did, what German presidents and chancellors did! Germany lives (at least more or less) in peace with its neighboring countries. Why can't you do the same?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

If you watch Arirang, you'll be surprised that they stoke resentment against Japan with the comfort women issue. They also insist that Dokdo is a Korean property. I think this investigative team is necessary to counter their accusations. I respect Koreans, so I see no reason in blindly denying their accusations. We must cooperate with each other to counter the threat of North Korea.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

What is the expected outcome for all of the victims of this? I get the initial just get the Japanese government to admit it happened and imperial japan did it. Ok.great. There is really no point to this unless there is a move to arrest and jail the actual people involved, such as the men who raped these women and the leaders who made it all happen. Granted most of the rapists and their commanders are probably long dead but they could be stripped of awards, medals and the few still alive, jailed. Why because in the end these women were being raped and any still alive should see justice done.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Reckless"This only happens in Japan"-- I think revisionism is in vogue all over the world. In the US feminism is rewriting history to downplay the contributions of men, US history would have you believe that the entire population of the US south was slaveowners and made no other contribution of any kind or nature in their 150 year history, the cowboys never fought the Indians but rather beat them in underhanded ways and purposefully caused disease. There is no "history" just the interpretation of history. The closest you can ever get is to BY YOURSELF read and examine the primary documents of the time and not take the sugar easy way of listening to a biased historian or even worse a politician.

I think that you are misguided. For my best recollection, the American government has never formed a panel and actively advised it to erase or beautify the crimes committed in its history.

Please let us know if there is any other government in the world in 21st century is doing “review/revision” of war-time atrocities the same way as Abe’s admin does.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Enough already. The apologies were made and accepted. Payments were made and accepted. And now Obama wants to bring this to table again. Well here is some news for him. American soldiers were doing the same thing.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

And now Obama wants to bring this to table again.

huh?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

This story does not represent the whole of the Kono statement when it focuses on the testimony of the Korean victims. There were also Japanese, women of other Asian territories as well as European women who were captured during the invasions of Hong Kong, China, Philippines, Indochina, and other areas occupied by the Imperial Japanese military that were victims. Many may cast doubt on the validity of those Korean women who testified before the committee but that testimony is but a fraction of the testimony and evidence that was amassed after the conclusion of the war and there are various books by the victims who detail how they were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army and Navy, not by private recruiters who acted in response to the request of the military.

Kono Statement excerpts (English translation)

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.

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.

Abe may choose to focus on the Korean aspect of the apology but survivors elsewhere, historical records and a mountain of evidence still stands.

Suga, the government’s top spokesman, told the Diet that the “secret team” comprises “five intellectuals”—three women and two men.

“We have set up a verifying team which is working to assess” the basis for the statement, Suga told lawmakers.

Abe's stacked “secret team” comprises “five intellectuals” says it all. Maybe he himself is one of them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

not clear to me if the intention is to make it more apologetic or less.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

i agree with most of your comments, but there is the idea of indirect coercion. those korean recruiters were working on behalf of the japanese gov't. so the gov't was complicit in "forcing" some korean women into sexual slavery. they can't wash their hands completely on this subject

.BINGO!!! We have a winner!! For all the people who trot out the "Koreans ""recruited"" Koreans" THEY need to realize this was ALL done with Japans knowledge, ALL done under the thumb of Japan & the IJA, ie ALL responsibility lays with Japan, its really that simple.

You need to realize that Koreans were NOT exactly living under ideal circumstances when Japan ruled, the opposite in fact, yes some Koreans did some horrible things to their own BUT they were ALL under Japan & THAT is the ROOT CAUSE OF IT ALL.

It really is that simple, but many fail to see the obvious

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So today, they are paying the price for their deceitful actions of the past.

But not the Korean collaborators. Or those in power who were supposed to distribute reparations after the war.

Vichy France, which was a large part of "real France", cooperated with the Nazis. To the extent of rounding up of Jews for them. (Hardly alone in this regard either. Quite a few occupied countries even had their own SS volunteer units).

To deny the part played by (some) Koreans in this issue is hypocritical.

And as Mr. Perfect states above, comfort women came from a number of countries, including Japan. Not all were coerced either, some were prostitutes. Peace, war, people still do the same things. It's not just revisionist dribble.

In any case, an honest assessment is a good idea but I have little faith it will put an end to the constant bickering. In South Korea's case, fingers should pointed at both.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

In reference to titaniumdioxide's statement above regarding "surprise" (only explained by a long video) as far as I know the Kono statement was preceded by the following events.

1) At the time of the Kono statement the Japanese government policy was that the wartime government was not involved in the recruitment of comfort women and that they certainly were not involved in any coercion. 2) A Japanese academic, Professor Yoshiaki Yoshimi, found a Japanese army to Japanese army letter saying words to the effect of "Be warned that some recruiters are deceiving women into becoming comfort women, effectively coercing them. Make sure that this is stopped by overseeing (kanri) appropriately." 3) The Professor his finding to himself for a while, and then very shortly before (the day before?) a top Korean politician (the PM I think) was due to arrive in Japan, he made the document public to the Asahi Newspaper who published the head lines to the effect of "Documents showing Government Involvement," A Google image search for the headline shows both the headline and wartime letter all in Japanese. http://tinyurl.com/nax9eqw 4) The next day (?) shortly after the apology the Asahi ran the headline"Kono admits the Comfort Women were Coerced"

Had Japan or Kono had more time, would their response to the revelation of this involvement have been different?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Most comments around here, assume intermediately that this revision is with the goal to retract the apology.

I say that assumption is made to lightly and too fast.

I myself share the same thoughts as Wakarimasen. At this point we are not sure for what purpose this revision is.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Suga, the government’s top spokesman, told the Diet that the “secret team” comprises “five intellectuals”—three women and two men.

No doubt this group were very selectively chosen for their open minded and non-biased points of view. (Sarcasm). This review will only serve to further degrade Japan's post-war relationship with its neighbors and increase the tension. The really strange thing is, all of the countries involved in this are requesting that Japan accepts responsibility and admits their wrong doing. However, all Japan wants to do is, downplay it and, in some cases, deny it even happened. Where is this bushido honor the Japanese are so proud of? Man up Japan and stop squirming around like a little lying brat!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

In any case, an honest assessment is a good idea but I have little faith it will put an end to the constant bickering. In South Korea's case, fingers should pointed at both.

Reformed -- please! A secret panel operating in secret is hardly an "honest assessment". Which is exactly why South Korea and other countries, including likely the U.S., will ignore it and just chalk it up to another case of Japan trying to feel better about itself. So, respectfully, there will be absolutely no reason for Korea to point any fingers at anyone but the silly, arrogant Japanese government.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

If only Japan really wanted to end the comfort women issue and all the other accusations regarding Japanese wartime atrocities. Japan could easily end the issue by having every PM for the next decade get down on his/her knees in atonement at the numerous memorials to the victims of Japanese aggression. Suddenly, Japan would assume a leadership position in Asia, live up to its ostensible reputation of being an advanced nation, and gain international prestige and credence. It would probably do wonders for the economy too. If only ---

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I just can't understand the need for a review, leave it alone. Is it just fodder for some nationalist member of parliament to bring up at some completely inappropriate time... almost certainly.

Instead have a panel which is actively seeking ways to find ways to work together with these economically important neighbours...

It also makes me sad knowing the amount of tax I pay yet have no say what these people, and the pro-nuke crowd are doing to this country and my families future.. grrr

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What a ridiculous waste of time and money. What exactly is the purpose of this?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

How long is this going to get dragged out? Just apologize, admit Japan made a mistake, and let it go already! It's been almost 80 years already! There's newer, bigger fish to fry right now!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So long as there are morons in government, Abe being a prime example, who play down atrocities and rape and even suggest it never happened (not to mention a few posters on here!), none of the "Well, we're reviewing it but we're not doing so with the intent of changing it" lies do not matter one little bit. Just look at posts like those from titaniumdioxide saying things 'are not fact' as though HE were stating fact.

There are imperial troops who have testified, and are on record, as having been ordered to FORCIBLY put women in the brothels, and said women were raped. Sorry, but I'll take a confession by a dying old man who wants to clear his conscience and make amends over a politician who was born years after the fact (especially those whose relatives are war criminals!). I mean, seriously, just look at the people who post that these things never happened: they say things like, "There's no documents to prove it!" but when people admit to it they conveniently forget there are no documents as though it's some kind of physical proof that it never happened.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Simon FostonMay. 29, 2014 - 09:46AM JST

Japan's reason is that the hereditary oligarchs running everything prefer to define the truth in terms of pleasant, agreeable fantasies rather than hard, ugly facts that might give the impression that their fathers and grandfathers were all stupid, useless, corrupt and evil, which would sort of imply that they are too and thus diminish the confidence that gullible, elderly voters place in them.

Ask yourself how much you know about ianfu. Just by reading this transcript of US Congressional hearing, you know, for sure, the former ianfu are not telling the truth even under oath. http://www.japantoday.com/category/kuchikomi/view/foreign-correspondents-blindly-swallowing-anti-japanese-propaganda-writer-alleges#comment_1761544

Or you can read this one and only US Army interrogation report on comfort girls. http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/japanese-lawmakers-call-for-revision-of-wartime-sex-slavery-apology#comment_1740733

I think reading basic materials before commenting on what you are not familiar with is always good, to avoid indulging yourself in "pleasant, agreeable fantasies."

Todd TopolskiMay. 29, 2014 - 10:19AM JST

There is really no point to this unless there is a move to arrest and jail the actual people involved, such as the men who raped these women

You cannot give guilty verdict based on contradicting testimonies.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

They would do better to follow the advice of ex PM Murayama.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Maybe Koreans keep quiet about any crimes they may have comitted through history?

Japan perhaps did apologise; but where are all the other armies and governments across the world apologising for their history`s?

You only have to look at what the Americans did in Vietnam to understand how bad things were the further you go back in time from the Korean War..... perhaps first to To the era of Ghengis Khan and the alleged Mongolian history of the chinese and Koreans planning the absolute destruction of the people of Japan.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I bet that even if Japan says "sorry" again, it still will not be enough for China and the other countries, will they ever let the matter rest?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Ask yourself how much you know about ianfu. Just by reading this transcript of US Congressional hearing, you know, for sure, the former ianfu are not telling the truth even under oath. http://www.japantoday.com/category/kuchikomi/view/foreign-correspondents-blindly-swallowing-anti-japanese-propaganda-writer-alleges#comment_1761544

Sorry, are you expecting me to believe that just because one witness you have cited lied under oath, all the rest were as well?

Or you can read this one and only US Army interrogation report on comfort girls. http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/japanese-lawmakers-call-for-revision-of-wartime-sex-slavery-apology#comment_1740733

Oh, great. A Japanese army report. One of the ones they didn't destroy after the war. Wouldn't you expect them to keep documents that showed the military leadership in a reasonably good light?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Simon FostonMay. 29, 2014 - 03:11PM JST

Sorry, are you expecting me to believe that just because one witness you have cited lied under oath, all the rest were as well?

Where are the "rest"? Only two Korean former ianfu testified before US Congress. Both lied. If you have any reliable testimonies of KOREAN ianfu, please let me know.

Oh, great. A Japanese army report.

No. It is a US Army report. Historians studied all the disclosed US Army reports and found nothing that suggests ianfu were sex slaves.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Where are the "rest"? Only two Korean former ianfu testified before US Congress.

Ah, there were two liars instead of just one. That makes all the difference.

If you have any reliable testimonies of KOREAN ianfu, please let me know.

I doubt if there would be much point.

No. It is a US Army report. Historians studied all the disclosed US Army reports and found nothing that suggests ianfu were sex slaves.

The thing I looked at was hundreds of pages long and had lots of kanji in it. Then again I would expect the US Army to take an accommodating point of view when it comes to Japanese wartime activities; they weren't too keen on pursuing the Emperor or the Unit 731 people either. Were the historians Japanese and right-wing, by the way?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Simon FostonMay. 29, 2014 - 04:06PM JST

The thing I looked at was hundreds of pages long and had lots of kanji in it.

Read the other link in the linked comment. Or for your convenience read this link. http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

I doubt if there would be much point.

That brings it to the first point you made; "pleasant, agreeable fantasies." I bet you have not invested enough of your time in studying the testimonies of the ianfu. Yet, you criticize people based on "pleasant, agreeable fantasies," dont you? I think testimonies matter a lot.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

That brings it to the first point you made; "pleasant, agreeable fantasies." I bet you have not invested enough of your time in studying the testimonies of the ianfu.

No, but I have looked at all the information you have provided and I must say I think it's pretty flimsy.

Yet, you criticize people based on "pleasant, agreeable fantasies," dont you? I think testimonies matter a lot.

You have cited one US Army report - incidentally I note that you have nothing to say on the allegation that the Americans were just as keen to whitewash Japan's wartime record as the Japanese themselves were - and the unreliable testimonies of two witnesses out of a hypothetical 200,000. You'll need a lot more to sway anyone's opinions than that.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

793 Korean girls/women were transported to Burma in 1942. The US Army report from the Ledo Stockade only involves 20 of those girls/women.

Even if those girls/women were not abducted and instead recruited, they weren't told they would be prostitutes to the Japanese Imperial troops? They were told their service would be connected with visiting the wounded in hospitals, rolling bandages, and generally making the soldiers happy.

http://www22.atwiki.jp/doc_exam2007/?cmd=upload&act=open&page=心理作戦班捕虜尋問報告49号&file=Report_49.pdf

The most common expedient used in Korea was deceit — false promises of employment in Japan or in other Japanese occupied territories. Typically, a daughter of a poor peasant family would be approached by a labor broker and promised employment as a factory worker, assistant nurse , laundry worker, kitchen helper, or the like. While staying at an inn and waiting to be transported out of Korea, she would be relatively well treated. She would get good food and not need to work , but her physical freedom would be restricted. She would not find out the real nature of the work until she was taken into a comfort station and raped by members of the Japanese armed forces. This system provided many women from rural Korea. Jong Jingsong conducted research on 175 Korean women who came forward in 1993 as former comfort women. Of these, 105 out of 170 women whose birth places were identified had been “recruited” from rural areas in Kyongsang and Cholla Provinces. In other words, sub-contractors had targeted young daughters of poor peasant families, knowing that it was relatively easy to trick them.

Japan's Comfort Women. Yuki Tanaka http://www.aseouldiary.com/1/archives/04-2014/1.html

Most documents were purposely destroyed by the Japanese government nearing the end of WW2:

"When it became apparent that Japan would be forced to surrender, an organized effort was made to burn or otherwise destroy all documents and other evidence of ill-treatment of prisoners of war and civilian internees. The Japanese Minister of War issued an order on 14 August 1945 to all Army headquarters that confidential documents should be destroyed by fire immediately. On the same day, the Commandant of the Kempetai sent out instructions to the various Kempetai Headquarters detailing the methods of burning large quantities of documents efficiently.", Clancey 1948, p. 1135;

http://onehallyu.com/index.php?/topic/49426-japan-will-possibly-review-testimonies-used-to-draft-kono-statement/

The Comfort Women were not just Korean, they were also Chinese, Filipino, Taiwanese, Burmese, Indonesian, Dutch and Australian. There were more than 2,000 military brothels across Asia.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

"You only have to look at what the Americans did in Vietnam...."

The Americans acknowledged a number of their atrocities, like My Lai, and held official tribunals that handed out punishments to the Americans responsible. The Americans weren't under Vietnamese pressure to do so, either. Americans blew the whistle on themselves.

Japan, whose atrocities are of a much greater scale, never did anything like this. Instead, they destroyed records in a systematic cover up. That is why the Koreans today are so huffy, and why Japan has found itself in this imbroglio.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

"

Didn't we just read this same cr@p a month or so ago ? Why do these numb skulls keep banging on with this subject, bury it and leave it buried ! Flogging of dead horses should be forbidden by law."

I can't agree any more with this statement.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Simon FostonMay. 29, 2014 - 05:16PM JST

the Americans were just as keen to whitewash Japan's wartime record as the Japanese themselves were

Oh, really? That sounds new to me. So, you say that US government should apologize to the Korean former ianfu?

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Oh, really? That sounds new to me.

That's your own problem.

So, you say that US government should apologize to the Korean former ianfu?

Yes. Not that it's ever going to happen. Don't you think that anyone who is complicit in covering up a crime should be held to account for it?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The move comes just over a month after U.S. President Barack Obama, on a regional tour, blasted the forced recruitment into prostitution during World War II as a “terrible, egregious violation of human rights”.

Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, “we will not revise the Kono statement”, he added.

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Some months ago, Suga was doing research to find WW II time comfort woman and traced old military papers in JSDF library. I wonder if this will bring Japan to apology differently than Kono apology. Obama statement was not meant to Japan to hide, I believe. Doesn't sound Abe to scrap Kono apology so we have to wait interim report to guess until final report comes out. 3 women and 2 men panel? I have been noticing Abe use more women but this may be his desire to do things straight than usual men only panels.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Once is more than enough for if they would not accept the first one then they were not worthy to even get the first one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The “comfort women (system) was necessary in order to provide relaxation for those brave soldiers who had been in the line of fire.”

Mayor of Osaka, Toru Hashimoto

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/05/28/national/politics-diplomacy/hashimoto-looks-to-deflect-sex-slave-blame/#.U4cyWRasVJ0

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Given Abe revisionist’s records from his past and the type of experts his admin may handpick for this special panel, it’d be safe enough to predict the findings from this panel will be highly likely discreditable to the Kono statement.

Speaking of Abe admin’s pick, Abe’s admin chose Katsuto Momii to head NHK, and stood by him when Momii made his notorious comments on Japan’s wartime sex slavery.

Here is a thing: at the cord, Abe is still Abe. The primary reason that motivates Abe to investigate the Kono statement is to dig some dirt; by doing so, Abe can achieve two hidden agenda. A. To satisfy revisionists and nationalists in LDP’s voting bloc. B. To erode the credibility of Kono statement and thus lay a foundation for future nationalistic admin(s) to make a possible reversal.

Abe is a shrewd and deceiving politician, he knew right now under the immense pressure from the US, he is not able to abolish the Kono statement even he really wants to, but if he can make some incremental steps to take a shot at it, he may be able to reach his goal in a longer run.

Abe and his ultra nationalistic followers are dangerous not only to Japan but also to the world.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

CH3CHO: "Ask yourself how much you know about ianfu"

Ask YOURSELF how much you deny sexual slavery would be the more morally apt question, then tell us why you don't talk about the links zichi has provided.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Given Abe revisionist’s records from his past and the type of experts his admin may handpick for this special panel, it’d be safe enough to predict the findings from this panel will be highly likely discreditable to the Kono statement.

Of course. It wouldn't be a secret panel if the experts weren't all right-wingers who will miraculously conclude that the Japanese government and military leaders never did anything wrong ever.

Here is a thing: at the cord, Abe is still Abe. The primary reason that motivates Abe to investigate the Kono statement is to dig some dirt; by doing so, Abe can achieve two hidden agenda. A. To satisfy revisionists and nationalists in LDP’s voting bloc. B. To erode the credibility of Kono statement and thus lay a foundation for future nationalistic admin(s) to make a possible reversal.

Indeed so - they only said the Abe Cabinet would stand by the Kono statement. There was no mention of what like-minded lunatics might do in the future, although right now they're all such forgettable non-entities in the LDP it's hard to imagine who Abe's successors might be.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

For review read whitewash.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Dear world. We are going to...not going to...that is, going to...but not going to...but really, we are going to review the wartime sex slave apology. Or not. Perhaps maybe positive not so yes. But this time you should believe us. Really. Our policy on this matter has always been clear and consistent.

Sincerely (but what if we're not? What are you going to do about it?), the Abe Cabinet.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The Kono statement did not actually "acknowledge official complicity in the coercion of women ... etc etc etc".

The term he used was "kyosei renko" which literally means "forcibly escorted" and referred directly to the case of a Dutch woman who were held for two months in Java.

It did refer to any widespread practise. There was none. (The individuals above were executed or received prison sentences for their crime).

Among the documents discovered by the government, there was none that indicated abduction by military or government authorities. The report investigated documents located in Japanese ministries and agencies, the National Diet Library, and the United States National Archives.

The source of the witness statements was a South Korean organization called Association for the Pacific War Victims.

The same NGO whose directors were later guilty of fraud and embezzlement encouraging people to register with them to gain compensation. It was they who promoted Kim Hak-Soon and falsified her statement.

It becomes more clear what is going on then you discover that the daughter of one of the leaders is married to the the Asahi SHimbum reporter who broke and falsified the story of Kim Hak-Soon, the so called "first comfort woman to come forward".

They claimed she was abducted, her earlier legal documents stated she was sold by her parents to a Korean brothel.

There is a reason for these people to continually target Abe's credibility, and most of the emphasis comes from North Korean sympathizers.

Abe is the secretary-general of a group of Diet representatives concerned about history education and has stated clearly the facts, that "no evidence has been found that indicates coercion in the narrow sense. There was no coercion of the sort where officials forced their way into houses and abducted women."

When Coomaraswamy wrote her report, it relied on the witness statements of North Koreans and now discredited falsifiers ... discredited by Koreans themselves ... like Hicks and Seiji.

Can anyone really believe North Koreans allow to speak by the North Korean government, could or would tell the truth?

In Japanese, the discussion has been about "coercion in the broad sense", meaning the unpleasant nature of prostitution industry at that time, versus "coercion in the narrow sense" as the propagandist are trying to promote.

It has been shown and proven just too many times it did not happen. The nature of prostitution industry was no different to the nature of prostitution industry which served the American military.

Even Yoshimi has changed his position simply because the evidence has not been found to support it.

The Kono Statement had acknowledged 'coercion in the broad sense' and apologized for it. The statement did not extend as far as the AFP, propagandists, and others suggest it does.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

What's amusing... or rather extremely sad and pathetic... is the idea that the wingers on here actually purport to believe in some sort of 'proof' being necessary, when denying it constantly.

In various confessions by soldiers, some even documented by Japanese historians sick of the gloss overs, former soldiers admit, "...holding victims down as a team, checking their private parts for sexually transmitted diseases and drawing lots to decide who would go first. Out of 250 soldiers interviewed only three expressed any regret for their actions".

You only need to look at interviews like these, or the wacko Japanese media who take a stroll through Myanmar and say, "This isn't a death march! ahem... pass me my water please! -- it's a nice hike!" to know how badly wingers on here and in government are absolutely DESPERATE to cover up downright murder.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Wait, didn't Abe say this wouldn't happen? "I could tell the politician was lying, his lips were moving."....

What is there to review? It's history, everybody knows what happened, and nobody is going to forget it no matter how much the right wingers obfuscate.

What a total waste of time. Why get the Korean's upset for no good reason? Abe's foreign policy is being run by Ronald McDonald....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

An interesting website on Comfort Women "Fight for Justice" http://fightforjustice.info/?page_id=2796&lang=en

Kim Puja, a professor of Asian history at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and a founding member of the website, said one purpose of “Fight for Justice” is to educate younger people, who are more likely to seek information from the Internet than from books.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

zichi: "who are more likely to seek information from the Internet than from books."

Correct, especially when most Japanese history texts in school are manga.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Mister EdMay. 29, 2014 - 09:17AM JST @sfjp330 There is no evidence to support a statement like "3/4 did not survive". It's a meaningless statement. A statement of wishful thinking, more propaganda from the Japan Hate mob. Unfortunately, the study of real history does not work like it does in China. You cannot just make statements up, inflate, exaggerate and have state propagandists repeat them ad infinitum until they are accepted. You need to have evidence.

‎Here is the Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women

Comfort women were women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the .... Approximately three quarters of comfort women died.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Wikipedia is not a reliable source, especial in areas over run by activists such as this one. Many of the sources the activists have used have been disproven.

There is no evidence to support such claims.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Mister Ed May. 30, 2014 - 06:42AM JST There is no evidence to support such claims.

Only in 1990, the first South Korean women lift the veil of shame, they had Just 56 of the 239 women who publicly acknowledged their experiences were still alive. If these 200,000 comfort women were born around 1925, they would be 65 years old in 1990. How do you explain that only a fraction of these women were acknowledged?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It has been shown and proven just too many times it did not happen. The nature of prostitution industry was no different to the nature of prostitution industry which served the American military.

Even Yoshimi has changed his position simply because the evidence has not been found to support it.

Of course not. The Japanese military leaders were stupid enough to get involved in a war they actually knew they couldn't possibly win (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/08/14/national/history/papers-that-pushed-for-pacific-war-revisited-2/#.U4fNzvmSzng) and proceeded to lose it in a disastrously stupid fashion, but not stupid enough not to destroy evidence. By all accounts they burned just about every incriminating document, file or bit of paper that they had. This leaves us with the eyewitness testimonies, and if it's a matter of choosing to believe either the witnesses or a group of politicians and right-wing historians with a vested interest in securing the votes of people such as yourself, I know who I find more believable.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Simon FostonMay. 30, 2014 - 09:17AM JST

You are enough. All you say is that lack of evidence is the proof of a crime and cover-up thereof. If you want to be taken seriously, you should provide evidence to your argument.

Since you demand an apology from the US government for alleged white washing of Japanese atrocities, be sure to bring here good evidence.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@sfjp330

Actually, that's not true. The movement started in the 1970s as a coalition between Japanese feminists and Korean Christian women's groups campaigning against the military prostitution camps and sex tourism targeting Japanese businessmen. They discovered many of the women serving the Americans had served the Japanese before them.

It's a bad choice to choose the 90s, because that is when all the deceit and manipulation started.

You refer to Kim Hak-Soon etc, whose account has since been proven to be a fraudulent - she was sold by her parents, not abducted as it was claimed - and promoted by the "Association for the Pacific War Victims", whose directors were also later guilty of fraud and embezzlement. They had been falsely selling memberships on the basis of the big compensation pay out people were supposed to be going to receive.

The early 90s mark the beginning of the insincerity and when the nationalist and Japan Hate mob usurped what was originally a genuine feminist cause.

And remember, the 1990s were before the Korean Government were honest with its own people and now told them that Japan had paid all its compensation but they they had demanded it all be paid to the government, instead of the individuals as Japan wanted.

There were no 200,000. That is the point. There has never been any evidence found to prove it, even with all the academics and activists trying to find it. It was only even an estimate from an academic who has since changed his position ... not that the propagandists care.

First it was suggested between 20,000 military prostitutes to 200,000 military prostitutes. Then South Korea claimed it had 200,000 of its own military prostitutes. Then North Korea claimed it had 200,000 of its own military prostitutes. Then China claimed it had 200,000 of its own military prostitutes. It's become ridiculous. It's a wonder the Japanese Army had any time to fight due to all the sex they were supposed to be having.

But it's still only a small fraction of the 1,000,000 military prostitutes that served the Americans in Korea/Vietnam. A figure according to the United Nations.

@Simon Foston

Stupid? I ask you the same question I asked others to know answer. What were they supposed to? Roll over like a doggy to America and let its tanks, bombers and politicians roll in and across Asia without resistance?

America broke alliances and agreements, stabbed Japan in the back, and threw a noose around its neck that would have killed it whilst it was already in a war. A war in which it turns out America was covertly supplying Japan's enemy.

You position is laughable. You admit there is no evidence and so then retreat to the second position of "oh, there is none ... I know ... they must have destroyed it all!".

The position of many who can neither read what evidence does exist in Japanese and Korean. In short, you have no idea what does or does not exist.

The is a big part of the problem. Neither Hicks, or Coomaraswamy, or even Honda has the linguistic skills to know what exists, never mind the obvious trolls or Japan Hate mob.

The other part of the problem is that the witnesses and witness statement have been researched and largely failed. Even the activist groups have had to drop many of the claimants due to their unreliability.

And more to the point, even the Korean worker groups, who are also claiming compensation, distance themselves from the ianfu because they know exactly what they were. Simple prostitutes.

These are all checkable claims. If you care about the truth, you can take them, dissect them, ask me for more trails and keep following them.

It is nothing to do with "right" and "left" ... most of the trolls (and I don't me you, I mean the specific and organized propagandist groups) using it, don't even know what the terms mean. They just know that it is seen as a "bad world" in the West, based on the Nazi connection, and are attempt discredited individuals asking questions about their claims.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

zichiMay. 30, 2014 - 01:47AM JST

An interesting website on Comfort Women "Fight for Justice" http://fightforjustice.info/?page_id=2796&lang=en

1-1 Wasn't "forced prostitution" involved in making women "comfort women" in Korea?

However, if materials are discovered, the facts may become clear. On this point, more research is needed.

On the question raised by PM Abe on Korean ianfu, if they were abducted or forced with violence, the conclusion of the report you linked is that more reseach is needed. It seems to me very much similar to the conclusion of PM Abe.

smithinjapanMay. 29, 2014 - 10:27PM JST

CH3CHO: "Ask yourself how much you know about ianfu"

Ask YOURSELF how much you deny sexual slavery would be the more morally apt question, then tell us why you don't talk about the links zichi has provided.

The link provided by zichi is "report 49", which is the very same document I provided a link. Thank you, smith.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

There re factual problems with the information given on the fightforjustice website

For example, it starts off with the usual "a victimized Korean woman, Kim Hak-sun, who came forward and filed a lawsuit".

It's been proven she was sold by her parents, not abducted as the activist, who were later found guilty of fraud, claimed.

It then goes on to say, "in January 1992 the Japanese government admitted the Japanese military’s involvement”, referring to the Kono statement.

The Kono statement did not say that.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

You are enough. All you say is that lack of evidence is the proof of a crime and cover-up thereof. If you want to be taken seriously, you should provide evidence to your argument.

All you've provided is one US Army report and two witness statements. I don't take that seriously.

@Mister Ed MAY. 30, 2014 - 10:00AM JST

Stupid? I ask you the same question I asked others to know answer. What were they supposed to? Roll over like a doggy to America and let its tanks, bombers and politicians roll in and across Asia without resistance?

Could that have been a whole lot worse than what actually happened?

You admit there is no evidence and so then retreat to the second position of "oh, there is none ... I know ... they must have destroyed it all!".

So your position is that they didn't destroy anything? Now I wouldn't be surprised at all to learn that there are people in China, Korea and other countries exploiting this situation for all they can get, but that doesn't make me any more inclined to believe what Abe, his like-minded friends and whatever experts he hires have to say.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

America broke alliances and agreements, stabbed Japan in the back, and threw a noose around its neck that would have killed it whilst it was already in a war. A war in which it turns out America was covertly supplying Japan's enemy.

Mister Ed -- LOL. First off, this has NO relevance to the issue of Japan reopening the comfort women issue. Second, it is pure nonsense that just tries to once again rationalize Japan's victim mentality. Point to a single, well-regarded Western historian that states what you have. Talk about an off-topic rant.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Most comments around here, assume intermediately that this revision is with the goal to retract the apology.

I say that assumption is made to lightly and too fast.

I myself share the same thoughts as Wakarimasen. At this point we are not sure for what purpose this revision is.

For those of you who share these views one must assume you have little or no knowledge of Shinzo Abe! There are too numerous to count gaffes, ill-timed statements and actions that have clearly shown what his true intentions are! One quick look at his previous stint as PM will give you all you need to know!

03 Mar 2007 Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, provoked fury yesterday by saying that the so-called "comfort women" were not coerced into becoming sexual slaves of the former Japanese Imperial Army.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@jerseyboy

Japan isn't re-opening the military prostitution issue. It's being forced to respond to an increasingly politically and economically motivated tide of well coordinated attacks seeking to damage its internationally standing from South and North Korea and China, supported by Koreans groups in the USA.

Within the Japan the debate is over. The extreme or "New" leftist groups seeking to damage Japan for their agendas lost the argument because;

a) They were not able to produce any evidence to support their claims and, one by one, they and their motivations were debunked.

The foundations of it, e.g. the fiction written by Seiji Yoshida was proven to be false (he actually admitted it was fabricated). Indeed, it was proven false by Korean sources. George Hicks, for example, it turns out, speaks and reads neither Korean or Japanese, was fed information by a North Korean women in Japan. (Neither can Coomaraswamy, and she chose not to check any witness accounts for veracity).

This has not been communicated to the international community which is either unaware of it, or ideologically resistant to it accepting because it challenges and makes them question their prejudices.

b) Time and time again, far too much evidence arose to counter their accusations, which we can discuss is you are mature enough to be to set aside the indoctrination you have received. To even understand that it is just that. Racist inspired indoctrination, which again we can discuss the various reasons for if you are capable of doing so (I doubt you are because your motivation is not to find the truth but promote a racist agenda and justify your hate).

The portrayal of how the Japanese government has gone about researching and handling the matter is equally false. The Japanese government has persistently failed at the diplomatic level to communicate what work it has done and to counter the propagandists.

Basically fundaments, such as that the fact that the sex industry was run by the Koreans and not Japanese, and continued to run by the same individuals and with the same women serving the Americans after 1945 has not been established?

Why? The answers to that are obvious.

It's time a lot of old Americans examined their own war time guilts. Remember, the 200,000 figure was only ever an unproven high estimate. The 1,000,000 figure for the number of Korean comfort women in 1950 comes from the United Nations itself.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Mister Ed: "You refer to Kim Hak-Soon etc, whose account has since been proven to be a fraudulent - she was sold by her parents, not abducted as it was claimed"

So what you're admitting is that it was not her choice at all -- she was forced into it and used by Imperial soldiers. Thanks. Now let's see how you backtrack on your own comments. Please do not try in any way to suggest she was a volunteer prostitute.

"It's time a lot of old Americans examined their own war time guilts."

For sure! But using that fact as a deflection for why Japan should deny its guilts is nothing short of criminal.

"Remember, the 200,000 figure was only ever an unproven high estimate."

Tends to happen when you revise the textbooks, throw proof out the window, deny the proof of the victims, and call the confessors senile.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Wikipedia - Any Japanese language version translated in English version are usually summerly and there is no details but Japanese versions have details, sometimes gossip like diggings. About Ian-fu, above article is not first time, We. including smithinjapan Bertie, etc used to discuss all the time. I think Suga found old Japanese newspapers that declared Japanese military found useless female contributing to Japanese war cause. Not only Koreans. Japan had own girls as Joshi Teishin Tai for girls who could not go beyond 8th grade elementary school.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

finally, let the truth be heard and get done with it. South Korea never accepted the apology so what's the point?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A reexamination to objectively determine facts should be welcomed by everyone on both sides of the argument. Those who are against such and examination are simply biased.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I've been reading quite a few lengthy publications from the "Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact" which is a right wing group and according to its secretary general, Hiromichi Moteki,

-The Pacific War, for this event, the main point is to show that the responsibility for the war was not Japan's, but America's

-Nanjing Masacre is a fabrication of the Chinese government

-no women were forced into sexual slavery as "comfort women" for Japan's troops in the 1930s and 1940s

-the violent subjugation of the Korean peninsula was in the best interests of the local population.

-the Unit 531 never existed

-the POW's were mainly guarded by Korean troops and not Japanese.

-The Rape of Manila never happened.

and on and on....

This group is very serious about rewriting history and publishing a revisionist version. Even when translating English into Japanese they even added their own versions. http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2014/05/09/japanese-nationalists-smuggle-propaganda-into-brits-book/

The Real Identity of Military Comfort Women I Saw Onoda Hiroo

http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/30_S4.pdf

Translation of Japanese article published in Seiron January 2006 issue(Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact http://www.sdh-fact.com/ )

The issues of the Japanese Prime Minister's visit to Yasukuni Shrine and the so-called military comfort women, about which many people are now debating, rest on absolutely baseless accusations made by people outside of Japan. I have always thought that the comfort women, like the so-called Nanking Massacre, would not require much of an explanation; and I am simply amazed at the level of stupidity, the falsehoods and intemperate language surrounding this issue have yet to disappear.

Now that more than 60 years have passed since the end of the Greater East Asian War and the number of living people who took part and survived is decreasing, I have decided to leave a written testimony to the effect that being a "comfort woman" was nothing but a "commercial activity."

For military units that are called out and stationed in foreign parts, the problems that most seriously hamper the maintenance of security and pacification activities are rape, looting and arson by soldiers. For this reason, as is generally known, every country takes some sort of measures to prevent these acts. At the time of the Greater East Asian War, "comfort women" did exist on battlefields, which was quite reasonable because Japan had licensed prostitution in those days.

It was not necessary to be an officer or soldier involved in field operations to know the term jugun kangofu "military nurse"; it was common knowledge shared by the general public. However, nobody heard of or used the term jugun ianfu "military comfort woman." This term was obviously coined at a later time in an attempt to demean Japan.

To use lewd words, Chinese and Korean prostitutes were respectively referred to as "tsunko pi (Chinese P) and chosen pi (Korean P)" on the China front, as I remember. Acts involving such women were something that could not take place in front of another person, so naturally, few people made accurate presentations in public about what they saw or heard about "comfort stations" or "comfort women." And anybody claiming to have detailed knowledge about these things would have been greeted with scorn and phrases such as "Oh, how well you know!"

I can imagine readers asking me, "Then, how can you know?" Fortunately, I was in a position to observe the actual situations as an outsider. That is why I can make my observations public for the purpose of dispelling public misconception without feeling abashed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGLFqgDwTl4

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Any action that is carried out without clearly explaining the purpose and intent of such action is suspicious.

"study how the apology was reached and the historical facts it was based on..." does not explain the purpose.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration must verify and pledge there support to the Kono statement, the landmark apology acknowledging official complicity in the coercion of women from across Asia into a system of wartime brothels.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga can lead the way. For if any lawmaker feels they cannot publicly make that pledge they must honourably step down from office no if's or but's.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan never really atoned for it's past aggression, that's why they are constantly looking for a way to squirm their way out of a blame. Germany suffered very severe punishment from the allies and the neighbors after the war. France, UK, and the close neighbors truly gave the Germans harsh penalties for their crime but Japan really didn't get any punishment from China and Korea for their horrible abuse and that is why we still have a country that is at time boastful of the past Imperial aggressions.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

When you consider that thousands of women from Indonesia, China, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, etc. were also forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese army, the number of victims number over 400,000. It is time for Japan to face its inglorious past. The standard of judgment should be what would Japan demand if 400,000 of its women were forced into prostitution by a conquering power. Japan must bow deeper and make appropriate amends.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Comparing notes of denials by Japanese politicians of "comfort women" issues, how do you explain the evidence of the Dutch women whose testimony of sexual enslavement in the then Dutch East Indies? To be sure it had been preceded by a long series of denials in Japan goverment, but the main allegations had been proved in a Dutch court under Western rules of evidence as far back as 1948. That court, which had been convened in what was then the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), had considered allegations that Japanese army officers had forced many Dutch women seized in the Dutch East Indies into sexual slavery. One Japanese military official was executed and several others were sentenced to jail terms. The Dutch went on in 1956 successfully to press the J-government to pay compensation to the women, an almost unheard-of achievement in Western diplomacy. In 1985 details of the comfort women story were published in an official Dutch government history of the war. Maybe Koreans could compare notes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@sfjp330

May be the Koreans can start by accounting for their own involvement in the business first?

The case of the Dutch woman who was held for two months was the case that Kono specifically referred to. It was not denied You cannot, however, take that one case and extrapolate to cover every other case ... and then exaggerate by 200,000. No one would take your seriously if you tried.

Of course, in the case of the Dutch in Indonesia, it's a bit like being sympathetic to the wives of high ranking Nazis being raped by the Soviets when they invaded Germany. The Dutch were foreign imperialist. You could argue the wives of Nazi or Dutch Imperialists were not responsible for the regime they enjoyed the luxuries of, but they knew what was going on and still enjoyed the luxuries of it.

It's a moral different argument.

What's less well reported, and starts to complete that picture, is that after the end of WWII Japanese troops actually remained to defend Dutch families from the Indonesians who, quite fairly one might argue, wanted to cut them to pieces. The slaves of the European imperialists had been freed, and they wanted revenge against their imperial overlords.

The Dutch were unable to protect them and so Japanese gave up their lives doing so.

@Ossan

Yes, you are right Ossan.

The difficult question is whether the Koreans and Chinese are mature and evolved enough as societies to accept that objectivity and give up their propagandizing of it.

We could discuss the political and culture influence suggest that they are not. Blind patriotism might be one, fear of the State might be another.

@smithinjapan

The activists, and Kim Hak-Soon later herself, claimed she was abducted by the Japanese military and on top of her "confession", the model for an entire industry of "confessors" was established.

The fact remains she was not. She was sold by her Korean parents to another Korean who then later sold her to another Korean brothel owner where she had to work to pay of her debt and then started earning her own money. The Japanese military had nothing to do with.

In Japan, this is called "compulsion in the wide sense" .. that is the entire sex industry was faulted ... in contrast to "compulsion in the narrow sense", meaning the military going around "abducting" individuals using force.

They did not need to. The jobs were advertized by the Korean agents in top Korean newspapers at exceptionally high wages. Many were volunteering for the positions freely.

It was not the military's job to provide social welfare services. It contracted with a supplier of sexual services as per all other services. The service was run by the Koreans, in the Korean manner, by the Koreans.

The responsibility remains with those who ran the business in their traditional manner.

That is what the Korean cannot accept and do not want to be discussed.

What the evidence clearly shows, including that found by Yoshimi Yoshiaki is that

a) the Army instructed offices to look out for abuses, and b) when abuses were discovered, either the agents, owners or soldiers were punished.

Quite a different picture than those painted by the race hate mobs.

Please note, I separate those with a sincere moral or feminist position against human trafficking and prostitution as a whole from those who the race hate mobs who have usurp the issue and perverted it for their own political and economic benefits ... like the leaders of the NGO who promoted Kim Hak-Soon.

Kim Hak-Soon and her likes were at best the victims of her family's poverty and, at worst, the victim of a callous culture which cared little for the addition expense of a female mouth.

To put it into perspective, I would gamble that her community was part of the 40% of Koreans who were hereditary slaves or untouchables before the Japanese put an end to the practise during the period of amalgamation with Korea.

You might like to ask what the conditions and experiences of those hereditary slaves or untouchables were.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Of course, in the case of the Dutch in Indonesia, it's a bit like being sympathetic to the wives of high ranking Nazis being raped by the Soviets when they invaded Germany. The Dutch were foreign imperialist.

In other words, they deserved it?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Anytime we venture into politics it's nearly impossible for Japanese person to acknowledge anything bad that Japan may have done. Or he/she will just insists that Japan has apologized several times, and there's no more they can do. Yes, the Japanese did some really bad things during war to neighboring countries. The men who did those awful things are mostly dead now, and their grandkids mostly couldn't even tell you when the atomic bombs were dropped. Modern day Japanese people mostly are clueless in regards to what personally went on during war, and who or why participated in the mass killing. The Japanese just do not share these things with their descendants and they don't talk about this sort of stuff with each other. I just don't think asking their children and grandchildren over it is going to help much, considering they know very little or next to nothing about it.

Most Japanese families never talked about the war or what happened. Japanese people will tell you they were taught about some stuff regarding WWII in school, even the bad things Japan did. I do wonder to what extent they discuss it and if there is any significant bias on the teacher's part, because most Japanese rejects suggestions that the Japanese did terrible things and look at themselves as victims of war.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

To put it into perspective, I would gamble that her community was part of the 40% of Koreans who were hereditary slaves or untouchables before the Japanese put an end to the practise during the period of amalgamation with Korea.

That might come across as less insufferably self-righteous if Japan didn't have the burakumin.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan isn't re-opening the military prostitution issue. It's being forced to respond to an increasingly politically and economically motivated tide of well coordinated attacks seeking to damage its internationally standing from South and North Korea and China, supported by Koreans groups in the USA.

Mister Ed -- surely even you don't believe this, do you? Even Obama told Abe to stay away from the comfort women issue, but he decided to try to slyly get around that by having this "secret" panel review the apology.

And, Ossan, this is laughable coming from you:

A reexamination to objectively determine facts should be welcomed by everyone on both sides of the argument. Those who are against such and examination are simply biased.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A reexamination to objectively determine facts should be welcomed by everyone on both sides of the argument. Those who are against such and examination are simply biased.

Ossan, a scholar reviews facts when new and contradictory evidence is discovered.

A thimble-brained nationalist reviews facts when they are found to be inconvenient.

We all know where the bias is even if you can't figure it out still.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mr. GJun. 02, 2014 - 07:23AM JST

Ossan, a scholar reviews facts when new and contradictory evidence is discovered.

I think that is what is going on. http://www.japantoday.com/category/kuchikomi/view/foreign-correspondents-blindly-swallowing-anti-japanese-propaganda-writer-alleges#comment_1761544

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A reexamination to objectively determine facts should be welcomed by everyone on both sides of the argument. Those who are against such and examination are simply biased.

Do you say the same about the Holocaust?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"While many Japanese accept the country’s guilt, some senior politicians on the right—including Abe—have suggested that the issue is overblown, putting a chill on Japan-South Korea relations."

They did not suggest it was 'overblown', they have denied it altogether. Basically they're either lying or refusing to face facts.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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