politics

Japanese lawmakers call for revision of wartime sex slavery apology

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By Elaine Lies

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

43 ( +46 / -3 )

“China and Korea are countries that, even if they lie, don’t feel pain in their hearts. But we Japanese do feel pain if we lie,”

How are we to think about a man who makes such blanket statements about entire populations?

39 ( +44 / -5 )

I am amazed at the brazen stupidity of this government-it's like the government is intentionally trying to alienate itself. I wouldn't be surprised to see the U.S. choose not to include Japan on the TPP if Abe keeps this up. The nationalism is definitely on the rise with NHK bosses spouting off and now this.... I wonder if the Japanese people have any idea or care how bad the public faces of their country are making them look to the rest of the world...(maybe this is all part of MEXT's "globalization" strategy?)

19 ( +27 / -8 )

“China and Korea are countries that, even if they lie, don’t feel pain in their hearts. But we Japanese do feel pain if we lie,” Tamogami told the meeting, called to launch a petition to revise the declaration to “protect Japan’s honor”.

What a statement. A very good illustration of generalized, unsubstatiated, idiotic nationalism. It's a sad day when hateful, semi-literate non-entities like Tamogami are allowed to speak on behalf of 'we Japanese' and even be taken half-seriously.

24 ( +32 / -8 )

Oh no, here we go again.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There has to be something going on. Are they trying to ruin relations in East Asia? It can't be a surprise to anyone that that's exactly what will happen.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Guys like Nakayama Nariaki and Tamogami Toshio are pretty much the greatest public relations windfall ever for the governments of China and South Korea. They clearly see Abe Shinzo as their man firmly in their corner, and they see Abe's premiership as their chance to undo all of the steps taken forward in relations with China and South Korea that occurred in the 1990s and previous decades. We're talking about unrepentant, unapologetic Japanese nationalists of the kind who see the words written on the walls of the Yushukan as objective truth.

Who seriously thinks the politicians of ANY country, not just China and South Korea, can maintain cordial relations with a Japanese political class infested with these types of people who are not at all sorry about anything Japan did from 1931 to 1945? These people need to realize that even their beloved Judge Pal of India, the one dissenter at the Tokyo War Crimes tribunal, even he did not absolve Japan and its people of their responsibility for doing such terrible things in the pursuit of what was, unquestionably, the quest for hegemonic control over Asia and NOT the liberation of colonized peoples from European and American rule.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

These guys just don't know when to shut their mouths do they, my Japanese friends its time to start getting rid of these guys out of power, the parliament and any international spot light, sooner the better.

They don't speak for the vast majority of people in Japan at all, certainly no-one I have ever talked to, yet these same old men, detached from reality and their fellow countrymen, seem to end up sitting in parliament not only failing to address the most immediate needs of the people but going out of their way to make statements that put Japan in a very bad light internationally.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

I can only be amused about how flippantly stubborn "they" are about this. Oh well it's going to be another roundabout debate.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan is frustrated because of the actions taken by the Korean goverment twisting the facts. During the Japan-Korea Treaty discussions in 1965, the Japanese government specifically proposed to directly compensate individual victims, but it was the South Korean government that insisted that it would handle individual compensation. Japan gave the SK government the requested lump sum on the behalf of victims. But it was not until 2005, when Korea declassified documents of the Treaty, that Koreans learned for the first time that Japan had actually paid reparations and that their own government had used up most of the reparations designated for individual comp economic development such as social infrastructure, POSCO, Gyeongbu Expressway, Soyang Dam, with technology transfer from Japanese companies. Why did Korean goverment hid the truth from their own people of what happened to the compensation that Japan gave them for the settlement of the '65 treaty? For Japan, it can be argued that the return on investment from using reparations for economic developed was significant and it helped boost the entire Korean economy and improved all Koreans lives, but at the expense of individual compensation, a decision that was made by Korean goverment.

-21 ( +8 / -29 )

Let's if South Korea can still deny that there weren't any apologies.

-11 ( +11 / -22 )

So rather than trying to say it never happened..

Stand by the apology and if possible bring to light the going ons of the 1960's without further victimising the people this was actually suppose to help.

Its clear that Japan is facing difficulties with both Korea and China bringing the past, perhaps not always totally accurately, but the way to address it isn't to deny what went on or go back on past apologies, the way forward is to make it clear that no-one is proud of that time and Japan is now a different country.

(perhaps Japan need to spend sometime studying how Germany has been much more successful at this)

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Maybe they think they can whitewash the minds of Japanese people in time, but every other country in the world would still know it to be a lie.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

It isn't like people weren't tried and convicted for this during the war crimes tribunals. So to say that this was voluntary and not sexual slavery is beyond belief.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

ka_chanMar. 04, 2014 - 08:07AM JST It isn't like people weren't tried and convicted for this during the war crimes tribunals. So to say that this was voluntary and not sexual slavery is beyond belief.

Have you read the 1965 treaty? Do you know what treaty means? This is why 1965 treaty was made between South Korea and Japan. In 1965, South Korea agreed never to make further compensation demands against Japan, either at a government or individual level, after receiving U.S. $800 million. South Korean goverment said they will handle the individual compensation demands. These comfort women should take up the issue with their own Korean goverment.

-17 ( +6 / -23 )

We Japanese feel a pain if we lie".....geez, cause you are so different from the rest, ....pass the handkerchief ...if that's true there must be an awful number of people walking around on painkillers. Especially in Tokyo,s political district.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

But we Japanese do feel pain if we lie,” Tamogami told the meeting, called to launch a petition to revise the declaration to “protect Japan’s honor”.

Horsefeathers. Japanese politicians (I'll only take my generalization that far) are practiced liars. My god, you could fill a book with lies that the government has told about Fukushima just since 3/11/11.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

This is the exact wrong thing for the Japanese government to do. Has there been a public opinion poll in Japan on this issue? I do not see how the Japanese people could actually support any attempt of such willful amnesia.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

marcelitoMar. 04, 2014 - 08:14AM JST We Japanese feel a pain if we lie".....geez, cause you are so different from the rest, ....pass the handkerchief ..

Who is lying? Average Korean citizens didn't even know until declassification in 2005 file (which is 40 years later) that Koreans learned for the first time that Japan had actually paid reparations and that their own Korean government had used up most of the reparations designated for individual compensation.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

What astounding nonsense.

Exhibit a) "But we Japanese do feel pain if we lie"

Exhibit b) "I assure you, Fukushima is completely under control"

11 ( +19 / -8 )

So they said it happened, paid compensation. Watered down the topic and now want to completely denai it even happened? Now that's the Japanese spirit?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The Japanese lawmakers dance around diction.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ah, "Uso mo houben." (Telling a lie is often expedient.)

Stout denial.

The U.S.A. uses it too.

The only problem is that Maruyama already issued an apology.

So, what's this going to be?

"We apologize for the last apology?"

Sounds like something out of Monty Python.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

The total lie is the one told by the rightist politicians. There was sexual slavery and it is well documented. The Japanese government is rapidly spinning out of control from democracy into fascism. If this goes any further the United States may be compelled to step in and take over this country. Who knows?

The remarks of sfjp330 form a perfect example of argument of the point. We are not discussing threats but the truth of sexual slavery, which the Japanese government has already acknowledged and apologized for. The Abe government would be wise to leave well enough alone.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

CrickyMar. 04, 2014 - 08:19AM JST So they said it happened, paid compensation. Watered down the topic and now want to completely denai it even happened? Now that's the Japanese spirit?

After you finalize the 1965 settlement, and Korea receives all the monies as demanded, are you going back to the accuser 50 years later and say "it's not enough, give more money"? By the way, I want another apolgy. I know you would be happy with that.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Chinese and Koreans never stop whining, so let's take back the apology.

War is brutal, so get over it and don't try to start a new one.

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

Japan is frustrated because of the actions taken by the Korean goverment twisting the facts. During the Japan-Korea Treaty discussions in 1965, the Japanese government specifically proposed to directly compensate individual victims, but it was the South Korean government that insisted that it would handle individual compensation.

So? This has only the most tenuous of connections to the issue of Japanese politicians wanting to revise or retract the apology on the basis of "evidence" that there is in fact nothing to apologise for. That's what the article is actually about.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Might as well. Koreans ask for apologies everyday although they have no intention of accepting any of it. Why should we offer anything if the recipient refuses to accept it ?

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

A modest proposal. I think it's pretty evident that Abe's goernment is stuffed with nationalists and they control the attention of the press. They do not however control social media. Maybe the citizens of Japan can use Twitter, Facebook, etc. to create a petition that states they do not support any ammendment to the 1993 Kono-issued apology. The world would see it and know that the people are not in lockstep with the government. This might defuse things a bit. If Abe and his ilk try to shut it down under the new secrets law jammed through the Diet we might get some outside help from other countries or the UN.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Simon Foston Mar. 04, 2014 - 08:32AM JST So? This has only the most tenuous of connections to the issue of Japanese politicians wanting to revise or retract the apology on the basis of "evidence" that there is in fact nothing to apologise for. That's what the article is actually about.

It's not about apology, but liabilty in potential compensation lawsuits. After Japan's acknowledging the involvement of the military in the comfort system in 1992, the J-government conducted formal investigations into the matter before it admitted in 1993 that there had been coercive recruitment in some cases. PM Miyazawa indicated that the government would come up with some vague gesture in lieu of compensation for the survivors. The Miyazawa's goverment was unable to act on this for reasons. The Korean Council and other support groups were opposed to any measure that evaded Japan's legal responsibility. The ruling LDP was trapped between its admission of coercive recruitment and its unwillingness to say or do anything that might indicate legal responsibility. Japan was concerned about the class-action lawsuit, stunned by numerous compensation lawsuit, and Japanese immediately assumed that the comfort women survivors were motivated by economic gain. This is the reason why many backed the J-government position that the 1965 agreement normalizing relations between Korea and Japan had settled all reparation issues.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

There is a very old saying, one that most politicians (especially, it seems, those in Nagatacho) seem to have never heard or not understand:

"An apology that is given without feeling or change is no apology at all."

If I steal your money, then apologize, but then go and deny I ever stole it to everyone else, and in fact go out and do more stealing, I didn't apologize. I was never sorry.

This is basically what the Japanese government has done. They "apologized," but didn't change their attitude nor their actions. This is no apology at all, but rather BS on a piece of paper. I DGAF if a bunch of old men in black suits bowed deeply in front of a bunch of cameras or not, without actual change, any so-called apology is meaningless. This is regardless of the subject, whether it be Fukushima, comfort women, forced confessions, school bullying, whatever. Apology without change is no apology at all.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Hey Bertie Wooster!. You are a native of Japan right? What is your take on this revision? Is it just right-wingers or does the majority of the populace feel the same about changing the apology or do most of them don't give a flying wet snotball? Talking to the Japanese Expats here in California seem so disinterested about it. So, Berite, anything you can tell us the Infotainment networks ain't tell'ng us?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

To repeat, this is not a discussion about treaties (not "threats;" pardon the Freudian slip above) but about an official Japanese government apology for Japanese sex slavery during World War II. This was a direct and honest acknowledgement of a truth that was already widely known. You know the old saw about when the barn door has been opened? The Japanese government is going to look stupid suddenly denying an established truth that they admitted. Imagine the German government suddenly denying the Holocaust.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

It must be time to rewrite history again to suit the political needs of today. I see enough of that in my own dear United States.

Meanwhile rather the rewrite the apology, why not just show what composition was paid and then suggest that the Koreans to ask there government for that money. There are all kinds of fun way that bit of information could blow up in the face of the South Korea politicians. Otherwise leave the at alone.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

What a waste of Asian potential from both sides of the debate.

To the views that reiterate treaties from 1965, have you ever considered it might not be all about the money? After all, an apology is an apology once given. Any retraction just looks foolish and as many have commented on this thread, it may be a cause for celebration in the Diet and among conservative Japanese, but to the rest of the world it makes Japan look petulant and politically immature. While this point of view may now become forced upon the Japanese people, the international community will be under no illusions And that is a fact that no one can debate. International perceptions of Japan will be increasingly negative. "Japanese feel pain when they tell a lie" is a provincial sentiment that has no place in the reality of 21st century international politics.

On the other hand, the histrionics of the Koreans are also evident. Saying that Japan never formally apologized and then becoming apoplectic when the 'non existent' apology is rescinded.

There are no winners in this debate, only losers. Both parties have consistently demonstrated a consistent lack of diplomacy and maturity on this issue.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Is it just right-wingers or does the majority of the populace feel the same...."

The answer is pretty obvious: Guess who continuously re-elects these morons? Answer: the majority of the populace (well, the voters.)

Ishihara and other other nutters have been among Japan's most popular leaders. They do enjoy grass-roots support.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I suspect that Korea and China will never be satisfied with any apology, and they are happy to keep rejecting apologies and pressing for new apologies because they can turn this position into a popular one among the people in their countries. While recognizing Japan’s guilt in this matter, we also need to recognize the political posturing on the parts of China, Korea, and others who want to keep this issue fresh and unresolved for the purpose of personal political gain.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Lol it's also Korean's fault for Japanese politicians making fool of themselves. Blame it on the evil Koreans for every ill of Japan. Look at the remarks of the Japanese ministry of foreign affairs spokesman yesterday complaining about the British embassy's warning to its citizens that Japan's hate speeches are rising unchecked. No wonder, the rot starts from the top. The ministry complained that the Brits are misunderstanding the hate protests that are only against the Koreans as hate protests agains all foreigners. So unchecked hate protests and harassments against Koreans are ok right? To illustrate how far Japan has turned, just read the comment of the government itself: "“China and Korea are countries that, even if they lie, don’t feel pain in their hearts. But we Japanese do feel pain if we lie". So they have been lying all along with their apology, right?

This is just the beginning for Japan's radical change. Japan is in the eve of fascism.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Despicable,,,

May be time to get off this sinking island,,,

6 ( +9 / -3 )

"We Japanese feel pain when we lie." What effrontery and utter nonsense. This idiot claims to speak for all Japanese. He does not. The basic problem with him and his ilk, which includes many Japanese politicians and those in NHK, is that they have neither recognised nor repented of the past evils committed in the name of Emperor Hirohito, especially in China and Korea. People of many nations suffered from Japanese brutality before and during the Second World War. This man proves himself to be a speaker of untruths by this very utterance. Without repentance, there is no remission or forgiveness of sins. These racist, xenophobic ultra right wing Japanese politicians are intent on repeating the evils of the past, while the average Japanese seems to be in a comatose state of mind while this is going on around them. Is World War III just around the corner? Tokyo may not be hosting the 2020 Olympics after all. These people are leading the clueless average Japanese to destruction once again.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

'Is it just rightwingers...'

One in four voters in their 20s voted for Tamogami in the recent Tokyo election. His 'essay' was far from universally derided in Japan. Those who think this type of thinking is limited to a loony fringe are thinking very wishfully.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Why why why?? I don't like this road they are traveling.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Why why why?? I don't like this road they are traveling.

Get used to it because a country that never learned about its past mistakes wii bound to repeat the mistake. Read the New York Times editorial yesterday, this is causing great strains with the US, while Japan increasingly gets frustrated at the US for showing lack of support for Japan which is increasingly thinking about going it alone which could very well happen.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

The comfort women memorial in Glendale is criticized by conservatives and rightists in Japan because some of the comfort women issue is still controversial in Japan such as coercion. Inscription on the memorial says there were 200,000 women being enslaved by Japanese Imperial army, but there is almost no historical evidence that such a number of women were forced to serve as sex slave. I don't know if it is a total lie as Nakayama claims but at least there is no hard evidence. But don't misunderstand me, I am thinking there were women who were virtually forced to serve but 200,000 is unreasonable.

Rightist people might also be angry about the inscription on the memorial, because it can be read as if the Japanese government was involved in coercion of sex slavery, which is becoming a controversial issue in Japan. The rightist and conservatives are protesting to Kono statement and the memorial about basically the same thing, and that is whether the Japanese gov was involved in coercion or not. Even though Kono statement is basically a good thing in my view, bad side of it was that the Japanese government did not show what kind of testimonies and evidence were used for the statement as it is stated in this article, and that is causing rightist and conservative reason to give criticism about it. And when these criticisms are given, Korean people gets angry saying Japan is whitewashing its crimes, and Japanese rightists gets angry saying koreans are blaming us for things we did not do. So I believe it is more constructive to look at what was the bad part of Kono statement, rather than blaming rightists for everything.

I believe this is why Abe is saying there need to be investigation, or at least there is "Tatemae" for investigation. Ideally korean gov should also join investigation, or at least japanese liberal and coservative historians should join, in my opinion. If koreans want to build memorials, it would be better to build them after Korea and Japan's recognition of comfort women come together. Otherwise, more rightist or conservatives will criticize the memorial and koreans will be enraged and it will keep on going forever. It might take years for Japan and korea to reconcile on this matter, but the number one priority for both Korean and Japan now would not be building memorials but investigating and finding out the truth, and sharing that truth between Korea and Japan.

It is true that some conservatives and many rightwingers give criticism to Kono statement but it is also true that Kono statement have been succeeded by all the cabinets that existed in Japan since it was made, including Koizumi who visited Yasukuni and Abe. And, as I have repeatedly said, the main criticism toward Kono statement have been that it accepted government involvement in coercion (or sexual slavery?) with testimonies that are unreliable, and Abe wants to do investigation on that. I don't know what the outcome will be but, if this problem is solved, I think things will be better. Another problem might rise, but at least we are closer to the truth. This is the only way to make rightists silent about Kono statement, or else we have to criminalize criticizing Kono statement, but I am against the latter idea for things are still controversial and I basically believe in market of free speech.

The attempts to make legislature for Asian women fund failed and the reason is not clear but my assumption is that it would be related to 1965 treaty between Japan and korea, and the criticism toward Kono statement that it is based on unreliable testimonies. However there is also fact that before Kono statement was made, korean president Kim Young-sam said Korean government won't demand compensation for comfort women. The korean government said its demand for Japan is to admit government's involvement in coercion, and korean gov won't ask for any compensation later. These things were reported in Japanese newspapers. And if this is true, this might be another reason why Asian's women fund was not given legislation in the diet. I want Japanese to admit things they have done, but I also want Koreans to recognize and accept these things, if this is true. There were korean people who received Kono statement as a good step for Japan, and I also think it is basically a good thing, but if I'm not mistaken, there were also korean people criticizing Kono statement from the beginning such as "The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan"(or Teitaikyo in Japanese), and there were korean medias being critical toward Kono statement from the beginning, I don't know the details but it is on japanese newspaper at that time.

Teitaikyo criticized those korean comfort women who testified for Kono statement, saying something like, Teitaikyo will not help whitewashing of Japan, and They also criticized those women who received compensation from Asian women's fund. saying Japanese gov is escaping from its responsiblity and comfort women receiving these compensation is becoming a prostitute by doing that so don't do that.

I don't know if Teitaikyo is widely supported in Korea, but I feel they are doing more harm to relationship between Korean and Japan than good on it. I want reasonable Korean people to speak up agaist those korean people who seems to be going too far in criticizing Japan. Because korea has freedom of speech unlike China and that is a good thing for korea. But I am sad if speaking up in any way to defend Japan in Korea is seen as a bad thing in Korea. And at the same time, Japan need to face it past in a proper way as many koreans and chinese claim. And I detest sayings like Tamogami made in this article, I wonder if he feels any shame in saying this.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@sfjp330

so, if you think that Korea has received money for compensation, then you do believe that the government forced these women into sexually slavery. correct? Then you should not support the revision of the apology, because it will just make Japan look insincere. Perhaps you may want to argue if there is a direct demand from money from Koreans, but this article is about the apology, not money.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

All Korea has to do is just present one convincing piece of evidence that Korean comfort women were drafted or abducted.

The problem is it has not. This is unbelievable situation. Does anyone here know such a piece of evidence?

Nariaki Nakayama, a lawmaker from the nationalist Japan Restoration Party, which Abe’s government looks to for support

No. Japan restoration Party is an opposition party.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Very long long post there..

Here is my point, why does anyone want to defend Japan's war time government, especially those in the current one.. It is the wrong path I agree.

However Chucky and others, have you ever been to japan.. It's pretty clear japan isn't that country of the past and is extremely unlikely to ever become that again... It is mostly some silly old men running their mouths off looking back at the past with rose colored glasses.

Japan is still occupied basically as well.. There is no chance of any return to imperialistic japan in the foreseeable future.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Is it even possible to take back an apology? I thought that type of nonsense ended back in Elementary school.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

For you Japan apologists, apologizing for Japan's actions are not going to do any good for Japan. If you love Japan, you would be speaking out against this stupidity that's going to ruin Japan's reputation as a peace loving country instead of defending its stupid actions.

As for the Glendale memorial, read this stupid actions by the Japanese claiming this is racism against Japanese people! I don't know what's more amusing, the Japanese actions or their flood of anti Korean comments in this article.

http://world.time.com/2014/02/25/japan-comfort-women-memorials/

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Also Chucky, I do wonder and am genuinely interested to know, you say it has never learnt from the past.

What in your mind would japan have to do for you to be comfortable with moving forward?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

justbcuzisayMar. 04, 2014 - 09:28AM JST Then you should not support the revision of the apology, because it will just make Japan look insincere. Perhaps you may want to argue if there is a direct demand from money from Koreans, but this article is about the apology, not money.

Whatever the case, the South Korean government needs to be forthright about the fact it spent the compensation money and take some responsibility itself, instead of blustering that Japan “hasn’t apologized nor compensated enough.” If the South Korean government had done it’s part back in the 1960′s and disbursed compensation efficiently to those Koreans conscripted by the Japanese into corporations and the military during WWII, this problem wouldn’t exist today.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

@jimizo

when less than 50% of tokyoites voted, his 1 out of 4 voters, if that is true, is quite small. and i'm sure not all of those who voted for him were voting on this issue since no one mentioned it while campaigning. so your ducks aren't really lined up.

one day, the korean politicians say something stupid, the next day it's the japanese politician's turn and then soon followed by the chinese politicians. it's like they all took a stupid pill and forgot what their citizens really care about, and that is just putting food on the table.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If this is the way chosen Japan, then let it be.

Every major decision a country makes, one way or the other, bears consequence; Japan will not be an exception.

Will the revision of wartime sex slavery apology delete Japan’s wartime atrocious crimes ? The whole world will answer the question soon.

Did Kamikaze bring back the glory to Japan? The correct answer is: no, a speeder and more humiliate defeat instead.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@sfjp330 I respectively disagree. Taking back an apology if you did something wrong is unacceptable. The money has nothing to do with this.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

“The things Korea is saying ... that 200,000 were forcibly recruited"

Why is everyone being so critical? I think that this "right winger" hit the nail on the head.

Did the Japanese forcibly recruit 200,000 sex slaves or not?

If they did, they should apologize, again, and repeatedly. I think a Japanese day of remembrance would be in order.

If they did not, then there are clear disadvantages to apologizing for doing something that is not true (IF it is not true).

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Sfjp330, SK government did offer the compensation which doesn't add up that much. The women refused. What the women want are acknowledgement from government of Japan that they were forced sex slaves. They don't need the money and they are too old but well taken care of, with Korean government providing them with everything. Why would they need more money when they won't be around much longer? Maybe they want to donate their remaining assets to charity, like they did during the Japan earthquake in 2011? What you keep repeating is just nonsense designed to insult these women as money grabbing opportunists, nothing more.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

I hope the Japanese government isn't 'puzzled' when the inevitable backlash comes from abroad. These right-wing nuts will never learn and are dragging this nation down. They need to take a page out of Murayama's book, not white-wash it.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

justbcuzisayMar. 04, 2014 - 09:47AM JST I respectively disagree. Taking back an apology if you did something wrong is unacceptable. The money has nothing to do with this.

In 1965, the Japanese goverment asked Korean goverment to show the concrete number of conscripted workers and soldiers, dead and injured and how much unpaid wages were. They asked to "show the evidences and they would pay". Korea agreed and investigated them. What I want to clarify here is that Korea didn't claim the compensation for the war time prostitutes. Why didn't they? Nobody said at the time in Korea, those prostitutes were abducted. Everyone knew there were many women who were so poor that they sold themselves to live and the Japan army didn't have to abduct Korean women. Although we know later on that some were abducted. After 50 years later, it's the Korean goverment's problem if they did not disclose the comfort women issue at the time. Korean goverment agreed to handle all individual compensation claim after the 1965 treaty.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

No parents complained during or after the war about their daughters. No child came out as a child of J soldiers and comfort women. Japanese comfort women were prostitutes or sold by their parents.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

“China and Korea are countries that, even if they lie, don’t feel pain in their hearts. But we Japanese do feel pain if we lie,”

Rolling on the floor laughing!!!!!!!!

Some hearts must be mighty small! Go on, I dare you. You won't have a single friend left.

I'm just waiting for the resident Japan PR spokesperson, Nigelboy, to give his/her take on this.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why do they want to do this? I don't understand what the benefit is

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Why was Tamogami even there? Does he even hold political office? Maybe it means anyone can walk into the Diet if they are right winged enough... Classic example of mob rule...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Would the Japanese be happy if it says 20,000 women were forced as sex slaves instead of 200,000? Or is Japan claiming 0 were forced? Well since the Japanese think what white people says makes everything true, then what about the Dutch women who claims they were sex slaves? They are white people, not the liars and inferiors that the Koreans are. How is Japan going to defend against the Dutch women claims? Never mind I know the answer, they were bribed by Koreans.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

This is just the beginning for Japan's radical change. Japan is in the eve of fascism.

And you're on the eve of being sent to a certain place where you take pills...

Well since the Japanese think what white people says makes everything true, then what about the Dutch women who claims they were sex slaves?

Those who commanded are hanged.

Never mind I know the answer, they were bribed by Koreans

Yesterday I saw a Korean man jumping over Anna Frank's photo in front of Japanese embassy in Seul. Yet you rant on every possible english speaking page how Japan turned facist. If Japan turned facist then the likes of you, who do the paid job to write this stuff, went mad.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

My take: of course South Korea (and China to a slightly lesser extend) have made a national sport out of hating Japan, and certainly add 20-50% onto any atrocity to keep their straw man arguments flying high. Japan does the opposite, downplaying anything it can, which all countries do by the way. (It took me to college to learn anything America's atrocities in Vietnam.) But since the truth certainly lies somewhere in the middle (perhaps Japan had a proper for-pay brothel system in place in the beginning, but it broke down as the war ebbed.

Therefore there is plenty to apologize for.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

gogogoMar. 04, 2014 - 10:06AM JST

Why do they want to do this? I don't understand what the benefit is

All Korea has to do is to present one convincing piece of evidence that Korean comfort women were drafted or abducted. I think Korea should, and end this dispute. But I also think Korea does not have any basis for their claim, and they are blaming Japan for beyond what really happened and for no good reason.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

chucky3176MAR. 04, 2014 - 09:17AM JST

Japan ...is increasingly thinking about going it alone which could very well happen.

Not going to happen in the next twenty years. Japan is surrounded by hostile and aggressive neighbors: Look at Russia in Ukraine, China just about everywhere, NK and its nukes... Yeah, I don't see Japan looking to tell Uncle Sam to shove off anytime soon, even the knuckeheads on the far right.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The great thing about a democracy is that everyone can say what they wish without fear of being taken away in the middle of the night for re-education.

You may disagree with what they say and that is your right.

Nariaki Nakayama, a lawmaker from the nationalist Japan Restoration Party, which Abe’s government looks to for support, dismissed any notion of large-scale forced recruitment of women.

Funny, all this time I was under the impression that LDP and NKP were the only party's in the Coalition. Since when has the JRP been part of the Coalition? Oh wait, that's right the JRP is part of the opposition!

But, how can one sell controversy if they have to follow through with facts.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Saturday urged Japan to stop denying the past “and write a new history of truth and reconciliation so that we can walk together towards cooperation, peace and co-prosperity.

I wonder how much longer it will be before South Korea faces up to what it did in the past and issue a real sincere apology to those victims of both the Korean War and Vietnam War?

So how was that Vietnam celebration? Did you all have a great time? Hell, they don't even mention their atrocities in their school books.

Hypocrisy always outweighs the truth.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

What I want to clarify here is that Korea didn't claim the compensation for the war time prostitutes. Why didn't they? Nobody said at the time in Korea, those prostitutes were abducted.

Are you even aware that even the Dutch women didn't come forward until after the Korean women did? Watch the Australian news show on the Dutch-Australian woman who came forward after seeing the Korean women coming forward in 1990. And what about the Filipinos, Indonesians, Taiwanese, who all say the same thing? Are they all lying or did the Koreans told them all what to say? You are losing this battle, stop defending something that's not even defendable.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

So a couple of out spoken nut jobs Toshio Tamogami, being one come out and make outlandish statements and everyone gets bent out of shape, how about what the drunk village idiot said down at the bar on Friday night does that get you all bent out of shape too?

No one pays these idiots any attention or takes what they say seriously anyway.

Their official capacity is of nothing important, Tamogami was laughed out of the air force for talking rubbish and Nariaki Nakayama is no where, yet they can cause so much outrage, why do you give them so much credit?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

JoeBigs Mar. 04, 2014 - 10:17AM JST South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Saturday urged Japan to stop denying the past

Then why did Korean goverment hid and deny until 2005 (40 years later) to release a secret file to their own citizens of the $800 millions that Japan to Korea in 1965? Rather than deny, Park should say that Korean goverment used up the money designed for individual compensation.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

chucky3176Mar. 04, 2014 - 10:19AM JST

Are you even aware that even the Dutch women didn't come forward until after the Korean women did?

No. She came forward right after the war at the Batavia war tribunal. http://www.awf.or.jp/pdf/0205.pdf

After the war, this general, a number of his staff members and other soldiers, the Japanese pimps and the doctor responsible for conducting the examinations, were tried before the temporary war tribunal at Batavia. The major referred to above was sentenced to death and the others were sentenced to terms of imprisonment. One of the Japanese soldiers responsible committed suicide before he could be brought to trial.(page 12)

I am afraid your view is too Korea centric.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Those who commanded are hanged

How many got hanged for crimes against Asians? Zero. If they were capable of doing this to the Dutch white people, they weren't capable of doing this to the Asian women whom the Japanese thought of as inferior race?

Yesterday I saw a Korean man jumping over Anna Frank's photo in front of Japanese embassy in Seul.

Japanese fabrication to blame the Anne Frank book vandalism onto Koreans, this was well expected. Those Koreans were protesting in front of Japanese embassy with placards of Abe's face crossed out with a big red x.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

"Are they trying to ruin relations in East Asia?"

Somebody above asked this question, and frankly I think the answer is yes, Nakayama and Tamogami are trying to ruin relations in East Asia. There's a long tradition in modern Japan of nativist politicians who believe that Japan doesn't actually need to have good relations with its East Asian neighbors and shouldn't bother. Of course, the most famous proponent of this idea (Fukuzawa, the guy on the 10,000 yen note) said this kind of thing when China and Korea appeared to be broken-down, backward societies unable to cope with the modern world some 130 years ago. Does it still make sense for Japanese to harbor this attitude even now that China is the world's industrial heartland and South Korea is an OECD member state?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Dear god, what disgraceful comments. We can only hope Abe's government doesn't descend to this level.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

How many generations must pay for this sins of the fathers??

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Jeezus, just the ammunition the anti Japan crowd the world over needs.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

CH3CHO, I'm talking about Jan Ruff O'Herne, "50 years of silence"

http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2007/s1886480.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dhfocp19mkg

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Tamogami's heart must be in absolute agony...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Japanese Nationalist using the tactic if u cant prove some that happened some 70 to 80 years ago you cant say it exist. Ie. Masscare in Nanjing, manila, burma, 137, comfort women list goes on and on... some high political figures go even go as far as none civilian casualities exist in nanjing.  Now is their chance to debunk the claim n glorify its past since most of the victim have already passed away.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

chucky3176Mar. 04, 2014 - 10:40AM JST

How many got hanged for crimes against Asians? Zero.

You need to learn history. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanjing_War_Crimes_Tribunal

Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal

All the accused were sentenced to death in 1947.

There were other war tribunals in China in Beijing, Gwangdong, Shenyang, Shanghai, and so on.

I do not know where you get the misinformation that no one was executed for war crimes against Asians. These repeated false comments are the reason that Koreans earn the reputation "Korea is a country that, even if they lie, don’t feel pain in their hearts."

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Remember this about any repercussions, Japan: you asked for it.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

So, if the total number agreed on by international historians is not 200,000, how many is it Japan? It's one thing to defend by calling foul, but you have to put up an argument to the contrary. This action is only going to further sour ties with Japan's Asian neighbors.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

There were other war tribunals in China in Beijing, Gwangdong, Shenyang, Shanghai, and so on.

I'm talking about how many did Japan hang Japanese soldiers who committed war crimes against Asians? Did you not just claim that Japan punished its own soldiers for raping the Dutch? I'm not talking about Chinese trials of captured Japanese soldiers.

These repeated false comments are the reason that Koreans earn the reputation "Korea is a country that, even if they lie, don’t feel pain in their hearts."

No that's not a reputation of Koreans. That's what a Japanese nazi politician said and got a cheer from the Diet members. It's the Japanese who are getting this reputation for history revisionism and utterly laughable absurd claims.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Japan is far from perfect. Please get that into your heads. Particularly these politicians.

Im, surprised that no western leaders ever comment on this topic. It seems that because they are pals with Japan they pretend its ok to change history.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Please realise these two guys (one lawmaker and one (fired) former air force chief of staff are @ssholes who don't represent even the LDP, much less the nation of Japan.

Wikipedia entry of Nariaki Nakayama: As a four-day cabinet minister: ... He made several controversial statements since his appointment, such as saying: "I will stand at the forefront to destroy the Japan Teachers' Union, which is a cancer for Japanese education". In a press conference related to his Minister of Tourism portfolio, he declared that Japan is basically "ethnically homogeneous," which greatly angered the Ainu, an indigenous ethnic minority living mostly in Northern Japan.[10] He also said that Japanese people "do not like nor desire foreigners". He resigned on 27 September 2008.

Nariaki Nakayama does represent people of Miyazaki. They should have their heads hanging in shame.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

the fact that Abe's even considering revising this apology is extremely offensive... is knowing the exact number of women who were devastated during the 35 year occupation really greater than the fact that such a cruel, unforgivable atrocity as sexual slavery took place? i wouldn't be surprised to hear the cries of angry Koreans calling for Abe's head.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@taj

Exactly. One deranged parliamentarian who was actually disowned by the LDP in 2008 for his idiot views, and a creepy ex-air-force commander who was effectively sacked for his idiot views hardly justify the headline.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

chucky3176Mar. 04, 2014 - 10:55AM JST

CH3CHO, I'm talking about Jan Ruff O'Herne, "50 years of silence"

Jan Ruff O'Herne testified in 1946 during the Batavia war crime tribunal and her testimonies are recorded and kept in archives. http://dspace.wul.waseda.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/2065/36011/1/AjiaTaiheiyoTokyu_18_Yamamoto.pdf

see page 195, footnote 12

Testimonies by O’Herne, Proces Verbaal (No. 3, 10 January 1946); "Interview 322b" (14 December 1945).

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

I'm talking about how many did Japan hang Japanese soldiers who committed war crimes against Asians? Did you not just claim that Japan punished its own soldiers for raping the Dutch? I'm not talking about Chinese trials of captured Japanese soldiers.

The Japanese did punish the soldiers who forced Dutch women into sexual slavery in Indonesia. The details are in the records of the Batavia War Crimes Tribunal.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Are these neanderthals incapable of understanding the damage does to Japan Inc?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm sure my CUSTOMERS in Japan would not accept my "revision" of an apology for some product.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The apologies rankle the right- wing, which claims Japan was trying to liberate Asia from Western colonialism and has nothing to atone for. You must not forget that before the war the activities of right -wing terrorists stifled free debate and buried democracy.The extreme rightists' views do not have broad public support, but have a disproportionate impact on Japanese society

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A couple of other people on here are smart enough to get it, taj and lucabrasi, great so see atleast a couple of others have a clue, I compliment you. However it is disturbing that others will just get completely bent out of shape with out knowing any real info. Is it hysteria that drives the masses ?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

countries that, even if they lie, don’t feel pain in their hearts. But we Japanese do feel pain if we lie,"

My goodness ! All these J-Gov. guys must be agonizing right now ! I wonder if "nuclear contamination" can affect the brain ? (Before you all jump on me, the "second sentence" is only supposed to bring out the fact they're still doing NOTHING about the victims in the Tohoku region...) On the other hand, there is such a thing as "cancer of the brain"...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Japanese did punish the soldiers who forced Dutch women into sexual slavery in Indonesia. The details are in the records of the Batavia War Crimes Tribuna

I asked how many Japanese soldiers did Japan punish for crimes against Asians? It's well known fact outside of Japan that the crimes against Asians and killings were horrendous yet here you are telling me the ridiculous claims that Japan punished their soldiers who did crimes against civilians. Second, if they were capable of forcing Dutch women as sex slaves, would they not be capable also of enslaving Asian women?

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

@taj Exactly. One deranged parliamentarian who was actually disowned by the LDP in 2008 for his idiot views, and a creepy ex-air-force commander who was effectively sacked for his idiot views hardly justify the headline.

What about Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga being the first to announce they want to revise the apology? Does his view 'count' in your book?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Oh Lord! I feel the need to wear a paper bag over my head. They are so disgusting!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Chucky

I asked how many Japanese soldiers did Japan punish for crimes against Asians? It's well known fact outside of Japan that the crimes against Asians and killings were horrendous yet here you are telling me the ridiculous claims that Japan punished their soldiers who did crimes against civilians. Second, if they were capable of forcing Dutch women as sex slaves, would they not be capable also of enslaving Asian women?

It's an undeniable fact that Japan punished soldiers for crimes against civilians during WWII. The problem is that these examples do not match with the common Korean-Chinese interpretation of the events in question.

The difficult for Japan is to come up with a proper apology that 1) is historically accurate and 2) satisfies China and Korea.

I don't think that apology is possible since we have a situation spiraling out of control where right-wing Japanese and Koreans have wildly outrageous nationalistic interpretations of what happened during the war.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

David VarnesMAR. 04, 2014 - 08:45AM JST There is a very old saying, one that most politicians (especially, it seems, those in Nagatacho) seem to have never heard or not understand: "An apology that is given without feeling or change is no apology at all." If I steal your money, then apologize, but then go and deny I ever stole it to everyone else, and in fact go out and do more stealing, I didn't apologize. I was never sorry.

So, you're saying Mr. Kono and ex PM. Murayama's aplogies were not apologies because a different entity wanted it changed? Sure!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What about Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga being the first to announce they want to revise the apology? Does his view 'count' in your book?

He did not announce that he wanted to revise the apology. He said he wanted to form an independent academic group to study and verify the testimony of the 16 Korean women who made up the basis of Japan's previous apology.

He was asked to consider the study because it recently came out in Japan that no historian had ever conducted a review of the testimony given by the original 16 women.

Now of course, there will be a rather large problem if it is determined that the testimony was false or historically inaccurate.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Again with the comfort women issue. Japan just can't seem to let this go can you?

The more you say, the more it shows that none of your apologies were meaningful and truthful. What is it with you people? You messed up, everyone does. Why are you so adamant that you didn't commit these horrific crimes?

There are still living victims right now. I know you're trying to drag this out for a few more years when none of them will be around to testify but there are records, tapes, documentations and US Senate passed an official Comfort Women Bill on criticizing Japan over its deplorable actions.

This isn't some fiction in your little manga fantasy. Just stop embarrassment yourselves. Its very unbecoming.

You people might think this is something that will blow over. Its not. Japan is alienating a whole segment of people who used to be friends and admirers of Japan. People like me. Now, under this regime, Japan is becoming a second class nation unworthy of our support.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Some foot notes concerning the Kono statement.

The Koreans urged upon Japan Gov to make an apology to the said confort woman issue in which they assured the Japanese government is not required to repay compansation which was covered in the 1965 treaty. Japan listened to the Comfort women's testiments without verification and issued the statement to soothe relationship between the two nations. 20 years later the Koreans are arguing that they should be compensated due to "Crime against Humanity".

Now Japan may had been naive at the time to make a statement without verification but the Koreans are back tracking each and every word they have made creating this situation in the first place.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Fools do not learn anything until they face consequence. Japanese did not learn that they were doing something wrong until 2 A-bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They would not learn this time again until they face dire consequences from this action.

BTW, to answer a question from some people, they are doing it because they believe that by revising it, they can prove that their ancestors were innocent and did not do anything wrong.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

you know i support a lot that occurs in Japan today- but not this, the amount of people forced into enslaved prostitution does not matter- even one is too many.

where Japan has fallen short since that apology is that the truth was not widely disseminated in the schools and in the papers.

so many people died in that bloody war, and even if one soul is left to wail and wander around because people do not give it the respect it deserves it is too much.

every country does something wrong in war- but the only way to truly heal is to admit it- truthfully. shame, shame

3 ( +6 / -3 )

"“China and Korea are countries that, even if they lie, don’t feel pain in their hearts. But we Japanese do feel pain if we lie,” Tamogami told the meeting, "

Well , I guess Tamogami, Ishihara, the new NHK managment, most of Abe`s cabinet and the rest of the right wing loons are all constantly in a lot of pain then.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"“China and Korea are countries that, even if they lie, don’t feel pain in their hearts. But we Japanese do feel pain if we lie,”

Regardless of what anyone thinks about history, the 93 apology, the idea of compensation, or anything regarding the comfort women, I would have to say this is one of the worst statements I've ever heard from a leading public official. This man was endorsed by the super popular author of Eien no Zero. This man could have been the Governor of Tokyo.

Does this man not realise that complete racism and offensiveness of this statement? If he, and the Japanese public do not understand that absurdity of this blanket statement, then I'm afraid this country is heading for disaster.

Replace the names of the countries and imagine if the chief of the Air Force of another country made the same statement about three whole countries!!! It's preposterous.

Instead of talking about other stuff, this statement needs to be examined. How can a public figure be so not only stupid, but inherently racist to make such a comment.

Or perhaps I should just say that based on this man's statement, that Japan is such a country that even when they say idiotic things they are not embarrassed but Canadians and Americans are embarrassed when we say moronic things.

This is unbelievable. Ultra-nationalist let's go back to ww2 ragbags have always been completely racist and ignorant, but now Japan has become so dangerous that they feel they can say outlandish things publicly.

I suggest the news media of the world pick this up. If Japan isn't careful, western countries will start siding with China....

Good people of Japan, do you understand what you have done by electing Abe and not understanding history?

I'm totally embarrassed.

Maybe the US should have just made this the 51st state after all.

japanese and lying? Isn't he embarrassed saying this after Fukushima, the food scandals, the onsen scandals, the deaf conductor scandal, the ore ore scandals etc etc etc.

If foreigners leave this country, and western countries give up on Japan, this country is finished.

There was a time when because of Japan's economic power people overlooked the uyokusha thinking they were just on the fringe. But now they have taken over, and other countries are on the ascendency and Japan is sinking.

The last thing Japan needs is to be telling the world it can be proud of ww2 and need not be remorseful.

Scary. I would love for the Emperor to just step in and make some public comments.

This "tamagochi" and the others are just living in some blind little archaic fantasy world.

But they're running the country now!!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

highball7Mar. 04, 2014 - 12:45PM JST

Again with the comfort women issue. Japan just can't seem to let this go can you?

When/if Korea presents even one piece of convincing evidence that Korean comfort women were drafted or abducted, this whole issue will end. But I would bet Koreans cannot present any evidence and that they are intentionally blaming Japan beyond what happened. They cannot care less what really happened as long as they can blame Japan.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

"he wanted to form an independent academic group to study and verify the testimony of the 16 Korean women who made up the basis of Japan's previous apology."

Do you black truck guys understand that the sufferings of women used by the wartime military is well known all over Asia and NOT confined to the testimony of 16 women? Do you not understand that?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

praack

The million dollar question is, What is the truth?

Kono certainly have not verified any of the statements made by the said to be comfort women, the Koreans have not verified any of the statements and the only one that falls within the relm of truth is the statements taken war by the US troops from the females who were placed into custody from the camps stated they were there of their own free and no claims of being abducted or enslaved. That is why this has never made the news until recently.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

"China and Korea are countries that, even if they lie, don’t feel pain in their hearts.

I have high esteem of Chinese. But what I find puzzling of Koreans is that they still do not present any piece of convincing evidence to vindicate their claim that Korean comfort women were drafted or abducted.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

While recognizing Japan’s guilt in this matter..

So are you saying you disagree with Japanese lawmakers who want to revise the apology, probably to something along the lines of "We didn't actually do anything wrong so we have nothing to feel sorry for?"

..."we also need to recognize the political posturing on the parts of China, Korea, and others..."

Which is not what the article is about, and doesn't excuse any wrongdoing on the part of any Japanese politicians.

...who want to keep this issue fresh and unresolved for the purpose of personal political gain.

It doesn't do right-wing Japanese politicians any harm come election time either. Anyone who thinks Abe and his gang of deluded geriatric incompetents aren't milking this issue for all the votes it's worth is just naive. After all, rabble-rousing and annoying foreigners is just about all any of them are actually good at.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Oh my goodness I am dying of laughter here....

So China... How is National Nanjing day looking? Serving all you can drink at "hiroshima-hodai"?

Without batting an eye...

Japan... You are my hero....

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

the problem is japan is dammed if they apologize and dammed if they don't. whatever they do, the chinese and koreans will just continue whining so why bother?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Simon FostonMar. 04, 2014 - 02:08PM JST

So are you saying you disagree with Japanese lawmakers who want to revise the apology, probably to something along the lines of "We didn't actually do anything wrong so we have nothing to feel sorry for?"

Why do we always see this kind of strawman argument?

Simon, why Korea refuse to present any evidence that Korean comfort women were drafted or abducted?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I have high esteem of Chinese. But what I find puzzling of Koreans is that they still do not present any piece of convincing evidence to vindicate their claim that Korean comfort women were drafted or abducted.

CH3CHO, Japanese also say nanjing didn't happen so where's the proof. Same thing with unit 731. Remember?

We can give all the proof you like which we have, but you say they are all lies. The best proof are the 255 women from Korea, Philippines, Netherlands, Indonesia, and China who are still alive. It's far better proof than your materials that you got from 2ch, yahoo Japan, zaitokukai, and other Japan nationalist socialist hate sites that dominate the Japanese Internet. For those of you who claim it's just the minority of Japanese politicians who are like Ch3CHO and others, I'm sorry but you all are completely wrong.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

the sufferings of women used by the wartime military is well known all over Asia and NOT confined to the testimony of 16 women? Do you not understand that?

Then there should be no problem with bringing in historians to verify the women's claims and no shortage of women to take the place of those who are found to be frauds.

Therefore, everything will cancel out and the apology will stand. At the same time, the Japanese right wing will be marginalized once historians verify the victim's claims.

They need to do it now because the women are dying off due to old age. If the Japanese stall long enough, then the claims will forever be in doubt among the right wing in Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's impossible to kidnap 200,000 girls secretly. There must have been evidence if it were true.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Peacetrain I don't know which nationality you have but if you are American and saying " Maybe the US should have just made this the 51st state after all." I sometimes read this kind of thing but isn't that the idea similar to imperialism? The Idea that we are ruling people who are incapable of ruling themselves. Not far from what Tamogami and other right wingers might say that Korea should have been annexed by other nations because they keep on whining and crying? Both of these sounds awful for me.

Praack "Even one is too many" Raping of one woman is bad, you are right. But you probably know that raping by soldiers happened in almost any nation. Including allies during the war. British and the US military has used German and Japanese military brothels when they took over the place Germany and Japan were holding. Soviets raped many Germans and Japanese women were also raped by some of the allied forces. Allies were fighting self-defense war but would that justify raping? Japan is awful, I agree with you, but what's your opinion on these things if you are going to say "one is too many"? Also, if those korean people building memorials do not care about the numbers like you, they don't have to write exaggerated numbers. Same is true with Nanjing. They just have to say it happened and that will be sufficient. That seems like a double standarnd.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

chucky3176Mar. 04, 2014 - 02:25PM JST

CH3CHO, Japanese also say nanjing didn't happen so where's the proof. Same thing with unit 731. Remember?

Off topic.

We can give all the proof you like which we have, but you say they are all lies. The best proof are the 255 women from Korea, Philippines, Netherlands, Indonesia, and China who are still alive.

The Philippines, the Netherlands, Indonesia and China are all off topic, because they are talking about "review of the testimony of the 16 South Korean women". Do you see how Korea differed from the Phillippines, the Netherlands, and China? Korea was Japanese ally whereas they were enemies of Imperial Japan. Enemies were most likely treated differently from friends.

If there are physical evidence, please tell me. The testimonies of former comfort women are the problems because they have a lot of contradictions. http://archives.republicans.foreignaffairs.house.gov/110/33317.pdf

I was born in 1928 in the Korean city of Taegu. My family was poor and nine of us lived in a single, small house: my parents, my grandmother, my five brothers, and myself. I only had one year of formal education

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.)

Was she drafted or abducted as Korean government insists?

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Ok Shinzo..., time to decide if you want to be a world leader or a bigot with a megaphone. Thoroughly denounce old man "Koreans-don't-have-souls" guy, affirm the governments FIRM stance on standing by the apology and get back to actual governance.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

ou see how Korea differed from the Phillippines, the Netherlands, and China? Korea was Japanese ally whereas they were enemies of Imperial Japan.

Korea was not an ally of Japan. It was a colony of Japan. You see this is impossible trying to discuss history calmly with Japan who have their own fantasy world of yasukuni like make belief. End of discussion waste of time. Go Japan, this is going to be interesting to see how they're going to dig their own grave.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Shinjuku No YajuMar. 04, 2014 - 03:10PM JST

What is wrong with verifying facts? As long as the review is conducted in fair and scientific manner, I see no problem.

"Koreans-don't-have-souls" guy

I hope Koreans stop making contradicting testimonies.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

“China and Korea are countries that, even if they lie, don’t feel pain in their hearts. But we Japanese do feel pain if we lie,”

I also have to chim in my thoughts on this one because I nearly spat my coffee across the keyboard when I read it! I know precious little about China and Korea so cant comment on that one, but in my 12 years in Japan I have heard some of the biggest whoppers of my lifetime, coming everywhere from the J government thmselves down to my mother in law and the woman who works in the 7-11. These people are the Ernest Hemingways of BS. If they are feeling pain when they do it then they must be popping pills like M&Ms.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

CH3CHO, he's not a scientist or a historian...he's the leader of a nation. And not some tinpot backwater nation either. The worlds 3rd largest economy! I don't care if his "investigation" turns up that aliens came down and did the crime. The best thing for JAPAN is to do whatever it takes to have a resolution that enables peaceful, mutually beneficial relations with it s neighbors.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Watch now as Shinzo Abe calls for peace and dialogue with South Korea..

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Shinjuku No YajuMar. 04, 2014 - 04:02PM JST

The best thing for JAPAN is to do whatever it takes to have a resolution that enables peaceful, mutually beneficial relations with it s neighbors.

I wholeheartedly agree. But what we have here are sharply different views about what happened to the comfort women. That is why Abe is inviting historians for review. I believe fair and scientific review will benefit both nations. We cannot leave the situation as is, for the disagreement in "facts" between Koreans and Japanese will not disappear, but rather is growing uncontrollably.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

CH3CHO: No, that is why he's allowing ultra-right nut bags who were never there and make up history to 'revise' the one and only apology Japan has made that was half sincere. We all know he wants to further white-wash history to meet his nationalist agenda. You don't agree with fairness or moving forward, you agree with Japan not admitting to the past.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

China and Korea are countries that, even if they lie, don’t feel pain in their hearts. But we Japanese do feel pain if we lie

Just astounding how he can make blanket statements about the population of whole countries. The man clearly has no shame.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

smithinjapanMar. 04, 2014 - 04:37PM JST

the one and only apology Japan has made that was half sincere.

You know that Kono statement is not "the one and only apology". Why do you say things that you know are not true? I actually see the same pattern in your comments.

I say a fair and scientific review will benefit both Korea and Japan. I understand you doubt the fairness. I think that is what people have to monitor in a democratic society.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Smithinjapan and Shinjuku no Yaju I am siding with CH3CHO on this matter that some kind of investigation is necessary somewhere, sometimes, about gov's involvement in coercion. Are you against any kind of investigation itself? or are you against it because Abe is doing it?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

CH3CHO - Like i said, most of the comfort women have past away, there are 16 who have came forward. The ones that are dead will forever take it with them to the grave. Why do the nationalist want to do a research now ? like I said their using the tactic if u cant prove some that happened some 70 to 80 years ago you cant say it exist. All you want to hear is "as a result we find the conclusion there is no substantial evidence, Japan is in the clear, Bonzai !" That is bogus... u know it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

UR22335, I'm against it because it is transparently going to come back with a less apologetic result. If they were serious it would be conducted by an international body, or at the least a joint Japanese-Korean Investigation Unit. There is no way the Koreans (or any objective outsider) is going to look at the results of this and see it as legitimate. Especially WHEN (not "if) it returns with either a drastically lower number of women or a drastically more favorable evaluation of their treatment. Even if the reality IS less horrible, the process by which you seek the truth in cases as sensitive as this DOES matter.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Shinjuku no Yaju Then actually, your view is very similar to mine. Ideally, I also want japan and korea to do joint investigation on this. It would be better if third party like the US join the investigation also. But these things are not likely to happen.

Then is it still not ok if Abe let as many liberal japanese historians and conservative historians investigate? What if all the documents and argument were open to the public?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Tamogami's heart must be in absolute agony..."

Best line of the week!!

"Peacetrain I don't know which nationality you have but if you are American and saying " Maybe the US should have just made this the 51st state after all."

I'm not really serious. But when I see the ultra-nationalists taking over and denying war crimes and trying to glorify the past, I'm tempted to think Japan might have been better never having the chance to go back. But, I'm not serious. I think..

@Tina Watanabe. I don't think anyone is saying that the Japanese government kidnapped 200,000 women. There's truth between that statement and saying the were many women tricked, and then brutalised and sometimes killed by the Japanese military.

But I think you really know that if you have studied history.

That is such an old blacktrack trick. You think Japan should take back the apology if it unless it can be proven that 200,000 were kidnapped? Or that there is any false detail in any one of those 16 women? That's absurd. And you know it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The country behind South Korea's ranting, raving and lying is China. When China pulls their leash South Korea barks the same rhetoric that China does and forgetting the apologies that were given, plus compensation, years back.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If they ultimately demand compensation then their testimony needs to be verified first if they only want an apology then it had already been issued and it does not need to be revisited as long as Koreans buries the hachet with it. At the end they cannot demand both without a formal inqury to scrutinize each testimony under a microscope since no Japanese is going to accept demand utilzing taxpayer's money to compensate based on hearsay.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Peacetrain

So if right wingers are angered by koreans not they can give joke and say Korea does not deserve independence or so on? You were, infact, insulting all the people like Murayama, Kono all those reasonable liberal Japanese too by saying that. But you don't care because it was a joke. People who say these things are not that different from right wingers in my opinion, because right wingers say similar jokes, they are just on different side.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Samuraiblue...

Even if the extent is overstated, though Im not suggesting it is, should these people be put through an awful experience of testifying for what was almost certainly an horrific time in their lives no matter how they found themselves in this position?

As a side note....I hope and wish that you apply your apparent concern for the use of my tax dollars when its being used to prop up criminal power companies and useless public works.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

lighterMar. 04, 2014 - 05:07PM JST

Shinjuku No YajuMar. 04, 2014 - 05:11PM JST

The problem is, without a review, we do not know which testimony to believe. You have to understand the unbelievable situation of testimonies by Korean former comfort women. Following are the testimonies by the same Korean comfort woman on the same day before US Congress. 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. Altogether, there were five girls with him, including myself. (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)

Would you tell me which testimony we should believe?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@CH3CHO

No matter whether they were force or not they were abused as sex slaves, bruised cut up and even death, these old women don't need to revisit the atrocities they need to put it behind them and enjoy the rest of their lives, seriously in the end would it make much of a difference ?

there was no need to review the testimony as the military had set up the brothels out of operational necessities.As long as it is clear, I dont see why it is necessary to investigate further to see what happened and what did not, he said

You ex PM is right

3 ( +6 / -3 )

lighterMar. 04, 2014 - 06:17PM JST

No matter whether they were force or not they were abused as sex slaves, bruised cut up and even death,

Wait. What is your basis for believing comfort women were "abused as sex slaves, bruised cut up and even death"?

For your thought, here is a link to an excerpt of an army report that lists crimes and misdemeanors committed by Japanese soldiers and punished in Japanese martial court in November 1941. http://www.awf.or.jp/pdf/0051_2.pdf

Read from page 119. You can see cases in which Japanese soldiers were punished for hitting or assaulting (no injury) comfort women. I think comfort women were treated much better than you may think.

And also, I would like you to read this. http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

LIVING AND WORKING CONDITIONS;

In Myitkyina the girls were usually quartered in a large two story house (usually a school building) with a separate room for each girl. There each girl lived, slept, and transacted business. In Myitkina their food was prepared by and purchased from the "house master" as they received no regular ration from the Japanese Army. They lived in near-luxury in Burma in comparison to other places. This was especially true of their second year in Burma. They lived well because their food and material was not heavily rationed and they had plenty of money with which to purchase desired articles. They were able to buy cloth, shoes, cigarettes, and cosmetics to supplement the many gifts given to them by soldiers who had received "comfort bags" from home.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

"Fair and scientific investigation of the facts" keeps being mentioned. That's a good idea... But who is going to provide an objective investigation of the facts? China? Korea? Japan?

Objective and scientific methodologies require impartiality devoid of agendas or subjectivity on the part of the investigator. A Japanese study saying that Japan is not culpable of these crimes is only going to have resonance with one group of people, regardless of whether those findings are accurate or not. That is the nature of objective versus subjective methodology.

The international community as a whole does not spend as much time focusing on this issue as people in East Asia like to think. The rest of the world has its own very serious problems and soul searching to do. Even if Japan proved beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt that these crimes never happened that doesn't mean the international community is going to suddenly agree.

None of the evidence here can be scientifically quantified. It is a question of "He said..." "She said..." You either choose to believe a position or you do not. This is not a question of science. Scientific method operates under strictly controlled conditions and introduces variables to measure against those base line conditions. History does not neatly fall into a category which can be measured or quantified as there are no fixed control groups or baselines.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@UR

"So if right wingers are angered by koreans not they can give joke and say Korea does not deserve independence or so on?"

Rather than a joke it was a lament! Don't you understand?

The difference between my lament and right-wingers joking about Koreans, is that Koreans were on the receiving end of Japanese aggression. And so were the Chinese, 14,000,000 died in China. There was Unit 731, chemical warfare, killing of civilians etc.

My lament is valid. Japan attacked Korea and then held on to it for decades. Japan attacked the US was defeated. I'm thinking that if after that terrible war, Japan is being taken over by right-wingers who don't admit history and can't make peace with their neighbors, that perhaps if American did the same thing that Japan did to Korea, that Japanese people would be better off.

But like I said, it was a lament. But if Abe holds on to power and increases the hostility with others he puts in power and there was an eventual conflict where Japanese suffered again, then in retrospect perhaps there's an argument that it would have been better for Japan to have been under American administration.

Obviously, Japan should be run by Japanese. But, unfortunately every day there is bad news and evidence that even those holding such great positions of influence keep saying absurd things.

It is embarrassing for me who has married a Japanese and is bringing up my children to love Japan, respect her flag and sing kimigayo.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What plant are these guys on?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Since the Koreans and Chinese don't accept/appreciate the apology anyway, I say we withdraw it! They bitch and moan now and the will bitch and moan the same in future as well!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Since the Koreans and Chinese don't accept/appreciate the apology anyway, I say we withdraw it! They bitch and moan now and the will bitch and moan the same in future as well!

That would imply that Japan was never really sorry to begin with. Which I would like to believe isn't true for the vast majority of Japanese. There's a world of difference between being sorry about something and feeling eternally guilty. I think any reasonable human being would feel sorry, but many on the other side don't want a heart felt apology, they want Japan to Self-flagellate for the rest of eternity.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This article is confusing. It says Lawmakers, as in plural but the only current lawmaker they mention is Nariaki Nakayama. The Title should be changed to Lawmaker (singular) as no one else is named who would be in favor of revision.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

NZ2011

**OF COURSE THEY NEED TO TESTIFY AND SCRUTINIZED !!

IT IS MY TAX MONEY THEY ARE DEMANDING. IF THEY CANNOT SATISFY ME THEN I CANNOT AGREE IN PAYING. **

If they are just looking for welfare they should request it to their own country and not try to peddle it from others.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Peacetrain

I think it doesn't matter which side was aggressive in the past about this issue. I might be too naive on this, but my honest feeling is that the hate koreans have toward the rightist today, is nothing different from the hate the rightist have toward koreans. And they are doing no good to Japan korea relationship.

We can argue who is responsible for the hate first, but people will not be persuaded, just like argument never ends here. Koreans will blame rightist and rightist will blame koreans, I think they are both right to some extent but also wrong to some extent.

So even if it is a lament, provocative ones will not be meaningful just like provocative lament from rightist will not be meaningful. If provocative insult can solve problem, this problem would have been solved by now. You can say it but I am sure its not going to be any help. Even in lament, when provocative, it only makes right wingers fill up with anger But I understand there are lots of provocative things in the world that make us angry. I feel sympathy more toward generous liberals, rather than people who are full of hate against Japan, and same would be true with many Japanese or Japanese liberals.

If Japan was treated like Korea was by the Imperial Japan, Japan would have been much more militaristic than today, because Imperial Japan was militaristic. Things could have been worse. You say, it is better for Japan to be under administration of the US than going to the war, but I want you to understand that even though there was controversy in historical problem, Japan has been pacifist state for 70 years after the war, more than most of the developed nations, ex PM Murayama said similar thing to Koreans. I do have suspicious feeling toward Abe like you do but I don't want to make insulting and provocative sayings to right wingers or to Koreans.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"If they ultimately demand my compensation..."

"IT IS MY MONEY THEY ARE DEMANDING."

"If' not equal to 'IT IS'

Similarly, the time spent by law makers debating this issue is spending your tax money too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

boweevil

Yes the law makers are and they are making sure that taxpayer's money is used wisely and not spent on some kind of fraud meaning they are doing their job.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

But like I said, it was a lament. But if Abe holds on to power and increases the hostility with others he puts in power and there was an eventual conflict where Japanese suffered again, then in retrospect perhaps there's an argument that it would have been better for Japan to have been under American administration.

Obviously, Japan should be run by Japanese. But, unfortunately every day there is bad news and evidence that even those holding such great positions of influence keep saying absurd things.

It is embarrassing for me who has married a Japanese and is bringing up my children to love Japan, respect her flag and sing kimigayo.

@Peacetrain, I think you are over-reacting a wee bit. Yes the revisionism isn't doing Japan's image with China and SK any favours, but it's hardly a reason for the country to still be under the heel of American occupiers since it's only relatively recently that it's got to this level.

Why feel embarrassed? Just because your wife and children love their country doesn't make them rabid baby-killing monsters from wartime propaganda does it? I love my country, even though the British Empire carried out plenty of hateful acts in the past... I don't feel embarressed about being British, so why feel embarrassment for your family's pride in their own country? My ex loves her country, as do my Japanese friends... they don't like what Abe is doing any more than you do, but I would hate for them to feel any kind of shame or embarrassment.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Abe the Indian giver. Japan is digging its own PR grave.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@UR22335

Japan has been pacifist state for 70 years after the war, more than most of the developed nations

This line gets thrown around a lot as defense to justify 'forgetting the past' I agree this is a very true statement. And I know that the majority of Japanese support pacifist Japan and are proud of it. But the past will never change.

And if you want to use this as 'proof' remember 1. This was forced upon the Japanese by the U.S. government because Japan lost WWII. I will go further to say, it was because of the horrendous acts committed by the IJA, and the fear of right wing nutters taking control again, which leads to point #2. Abe is intent on revising Article 9, which is fueling the fears of neighbors and reigniting memories of the not-so-distant past. People are still alive that remember WWII. Ask your average older Japanese person about the war, believe me they do not support the actions of Japan at that time.

Overall, I do believe that it is strange that Japan cannot have a true military,. I think that article 9 should be left up to the Japanese people to decide about, but now is not the time. Not with all the tension in the area.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Decades of denying that apologies were tendered. Decades of denying that treaties were signed. Decades of denying that compensation was paid and accepted. One can surely say that ROK has brought this on itself.

When China pulls their leash South Korea barks the same rhetoric that China does.

I read all the comments, and this is the most truthful one I could see.

Do you black truck guys understand

Interesting that its OK for you to call anyone who disagrees with your (decidedly bias) viewpoint a "black truck guy". Yet any reference to the obvious vankers among us is summarily scrubbed from the record. Pitiful.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

 justbcuzisay

Right wingers tend to claim they have been forced pacifist constitution from the GHQ, and liberals tend to say it has not been forced, and we have to be proud of that constitution.

I am thinking it might have been forced but we should also be proud of that pacifist constitution. If you are talking about democratic ideas and human rights, I think you are right, GHQ has worked on Japan to make Japan more democratic, and Japan retained it after independence. And even though it is hard revise constitution, such a discussion almost never became a big issue until recently. And even though it is kind of vague, three principles on arms export is favorable. So, yes GHQ started pacifist Japan, but there is also part that Japan has retained pacifism for decades after independence. You are probably thinking I want Article 9 revised but I am against revising the article 9, but not because like many people here are thinking that Japan is going to be militaristic, but for other reasons.

"Ask your average older Japanese person about the war, believe me they do not support the actions of Japan at that time." I might be mistaken about your sentence but many Japanese people supported Imperial Japanese government going to war, including old person I know. But these people tend to be against revision of Article 9 today, which I agree with.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@UR22335

I think maybe I could have chosen my words better about the old people. I realize the nation supported the actions leading up to the war, but it seems that most realized that they were not a good idea and not to be repeated again. Maybe I am wrong, but it is nice to hear a Japanese perspective. In this matter, I do not think a person would be comfortable telling exactly how they felt straight face-to-face with an American.

I do worry about what will happen if a right-wing government is allowed to change Article 9, that is why I read about these issues. But I still would not go so far as to say I think they will be militaristic.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why didn't South Korea say anything when concluding Japan SouthKorea treaty if 200,000 girls were taken from their homes? Why can't SouthKorea present any evidence? No news report of the time?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Lawmakers....500 of them talking about a 70 year old issue, cheering on a person who is not even a public official, who claims that it is impossible for people of a certain nationality to lie without feeling pain....yes, that is height of wisdom when it comes to spending taxpayer's money. Very cost effective.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

After 300years of isolation and how many yaers of what ... Being connected... to what?. So what do ypu expect?..

0 ( +2 / -2 )

more sensationalism and hype for page views, Have to make the title skewed and controversial right?

Just like most nations out there, the people and government have very different interests.

One lawmaker does not represent all lawmakers nor does it represent an entire nation's sentiment. To try and blanket all Japanese into one ideology is merely convenient and, well, spiteful.

JT readers ought to know by now Korean press is merely for international propaganda and the Japanese leaders took the bait. Now they're on the defensive and the Koreans are cleverly luring the Japanese right-wingers to throw punches. Unfortunately for Abe and co they simply can't turn a blind eye or "ignore" the decades of victim-card diplomacy with Korea. Japan had continually tried to do its part to make amends with Korea in the past both diplomatically and financially. Anyone who denies this is simply a Japan Hater or just can't get it to sink in.

In the end Korea will realize they will ultimately fail in trying to make any Japanese feel personally GUILTY and RESONSIBLE for their grandparent's generation. Current day Japan can't take back the actions of it's Imperial past. But with the way the Korean press pound it in regularly in foreign press and soil, they are breeding hate in Asia. Korea really wants a fight. The only real way Korea can be appeased is to get even. Japanese "leaders" probably recognize that their country is vulnerable to a joint strike by China and South Korea. It's not like China and South Korea haven't invaded or tried to occupy Japan in the past. I wouldn't be surprised if any of the countries do again within the next hundred to thousand years. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Japan regress and seclude itself from the East and perhaps even the West. Japan's closest allies of the next century may end up being India and a good part of south east Asia.

For now, Japan needs to take the moral high ground with the best apology Japan can reasonably repeat: "We're sorry for the suffering and animosity the Emperor and his cabinet-ruled imperial forces caused during its immoral and unjust conquest of Asia. Please accept our sincere regret and remorse." And like that, we'll have to wait for the next prime minister to be elected to do the honors.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

But we Japanese do feel pain if we lie,” Tamogami told the meeting

You have to hand it to these folk, if only for the extremely high pain threshold they must have.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No good will come of this.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Lawmakers....500 of them talking about a 70 year old issue, cheering on a person who is not even a public official.

Tamogami is an idiot, and probably the only real "denier" that ROK hardliners can point to. But I'd like to know where you got the idea that the 500 people were "lawmakers". I think the article says nothing like that. But then you probably aren't to careful about reading what you want to read on this subject.

Why didn't South Korea say anything when concluding Japan SouthKorea treaty if 200,000 girls were taken from their homes?

Yup. That's the question chucky and pals will never bother even trying to answer. The time to call for executions and punishments (as chucky keeps doing) was during the negotiations for reparations, and before any treaties were signed. Truth is, the government of ROK at the time was just so eager to get their fingers on the cash that they didn't bother even trying to negotiate on behalf of their own people's wishes. Again, they have only themselves to blame for that.

Abe the Indian giver. Japan is digging its own PR grave.

Surely someone such as yourself (who presumes to give advice to others on how to conduct themselves) is aware that the expression you just used is extremely offensive in civilized conversation?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Yeah. You're right. " He told a cheering gathering jamming a 500- seat hall near the Diet.

And you are right in terms of my misreading of the article. But as far Tamogami being the only hardliner the ROK can point to I'd in turn ask you to look more closely at the article. Doesn't say something about a Nariaki Nakayama? But then again I'm not careful about I want to read on this subject. I mean the words 'complete and total lie' wouldn't give the ROK and indication that he was a liar-would they?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

wasabizuki,

first you say this:

One lawmaker does not represent all lawmakers nor does it represent an entire nation's sentiment. To try and blanket all Japanese into one ideology is merely convenient and, well, spiteful.

Then you say this about the evil Koreans:

JT readers ought to know by now Korean press is merely for international propaganda and the Japanese leaders >took the bait.

You need to take your own advice. If you can even read the Korean press, they don't say that much about Japanese plans to take back the apology. The propaganda about Korea are coming from your own media, daily papers like Sankei, Yomuiri, and weekly magazines, who are printing some seriously delusional anti-Korean articles that are verging on fabrications and rumour mongering. They are stirring up strong anti-Korean feelings in Japan by stirring the pot. You expect those kind of trollish behaviours from internet blogs and chat forums, but from serious medias? The funny thing is, the Japanese papers are too ashamed to print their Japanese language flame baits on Korea, into English, lest they be laughed off the planet and destroy Japan's carefully built reputation of outside face.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

titaniumdioxideMar. 04, 2014 - 08:01AM JST : Let's if South Korea can still deny that there weren't any apologies.

Still flogging that dead horse, eh? Koreans do not deny that words of apology were spoken by Japanese government officials. What they doubt is the sincerity behind those words. And who can blame them, given the flip-flopping and the denials and "Yes, but ---" statements by other officials of the same government? Would Germany have the goodwill of other western nations today if its leaders had behaved in the same vein? What good is Kono saying sorry, if Abe's men say No, we're not?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yea, I gotta BIG PICTURE on how this "Revised Apology" is going to Fan Out:

It's going to go from "Were Sorry" to "Sorry about that.." to "Sorry?" to "Gomen"

or the Crowning Touch: O-Mo-Te-Na-Shi: Omotenashi!

Sorry, would you like some Green Tea?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JT readers ought to know by now Korean press is merely for international propaganda and the Japanese leaders took the bait.

@wasabizuki - The idea that Korean press is all propaganda and Japanese press strive for the truth sounds very much like that "Koreans don't feel pain when they lie but we do" statement by Tamogami.

Do you realise Japanese media love to print anti-Korea stories to stir up the readers and to sell papers?

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/10/12/national/tabloids-brimming-with-anti-korea-diatribes

I quote:

Anti-Korean stories sell better than those that report amicable ties, explained an unnamed veteran weekly-magazine reporter. These sentiments are supported by younger Japanese and are gradually spreading among the older generation as well. And they resonate with editors at the paper in their 30s and under.

In fact, South Korea ranks higher than Japan in the 2014 Freedom of Press Index.

http://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.php#

I'm not saying Korean media aren't guilty of the same, but please do realise that the notion of Japan as the upholders of truth and Korea as root of evil is nothing more than fanciful, "ganbare Nippon" stuff.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Mitch CohenMar. 05, 2014 - 06:00AM JST

I'm not saying Korean media aren't guilty of the same, but please do realise that the notion of Japan as the upholders of truth and Korea as root of evil is nothing more than fanciful, "ganbare Nippon" stuff.

The core of the issue is historical facts.

What facts does Korea have to contribute to the issue? Japanese historians did a whole lot of homework of the historical study with the grant of Asia Women Fund. The uncovered documents during WW2 in Japan, Korea, US, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and so on all support Japanese position that the comfort women were prostitutes, and that rape victims should be distinguished from the comfort women.

Korea did almost nothing on the historical study. All they have are incoherent and contradicting testimonies of former comfort women. What they did, instead, was PR campaign to spread questionable myths about comfort women, such as, "Comfort women were drafted," "Cheong Sin Dae women were comfort women," "Korean Comfort women were abducted in the middle of the night by Japanese soldiers," and so on, even though they knew they cannot prove their assertion.

Now, how can Korea and Japan reconcile on the facts? Facts are not optional. We have to look at proofs and find facts, just as any historian does in history study. We call it review.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

"The lawmakers called the accounts of women who were forced into sexual slavery a “total lie,” thus asking the Abe administration to correct it."

Maybe we should transform 'The lawmakers' into the women of so many many nationalities and send them back in time to experience the “total lie,” for themselves.

Japan at this very moment needs all the friends it can get, sending your whaling fleets down into southern oceans and now this, even I am starting to feel when push comes to shove, which it will in the not too distant future, Japans ethics will really not be worth protecting.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said during a House of Councillors meeting that his cabinet will uphold the 1995 Murayama Statement.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why uphold the Murayama statement when Kono Statement is being withdrawn? Just reverse them all.

Good luck Japan, we'll see you at the UN court. Let's see what the world thinks of the Japan's lone version of the comfort women history.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Let's see what the world thinks

Yes lets. I keep urging you to get out into the real world and ask some people. I have asked. So far nobody is even aware of the issue. ROK is and always will be a second rate country that the rest of the world barely even notices.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Yes lets. I keep urging you to get out into the real world and ask some people. I have asked. So far nobody is even aware of the issue. ROK is and always will be a second rate country that the rest of the world barely even notices.

@hidingout - Judging by your comments this site is getting the better of you.. time for a holiday perhaps? ; )

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

“protect Japan’s honor” yeah they tried that during WW2. and if it wasnt for the sane decision of the emperor to surrender, Japan would probably be just a nuclear wasteland today

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Note the international reaction already:

UK's The Guardian reported on this story & 100% of comments show varying degrees of outrage & question why Japan can't be a little more sensible about this. Some of the comments show surprising insight btw. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/05/japan-comfort-women-abe-apology

The NYT reports it and mentions several times in the article that the US Govt is likely to express their extreme displeasure at such a move (for what it's worth anyway). Unfortunately no comments section. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/world/asia/japan-to-review-apology-made-to-wwii-comfort-women.html?_r=0

The issue here btw, is not compensation, it is that these politicians want to say "we were wrong to ever apologize, this didn't happen". Will they then ask for the restitution payments to be refunded as well?

Japan can no longer say "We've apologized enough" for anything because actions like this show that even when they do apologize, they may just take it back a few years down the track. Ridiculous approach to international affairs.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Too bad I have the flu, I'd be a lot nastier to this pair....

Then again, last week I answered the question "do you think suicide is an appropriate apology?" with a "no." Given the blatant lies these two are telling and the damage they are doing to international relations I'm no longer so sure.

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"You say, it is better for Japan to be under administration of the US than going to the war"

Well, I've never thought about it seriously enough, it was a big statement of in response to a question. But yeah, I would rather Japan become a territory of the US then Japan to fight a war now against Korea and China and see my kids go off to fight a war.

." I do have suspicious feeling toward Abe like you do but I don't want to make insulting and provocative sayings to right wingers"

Insulting? Listen I think the guys who drive around in black trucks all day blaring out war songs and yelling at people from outside embassies, churches and schools, are pretty thick skinned. An insult once or twice in reponse to all year round insults and tirades isn't much.

And as for Abe, someone has to say something when what was once the lunatic fringe who wish they were back in 1941 and teared over singing songs about dying for the emperor, is now running the govt, the schools, and NHK.

Kasumigaseki, we have a problem.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Peacetrain

I think war against China is becoming a larger threat to Japan. But I think most of the people in Japan are against the war with China, especially invading china, but self-defense war might be a different story. I am wondering if any war, even self defense war is a good thing or not, but I cannot be that critical about self-defense war, not only to japan but toward any nation. Abe's visit to Yasukuni is provoking china, I think that is true and he should have restrained it if he were to build good relationship with china, but that does not justify China to take military action toward Japan. If Japan's trying to invade China, your argument sound to have some legitimacy, but not for the self-defense war, and that is true even when Abe visit Yasukuni. And your argument should also be applied to China, to be fair. From your argument, if China is trying to take military action to any nation around China, they should be annexed by other peaceful nations. But I am against this idea, if annexation is causing another war.

If those extreme right wingers in black van is thick skinned, and don't care any insult, and not be angered by insult as you say, then I won't care for them, I might be preachy and I am sorry for that, but then you should be careful when giving insult who is not thick skinned. giving insult becomes a habit, a bad one, to anybody, including you and I. And it is going to cause another insult, if given to those who have no thick skin and keeps on going fore4ver. This is true with anti- korean and anti-chinese people in Japan, they should stop saying dirty words to koreans or chinese even when they seem to be thick skinned. I am sad people hating koreans and chinese are increasing today, these hate will eventually hurt themselves in my opinion.

Overall, I think I am not far from what you are thinking basically but the mean to achieve peace, I have different idea from you. and I am also wishing peace on Japan china, I don't want that awful WWII repeated again, I want Abe to make right choices for this.

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@UR. FIrst, I am not against Japanese whether they be normal citizens or the Prime Minister visiting Yasukuni. Secondly, I personally think Koreans and Chinese and others should forget about asking for apologies, or token compensation for matters relating to WW2. And I understand that Koreans aren't helping by burning flags and perhaps giving the impression that it will be difficult to completely reconcile with them.

Thirdly, and I'm scared to say this because the last time I did the moderator accused my of offensive and vulgar language.....(why I don't know), but it simply isn't true that 200,000 women were kidnapped and kept as sex slaves. Not every woman who was involved was even tricked.

THe problem is that the truth is somewhere between those who deny any wrongdoing on the govts behalf and those who keep saying the govt kidnapped 200,000 and kept them as slaves. For the sake of history, the issue should probably be re-studied. But, no, I wouldn't trust the Abe govt to do that by themselves.

Some women were kidnapped and raped and forced into it, others were tricked (yes, not by Japanese but by Koreans and businessmen in various countries, some were treated brutally and killed, while others were assigned to officers and lived in much better conditions.

The way women were treated was bad enough that I can't understand why anyone would ever defend wartime Japan"s treatment of the women. But on the other hand, inflating figures and stating that all of the women were there as slaves against their will on direct order of the Japanese govt is not helping the issue.

Your last statement about wanting peace is a difficult one. The basis of peace is understanding the other persons point of view. I still don't think Japanese politicians or the average person has enough knowledge of what japanese did in the other countries to even begin to understand the other point of view.

I think that would be a start. But Japanese telling Koreans that the comfort women were all prositutes and all countries did it is insane. REvisiting the apology and having revisionists picked by Abe to reexamine the evidence is a recipe for disaster.

A new study of the holocaust might have historical value, but not if the research committee was made up of neo-nazis and Holocaust deniers.

Blind Freddy can see that if Abe appoints people to study the issue, that the result will be that there wasn't really anything to apologize for.

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江山易改, 品性难移,it is easier to change the course of a river and to move a mountain, than to change one's instinct character. The world was worried if this would be used to describe the next next generations of Japan, if somethings had been getting on to educate them thoroughly; Abe and his rightist team were doing it and will carry on playing the "apologized but not apologising "drama here now and after.

Move right on for the revision for your no-proof brothel, Abe, your history will be well recorded as good, as your ancestor.

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Peacetrain

I really appreciate many of your comments about comfort women, and I mostly agree with you. Many comfort women had to go under various hardships and many died and they deserve apology. Saying exaggerated things or saying Japan did no bad with comfort women, both of these claims are not helping. They are just not right and former will anger conservatives and rightists and the latter will anger many koreans.

But one thing I want to say is that, whether the Japanese gov gave orders to recruit women by force or not seems to be important issue to especially rightist people, and they are thinking inflation of numbers and this issue are both false accusations. I deny their saying such as they were all prostitutes, and I know inflated numbers are probably not true but for this issue, I don't know the truth and probably there is no academic consensus on this, so this is becoming a controversial problem. This need some kind of study or investigation as you say, and that is probably the only way to make rightist silent about this, in my opinion.

But I do understand your doubt that whether Abe is the appropriate one to investigate, and whether now is that good time to do it or not. If they had decided to investigate, I have to only hope that they do it properly, and at least they do not repeal the whole apology, because I believe sincere apology of some kind is needed.

LDP is conservative party that tend to be on the right, and I am not fan of the LDP and I am suspicious some of them being revisionist, but at the same time many of them are conservative on the right side but not revisionist in my view. For example Keizo Takemi from LDP has said something like we have to get rid of dangerous right winger's view, when we look at the history. Suga has recently made comment that Nanjing incident is undeniable and Abe cabinet thinks the same way. Shigeru Ishiba, the secretary general of the LDP, even though he was criticized recently for the comment about legislation, he admits it was a war of invasion, Nanjing happened and japan should apologize to china, he sacked Tamogami out from his place, and he says he does not want to visit Yasukuni because it was a wrong war. I hope these are coming out from good will of these people, and I just have to hope these good will help Abe make right decisions, if not I will be disappointed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The world was worried

Again with the whole wide world. Sheesh, when will Koreans learn to stop pretending that everyone across the planet is as blind as they are on this issue?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Suga argued with one that denied about comfort woman. But,,,,, Nationalist Japanese politicians urged the government on Monday to revise a 1993 apology over Asian women forced to serve in wartime brothels, saying accounts that tens of thousands of women were forcibly recruited were a “total lie”.

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Suga works with Abe. Suga and Abe face morew than one now. Can't Abe concentrate on Japan Inc, business gain in the world?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

peacetrain

I made mistake on my last comment, Ishiba did not sack tamogami, he just criticized tamogami for writing papers.

Toshiko

I don't know how suga acutally is thinking about comfort women, but at the same time, suga also said politicians have to be humble in facing the history.

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@UR Yes you are right that there are different opinions within the LDP. I can only hope that more sensible factions take the lead.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@UR When an ultraconservative declared there was no Ianfu, Suga bot mad at and he wanted to prove fact of Ianfu. As you now know, Japanese people usually say, "So desu-ka", bows and bows, Suga did not behave with Japanese custom. He got mad at this one. He almost said "Baka Yarou", He yelled, "Kenkyo ni naritamae." He did not argue with politeness to the guy. I heard in Japanese language, not translated in English by someone.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Again with the whole wide world. Sheesh, when will Koreans learn to stop pretending that everyone across the planet is as blind as they are on this issue?

@hidingout - It's true that this issue will never receive the same kind of attention as the latest celebrity tweets, but even in Australia I've seen coverage of this issue several times recently, including this story.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/australian-wartime-sex-slave-jan-ruffohearne-hits-out-at-hideous-japanese-denials-20140224-33d4o.html

She was subject of an ABC (state funded media) documentary too. This is going back a few years though.

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

And judging by the comments posted in this recent story, I would disagree with you that nobody cares about this issue.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/05/japan-comfort-women-abe-apology

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Yes yes, I know Mitch ... the Guardian and the NY Times .... both socialist rags unfit for birdcage liner.

You know as well as I do that the only reason anyone in the real world listens to anything ROK has to say is because they have a dedicated mob of immigrants (and internet warriors) that will put their votes and their money on "important" issues like who got screwed over 80 - 100 years ago.

The Japanese on the other hand have a country that is very habitable (no commies, no draft etc) so they don't need to escape to Western nations to enjoy their lives. They have very few votes to sell in places like Louisiana and New Jersey.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@hidingout: The Japanese on the other hand have a country that is very habitable (no commies, no draft etc) so they don't need to escape to Western nations to enjoy their lives. They have very few votes to sell in places like Louisiana and New Jersey.

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The Japan Communist Party (Nippon Kyo San To) has been a legitimate political party in Japan since 1945. They are not big but there are communist party members. Also Japan Socialist Party exist in Japan (Nippon Shakai To)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Oh boy... here we go again heh.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"It is embarrassing for me who has married a Japanese and is bringing up my children to love Japan, respect her flag and sing kimigayo. @Peacetrain, I think you are over-reacting a wee bit. Why feel embarrassed? Just because your wife and children love their country doesn't make them rabid baby-killing monsters from wartime propaganda does it? I love my country, even though the British Empire carried out plenty of hateful acts in the past... I don't feel embarressed about being British, so why feel embarrassment for your family's pride in their own country? "

@ThunderbIrd I worded that badly. I'm not embarrassed about my family. I'm embarrassed that our PM and the comments that he and many leading figures make.

I love Japan. I buy Japanese flags for the kids to wave, and I am all in favor of them singing kimigayo with gusto. I'm not against patriotism at all. I'm so darned old fashioned that I was the one that taught my kids to stand during the anthem (watching a soccer game on TV) so they could practice.

So I gladly teach my kids to wave the himomaru and sing kimigayo, and I'd have no problem taking them to Yasukuni even.

I'm embarrassed by the fact that so many revisionists are in power and positions of influence BECAUSE I love this country. My kids have Japanese names etc etc.

Like you I teach them that you can love your country and recognise that people in the past in your country have done the wrong thing.

To me that's normal adult thinking.

Heck, I'm even happy when Japan beats my country in sports!

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These idiots are working hard to destroy the good will that Japan enjoys in her conflict with the Chinese government.

It almost looks that they are financed by Peking?

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