politics

Japan's global PR message could misfire with focus on wartime past

169 Comments
By Linda Sieg

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I agree with Lind. Given the sketchy nature of historical knowledge among Americans, at least, by trying to gloss over or revise certain historical events, Japan will actually make more people aware of the atrocities it committed.

Joe Blow American: "Japan is trying to cover up what? The Nanking Massacre? What was that? Let me wiki that."

34 ( +37 / -4 )

A push by Japan to correct perceived bias in accounts of the country’s wartime past is creating a row that risks muddling the positive message in a mammoth public relations campaign to win friends abroad.

I've said this before here, but Japan's insistence in attempting to sanitise what happened in and prior to WW2 is a stubborn, hard headed folly that the rest of the world will simply never abide.

What Japan doesn't seem to realise is that the world will, and has for the most part forgiven acts that happened in a different time and socio-political reality. But it certainly will not forget and it's an insult to the goodwill and spirit of reconciliation that has existed in the post war years to attempt to re-draw the lines of the wartime aggression and atrocities.

Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that the Japanese; a quiet and gentle people with their sense for beauty, who value order, manners, social propriety and safety, visited such violence and misery on the world not 80 years ago.

But then I just need to pick up my Grandfather's wartime diary to remind myself that they did.

44 ( +44 / -2 )

But the government is also targeting wartime accounts by overseas textbook publishers and others that it sees as incorrect and damaging to Japan’s image.

IMO, really mis-guided. Japan constantly tells its neighbors, like SK and China, to mind their own business when they raise concerns about textbook revisions in Japan, but here is Japan basically doing the same thing. Japan has often been characterized, rightly or wrongly, as being very hypocritical, and this just reinforces that -- "Do as I say, not as I do".

21 ( +26 / -7 )

Could???? Will!!!!!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Being modest does not receive recognition in the international community, and we must argue points when necessary,”

Denial of wrongdoing doesn't receive much positive recognition either, I don't think.

"Japan House centers, to be set up first in London, Los Angeles and Sao Paolo"

Amakudari rewards, cushy jobs for the old boys ....existing embassies / consulate culture sections can provide the same " information services" without the need to spend ( waste ) the extra millions establishing these centers.

23 ( +24 / -2 )

Don't play China's and S. Korea's game and you'll come out ahead. Leave history revision alone.

China and S. Korea are often and correctly seen to be the ones who dwell on the past and are not able to progress into the 21st Century.

Can't get dirty if you don't play.

-20 ( +2 / -23 )

Disgraceful that they are spending $500 million to revise history, while in the present they still have people living in temporary housing in Tohoku. Talk about twisted priorities.

36 ( +37 / -3 )

Nothing like trying to revise other countries' history textbooks (facepalm)

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Koreans and Chinese really love Abe. For them, he is the best development in the PR war in recent decades.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

more than 500 million, Strangerland, closer to 700. Absolutely insane that a PR campaign would get that kind of increase when there are so, so, so many other problems here that could use that kind of attention (Tohoku foremost among them).

14 ( +16 / -2 )

We all knew Japan's request would be rejected by Mc Graw. Good luck with the "Japan house, Japan brand" campaign. A proposed center to built in LA? nice try, Koreans & Chinese have already been pushing their agenda there for years and have won many hearts and minds.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Japan should simply deliver the same kind of apology that European countries have given for their rampage across the globe called Imperialism. After all, this is what Japan copied. So we should study the European apologies. What, there aren't any?

-15 ( +4 / -18 )

Again wasting money!

Like others said: look at Tohoku!

Look at the Japanese economy.

I am sure there are better ways to spend this money!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Koreans & Chinese have already been pushing their agenda there for years and have won many hearts and minds.

Yes, that's how they are inflating their histories for decades. Why can't you see that history has nothing to do with winning hearts and minds.

-28 ( +2 / -29 )

“Dragging people into a long discussion about history ... seems like they are going to brand Japan with that atrocity in terms of its image,” said Dartmouth College professor Jennifer Lind. “It’s a losing battle.”

For some reason, Abe's and co keep fighting a losing battle & war, the same way similar to his grandpa generation in WWII, with a dilution that Japanese army could have defeated the ally forces.(did that happend?) 70 years have passed, Abe’s admin is trying to rewrite the history. The answer is simple – not a chance.

Two days ago, The Washington Post’s bureau chief in Tokyo, Anna Fifield wrote a piece about Japan’s disastrous efforts to revise its history. Please refer: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/american-academics-condemn-japanese-efforts-to-revise-history-of-comfort-women/2015/02/09/e795fc1c-38f0-408f-954a-7f989779770a_story.html

8 ( +8 / -1 )

Japan should simply deliver the same kind of apology that European countries have given for their rampage across the globe called Imperialism. After all, this is what Japan copied. So we should study the European apologies.

Definitely. Germany is a good model on how Japan should work to put this to rest once and for all.

12 ( +12 / -2 )

As I have been harping for many a year Japan digs its own grave with its white washing & denials, what I witnessed in 2014 & so far early this year looks like Japan is going to really blow the 70th anniversary big time!

The utter garbage I have read in the "japan news" a supposed newspaper is so full of lies & BS & yet no one goes after them like they did/doing to Asahi!

The words stupid, idiotic sound like high compliments when used wrt to J-govt & Japans various media, right wingers etc, they just don't do justice to what these fools are trying to do.

Japan will lose massively if they keep this up, hell they already are.

It always amazes me how Japanese understand what the Nazi's did but are mostly utterly clueless to what Japan did, FOR SHAME!

18 ( +17 / -1 )

Agreed. Too much energy spent rewriting history that should be focused on growing better relations rather than whitewashing past misdeeds. Acknowledge and progress on!

8 ( +8 / -1 )

China has criticized Japan’s leaders for allegedly trying to revive its fascist past and imperial glory. Their state-run news agency called PM Abe “the most dangerous man in Asia", that "China would “resolutely guard the victorious achievements of world anti-fascist war from being taken away [by Mr. Abe],” despite the fact that few, if any, in the region take China’s rhetoric seriously in seeking to portray Japan as endeavoring to revive its fascist past.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

it seems the j-gov, including emperors and yakuzas, want to reserve to right to do it all over again as soon as they have a chance.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No amount of PR money can erase the facts of history nor wipe away the shame and opprobium that the Japanese rampage through Asia heaped upon the nation. The egregious atrocities carried out in the name of the Showa Emperor surpass anything devised by the most demented fanatics of IS. What prime-minister Abe recently characterized as "unforgivable" has in fact been forgiven if only by the passage of time, but not forgotten by the families of the victims of Japanese Imperialism.

4 ( +5 / -2 )

gokai_wo_maneku

So we should study the European apologies. What, there aren't any?

The late German President Weizsaecker quoted on NHK 7pm news last night "Those who close their eyes to the past will remain blind regarding the future."

11 ( +11 / -2 )

This really is about the most wrongheaded approach to this issue I could imagine. Japan has accomplished so much since the end of the war with their pacifism and modernisation, it makes no sense to torpedo their image by trying to get the rest of the world to share the denials of right-wingers who themselves are holding Japan back.

In this kind of area, it's better to either apologies afresh or avoid the issue. There is no way the rest of the world will accept the kind of white-washing going on here, so why score an own goal by bringing it up so forcefully. It's actually quite a strange paradox that such a refined society even has these views, the very best they could hope for would've something like 'the world was a very different place for Japan then, but we'd never act in such a way again and regret it deeply'.

I'm sure Japan has a lot to be proud of in their history, just as today. But not so much in that dark period. The only way forward is a Germany-style acceptance of the facts, along with a strong sense that it's nothing that can be held against present-day Japanese, living in a completely different era.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Let them go ahead. Some lessons can only be learned after you fail badly over and over again.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The facts are that most of Japan's victims, including millions in China, have not received a penny. The small minority of cases in which compensation has been paid, the sums have been laughable. Why has there not been more pressure on Japan to do the right thing by countless innocent victims? In the Treaty of San Francisco in 1951, signed by the U.S., Japan, and many other nations, this treaty formally settled all issues arising out of the war. However, China was not a signatory of this treaty, which of course was by far the largest group of potential claimants for compensation.

When China began opening up in the 70s, one of Japan's first moves was to press Zhou Enlai, to renounce the Chinese people's claims to compensation. For reasons that have never been made clear, he duly did so. His renunciation was endorsed by Deng Xiaoping in the late 70s, and Japan promised to favor China in its foreign-aid program. Japan's ODA amounted to over $6 billion. While this did essentially nothing for the victims, Chinese officials got to designate the projects on which Japan's money would be spent. Compensation issued was settled already.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

"We therefore oppose the efforts of states or special interests to pressure publishers or historians to alter the results of their research for political purposes,"

Who has re-written history for political purposes? I think it was not Japanese.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Comfort-Women-Postcolonial-Sexuality/dp/0226767779/ref=pdsimb1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1QEJ4QETGC15VJ4T29N6#reader0226767779

page xvii

Despite its important contribution to the international recognition of wartime sexual violence as a war crime, the Korean redress movement has employed "approximate truths" or strategic exaggerations that have effectively impeded deeper understanding of the comfort women issue and real progress toward its resolution.

The sad story is that redress movement has been hijacked by Korean nationalists and women's right activists.

-19 ( +4 / -23 )

Yawn...

This revisionistic attitude Japan seems to be stuck with has gotten pretty old. It feels like Japan carries a big dose of insecurity with it wherever it goes and desperately tries to assure everone of its power. Kinda like those shortlegged, stocky oyaji taking up more space than they can use on the subway.

I think it's time to rethink this nationalistic BS. Most young people don't seem to give a frack about it and that is somewhat assuring.

13 ( +14 / -2 )

“Many countries are investing hugely in this field and we feel we were not investing enough,” said a Japanese foreign ministry official.

The irony here is that Japan has invested huge sums in conveying its own suffering from the nuclear bombs. This includes money spent on the Hiroshima museum, school trips by many (most) Japanese students to Hiroshima and other nuclear bomb museums/memorials, and overseas outreach programs on the nuclear bombing.

The world has largely embraced these efforts by Japan, which makes it all the more shameful that the nation is willing to promote its suffering, but cannot own up to the pain it has caused others. This can only be described as sociopathic on a societal level.

13 ( +14 / -2 )

If you look at the history, the real problem is how U.S. handle the peace treaty after the WWII. PRC's Zhou Enlai supported the Soviet proposal that all states that participated with their armed forces against Japan should prepare the treaty. Instead, the U.S. had monopolized the task to exclude China. Why did the U.S. wanted to exclude China in 1951 SF Treaty? On the surface of course the Communist Party was now in power and U.S. and Chinese troops were fighting each other in Korea. But Britain also had troops in Korea and yet was prepared to invite the PRC to the conference. It was actually the Soviet Union that was behind the North Korean attack on the south, yet the U.S. permitted the Soviet Union actively to participate in the conference. China suffered the longest and the deepest from Japanese aggression. The SF Treaty divided China with numerous other territorial disputes that the U.S. used in justifying its continuing presence in the region.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

When it comes to public PR aimed at foreigners, the Japanese government is hopeless. Just look at their tourism campaigns. They simply say what they want to say, and never even seem to consider who they are trying to persuade. Especially in a case like this, they are going to hurt Japan - and they are using the taxpayers' money to do it. All for the vanity of a few silly old politicians.

12 ( +13 / -2 )

Every country changes what really happened for historical reasons, everyone wants history to reflect a different reality.

-19 ( +4 / -23 )

EthanWilbur -- thanks for the link. There are some very scary elements to the story. The first involves the co-author of the McGraw Hill text book, Herbert Ziegler:

Ziegler said that he received an e-mail from an official in the Japanese Consulate in Hawaii late last year, requesting a meeting to discuss the passages in the book. He declined

Then, Ziegler said, two officials showed up in his university office during office hours, when the door was open, and “just came in and sat down and started telling me how wrong I was.”

“It’s a very strange game that they’re playing here,” he said.

What right does Japan have for sending consolute representatives to try to intimidate an American author/citizen?

Then there is this about NHK:

Katsuto Momii, the president of the Japanese broadcast company NHK, said Friday that it would have to “consider very carefully whether it’s truly appropriate” to pick up the issue of comfort women while the government policy remains unclear.

So, Abe and his band of revisionists have complete control of the message on this coming from NHK. Since when does "government policy" determine what journalists report on, especially something as importnat as the 70th Anniversary of the end of WWII?

IMO, this is all very scary, and folks like CH3CHO, who just want to write it off because SK and China supposedly do the same thing, are just burying their heads in the sand. Glad it is no longer my taxes that are supporting such nonsense.

11 ( +16 / -6 )

700 billion for the revision, lets not forget the 200 billion for support in Syria and 300 billion for the Olympic stadium.

1.2 TRILLION jsut POOF! Gone to stupid "#$% like this.

mind-boggling!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan's wartime past is nothing to be proud of but not many are. At the same time trying to whitewash the whole thing just gives people (read China and Korea) something to whine about. I can't believe that Abe is so tone deaf that he hasn't figured that out. But it seems that he is.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

$500,000,000 would buy 2,500 $200,000 houses. $200,000 will get you a fairly nice (by Japanese standards) house here. That's a lot of houses that could be built for the displaced, and largely forgotten by the government, folks in Tohoku.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It's amusing to watch apologists take the very real fact that Abe's attempts to rewrite history in OTHER nations has backfired and struggle to even blame it on China and South Korea. How desperate to avoid addressing the facts can you get?

6 ( +17 / -11 )

jerseyboyFeb. 12, 2015 - 10:28AM JST

What right does Japan have for sending consolute representatives to try to intimidate an American author/citizen?

Intimidate? When did discussing history with a history professor bacome intimidation in the US?

You had better read the US army reports on ianfu during WW2 to see how much is re-written by the "redress" movement.

-21 ( +4 / -25 )

talk about ganko. the right-wong government is buried in the past while it should be focused on the present and future. there's a reason why you should just let sleeping dogs lie.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

You know, it's one thing when people judged as inferior piss and moan about your war record. I hope the Japanese are prepared for the looming backlash in North America, Europe, Oceania. This ain't going to play well with the privileged gaijin class.

And I can tell you these misguided efforts are already paying the wrong kind of dividends. Just in the last week, two friends and a family member, who have never brought the war up with me have done just that. One was alerted to the textbook controversy. Two others were shocked to hear that Unbroken was unlikely to play here.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I don't care what japan did in the past. Many countries made mistakes. Many countries make mistakes now. America is making mistakes now.

All I know is that I love Japan now. I love Japanese people. I am moving to Japan in 40 days and want to be there the rest of my life!

nuff said

-21 ( +2 / -22 )

Intimidate? When did discussing history with a history professor bacome intimidation in the US?

CH3CHO -- LOL. Did you actually read and understand what Ziegler said? First off, the Japanese consulate requested a meeting -- which he denied. Then, two guys showed up at his office, unannounced, and proceeded to lecture him on the correct view of comfort women. With respect, that is not "discussing history". Except maybe by current Japanese standards. What cracks me up about all this is that Japanophiles like yourself are always critisizing China for the manner in which it manages news/the message, and here Japan is doing the exact same thing -- including stifling NHK, the national broadcaster -- and you applaud it. But you can't see the hypocracy in that. Japan's elevator is going down even faster than I imagined. Maybe because it knows its best days are behind it, so it is fixated with trying to put the best spin on things that it can, since no one cares much about Japan these days, except the Japanese themselves.

9 ( +14 / -6 )

It was so much easier for Germans, while millions of them enjoyed doing the dirty work of killing and raping enforcing sex slavery and pillaging valuables and art they had a one man that was blamed for it all and he was not around to share the blame. "It was all Hitlers fault, he forced us to do it" Japan had no single personality to blame and hide behind so all Japanese are equally held accountable. And as long Japan keeps fighting back Chinese and Korean blame game they are putting fuel on to their own stake. For Koreans and Chinese it is all about business competition and money.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

The Prime Minister is doing well and staying consistent with his work. He just needs to stay calm and continue to make the right decisions for this great country.

-22 ( +1 / -22 )

We see clearly japan dosen't care about it's own people , revolution time

9 ( +11 / -3 )

A lot of information in WW1 and WW2 is incorrect, especially in America. It's only natural that Japan wants this corrected.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

BTW it's not only Japan that does this:

http://www.economist.com/news/china/21616988-decade-ago-china-began-opening-centres-abroad-promote-its-culture-some-people-are-pushing

Their palpable ill feeling reflects growing discord among Western scholars about a decade-old push by China to open government-funded cultural centres in schools and universities abroad. Intended to boost China’s “soft power”, the centres take the name of the peace-espousing sage. They tap into growing global demand for Chinese-language teaching. But they are also fuelling anxiety about academic freedom.

In America the Confucius programme has been widely welcomed by universities and school districts, which often do not have enough money to provide Chinese-language teachers for all who need them. But critics like Mr May believe China’s funding comes at a price: that Confucius Institutes (as those established on university campuses are known) and school-based Confucius Classrooms restrain freedom of speech by steering discussion of China away from sensitive subjects.

Others are less sanguine, however. In America criticism has recently grown stronger. Earlier this year more than 100 members of the faculty at the University of Chicago complained that Confucius Institutes were compromising academic integrity. In an article published in 2013 by Nation magazine, one of the university’s academics, Marshall Sahlins, listed cases in several countries involving what appeared to be deference to the political sensitivities of Confucius Institutes. These included a couple of occasions when universities had invited the Dalai Lama to speak and then either cancelled the invitation or received him off-campus.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

$500million on a PR campaign that will more than likely make aware of what Japan did during WW2 and harness more distrust in there apologise. this is everything that is wrong with Japan, priorities in the wrong place and too worried about what the rest of the world thinks of them complex.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The members of the government should use their own money and time for their nationalistic pet projects. Get Aso to sponsor a 'WW2 - the truth' manga when he reaches his long overdue retirement. In the meantime, do your sodding job and deal with the real issues affecting Japanese people not living in the out-of-touch, nationalistic LDP bubble.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

What a stupid waste of money.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

But the Chinese and Koreans do it!? False equivalence, anyone, Bueller?

If the Germans and Jews were both up to this, horrifying genocidal aggressors and victims, respectively, would Nazi apologists make any such ridiculous claim without being laughed out of the room. Look at the Jews making all those holocaust films, right? Those self pitying atrocity aggrandizing drama queens.

Japan was the aggressor, the occupying power that did simply horrifying things throughout their so-called co-prosperity sphere, full stop, as is documented by more than a half century of objective world scholarship. That Japan's PR mission, whitewashing war crimes, is somehow the equivalent to victim nations striving for full accountability from Japan is testament to the tortured logic of the apologists.

But hell, keep it up. While you're at it, burn your passports, the world is clearly going to become a more hostile place to Japanese. Likewise, enjoy the tourist boom while it lasts.

10 ( +13 / -4 )

What a stupid waste of money.

Say that to South Korea. It is them that's spending much more money for anti-Japan propaganda for decades.

-27 ( +1 / -26 )

"supporting Japan studies at universities and setting up “Japan House” centers to promote the “Japan Brand”

These people never learn; its the same ole tune played over and over- The Japan Brand song. The song goes like this- Japan did no wrong in WW2, ( second note is gambaru nippon!) Japan is the leader of Asia (repeat: gambaru nippon!) etc etc. Instead they could teach their people the importance of learning English and opening up to the world, but they always choose to play the same tired old song of homophobia and insularity. Im amazed when I go abroad at just how far behind Japan is in so many areas, its kind of sad really.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It would save a lot of money if Japan could simply admit, it, like EVERY other country that has partcipated in wars does have things to apologize for. It doesn't even matter how "true" or "untrue" the accusations are, what matters is accepting responsibility for heinous acts committed during its imperial reign. By trying to "pay off" institutions to more or less rewrite history in a view Japan considers more favorable to its own image, they play RIGHT into the hands of the countries that often call Japan out for doing....well, exactly what they are doing...

Not a very intelligent move.

9 ( +10 / -2 )

While both China and to a lesser extent SKorea, have been waging a strategic information campaign against Japan for over the past several years, one has to ask if this equivalent effort by PM Abe, essentially replying in kind, is in Japan’s overall best interests. My take – it is not.

First, as has been mentioned, the entire effort is viewed, and will continue to be viewed by Western nations as Japan trying to re-write history. Maybe portions of it are not, but the rather clumsy way Japan has attempted to go about the effort so far has basically tainted the entire project.

Second, Japan doesn’t have to do this – criticism only hurts when it comes from a party that has both legitimacy and credibility – China, and again SKorea, are hardly seen as credible when it comes to discussing brutality and atrocities………

Third, it puts Abe, and the Japanese government, speaking the same tune as the far right wing crazies in Japan; the Ishihara’s, the Tamogami’s – these folks are so far out of the mainstream, and so dangerous, you don’t want to be associated with them in any form.

If Japan wants to take on China from an information perspective, then it needs to go on offense, not play defense – and the message is very clear. For the past 70 years, Japan has remained at peace with its neighbors, fostered its citizens’ growth, protected their basic human rights, and treated them with dignity. China, on the other hand, has engaged in foreign wars or attacked its neighbors (Korea, India, Vietnam), slaughtered millions of its own citizens (Cultural Revolution), denied them basic human rights (Tianneman Square, Tibet), and today refuses to let them speak and worship freely (Falong Gong).

That’s a message no government in the west would disagree with……..

9 ( +11 / -2 )

That's half a billion yen spent by Japan against Japan. The most idiotic move one has ever heard of.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Weizsaecker's apology is for the Houlocaust, not for German imperialism. They are not the same. It is well known that Japan protected the Jewish community in Japan in spite of pressure from Germany to initiate a "final solution" here too. I'm talking about Imperialism, a 200 year rampage by Europe over the world. If Europe apologizes for it, Japan should apologize along the same lines.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Japan had no single personality to blame and hide behind so all Japanese are equally held accountable.

Nope, Japan had the emperor. A whole lot of people wanted Hirohito put on trial for war crimes, or at least to abdicate, but MacArthur overruled them. (Many of the IJA edicts, including those for Unit 731, were authorised by the emperor.) To MacArthur, keeping Hirohito around was necessary for him to unify the country behind his reforms. In hindsight however, it's clear that exempting the emperor from responsibility has prevented many Japanese from also feeling responsibility of remorse for WW2. This current initiative by Japan to devote $500 million dollars for a little "whitewashing" job is a case in point

8 ( +9 / -2 )

gokaiwomaneku

I'm talking about Imperialism,

The article is talking about "wartime accounts" and e.g. comfort women.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

gokai - If you read & research I'm sure you'll find Weizsaecker's words encompassed all of Germany's aggressive actions and the suffering they caused - not only the holocaust - although he went to great pains to emphasize the horrors of the holcaust.

Weizsaeckers substantial wisdom was exemplified by asking his country to confront the past, acknowledge it and use it as the basis for future peace, reconciliation and human understanding.

He didn't say - well others did it too - or - we were forced into it by unequal pressures after ww1 - or - one madman made us - or - it was the reality of the time - etc etc. In fact he actually spoke about how revisionism is despicable and a way out of confronting the realities of what was done! He looked squarely at Germany's war of aggression and it's responsibility without excuse or accusation of others. In short he was a Great Man of Great Humility.

Japan via Abe and the right are just continually avoiding the "Yes we did this" by averting or down-sizing blame, and nit picking over terminologies and %s etc.

Abe's views have been well documented long before the current China / Korea flare up. He and many others made no effort decades ago to sincerely apologize, because they have always believed there is nothing to apologize for and have never taken a leaf out of Weizsaeckers book of contrition for past deeds.

9 ( +10 / -2 )

jerseyboyFeb. 12, 2015 - 01:14PM JST

First off, the Japanese consulate requested a meeting -- which he denied. Then, two guys showed up at his office, unannounced, and proceeded to lecture him on the correct view of comfort women. With respect, that is not "discussing history".

jerseyboyFeb. 12, 2015 - 10:28AM JST

EthanWilbur -- thanks for the link. There are some very scary elements to the story.

Ziegler said, two officials showed up in his university office during office hours, when the door was open, and "just came in and sat down and started telling me how wrong I was."

"It's a very strange game that they're playing here," he said.

It sounds to me nothing but discussion. I do not see anything scary in the story, unless the professor is afraid of discussing history in his university office. I also do not see any legitimate reason that he denied a meeting in the first place.

I think the professor is playing a strange game rather than the Japanese officials.

-16 ( +2 / -17 )

He and many others made no effort decades ago to sincerely apologize, because they have always believed there is nothing to apologize for and have never taken a leaf out of Weizsaeckers book of contrition for past deeds.

This much is true. It dates back to the decision by MacArthur to exempt Hirohito from responsibility for war crimes, and the decision by SCAP and postwar Japanese authorities to release all the war criminals from prison - Abe's grandfather among them. Thus we have a large number of people who were never punished - who have then gone and taught their children and grandchildren that they never did anything wrong. Hey presto - $500 million dollars to "re-educate" schools in other countries about WW2

8 ( +9 / -2 )

Japan has really frigged up by not taking OWNERSHIP of its history wrt WWII & prior to.

If Japan had come clean & admitted it did wrong & then vowed to never return to those dark dark days & STUCK to this then Japan would have never had any problems, just think of where Japan COULD have been now if it had grabbed its history by the throat & taken ownership, then China & Korea etc wouldn't be able to do squat, Japan could walk around head held HIGH.

But NO, it was silence, sign a few treaties, pay some blood $$, meanwhile admitting next to nothing about what Japan DID, then kick in a massive white washing & here were are 70yrs later & Japan cant even admit what she did let alone atone for it, the masses don't really know other than that some suffering went on & some died, BUT they have no idea of scale of Japans savagery of those times, heck Japanese don't even want to admit how bad THEIR OWN GOVT treated Japanese!! Its ludicrous!

And what we are witnessing now is just so beyond the pale & making Japan look so bad & these morons think they can argue their case..............you cant make up this lunacy 7 we are only in FEB!

11 ( +12 / -2 )

I think gokai makes a fair point about imperialism. The one part of Japan's wartime past that tends to get overlooked in the west (or certainly in Britain) is that is was just doing what other European nations had been doing for centuries. And in Britain, when Japan is reviled for its wartime violence, the focus tends to be on its treatment of prisoners of war and other Europeans and not that of the local Asian population. There still seems to be an attitude that Japan should lay bare its sins for past wrongs, while we in other countries should move on and leave the bad stuff in the past.

-5 ( +2 / -8 )

South Korea is changing even the name of "Sea of Japan" to "East Sea" in school textbook in Virginia state in USA. It was SK's mission to have this comfort women written in US textbook too. They have been building several comfort women statues in USA recently.

If you are Americans, you should at least be neutral on comfort women issue.

-20 ( +0 / -20 )

CH3CHO: " I also do not see any legitimate reason that he denied a meeting in the first place."

Because it's been made clear they were not going over there for 'discussion' but to tell the professor he is wrong, plain and simple. It's not only ignorant of these Japanese 'diplomats' and the Japanese government, but it IS intimidating if the man refuses an interview and they show up anyway, like Yakuza thugs, and sit down and start spewing hate. But seriously, what would you say if China did the EXACT same thing here in Japan? You know full well you wouldn't support it, let alone call the Japanese professors 'afraid to discuss history', though I'm guessing you'll just deflect and avoiding answering the question altogether because you already have a hard enough time admitting the truth and the hypocrisy.

innit: Sorry, bud, but the only one coming on here and preaching hate solely for that purpose is you and people like tinawatanabe, never addressing the facts and simply calling others -- an insult in your opinion -- "Eikaiwa teachers" who can't get dates or can't get jobs in their home countries, etc. You completely undermine your own comments and destroy the cause you are talking about... well, in other commentors' cases. You are simply attacking others because you can't admit Japan is wrong on history, and even more wrong to be demanding other nations revise their books to fit the ideas of a self-declared war-hawk and revisionist.

tinawatanabe: As I said, it's quite funny to watch you scramble and try to blame what Abe is doing somehow on South Korea. It's so pathetic it's hilarious. Also completely falls in line to what many said about you on another thread -- that you can't take any criticism of Japan and lash out in all directions just trying to insult the posters and other cultures you cannot understand.

12 ( +15 / -4 )

It was SK's mission to have this comfort women written in US textbook too. They have been building several comfort women statues in USA recently.

If you are Americans, you should at least be neutral on comfort women issue.

Why? When the sex slaves came from countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines as well. No, Japan is doing itself no favours with this move

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Here is an article in the Wall Street Journal.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-publisher-rejects-japan-over-textbook-on-comfort-women-1421299438

The book also says the Japanese military "massacred large numbers of comfort women to cover up the operation."

Koreans keep expanding their allegations, don't they? I do not think there is any bases or reliable evidence to the allegation of massacre.

This is why Japanese government cannot admit everything Koreans say, and has to do the dirty struggle of protecting the truth in site of bad publicity.

-11 ( +3 / -13 )

Please understand, I think that Japan should apologize, although it never seems to work. Japan should have helped Asian counties get rid of the European Imperialist monsters, but instead, Japan became an Imperialist monster. That is where Japan went wrong. I understand that Japanese leaders believed that Japan was next to become a colony of some European country, or the US (look at Perry's extremely rude behaviour when he came to Japan). But, they should have helped with the liberation of Asia. I mean the REAL liberation, instead of imperialism disguised as liberation.

-8 ( +1 / -10 )

Japan should have helped Asian counties get rid of the European Imperialist monsters

That's what they told themselves at the time (liberation of Asia) - but the truth is they were after the raw materials that they couldn't get from western markets, particularly the US. Those markets were closed before WW2 started due to Japan's expansion into China, and partly because of xenophobia.

Please understand, I think that Japan should apologize, although it never seems to work

Hmm, I wonder why? Perhaps because Abe, Ishihara and Hashimoto go around denying everything.

8 ( +10 / -3 )

smithinjapanFeb. 12, 2015 - 06:36PM JST

CH3CHO: " I also do not see any legitimate reason that he denied a meeting in the first place."

Because it's been made clear they were not going over there for 'discussion' but to tell the professor he is wrong, plain and simple.

A discussion begins with delivery of an antithesis. If he cannot accept an antithesis, his academic capacity is in question.

But seriously, what would you say if China did the EXACT same thing here in Japan?

I think any professor would welcome such visit and enjoy discussion with Chinese officials.

-14 ( +1 / -14 )

Ziegler said, two officials showed up in his university office during office hours, when the door was open, and "just came in and sat down and started telling me how wrong I was."

"It's a very strange game that they're playing here," he said.

It sounds to me nothing but discussion.

Showing up at someone's office without an appointment, walking in on them without an invitation, and consider this discussion? I sure hope you never find out where I work.

If anyone barges into my office without an appointment and invitation and starts telling me I'm wrong, and no discussion will happen whatsoever. I'll call the police and have them removed for trespass.

I also do not see any legitimate reason that he denied a meeting in the first place.

How about this entirely legitimate reason: He didn't want to meet with them.

End of story. He's under no obligation to meet them, and if he doesn't want to, he doesn't have to. If you disagree, do you feel I should have the right to walk into Abe's office at will and start telling him how he's wrong about the comfort women? According to you, he has no legitimate reason to deny me. Or if not me, how about the professor, should he have the right?

All you have done with your post is show that you are willing to argue anything if it looks like Japan is in the wrong. AKA - a solid right winger. Someone who has no credibility, and whose opinion is worthless since it's not based in fact, but rather emotion.

11 ( +11 / -1 )

It is one thing when some private citizens express their revisionist views on Japan's history, but it's another when the prime minister publicly supports such a view. As a taxpayer I am against Abe & co. spending a lot of money to disseminate their personal credo that is historically mistaken.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

If you are Americans, you should at least be neutral on comfort women issue.

No, they should be on the side of fact. It's not like there is question on the matter. The facts show that the Japanese army kept sex slaves. That's not an opinion that someone is on one side or the other, it's fact, and you either believe the truth or you try to deny it.

12 ( +13 / -2 )

StrangerlandFeb. 12, 2015 - 07:35PM JST

If you disagree, do you feel I should have the right to walk into Abe's office at will and start telling him how he's wrong about the comfort women? According to you, he has no legitimate reason to deny me.

Why not? Write to the prime miniter. If he has no prior appointment, he may meet you. By the way, a prior appointment is a legitimate reason to decline a meeting. The professor appearently did not have a prior appointment when the officials visited, though.

How about this entirely legitimate reason: He didn't want to meet with them.

Why does he have to stonewall? The world would like to see the discussion between them, which would be an enlightening one.

-9 ( +5 / -13 )

Christopher: "If you are Americans, you should at least be neutral on comfort women issue."

What if you are a naturalized American who was formerly a Korean or Chinese and a forced sex slave? What if you're someone who knows them and/or is family? What if you simply feel that what the Japanese did -- and it's fact, not debate or discussion, and certainly can't be denied -- is inhumane and needs to be properly addressed? Must you be 'neutral' then?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Abe's a fool.

Being modest and burying your head in the sand are two different things.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

What if you are a naturalized American who was formerly a Korean or Chinese and a forced sex slave? What if you're someone who knows them and/or is family? What if you simply feel that what the Japanese did -- and it's fact, not debate or discussion, and certainly can't be denied -- is inhumane and needs to be properly addressed? Must you be 'neutral' then?

Hey, you are preaching to the choir. (And I'm not American) I merely expanded a little on the sex slaves theme, and I could have gone into more detail. Japan needs to squarely face its past. No more buts. On August 15th it has an opportunity to turn the corner of history by unequivocally apologising - or continue sinking deeper into the morass of denial

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Five words worth more than a half-billion dollars:

"We stand by our apologies."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

gokaiwomaneku I understand what you are saying, although I don't find much fault with Perry and his successors - the necessary opening up of Japan in 1858 was largely done peacefully and with respect to Japanese independence, although the unequal treaties lasted too long. The West needed to trade with Japan (and get access to its coal for transpacific steamships), but they just didn't know how stable the treaty port arrangements would be, so special conditions were made. A number of Westerners (including US Minister Townsend Harris's interpreter Heuskin) were killed by samurai in the period from 1858, despite assurances from the Japanese government. But Japan greatly benefited from Perry and the opening of ports.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

StrangerlandFeb. 12, 2015 - 07:44PM JST

The facts show that the Japanese army kept sex slaves.

Your statement is true only if we agree that any prostitute is a sex slave. But I do not think people in the European countries where prostitution is legal would not agree.

-10 ( +3 / -12 )

This tone deaf idiot is really thick as a brick. He lacks basic insight into the Japanese emotional temperament. One of the weakest aspects of Japanese national character is the tendency to flip between two extremes in terms of how the Japanese relate to non Japanese. Either abject subservience or arrogant false pride and feelings of superiority. Both are two sides of the same coin, and the result of a lack of emotional maturity. But he is just too stupid to see this.

Actually modesty would be a good thing, but he is so thick, he thinks that the only way Japan can relate to the rest of the world is through self flagellating grovelling or arrogant feelings of national pride. Please, can Japan just have prime minister who is wise, and just even remotely capable of doing some good for the country?

His wife would make a far superior leader. Any day of the week. Japan's women need to unite, rise up and start electing women to leadership positions. The men produced by Japan's system do not seem to be up to the job.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

His wife would make a far superior leader. Any day of the week. Japan's women need to unite, rise up and start electing women to leadership positions. The men produced by Japan's system do not seem to be up to the job.

That's true. I'd love to know what Japan's women feel about the sex sklaves

5 ( +9 / -4 )

That's true. I'd love to know what Japan's women feel about the sex sklaves

Indeed & just Imagine the elderly Japanese ladies who were ALSO SEX SLAVES that are still alive, one cant even imagine to pain & suffering they must endure because their own society cant face the sex slave issue with any honesty what so ever & they likely keep it all inside..............

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Why not? Write to the prime miniter. If he has no prior appointment, he may meet you.

We aren't talking about having an appointment, we're taking about showing up uninvited with no appointment. The prime minister would not see me under these circumstances. Few people would.

By the way, a prior appointment is a legitimate reason to decline a meeting.

You know what is a legitimate reason to decline a meeting? Plans to pick your nose for an hour. Plans to stare blankly at the wall for an hour. Plans to masturbate. Or any of an infinite number of reasons. You know why? Because he was under absolutely no obligation whatsoever to meet with them. Therefore he can decline all he wants and they have no business whatsoever barging into his office uninvited.

The professor appearently did not have a prior appointment when the officials visited, though.

He didn't need one.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I also do not see any legitimate reason that he denied a meeting in the first place

CH3CHO -- LOL. My God, that is as arrogant as Abe is regarding this whole issue. Since when is it your right, or the right of the Japanese Consulate, to decide what is a "legitimate reason" for an American citizen on American soil to decide anything? You may have that right on the "sacred" soil of Japan, but that consulate, and its representatives, are in Hawaii, only due to the good graces of the American government, and therefore its citizens. And this kind of childish behavior is not doing Japan any good, especially since it has been widely reported. If this were not so tragic about what it says about the level of thinking in the Abe government it would be funny. But, unfortunately, it is not, and it is damaging Japan in the world's eyes as a result, when, as other posters have noted, there is no need to do so. If Japan did less navel gazing, and spent more time really trying to understand its place in the 21st century global situation, it would be a lot better off.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Honestly I'm boggled by Abe's actions regarding trying to control what is said in overseas textbooks or textbooks in Japan. Outside of Korea and China, who's constantly bad-mouthing Japan? Most people have a positive image of modern Japan and I think have gotten over WWII or at least moved on, no matter how difficult for some.

It's the information age, you can find anything you want to find on the net, it's too large and vast to try and corral every outlet that says something you don't like.

This PR campaign is as useless as literally trying to grab at the digital data waves that fly back and forth over us in hopes of stopping it.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

A piece of cautious of note here: Abe’s attempts to revise history is not about S.K or China which are just decoys to energize Japanese voters with emotional appeals. You could think S.K, China and sex slavery as the pretext for a much bigger objective in revisionists’ minds.

Has anyone here still remember Abe’s passionate preaching a few years back – to get rid of Japan’s American-imposed “postwar regime and rewrite Japan’s constitution ?

So please stop dwelling on the decoys and look at the larger picture hidden in plain sight.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

At the end of the war the Japanese destroyed tons of documents pertaining to war crimes. In the two weeks between the acceptance of unconditional surrender and the arrival of the first small parties of US military personnel, there was a frantic effort 24/7 to destroy or conceal incriminating documents in order to protect those at the highest level responsible for unleashing the war of aggression. All over Asia the Japanese military and civilian authorities were ordered to cover up war crimes by destroying the evidence. Up to 70% of official war records were thus made unavailable to historians. In the short run this wanton destruction of Japanese history may have saved many a guilty ass, but in the long run it has,ironically, contributed to prolonging the agony of never-ending denials and fuelling decades of disputes with other Asian countries over the historical facts. Had the bulk of Japanese war records been saved for posterity, the Japanese could have, like the Germans, confessed to their crimes, made a full apology to their victims and moved on in a spirit of reconciliation with their Asian neighbors. Instead, the Japanese authorities have now tangled themselves up in a Gordian Knot of contradictions, disingenuousness and obfuscation. Any sympathy for the Japanese as objects of mistrust and opprobrium should be reserved for the unfortunate Japanese people, ill-served by the ruling "samurai" who stole their history and have been trying to keep them in apathy and ignorance even to this day.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

A Korean House or Japan House isn't necessarily a propaganda unit--it depends on the broader concept of education held by a country. Do their leaders want to promote many perspectives across several disciplines, or just brainwash? American Studies in academia is a field where most scholars are very critical of American power.

But I think readers of this column know about the extent of Japan's interest in multidisciplinary scholarship and freedom of speech (and it is not encouraging).

1 ( +3 / -2 )

tinawatanabe:

Say that to South Korea. It is them that's spending much more money for anti-Japan propaganda for decades.

Tina, I don't give a phooey what Korea is spending. You know why? Because I don't live there and they're not using my tax money. They can bankrupt themselves for all I care, but I'm willing to bet most people writing here are connected to Japan in one way or another.

South Korea is changing even the name of "Sea of Japan" to "East Sea" in school textbook in Virginia state in USA. It was SK's mission to have this comfort women written in US textbook too. They have been building several comfort women statues in USA recently. If you are Americans, you should at least be neutral on comfort women issue.

Boo bl**dy hoo! Maybe it's because most Americans can see through Abe's lies and actually feel for the sex slaves. I bet if the Americans wiped out all the nasty things Japan did from American textbooks, you wouldn't be complaining. I'd personally go for the truth, not a pack of lies or watered-down history.

To the folks from China and Korea - sit back and get started on the popcorn. No need to do anything else.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It is clearly wrong to tamper with the historical record, but that is not to say that questions should not be asked. The argument works both ways, and the danger is that an historical evil, generally accepted as true, can be exaggerated and exploited for some kind of gain. Take, for example, the film 'Unbroken'. I have no idea whether the events described in the film are accurate or not. I have to take the survivors' word for it. But when I read about the incident when Louis Zamberini was hit hard in the face over 200 times by his fellow captives, who were forced to do this, I struggled. Is it really possible to survive such an onslaught without either dying or suffering obvious and irreparable injury, especially serious brain damage? And how could someone remain conscious to take all these blows anyway? Perhaps Japan might like to use its PR budget to conduct some scientific research to investigate the plausibility of this kind of claim. After all, if it's unbiased objective truth that we all desire, then such an exercise would be worthwhile. Let's all get our facts right, shall we?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

I agree with most comments here. I am so embarrassed for Japan... these "Leaders" representing Japan are only making things worse... on another note, forgive me, but didn't Abe and Suga stand by the Kono Statement last year??? Wouldn't that would mean that they admit to coersion of Comfort Women? I'm just completely baffled...

crustpunkerFeb. 12, 2015 - 03:21PM JST

It would save a lot of money if Japan could simply admit, it, like EVERY other country that has partcipated in wars does have things to apologize for.

Actually, every other country that has participated in wars has not apologized (ie. UK --> Hong Kong). Either way, an apology or admission means nothing when you do things like what Abe is trying to do now.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tahoochi - LOL I am sure the people of Hong Kong were happier under British rule than Japanese rule. For that matter, they may still wish that 1999 never happened.

There are documentation. The Dutch and British trialled some IJA for "comfort women". If you think that there were no force used, you should read the transcripts. But then the modern day Japanese Fascists will never accept reality as those in the 1930's. It is also interesting that Japan was afraid of the Soviets so the Army decided they wanted to attack the US over the Navy's objections. One of the problems with Japan is that they do not really understand other countries since they are so isolated. It was true then and it's true now. BTW, it is a good thing that ISIS doesn't care about history or Japan would be a major target for them. Why? Read your history.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

ka_chan: Yeah, I know... in hindsight, they were definitely better off like you say and the people of HK today are happier than the people in the past, but there's no denying that China was forced into the Opium wars and giving up HK under European Imperialism, to which there has been no apologies (correct me if I am wrong). That was the only point I was trying to make: that not everyone apologizes for wars... not that Japan's previous apologies hold any water any more, now that Abe has screwed things up!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

jerseyboyFeb. 12, 2015 - 10:34PM JST

CH3CHO -- LOL. My God, that is as arrogant as Abe is regarding this whole issue. Since when is it your right, or the right of the Japanese Consulate, to decide what is a "legitimate reason" for an American citizen on American soil to decide anything? You may have that right on the "sacred" soil of Japan, but that consulate, and its representatives, are in Hawaii, only due to the good graces of the American government, and therefore its citizens. And this kind of childish behavior is not doing Japan any good, especially since it has been widely reported.

Ladies and gentlemen. The most arrogant comment of the year. Consulates do not live on the grace of the host government. That is why you cannot even touch them.

StrangerlandFeb. 12, 2015 - 07:35PM JST

According to you, he has no legitimate reason to deny me.

StrangerlandFeb. 12, 2015 - 10:19PM JST

Why not? Write to the prime miniter. If he has no prior appointment, he may meet you.

We aren't talking about having an appointment, we're taking about showing up uninvited with no appointment.

You say "according to me", which refers to this comment of mine.

CH3CHOFeb. 12, 2015 - 05:56PM JST

First off, the Japanese consulate requested a meeting -- which he denied.

I also do not see any legitimate reason that he denied a meeting in the first place.

As you clearly see by now, we were talking about denying a request for a meeting.

I think you two are making a futile point. I think the truth is the guide and there should be some discusstion between the professor and Japanese government.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

As you clearly see by now, we were talking about denying a request for a meeting.

Which he has every right to do. They don't pay him, they aren't his employers. He doesn't have any contract with them, implied or otherwise. If he doesn't want to meet with him, that's his right, and there is nothing they can do about it - with the exception of barging into his office uninvited, and illegally. They are lucky they weren't arrested for trespass and intimidation.

there should be some discusstion between the professor and Japanese government.

Why? Under what justification?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@ US

Yes, the phenomenon of chasing ones tail when there is often a more sane solution is one we can observe very often in Japan.

@Pukey2

Tina demonstrates what many Japanese have said to me, that is those evil doers in China and Korea. While there may be some truth in their statements, what they fail to realize is that most Westerners approach Asia with an open mind, intrigue, etc, without the baggage of war, nationalism, facism etc. So the played over and over loop of bashing neighbors brings the opposite reaction; not agreement but irritation.

Tina, dont you have a new tune?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

StrangerlandFeb. 13, 2015 - 10:06AM JST

If he doesn't want to meet with him, that's his right, and there is nothing they can do about it - with the exception of barging into his office uninvited, and illegally. They are lucky they weren't arrested for trespass and intimidation.

there should be some discusstion between the professor and Japanese government.

Why? Under what justification?

As the report says, the door of his university office was open. It is just silly to assume that they could be arrested for "trespass" for just dropping in the office.

If a professor writes falsehood in a school textbook, he is academically and legally liable. The injured party may sue him for compensation for libel. But you do not start a lawsuit without first discussing the matter, for there may be misunderstanding on either side. Besides, academically, he is liable to answer questions from anyone who bought his textbook and I think it is safe to assume the officials have bought his textbook.

Looking at the stonewalling attitude of the professor, I have to question the quality of his academic works because he may well have written the texts based on one sided material rather than diligently studying various materials, including US and Japanese materials, to meet academic standards.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Well, in any case, maybe Abe is a friend of the people who would like to resolve the issue. I mean, as the article says, he keeps drawing attention to what happened, like a small boy who draws attention to the fact that he broke something by looking very guilty and insisting he did not break the precious porcelain vase in the living room, when no one even knew it was missing. Aso is the same way, making outlandish comments like saying they ought to do it (shred Japan's peace constitution) the way the Nazis did, in a quiet way.

And of course, in the end, Abe and Aso are not really the problem. This is a democracy, and the final word lies with the Japanese people, just as it does in the US, Russia, and elsewhere. There are no leaders, anywhere who rule without the permission of the people. They don't exist. Hitler, Stalin, Churchill, they all ruled with the support of their people. Abe is the same. The same was the case in the war. The Japanese people gave the militarists their tacit and often active support. They believed Japan could truly be an empire, with colonies in China. They shared responsibilities for the war and Japan's defeat.

Japan suffered two nuclear attacks as a result of the Japanese people's deeply misguided trust in the Shinto Nationalists (the forebears of Abe, Aso and co.). The nation's collective memory is aware of this history, even if only unconsciously. The Japanese would have be deeply self-destructive to head down that dark path again, and I doubt they are so inclined. This is why history is so important. Abe himself maybe ought to start studying history. The Emperor told him as much in his New Year message. I think he and his posse may have got the message, but to stop losing face, they continue to bleat, but a little more quietly, the same old sad song.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

jerseyboy: Then, Ziegler said, two officials showed up in his university office during office hours, when the door was open, and “just came in and sat down and started telling me how wrong I was.”

“It’s a very strange game that they’re playing here,” he said.'

What right does Japan have for sending consolute representatives to try to intimidate an American author/citizen?

The professor seems oversensitive. His door was open, and they came in. He could say 'get out or I'll call campus police'. Also, he SAID they were "officials", but either he didn't identify them or supporting info didn't make it through the media trail to this post.

He ought to welcome the chance to debate his research. If he doesn't want to, that's fine, but don't get so whiny about it.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

SCAP65Feb. 13, 2015 - 10:47AM JST

What is missing in your comment is truth. Who is telling the truth, the McGraw Hill Education, or Abe? It is just that simple.

Fortunately, we have US army reports during ww2, to know who is telling the truth. Guess what. The old reports show Abe is telling the truth.

You can see the photocopy of the reports, here. http://www.awf.or.jp/pdf/0051_5.pdf They are filed backward from page 287 to page 125.

The highlights are,

"Amenities in the Japanese Armed Forces", by Allied Translator and Interpreter Section, from page 192 backward to 164 and,

"Japanese POW Information Report 49", by US Office of War Information, from page 136 backward to 130.

Make your own judgment.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

As the report says, the door of his university office was open. It is just silly to assume that they could be arrested for "trespass" for just dropping in the office.

An open door does not give the right to come in uninvited. If my front door to my home is open, and you walk into my home you are trespassing. An office is not a public place like a business, and there is no implied right of entry without permission.

If a professor writes falsehood in a school textbook, he is academically and legally liable. The injured party may sue him for compensation for libel. But you do not start a lawsuit without first discussing the matter

1) You can start a lawsuit without first discussing. There is no legal obligation to attempt to discuss first.

2) They had already attempted to discuss, and he had refused, as is his right. This does not provide grounds for criminal trespass and intimidation.

Besides, academically, he is liable to answer questions from anyone who bought his textbook

No he's not. His book will likely sell better if he answers questions, but he is under no obligation to do so.

Looking at the stonewalling attitude of the professor, I have to question the quality of his academic works because he may well have written the texts based on one sided material rather than diligently studying various materials, including US and Japanese materials, to meet academic standards.

And you could theoretically be right (although you aren't), but even so, that does not provide the right to criminally trespass and intimidate.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

It's about time. The "hands off" approach by the Japanese government for almost two decades gave these incompetent 'scholars' a carte blanche rhetoric BS on the issue of comfort women.

"massacred large numbers of comfort women to cover up the operation."

Is this Ziegler guy serious?

There's a reason why this so called 'associate prof' refused the meeting. His source is that of George Hicks who in turn cited a outdoor campaign speech from a Japanese lawmaker back in the days for god sakes.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

At the end of the war the Japanese destroyed tons of documents pertaining to war crimes. In the two weeks between the acceptance of unconditional surrender and the arrival of the first small parties of US military personnel, there was a frantic effort 24/7 to destroy or conceal incriminating documents in order to protect those at the highest level responsible for unleashing the war of aggression. All over Asia the Japanese military and civilian authorities were ordered to cover up war crimes by destroying the evidence. Up to 70% of official war records were thus made unavailable to historians. In the short run this wanton destruction of Japanese history may have saved many a guilty ass, but in the long run it has,ironically, contributed to prolonging the agony of never-ending denials and fuelling decades of disputes with other Asian countries over the historical facts.

I couldn't agree more. That - and MacArthur exempting the emperor from ANY kind of responsibility led to Japan's continuing attitude of denial

1 ( +7 / -6 )

At the end of the war the Japanese destroyed tons of documents pertaining to war crimes.

My dog ate my home work response once again. There are evidences by the Allieds of captured Japanese units which Japan cannot destroy. Prositution was legal in Japan at that time so there is no reason to destroy such documents and thus, is revealed and is archived and can be viewed from the AWF website.. Kidnapping was and is illegal and such documented records are also archived for public viewing. Common sense.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Are you trying to claim Japan didn't destroy any documents?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Are you trying to claim Japan didn't destroy any documents?

No. I'mnstating that in regards to comfort women issues, common sense and logic would indicate that they didn't have to do so based on the reason I stated above. Heck. The U.S report even concluded that

"comfort girl" is nothing more than a prostitute or "professional camp follower" attached to the Japanese Army for the benefit of the soldiers

This type of operation happened before and after the WWII.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

I'mnstating that in regards to comfort women issues, common sense and logic would indicate that they didn't have to do so based on the reason I stated above.

But we'll never know, will we. So you can use all the logic and common sense you want, but that doesn't amount to proof.

"comfort girl" is nothing more than a prostitute or "professional camp follower" attached to the Japanese Army for the benefit of the soldiers

Which is exactly why the word should be abandoned, and the actual description 'sex slave' should be used. The euphemism makes it sound not as bad as it was.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Christopher GlenFeb. 13, 2015 - 01:14PM JST

Lack of evidence is not proof of crime and you cannot fill in whatever conspiration theory you have there.

Up to 70% of official war records were thus made unavailable to historians.

Who claims this? Oh, and I must remember that you think it OK to say "Up to 70%" even if the actual number is 1% or 0%.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

But we'll never know, will we. So you can use all the logic and common sense you want, but that doesn't amount to proof.

Huh? Your statement above makes no sense whatsoever. What I'm asking for is this so-called 'proof' which is obviously lacking, hence the 'my dog ate my homework' counter response.

Which is exactly why the word should be abandoned, and the actual description 'sex slave' should be used. The euphemism makes it sound not as bad as it was.

Sorry. Any reasonable person with common sense would take an actual report from a scene as primary evidence.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

StrangerlandFeb. 13, 2015 - 01:40PM JST

"comfort girl" is nothing more than a prostitute or "professional camp follower" attached to the Japanese Army for the benefit of the soldiers

Which is exactly why the word should be abandoned, and the actual description 'sex slave' should be used.

Thank you for sharing your commitment to re-write history. The passage is from a US Army document, and you just cannot change the words to fit your political correctness agenda.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Your statement above makes no sense whatsoever. What I'm asking for is this so-called 'proof' which is obviously lacking, hence the 'my dog ate my homework' counter response.

You were trying to 'prove' that no documents were burned that had anything to do with the sex slaves by using what you called 'common sense'. I pointed out that your common sense is not proof, as it's only a supposition, and we cannot know what was in the documents that were burned.

Sorry. Any reasonable person with common sense would take an actual report from a scene as primary evidence.

I do. I take the reports of the sex slaves, who have said exactly what happened to them, as primary evidence. Straight from the horses' mouths. Thank you for acknowledging that this is the evidence we should be listening to.

Thank you for sharing your commitment to re-write history.

History is already written. I'm arguing for it to not be twisted by right-wing Japanese. I don't need the history to be rewritten.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

There are evidences by the Allieds of captured Japanese units which Japan cannot destroy.

Yes, but that doesn't change the fact Japan destroyed many of the documents relating to war crimes - and have lived in denial ever since. Mr Abe continues to facilitate this

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@CH3CHO

In reply to your unwarranted skepticism ( as an adult you ought to understand by now that people in positions of power do operate secretly on the level of conspiracy to hide their crimes and misdemeanours from the people they supposedly serve), I feel honor bound to defend my claim of the massive destruction of war-related documents by the Japanese government at the end of WWII. My source is the following quote: "The director of Japan's Military History Archives of the National Institute for Defense Studies estimated in 2003 that as much as 70 percent of the army's wartime records were burned or otherwise destroyed." This quote is taken from the document "Researching Japanese War Crimes Records" published by the National Archives and Records Administration for the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group 2006. This document is available online as a PDF from the Library of Congress. I hope you have the measure of intelligence and humanity to mark and take to heart the words of Albert Camus: In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

u_s__reamerFeb. 13, 2015 - 03:54PM JST

http://www.archives.gov/iwg/japanese-war-crimes/introductory-essays.pdf

Page 17

The director of Japan's Military History Archives of the National Institute for Defense Studies estimated in 2003 that as much as 70 percent of the army's wartime records were burned or otherwise destroyed.12

Footnote

12 Conversation with author, 2003.

Excuse me. The whole thing is based on "conversation with author" in 2003. What academic value does the conversation have? How old was the Japanese director back in 1945 if he was born? Was he in any position to oversee the destruction of documents in 1945? Now, I can understand why you did not provide the link to the document.

In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners.

Yeah, so you think it is OK to outsmart bad ones to protect the good and weak. But let me tell you. Honesty is the best policy.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Meanwhile - back at the ranch - admidst all of the dust of discussion(?) -(as the article title says ) "Japan's PR global message could misfire with focus on wartime past" will surely not be lost, misplaced or burnt.

I and others have said before, it's not about nitpicking, it's about stepping up, acknowledging and moving forward.

Abe's approach will NEVER allow japan to move forward in the eyes of the world.

If in doubt of this, print out this comment, date it and put it on your fridge door and wait for kingdom come.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

harvey pekar:

"This PR campaign is as useless as literally trying to grab at the digital data waves that fly back and forth over us in hopes of stopping it."

If this PR campaign is so useless, because information cannot be successfully suppressed on the internet, then why get so upset about it? Or perhaps you think that only one version of history should be considered - the one you happen to agree with?

It seems ironic to me that a widely distributed film should attack Japan with gross exaggerations (distortions confirmed by experts in the science of survival and endurance - http://nypost.com/2014/12/21/is-all-of-the-powerful-tale-unbroken-really-true/ ), and yet when Japan tries to defend itself, it is pilloried for so doing. Is it really true that we should all just meekly submit to the American view of the world, in which Hollywood has the last say? What sort of idea of "freedom of speech" is that?

Perhaps when all powerful nations - the USA included - apologise for their war crimes, and none consider themselves more 'righteous' then any other nation, then we might have a healthier and more objective debate about the tragic events of the recent past. But reading some of the comments here suggest that a careful evaluation of the truth is the last thing on some people's minds.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

browny1Feb. 13, 2015 - 07:45PM JST

I and others have said before, it's not about nitpicking, it's about stepping up, acknowledging and moving forward.

It is not that simple. http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-publisher-rejects-japan-over-textbook-on-comfort-women-1421299438

The book also says the Japanese military "massacred large numbers of comfort women to cover up the operation."

This kind of new allegations are brought in from time to time. If we keep silence, the new allegations become "truth." So, we have to keep telling the truth.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

u s reamer

"I hope you have the measure of intelligence and humanity to mark and take to heart the words of Albert Camus: In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners."

It seems rather ironic to quote the words of an amoral existentialist to make a moral argument.

The quote is completely false. It is the job of thinking people to evaluate evidence dispassionately, impartially and objectively. It is not the job of thinking people to take sides and jump to conclusions based on a perception of the moral standing of one party - that is pre-judgment (aka prejudice) and not critical thinking. It is rather sad - and, I must say, somewhat immature - to think in terms of "taking sides". This "good guy, bad guy" rhetoric is what the world definitely does not need.

In terms of nations there are NO "good guys", there is no inherently righteous nation on the face of this earth and never has been. Every nation has blood on its hands and acts in its own, often nefarious, interests. Those thinking adults, living in the real world, know this, and take this into account when assessing the historical record - a corpus of information which almost always defies simple interpretations.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

You were trying to 'prove' that no documents were burned that had anything to do with the sex slaves by using what you called 'common sense'. I pointed out that your common sense is not proof, as it's only a supposition, and we cannot know what was in the documents that were burned.

Common sense is simply just that. I never stated it was proof. As such, your insistense that such documents which may have existed but subseqeuntly destoyed that without a doubt proves, for instance, "massacred large numbers of comfort women to cover up the operation", is as you say, only a supposition.

You seem to be confused where the proof of burden lies.

I do. I take the reports of the sex slaves, who have said exactly what happened to them, as primary evidence. Straight from the horses' mouths. Thank you for acknowledging that this is the evidence we should be listening to.

Which one? The first initial testimony?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

CH3 - thank you.

But I disagree. Yes - all have blood on their hands - ALL. There's no escaping it.

But I can't go past the words & actions of Weizsaecker (posted earlier). It's not about apportioning blame to allay condemnation from other undoubtedly guilty parties.

It's about confronting ones own demons. Others will have to face there own at some stage (China?....), but grasping the negativities of ones own history, showing understanding and contrition will in the long term realize the catharsis necessary to progress.

Sure, all the information re the horrors of war is not to be trusted 100%, but using examples of that and others terrible actions to waterdown and / or deny, is simply copping out.

At the moment the topic is Japan's war time acts of terror. So Japan should deal with it.

Read Weizsaecker.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Correct that to burden of proof.

To add, testimonies 50 plus years after the alleged incident when it's been changed from their initial testimonies on top of the fact that their testimonies are not corroborated with witnesses or were subjected to cross examination is simply heresay.

The criminality of Japanese at that time was investigated and subsequently prosecuted by the Allieds. The comfort women in of itself, which is a private brothel attaching themselves to the military, as per U.S. Report, is not a crime.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@CH3

I'm puzzled by your objection to the quote I cited. I never said the director of the Japanese Military Archives knows the Truth about the destruction of documents, but I do believe he knows more about these things than you or I do. The historical fact of the mass destruction of documents is, however, undisputed among professional historians and I see no need to spend the time listing sources to satisfy your obtuse refusal to accept reality. Your way of reasoning reminds me of those Holocaust deniers who question the validity of the 6 million figure then jump to the conclusion that only a few Jews perished at the hands of the Nazis. Even more puzzling is your absurd questioning of the director's age and whether he was around in Tokyo in 1945. According to your sophomoric way of thinking nobody today is qualified to be an expert on the Middle Ages because they were born in the 20th century! Are you btw a Creationist, too? The most surprising of all is the out-of-the-left-field insinuation impugning my integrity with some incoherent remark about outsmarting bad ones to protect the good and weak?!. The Camus quote was merely to give you a chance to reflect on the reasons why you appear to favor the afflictors over the afflicted. While you and I clearly have a totally different view of reality I hope we can agree that humans "see but through a glass darkly". None of us ever glimpse more than a flicker of the Truth, so why make such great claims to being privy to that which is beyond human understanding.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The criminality of Japanese at that time was investigated and subsequently prosecuted by the Allieds.

Nope the allies hanged a few scapegoats - but all of the creators of Unit 731 got off the hook in exchange for handing over their research to the US. The emperor got off the hook as well. Abe's granddad - also guilty of war crimes - got out of jail and became PM. This is something that Mr Abe continues to deny, and in doing so he's making Japan into a pariah nation

1 ( +5 / -4 )

u s reamer

"The Camus quote was merely to give you a chance to reflect on the reasons why you appear to favor the afflictors over the afflicted."

I was actually the one who criticised the quote from Albert Camus, even though you directed your last remark to 'CH3'. So I am not sure whether you intended to respond to him / her or to me.

However, if your response is to me, then I would like to see your evidence to support your contention that I favour the afflictors over the afflicted. What I am interested in is this: what is actually true. Even those who are correctly judged to have acted in a criminal manner have a right not to be judged beyond the scope of the evidence. Therefore we do not "take sides", but simply evaluate the evidence impartially. The evils of Japanese behaviour in the early half of the last century does not give us licence to exaggerate their crimes, and certainly it gives us no justification to regard Japan as a pariah nation, and no justification to regard those nations who fought against Japan as somehow "righteous". Furthermore, given that everyone deserves a fair trial, we should be prepared to evaluate the evidence offered by those who would seek to defend their nations's record, instead of just assuming evil intentions of those people.

We owe it to the victims of atrocities to be passionate about one thing: truth and accuracy. "Taking sides" does not - and should not - come into consideration.

Exactly 70 years ago Dresden was bombed by the allies. This was a controversial decision, for which some of my compatriots (the British) apologise. Others think that we should not apologise, because, after all, we were fighting against the Nazi regime. I find the psychology of this very interesting. Just because we were at war, and just because we had judged Germany at the time to be a "pariah nation", did that give us the moral right to inflict any degree of punishment on the German people? This is a classic case of "taking sides": any action is justified against a perceived enemy, once they are branded as 'evil', and, of course, we perceive ourselves as 'righteous' (George W Bush's irresponsible "Axis of Evil" and "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists" quotes come to mind in this regard). Just because a nation is our enemy does not mean we can do whatever we like to them. The same is true of the evaluation of historical evils: just because Japan was "in the wrong" does not mean that we can ramp up the accusations against them, and dismiss anyone who tries to take a more measured approach with the cheap judgment of "favouring the afflicted".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I like Japan but its hellbent obsession with history reform and the thinly veiled democracy takes a lot of points from fully liking it. For a country that needs a lot of improvement in various areas, the government is financing it in the least important matter. That money could have helped Fukushima crisis a lot. Here is the evidence they don't really care about the locals. Most politicians are still in the mindset of 1930's.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@ Allistair Graham

My reply was addressed to CH3 Only now do I have the opportunity to reply to you. In your latest letter, your examples and remarks about taking sides hardly apply to me. The main purpose of my original letter was to contribute to the debate on Abe's futile attempt to use taxpayers' money to change foreign perceptions of Japan and especially its wartime record. I believe History handed down the verdict long ago ( which is not to absolve crimes committed by other countries), but my main argument was to bring to readers' attention the undisputed fact that the Japanese authorities ordered the mass destruction of war-related documents in order to conceal "war crimes" and avoid indictment and punishment. I especially wanted to point out that the wanton destruction of valuable historical documents had unintended consequences which ironically impeded the Japanese government in its farcical attempts to establish the innocence of the Japanese military and civil authorities in their conduct of the war. For example, the missing documentation has ensured that the clouds of suspicion can never be dispelled in the never-ending controversy over "sex slaves" As for your remarks concerning the importance of"truth" and intellectual integrity, I believe I'm on the same page as you since, as an academic, I take pride in upholding these ideals, but your argument about not taking sides leaves room for some disagreement, especially when they appear to impute opinions and ideas to me which I cannot recognize as mine. As a great admirer of German and Russian culture and of many other European countries, East and West, whose languages I speak or read well, I consider myself to be a cultured cosmopolitan who does not "take sides". I'm married to an Asian Muslim and am well-versed in her language, culture and religion. However, I do admit to "taking sides" when it comes to bullies. I grew up having to defend myself against physical violence from school bullies and street hooligans. As an adult I learned to detest war, state terrorism, overbearing corporate and government power. I've tried to live a free and independent life guided by the Jewish ideal of the "mensch" (I'm a goy) and Milton's "Non Serviam". But taking up our dispute over Camus from your first post, I cannot see any contradiction in an amoral existentialist conducting a moral argument any more than I would in a "proven liar" on the witness stand speaking the truth (despite the objections of honorable counsels with their legalistic claptrap). Camus emphasizes that we live in a world of conflict (ie., a dog-eat-dog world / 弱肉強食) and are thus forced at times to take sides. I have strong moral scruples against killing ( like one of my heroes Lev Tolstoy), but I acknowledge there are circumstances where I might be forced to take a life (to preserve my own). As a final comment, if it gives you any satisfaction, I will admit to a guilty pleasure at the thought of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. In this cruel world of immense suffering with little social justice for the majority, I know whose side I am on. I see therein no conflict with "Truth", and words like "dispassionate", "impartial" and "objective" that you bandied about can only have a relative value, and are even suspect when so often misused to justify power and privilege. If you find my musings morally reprehensible, I could suggest you ask yourself the question: "What would Jesus do?".

0 ( +3 / -3 )

u s reamer -

Thank you for your lengthy response. I think we generally agree with each other, but I gave the example of the allied bombing of Dresden as an example of how we can easily justify overkill once we have dehumanised those categorised as "the enemy". Nazi Germany was indeed the oppressor and deserved an extremely robust response from the Allies - we were, after all, fighting for our lives against a great evil - but does that justify a slaughter that was most probably not of any strategic value? And so those who express regret for this bombing are criticised. It was the same when my country when to war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands. The Thatcher government bristled with indignation that the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, asked his congregation to pray for the relatives of Argentine soldiers killed in the conflict. Argentina may have been the enemy (and Britain may have had a cause for going to war, although I personally have my doubts about that), but does that mean we should condemn the whole nation to the point where we do not even have the humanity to show concern (whether religiously or not) for the relatives of dead soldiers? This tendency to dehumanise the 'enemy' is what I regard as a case of "taking sides".

You challenged me to ask myself the question "What would Jesus do?" As a Christian I do not accept the validity of this question, because the use of the subjunctive suggests a dead Jesus: "what would he do (if he were here)?", implying that he is not present. The correct question for a Christian is "What is Jesus doing?" I think he is seeking to bring reconciliation between former enemies, and that will only happen in the context of truth and mutual repentance. Dehumanising the enemy is not the path to reconciliation.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ Allistair Graham

I applaud your thoughtful consideration of how we must never abandon the moral claims of our humanity. In the specific cases you have cited I am 100% in agreement with you. I remember the Falklands War and was appalled by the sinking of the Belgrano. At the same time, I supported the war for a reason beyond the comprehension of most of my compatriots: I knew that the UK forces would prevaiI and that victory would spell doom for the detestable fascist military junta that had slaughtered so many young Argentinians of my generation. As a Spanish speaker myself I could not help but deeply empathize with the victims of "the Dirty War". I replied at length to you because I felt that you had perhaps formed a mistaken image of my values and my weltanschauung. Although no longer a Christian, I was molded by Christian teachings, and so I suspect there is much we might agree on ( we do, after all ,share the same language and culture, so to speak). My life has been a long struggle to escape an insular mindset and overcome a smorgasbord of prejudices imbibed from the environment and culture I was raised in. Thanks to my facility for learning foreign languages I travelled the world, worked and made friends with people from many cultures. For me there exists no "Other", and the only nationality I recognize is that of our human species.By the way, it occurred to me that you might have misunderstood my reference to the "citation" in my post to CH3. I was referring to the latter's objection to the words of the director of Military Archives and not to the Camus quote. And finally, my reference to Jesus was only intended as a little wind- up using a question posed ad nauseam by folks in the USA. I now understand that you are a devout Christian, so please accept my apologies if I offended. I appreciate the time you gave to explaining and clarifying your views to me. Let us then end our correspondence in a spirit of fraternal empathy. Thank you.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"Cool Japan" program at its finest moment. This stuff may work in Japan, but try to install this so called "Japan House" in America or Germany or any others, with claims that Nanjing Massacre was a hoax, or that Korean sex slaves were prostitutes, and then see what will happen.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Nope the allies hanged a few scapegoats - but all of the creators of Unit 731 got off the hook in exchange for handing over their research to the US. The emperor got off the hook as well. Abe's granddad - also guilty of war crimes - got out of jail and became PM. This is something that Mr Abe continues to deny, and in doing so he's making Japan into a pariah nation

Baloney. The Allieds pretty much arrested every cabinet member and even well established civilians with an ex post facto law. This discussion is again turning into moving goal posts with a rhetoric of probatio diabolica mixed in. A dog ate my homework type of logic.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

What Japan needs to do is spend money on teaching correct history to its children so you don't have generations of Japanese who are clueless to Japanese WWII atrocities.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

@ nigelboy

You may be righter than you think - the dogs of Showa fascism DID eat the homework. That is why apologists for Japanese "war crimes" can't find the evidence to defend themselves against their accusers.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

You may be righter than you think - the dogs of Showa fascism DID eat the homework. That is why apologists for Japanese "war crimes" can't find the evidence to defend themselves against their accusers.

I guess the burden of proof and the probatio diabolica went right through you.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

u_s__reamerFeb. 13, 2015 - 11:51PM JST

@CH3 I'm puzzled by your objection to the quote I cited. I never said the director of the Japanese Military Archives knows the Truth about the destruction of documents, but I do believe he knows more about these things than you or I do.

Very cheap argument, isn't it? This is what you said.

u_s__reamerFeb. 13, 2015 - 03:54PM JST

@CH3CHO In reply to your unwarranted skepticism

Whole of your argument is based on this footnote.

http://www.archives.gov/iwg/japanese-war-crimes/introductory-essays.pdf

Page 17

The director of Japan's Military History Archives of the National Institute for Defense Studies estimated in 2003 that as much as 70 percent of the army's wartime records were burned or otherwise destroyed.12

Footnote

12 Conversation with author, 2003.

What is the academic value of the "conversation"? We really cannot tell unless we know how the director estimated the value. Hence, skepticism is well warranted. I think the conversation was like "well, I do not know, but I would guess something like 70% might be destroyed."

I believe History handed down the verdict long ago.

But have you read the verdict? See here. http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/japans-global-pr-message-could-misfire-with-focus-on-wartime-past#comment_1925710

my main argument was to bring to readers' attention the undisputed fact that the Japanese authorities ordered the mass destruction of war-related documents

That is undisputed. But what is challenged here is your argument that about 70% was destroyed.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@ nigelboy

The diabolical conspiracy to destroy the wartime documentary record (ie., the destruction of the country's history) did indeed leave a big, steaming pile of "probatio diabolica" for posterity to clean up. The more Abe shovels the deeper he sinks into the doo-doo.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

The diabolical conspiracy to destroy the wartime documentary record (ie., the destruction of the country's history) did indeed leave a big, steaming pile of "probatio diabolica" for posterity to clean up. The more Abe shovels the deeper he sinks into the doo-doo.

Not really. It's when the government does nothing is how these BS narrative gets created and untouched for decades. As evidenced by the related articles in regards to McGraw Hill's exerpts, when you ask for evidence, it appears that the posters are left with your weak argument like "evidence was destroyed". Is this the basic point of your whole essay?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Fortunately, all was not lost. Although the Japanese authorities had much more time and opportunity to destroy self- incriminating documents than the Nazis who were swiftly overrun by the Red Army, there remains sufficient evidence to ensure that History has handed down a guilty verdict for crimes against Humanity to the ruthless Japanese ruling clique who destroyed the lives of millions of "the Emperor's children" and their Asian "brothers". (yes, I know all about Hiroshima and Nagasaki and US carpet-bombing and one day there will come a revision in the judgment of History for these foul deeds as well).

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Fortunately, all was not lost. Although the Japanese authorities had much more time and opportunity to destroy self- incriminating documents than the Nazis who were swiftly overrun by the Red Army, there remains sufficient evidence to ensure that History has handed down a guilty verdict for crimes against Humanity to the ruthless Japanese ruling clique who destroyed the lives of millions of "the Emperor's children" and their Asian "brothers". (yes, I know all about Hiroshima and Nagasaki and US carpet-bombing and one day there will come a revision in the judgment of History for these foul deeds as well).

Shifting goal posts. I believe Japan has accepted the judgments of IMFTE to individuals who were found guilty but the issue here, in particular, are new 50+ plus year after the alleged incident narratives (i.e. "massacred large numbers of comfort women to cover up the operation.") that was untouched and never countered by the Japanese government for decades. Many people in Japan are asking these so-called 'scholars' from the West to back up with evidences to support their narrative but apparently they have not offered one and will probably not do so in the future because such evidence does not exist. These scholars can unite and make threats about how their recent movement may backfire but when this issue can be easily refuted by offering their evidence as common reputable scholars do, they chose to act like some sort of activist group. Pathetic but considering that none of these scholars can read Japanese, especially the early Showa materials, I'm not surprised by their chicken$hit response.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

u_s__reamerFeb. 16, 2015 - 11:08AM JST

Your argument is pretty much empty. You justify the "history" that was written based on nothing by saying such is inevitable because the evidence was lost, and call what is written in US Army reports during WW2 "re-writing of history." Who is re-writing the history?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Who is re-writing the history?

Why, Mr Abe and his friends of course. Who else?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Here's a Japanese soldier's comment regarding Japanese politicians denial of the Nanjing massacre & sex slaves. Glad there's one soldier who served in China during Japanese occupation who sincerely regrets what has been done:

"Former Japanese soldier who served in China regrets atrocities Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 06:50 EST HONG KONG - A former Japanese Imperial Army soldier said Monday he regrets atrocities committed by his compatriots during World War II and will continue to spread antiwar messages to Japanese people to prevent a repetition of past mistakes. Kiyoshi Sakakura, 87, who served in the army's 59th Division, made the remarks in an address to over 100 students and members of the public at a forum held at Hong Kong University to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japan's invasion of China. Sakakura said that while he used to think he and his fellow soldiers were fighting for a war for their emperor, he later realized they were merely invading a neighboring country. Regarding Japanese politicians who have in recent years tried to refute that Nanjing Massacre ever occurred and denied the existence of sex slaves known euphemistically as comfort women, Sakakura said such comments "cannot be forgiven." "We hope Japan will sincerely apologize and improve the Sino-Japanese relationship. I will continue to make public statements so that past mistakes will not repeat themselves," he said. (Kyodo News)

http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&id=422422

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@ nigelboy

I am not responsible for the phony scholarship of Western or Japanese historians. I work in a different field, so I only stand by the conclusions I have come to from my own reading of history. Of course, as an open-minded person, I'm always thrilled to change my opinions in the light of new evidence ( of which none exonerating the architects of Japanese Imperialsim has come my way). I do not consider myself anti-Japanese since I have lived many years in Japan, made friends with Japanese, one of whom is an extreme right-winger which places me just two hand shakes away from prime minister Abe, but having been born just after WWII and having lived most of my life under the chill of the "Cold War", I have no appetite for Fascism in any shape or form. I understand the animal nature of humans and how just like bees rally around the Queen bee to protect her, the Japanese ruling clique made every effort to destroy or conceal any evidence that might lead to the prosecution of the Emperor. Many years ago David Bergamini wrote of the Emperor's responsibility for his role in the war and ultimately his culpability for which he was hounded into an early grave by the American government for "spilling the beans". Despite Bergamini's unscholatly efforts his main conclusions have been confirmed by Herbert Bix (to my satisfaction at least, as a reasonably informed individual). This phenomenon is, of course, universal; witness how in our own day the FBI, CIA destroy White House emails, torture video tapes, or redact and conceal any incriminating evidence that could lead to the impeachment, prosecution, imprisonment or even execution of Bush or Obama and their henchmen. In the UK Blair is likewise immune from prosecution and imprisonment. The only sanction those high officials responsible for the illegal invasion of Iraq suffer is in the court of public opinion. whereby ex-Foreign Minister Jack Sraw travelling on the London Underground is still accosted by people who hurl the words "War Criminal " in his face. I must confess that reading your posts over the years I remain puzzled as to why you are so eager to rush to defend and excuse the deeds that issue from the moral turpitude of the Japanese governing class. Who are you? You are obviously a person of intelligence, but what lies behind your obstinate defense of the indefensible? With more knowledge of your motives other people might be able to read your posts with more sympathy and understanding.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I am not responsible for the phony scholarship of Western or Japanese historians. I work in a different field, so I only stand by the conclusions I have come to from my own reading of history.

No. I get the impression that you already made up your mind who the "bad" was and therefore, have no problems with these scholars making up these new narratives without the slightest evidence to support them because in your mind, "it could of happened" and since an 'apologist' like me cannot prove that such incidents "did not happen", I'm "defending the indefensible".

Like I said, Probatio diabolica type rhetoric that has been going on here for the past two weeks regarding this issue.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

: Many years ago David Bergamini wrote of the Emperor's responsibility for his role in the war and ultimately his culpability for which he was hounded into an early grave by the American government for "spilling the beans".

NYT says Bergamini died at age 54 of cancer. I guess you don't mean the Emperor, who died at age 87.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Former Japanese soldier who served in China regrets atrocities Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 06:50 EST HONG KONG - A former Japanese Imperial Army soldier said Monday he regrets atrocities committed by his compatriots during World War II and will continue to spread antiwar messages to Japanese people to prevent a repetition of past mistakes. Kiyoshi Sakakura,

A man with 10 times more courage than anyone in the government of Japan today. Abe should listen to the testimony of the war veterans before mouthing off about "history"

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@ turbotsat

Wow! Thanks for the laugh! This thread has been sagging under the weight of portentous arguments and really needed some humor. You supplied it. But seriously, you could parse my sentence in a different way to connect the pronoun "he" with the subject of the sentence. Now one can read that it was Bergamini who died an early death and not the Emperor who, incidently, was not hounded by the FBI and other organs of the US government. Lucky man!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

RainrainFeb. 16, 2015 - 01:26PM JST

Kiyoshi Sakakura, 87, who served in the army's 59th Division, made the remarks in an address to over 100 students and members of the public at a forum held at Hong Kong University to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japan's invasion of China.

Regarding Japanese politicians who have in recent years tried to refute that Nanjing Massacre ever occurred and denied the existence of sex slaves known euphemistically as comfort women, Sakakura said such comments "cannot be forgiven."

The records show 59th division did not take part in the Battle of Nanjing. It stationed in ShanDong, China.

No one denies the Battle of Nanjing. The question is if the battle was a massacre.

No one denies the existance of ianfu aka comfort women. The question is if they were prostitutes or sex slaves.

u_s__reamerFeb. 16, 2015 - 01:53PM JST

I must confess that reading your posts over the years I remain puzzled as to why you are so eager to rush to defend and excuse the deeds that issue from the moral turpitude of the Japanese governing class.

It is simple. He is defending the truth. No one should re-write history.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

@ CH3

I wish you would stop hounding me with your 70% number. I did not come up with that figure. I don't even know if it's true, but it takes very liitle imagination to understand why so many war-related documents "went missing". I've already told you numbers are irrelevant. 6 million Jews? 300,000 Chinese in Nanking? I wasn't there, I never counted, but as any sane person I'm prepared to BELIEVE the number of souls who perished was great enough to qualify as a holocaust or a massacre. I'm glad that some of the people responsible paid the price, but I'm sorry that, as usual, many got away with murder. It is very regrettable that even the innocent sometimes had to pay wth their lives for the crimes of the guilty. As all adults know: don't expect much justice in this world. Speaking of which it is again irrelevant whether or not the 59th division took part in the Nanking Massacre because we do know that they had ample opportunity later in Shandong to cover themselves in ignominy and shame when they rampaged through the Chinese countryside killing, burning and pillaging during one of the so-called "San Ko" campaigns. No wonder many Japanese avert their eyes, cover their ears, switch off their brains and dive into deep denial when confronted with the horrors their forebears wrought in China. Those wounds are still raw. Don't believe it? Go to China like me and just ask around.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I have had discussions a few years back with Chinese University students and teachers here re the "Sanko Sakusen" campaign under the guidance of that cheerful historical figure General Okumura.

It seems all / most Chinese people know of these atrocities. I was surprised when discussing this, when one Japanese teacher joining in on the discussion, mentioned that well, yes - but The Chinese Nationalists (Chiang Kai & buddies) killed many too. As if somehow that exonerated the Japanese Military.

With the endless stream of "Buts" that gush forth from locals, it's no wonder that Japan's wartime past doesn't stop haunting the nation.

The Chinese friends I've made here have forgiven (I think) but they haven't forgotten.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

u_s__reamerFeb. 16, 2015 - 07:26PM JST

". I've already told you numbers are irrelevant. 6 million Jews? 300,000 Chinese in Nanking? I wasn't there, I never counted, but as any sane person I'm prepared to BELIEVE the number of souls who perished was great enough to qualify as a holocaust or a massacre.

This is the first step to re-write history. Revisionists say facts are not important and belief should replace facts.

when they rampaged through the Chinese countryside killing, burning and pillaging during one of the so-called "San Ko" campaigns.

Though Chinese and Japanese share Chinese characters, there are Chinese words that does not make any sense in Japanese. "San Ko" is one of such words. "San Ko" does not make any sense in Japanese, does not appear in any records, and is not recognized by any veterans. Chinese should have used some better words for their propaganda. It is a shame that some people still believe in the outdated propaganda, and even try to spread the falsehood.

Go to China like me and just ask around.

What are the chances that you hear the inconvenient truth about ww2 there? WW2 is vital to the legitimacy of CCP and glorification of Mao.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

The kanji of "San Ko" may be of Chinese origin, but the killing, burning and pillaging were of Japanese origin. Again, the numbers of victims and names of campaigns are irrelevant set against the reality of large-scale killing perpetrated by the Japanese invaders.Conveniently, many documents related to the rampages may be "unavailable", but there are still plenty of witnesses, Chinese and Japanese, victims and perps. Contrary to your claim I have heard with my own ears veterans speak of the atrocities they committed in these "scorched earth" campaigns. I even own a book in Japanese on the "San Ko" campaigns detailing the criminal enterprises of the Imperial Army. Japanese publishers of books on this topic have been intimidated by fascist thugs and one company even stopped publications because of death threats. The Japanese rightwingers may rule the roost for now, but they must live in constant anxiety that the bubble of their faux reality will one day burst, most probably when history repeats itself and they awaken to their nightmare of "Gaiatsu Redux". As Don Quixote discovered, reality is very unforgiving to those who live in denial.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

No one denies the Battle of Nanjing. The question is if the battle was a massacre.

No one denies the existance of ianfu aka comfort women. The question is if they were prostitutes or sex slaves.

No, CH3CHO, there is no question that the battle of Nanjing was a massacre and that a large number of comfort women were sex slaves. Not even the LDP tries to question those two facts openly on the world stage as they would get into really hot water, because there is enough evidence to prove the crimes agains humanity committed by the Japanese military.

What Abe tries to do is to raise doubt about the details, the modes and numbers to lessen the burden posed by being responsible for such horrible actions as a nation. He's trying to instigate doubt in what he thinks is a cunning way, but luckily the result is a PR disaster, as this article rightly observes.

This is the first step to re-write history. Revisionists say facts are not important and belief should replace facts.

History has been written and the verdict is clear, so you CH3CHO and nigelboy are the people who are trying to re-write history by questioning details, numbers and the responsibility for atrocities altogether.

That you CH3CHO question the Nanjing massacre and the existence of sex slaves reveals that your are not interested in truth but in salvation. Your argument is not about clarifying numbers, as the numbers are only of importance to nitpickers, but about denying what had happened and who is responsible.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Japan should just move on, neither attempt to change written history nor keep answering to politicians in other countries complain. The main reason is the instigators of ww2 are long dead. The Chinese government politicians were Also not involved and have more to answer too considering the millions murdered or killed by Mao and his violent insanity. South Korea the current politicians were Also not involved and the ones there now,are guilty of taking money from Japan in the Name if comfort women and keeping the money instead of paying the Women. The only people with any claim are those comfort women and families or those people enslaved, they or their immediate families have a claim But it should be death with between them and the Japanese government, keeping the governments of other countries out of it because they have already proven a willingness to use the travesty of comfort women as a means to gain Money for the government. Other than dealing with individuals hurt by Japan in ww2, No government has any claim, most did not exist, they are certainly not the same people and some of those governments have harmed more of their own people than long dead Japanese imperial army generals ever did.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

u_s__reamerFeb. 16, 2015 - 11:15PM JST

The kanji of "San Ko" may be of Chinese origin, but the killing, burning and pillaging were of Japanese origin. Again, the numbers of victims and names of campaigns are irrelevant

For revisionists, every fact is irrelevant. But if you want to get out of their mind control, have healthy skepticism. If you find a lie in an important part of a story, the whole story is most likely a lie.

Contrary to your claim I have heard with my own ears veterans speak of the atrocities they committed in these "scorched earth" campaigns. I even own a book in Japanese on the "San Ko" campaigns detailing the criminal enterprises of the Imperial Army.

Were they punished for the war crime? If not why?

In addition, you are changing the subject from "San Ko" to "scorched earth". This is another characteristics of revisionism.

those who live in denial.

Look in the mirror. Who is denying?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Look in the mirror. Who is denying?

Hmm, yourself perhaps?

Were they punished for the war crime?

A select few, while the majority of Unit 731 criminals got a "get out of jail free" card from the US in exchange for their research - obtained from live human subjects. The emperor got to keep his throne. Abe's granddad, Nobusuke Kishi - another war criminal - got to be PM. And here we have Mr Abe - living in denial about the past

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Do a sector of Japanese really think they can convince the rest of the world that the poor women willingly consoled the very soldiers who invaded their country, killed & committed unimaginable evil towards their countrymen? For those who are attempting to deny & raise doubts about the full scope of what the Japanese imperial army are capable of doing. After viewing, do you really think they aren't capable of forcing women into sex slaves? See the video footage below of the testimonies by the actual soldiers themselves & other records. Pictures: https://www.pinterest.com/freycarol49/war-nanking-massacre-1937-1938/ Video footages: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_XzRaEAer4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTl66az1nzU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQnBvs3LTZw

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The destruction of documents at the end of the war also prevented Japanese victims of Showa fascism from obtaining justice. Hatanaka Shigeo, the editor of the well-known magazine "Chuo Koron", was arrested along with forty eight intellectuals, authors, journalists and publishing figures in the "Yokohama Incident". They were imprisoned and tortured for "thought crimes", considered the most serious category of crime since criticism of the status quo, the so-called "kokutai", challenged the fascist state's suppression of freedom of speech and its justification for the war of aggression as a "holy war". His testimony is as follows:" Our trial took place on September 3, 1945. After the war was over. "( note the brazen chutzpah of the Japanese authorities who held, mistreated and even killed Japanese political prisoners for up to a year after the US began the occupation).. Hatanaka continues:" ...I think the Yokohama judicial police and the bureaucracy burned all records of the police and preliminary investigation on August 26, just before MacArthur landedin Japan. Now, more than forty years later, we're asking for a retrial, but that's been denied by the Yokohama District Courts and the Tokyo High Court. They say there's no way to reopen an investigation without documents of any kind to investigat. They burned the documents because it was convenient to them! They say they are convinced we won't do anything like that again! What do they mean "again"? We have no proof of our own innocence! " ( Japan At War: an Oral History, p226) Here we can see how the "democratic" post-war authorities worked hand in glove with their fascist predecessors to deny victims any redress, ensuring the unbroken continuity with the past that has always blighted the development of real democratic values in this society. In my posts I have pointed out the ironic consequence of the mass destruction of self-incriminating documents: The Japanese Showa state and its henchmen likewise cannot prove THEIR innocence, either, when faced with the damning testimony of victims, eyewitnesses and what remains of the documentary record.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Talk about a freedom of speech, should't we all take a look at BOTH SIDEs, instead of deteministically saying which side is wrong or right?

Japan side and Korean side. In Korea, brave Female Korean Professor,世宗大学教授, 朴裕河(パク・ユハ), is now in danger, who wrote a book "「帝国の慰安婦」",

She says comfort women were prostetutes in her book, now court says that is defamation of these women, and now she is a target of slandar "Send her to Japana",etc..

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20150218-00000010-xinhua-cn

Now what do you have to say?,Linda Sieg?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

u_s__reamerFeb. 17, 2015 - 07:30PM JST

Now, more than forty years later, we're asking for a retrial, but that's been denied by the Yokohama District Courts and the Tokyo High Court. They say there's no way to reopen an investigation without documents of any kind to investigat. They burned the documents because it was convenient to them! They say they are convinced we won't do anything like that again

It seems you get every fact wrong. Here is the link to the Supreme Court ruling in 2008, which finalized the Yokohama Incident.

http://www.courts.go.jp/app/files/hanrei_jp/029/036029_hanrei.pdf

According to the ruling,

On April 15, 2003, Yokohama District Court ordered reopening of the trial.

On March 10, 2005, Tokyo High Court upheld the reopening of the trial.

On February 9, 2006, in the retrial, Yokohama District Court nullified the original indictment back in 1945.

The defendants (or heirs of them) wanted not guilty verdict rather than nullification of the original indictment, and appealed to the High Court.

On January 19, 2007, Tokyo High Court upheld the nullification of the original indictment.

On March 14, 2008, the Supreme Court upheld the nullification of the original indictment, saying the original indictment had no legal bases and that nullification of it is no less favorable to the defendants than not guilty verdict.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The following links provides a westerner’s testimony that the Japanese Imperial Army did force girls/women to become sex slaves. An Australian Dutch's personal experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTl66az1nzU http://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/alliesinadversity/prisoners/women.asp She just wanted full acknowledgment and say that Japan's apology was never backed up by actions. Therefore, she says it is not good enough. Clearly not!

No war (not even the Germans) has ever surpassed the evil committed by the Japanese Imperial Army. Most of the records have been destroyed by the Japanese. So this is just a glimpse as to what occurred. The following links contains disturbing video footages, journals of western foreigners & photographs. Even after 70 years, Japan has NEVER GENUINELY acknowledged the ENTIRE truth in order for the victims to move on. Apologising for a sanitized version, constant demands for revision & giving honour to A-list war criminals at the Yaskuni shrine simply show how insincere they are. It goes to show how little remorse they have, if any. It's unforgivable to continue to live in denial, how frustrating it can be for these victims who were clearly forced & threatened not to tell anyone or else they will kill them.

Disturbing Photo's:http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/12.12.96/cover/china1-9650.html It even shows a women who was raped & had a bayonet inserted into her.

The rape of Nanking (Westerner's eye witness accounts):https://www.youtube.com/watchv=aQnBvs3LTZw The Diaries of Minnie Vautrin and John Rabe – Members of the International Safety Zone Committee open pages of the journals they kept during the Rape of Nanking: http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/12.12.96/cover/china2-9650.html

Rape in Nanking (Yamada Unit Soldiers giving testimonies): https://www.youtube.com/watch/v=L_XzRaEAer4

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Rainrain She just wanted full acknowledgment and say that Japan's apology was never backed up by actions. Therefore, she says it is not good enough. Clearly not!

Ahh. Not this again! How many times do we have to explain???

This incident is a VERY FAMOUS case , known as "白馬事件(Shirouma incident)" http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%99%BD%E9%A6%AC%E4%BA%8B%E4%BB%B6

This is the only known case where J-military at higher position,岡田慶治陸軍少佐, was directly involved this crime. As soon as dutch woman's father asked for help to J-military for his daughter being served AGAINST her will, they found out this officer's crime, then brustel was shut down. Later this officer commited suicide.

But again, this is an inidividual crime, like US officer raped and killed Japanes citizen, that deosn't make entire US base wrong. Otherwilse this brustel wouldn't have shut down.

After WW2, current J-goverment paid 255million yen to these women.

For the note, You might also wanna wonder why in the world dutch people were living in south asia? WHy? did they ask permission to live from asian local people? Or isn't that called Imperialism and colonization?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@CH3

I did not get my facts wrong. I merely quoted from a book published in 1993 for the purpose of highlighting how the massive destruction of documents made it very difficult and in many cases impossible for Japanese victims of the Showa authorities to obtain legal redress in post-war Japan. As I have emphasized ,the ironic corollary is that the actual guilty ones of Showa cannot prove their "innocence" either, and in the eyes of the world have thus remained in moral limbo and under a cloud of suspicion to this day. I appreciate your fact-finding to update JT readers on the eventual resolution of the case, but it only underscores the foot-dragging reluctance of the Japanese post-war authorities to fully condemn and distance themselves from their Showa fascist counterparts, unlike in Germany where the Nazis are toxic and anathema, in public discourse at least, to German government representatives.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

After WW2, current J-goverment paid 255million yen to these women.

No, they did not http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6374961.stm It was a private fund, with private donations. The Japanese government has always distanced itself from the issue. If it had tackled it head on, it would not be the contentious, festering sore that it is today. This is what Mr Abe can't understand

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@ Hachikou

This is the only known case where J-military at higher position,岡田慶治陸軍少佐, was directly involved this crime. As soon as dutch woman's father asked for help to J-military for his daughter being served AGAINST her will, they found out this officer's crime, then brustel was shut down. Later this officer commited suicide.

This is probably the only known/famous case to you but not the only known case to me & the hundreds of thousands of victims and others. The Japanese government has recently urged US publisher to remove 'comfort women' related paragraphs from their textbooks. Therefore, in response to this, I provided various links show records that these women were indeed forced to become sex slaves. U.S publishers should remove comfort women and replace it with 'mass rape victims/sex slaves' instead. Comfort women is already an euphemistic term used. It is to your favour that comfort women is used and it's absurd that the Japanese government is still complaining. No matter how hard you try to scrub dirt of that kind, there will always be stains left. The constant attempts to whitewash everything will be futile because the superior being up there will know the whole truth.

Kiyoshi Sakakura from the Japanese imperial army said "Regarding Japanese politicians who have in recent years tried to refute that Nanjing Massacre ever occurred and denied the existence of sex slaves known euphemistically as comfort women, Sakakura said such comments "cannot be forgiven." "We hope Japan will sincerely apologize and improve the Sino-Japanese relationship. I will continue to make public statements so that past mistakes will not repeat themselves," he said. (Kyodo News). You see, even he says it's unforgivable to use the understated term 'comfort women' instead of the accurate term 'sex slaves'.

But again, this is an inidividual crime, like US officer raped and killed Japanese citizen, that doesn't make entire US base wrong. Otherwilse this brustel wouldn't have shut down.

Ahhh, not again. You cannot own up to this issue and have to always pull another issue to make yourself feel justified/better. I repeat, no war in history has surpassed the evil committed by the Japanese imperial army. It is precisely this reason that Japan is too ashamed to admit the full scope of what happened or either you have no empathy and just care about the way the world perceives you. Abe and his followers shows typical signs of psychopaths. Did the American's rape and then inserted bayonets, glass & other objects into these women in order for them to gradually die in the most torturous ways possible? No, they didn't! What the Americans did pales in comparison!

After WW2, current J-goverment paid 255million yen to these women

No they didn't & monetary compensation is the very least you could do. More importantly it is to fully acknowledge the truth and not try to get away with as much as you can. That is what the victims, their families and fellow countrymen want most of all! Denial & trying to raise doubts of such sheer horror despite much evidence is the way of the cowards & the way of the psychopaths.That is the real issue why this has not been not laid to rest. It is long overdue that you don't deprive your future generation of your wartime past in order for them to learn from the mistakes and for history not to repeat itself!

For the note, You might also wanna wonder why in the world dutch people were living in south asia? WHy? did they ask permission to live from asian local people? Or isn't that called Imperialism and colonization?

Your questions reveal how narrow minded you are. Why don't you ask yourself 'why not' &' why there are Japanese people living in various parts of the world?'.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

She says comfort women were prostetutes in her book,

Hachiko, you are not quite right here, while prof. Park says that the Japanese army was not directly involved in the coercing of comfort women, aka sex slaves, in Korea, she does clearly acknowledge that a large number of Korean women were cheated or forced in to being comfort women.

Park is trying to expose how South Korean nationalism distorts facts and pressures the victims once again, and she's right with this, but her interpretation is not at all convincing where she tries to make the Japanese military look like an organization concerned with the rights of the comfort women it employed.

Park argues that the Japanese military did not accept coercion, which seems to be true until 1940, but the large part of crimes agains humanity happened after 1941 when the war got fiercer and the inhumane face of Japanese military fascism started to reveal itself. I don't know of any indictments of Korean comfort women brokers after 1941, even though the large part of coercion must have happened then, but maybe Hachiko can provide us with evidence for consistent efforts of the Japanese military to stop coercion and human trafficking in Korea after 1941?

I don't think that historians would have been able to indict the Japanese military if there had been a credible and consistent policy towards preventing crimes against women in the brothels it was managing.

After WW2, current J-goverment paid 255million yen to these women.

I suppose you are refering to the AWF, Hachiko? As other here have also pointed out the Japanese Government never accepted legal responsibility for the crimes its military had committed against women during WW2. The AWF was a construction to avoid legal responsibility, but at least to acknowledge involvement and some responsibility.

It is this kind of obscurity in dealing with its own past that is firing back against Japan and Abe. Or as u_s__reamer rightly points out: "the foot-dragging reluctance of the Japanese post-war authorities to fully condemn and distance themselves from their Showa fascist counterparts" is standing in Abe's way when he's trying to finetune the image of history and is honestly surprised about the fierce backlash.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What people should learn from this current series of "historical dispute" is that there are various way to interpret a historical event, even though there's only ONE truth. Therefore, looking at matters from the objective point of view is necessary/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Unless Japanese Govt officials keep mouth shut what they don;t know, the WW II will be revised and never become past history. When was that? We still hear past sin as if it occurred yesterday. Govt wants this way, I'd bet.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The world is as aware of Unit 731 as they are of Treblinka. Trying to airbrush Japanese atrocities out of history will only harm Japan in the long run.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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