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Lee urges compensation for sex slaves; Noda says issue is settled

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How many Japanese PMs has Lee met now? Has to have been six now.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Never fear Noda, you and your party are worshipers of Chinese and Korean, do not be hypocritical.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Japan's ego is more important than peace with its neighbors. Japan can never do any wrong in the future...

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

Does this get " Chalked up" as a Diplomatic success?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

They already compensated years ago. But the dictator in control of Korea at that time took the money for family and friends, and did not give it to the people at all.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

You can't change history! But, it seems some countries never get over it! As much as Japan does have a somewhat 'black' history of events throughout Asia, it is about time these wankers stopped putting their hands out to bleed Japan Inc.

11 ( +12 / -2 )

Whoa. Did that just happen?

Japan could legally dismiss the situation at this point, but, for as much as it can be done sincerely and with integrity, a humane approach here would seem to excel mere legalism. It seems that to give greater comfort to these remaining ladies will be to have reassured the heart of the South Korean nation. For that the President of South Korea has made a huge extension of good will and offered "true partners[hip]" that ""South Korea and Japan should become real partners for peace and stability in this region."

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

They already compensated years ago.

The former sex slaves were never compensated. That is the point. Until they are actually compensated, Japan owes them. You can't give my money to Scrooge and claim you paid me since Scrooge never gave me the money.

My understanding is that the compensation given did not include compensation for the sex slaves anyway. Even if it did, see the above. Not one of you would side with either government if it was you that was owed. We all know this. I can only hope that Karma will bite some of you very hard for your heartless hypocrisy.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

to have the “courage” to compensate ageing If anyone needs courage, I suggest it is the South Korean government to tell these people to shut up since they took money from the Japanese government and said it would be the end of it.

Tim, you understanding would be incorrect. Noda has said that 1965 was the payment.

It is all about the money, not the sentiment of the apology and the like. Pathetic attempt by Lee to deal with his crappy ratings back home.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_Basic_Relations_between_Japan_and_the_Republic_of_Korea

japan and south korea entered into a treaty. no demands for compensation at the national or individual level can be made and yet still japan gave money to south korea. the south korean government used this money for economic development instead of paying out to the "victims".

yet still the south korean government and its citizenry keep demanding more money from the government of japan.

its like if i demanded compensation from the current emperor because hundreds of years ago one of his ancestors might have caused the death of one of mine. its just that absurd.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_Basic_Relations_between_Japan_and_the_Republic_of_Korea

there is a treaty. compensation was given and the people of south korea all ready benefited from the compensation given through the strong economy they enjoy today which was built by money of the japanese compensation package.

japan considers the issue settled because they settled it back in the 1960s! the koreans are just looking for a hand out for some easy yen.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It's about pushing the bill to the other party SK government is actually bound in redistributing the amount received by Japan through the 1965 agreement BUT if they did SK government would have to compensate to virtually every surviving soul, on top they have to hand it out to every individual in NK as well. They sure do not want to open that can of worms.

By pushing the problem over to Japan Lee can say I tried and furthermore add shame on Japan for not complying to those sad souls and wash his hand.

Japan should make a more bold statement towards the SK people that their barking up the wrong tree and demand compensation from their own government since they had made an agreement on that subject and compensation was paid in full to the then SK government.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I think the Japanese Govt is afraid that if it compensates these Korean women even for humanitarian reasons. It would open up the flood gates of fresh compensation demands from other nations who suffered under the Japanese occupation. Already, they have their hands full dealing with the aftermath of the tsunami, Fukushima and the economy.

For the Koreans pls preserve your dignity and move on. No amount of compensation can atone for the crime and atrocities that was inflicted by the Japanese. To beg for compensation is akin to saying that the crime was alright for the right amount of money. You cheapen yourselves as humans and as a nation.

Let the law of nature and Karma to run its course.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Nowadays, public opinions become straight forward, emotional & impulsive -- US$ 8 million of compensation made ( of course, quite a sum in 1965, but what is 8 million in the eyes of the current generation ? ), 16 fragile old women , at the point of passing away, asked for a mere favor of justice & compensation -- in comparison with Japan ( advanced & rich country )..public opinion will without doubt sliding towards the women !

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I look forward to Russians saying the northern islands also "settled" and all other territorial disputes.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

"until they are actually compensated, Japan owes them"

Japan paid compensation decades ago to the S.Korean military gov't which never disbursed the funds to the sex slaves.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Noda is proving he no different from the gang of LDP deniers of Japan's moral responsibilities for the crimes against humanity it committed against the Korean people. Japan needs to clean up its act in a hurry or live forever in infamy.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

TinMadDogDec. 18, 2011 - 07:08PM JST "They already compensated years ago." The former sex slaves were never compensated. That is the point. Until they are actually compensated, Japan >owes them. You can't give my money to Scrooge and claim you paid me since Scrooge never gave me the money.

And whose fault is that? Japan's who already paid, or South Korea;s who kept it and used it for something else?

My understanding is that the compensation given did not include compensation for the sex slaves anyway.

I am certain that the comfort women are included in "individuials who suffered". If hey weren't included, then who was? Nobody.

Even if it did, see the above. Not one of you would side with either government if it was you that was owed. We all know this. I can only hope that Karma will bite some of you very hard for your heartless hypocrisy.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

...and SETTLED it is.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I wonder why Lee does this now. Presidential election is coming next year? So he might have to show something to people of S Korea? He wants 2nd term. I remember some previous presidents went to prison in the past.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"The former sex slaves were never compensated. That is the point. Until they are actually compensated, Japan owes them. "

No, no sex slaves were individually compensated. But then again, neither were those countless million other Koreans who suffered at the hands of the Japanese occupation of the peninsula. Yet, we don't hear anything about compensating them, do we? Which, quite honestly, is a pretty serious F.U. in the face of a lot of Koreans who were killed by the occupying Japanese. Where's their political mouthpiece hammering away at Japan for compensation?

For Japan to acquiesce to this shakedown would be to effectively open up Japan to individual claims from anyone on the Korean peninsula, indeed anyone on earth. That's just not how things work in this world of ours.

Above all else and regarless of any wholely contrived humanitarian stances on the subject, issues of compensation - better known in international legal circles as "reparations" - were settled almost half a decade ago in the 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea.

In that treaty, the government of South Korea agreed upon receiving some $800 million ($5.46 billion in modern dollars when adjusted for inflation) in grants and soft loans to never again seek from Japan compensation on either a government or individual basis.

Furthermore, in documents from that same period, South Korea stated explicitly that it would address all issues of individual compensation to any South Koreans who came forward with claims. It doesn't get much clearer than this.

This bid to wring money out of Japan is a little more than political stunt to lend legitimacy to a South Korean leadership looking to keep the public distracted from more pressing matters. Nothing guarantees a few more years in office than to stoke the flames of nationalism in the face of slights, perceived or real.

Using the women who were abused by Japanese troops during to war to perpetuate this dog and pony show should shame the South Korean leadership to its very core. And yet, it keeps coming back with demands for compensation that not a legal jurisdiction in the world would declare valid.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

And whose fault is that? Japan's who already paid, or South Korea;s who kept it and used it for something else?

For arguments sake, let us say that Japan did pay and the amount was for the sex slaves too.

First, for those decades that Korean sex slaves marched and filed lawsuits for compensation, why did Japan make excuse after excuse, but NEVER say, "Oh, we already paid!" and "We made an agreement with your government that no further compensation can be demanded!"? Whatever you say, Japan is part of the scam. Japan helped hide this part of the agreement and it was not known until 2005. Japan has been just as much a part of making sure these women never got paid either way. And so, my judgement is they still owe them, at the very least, compensation for hiding the truth from these women, and I see no reason why it should not equal all other forms of compensation. Japan still bears fault even if they did pay.

Second, some of these women can be called slaves because they were forced to work. And while they were promised wages, they remain slaves because they were forced. Many of them never received their wages, and wages are NOT compensation. They are WAGES. Japan owes back pay.

And just to keep things straight, let us remember: If you are forced to work, you are a slave. If you are not allowed to quit your job, you are a slave. If you sign up, but are not are paid, you are a slave. Most of these meet at least one of those conditions. They were slaves of Japan.

Third, is it remotely legit to make a deal with an entity to take money on behalf of people they never contacted? I don't think so. It might be done at the government level, but if a company tried it, they would be shelling out. Why? Because that is justice. This situation is most definitely not justice. And those supporting it I hope have the same situation come right back on them one day.

-3 ( +1 / -3 )

The reason the Japanese government sees the issue as settled is that money was paid over - to a previous Korean government. If individual Koreans are annoyed they didn't see that money, they should get it from their own government.

LFRAgain makes a fair point. If Japan starts paying individual Koreans over this issue, where will it stop? There will be pressure from China to pay its citizens as well, despite the fact a settlement was made with the Chinese government decades ago.

Sometimes you just have to draw a line under these things and move on.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Hey, My great grandfather was killed by a Kamikaze bomber, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor , they never settled with my family" we dealt with it! (I know the family of the pilot of the plane)

Nazis never paid the Jews, everyone just remember ,and kept on living on with their lives!

I am not defending Japan, but after decades, just let it go , South Korea is being picky,

South Korea , worry about the Chinese now,!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

If people still feel that they have grievance, those grievances should be listened to. Simple. Japan should ask an independent adjudicator as to if those who feel they have a case for compensation / apology actually do indeed have such a case and act accordingly on the result.

@Uncle: I think you'll find the way Germany atoned for her 'sins' is on a completely different plane of acceptance as to what Japan has done. Germany has paid a lot of money and paid a lot in terms of sincerity, apology and regret.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Japan, which insists the issue was legally settled four decades ago..."

Oh yes, it was 'legally' settled some time back, but never morally, which is the bigger part of the problem. I am sure that an apology -- a REAL apology -- would win a lot more than just throwing more money at these women who are on their way out anyway.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

TinMadDogDec. 18, 2011 - 10:30PM JST "And whose fault is that? Japan's who already paid, or South Korea;s who kept it and used it for something else? For arguments sake, let us say that Japan did pay and the amount was for the sex slaves too. First, for those decades that Korean sex slaves marched and filed lawsuits for compensation, why did Japan make >excuse after excuse, but NEVER say, "Oh, we already paid!" and "We made an agreement with your government that >no further compensation can be demanded!"? Whatever you say, Japan is part of the scam. Japan helped hide this >part of the agreement and it was not known until 2005.

Because Japan was bound by confidentiality that South Korea requested. Everything came into the open in 2005 as you say.

Japan has been just as much a part of making sure these women never got paid either way.

How is that? Japan paid compensation to idividuals who suffered. The Soty Korean government took that monbey and used it somewhere else. The only party that took any action so that these women would not get paid is the Soth Korean government.

And so, my judgement is they still owe them, at the very least, compensation for hiding the truth from these women, >and I see no reason why it should not equal all other forms of compensation. Japan still bears fault even if they did >pay.

Japan isn't the one who had anything to gain from hiding the truth. It was the South Korean government that got the compensation and didn't give it to the women. Your attempts to demonize Japan alone is pretty ridiculous.

Second, some of these women can be called slaves because they were forced to work. And while they were >promised wages, they remain slaves because they were forced. Many of them never received their wages, and >wages are NOT compensation. They are WAGES. Japan owes back pay.

Not all were forced to work. Some were some weren't. The vast majority received wages as evidenced by the fact that the current claims are for compensation, not "back wages" as you say.

And just to keep things straight, let us remember: If you are forced to work, you are a slave. If you are not allowed to >quit your job, you are a slave. If you sign up, but are not are paid, you are a slave. Most of these meet at least one of >those conditions. They were slaves of Japan.

Some were, some weren't. "Most" is your individual take. BUt this is irrelwevcaqnt to the issue at hand; ie; Japan has already paid compensation , the South Korean government received it, AND they promised not to seek anymore compensation again. So shall we agree that South Korea is a country that can not keep it's word on International Agreements?

Third, is it remotely legit to make a deal with an entity to take money on behalf of people they never contacted? I >don't think so. It might be done at the government level,...

It was done at a government level, by the South Korean government.

And those supporting it I hope have the same situation come right back on them one day.

I hope you are billed twice for the same thing one day. Prehaps then you'd undrstand.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak urged Japan Sunday to have the “courage” to compensate ageing wartime sex slaves before it is too late to let the two nations move forward.

To Foreign Ministry of Japan

Is there any documents from all Koreans who received compensations? What did it say? You need to review them. Sounds like there have been some holes on the agreements. Reveiw, review, and review.

If there are no holes found on the agreements, the deals are all settled.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Interesting topic to bring up at this time.

Again is it a political move to "hide" a "problem" S. Korea is facing today by resorting to an "emotional" issue and take "pressure" away from that domestic or international problem?

Interesting how China did the same with the "N------ Massacre" movie just a few days ago, getting people extremely excited... "emotionally" ... and detracted from rational analysis of Japan - China relations. It was apparently an effort to "mask" what was obviously the "military" concerns of both nations. One side is boosting it's military might (that needed to be "masked") and the other it's defenses.

Could someone identify what the True "problem" S. Korea is trying to "mask" or hide behind a possible emotional outburst from either or both nations?

Or could it be Japan that asked S. Korea to bring up that issue to "mask" Japan's problems?

Could it be military or economic? It appears those are the two most obvious concerns of both nations.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

globalwatcherDec. 19, 2011 - 12:23AM JST To Foreign Ministry of Japan Is there any documents from all Koreans who received compensations? What did it say? You need to review them. >Sounds like there have been some holes on the agreements. Reveiw, review, and review. If there are no holes found on the agreements, the deals are all settled.

It was the South Korean governents desire to receive the money on behalf of it's people rather than Japan giving it to them directly. The South Korean Foreign Ministry is the one to whom you should be asking this question.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Okay, Japan as a dictatorship in WWII was liable as a democracy for compensating comfort women, which it did in 1965. But Korea, as a democracy now, is not liable for the failure of its dictatorship in 1965 to compensate individuals.

Riiight...

The party in the wrong here is not the comfort women and it is not the Japanese government. It is the Korean government, that stole from Japan, lied to the comfort women, and is now exploiting the anger it created toward Japan over this issue to score political points by pretending to support the comfort women instead of paying them the money it STILL owes them that it received from Japan.

Credit to Lee though - he's one of the first Korean leaders to be so brazen as to admit that they got paid, but they want Japan to pay again anyway, because they stole the money last time.

It starts to feel like giving aid to North Korea...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why don't the SK returns the money in today's value and the Japanese government split the payments - directly to the comfort woman victims and then the rest back to the SK government for other compensations? Is that not the right thing to do if the SK cannot sort it out among themselves?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

TinMadDog

You assume that the issue of comfort women were "hidden" by both Japanese government and Korean government prior to the execution of the 1965 is I'm afraid FALSE. If there were such discussions on minutes/dialogs between the two governments during the course of 20 years of negotiations with hundred and thousands of recorded minutes, there is no doubt in my mind that Korean government would have already presented this to the public. The mere fact that such dialogs never existed leads me to believe that most of these women were in fact just regular prostitues attached to the military operated by middle men.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So much for Japan earning respect with its neighbors... Japan will try to save face no matter what, screwing with South Korea and Russia in the process.

-4 ( +2 / -5 )

@ CHuan

Your statement is for moot chicom, the South Koreans are hating on your country right now due to one of your fishermen killing a SK Coast Guard officer and wounding another terribly. Don't think that there is some kind of anti japan coalition banding together since China right now is seen as a bully, not only by the west, but also in Asia.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

for what it's worth, go to wikipedia re 1965 Treaty between Japan and SKorea and the compensation paid by Japan to the SK govenrnment.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan is in crisis, a power shortage and a lot of the land damaged by the tsunami and earthquake. 100 thousand plus homeless and radioactive contamination. If South Korea hates us fine, if they want to be our foe. Again that does not bother me. Even if money is paid it will never be enough. Time to put our hind ends down and heads up. The war is history, the crimes done by our ancestors.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japan is in crisis

Damn right, Yuri. Except Okinawans. They don't to seem to understand the crisis.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

an apology -- a REAL apology

The only REAL apology Japan haters will accept is seppuku. To which they will respond, "next". After all Japanese have committed seppuku they will say "apology accepted"

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

nigelboy: "You assume that the issue of comfort women were "hidden"..."

The issue has been 'hidden', under the rug, so to speak. Or show me a junior highschool text that mentions the issue (or highschool).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

YuriOtani: "The war is history, the crimes done by our ancestors."

The sooner you forget the sooner it is bound to be repeated, mon ami. The war is indeed history, but that history is being manipulated by supposed 'scholars' in this nation who were never there and in some cases insist such things never happened. Do you think they should knock down the monuments at the Okinawan war memorial museum and Himeyuri no Tou? I mean, it's ancient history, right, Yuri?

I do agree that the Japanese government need not pay any more compensation given the current status of the nation and the disasters it is still reeling from. But don't talk about money as though the government is dealing with it appropriately -- lest we forget they are spending MILLIONS to defend whalers, have set aside hundreds of millions for new fighter jets littered with problems, have promised Middle Eastern nations and Indonesia billions in aid money, and are paying the yakuza to work on the nuclear plant, among other wasteful spending habits. We also should not forget, since you bring up Japan's crisis and time of need, that SKorea has been there the whole time while nationals here stomped on their celebrities and denied Japan's military history -- and next to Taiwan, if not MORE than Taiwan, they are the single largest source of aid money to Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan paid compensation decades ago to the S.Korean military gov't which never disbursed the funds to the sex slaves.

Japan should get its money back. It may not have the purchasing power it once did, but it would certainly pay for several nights in Kabukicho.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Promise them all 40 acres and a mule, and then wait until they all die. It's a proven strategy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The issue has been 'hidden', under the rug, so to speak. Or show me a junior highschool text that mentions the issue (or highschool).

Smith

Why is this issue worth mentioning when it's just a prostitution attached to a military like any other that continued throughout the world everywhere including the Koreans which also started to recruit women for U.N. forces during the Korean War??

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I see this argument is going back and forth. But would it really hurt that much to just reach out to S.Korea and make the payment that they request, and forever put to rest this black stain on Japan's history? It seems to me that the only thing holding Japan back from doing that is ego. Get rid of ego and do the right thing for the people of Japan and the people of Korea.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Tim Bedwell,

"But would it really hurt that much to just reach out to S.Korea and make the payment that they request . . ."

Yes, on innumerable levels.

Let's see if I can put this in a way that leave little room for misunderstanding:

Japan ALREADY paid South Korea as per negotiated treaty in 1965.

It was South Korea that insisted the details of that payment, including how much, how it would be spent, and the provision that responsibility for any and all future compensation claims fall solely upon the South Korean government, be kept secret.

Seriously, how else can this possibly be spelled out more simply?

Tell you what. Let's say you shoplift from a local store. Let's say you get caught and are forced to give back the stolen goods, and pay a fine for your crime. Let's also say you sit down with the owner of the store and work out a written, signed agreement that states if you do those two things, you're off the hook for good. And let's say you do those two things, give back the stolen goods and pay the fine.

Now, let's say 50 years down the line the owner's son suddenly approaches you and says, "Hey, we want you to pay a fine for the wrong you did to our store 50 years ago."

So, are you going to pay it?

And are you going to pay it when you've got a signed receipt that shows you already did?

Why not? After all, as you say, it won't really hurt to pay again, will it?

In some -- no, make that most -- places in the world, the word for the above scenario is "extortion."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

LFRAgain, That is a horrible analogy, and not at all pertinent to the issue at hand. Japan did a great wrong in WW2, and has the responsibility to repay the victims of its crimes. It's that simple. This is also a good example of what kind of lasting damage is done by nationalism, something Japan still hasn't completely learned its lesson about.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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