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Moon calls for 'heartfelt' apology from Japan over 'comfort women'

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By KIM HONG-JI

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108 Comments
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give back the money you took from Japan in agreement to put the issue to rest petulant korea

28 ( +40 / -12 )

I hope he doesn't hold his breath waiting for the apology!

30 ( +34 / -4 )

No.

23 ( +28 / -5 )

He should have asked for an apology backed by actions that demonstrate the sincerity of the apology.

-21 ( +11 / -32 )

Bollocks to all of that, how about Moon's Neville Chamberlain-style appeasement of North Korea - now that's something to apologise for! Kin Jong Un isn't the fool everybody though that he was.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Moon is talking out both ends. He will uphold the 2015 Agreement but at the same time says

"A wrong knot has to be untied. Japan should accept the truth, make a heartfelt apology to victims.".

74% of the surviving Comfort Women have ACCEPTED Japan's PRIME MINESTERIAL APOLOGY and have or intend to ACCEPT the money. So if the majority of the actual women are satisfied, how can he say ;

The deal on the so-called "comfort women" should not have been struck without the involvement of the victims" "This issue cannot be resolved through a give-and-take deal between governments struck over the victims' head,"

It makes absolutely no sense at all, except that concluding and upholding the 2015 Agreement is in the best interests of South Korea, the majority of the surviving Comfort Women are satisfied with the apology anf compensation.....but the Chong Dae Hyup and other anti-Japan activists in South Korea have such a stranglehold on South Korean politics that he has no choice but to make such contradictory statements. Perhaps one day South Korea will have a leader and administration that is strong enough to take the reins of the country and not let the country be hijacked.

28 ( +36 / -8 )

here we go again,,,how can anybody take SK seriously? of course they have to distract the people of SK because the winter olympic is such a failure, almost 70 % of tickets unsold, hotels are empty, Its all a farce.

34 ( +40 / -6 )

@Dango bong

give back the money

The 1 billion yen is already in an escrow account addressed to the government of Japan.

Japanese government refuses to provide a detail on which account to wire the money back to Japan.

@Yubaru

I hope he doesn't hold his breath waiting for the apology!

Moon needs Japan to not apologize, so that he can continue to demonize and humiliate Japan on international stages. Japan actually apologizing for the forced conscription of comfort women would take that away from Moon.

-25 ( +5 / -30 )

What? Again? After "heartfelt," will it be "sincere," followed by "deep, remorseful" apologies later? I used to feel bad and sorry about the comfort women matter, but SK, can we please move on? You did a remarkable job in bringing the North to the negotiating table for the Winter Olympics. I think you all, China, Japan, NK, SK should use this as a springboard for advancing peace in Asia. SK, please don't put a damper on your relations with Japan. If both sides work together with their technologies, intelligence, diligent work force, and brains, so much more can be accomplished.

30 ( +35 / -5 )

Must be an Asian thing—constant whining. Not hardly a peep out of the Russians and Germans about the million-plus women raped on both sides during WWII. Just an ugly fact of war; never forget, but get over it and move on.

25 ( +32 / -7 )

Must be an Asian thing—constant whining.

I'm starting to wonder. A cultural thing in Asia perhaps.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Politicians should keep distances to historical matters. They are not scholars and they are not in a position to verify historical truths. Korean politicians are too much involved in historical matters.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

If I see another story like this I'm gonna scream. Enough is freakin enough already

27 ( +33 / -6 )

If Japan backed up its apologies with actions that demonstrate the apology was sincere instead of actions that undercut the apology, the ROK would have no leg upon which to bitch. If Japan did demonstrate sincerity and the ROK continued to bitch, then it would be appropriate to fault the ROK.

-33 ( +8 / -41 )

Maybe the international community needs to get involved, since these two countries are not going to conclude this issue on their own

-24 ( +3 / -27 )

If I see another story like this I'm gonna scream. Enough is freakin enough already

Warm up the vocal cords, because this is going to happen again in a few months.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

No matter how many times, no matter how sincere, no matter how much reparations are paid, there will ALWAYS be those who want more. Why? Because the bottom line is the bottom line. A free ride on the Nihon gravy train

22 ( +30 / -8 )

This is just stupid.... does he want an apology and then to make it "heartfelt", have them all commit Hara Kiri? Will that finally do it. Another Korean Politician working the crowd.... I question whether his request itself is "Heartfelt".

24 ( +28 / -4 )

Heartfelt? What does that even mean literally? Is this middle school?

Seems about on middle school level mentality here from Moon.

“Japan” cannot apologize. Nations of hundreds of millions cannot all do the same thing. The government can make a formal apology and it can be accepted or rejected.

Korea has already accepted several apologises and payments. So in essense, you are simply picking at an old scab...looking for trouble.

21 ( +25 / -4 )

@OssanJapan

concluding and upholding the 2015 Agreement is in the best interests of South Korea

No, it's not.

the majority of the surviving Comfort Women are satisfied with the apology anf compensation

Comfort women themselves sent a letter to Moon demanding an officially written strong worded termination of the comfort women agreement instead of this "We will not abide by it, it's dead." kind of termination.

Perhaps one day South Korea will have a leader and administration that is strong enough to take the reins of the country

Moon is such leader. A 70% apppoval rating. Additionaly, 70% of Korea population favor terminating the agreement.

@gubijin

but SK, can we please move on?

No.

@Vernon Watts

Not hardly a peep out of the Russians and Germans about the million-plus women raped on both sides during WWII.

The State of Germany and Russia didn't order mass rapes. The Empire of Japan did, but has not apologized and instead denies making such orders.

@Aly Ruston

Maybe the international community needs to get involved, since these two countries are not going to conclude this issue on their own

Indeed, the UN HRC already demanded that Japan apologize to comfort women for their forced conscription last year, but Japan denied wrongdoing to UN last year.

The world sides with Korea on this issue, Japan is all alone, just like the whaling.

@SaikoPhysco

have them all commit Hara Kiri? Will that finally do it. 

No, just Abe san bowing down before the comfort women and asking for their forgiveness, with his forehead touching the floor.

-30 ( +7 / -37 )

The leader of the Japanese government apologized. But they want a bigger apology? Regardless of your position on the matter, the agreement was reached and SK constantly trying to back out of it because they don't like it is some Trump level antics.

I used to think that Japan needs to get over things like the comfort women statue issue, but with SK constantly poking them in the eye about the whole issue, I'm starting to see why they get so worked up.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

Seems reasonable enough. But you know Japan won't do it because they already paid their "gomen" money. Meanwhile they'll continue to omit it from text books and flat out deny it ever happened.

-20 ( +7 / -27 )

Good on Moon, and if Japan wants to do the right thing, it will SINCERELY apologize, once and for all, and both nations can move forward. This is in the limelight more than ever with SK in prime position to deal with NK effectively, so Japan will once again be the bad guy if they become big babies and refuse, saying it's "regrettable" or worse. Japan's lukewarm apologies while flashing money around are simply not enough. They need to be like Germany was after the war -- a country now very respected for making amends. For those who say Japan has done enough, don't forget that the very day Abe said "Bad things happened" and offered money, his wife visited Yasukuni, and many lawmakers said the whole issue of sexual slavery was propaganda. Hell, posters on here like OssanAmerica say the women were all well-paid prostitutes and Japan did no wrong.

Pay back the money, absolutely, but don't give up on the apology!

-34 ( +10 / -44 )

@extanker

The leader of the Japanese government apologized. But they want a bigger apology?

Abe apologized for the moral responsibility of comfort women taking place.

Abe NEVER apologized for Japanese state ordering the forced conscription of comfort women, in fact Japan officially denies making such order and widely condemned worldwide.

-20 ( +10 / -30 )

This is the Japanese government's official position on the forced conscription of comfort women.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Srxi304RX9A

Japanese gov’t denies issue of comfort women at UN session

Published on Feb 16, 2016

A Japanese government delegation on Tuesday said the issue of comfort women was made up on the basis of a fictional story and there is no document confirming that they were forced into sexual servitude, during a session with the United Nations in Geneva, Switerzland.

-18 ( +9 / -27 )

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/02/17/national/history/no-documents-found-confirm-military-forced-comfort-women-sexual-servitude-japan-envoy-tells-u-n/

No documents confirm military coerced ‘comfort women,’ Japan envoy tells U.N.

KYODO

FEB 17, 2016

ARTICLE HISTORY PRINT SHARE

GENEVA – Japan has found no documents confirming that the “comfort women” were forcefully recruited by military or government authorities, a Japanese envoy told a U.N. panel Tuesday.

-18 ( +6 / -24 )

War sucks, terrible things happen, and the winning side decides who was the baddies.

I do wish modern Japan could more clearly separate itself from the now non-existent Japanese Empire and be more clear in saying sorry for the actions of those people at that time and promise to never repeat, but unfortunately didn't take the opportunity to vilify, rightly so, a specific group of people like in Germany. (Despite the fact that without general public support the Nazis would have never gained the power they did).

This is what happens when somewhat nationalistic right leaning people take office.. they look back on history with rose tinted glasses.

However, like Im not responsible for anything anyone else does, my Grandfather, Father, Brother when is enough enough... how long does this go on for, and is this really about making reparations to these people or using them as political playing cards to score points...

smithinjapan.

We will see about NK, I can hope we move towards a more stable region, but feel its more likely that NK is just playing a waiting game to try and reduce the presence of the US in the region (likely with the full support of China) and will keep up its development, all be it more quietly, until the next time it all kicks off... I really hope I'm wrong.

-17 ( +5 / -22 )

I think that heartfelt has now migrated downward to being a simple but annoying pain in the butt.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

I think this latest request on the comfort woman has finally pushed the balance of sympathy towards the Japanese side. I think people from unaffected nations with a more objective view are starting to see that actually SK will never be satisfied. SK have now scored an “own goal” on this one and every time they attempt to raise the subject people are going to roll their eyes oh say “oh geez not again”. Effectively they have basically sidelined and marginalised the very group they supposedly sort to gain sympathy for. This has was and has always been a political tool by SK nationalists to stick a knife in the collective Japanese side. They have now finally overplayed their hand. The only losers are the poor victims themselves who have been used both literally and figuratively by both sides. I feel sorry for them, they have been used as pawns by their own government. These woman have more dignity and respect than the political whores who are currently exploiting them. Shameless!

20 ( +25 / -5 )

I think this latest request on the comfort woman has finally pushed the balance of sympathy towards the Japanese side.

It's pushed me right to the middle. I believe both countries share equal blame now for not resolving this issue. The S. Koreans have negotiated in bad faith now, after agreeing to a solution, then reneging on their agreement.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Abe apologized for the moral responsibility of comfort women taking place.

Abe NEVER apologized for Japanese state ordering the forced conscription of comfort women, in fact Japan officially denies making such order and widely condemned worldwide.

According to the official statement, he actually did. Here's a link and the specific text, in case you need a refresher. I've highlighted the relevant parts for you.

https://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2015/12/28/full-text-japan-south-korea-statement-on-comfort-women/

* The issue of comfort women, with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time, was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of large numbers of women, *and the Government of Japan is painfully aware of responsibilities from this perspective.

*As Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister Abe expresses anew his most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.*

16 ( +23 / -7 )

Indeed, the UN HRC already demanded that Japan apologize to comfort women for their forced conscription last year, but Japan denied wrongdoing to UN last year.

The world sides with Korea on this issue, Japan is all alone, just like the whaling.

Thanks for the info. I wasn't aware of that.

>

-19 ( +6 / -25 )

Denial, denial regrettable that other countries are honest about a part of Japanese history that the Japanese Government refuse to face, let alone apologise, as for those in power any acknowledgement would mean their family complicity in these crimes might come to light.

-23 ( +4 / -27 )

In the Japanese scheme of things, even an admission of wrongdoing and apology can be a way of gaining "face." But it takes two to tango, and I can understand Japan's reluctance to take Moon up on his offer, since the likely response would be more hysterical denunciations and attempts to pour more salt in old wounds. The headline I saw in a newspaper a day or so ago suggested that Japan's future course of action be "mokusatsu" --- to treat the issue with silent contempt.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

So, if the agreement is worthless, then why accept it in the first place and why accept the money. This kind of backtracking makes it hard to trust the government.

They should start untying the knot by giving back the money, plus interest.

He mentioned a heartfelt apology, but what is it they really need? I have read of several apologies. A heartfelt apology or a purse string apology. It seems that Japan has done both on several times, but the K government keeps the money and then comes back for more.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Basically, there is no real solution to this problem. Korea will never be satisfied, will never move on, and nothing more heartfelt will be forthcoming from Japan. This is just a fact, accepted or not.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

Must be an Asian thing—constant whining. Not hardly a peep out of the Russians and Germans about the million-plus women raped on both sides during WWII. Just an ugly fact of war; never forget, but get over it and move on.

Spot on. I think those who 'wish' Japan were 'more like Germany' are missing the point. Post-war healing isn't only about bad guys taking responsibility for they what they did but also 'victims' allowing them to do so then move on. Czech, Poles, Danes, French, Belgians, Austrians etc realised that long time ago that's why they are now closer to Germany than they are to those who freed therm. SK's bitterness and self-entitlement is rather sad quite frankly pathetic.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

As I have mentioned before, it's a never ending story. Whatever Japan does, it may be settled for a while (as it has in the past) until someone decides that the apology wasn't deep enough or the legal payment wasn't big enough and everything starts all over again.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

Nobody can change the past, but everybody can change the future.

I just wish that someday, somebody in Japanese government would step out of the ranks, show initiative, and admit to Japans past wrongdoings, and sincerely apologise.

That I believe would really change the future for both countries, and for the best.

-21 ( +4 / -25 )

I think those who 'wish' Japan were 'more like Germany' are missing the point. Post-war healing isn't only about bad guys taking responsibility for they what they did but also 'victims' allowing them to do so then move on. Czech, Poles, Danes, French, Belgians, Austrians etc realised that long time ago that's why they are now closer to Germany than they are to those who freed therm.

I agree with you as to why it has worked in Europe. However, the Japan/Korea issue is different, in that neither side is willing to do what should be done. The Japanese won't atone and the Koreans won't forgive.

-17 ( +6 / -23 )

Well SK took just 1 day to revert to form, a new record for them. SK is now a farce and their prostitutes' claims are illegitimate, thankfully this has been cleared up

10 ( +15 / -5 )

And what is.”a heart-felt apology”? For how long will you continue to demand an apology as if you are saints and Japan is evil? Let’s put the past to rest for no apology is heart-felt more than peaceful co-existence. Every country has its bad and evil deeds and it is human. To err is human and to forgive divine.

Your repeated demand for apology every opportunity and year may soon ...

17 ( +19 / -2 )

I agree with the Japanese government that rehashing the agreement is not possible because it was already completed, however, the Japanese government could show sincerity by updating all school history texts and teacher guides confirming the situation occurred and include discussions about justice and humanity in high school cirriculums. Developing a better understanding in Japan of some of the historical events of the Asian-Pacific War has more effect than fake apologies in both countries.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

Both signed the agreement, If Korea wants to break it, let them and let them live with their toxic story. Japan should just move on and ignore this as it's settled in 2015.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Not only is SK repeating the cycle, we here are also repeating it ad nauseam.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I don't know what kind of games SK is playing. Take the wig from Norman Bates' mother and put it on President Moon, and he looks just like the lady in the photo the other day accompanied by the headline that said SK wouldn't be seeking to re-negotiate the deal. Also, if the victims will no longer receive Japanese money, what will SK do with that money that was earmarked for the victims?

14 ( +16 / -2 )

I don't know what SK wants now. The Emperor has visited, money has been paid at least twice, there have been apologies. It's never enough.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

@NZ2011

I do wish modern Japan could more clearly separate itself from the now non-existent Japanese Empire

The problem is that 1. Abe san doesn't believe Imperial Japan did anything wrong other than lose the war 2. Abe san believes the peak of Japanese civilization was 1937. 3. It is Abe's duty to revert Japan's clock back to 1937.

@Dukeleto

I think this latest request on the comfort woman has finally pushed the balance of sympathy towards the Japanese side.

Absolutely not. The proof is at UNESCO, where every other nation wants to enlist comfort women document into the archive but Japan alone opposes with all kinds of funding threats. No country on earth sides with Japan on denial of forced conscription of comfort women and whaling issues.

@extanker

he actually did.

he did not, and reinforced by official Japanese government denial of the forced conscription of comfort women at UN HRC hearing back in Febuary of 2016. Yes, the State of Japan officially denied the forced conscription of comfort women before a UN hearing.

Here's a link and the specific text

"with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time" This means Japanese military doctors provided medical inspection and care for comfort women in original Japanese version.

" *and the Government of Japan is painfully aware of responsibilities from this perspective" means moral responsibility, not the criminal responsibility of the Imperial Japanese military ordering the forced conscription of comfort women.

@Aly Rustom

Thanks for the info. I wasn't aware of that.

No problem. Once you know the facts on the ground, one can never support Japanese argument on the issue of the forced conscription of comfort women.

@NCIS Reruns

Japan's future course of action be "mokusatsu" --- to treat the issue with silent contempt.

Japan can't, because the comfort women documents will be registed at the UNESCO, which archives the crimes of Imperial Japan, more condemnations from UN, and new comfort women statues being erected around the world.

@viking68

why accept the money.

This is why Korea is returning the full amount of money back to Japan. It is already in the escrow account addressed to Japanese government.

@Farmboy

Korea will never be satisfied

Korea's position has been very consistent over the past 30 years; admit guilt and apologize to comfort women for the crimes of the forced conscription of comfort women by the Imperial Japanese Military. 

, will never move on

That's because Japan won't apologize to comfort women and continue to deny the crimes commited by the Imperial Japanese military.

@goldorak

Czech, Poles, Danes, French, Belgians, Austrians etc realised that long time ago that's why they are now closer to Germany than they are to those who freed therm. 

What Germany did to win forgiveness

Germany takes full responsibilities for the crimes of the Nazi Germany.

All German children are taught of Nazi crimes at school.

Denying holocaust or praising Nazis is a crime and offenders are sent to prison.

Nazi Swastika is banned.

What Japan does to anger Japans' former victims.

Japan denies the responsibility for the forced conscription of comfort women by Imperial Japanese military. Japan officially denies it at UN.

Japanese children are not taught of Imperial Japan's crimes at school.

Not only is denying Japan's past atrocities not a crime, it is actually fashionable and done at all levels, right upto Prime Minister.

All symbols of Imperial Japan are not only legal, but are used by the SDF today.

@Ex_Res

I just wish that someday, somebody in Japanese government would step out of the ranks, show initiative, and admit to Japans past wrongdoings, and sincerely apologise.

You overestimate Japanese. Yup, there were two such persons, Kono Yohei and Murayama Tomiichi. But they were overruns by hundreds of Abes and his cronies. Heck Kono Yohei's own son, the current FM, stands in the forefront in denial of his own father's apology.

@Strangerland

The Japanese won't atone and the Koreans won't forgive.

Koreans can't forgive when Japan won't atone. If Abe san was bowing down before comfort women asking for their forgiveness, yea blame Koreans. But that's not what's happening here right now.

-19 ( +6 / -25 )

Koreans can't forgive when Japan won't atone.

That's correct. And Japan won't atone if the Koreans won't forgive. It's a two way street, and they are both guilty of not coming to a solution. The Japanese negotiated in good faith for a solution, and the Koreans came to an agreement. Now they have reneged on that agreement. That destroys all trust that any future apology will be accepted, or that any future agreement will be respected. So what motivation do the Japanese have to try to find a solution, when the Koreans have shown that at any given time they may renege on their side of the agreement?

This one is on both countries. They now both bear a burden for the current status of the situation.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

“They need to be like Germany was after the war -- a country now very respected for making amends. For those who say Japan has done enough, don't forget that the very day Abe said "Bad things happened" and offered money, his wife visited Yasukuni, and many lawmakers said the whole issue of sexual slavery was propaganda. Hell, posters on here like OssanAmerica say the women were all well-paid prostitutes and Japan did no wrong. 

Pay back the money, absolutely, but don't give up on the apology!”

That is precisely how I see it

-20 ( +1 / -21 )

I suggest Moon first make a heartfelt apology to the comfort women for the Korean government holding on to previous reparations that were meant for them.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

@Samit Basu... thanks for the excellent comments and links to support your views! You are absolutely correct on this issue as many here are so biased by just supporting the Japanese Government without even knowledge of the details of the agreement that was reached in 2015 and in the past as well. The Japanese Government has been very technical in the apology by playing with words while never taking full responsibility of the comfort women issue. It's surprising that after everything that has happened, many Japanese still deny this and play the dumb card!

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

@Raw Beer

I suggest Moon first make a heartfelt apology to the comfort women for the Korean government holding on to previous reparations that were meant for them.

Moon already made a heartfeld apology to comfort women for the previous administration's illegal agreement that wrong them. However, he didn't withhold any money from them. Japanese government was refunded of its 1 billion yen with Korean government's fund.

-19 ( +4 / -23 )

@Samit Basu I agree with you 100%

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

Moon had already violated the agreement when he made this statement,

"This issue cannot be resolved through a give-and-take deal between governments struck over the victims' head," he said.

"A wrong knot has to be untied. Japan should accept the truth, make a heartfelt apology to victims."

Since the agreement states,

Under the deal, South Korea promised not to raise the issue again and Japan transferred 1 billion yen (now $8.9 million) to a foundation dedicated to supporting the victims.

His statement already raised the issue again.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

@Triring

Moon had already violated the agreement

Not a problem, since Moon specifically said he was not going to abide by the terms of the agreement.

The Japanese government has been refunded of the 1 billion yen and the agreement won't be honored anymore. That was the detail of Moon's speech.

-19 ( +3 / -22 )

@samit Basu I'm easy to find just google cliffworks

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Samit, but has the Korean government ever apologized for not giving the alleged victims the money (from many decades ago) they were due?

15 ( +16 / -1 )

What Germany did to win forgiveness

Germany takes full responsibilities for the crimes of the Nazi Germany.

> All German children are taught of Nazi crimes at school.

> Denying holocaust or praising Nazis is a crime and offenders are sent to prison.

> Nazi Swastika is banned.

What Japan does to anger Japans' former victims.

Japan denies the responsibility for the forced conscription of comfort women by Imperial Japanese military. Japan officially denies it at UN.

> Japanese children are not taught of Imperial Japan's crimes at school.

> Not only is denying Japan's past atrocities not a crime, it is actually fashionable and done at all levels, right upto Prime Minister.

> All symbols of Imperial Japan are not only legal, but are used by the SDF today.

The main problem is the culture, I think you’re making a solid point and argument, however, the Japanese culture and German culture are totally different in thinking acting, outlook, life view and for Germans atoning for past crimes and admitting faults of past atrocities is not seen as a bad thing. Germans constantly talk about the war and how important it is to never repeat the same mistakes again.

The Japanese or preferabley the Government doesn’t have a problem visiting its war fallen soldiers (war criminals to others) and cannot see or unwilling to understand the anger and the condemnation they get from other nations.

So it’s kind of hard to make a solid full on comparison, the same goes for the former East and West Germany and North and South Korea, totally different dynamic and in Germany’s case they fought for over 40 years and risking their lives to reunite their country and oppose communism. You will probably never see that in North Korea, unless the military take a stand and turn on Kim the same way the military did to Nikolai Ceaușescu. I just can’t see that kind of uprising even in the foreseeable future.

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

UN HRC already demanded that Japan apologize to comfort women for their forced conscription last year.

The UN HRC never "demanded" anything. It's 2018 now so it wasn't "last year". And who was the UN Secretary General two years ago? Another Moon.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

@bass4funk

> the Japanese culture and German culture are totally different in thinking acting, outlook, life view and for Germans atoning for past crimes and admitting faults of past atrocities is not seen as a bad thing.

And why should it be a bad thing for Japan? Don't make "cultural differences" argument. Just because it was OK for Japanese to sexually harrass Japanese women, does that make it right and acceptable? Absolutely no.

Germans constantly talk about the war and how important it is to never repeat the same mistakes again.

And so should Japanese. Japan has a higher stake to remember the past mistakes than Germany because Japan is surrounded by militarily powerful countries who can put Japan into submission in days and never got the apologies they deserved. Even North Korea can nuke Tokyo into ashes.

The Japanese or preferabley the Government doesn’t have a problem visiting its war fallen soldiers (war criminals to others) and cannot see or unwilling to understand the anger and the condemnation they get from other nations.

China and Korea have absolutely no problem with Japan's leaders visiting Yasukuni Shrine to honor Japan's fallen foot soldiers, for they too were as much a victim as Koreans and Chinese. 

However, China and Korea strongly object to Japan's leaders paying respect to Tojo Hideki and his fellow A class war criminals, the folks who started the war and caused so much death and destruction across Asia.

China and Korea's demands were very clear, just remove the name plates of A-class war criminals from the Yasukini Shrines and they won't object to Japanese leaders paying respect to the rest. However, Japan's leaders bowing before Tojo Hideki is absolutely unacceptable.

-19 ( +3 / -22 )

Samit BasuToday 11:31 am JST

Not a problem, since Moon specifically said he was not going to abide by the terms of the agreement.

In other words, neither Moon or the present SK government cannot be trusted in abiding any international treaties or bilateral agreements between nations.

Yeah, the world hears you LOUND AND CLEAR.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

I get tired of reading stories like these. Clearly the Republic of Korea wants to be Japans foe. I have no trouble with this fact. Talks between Japan and the Republic of Korea are at best pointless. Japan should prevent the USA from helping the Republic of Korea using Japanese bases. This will draw Japan into the Korean civil war. I do not want my grandchildren fighting to protect the southern faction in the Korean civil war. It is not our fight, it is not our business and Japan should of learned it lesson from the Pacific War in sending our troops to other countries. Japan needs to stand firm with article #9 and be truly neutral in today's conflicts.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

You know, I can’t help but feel that darker forces are at play here: that Pyongyang has long tentacles which reach into the RoK parliament. I wouldn’t be surprised if the two Koreas were colluding to defraud Japan for their own benefit. It certainly isn’t for the benefit of so-called comfort women.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Furthermore, I’d like to see US forces removed from the South. Let the Koreans sort out their differences among themselves.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

@YuriOtani

Japan should prevent the USA from helping the Republic of Korea using Japanese bases.

Japan can't. The US is free to do whatever it wants from its bases in Japan under the terms of agreement.

 I do not want my grandchildren fighting to protect the southern faction in the Korean civil war. 

Fear not. Korea absolutely opposes any Japanese involvement in the second war. In fact, the ROK army will turn around and open fire toward incoming SDF entering the ROK territory for any reason. Korea's message to Japan is simple. Japan is not welcome under any circumstance, stay home.

@Bungle

I’d like to see US forces removed from the South. 

US won't go, why would they give up the closest airbase to Beijing?

-21 ( +2 / -23 )

Its becoming an increasingly difficult struggle. About what you may ask? To keep any kind of respect for the S Korean government and parts of the population. This move is just baffling.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

@Saqqara

To keep any kind of respect for the S Korean government and parts of the population. This move is just baffling.

It is the other way around. Korea has demonstrated its ability to right past wrongs regardless of how many years have passed, nothing is simply buried and forgotten.

This is something Japan should learn from Korea.

-20 ( +1 / -21 )

Samit Basu, if the Americans would use their bases to support the southern faction in the Korean war, it would make Japan a target for the northern faction. Since the southern faction does not want any help from Japan, America should not use bases paid for by Japan to support the Republic of Korea in a renewed civil war. Oh by the way, the SDF would not fight in the Korean civil war. It is against article #9 of our constitution.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

@YuriOtani

Samit Basu, if the Americans would use their bases to support the southern faction in the Korean war, it would make Japan a target for the northern faction.

Okinawa US marines would intervene and the 7th fleet would move to the Taiwan Straits if China invaded Taiwan, thereby automatically making Japan a target of China.

So has Japan forbidden the US troops from protecting Taiwan? Of course not.

The USFJ has the freedom to do whatever it wants and no restriction is placed on them by the Tokyo government.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

Must be an Asian thing—constant whining. Not hardly a peep out of the Russians and Germans about the million-plus women raped on both sides during WWII. Just an ugly fact of war; never forget, but get over it and move on.

Holy smokes. That all Asian countries could be lumped together...How could such a racist statement get so many likes from the morally upright commentators on JT. Shocking to say the least.

But then I suppose I shouldn't expect such racism from westerners... indeed racism, cultural superiority must be a western thing. Oh yes.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Give the money back, Korea has no idea what signing a contract means...

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Japan can't. The US is free to do whatever it wants from its bases in Japan under the terms of agreement.

Actually Japan does have a word in it under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America article four which stipulates;

ARTICLE IV

The Parties will consult together from time to time regarding the implementation of this Treaty, and, at the request of either Party, whenever the security of Japan or international peace and security in the Far East is threatened.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

gogogo

Give the money back, Korea has no idea what signing a contract means...

The money is already in the escrow account, Korean government has been urging Japanese government to provide the routing number and Japanese government has been running away.

-18 ( +1 / -19 )

@samit batsu

you’re obviously incredibly biased so nothing said here apart from Abe agreeing to apologize by way of ritual suicide will appease you.

The bottom line is, Japan and Abe officially apologized and took responsibility for Japan’s actions in the official agreement between SK and Japan. That is what we are discussing here. It’s there in writing and you can read between the lines all you want, it doesn’t change the wording of the official agreement.

Yes, many Japanese still deny the issue, even in the government itself. That does not change the fact that the agreement was signed and accepted by both countries and by trying to back out of it, South Korea is just exacerbating the issue and turning opinion against them.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

@Triring

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Mutual_Cooperation_and_Security_between_the_United_States_and_Japan

The negativity toward the treaty was largely based on the argument that article 6 of the treaty threatens the sovereign power of Japan. Article 6, as further explained below, contains a Status of Forces Agreement allowing the US to use military forces and facilities deployed in Japan for combat purposes other than the defense of Japan.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

@Triring

http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/q&a/ref/1.html

ARTICLE VI

For the purpose of contributing to the security of Japan and the maintenance of international peace and security in the Far East, the United States of America is granted the use by its land, air and naval forces of facilities and areas in Japan. The use of these facilities and areas as well as the status of United States armed forces in Japan shall be governed by a separate agreement, replacing the Administrative Agreement under Article III of the Security Treaty between Japan and the United States of America, signed at Tokyo on February 28, 1952, as amended, and by such other arrangements as may be agreed upon.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Doesn't matter what you say, it's written clearly in article 4 that the US is required to consult with Japan IF Japan raises questions.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

@Triring

the US is required to consultwith Japan IF Japan raises questions.

So you think the US would stop its troop deployment from its Japanese bases if the Tokyo government asks them a question? I don't think so.

The USFJ is free to deploy to areas outside of Japan as it sees fit.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Japan already apologized to South Korea 100 times and more.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

And why should it be a bad thing for Japan? Don't make "cultural differences" argument. Just because it was OK for Japanese to sexually harrass Japanese women, does that make it right and acceptable? Absolutely no.

Of course it doesn’t make it acceptable, I’m just saying when people try to compare the two countries, on the surface they look similar, but that’s it and that’s where the similarities end. Culturally, they are so different the lists are too long to mention.

And so should Japanese. Japan has a higher stake to remember the past mistakes than Germany because Japan is surrounded by militarily powerful countries who can put Japan into submission in days and never got the apologies they deserved. Even North Korea can nuke Tokyo into ashes.

Again, I agree with you, but how do you accomplish that? How do you get this country to change when this country is so resistent to change.

However, China and Korea strongly object to Japan's leaders paying respect to Tojo Hideki and his fellow A class war criminals, the folks who started the war and caused so much death and destruction across Asia.

For the foreseeable future you will not see a change in that, if the Germans did the same practice, the condemnation would be severe and Germany wouldn’t be where it’s at today on the world stage. If you go to the spot where Hitler took his life, it’s covered by apartments, you would never know, there are no celebrations or shrines or signs that indicate this. The only way you’d know would be if some historians were to take you and show you.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Another Korean Politician working the crowd

Exactly. That's what its all about. But hey its not a uniquely Korean method of politics. Every leader plays to the crowd.

I don't like their chances this time. I think the consensus in the current Japanese government is pretty fixed. This issue is over for them.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

And so should Japanese. Japan has a higher stake to remember the past mistakes than Germany because Japan is surrounded by militarily powerful countries who can put Japan into submission in days and never got the apologies they deserved. Even North Korea can nuke Tokyo into ashes.

Again, I agree with you, but how do you accomplish that? How do you get this country to change when this country is so resistent to change.

"This country" being Japan?

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Hardly any living Japanese had anything to do with WWII.

Barely any living Koreans had anything to do with WWII.

My grandfather was a pilot in WWII and he wasn’t even 20 yet.

Korea is getting worked up about something that has no effect on them.

Neither me or my parents are old enough to remember anything about the war, neither did we do anything wrong to anyone. That’s why I’m not sorry.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Korea is getting worked up about something that has no effect on them.

Some of these women are still alive, at the end of their lives. And it certainly means something to them.

Neither me or my parents are old enough to remember anything about the war, neither did we do anything wrong to anyone. That’s why I’m not sorry.

You don't personally need to be sorry, you haven't done anything wrong. But the entity that is Japan the country is not the same as the people of the country, and as a country, proper atonement should be made. Ideally before these women die.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

And so it continues... no matter how many apologies are made this will rumble on forever.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the result of the study on the issue of "comfort women".......

http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/state9308.html

 *Undeniably, this was an act, with the involvement of the military authorities of the day, that severely injured the honor and dignity of many women. The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.*

It is incumbent upon us, the Government of Japan, to continue to consider seriously, while listening to the views of learned circles, how best we can express this sentiment.

A genuine heartfelt expressions of contrition.

Politically and diplomatically the subsequent 'apologises' does little or nothing to enhance or preserve the question of repentance.

South Korean President Moon Jae-In Government lacks the courage or the spine to challenge and purge his cabinet/parliament from the toxicity succumbing to a powerful politically motivated group of activists that are accused of callous and shameless abuse of frail pensioners purely for hostile intent.

These activists sole intent is to humiliate the people of Japan through acts of poisonous sanctimonious demands for retribution, in reality spiteful, vengeful, retaliation, generation after generation and detailed in "Comfort Women of the Empire" by Professor Park Yuha....

http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.jp/2014/10/summary-of-professor-park-yuhas-book.html

Weak government is a direct result of a failure of leadership, that foolishly panders to political activism through fear of going against public opinion.

No present or future Government of Japan is remotely responsible for atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Army. There is no international court or body that can compel modern day Japan, a smart dedicated nation devoted to peaceful coexistence with neighbours.

One question is education, I do believe on the curriculum should be a clear understanding on how, culturally, fanaticism nationally, can lead to binding devotion for an emperor and the influence that has on an armed forces  that committed unimaginable acts of extreme cruelty.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Great Britain could offer a way forward. Imperialism again compelled extreme acts of bloodshed on a global scale.  I don't think there is a culture with a pulse that past 16th and early 18th British Governments didn't want to conquer and/or enslave. Yet there isn't the same call for attrition?.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Maybe the international community needs to get involved, since these two countries are not going to conclude this issue on their own

This is a result of USA intervention.  BIden of Obama administration told Abe to make another deal with SK on this.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Its a 2 way street Moon. How about removing those statues from the front of Japans embassy and consulate first! N? didn't think so! Return the money straight away and let history record you as the president who let Japan/SK relations slide to their lowest for years when your country needs all the allies it can get! Or are you hoping your new Olympic buddies north of the border will now not still want to attack you because you invited them to Ski camp!

16 ( +18 / -2 )

The South Korean politicians won't let this be resolved - its too valuable political football for them to use to pander to the Nationalist right for votes in elections. It has been for years. Make no mistake, South Korea are every bit as guilty for not resolving this issue properly as Japan are, if not more.

And if the South Korean people allow these politicians to continue with such rubbish over and over again, then I'm sorry, but they are just as culpable.

Absolute load of rubbish.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Denied by a tiny minority, and politically given lopsided unjustified  front centre media coverage. All to inflame provoke and intimidate.

In essence to tar and feather an entire nation dignity.

This unmitigated attrition is against a people, this is not a call for contrition. To demand a nation be held legally accountable is out and out retribution, especially when over 80% where not even present.  

South Korean President Moon Jae-In, in a act of, frankly political cowardice has not only failed to address the core agenda into the cynicism, but also failed to question the ethics and motivation of these activists to cart these frail old ladies arpound he world back and forth as political exhibits.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

saying that there were no orders to do such a thing because all documents were destroyed is pathetic.

Japan did not destroy any document, no need to.  Japan has all the evidence that they were just prostitutes Korean brokers brought to Japan.  But US and Korea ignore it just as any other accusations on Japan.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

"The world sides with Korea on this issue, Japan is all alone, just like the whaling."

Bang on. Short and 100% on point.

OssanAmerica: "Pretty loathsome habit you have there of naming a poster to make personal attacks. Your post really should be moderated."

It was me who made that comment, not Christoper Glen. And if you're not ashamed of what you said, what's the problem with it? You HAVE said it, time and again, as early as a few days ago in fact. Why do you consider the facts an attack? As for moderation, people saying that women forced into sexually slavery "were all well paid prostitutes" in support of denying coercion and rape by the IJA should be banned. It is not only wrong, but disgusting and offensive, and one of the reasons why Japan will ALWAYS need to apologize until it is on the record and sincere, with no one then denying it ever happened. But, hey, if I'm wrong and you believe the truth that the women were forced into sexual slavery, fell free to prove me wrong and say so. Last time you didn't. You won't now.

-21 ( +3 / -24 )

tinawatanabeJan. 11  07:06 pm JST

Japan did not destroy any document, no need to. Japan has all the evidence...

Ummm.... I think the way things usually work is that one needs to obtain more documents if one needs more evidence, not destroy them.

Arguments need to make sense to be convincing.

bass4funkJan. 11  11:40 am JST

The Japanese or preferabley the Government doesn’t have a problem visiting its war fallen soldiers (war criminals to others) and cannot see or unwilling to understand the anger and the condemnation they get from other nations.

That kind of thing will happen when two thirds of the Diet and most of the Cabinet is affiliated to a lobby group founded by ex WW2 military officers. It's a bit like if all of the politicians in Germany were members of a veterans association for the Gestapo and Waffen SS.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

@Tommy Jones

"This country" being Japan?

Of course. It is Japan that has to change.

@thepersoniamnow

Hardly any living Japanese had anything to do with WWII.

Angela Merkel said Germany was forever liable for the crimes of Nazi Germany.

Same goes for Japan. Japan is forever liable for the crimes of Imperial Japan.

Korea is getting worked up about something that has no effect on them.

It does, Korea doesn't want to fight a war with Japan that has forgotton its atrocities and is about to repeat it, even if Korea can pound Tokyo and get a surrender from Japan quickly in 2017. Korea is trying to remind Japan of its past atrocities for Japan's own benefit.

@Thunderbird2

no matter how many apologies are made this will rumble on forever.

Just one is enough. Apparantly, Abe san is too much of a coward to make this single sincere apology.

@itsonlyrocknroll

Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the result of the study on the issue of "comfort women

The 2015 Abe statement rolls back on the Kono Statement.

@joyridingonthetitanic

Its a 2 way street Moon. How about removing those statues from the front of Japans embassy and consulate first!

No can do. Those are privately funded statues approved by local governments. Moon has no authority to order their removal.

Return the money straight away

The full 1 billion yen has already been returned in an escrow account, but Japanse goverment is refusing to take it back.

the president who let Japan/SK relations slide to their lowest for years

That's a point earner for Korean voters. Korean voters don't want anything to do with Japan.

@Taramrama

And if the South Korean people allow these politicians to continue with such rubbish over and over again, then I'm sorry, but they are just as culpable.

According to polls conducted after the Moon speech, 65% of voters support this stealth termination of agreement by Moon. 20% would have preferred a hard explicit termination and don't like "Japan gets its money back, and Korea will pretend the agreement doesn't exist" approach. Only 15% would have preferred the agreement to stay.

So it is a political suicide for Korena politians to back the agreement as is.

-21 ( +2 / -23 )

Korea is trying to remind Japan of its past atrocities for Japan's own benefit.

Ha. Moon is trying to remind Japan of its past atrocities for his next reelection campaign.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Apparantly, Abe san is too much of a coward to make this single sincere apology.

Well, except for those times that he did apologize. I mean, it's only there in an official document signed by both governments, it's not like there's proof of it or anything...

13 ( +14 / -1 )

@Samit,

It does, Korea doesn't want to fight a war with Japan that has forgotton its atrocities and is about to repeat it, even if Korea can pound Tokyo and get a surrender from Japan quickly in 2017.

You mentioned this several times that South Korea can overtake Japan militarily quite easily. Where are you getting your sources from? Really want to read up on that.

Other than that, keep up the comments! Quite an interesting read.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Japan needs to pay hundreds of billions of dollars to Korea, Philippines, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand etc. in reparations for the vile crimes that Japanese men committed during the twentieth century.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

It does, Korea doesn't want to fight a war with Japan that has forgotton its atrocities and is about to repeat it, even if Korea can pound Tokyo and get a surrender from Japan quickly in 2017.

You mentioned this several times that South Korea can overtake Japan militarily quite easily. Where are you getting your sources from? Really want to read up on that.

I don't know about that. But he does like to make things up.

https://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.asp

12 ( +13 / -1 )

The ROK can take over the entire NK in 2 weeks including a Normandy style landing near Pyongyang.

Every expert is saying NK would prevail.  ROK is already politically invaded by NK.  President Moon, a NK sympathizer, is demanding Japan another apology to break Japan-SK relation.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Why does not Abe offer a heart felt apology? I does not cost Japan anything. It does not even have to really come from the heart. I just have sound sincere. What is wrong with Abe?

Denial.

Denial takes many forms. One is the total denial that you something terrible. Holocaust denial is the best example. An entire cottage industry of lies is built around it. Then there is the other kind: We did it but we we're as bad as you think, so don't make admit it is worse than we care to admit. It is in this quagmire that Abe is caught and it is there that truths, half-truths and lies circulate; sometimes the lies rise to the surface just long enough to do damage the business of diplomacy. Let's be clear: the young "comfort women" were forced into prostitution by the Japan's military. It is also the case that those who survived lived ruined lives. That is enough to merit a diplomatic heart felt apology.

The Abe government is caught up by the latter form of denial that I have describe above. This is why, for example, they shrink from statues of comfort women the way vampire are said to shrink from crucifixes.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

After seeing this topic presented on NHK TV news, I realized (I think) that the issue is not merely the plight of the women who were not consulted by So. Korea's previous president when the "final" solution was arrived at--it is also perhaps a So. Korean criticism of PM Abe as he prepares for party reelection.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I remember reading that the money paid was not considered reparations 賠償金 by the Japanese side and it was not allowed to be called so by Korea.

I understand from a strategic diplomatic viewpoint Japan does not want to attract other potential claims of a similar scale.

However I think it would have been more satisfactory to Korea if Japan had clearly stated in a written agreement that Japan was taking responsibility by paying reparations.

But Japan chose not take that path and are now having an "irreversible" deal reversed on them.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The misdeeds of colonial period cannot be approached in an Yamaguchi hot spring. What a shame.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@Nasubi

The term used by Japan is 慰労金, not 賠償金.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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