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Obama says Japan's wartime sex slavery was 'terrible' violation of human rights

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If U.S. wants to get involved on the Korean comfort women issue, Obama needs to clarify the 1965 treaty between Japan and Korea. Korean goverment already received millions as demanded, and are you going back to the accuser 50 years later and say "it's not enough, give us more money and another apology"? Average Korean citizens didn't even know until declassification in 2005 file (which is 40 years later) that Koreans learned for the first time that Japan had actually paid reparations and that their own Korean government had used up most of the reparations designated for individual compensation.

1 ( +25 / -23 )

Did Obama use the words "sex slaves" or is it just the AFP grinding it's axe again, for whatever reason?

I agree, there should be a complete, accurate and clear account of what happened, in particular with regards to what proportion was "forced", how and by whom; and what proportion were just prostitutes employed or otherwise by the Korean sex industry.

It's time for the Koreans to wind it down.

5 ( +18 / -13 )

Will you please just drop the subject, it's over already. I'm really tired of hearing about this issue, and the shrine visits. Thumbs down me if you want, but somebody needed to say it.

7 ( +24 / -17 )

“And they deserve to be heard, they deserve to be respected. And there should be an accurate and clear account of what happened.

I guess you and Abe are in agreement there except Ms. Pak and her administeration vehemently opposes the re-investigation the lead to the Kono statement.

-9 ( +13 / -22 )

Mister Ed Apr. 26, 2014 - 07:00AM JST I agree, there should be a complete, accurate and clear account of what happened, in particular with regards to what proportion was "forced", how and by whom; and what proportion were just prostitutes employed or otherwise by the Korean sex industry.

Why? That all issues of wartime reparation have been “completely and finally” settled with the 1965 treaty with South Korea. Case is closed.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

"and are you going back to the accuser 50 years later and say "it's not enough, give us more money and another apology"?"

You miss the the point. Obama's statement comes soon after the Japanese gov't's attempt to backtrack on its early apology, (which came after decades of official denial), and senior Japanese officials, like the NHK chief, attempting to downplay and legitimize sex slavery by Japan and say "there is no evidence."

26 ( +34 / -9 )

How do they propose to get "an accurate account", seriously?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Obama should have mentioned this while he was in Jiro's, maybe Abe would have agreed and released his own statement acknowleging the terrible violation of human rights.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

JeffLee Apr. 26, 2014 - 07:07AM JST You miss the the point. Obama's statement comes soon after the Japanese gov't's attempt to backtrack on its early apology, (which came after decades of official denial), and senior Japanese officials, like the NHK chief, attempting to downplay and legitimize sex slavery by Japan and say "there is no evidence."

The Kono statement never admitted that more than 200,000 women were kidnapped or abducted by the Imperial Japanese Military in the Korean Peninsula. So, can you show me any subjective evidence to prove that 200,000 Asian women were kidnapped and abducted by the Imperial Japanese Army besides testimonies? The testimony of the women is in many case either self-contradictory, demonstrably false or clearly exaggerated beyond belief. Some former women have testified that most of the women were willing participants in prostitution. Clearly such testimonies were not highlighted by activists.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Obama should stick to his Obamacare in USA than meddling Asia. China must be enjoying too know this.

-19 ( +9 / -28 )

@JeffLee,

Except it comes sooner after Abe's statements that his cabinet will uphold the Kono Statement as well as his own apologies for Japan's past. Japan may have more it can do to make things better, but the event you described is a non-issue.

The US should not be getting involved in this unless they want to mediate a bi-lateral summit between South Korea and Japan. Otherwise, this is an issue the US should not involve itself. Hell, they don't need Obama to make statements and further poison relations as Japan and South Korea are holding talks about ways to improve bi-lateral relations, including comfort women issues, right now.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

"...the past is something that has to be recognized honestly and fairly.”

That is it in a nutshell. Its not really about compensation. Its not really about an apology. It definitely not just about South Korean sex slaves when there were Chinese, Indonesian, Dutch, Filipina and many other sex slaves too.

This is about continued and repeated attempts by Japan to deny that the sexual slavery ever happened or downplay it. It might have been ages ago, but Japan is whitewashing its history today, miseducating the people about it today, and literally honoring the evil men who presided over the slavery system at Yasukuni today. And that means we cannot trust Japan today or tomorrow. The sick, twisted, selfish, evil, lying nationalists have taken over this country and sparked region wide war before. They occupy a large block of this country's government and their sycophants were just marching in Tokyo touting the Co-prosperity Sphere on Hitler's birthday. If you think there is no danger of another fascist take-over in miseducated docile Japan, you are much like the fools who thought the German Republic was safe from Hitler's brownshirts. These guys are already in the government in large numbers visiting Yasukuni and insisting that women who were kidnapped, tricked and raped were all volunteers. If you think we are safe with these types of people around, you need to go back to history class!

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Some of the comments above said, that the issue was already settled with the 1965 agreement between Kapan and South Korea. But what about the women from other countries? Like China, North Kora, the Netherlands, Australia and the UK?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Obama should talk about "terrible violations of human rights!"

What the US did in Vietnam was FAR worse.

Read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Turse

1 ( +1 / -0 )

and dropping the atomic bomb not once but twice on unarmed civilians

Hardly he is aware of those bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He is like a songbird, fully controlled by his advisors. One sort of songs for Japan, another for South Korea.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Some of the comments above said, that the issue was already settled with the 1965 agreement between Kapan and South Korea. But what about the women from other countries? Like China, North Kora, the Netherlands, Australia and the UK?

China -- Joint Communique of 1972, and the Treaty of Peace (for Taiwan)

UK, Netherlands Philippines and Australia -- San Francisco Treaty.

Indonesia -- Bilateral reparations treaty with Japan.

North Korea -- never normalized relations with Japan...or any countries besides China and Russia.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

a senkaku win on comfort woman, a loss obama japan

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Obama should stick to his Obamacare in USA than meddling Asia. China must be enjoying too know this.

I think it's fair to say, the the further Obama can stay away from talking about Obamacare, the better for him. Oh, and by the way, as the free leader of the world, and being both an ally to Japan and South Korea, he can meddle, since we're protecting them and giving both countries a lot of hardware, fighter planes in particular, gives us more rights to have a say or an opinion.

and perhaps urge USA to also bow and apologize to the many African nations for the abuse of slavery in its history. . . . .

So what about the Africans that sold the slaves to the Whites in the first place? Do they get a pass? and what about the other countries that owned slaves, arabs included?

@Bertie

What the US did in Vietnam was FAR worse.

From your point of view. Not from the Koreans POV apparently and not for many soldiers that fought in Vietnam. So it all depends on who you ask.

Can we now stop with the petty partisan political bickering?

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

MGigante Apr. 26, 2014 - 08:03AM JST UK, Netherlands Philippines and Australia -- San Francisco Treaty.

After SF Treaty in 1951, the Stikker-Yoshida Agreement eventually led to the signing in 1956 between Japan and Netherlands. Japan offered $10 million dollars "voluntarily" to Netherlands "in order to express sincere remorse and regrets for the irreparable pain suffered by the Dutch Nationals."

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I feel that, although guilty to some degree, the Japanese may have only taken advantage of an age-old problem. As in many times the case, however, it's easier to point a xenophobic finger at the foreigner instead of looking inward to understand one's problems. The case of the comfort women may need some objective examining before the Japanese get nailed again.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Obama should have brought this up while he was in Japan. Raising the issue in S Korea just shows what a "tell them what they wanna hear" snake he is .

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

The Japanese news has been going nuts with this; you can watch it now. I appreciate Obama standing up against the crap thats being spewed in Japan about Korea. The Japanese could put this behind them and stop with the "we paid Korea money" crap then go and make statements that the comfort women issue was a farce. Nobody believes Japan, and what they should do is send the Emperor to Korea with a memorial to the comfort women as an apology recongnized by the state of Japan.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

South Korea and other nations accuse Tokyo of failing sufficiently to atone for the “comfort women” pressed to service its troops during its brutal war of expansion.

There is obviously plenty of denial expressed by many people and politicians of Japan regarding the comfort women and other wartime atrocities of the nation. Japan would certainly be a much stronger nation if its people and media at least expressed a sense outrage when this happens.

Still, the people and government of Korea for their part have also has failed to properly do their own soul searching, and are largely in the same boat as Japan given that many Koreans — some prominent national figures during and after the war (such as Park's own father) — clearly had a hand to play in enslaving comfort women and other wartime atrocities. That is completely ignored when they levy criticism and outrage toward Japan.

Anyway, here is a passage from Wikipedia in that regard:

After the war, 148 Koreans were convicted of Class B and C war crimes, 23 of whom were sentenced to death (compared to 920 Japanese who were sentenced to death), including Korean prison guards who were particularly notorious for their brutality during the war.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Hold the phone folks. If the Japanese Embassy General Counsel has the right to tell the town council in Palisades Park, New Jersey, that they should remove the statue there memorializing these women, Obama has every right to state his opinion in Korea. Japan decided to politicize this issue in the U.S. so it needs to be prepared for the fall-out from that. As the saying goes "turnabout is fair play".

1 ( +8 / -7 )

The Japanese news has been going nuts with this; you can watch it now. I appreciate Obama standing up against the crap thats being spewed in Japan about Korea. The Japanese could put this behind them and stop with the "we paid Korea money" crap then go and make statements that the comfort women issue was a farce. Nobody believes Japan, and what they should do is send the Emperor to Korea with a memorial to the comfort women as an apology recongnized by the state of Japan.

Trust me, I hear these excuses from the Japanese government and people on a daily basis (yawn). But you are absolutely correct. I too, applaud Obama on that.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Why was this not an issue in 1945-1946? Was the worlds attention on the Nuremberg Trials and somehow missed Imperial Japans atrocities. While the Nazi's performed mass execution the Japanese were no angels on human respect. How was that severely overlooked? The "war criminals" from Europe and Japan were tried and executed but so few Japanese. Nazi's are still hunted today as they have been since 1945!

Disclaimer- Not all Nazi's were evil. I am referring the the SS police and other monster Nazi's and supporters of them.
-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Disappointing to hear that! When trying to verify "comfort women" issue, freedom of speech is always restricted by Korea. Japan is really free and independant country?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Not a single word from ABE whe Obama claims sex slavery was a terrible crime, but when a Korean President claims the same thing ABE goes bonkers and go into a fit.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

It occurred 70 years ago and is time for both sides and all Countries still pissed at Japan over WW2 to move on! You don't hear ad nauseam from other European Countries still whining about what the German did or didn't do during the war.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Oh and let's not forget the violations of Guantanamo Bay - - - which AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL has called " the Gulag of modern times".

So you were there and you can without a single shred of evidence, photos or substantiated hard facts to verify what Amnesty international said? "The Red Cross" says something entirely different.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lou Reed, the difference between Europe and Japan is in Europe their were roundups and trials pertaining to many or most atrocities. Japan had few War Criminals and minimal investigations compared to Nazi's.

And FYI, no doubt individual soldiers raped women from Axis nations as well as the "Wester world" nations. Oh, and the atrocities the Soviets committed continue to go unaddressed.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

But why this was not a issue for South Korea for almost three decades from 1966 to early 1990's when most of these survivors were still alive? If the issue of comfort women was so important to them, don't you think the South Korean goverment would've acted much sooner and brought attention to Japan? Point is, South Korean goverment couldn't care less about these women for a long time, as long as Japanese goverment paid their millions. The fault also lies on the South Korean goverment, and Park should acknowledge this.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Yes. If it's true.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

war brings atrocities and weaker are devoured through whatever means possible....if Korea would have been in power back then, then we would have heard about Japanese comfort women. People are just fighting over a issue which is not so important or new enough to create another same history for the future.

-2 ( +2 / -5 )

A hundred years old those woman during world war 2, politics before and today are totally different why not close the past and think the future and today. Still many korean ppl crying over the ferry why not Korea giving that such attentions ?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

How contradictive of Obama. It amazes me how he can say such a thing when it was men of his country who landed on Okinawa and raped countless Japanese women.

But you lack to mention the Japanese soldiers that also committed far more crimes of rape and atrocities. Be fair now.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

It's pretty odd that Obama never mentioned this to Abe while they were sucking down sake and sushi at Jiro's. He waited till he got to Korea and then jumped on it.

This issue will never go away regardless of apologies and compensation. The past is the past and cannot be changed. However, most people seem to be sick of hearing about it and the complaints made against Japan by the half a dozen other Asian countries that were used to supply the brothels of Japanese troops. The only reason for this is because of Japan's attempts to bend the truth and cover up the events. You have some Japanese politicians stating it never happened. You have others defending it by saying it was necessary and others stating the women volunteered. This is the problem! It has nothing to do with apologies or compensation. It is the attempts by the Japanese politicians to downplay and cover it up that is stirring up the trouble. If the Japanese government and its cronies were to openly admit the wrong doing and denounce all the lies and cover ups this issue would fade into the past. Man up Japan!!! You did it! Accept it so we can all get on with our lives!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Stop referring to these women as Comfort Women. There were no comfort except for pain and suffering. These young women were raped and used as sex slaves. There should be no excuse for these acts.

I'm not a fan of Obama but on this issue, he got it right

5 ( +9 / -5 )

“And they deserve to be heard, they deserve to be respected. And there should be an accurate and clear account of what happened.

I'm with Obama on this one. Victims of crimes have the right to be heard.

Obama is not saying there should be another apology or more compensation, he's simply saying that at present no-one wants to actually stop and LISTEN to these women. Their government is so busy trying to turn it into political capital that they're not listening (because I suspect that the full truth would actually damage their case considerably), and the Japanese are sick of hearing about it and so they're not listening about it.

However, to be fair let's also hear from the women raped in Okinawa by the U.S. troops too? Accounts from British and Australian officers make it clear that it was wide-spread. And while we're at it let's have a full accounting from the Vietnamese women raped or coerced into prostitution by the U.S. forces in Vietnam, and let's also unclassify the reports of sexual assaults in Iraq by U.S. soldiers and U.S. contractors that are currently state secrets (purely for political reasons)....

-2 ( +7 / -8 )

It is the attempts by the Japanese politicians to downplay and cover it up that is stirring up the trouble. If the Japanese government and its cronies were to openly admit the wrong doing and denounce all the lies and cover ups this issue would fade into the past.

@Disillusioned

I would even go as far as to say that I'm not interested in hearing Japanese politicians openly admit to wrongdoings, but instead it would be a major positive step forward simply if they would stop needlessly provoking animosity through actions and statements denying and downplaying past wrongdoings, while publicly denouncing those who do. Plus, no more visits to Yasukuni and other sites dedicated to whitewashing/glorifying past misdeeds (Yasukuni angers not only Korea/China, but many former POWs from the US/UK/Australia/Canada have been deeply offended after visiting the sites war 'museum'). I'm not interested in hearing repeated apologies from Japanese politicians, I just get fed up with hearing repeated denials and whitewashing.

If the Japanese government were to avoid these public displays of denial, it would be much easier for everyone to move forward, even with no further apologies, no repeatedly admitting to wrongdoings — just practicing of sensible diplomacy, focusing on building positive relations, and duly keeping feet out of mouths.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

At the end of the day, Japan is going to have to bite the bullet and swallow its pride and actively take steps to ease the painful memories and hurt of the Koreans (and Chinese among others) - they may feel it's unfair for whatever reason. When you commit horrors of human abuse you can hardy expect an easy ride. Come on Japan, suck it up and show the world how much you have matured with international relations.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I'm very sick of this long time issue officially completed in 1965 by both Japan and S Korea, If S Korea wants more compensations and more apologies from Japan, better bring this to ICJ. It would give the best answer for both countries if ICJ accepts it.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I would say Park is actually least thinking about the wartime sex slaves. She is banging her head hard now to gain her lost popularity in the recent unfortunate ship incident. And the easiest way to fool the fellow citizens is to bring up this issue again. Hello Koreans, Wake up ! It's high time you need to ask your govt about the already paid money and move forward. Your govt already ate up the whole money for themselves instead of compensating the wartime sex slaves. You did this to your own countrymen exploiting the situation and let the wartime sex slaves suffer till end of their life. The whole Koreans should be ashamed of this act. Instead you ask for more money....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I really do wonder if Mr. Obama going to say the same later in the Philippines who has comfort women victims too? Well, to tell you he didn't have to and need to! Mr.Obama is just comforting the butthurted Koreans! They needed some comforting empathetic words because they cannot move on! PITY! The Philippines have forgiven Japan and now in good relationship. Why can't South Korea do the same? Are they going to whine for this forever?

They've received money and apologies. It's enough! SWALLOW IT ALREADY and MOVE ON KOREANS!

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

The day Japan stops whitewashing, lying about and omitting chunks of its past is the day the rest of the world stops talking about it. Those parts of atonement are more important than apologies and compensation.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Jeezus, now this person getting into the debate.

I'm surprised Obama didn't mention that Japan has neeeever apologized or atoned for the comfort women issue.

The majority of the world, with the assistance of the anti Japan crowd, still thinks Japan has 'never' apologized or offered reparations for the comfort women issue.

Again, how ironic that the anti Japan crowd engages in the very thing they accuse all Japanese of doing, whitewashing the past.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

They've received money and apologies. It's enough! SWALLOW IT ALREADY and MOVE ON KOREANS!

So why don't the Japanese take a page to what you are saying and swallow it about Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

What you are throwing at the Koreans, the same lame logic can be thrown right back at you.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Crimson and CloverAPR. 26, 2014 - 10:53AM JST The day Japan stops whitewashing, lying about and omitting chunks of its past is the day the rest of the world stops talking about it. Those parts of atonement are more important than apologies and compensation.

The rest of the world doesn't care and give a damn! Not even the other Comfort Women victims like the Philippines. ONLY KOREA and CHINA are making the noise and they're dragging Japan and the U.S. with their whinging.

Korea and China are the real whitewasher. There are victims, true, but there are sex merchants as well. You cannot overlook every detail and say which history is true!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

they've received money and apologies. It's enough! SWALLOW IT ALREADY and MOVE ON KOREANS

Thanks for demonstrating precisely the attitude that is causing the whole war-time issues like comfort women - most Japanese just don't feel any remorse or sorry to Koreans for what their country did. I worry that the country I have made my home is a cruel and heartless one at its core. Tell me I'm wrong, someone?

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

So why don't the Japanese take a page to what you are saying and swallow it about Hiroshima and Nagasaki? What you are throwing at the Koreans, the same lame logic can be thrown right back at you.

I don't believe that there are any recent demands from the Japanese government to the U.S. about the bombings. Are there? And if there is, why was it not addressed when Obama visited Japan?

You're not mistakenly generalizing the entire Japanese population and the right-wingers aren't you?

2 ( +5 / -4 )

The rest of the world doesn't care and give a damn! Not even the other Comfort Women victims like the Philippines. ONLY KOREA and CHINA are making the noise and they're dragging Japan and the U.S. with their whinging.

Korea and China are the real whitewasher. There are victims, true, but there are sex merchants as well. You cannot overlook every detail and say which history is true!

Doesn't care. You mean, Japan couldn't care less. Everyone was a victim and every country lost lives hundreds and thousands, the point is: it's ok for Japan to whine about the past and the world has to listen, but when the Koreans or the Chinese make a case, it gets ignored. It's NOT about the money. Ever wonder why Germany doesn't have this problem? What is Germany doing right and Japan doing wrong. Anyone can pass the blame, but don't give that crap that Japan was the major victim in all of this. Who started this? It wasn't Okinawa, Korea, China or the U.S. and no one told Japan to go into Manchuria and to annex Korea. Come on now....

I have one question: Why does Japan still whine about the North Korean abductees, its past, a long time ago, get over it, move on. Who cares?

Park the emotion on the side and think deeply and rationally about that point.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Does President Obama plan to acquire South Korean nationality and run for president of that country after his tenure expires in Jan. 2017? If not, I can't understand his need to pander like this to his hosts.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I have one question: Why does Japan still whine about the North Korean abductees, its past, a long time ago, get over it, move on. Who cares?

Idiotic comparison. They're still alive and still suffering, and it was less than 40 years ago.

There have been countless apologies and compensation for the comfort women. The only countries bringing the issue up are doing so because they want global political leverage against Japan.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Mr. Obama is just comforting the butthurted Koreans !

As a politician, Mr. Obama is a complete fool. He broke a simple rule. Trying to unite rivals, you must unite them, not divide. His voyage is a waste of taxpayers money.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Name one world power who can truthfully say they are not in a glass house and can afford to throw stones? This is cowardly, hypocritical and egregious behavior by Obama. Mind your own back yard. Judge lest ye be judged sort of thing. I am so tired of people acting like they are somehow superior and have the right to judge others. In my opinion these are more cowardly actions by a spineless president who will whatever it takes to make current company approve of him and then he wonders why he can't get traction on most of his causes? The man simply has no integrity. I hope Hillary Clinton dukes it out next go around. Now there's someone whom I believe could be great for the world and not just the US.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There have been countless apologies and compensation for the comfort women. The only countries bringing the issue up are doing so because they want global political leverage against Japan.

And Japan doesn't take advantage politically, ever??!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

And Japan doesn't take advantage politically, ever??!

They're not allowed to, because any time Japan starts to have something nice, China and Korea drag WW2 back up on them. The inferiority complex really does get old after about 8 decades.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Comfort woman, Japan did horrible atrocity. Let Japan and S Korea/N Korea talk together to blame Japan. When USA meddles, talks shift from Japan taking responsibility to just spatting each other again. Obama should concentrate on own problems including wars in Arabic countries. Japan should take responsibility than hiding under Obama meddling.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Sex slavery has been recorded not just in war documents, but even in some sacred books. Sex slavery is a global issue Anyone or any nation still cherry picking this for self interest and disregarding its global nature of the problem; simply playing the role of shameless exploiter. Once again, Obama shows of his community organizer's politics on the world stage as reflection of his character. Most got what they voted and wished for, a symbolic president. He has no gut to say while in Japan, and that is a shame.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I wish Obama had said these things to Abe's face.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Obviously, aside from some sushi, things did not go well between Obama and Abe. They have been back stabbing each other the past few days. Well, forget the TTP.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

LMAO if you are not use to politics from the city of chicago you wont u derstand Obama he will always tell the wanti g party what they want to hear. He is a slick willy in Japan he told you what uou wanted to hear and he will do the same all through out His asian tour

1 ( +3 / -1 )

One thing I don't understand is how 200,000 women could be kidnapped and nobody objected or tried to save them from the Japanese. What were Koreans doing?

1 ( +5 / -5 )

Community organizing in Japan and Korea now. In Korea he was campaigning about illegal immigration in the USA. As if they really care about that. Has yet to lead this country. It's just country clubs and golf and a little this and that to appease the serfs. That sushi he at at Jiro the other day had more integrity than him.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Has anyone thought about the fact that most Japanese alive today were not even born during the occupation years of Korea or WWII. Those that are still alive were barely teenagers in the early 1940's. This is like asking modern day Americans to apologize for the sins of their grandfathers, great grandfathers and great great grandfathers for enslaving africans. It's time to move on to more important matters and stop rehashing ancient history.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

What were the Koreans doing? Being occupied, oppressed and abused.Get it together...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

'Precisely! Every Koreans can only see one side of the coin. Their claim of their history as the only truthful and real record of time is an illusion.'

Every 'Koreans'? Really? Please tell us more about your truthful and real record of time. I know you have a low opinion of Koreans but I've never heard your views on this issue.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

It seems lost on a great many people here that its not the Koreans complaining this time. Its the president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama. He is American by the way and it sure does not look like he is of Korean descent even.

Of course, I am not ruling out the idea that by complaining about Koreans complaining, some people just wanted to derail the discussion.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I like Obama, but it sure looks like he was set up for this. I didn't care for the way the South Koreans moaned and whined beforehand about Obama just visiting Japan and not South Korea, leading him to add S. Korea to his travel itinerary and cutting short his visit to Japan. Now I think I know what South Korea and Park had up their sleeves by pressuring Obama come to S. Korea. It would have been nice if Obama had refrained from making a public statement about this controversial issue and putting a black eye on his visit to Japan in the process.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

My guess is that's when Obama stopped eating the sushi @ Jiro's, Abe started badmouthing both Korea and China. Then pushed for TPP negotiations. The whole ordeal probably spoiled his appetite.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Sex slavery is abuse of Korean and other nations female. At least S Korea discussing is female. How about let Mrs, Abe and Mrs, Obama discuss together with Korean head lady? Talks never succeed when men are talking. Women are more sympathetic to these victims.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@ Rohet Pokrel Nepali at Apr. 26, 2014 - 09:29AM JST war brings atrocities and weaker are devoured through whatever means possible....if Korea would have been in power back then, then we would have heard about Japanese comfort women. People are just fighting over a issue which is not so important or new enough to create another same history for the future.

Very good point! And nothing expresses your weakness better than a demand for an apology and screaming at the top of your lungs your victim hood for all the world to see.

War brings out the evils in all of us. It's utterly stupid to consider an apology in its wake

0 ( +2 / -3 )

Of course he had to mention this. It's lip service to South Korea.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

It is unfortunate that this opportunity was not taken to bring peace in some respect.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How right you are CGB Spender.

Pathetic pandering to South Koreans, behind Abe's back.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@gokai_wo_manekuAPR. 26, 2014 - 12:51PM JST One thing I don't understand is how 200,000 women could be kidnapped and nobody objected or tried to save them from the Japanese. What were Koreans doing?

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Once upon a time, Japan was under totalitarian system. Then females were considered useless for war cause. Check archive in SDF library. Military proudly announced that it found way to let useless women contributed to war cause. You may not believe 200,000 but it created Joshi Teishin Tai in Japan. Any girls who could not enter girls middle schools were drafted to that. Joshi = girls. Tei = offering /shin - body. Tai - battalions. /they did to Japanese girls. Don't think Japanese Military did not use females of Korean or any other Asian Countries. There were Girls selling customs bv poor crop northern farmers to sell their daughters to southern area prostitute houses until Gen. Mac asked Japanese Govt to stop that custom.

0 ( +2 / -1 )

He could hardly have said anything else, especially in South Korea.

It'll be fun to think of what might happen if he chose to say something different. Would he be mobbed?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Japanese wartime system of sex slavery was a “terrible” violation of human rights and its victims need to be heard, U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday in Seoul.

I guess it had to happen sooner or later; Obama finally said something that I agree with completely.

For Japan, although there have been a few apologies in the past there have also been subsequent downplaying and outright denial of the atrocities by government leaders as well. Therefore the apologies seem insincere at best. Expect lingering distrust and hostility to continue for a generation or two longer as the Japanese do not seem capable of facing up to what happened. I get the sense that Japanese leaders feel much more comfortable playing the victim in disputes over history.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"This was a terrible, egregious violation of human rights. Those women were violated in ways that even in the midst of war were shocking,"

Can he tell this line to the Filipinos in which the Philippines is among the countries with Comfort Women? Can he bring this issue up to them too? Mr. President's words of comfort and appeal on Korea will not work the same on his trip to the Philippines.

All but pokerfaces and backstabbing! He can't win everyones heart in a deceptive manner. The Philippines though is not spoiled as South Korea. http://www.voanews.com/content/in-philippines-obama-visit-stirs-critics-of-plan-to-boost-us-troops/1900954.html

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The situation in all the other nations were almost identical to Korea.

Yes, having the Japanese Army in town created demand, but the supply was almost exclusively taken care of by the local, be it the local sex industry or the local headmen in the countryside according to tradition.*

Until or unless each gang of accusers is willing to accept, admit and account for local involvement and responsibility, they can be ignored as their intentions are not sincere. They are just hustlers.

When the issue first arose in the 1970s, it was brought to light by Korean Christian and Japanese feminist groups working together against the chauvinism and abuse inherent in all sex tourism and military prostitution. At that time, it was the US military prostitution in Korea, and the Korean government sponsored sex tourism targeting Japanese businessmen. It was seen within the Korean establishment as an extremely beneficial source of foreign currency and the sex workers encouraged as "patriots".

The Korean and Japanese feminists working together saw that as patriarchal abuse and exploitation of women, which it was and remains to this day.

Sadly that moral issue has long been usurped by racists, nationalists and plain and simple hucksters motivated purely by hate or economic interests.

Read your history, the provision of sex to passing armies in Asia for individual or communal economic gain was as tradition as negotiating whose field they were going to use as a toilet (so valuable was even their ordure). It might shock certain sheltered moralities of today, but such things were equally part of Western and other histories during similar periods.
-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Can he tell this line to the Filipinos in which the Philippines is among the countries with Comfort Women? Can he bring this issue up to them too? Mr. President's words of comfort and appeal on Korea will not work the same on his trip to the Philippines.

Now you're making a childish argument. You don't justify bad behavior or actions with more of the same. Second, Obama is the president and he can bring up any issue he likes whether you or I think it's fair or not. And even if he does, the Pilipino government can't shut him up , not unless they want to buy their military hardware somewhere else.

All but pokerfaces and backstabbing! He can't win everyones heart in a deceptive manner. The Philippines though is not spoiled as South Korea.

That depends on your POV when it comes to military hardware, I'd say, they are very spoiled.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"And they deserve to be heard, they deserve to be respected. And there should be an accurate and clear account of what happened."

Yes! Mr. President. They deserve to be heard,right? But you failed to understand that there are Comfort Women elsewhere other than South Korea. If you can't address this issue in Malaysia and in the Philippines ,you won't live up to your words!

But again, it's no longer an issue in those countries, so I guess Mr. President will have to deal with the anti-US sentiments instead!http://www.reuters.com/video/2014/04/25/protests-in-philippines-malaysia-ahead-o?videoId=312728521

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

That's all korean wanted to hear. Good lip service.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why are they still hashing out something that happened 70 years ago??? And if they think it's still relevant in 2014, why aren't they still complaining to Germany about the 5.1–6.0 million Jews that were executed? Yes, it was a sad thing in Japan's past....why can't we leave it there and ensure it does not happen again? No wonder there is never any peace in this world! And WHY does Obama have to stick a knife in an old wound some will not let heal? He should be more worried about the present problems he has in the US with out rubbing salt in an OLD part of history wound.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Yes! Mr. President. They deserve to be heard,right? But you failed to understand that there are Comfort Women elsewhere other than South Korea. If you can't address this issue in Malaysia and in the Philippines ,you won't live up to your words!

I think if you have a personal issue with the president, then you should write a letter and state your personal feelings and see if you can get some response from the White House. That's probably the easiest route to take.

But again, it's no longer an issue in those countries, so I guess Mr. President will have to deal with the anti-US sentiments instead!

Obama has been slacking in the polls for months, he's not going to be re-elected, so why should he care what the polls say? The point is, he doesn't, nor should he.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@sfjp330 got it right.... If you gonna talk about the past with pointed comments, better do the due diligence before you end up acting like a ass. Japan had already owned it, sincerely apologized for it and paid for it.... Give me a History lesson..... what other Nation in this world has done the same with wartime atrocities? Japanese Americans interned, 40+yrs for US to apologize.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How about let Mrs, Abe and Mrs, Obama discuss together with Korean head lady? Talks never succeed when men are talking. Women are more sympathetic to these victims.

How about letting people who actually have power do the talking? A bunch of women talking would be pointless unless they are in power. 2 of them aren't. Making that idea a wast of time.

Sympathy shouldn't be a point with this. Anyone can see that what was done was wrong.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Probie: How about letting people who actually have power do the talking? A bunch of women talking would be pointless unless they are in power. 2 of them aren't. Making that idea a wast of time.

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You are right. I forgot Women still are not included in power play in Japan yet. And many men will not accept to give women politicians power saying making that idea is a waste of time.

Sorry Japanese women, you guys are not included in even sex slave discussion,

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I guess stating the obvious is necessary in Korea. Might have had a bigger impact in Japan though? As much as Korea needs to get over it Japan has to face the truth and put the right wingers in their place once and for all.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Far from Japanese women not having a voice in this matter, it was actually Japanese women who first brought it to light and made an issue of it ... feminists campaigning against sex tourism trips Korea was organization for Japanese businessmen at the time (1970s).

The Japanese feminists made contact with mainly Korean Christian women groups who were campaigning against the US military prostitution (camptowns) which was organized by and employed many of the same individuals that serviced the Japanese military.

Therefore, for Obama to weigh in accusing Japan is a bit of a joke, or at the very least amnesia over the USA' vast enlargement and industrialization of the Asian sex industry post-WWII ... but convenient for the Americans to distract from their own part in the untold history of these women.

They used, not liberated, many of the very same women.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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