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S Korea chides Japan over 'comfort women' apology review

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“The more Japan denies its historical truth, the more it will be isolated from the international community,”

Precisely, and in turn the more damage the nation does to itself. But no doubt the government here will just be 'puzzled' by South Korea's response. Abe and Co. need to follow Murayama's advice and do some GOOD for the nation instead of further harming ties.

5 ( +18 / -13 )

However, a minority of right-wing Japanese insist there was no official involvement by the state or the military and say the women were common prostitutes.

Can we stop with this pretense? This is not the "minority view" of Japanese as stated. This is the majority view of Japanese, why not tell the truth and face the facts for once?

2 ( +13 / -11 )

It's not about apology, it's about compensation. The South Korean government needs to be forthright about the fact it spent the compensation money and take some responsibility itself, instead of blustering that Japan hasn’t apologized nor compensated enough. In 1965, South Korea agreed never to make further compensation demands against Japan, either at a government or individual level, after receiving U.S. $800 million. These comfort women should take up the issue with their own Korean goverment.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Look, sfjp330, I have said this before and I say it again. It's not about compensation. South Korea in 1999, offered to compensate each sex slave women who didn't take up on Japan's Asian Women's fund which was set up under private donations. Those women who refused the Asian Women's fund, also refused South Korean government's offer to compensate. The women want the Japanese government to come forward, not use proxies to hide behind their responsibility. There are only 55 Korean sex slaves left alive, and they're all in their 90's, do you really think they care about few pennies at this point in their lives?

1 ( +13 / -12 )

chucky3176Mar. 01, 2014 - 07:25AM JST Look, sfjp330, I have said this before and I say it again. It's not about compensation.

I will make it clear about compensation. After Japan's acknowledging the involvement of the military in the comfort system in 1992, the J-government conducted formal investigations into the matter before it admitted in 1993 that there had been coercive recruitment in some cases. PM Miyazawa indicated that the government would come up with some vague gesture in lieu of compensation for the survivors. The Miyazawa's goverment was unable to act on this for reasons. The Korean Council and other support groups were opposed to any measure that evaded Japan's legal responsibility. The ruling LDP was trapped between its admission of coercive recruitment and its unwillingness to say or do anything that might indicate legal responsibility. Japan was concerned about the class-action lawsuit, stunned by numerous compensation lawsuit, and Japanese immediately assumed that the comfort women survivors were motivated by economic gain. This is the reason why many backed the J-government position that the 1965 agreement normalizing relations between Korea and Japan had settled all reparation issues.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

sfjp330, that's Japan's problem.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

South Korea complaining now ? Didnt you refused to accept those apologies ? I was thinking that for Koreans, those apologies dont exist ? In whole world you spammed with idea that Japan never apologized for comfort women , and also you posted several statues of comfort women in America, also again, claiming how Japan never apologized for that.

And now you are offended with Japan revising nonexistent apologies ?

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

A public apology cannot undo the inhuman treatment permanently imprinted in the victims for years. Japan should continue investigating the issue and reveal the total number of women mobilized as well as the exact role the government played in the program. (Japan's position has been that all war reparations and compensation claims were settled in the 1960's when diplomatic relations between Seoul and Tokyo were normalized.)

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Nenad JovanovićMar. 01, 2014 - 07:35AM JST In whole world you spammed with idea that Japan never apologized for comfort women , and also you posted several statues of comfort women in America, also again, claiming how Japan never apologized for that.

Yes, Japan never apologize for that. If you remember few year ago, two Japanese goverment officials visited Palisades Park, New Jersey, and they wanted local administrators to remove a small monument from a public park. The monument, a brass plaque on a block of stone, was dedicated in 2010 to the memory of so-called comfort women, tens of thousands of women and girls, many Korean and Chinese, who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during WWII. The Japanese authorities wanted Korean memorial removed. The consul general said the Japanese government was willing to plant cherry trees, donate books to the public library and do some things to show that we’re united in this world and not divided. But the offer was contingent on the memorial’s removal. The town officials rejected the request, and the delegation left.

The second delegation arrived few weeks later with four J-goverment reps. Their approach was less diplomatic. These Japanese politicians, tried and asked that the monument be removed, to convince the Palisades Park authorities that comfort women had never been forcibly conscripted as sex slaves. They said the comfort women were a lie, that they were set up by an outside agency, that they were women who were paid to come and take care of the troops. Downplaying of history still continues.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

sfjp330, that's Japan's problem.

It looks like you're the one who can't sleep thinking about that looking at your activity here and elsewhere...

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Upcoming headlines:

"Japan chides S. Korea over their chiding Japan over comfort women apology review." "S. Korea chides Japan over chiding them for chiding Japan over comfort women apology review." "Japan chides S. Korea's chiding Japan for chiding S. Korea for chiding..."

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"Japan has often said it wants to have dialogue with South Korea, but it has repeated remarks that deny its history. It shows the Japanese government’s insincerity.”

Touché ...

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Governments, or anyone, revising official statements and positions is a terrible look.

It signals that your words are worthless.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Don't do what they ask and you're "denying the truth." Try to do what they ask and you're being "insincere." Bashing Japan over this issue is political gold for Korean politicians. As stated by numerous above posters this issue was settled by the Korean and Japanese governments many years ago, and the Korean government, after eating their cake, are now trying to have it, too. Should Japan be more open about their country's sometimes brutal history? Of course, but, it seems this is just more political pot stirring and posturing.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I dont know if those old ladies know, but the money that their government was offering was in fact Japanese money given in 1965. Either from Japan or from Korea the money is the same. I dont know why those old ladies make big deal for nothing. If they want money as a way to compesate, so they should accept the Japanese money from their own government. Japan already gave the money in 1965 during ROK and Japan agreement, why they want more money?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

"The more Japan denies its historical truth, the more it will be isolated from the international community."

The wisdom desperately needed for Japanese people. Too bad that Shinzo and his gang cannot figure it out.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

As far as I know something about Japanese, they customarily seem to often say "Sumimasen" very easily at any cases even if that is not their fault. Sumimasen means apology. In Japan if you say Sumimasen, apology is naturally accepted and no longer problem, but should not have used the word Sumimasen easily at diplomatic condition. It seems to be a little too late to revise the statement after 20 years even if sex slaves did not exist at the time.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I wish there were more people in Japan who recognized that the Abe government's revisionism is just plain wrong, instead of just framing it as an issue of other countries' opposition. Are Japanese putting up with this injustice simply because they see South Korea and China's reactions as over the top? I'm sure if prominent politicians in the US started justifying or denying the internment of Japanese Americans during the war, there would be an outcry by lots of Americans and not just by the Japanese government.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

"Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told parliament on Monday that the government “would like to consider” setting up a verification team with academics who would look again at the 16 Korean women’s accounts."

And who will be on this verification team? A bunch of Japanese revisionists? If they were serious they'd seek an international opinion. But of course any finding that doesn't suit their narrative is dismissed as 'Japan bashing'.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@MM

I dont know why those old ladies make big deal for nothing.

Being forced into sexual slavery and then having such a fact denied by the perpetrators is no big deal? These 'old ladies' have had their dignity trampled upon.

It's not about money. No mention of that in this article. It's about delegitimatizing the 1993 Kono Statement by calling into question these 'old ladies'' testimony.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@sfjp330

Thanks for taking the time to fill in some of the more recent history. This issue is a dynamic one in which the current-day actors are constantly modifying their positions to achieve short-term political gain, historical fact and past agreements be buggered.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"However, a minority of right-wing Japanese insist there was no official involvement by the state or the military and say the women were common prostitutes...."

And that's the problem, isn't it? You can call them "a minority," but when the so-called minority viewpoint gets repeatedly adopted into the political platform of the majority mainstream political party in Japan's legislature, it's no longer a minority stance!

Everything these "minority" ultra-rightists want, Abe clearly wants to implement! Let's go through the fanatic "minorities" wish-list, shall we?: Yasukuni Shrine visits by the Prime Minister? (Check.) Historically evasive and atrocity-downplaying textbooks in schools nationwide? (Check.) Long-settled historical issues connected to Japan's aggressive past being actively questioned in the present? (Check.) Pushing the public-funded and supposedly-neutral NHK channel to the far-right? (Check.) Beginning the Article 9 repeal process and pushing military rearmament efforts forward? (Check.) "Morality education" lessons forced upon Japan's education system? (Check!) Punishment of teachers who refuse to stand and sing the Emperor-revering national anthem? (Check!) Clamping down on press freedom and implementing a draconian series of "Security Bills" throughout the bungle-prone governmental bureaucracy? (Check!!)

Seriously, what's left for these "minority" rightists? They get everything they want from Abe, while the rest of the uninformed electorate waits like bleating sheep for their Abenomics pay rises to magically materialize...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why does Korea keep moaning about issues that have been mutually resolved? They are like spoilt children.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I must wonder Korea has considered an alternate tack - full cooperation with such reviews. Call it "a step towards acknowledging comfort women" or something along those lines. Send over the evidence, in a ship.

The thing is, if you want true contrition, the other side must agree and approach the agreement on his own terms. You can give him reasons to agree, but coercion (including trying to call the world on your side) is counterproductive.

This is not difficult to understand.

Unless, of course, the real issue is that Comfort Women is mostly air, and they are afraid a review would reveal such, so they try to put pressure to stop such reviews or politicize them to the extent it'll be politically impossible to render any other result regardless of what the evidence says.

Now, don't look at me like I'm a monster. I just coldly note that they took about 45 years (and 25 after signing of the peace treaties) to make a protest. That time is sufficient to generate a case out of nothing, and it is stunning that there are still self-contradictory testimonies or people who claim they forgot everything (conveniently, the fact they are raped is remembered...)

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Why does Korea keep moaning about issues that have been mutually resolved? They are like spoilt children.

Why does Japan keep revising about issues that have been formally apologized? Revisionists and Deniers have offended and down-graded that all old women as willing prostitutes. That issue is pride, dignity and honesty of women who gave evidence before. Now they have become Con Artists according J government.

Japan revisionists should grow up with maturity.

Korean soldiers raped Vietnamese ladies during Vietnam war. Unlike J revisionists, Korean government and media never denied that they were Angles who have been transported to earth by Sun Goddess. There will be rotten tomatoes in every society.

Honesty is the most precious thing on that earth.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

and it is stunning that there are still self-contradictory testimonies or people who claim they forgot everything (conveniently, the fact they are raped is remembered...)

This is not that 'stunning', actually. I have met people who have been physically attacked and the event was so traumatizing that they only thing they do remember clearly is that they were attacked.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The weight of historical evidence is against Japan on this one. At the moment they like to claim it's just China and Korea stirring the pot, but Japan discredits itself by trying to lie about established historical fact.

I truly hope the rest of the civilized world sits up and chides Japan for its recalcitrance, then they can't just blame it on regional disputes or deflect to China's domestic crimes. Japan's atrocities in WWII - especially comfort women and the Rape of Nanking - mark singular acts of barbarity and low points in human history. Quite apart from what anyone else has done elsewhere before or since Japan must first and foremost face up to its own past.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

@ Plastic Monckey:

Like I told here, they are making big deal for nothing. Money has already offered by both Japanese and S.Korean government and yet they want to talk about this issue. It was very easy to settle this problem, they should accept the Japanese money and apologies already given to them and the issue would be gone. But no, they prefer to keep talking about it forever instead of accepting the money that they want.

The agreement between S.Korea and Japan happened in 1965 and money was given to them to pay their citizens. Now if this is not enough to them, so it is not Japan's problem anymore.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The Korean government need to admit their wrong doings during WWII and how they spent the money in the 1965 treaty. But I very much doubt that would happen as it would just contravene both their victim complex and inferiority complex.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

South Korea is angry that Japan is reviewing an apology that Korea denies ever happened?

Let me see if I can get passed the insanity....

One more time, South Korea is angry that Japan is reviewing an apology that South Korea has denied Japan ever gave.

It's not sinking in, in the first place South Korea has claimed that Japan's 1993 acknowledgement and apology to the Comfort Women was not good enough and denies it.

But now, South Korea is angry that Japan is reviewing it? If that isn't the most insane argument yet.

Propaganda is a tool that even the insane use.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

sfjp330Mar. 01, 2014 - 07:14AM JST

It's not about apology, it's about compensation. The South Korean government needs to be forthright about the fact it spent the compensation money and take some responsibility itself, instead of blustering that Japan hasn’t apologized nor compensated enough.

Korean comfort women didn’t ask Korean government to compensate. If they just wanted the money and asked Korean government for money, Korean government could have given them the money they wanted. It’s not a huge sum of money for Korean government to compensate them if they want.

On March 13, 1993, President Kim Young-Sam announced that Korean government would not seek material compensation regarding the ‘comfortwomen’issue. and instead would urge the Japanese government to acknowledge the truth. On June 1993, the Korean government enacted a legislation on the livelihood stability for the victims. The payment started in August. And just yesterday, a revised bill on the livelihood stability for the comfort women was submitted to National Assembly plenary session. Korean government takes good care of them financially. What those women seek is Japanese government’s legal responsibility and compensation.

In 1965, South Korea agreed never to make further compensation demands against Japan, either at a government or individual level, after receiving U.S. $800 million. These comfort women should take up the issue with their own Korean goverment.

The international community has different view on 1965 treaty from Japan.

The International Commission of Jurists, in its report of a mission on "comfort women" published in 1994,which states that the treaties referred to by the Japanese Government never intended to include claims made by individuals for inhumane treatment. It argues that the word "claims" was not intended to cover claims in tort and that the term is not defined in the agreed minutes or the protocols. It also argues that there is nothing in the negotiations which concerns violations of individual rights resulting from war crimes and crimes against humanity. The International Commission of Jurists also holds that, in the case of the Republic of Korea, that the 1965 treaty with Japan relates to reparations paid to the Government and does not include claims of individuals based on damage suffered.

The Special Rapporteur of 1996 views that neither the San Francisco Peace Treaty nor the bilateral treaties were concerned with human rights violations in general or military sexual slavery in particular. The "intent" of the parties did not cover the specific claims made by "comfort women" and the treaties were not concerned with human rights violations of women during the conduct of the war by Japan. It is, therefore, the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur that the treaties do not cover the claims raised by former military sexual slaves and that the Government of Japan remains legally responsible for the consequent violations of international humanitarian law.

The McDougall report of 1998 states "It is also self-evident from the text of the 1965 Agreement on the Settlement of Problems concerning Property and Claims and on Economic Co-operation between Japan and the Republic of Korea that it is an economic treaty that resolves ‘property’ claims between the countries and does not address human rights issues .....There is no reference in the treaty to ‘comfort women’, rape, sexual slavery, or any other atrocities committed by the Japanese against Korean civilians. Rather, the provisions in the treaty refer to property and commercial relations between the two nations. In fact, Japan’s negotiator is said to have promised during the treaty talks that Japan would pay the Republic of Korea for any atrocities inflicted by the Japanese upon the Koreans ........... Clearly, the funds provided by Japan under the Settlement Agreement [with Korea] were intended only for economic restoration and not individual compensation for the victims of Japan’s atrocities. As such, the 1965 treaty - despite its seemingly sweeping language - extinguished only economic and property claims between the two nations and not private claims …".

On Aug. 10, 1999, the UN Sub-Commission adopted a resolution that the state responsibility and individual right to compensation still exist despite the peace agreement and bi-lateral agreements between Korea and Japan.

Even the Japanese government acknowledged in 1991 right after Kim Hak-Soon’s first press conference that these individual victims still hold the right to seek damages. Shunji Yanai, then chief of the Foreign Ministry’s Treaties Bureau, told an Upper House Budget Committee session on Aug. 27 that the Japan-South Korea Basic Treaty of 1965 had not deprived individual victims of their right to seek damages in domestic legal terms. "(The treaty) only prevents Japanese and South Korean governments from taking up issues as exercise of their diplomatic rights,"

http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID:2218404

Japan's stance it was solved by 1965 treaty is not being accepted outside of Japan.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

There's only one way to settle this once and for all. Settle this in international court that has international jury and judges from non Asian countries.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan made apology, South Korea went around the world claiming Japan did not. Then Japan said it will revisit its apology and South Korea is angry and asking the Japanese govt not to revise their apology. Deal with fools, you can probably reason out. Deal with South koreans, better ignore them. They are more than confused themselves, totally moronic and rotting with insecurity.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@chucky3176 Courts are good at forcing money out of people. They aren't very good for true contrition. So Koreans must decide, beyond whether they think they can win, what they want.

@Suin Kim You might notice that all your chosen sources are made at least 29 years after the treaty was signed, and thus effectively imposes a 90s zeitgeist and interpretation on a 1960s document (or in the case of the San Francisco Treaty, a 1950s document). That this approach is not likely to be accurate is obvious.

The very concept that the International Commission of Jurists, not being a party to the dispute (perhaps some of the young ones are not born when the thing was signed), can know what both sides "intended" is specious. It is obvious that the Japanese side would want any such words to be as extensive as possible. The more interesting question is whether the Korean leadership in the time found such an interpretation at least marginally tolerable, but given the relatively low monetary count per capita of the de facto compensation that was agreed, there is reason to believe the answer is "Yes". They might reasonably rule that by modern zeitgeist, such an interpretation is not very fair to the victims and perhaps argue it should be stricken, but the idea they can rule on what they "intended" is just comedy.

Similar comments may be made of the other commentators.

Finally, the Committee you quoted does agree that,

The Committee in its 2000 observation, has also accepted that "the Government is correct in stating that compensation issues have been settled by treaty".

Quite frankly, despite its protestation, I think most reasonable people reading this would not say it has "refrained from expressing any legal view on whether those treaties have or have not resulted in individual claims of comfort women being extinguished as a matter of law" and would call any such statement a post hoc retraction at best and (probably politically-motivated) hypocrisy at worse.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

by revising, in effect Japan claims continuity with its Nazi past rather than moving away from it and letting it go. By never letting go countries will always question Japan's motives and it sets Japan up for continued turmoil

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan has apologised enough and paid compensation BUT this plan is just stupid - no, it's beyond stupid. I'm all for a strong Japan in the face of region-wide Chinese aggression, and China and Korea have been living in the past for a long time, but Japan is right now bringing them into the present with a bang. Abe, with people like Suga, and his appointed nutters at NHK, is in the process of destroying Japan's international reputation.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

China is doing a good job separating the allies and putting the US in the middle. Once China separates Japan and South Korea they will move in and take over both countries and all of Asia and the very same thing all of these countries are complaining about will be repeated over again as history repeats itself. Only China will be doing the damage.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

No matter how adamantly ABE denies the truth World will neither forget nor forgive his cruel indifference and arrogance toward the victims they once preyed upon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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