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S Korea, Japan reach deal on wartime sex slaves, including Y1 bil aid fund

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By HYUNG-JIN KIM

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107 Comments
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If it's going to be a deal then a deal it has to be, offer the billion, Abe san 'apology', but request just one stipulation relocation of the 'Statue'. A devils bargain?....We'll see.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

If the Japanese government was smart, they would have a representative to bring flowers to the statue and offer a prayer. Japan's war crimes cannot be forgiven, like the Holocaust, but honest contrition, like Germany's, will be respected.

5 ( +16 / -12 )

Interesting move.

The issue with japanese war apologies is a tough one, as the japanese cultural and governmental stance on this matters has always been pragmatic colonial denial. Like the french and dutch who killed, raped and enslaved women for sex in indochina and the dutch indies before and during WW2, so are the apologies of the french and dutch very pragmatic in regards to attrocities, massacres and sex slavery done by their own people for years up to the vietnam wars.

Japan had adopted a similar stance to the dutch and french since 1945. In fact many japanese IJA former vétérans from the war in the 10 years following the end of the war wanted to reconstruct, help and heal wounds in asia . . . . this movement was repressed by the US gov. and the j-gov. of the time, as japan needed to be strong and neutral in asia, do to the communist threat.

One of the other great reasons for denial of japanes war crimes and sex slavery are the vietnam-indochina wars, which applied same méthodes as the IJA in WW2. It would have been a paradox to inquire japanese imperial sex slavery in korea, when french, dutch and continuing sex slavery and attrocities were still going from 1945 to 1970.

Finally Abe has made progress to show a more "common sense" facet in face of the WW2 japanese heritage of attrocities. Abe, by accepting facts of sex slavery, for the first time in post war history ends the apartheit in regards to its WW2 and colonial legacy . . . . the japanese never looked at a part of their grandfathers as murders, killers and rapists . . . some thing the germans and even russians have done. France and the dutch still need to a similar way, but play the victim card as well do to WW2 defeat.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

My 2 cents worth. 1.) Japan, let's make this apology and pay the 1 billion yen. In the long run it will pay off both in terms of regional stability and economic gain. If Prime Minister Abe goes and personally performs a meaningful role, he may even get a Nobel Peace Prize and soften his hawkish image; both would help Japan. 2.) Make sure the U.N. is party to the negotiations and signings of this agreement because, as bad as Japan's war atrocities were, I don't think Korea (or China, for that matter) will ever truly want to give up their victim status when the next crisis arises.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The deal, which included a handwritten apology from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

This is rather amazing. Abe doing something like a true leader would do. How about taking it the next step and read the letter on national TV, from Korea!

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Wonderful, wonderful news, at least on the surface. I am proud of my second home of Japan today. Respect.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Relocate the statue to a more appropriate location, then a smart representative from the Government of Japan can pay their respects. Close the deal. Could this 'Statue' be a weapon to humiliate the people of Japan in retaliation?... After all South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida are not just going through the motions.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Good job Japan! Well done on deciding to do the right thing. I honestly didn't expect it to happen under the current administration, so I'm quite impressed with this.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Yes, J-government finally found out that 3 out of approximately 200,000 retired. What a great discovery. What about the rest? What percentage of comfort women actually survive WWII under the treatment of IJA in 1945? Maybe 25 percent?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I do have to admit I feel some satisfaction at the rage a lot of the right-wing deniers will feel when hearing this news.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Hope history has been put in the past now, but suspect it'll come up again in future when it is politically expediate for one side to raise it.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Hope history has been put in the past now, but suspect it'll come up again in future when it is politically expediate for one side to raise it.

I don't see how either side could really benefit of raising it in the future though. Reparations will be paid, and an apology made, so what else can they ask for? And what would the Japanese benefit from bringing it up? They've wanted the issue to go away forever.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Japan’s direct compensation payments both to war victims and their heirs have totaled only $1 billion. This contrasts remarkably with Germany’s record. The compensation figures from a decade ago, Germany’s payments to victims and their heirs had exceeded $70 billion. The contrast is all the more remarkable for the fact that Imperial Japan’s victims outnumbered those of the Nazis by at least three to one. The truth is that most of Japan’s victims, including millions in Korea and China have not received a penny. And in the small minority of cases in which compensation has been paid, the sums have been laughable.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Well the Park government rips off Japan again as it did many many years ago. Even S Koreans who remember that Japan already paid the costs and apologies are angry for this action. Japan should not have apologized again or paid .1 yen to them. Have the Parks pay all that money back to the elderly sex slaves.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nearly there!.....Both Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Park Geun-hye can unveil the Statue in it's new location together.......

Japan also wants South Korea to remove a statue of a girl symbolizing the victims that was installed by a civic group in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.

Yun stopped short of saying that would happen but said the government will continue talks on the matter with the organizations involved, in an apparent reference to the civic groups

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/12/28/national/politics-diplomacy/south-korea-japan-reach-deal-to-settle-comfort-women-issue/#.VoDoG1LDqMk

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As a government it is in their duties to acknowledge the wrongdoings of their forefathers and help prevent such things from occurring again. Unfortunately, the same history has countless, consistent denial by high-ranking Japanese officials denying that sadistic war time crimes ever took place. Japan has been unwavering in upholding as their national heroes, the war criminals of WWII, where their highest ranking officials pay official homage to. Japan has a different story of being the victim. Every year, and for many decades, visit by top Japanese government officials to Yasukuni has not changed. This is far from being apologetic, but a slap in the face of the neighboring countries with a clear expression of "I'm not that sorry." Making a statement, then following it up with actions that go directly against this statement, naturally will not be taken at face value.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

I'm sure Korea will find another way to rinse Japan of a few more yen at some point down the line. Personally I feel that it should have been a mutual apology, with Korea paying equal compensation for Gangnam Style.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The idea that treaties actually COUNT is a vital bedrock of international relationships and "a deal, even one you now feel is unfavorable, is a deal" is the bedrock of human, especially commercial, relationships, so I won't call the Japanese position a "technicality".

Nevertheless, 1 billion yen is a reasonable cost for a guinea pig. People's memories are starting to fade of what happened LAST time Japan conceded, so let's keep some better records this time. Either South Korea sticks to this deal or it should, this time, face the loss of reputation it so deserves.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Hi sfjp330 what do you think motivated President Park Geun-hye accept this agreement final and irreversible as long as Japan faithfully implements it promises........

“Abe, as the prime minister of Japan, offers from his heart an apology and reflection for everyone who suffered lots of pain and received scars that are difficult to heal physically and mentally,” Kishida told the same news conference.

It is all in good faith...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

itsonlyrocknrollDEC. 28, 2015 - 05:18PM JST Hi sfjp330 what do you think motivated President Park Geun-hye accept this agreement final and irreversible as long as Japan faithfully implements it promises........

Park has every reason to improve the Japan–South Korea relationship. Park’s approval rating fell sharply below 30 percent, the lowest since she assumed the office few years ago. Almost 60 percent of South Koreans see Park's performances as poor. If Park's government wants to improve the relations with Japan, they need to disconnect governmental relations from historical issues. President Park is facing growing domestic pressure to improve economic ties with Japan. The biggest factor for the worsening business environment is the strained political relations between Korea and Japan, especially in non-manufacturing areas such as tourism, transportation and service. Japan and South Korea needs to promote healing and reconciliation over historical issues and to strengthen their relations.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

That certainly makes sense sfjp330.

The question is will the remaining elderly former comfort women, I use the reference out of respect for their dignity, view this agreement in the same context?

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Park Geun-hye have yet to extract full political capital, and let not forget President Obama 'role'.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

itsonlyrocknroll DEC. 28, 2015 - 05:45PM JST Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Park Geun-hye have yet to extract full political capital, and let not forget President Obama 'role'.

What’s still remarkable is that nearly two years into Abe’s term and two-and-a-half years into Park’s term, Japan and South Korea haven’t held an official bilateral summit.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is nothing short of a miracle.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

always fun to see comments here like that I've never seen on dailymail, gurdian, ny times, reddit and so on.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

All my fingers and toes are crossed hoping all this will go smoothly.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I believe SK Presidency is a 5 year single term, so for Park Geun-hye there is no prospect of re-election, I do admire President Park wiliness to compromise. China is SK top trading partner, $145 billion, 25% of total Korean exports, President Xi Jinping must be viewing this with a degree of trepidation.

On the other hand Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will waste no time in comparing this ironically to a quintessential Nixon-China diplomatic breakthrough.

M3 absolutely, Abe san is forgoing normal modes of transport and electing to walk on water to the inevitable bilateral simmit

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wow.... can't say I ever saw this coming from Abe, so hats off to him and the J-government for making these small but very tough steps.

"South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said at a news conference that Seoul considers the agreement “final and irreversible,” as long as Japan faithfully follows through with its promises."

This is the key, and the only thing I would like added would be for the government to declare any suggestions or remarks made by politicians from now on that say "it did not happen" or "they were paid prostitutes" result in their immediate dismissal and possibly other penalties, with it falling under hate speech. Allowing remarks like that to go on would mean the apology is not sincere.

Beyond that, though -- big first step. Let's hope both sides can walk the fine line carefully towards better interaction, as both nations need each other.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

There are 46 registered victims of forced sex slavery, with an average age of 89 years.

Really hoping this goes well. Japan and S Korea need each other as close partners, and this issue has been a thorn in the sides for too long.

I am a bit worried that there will always be right wing politicians who try to downplay or deny the past wrongs, so I'm hoping there will be a way to prevent that. Maybe take a leaf out of Germany's books?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Before taking politician office a Member of Parliament could be required to declare a oath of allegiance to the principals contained in Abe apology. Would this be unconstitutional though?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Foresight is shown by PM Abe in resolving this thorny Comfort Women issue in relations between Japan and South Korea which was source of constant irritation between the two countries over past several years. After resolving this issue , two countries will now be able to devote more time and energies in strengthening their bilateral economic relations and make their contribution in promoting peace and stability in the region.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Better relations between South Korea and Japan are a priority for Washington"

Yes, and for the whole world too!! :-)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Four elderly women in Taiwan still alive, served as sex slaves in the war, too, when Japan colonized Taiwan for fifty years 1895-1945. Their represntatives in Taipei applauded this news today, too. Better late than never. Bravo Tokyo, Bravo Seoul.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Four elderly women in Taiwan still alive

@Danny Bloom - although S Korea has been the most vocal in fighting for justice for victims of sex slavery in the Imperial Japanese military, there are victims still fighting for justice in China, Indonesia, Netherlands, Philippines, Cambodia etc as well as in Taiwan.

Some will argue it's only the Koreans who are complaining and manipulating this issue with ulterior motives in order to attack Japan, but the truth is far from it as this video shows:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzGQ0liu0UI

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

If this puts the issue to rest, excellent. Wonder what the black truck brigade is saying about Abe today.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So you recon my family isn't worth compensation as he was crafted like Korean endured a concentration camp but never was involved with "comfort women" besides the ones in the Gulags.

I see Korean women are higher valued and most important.

War is war and women their own or the enemies are the spoils.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Hopefully this will finally put an end to the issue, but I highly doubt it.

I remember when then PM Koizumi apologized in China near the Marco Polo bridge back in 2000. Yet today people still state that Japan has 'never' apologized for its war crimes including in China.

The government of Japan has in fact apologized and offered compensation to former comfort women (Asian women's fund).

Not to mention that South Korea was to never ask for further compensation based on the 1965 treaty of normalization (the treaty where Japan offered to individually compensate former victims of its colonial aggression, but the SK government refused and used a lot of the money to fund its own infrastructure).

Yet the anti Japanese nationalists convinced many comfort women not to accept this.

I guarantee the anti Japanese crowd will make light of this. They'll say the usual, "it's not enough, the prime minister has to grovel on his knees," yada yada yada. No matter what happens, it's never enough, and it's annoyingly predictable.

There's no appeasing the Japan hating crowd. They'll continue to spout off that Japan has 'never' apologized or 'never properly atoned' for its past.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Let's also not forget the "Hershey Girls" who sold their virtue US-Soldiers, granted many married and cam back after the 1955 withdrawal.

Those girls had a hard time for fraternising with the enemy.

Again common after a war.

Sure many comfort women fell in love and had a got live afterwards.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This is long overdue but is a positive step towards a better relationship between the people of these two great countries. I actually don't think the money is the key factor here, I believe it is the acknowledgement that the Japanese Army illegally utilised sex slaves during the war. Japan MUST not demand that the statue of the sexually enslaved girl be moved. That statue represents an historically accurate fact. The money must not be seen as a payment to hide the atrocities of the Japanese soldiers, it should remain as a reminder to future generations and we must ensure it never happens again. As a Kabukilover said in an earlier post, it would be a fitting touch if Mr Abe laid flowers at the foot of the statue. It would also be a nice touch if some of those who have denied this issue in posts on this site accept that they were wrong.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hecklebwrry.

You really think the checked ID Japanese OK, Korean bad. Doubt that they let anyone in who had the credits.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

One woman said she would follow the government’s lead, while another vowed to ignore the accord because Tokyo didn’t consider the money to be formal compensation.

So then, according to some of those involved, I guess it still ain't over.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Abe needs to apologize to all sex slaves, not only Korean but also suffered women from all other countries during WWII so as to end this issue !

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So then, according to some of those involved, I guess it still ain't over.

For many victims of sexual abuse, it will never be over. Reparations do not suddenly mean it never happened. I certainly hope this will be the start of warming relations between Japan and South Korea but the victims must be allowed to express their pain and anguishes until the day they die.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

In my opinion Abe was coerced by US to reach a a deal with South Korea no matter how much it cost. In any case 1 billion yen is a bit exaggerated, unless the beneficiaries include all the "victim's" descendants At least Washington should contribute with 50% of the total amount. And now the question is: Will this second agreement be the last one with South Korea? And what about the next one with North Korea? Will US compel Abe to make a deal with Kim Jong-un? Ha!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

akoppa wrote

And what about the next one with North Korea? Will US compel Abe to make a deal with Kim Jong-un? Ha!

Sexual slavery is wrong in all cases. It is irrelevant whether it was against women of countries we now like or dislike. An apology (on behalf of Japan, not individual people) and an acceptance that these crimes did occur should be made to all women who suffered this abhorrent treatment,

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I just read on the Korea Times that the Korean victims are not satisfied, so this deal is useless to them. I see a situation similar to what happened in 1965. Since the victims are not happy, the Korean government shouldn't accept the money. It's not even right wasting Japanese people money this way when it's already clear the victims will continue to protest against Japan. Instead, the Korean government is accepting the money today even though probably tomorrow they'll say the problem is still open, because of inner pressure from the victims. I repeat; it's like in 1965 again.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Alex80, do you believe the victims should be forced to shut up and miraculously be able to forget what happened to them? Really?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Johnnie: no, I believe the Korean government shouldn't accept the money since the victims are saying this isn't what they wanted. Or do you believe is okay treating Japanese tax payers like cows to milk? This is what the Korean government is doing. Milking more money from Japan without actually listening to the victims!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

This story is the leading story around the world so if nothing else Japan has just (deliberately?) earned itself some moral bonus points in the eyes of the international community, and none too soon either.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This story isn't the leading news everywhere, but it has a bit of relevance also in the Italian newspapers, where the titles are like "Japan apologized to SKorea". So, at least for the international press, Japan apologized. But in Korea the problem isn't over, so nothing changed.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Better late than never. Why carry this animosity to future generations?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Alex80, unfortunately tax payers in all countries are screwed by their governments but in this case, I believe the money is an irrelevance. It will make very little difference to the surviving sex slaves and also Japanese tax payers will not notice any increase in tax to pay for it as it is a minuscule amount for a country like Japan to pay. My fear is that by making such a payment Japan shuts the door on the human issue and thinks that they can eradicate it from history.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

A step in the right direction. A lot of credit goes to the United States. A lot probably goes to China too: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/12065626/Beijing-lays-claim-to-South-Korean-waters.html So much false information has been built up on this issue but perhaps once it is no longer a government level policy issue it will remain only in the hands of the hate mongers, and the truth always comes out in time. This is a massive blow to China's anti-Japan information war. The reason that some feel this positive step forward will do nothing is because the level of anti-Japan sentiment is so high in South Korea. However the Park administration is presently clamping down on anti-Japan school textbooks that have influenced Korean student's views. Yes I'd say right now South Korea looks serious about this.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@Johnny: your problem is that you don't see how the Korean government is acting wrong by accepting the money. Indeed, the victims are mad at their own government too, not only at Japan, but you are missing the point completely. Try to read the Korean press. If I was a Japanese taxpayer I would be happy that my money were used this way if I knew finally the Koreans are happy and they will stop to bash my country for its past mistakes. But the Koreans are not satisfied at all.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Not the same but my grandfather's fought and suffered In WW II, my parents were born before the end of the war.

They grew up under 10yrs of occupation as no-one could decide if we were a willing participant to Germany, so my country was split into British Russian, American and french zonez with travel restrictions and different availability of food & utilities.

In the they decided we were occupied against our will. Compensation wazzat?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The deal is a win-win for everyone. Japan now has the moral authority to tell other nations like the Democratic Republic of the Congo about the consequences associated with allowing the systematic rape of women during warfare. The surviving comfort women in South Korea can now move on with their lives, and hopefully the actions of PM Abe will open the door to mutually beneficial discussions with North Korea over similar issues. Anything is possible if leaders truly want peace.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@it"S ME: as a European (Italian) I can understand your feelings. I don't mean to say the Koreans have no right to complain for Japanese colonization, but sometimes it seems like they are the only country in the world that has been invaded. My country around the centuries was invaded by Spain, Austria, France, etc. What should we say, for example, to France, where there are so many Italian masterpieces that they stole to us? But we Europeans created the EU moving on, without asking for apologies every day for every damn war.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Abe is a golden leader no one could do better then him in finding solution to Korean issue and even make lasting friendship with them..

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Thank you for not calling them 'comfort women'.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This is good if it really happens, and really settles things for both parties. I am skeptical of that, but it can only be positive if Japan and South Korea can start working together again.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Alex 80.

I fully get you and we still want SouthTyrol back / joking of course.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The initial reaction of former sex slaves was mixed. One woman said she would follow the government’s lead, while another vowed to ignore the accord because Tokyo didn’t consider the money to be formal compensation.

Some in Seoul saw the deal, while not perfect, as an important step forward.

Seoul, meanwhile, said it will refrain from criticizing Japan over the issue, and will talk with “relevant organizations” - a reference to civic groups representing the former sex slaves - to try to resolve Japan’s grievance over a statue of a girl representing victims of Japanese sexual slavery that sits in front of the Japanese Embassy in downtown Seoul.

They are leaving open the possibilities for future claims.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@it'S ME: it' nice we are able to say "just kidding" about topics like that. ;-) Sometimes I think East Asia brought nationalism to sucha huge level

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's not even right wasting Japanese people money this way when it's already clear the victims will continue to protest against Japan.

I disagree. The problem now for Japan is that many people sympathize with the sex slaves, as they have never received compensation or an apology. As long as Japan follows through, either to the point that they accept the money, or don't, anyone who continues to complain will not receive much sympathy from anyone. It's understandable why they turned down the AWF money, as it wasn't from the government, and there was no apology, but this time both the apology and the money are coming from the government. So if they want to turn it down, that's their right, but they won't continue to receive the sympathy from the majority of people who sympathize with their cause if they make that decision.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Relatively good news, but the aid fund is rather small, considering the amount of time it took for Japan to admit their wrongdoing and Japan being the third largest economy in the world.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@Strangerland: I see your point but if they are still unhappy, I doubt the Korean government won't use this matter again for its own sake, so it will remain open for ever. Convenient for the Korean government, but unfair for the Korean victims and for Japan.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Watch. The Koreans will soon be saying this was not "sincere" and the issue will not end. Korean "han" will not allow it to go away.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Strangerland: I see your point but if they are still unhappy, I doubt the Korean government won't use this matter again for its own sake

That doesn't change anything about what I said. They can complain, but the difference will be that up until now, they've has plenty of sympathizers. After this, they won't.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

S Korea, Japan reach deal on wartime sex slaves, including Y1 bil aid fund

See, that wasn't so hard, after all.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is welcome. A glimmer of hope for the region and a sign of maturity and pride from the Japanese side. Pride is being able to show contrition like a world leader. That is leadership. And the first time this administration showed anything like this kind of sense. Many Koreans should extend a hand of friendship. Let's try to do something good for the next generation. Japan and Korea need each other.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If Abe manages to settle this issue, it will be quite some achievement, and an unexpected one coming from this guy. I don' t like a lot of what he does, but we will have to give him a big credit for that. Korea and Japan should work together to stabilize China's ambitions and cooperate more on the economic side as well.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Interesting. I welcome this move

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan got off pretty easy with couple of million dollars in fine and a grudging apology to their enemies.

Next time the Japanese right deny there were comfort women, just whip out the video of Mr. Abe's heartfelt "apology" to the Comfort women, and remind them that they admitted their guilt and have apologized for it. That is proof enough that the crime existed.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

In the New York Times article on this issue, most of the messages make Japan look like a scheming devil and the S. Koreans look like idiots for accepting the deal. I've never seen such an outpouring of anti-Japanese sentiment at the NY Times. In 1965, we signed a peace treaty with S Korea that "covers all issues stemming from the war" (my translation), then in 1967 suddenly the sexual slave issue came up. The Japanese gov. set up a fund but few women used it. So it is not like we never tried to do anything.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This has potential, just hope idiotic politicians etc don't screw it up! And when right wingers(especially in the ldp!) start spouting lies lets hope they get shouted down, THAT will be the test for Japan.

Japan will need time to show it is sincere, hopefully it will be up to the task...............

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@gokai: the biggest difference between Japanese ultra right wingers and Korean right wingers, apparently is the fact that the Koreans know English better. Don't worry about those comments too much. The rest of the world doesn't hate Japan.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Johnnie Walker wrote Sexual slavery is wrong in all cases. It is irrelevant whether it was against women of countries we now like or dislike. An apology (on behalf of Japan, not individual people) and an acceptance that these crimes did occur should be made to all women who suffered this abhorrent treatment,

Yes, you're right but most comfort women got some good money working as prostitutes. http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Lol, the Japanese government finally realized that they couldn't win against overwhelming historical evidence. So much for all the right wing denialists claiming history was on their side huh? The Japanese government has waved the white flag.

Today is a good day, unfortunately I still see certain idiot politicians who will continue to deny their existence.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@Gokai: I have commented on the NYT article on facebook quite a lot. I live here, have studied Japanese, Japanese culture and language for over a decade. I like Japan and Japanese people in general. But, I cannot agree with your assessment.

While there certainly are some anti-Japanese comments, I find that the majority of the comments are either positive about Abe/Japan or believe this is a positive first step.

And I agree with these sentiments to agree. It is a positive movement from an Administration that has shown its outright vigor all things right wing.

I also think that Japanese people today bare no responsibility for WW2. Nothing for people to be ashamed of and certainly nothing to overlook or downplay.

You are correct, Japan has indeed apologized and even, through a third party, paid reparations to ROK, but the problem is all of the right wing Oyaji in power.

Japan has issued these apologies (maruyama/kono) and then these apologies were either downplayed, criticized, or were otherwise sent to review.

Now, I am a big believer in empathy. You do not have to agree, but how would YOU feel if your people/ancestors received apologies for the things they suffered, and then subsequent leaders denied their crimes and downplayed their acts! Is that contrition? Is that remorse?

I think not. I am sorry you seem to think people blame you personally as a Japanese person, it wasn't my intent, but up to now, the Abe admin has been dragging the Japanese public through all this.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Didn't South Korea use the compensation they were paid in the past to invest in their economy rather than pay victims? In hindsight it may have worked out for the best considering that South Korea once had per capita GDP on par with some African economies (hard to believe), but it seems unfair considering that they were paid at one point. The Japanese government is essentially paying double compensation due to the South Korean government stealing from its own citizens.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Japan always only announces the date of official colonial rule from 1910 but acutal brutal invasion started many years prior to the murder of Korean Empress Min in October 1895 who was molested, mutilated and burned to char after being killed for standing against Japan. The atrocities spanned over 50 years and not 35 yrs as claimed officially by Japanese Govt. It is about time J-Gov took some action and please don't take back or cancel prior apologies anymore.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

All of this "Deal" is fine and dandy until the Abe Administration goes to the Yasukuni Shrine, then it's ALL ON AGAIN: "Your not sorry enough! You haven't atoned for World War 2 blah blah blah..."

*And we're keeping the Money - Suckers!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is pleasing to see. Both sides gave ground here. I've always thought that historical events aside, Japan and South Korea should have a much better relationship than they do, as there is so much in common, and both face an increasingly resurgent and aggressive China.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hopefully, this apology is sincere and there won't be any politician denying any of it without facing any consequences. Hopefully this isn't just some politically motivated American enticement. If this was truly about moving forward, then Japan should have no problem apologizing to other countries too. Their biggest victim (in terms of numbers of innocent people), for example, hasn't or isn't even asking any fiscal compensation (yet). But this leads to another issue, whether it's considered problematic or not. Would these victimized countries push MORE for compensation from Japan because of what Korea is getting? Their calls have been pretty much ending up on deaf ears so far. The funny thing is, Japan could have saved money if they just came to terms decades ago (not that compensation is bad or unnecessary).

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It remains a question if government sees itself as a continuation of its unapologetic Imperial past or does it recognize the actions of WWII from the same modern view as the rest of Asia? This agreement helps a lot, but it is not there yet. Until it is, it's important to prevent any backsliding for such an important agreement.

The "no talk backs" part of the agreement comes off odd, like a payoff. Also the demand for the removal of the girl statue in remembrance of the comfort women in Seoul is also not the actions of a government in a state of contrition.

There is no reason to find a statue a threat to Japan if the past is accepted. There is nothing lost by acknowledging this, only a future where right wingers are not a factor. The real work will come with acknowledging the past and being able to move on. One can't happen without the other.

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It is about time J-Gov took some action and please don't take back or cancel prior apologies anymore.

At the same time, S.K might want to put them in it's text book so as not to reverse any of those statements made by historical S.K Presidentds

Park Cheung-He: Settled Compretely and Finally Kim Yong-Sam: Would not demand any reparations and never bother Japan again if Kono Statement is issued Kim Dae-Jung: Japan aplogized and S.K Accepted it. S.K would never bring up the issue of Comfort women Roh Moo-hyun: Would not comment on past history during my term Lee Myung-bak: Forward Looking only. Would not request for any apology Park Geun-hye: Finally and irreversibly solved

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while $8 million USD is not much the words have more meaning. I would like to know more about what ;evel of pressure Washington has been giving Abe-chan, but it would be nice to know along with any undisclosed deals made with S.K.

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igloobuyerDec. 28, 2015 - 09:47PM JST Where are the OssanAmerica's and Tina Watanabe's today? I'm interested to hear reactions from the more nationalist >point of view. Does it anger them or make them proud?

Chinese troll.

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I commend all parties on their actions in resolving this point of contention. Even though it is clearly not the responsibility of the current Japanese Government, they have finally put to rest a sorry and terrible bone of contention between the two countries. The apology and compensation are admirable.

For their part, South Korea now needs to stop and accept the apology and compensation in the spirit it was intended. It is now really up to them to bury the hatchet once and for all.

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In a wording and verbal openings on diplomatic meets, Japanese officials delivered apologies, but there were never formal documentation of apology with promises to fix their mistakes by taking such actions and such. The Japanese apologies were always vague and lacked details, other than saying sorry and we'll never do it. In meantime in Japan, over 100 Japanese politicians keeps going to Yasukuni and worship their old war criminals and suggesting Japanese legitimacy on their position in WWII. Then someday, we'll come across generation of Japanese population that really believes that their course of action in WWII was the right thing and wanting retribution. With Abe's administration Japan things really started to look that way.

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So now we talk about the Karayuki-san-tachi.

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And on the same DAY Mrs Abe visits Yasukuni the same DAY, Amazing!

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Now that Japan already paid $$$ like she did in 1965, I think Koreans don't have more reasons to complain or cry about that. If she does, she will recognize that she is dumb.

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In the New York Times article on this issue, most of the messages make Japan look like a scheming devil and the S. Koreans look like idiots for accepting the deal

I wouldn't use the word devil in there, but essentially Japan has been scheming & paying $$(1965) mostly with the hope the world would forget the horrors Japan had sewn prior WWII & up to 1945. Well it didn't work the first time, mainly because Japan insisted on denying what it did........

Now Japan, after blowing the 70th anniversary of WWII earlier this year has yet ANOTHER chance!!!

Now we have some words & some further compensation(I don't think that part was needed but should be welcomed assuming Japan keeps up its end of the bargain).

This time like in the past Japan needs to BACK UP these statements/compensation, with appropriate actions.

Korea too needs to SHUT UP & accept & wait, keep the statues right where they are. 10-15years down the road if these two have kissed & made up perhaps moving the statue in front of the embassy would be a nice gesture.

The most important thing now is BOTH accept this, keep their respective right wing nuts in line. If right wing & similar idiots start making noise they need to be confronted & challenged, out in place, silence on idiotic right wing outbursts, visiting yasukuni etc will make all this null & void............

I am not sure either Japan or Korea are up to pulling this off but I hope they DO!

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@sfjp330DEC. 29, 2015 - 07:09AM JST

In a wording and verbal openings on diplomatic meets, Japanese officials delivered apologies, but there were never formal documentation of apology with promises to fix their mistakes by taking such actions and such.

Frankly, people like you who keep finding excuses for Korea to break its treaty promises are a PRIMARY CAUSE that this issue has burned over until now. As long as people keep letting Korea break its promises, why wouldn't she do so?

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OMG! This is what I get for avoiding tv etc for a bit, here I was hoping maybe Japan would get its CRAP together wrt to the sex slaves, so after I type above about hoping JP & SK blah blah............what do I read next

abe's wife has once again gone to yasukuni, W T F!!!!

Sorry Gokai, really I am sorry but how can Japan NOT be seen as a scheming country, off the charts unbelievable!!!

abe needs to divorce his wife or he is 150% complicit in this dastardly deed...........pure insanity!!

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@GW DEC. 29, 2015 - 12:39PM JST

GW, if you want this thing resolved, you can make your own small contribution to it. First, respect other people's rights to have an opinion and to visit a shrine. Second, even if you find the choice to visit a certain shrine distasteful for subjective reasons, it should not be placed on the same ladder as an actual payout and you should oppose all attempts to do so.

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Sorry KazuakiS but after this supposed goodwill gesture wrt to the sex slaves the PMs wife visits yasukuni where war criminals responsible for 20-30millions deaths are worshipped, this is WAY BEYOND personal rights/opinions, its utterly disrespectful to a whole lot of people in a whole LOT of countries.

The PMs wife is NOT some man/woman from off the street!!!

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even if you find the choice to visit a certain shrine distasteful for subjective reasons, it should not be placed on the same ladder as an actual payout

Why not?

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Park Cheung-he: Settled Compretely and Finally

Kim Yong-Sam: Would not demand any reparations and never bother Japan again if Kono Statement is issued

Kim Dae-Jung: Japan aplogized and S.K Accepted it. S.K would never bring up the issue of Comfort women

Roh Moo-hyun: Would not comment on past history during my term

Lee Myung-bak: Forward Looking only. Would not request for any apology

Park Geun-hye: Finally and irreversibly solved

3 ( +3 / -0 )

*Park Cheung-he: Settled Compretely and Finally

Kim Yong-Sam: Would not demand any reparations and never bother Japan again if Kono Statement is issued

Kim Dae-Jung: Japan aplogized and S.K Accepted it. S.K would never bring up the issue of Comfort women

Roh Moo-hyun: Would not comment on past history during my term

Lee Myung-bak: Forward Looking only. Would not request for any apology

Park Geun-hye: Finally and irreversibly solved*

This says it all...read up on Korean "han" and you'll understand.

The problem is that you cannot issue an apology that covers every member of your society or those in the future...the next time some black-vanner writes an article denying it, Koreans will say "Japan" wasn't sincere. Any statement by any Japanese at any time represents all of Japan in the eyes of Korea.

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" 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, "

Well, with this weasel wording he can still turn around and say that the comfort women were privately recruited and not managed by the Japanese military, which was the issue all the time. Afaik, nobody doubted that they existed, the issue has always been to what degree the Japanese government was involved. But if the Korean government is fine with this... good! Then lets finally bury the issue and move one. I just hope this does not turn into an endless extortion racket, North Korea style...

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WilliBDEC. 29, 2015 - 03:27PM JST Well, with this weasel wording he can still turn around and say that the comfort women were privately recruited and not managed by the Japanese military, which was the issue all the time. Afaik, nobody doubted that they existed, the issue has always been to what degree the Japanese government was involved.

Mr. Yoshimi, a historian said "Between 50,000 and 200,000 women from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere were tricked or coerced into sexual slavery". The actual figure should be somewhere in the middle. And what happened to him after Mr. Yoshimi went public by telling Asahi Shimbun? The attention led to constant years of harassment from the right wing, he said, including nightly phone calls.

Of the half-dozen documents Mr. Yoshimi, historian had discovered, the most damning was a notice written on March 4, 1938, by the adjutant to the chiefs of staff of the North China Area Army and Central China Expeditionary Force. Titled “Concerning the Recruitment of Women for Military Comfort Stations,” the notice said that “armies in the field will control the recruiting of women,” and that “this task will be performed in close cooperation with the military police or local police force of the area.” (source: NYtimes)

Sadly it's all very typical. They perceive Japan as being attacked by outside forces and thus rally to defend Japan's honor, but either don't want to shatter the illusion that exists within Japan that Japan was a victim rather than a belligerent in the war, or just refuse or can't be bothered to turn those same sights and do serious self criticism of their domestic education system and its myriad deep flaws when it comes to WWII education. Either way you cut it, it's not pretty, and a sad state of affairs.

It seems the J-government has now changed its tactics by enlisting these guys in its efforts to whitewash and rewrite history. These "historians" and "scholars" are just toeing the Japanese government line, so they seem to have no integrity or independence. Japan may be successful in using intimidation, fear, coercion and bullying to surpress truth and promote self-censorship at home. Should we be surprised at Abe and his wanting to "restore the honor" of the militarists? His Grandfather was one of them, and his father took over his Grandfathers seat in the Diet. It makes no difference if a person in IJA uniform directly recruited these poor women or the military hid behind a third party such as private-sector brokers to give itself plausible deniability. The end result is the same and cowardly hiding behind a third-party does not absolve the Japanese military of such crimes.

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As long as it shuts them up, do what it takes and move on. Should not have had to do it twice though.

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Come on,it took the Japanese Govt 70 Years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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@GWDEC. 29, 2015 - 01:30PM JST

Sorry KazuakiS but after this supposed goodwill gesture wrt to the sex slaves the PMs wife visits yasukuni where war criminals responsible for 20-30millions deaths are worshipped, this is WAY BEYOND personal rights/opinions, its utterly disrespectful to a whole lot of people in a whole LOT of countries.

A great way to make some progress will be if people recognize that when they receive a concession, they are more likely to get another one if they don't follow it up with a demand for unconditional surrender.

For the 20-30 million bit, first, one man's criminal and another's hero. Further, most of them said dead are in China. On that point, I'll give you something to chew on.

What if I told you that that Marco Polo actually did not begin with the Japanese asking for their missing soldier, but by soldiers in a Chinese company shooting at a Japanese one? That the Chinese were actually were first to move multiple divisions into an area where they already hold a 10:1 numerical superiority? That the initial Japanese response (days after the Chinese) was a unmobilized division without its train, without which it does not possess a long range attack ability?

If you start from these premises, would it be reasonable for you to conclude that the Sino-Japanese War was mostly the fault of the Chinese? And if so, that permits the use of a defense so beloved by Americans - the Japanese are responsible for the deaths from our firebombing, they could have surrendered. Same thing here - the Chinese had a choice. They chose war.

It is also true the Japanese did extend a number of peace offers during the war. They do demand substantial concessions, but the view of whether they are reasonable changes depending on who is the aggressor here.

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The Korea bashers that frequent JT comments will be really 'interested' to see that Taiwan is also now seeking compensation to their wartime sex slaves. Not just the 'crazy' Koreans after all.

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It would also be a nice touch if some of those who have denied this issue in posts on this site accept that they were wrong.

If you look at the wording of the new apology (for offending the honour and dignity of many women [my translation]) it does not seem to be different from previous apologies, nor contain a new understanding of the facts. Notably, the statue remains a stumbling block with the Japanese still demanding it be removed, and the Korean government now agreeing to seek its removal. http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201512290043 So what has changed? Bearing in mind all the money that Japan has abracadabra-ed lately, I would not be surprised if a lot more than one billion yen (< 1 million USD) has in some way facilitated this agreement, perhaps once again for, infrastructure. On consideration of that possibility, my sorrow and sympathy for the women increases.

While I don't think that the Japanese misunderstood the facts, I think they should keep the reserved, jizou-like statue and that it would have made his verbal apology seem more sincere if Abe had lain a wreath, especially in view of his wife's choice of wreath laying destination. Perhaps a future prime minister will do so.

But then, I hope that one day a Korean President will lay flowers at Yasukuni, and for flowers, sorrow, and forgiveness everywhere.

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