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San Francisco mayor accepts 'comfort women' statue; Osaka to end sister-city ties

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So Osaka mayor," What ya gonna do? Follow through or fold?

0 ( +16 / -16 )

Hmmmm....   Maybe Tokyo or Osaka or Kobe should erect a "Japanese internee" statue to commemorate all of the Americans of Asian origin who were interned and had their lives destroyed during WW2.......

not saying morally equivalent, but still.

33 ( +47 / -14 )

In 2015, Japan and South Korea reached a landmark deal to "finally and irreversibly" resolve the comfort women issue, with Japan disbursing 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) last year to a South Korean fund to provide support to former comfort women and their families.

But the administration of new South Korean President Moon Jae In argues that "the majority of the country's public do not approve of the comfort women agreement" on an emotional level.

I understand the entire thing is tragic ... But Japan paid exactly what Korea asked for, signed a contract... What did Korea do with the money?

37 ( +50 / -13 )

@Wakarimasen: "Maybe Tokyo or Osaka or Kobe should erect a "Japanese internee" statue to commemorate all of the Americans of Asian origin who were interned and had their lives destroyed during WW2......."

That is a good idea as it would play naturally into the Japanese myth that they are victims and did nothing wrong at or before WWII.

-11 ( +20 / -31 )

omg... And what is the Statue of Peace organization paying for in return? That's the way they work, right?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It appears certain that the city of Osaka will now dissolve its sister-city affiliation with San Francisco

Well boo bl**dy hoo! San Francisco loses nothing from this. SF is a truly international, cosmopolitan city (which I visited several times) and receives plenty of tourists. Osaka pales in comparison. Maybe Osaka can find another city to be twinned with, l̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶N̶a̶n̶j̶i̶n̶g̶.

Can you imagine Germany throwing a hissy fit because an American city dares put up a monument dedicated to the Jewish victims of the holocaust? I'd like to see Japan's reaction if there were a monument in SF dedicated to the Chinese who were used as live guinea pigs in vivisection and germ warfare. If Japan wants to wallow in self-pity every August, then so can the other Asians who suffered brutally at the hands of the Imperial Army and their doctors. There's a reason why Germany gets on well with most other countries today.

-10 ( +28 / -38 )

Maybe Tokyo or Osaka or Kobe should erect a "Japanese internee" statue to commemorate all of the Americans of Asian origin who were interned and had their lives destroyed during WW2.......

I'm sure America has done something like that already. I've certainly heard of apologies and speeches of self-reflection, etc. And George Takei has certainly been able to talk about it in public without receiving a bullet through the post.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

The Japanese government doesn't like it, they should just shut up about it. If you say nothing, nobody will notice it.

24 ( +29 / -5 )

Pukey

If Japan wants to wallow in self-pity every August, then so can the other Asians who suffered brutally at the hands of the Imperial Army and their doctors.

I understand the sentiment, but the Koreans should leave 3rd countries out of it. Let them plaster Korea full of these statues, but spare other countries this eternal propaganda war.

26 ( +42 / -16 )

Coincidentally (and just that), San Francisco is where the US/Japan peace treaty was signed back in '51. If you visit the opera house, there's a small monument. Perhaps it should be larger, and perhaps it should memorialize different things, but it does not. It simply states, here, it was over.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

Very impressive statue. Beautifully simple.

I'm not sure if putting it up does more good or harm. I generally love things which wind up disingenuous boneheaded nationalists and reminding people of past monstrosities is healthy, but moving on also has its merits.

I just like the statue.

1 ( +20 / -19 )

Obviously, San Francisco and Osaka buried the hatched on any WWII issues in the '50s, hence the sister-city status. Surprise, surprise, people with nothing better to do than make a buck off of issues buried again and again, settled again and again, and trumped up again and again, will do anything to make money where there is an angle. The South Koreans (and Americans) making money off of this process of creating statues and conflict where there is none are the only current whores in the equation. The telling fact is that these money-grubbing sensationalists always leave out the figure of a Japanese woman, many of which where rolled up into the whole comfort women scheme. Of course, to admit that would ruin the whole scam. I do not use the word 'whore' to describe prostitutes because I have respect for prostitutes and appreciate their company. The people behind these statues are whores for a dollar and traitors to peace and honesty.

19 ( +33 / -14 )

I guess South Korea can make all the statues it wants, but at this point it should give the $8.9 million back to Japan. This isn't like international agreements work. You can't take the money, without respecting the agreement. At less Japan can use that money for its own people.

25 ( +41 / -16 )

As the atrocities of war move from the lives of those who experienced them to the pages of history books, it's important that there be such visible reminders, lest the lessons be lost.

4 ( +18 / -14 )

A little background of the Mayor Edwin Mah Lee:

 His parents immigrated to the United States from Taishan, Guangdong Province, China in the 1930s. Lee's father, Gok Suey Lee, fought in the Korean War.

This should explain a lot.

16 ( +29 / -13 )

Hmmmm....  Maybe Tokyo or Osaka or Kobe should erect a "Japanese internee" statue to commemorate all of the Americans of Asian origin who were interned and had their lives destroyed during WW2.......

Do it, no big deal most people in NAmerica  are AWARE, KNOW, that Japanese were interned, its NOT denied, ignored, white washed!!

But the sex slave thing in Japan........ HUGE DIFFERENCE, denials everywhere, refusal to accept & own its history, & on &on!

As for the poorly worked deal between Japan & SKorea. !ts done, fine, no big problems, the deal was NOT so Japan could pretend sex slaves never existed & harp every time the subject is brought up, it WASNT hush money.... or it that what JAPAN thought it was....well golly gee isn't that lame, & here I thought it was to help heal the wounds Japan caused with its creation of sex slaves etc oh silly me!

-7 ( +17 / -24 )

Well I’m glad we aren’t as petty as them.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Out of curiosity, does anyone think that San Fransisco would consent to a statute commemorating the Tiananmen square protests and later massacres in Beijing, if China objected? My guess is that it wouldn't.

the administration of new South Korean President Moon Jae In argues that "the majority of the country's public do not approve of the comfort women agreement" on an emotional level

So I guess the moral of the story is don't sign any agreement with the South Korean government, unless they have the backing of a national referendum with clear support - because the next administration can spin around and say "oh, but the public don't like it, so we don't have to honour it".

21 ( +32 / -11 )

I'm not sure why many posters seem to believe this is a govt (ie Korea) sponsored program.

"....The statue -- of three Chinese, Korean and Filipino girls standing hand in hand -- was set up by a local private organization ....."

The Korean govt has no control over what some of it's perhaps overly zealous citizens say, think, or do in another sovereign country. 

If I, for arguments sake, protested against the development of the new military base at Henoko (and erected a statue/plaque etc) would my country of origin - Australia - be to blame???

-14 ( +8 / -22 )

I think my point isn't about the moral equivalence or about perpetuating the Japanese victimhood myth.  rather that these ongoing little spats and gesture politics achieve little or nothing to right the wrongs of yesteryear nor to promote peace and harmony today.

What on earth have comfort women got to do with San Francisco?  What is point of putting statues of comfort women on Seoul buses and trams?  Is there less sexual slavery today because of these statues?  Less war crimes?  Less war?  Better international relations and understanding?

13 ( +23 / -10 )

Out of curiosity, does anyone think that San Fransisco would consent to a statute commemorating the Tiananmen square protests and later massacres in Beijing, if China objected? My guess is that it wouldn't.

There is a statue in the heart of SF Chinatown that commemorates June 4

19 ( +20 / -1 )

So what's so wrong with having a statue there? Japanese, due to the atomic bombings tend to view themselves as victims of the war, and also tend to deny and justify their aggressiveness towards the other countries before and during the same war... Their compensation money should never justify suppression of truth and Freedom of Speech.

0 ( +20 / -20 )

But the administration of new South Korean President Moon Jae In argues that "the majority of the country's public do not approve of the comfort women agreement" on an emotional level.

Ridiculous! Now give the money back.

13 ( +24 / -11 )

Looks fine. Japan should accept this, even encourage it, otherwise they are showing the world an inability to let go of the IJA mentality

-12 ( +10 / -22 )

question, one that I think talks about the perspective on both sides of this.

So many of the people upset at this statue and others like it keep pointing to the 2015 agreement. Yet, from the information available to the public, these statues are all arranged and paid for by private groups of individuals, and not by the South Korean government.

Yet many still blame the government of South Korea.

I wonder, if this is the case, then what is the difference between that at when Shinzo Abe and other members of the government make statements or engage in actions such as visiting of Yasukuni Shrine, supposedly 'in their roles as private individuals and not in their position as members of the government of Japan.'

I'm not saying one side is better than the other, but there is a thin veneer of ridiculousness on both sides. However, if one side can say one thing formally yet do something completely opposite in their 'private personage,' then why can't the other?

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

@akkk1: he said "if China objected". Try to imagine what would happen TODAY if China objected.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

You must be an isolated islander to believe in buying your view of history as finally and irreversibly for all.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Comfort women statues are getting so popular, that they've even started selling them at Daiso.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Hirofumi Yoshimura should wake up and smell the ocha!

Osaka is already one of the least visited cities in Asia and now he wants to cut ties with San Francisco over .....a statute?

The leaders of Japan are clueless !

-10 ( +12 / -22 )

hachidori:

A little background of the Mayor Edwin Mah Lee:

 His parents immigrated to the United States from Taishan, Guangdong Province, China in the 1930s. Lee's father, Gok Suey Lee, fought in the Korean War.

Wow. And wow again. With a surname like Lee? I would have never guessed. A Chinese who is disgusted that his countrywomen were used as sex slaves? Next surprising fact......

WilliB:

understand the sentiment, but the Koreans should leave 3rd countries out of it.

How about we all ask America to get rid of any sort of museum or memorials dedicated to the holocaust then? I mean, the victims came from Europe, not America, after all.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

Just proves that the whole world does not approve that the Japanese government-LDP is trying to reverse the history and thereby sow doubt about these "comfort women". The world know what Japan committed during WW2, and it is not something you can easily brush off your shoulders afterwards!

Especially not easy to brush off when you have growing nationalistic sentiments within governing parties! This approval of the comfort women-statue in San Francisco, is a heavy blow to history revisionists in Japan, and it should also serve as a reminder that the world is watching how Japan deals with the aftermath of WW2. If Japan properly acnowledge their defeat and properly respect the outcome. And if Japan accept the truth (that they killed/massacred and used comfort women from China/Korea) as Germany accepted their truth (that they had done with the jews during the infamous Holocaust!).

To not accept your sins, is just the utter humiliation a nation can suffer! And I didn't think Japan with the Samurai Bushido-code would be the country to do this, to not accept the outcome and the horrific truth about your aggression during WW2! It's just silly and childish done by a country with a long and honorable history!

-9 ( +15 / -24 )

@Pukey2: how many monuments there are, in China, dedicated to American soldiers who fought in WWII also for China freedom? How many monuments there are, in China, dedicated to Italian women and kids raped and killed by the colonial troops of the French Expeditionary Corps (see the "Marocchinate")? They don't even care. They care only about their own stuff. It's a one sided thing.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

Hmmmm....  Maybe Tokyo or Osaka or Kobe should erect a "Japanese internee" statue to commemorate all of the Americans of Asian origin who were interned and had their lives destroyed during WW2.......

Actually, Canada also interned thousands of Japanese immigrants and native-born Canadians of Japanese descent during WW2. Many were relocated from the Pacific Coast and interned in camps in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. This injustice is not only recognized by the Canadian government, which offered financial reparations to surviving former internees in the late 1980s or early 90s, but it is also studied in depth in secondary school social studies and history classes. In fact, one of the former internment camps in the community of New Denver, British Columbia has been turned into a museum memorializing the hardships and injustices the internees faced. I wouldn't be surprised if other communities throughout Canada and the U.S. which had internment camps also had museums or other memorials documenting this shameful truth. Therein lies the difference. The Canadian and American governments as well as politicians at the municipal, provincial / state, and federal levels don't try to whitewash the internment of Japanese Canadians and Americans or downplay it as some kind of necessary evil during wartime.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

@fleg: but those citizens were AMERICANS, not Japanese, just because they were of Japanese origin! It's completely different, especially if you think that German-Americans and Italian-Americans didn't get the same treatment. The internment of Japanese-Americans has been a crime against AMERICAN citizens.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

@ Alex:

how many monuments there are, in China, dedicated to American soldiers who fought in WWII also for China freedom?

Oh puleeez, America fought for freedom in China? They only stepped in after Pearl Harbor was hit. They were fighting because of the Japanese, not for the Chinese. It's despicable how the Americans let so many Japanese war criminals (politicians, doctors, etc) off because they were given all the data collected from live human experiments and germ warfare. Unit 731 doesn't ring a bell? That's part of the problem we see today. These warm criminals went on to have top jobs post-word war 2, including Dear Leader's grandfather.

How many monuments there are, in China, dedicated to Italian women and kids raped and killed by the colonial troops of the French Expeditionary Corps (see the "Marocchinate")?

Come back to me when you show me any Italians who have naturalized as Chinese citizens. As far as I can tell, no-one in the Italian ex-pat community has said or suggested anything. Maybe you can prod your countrymen in China.

They don't even care. They care only about their own stuff. It's a one sided thing.

Do you blame them, after every single European country (including your Italy) and Japan carved up China for themselves. The Chinese were made to feel like second-class citizens in their own country. Coolies, anyone?

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

typo:

warm criminals --- war criminals

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Japanese government, live with it!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is an attempt to create a rift between Japan and USA.    Now between Japan and SK is done, not many Japanese tourists go to SK anymore.

-3 ( +13 / -16 )

The internment of Japanese-Americans has been a crime against AMERICAN citizens.

Alex, Alex, Alex. Have you not heard? What happened to the Japanese-Americans was bad but it's well documented in America, and people are free to talk about it. Nothing is shoved under the rug.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Japan is being childish. It's a statue commemorating a human tradegy. Stop taking it so personally. There are plently of statues around the world to similar events.

-11 ( +11 / -22 )

@Pukey2: but they were AMERICANS...sigh. Don't care, you can't see the difference. Bye.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

If I were a sculptor I would specialise in 'comfort women' statues and target SK public/private organisations. U can make serious $ with these guys, they're on a roll.

Seriously, you get the feeling that these statues are no longer about the victims but rather naming/shaming Japan again, and again, and again. The inscription on the statue says it all:

"This monument bears witness to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of women and girls euphemistically called 'Comfort Women,' who were sexually enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces in thirteen Asian-Pacific countries from 1931 to 1945".

Something like "in memory of all women who have suffered wartime rapes etc" would imo be far more powerful and less hmmm, vindictive & petty-minded?

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Whilst Japan has grudgingly admitted to comfort women being forced to service the Japanese forces during WWII, it is shamed by that fact and does not like being reminded of it. Germany has owned its horrendous activities during WWII and has no problem admitting and discussing the issues to ensure they never happen again. Japan prefers to hide the shame under the rug and hope nobody remembers it, leaving the door open for it to happen again in the future. That's the plain and simple truth of this matter. Japan needs to turn the shame of past generations into a means of teaching others what should never be done again, and own it.

-13 ( +11 / -24 )

Compensation is just one aspect of acknowledging guilt. It shouldn’t extend to disallowing commemorative activity. Japan, let people grieve in their own way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At the risk of being sensured and removed again, I fully agree with Peter14 his comment and I second it.

We have to face our past and this openly and factually, so we may avoid repeating mistakes and comiting new atrocities.

This should be thought in school without excuses nor justifications.

We should erect status for the Ainu People of Hokkaido as well as for what was done to Okinawa and this without any political agenda what so ever.

We have to learn and change as humans or we will self destruckt.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

goldorakToday  06:59 pm JST

Seriously, you get the feeling that these statues are no longer about the victims but rather naming/shaming Japan again, and again, and again. The inscription on the statue says it all:

"This monument bears witness to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of women and girls euphemistically called 'Comfort Women,' who were sexually enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces in thirteen Asian-Pacific countries from 1931 to 1945".

Something like "in memory of all women who have suffered wartime rapes etc" would imo be far more powerful and less hmmm, vindictive & petty-minded?

> Oh, okay, so with that logic, statues that commemorate the holocaust should say 'to all victims of genocide' throughout history, and statues commemorating the 2011 tsunami should read 'to all people in history who dies in tsunamis' and not mention the 2011 disaster. Brilliant idea (not).

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Wakarimasen: "Hmmmm....  Maybe Tokyo or Osaka or Kobe should erect a "Japanese internee" statue to commemorate all of the Americans of Asian origin who were interned and had their lives destroyed during WW2......."

There probably are. I know that both the US and Canada have formally, on record, apologized to former internees. Has Japan apologized ON RECORD and that is recognized by all politicians here and that no politician denies and says is just propaganda? Nope.

tinawatanabe: "This is an attempt to create a rift between Japan and USA."

First, no, it is not. Not at all. Only in the minds of people who are conspiracy theorists with no facts to go on. Second, you talk badly about the US all the time anyway, so if it were, why would you care?

" Now between Japan and SK is done, not many Japanese tourists go to SK anymore."

Hahaha. Wrong again. MANY people travel to SK, especially young people who are more obsessed with K-pop than J-pop, who are MANY. In fact, many young men in women in Japan dress like K-pop idols these days and studies of Korean language seem to be on the rise. But, feel free to give us your stats proving otherwise.

Anyway, I hope the Osaka mayor makes good on his vow to sever sister-city ties and SF can be done with the bigot for good. Doesn't hurt SF one bit. Hurts Osaka a lot, though.

-15 ( +9 / -24 )

Well done, Mayor Lee.

People all over the world should be aware of the horrors of war. And how, as usual, it's the ordinary people who suffer.

-17 ( +6 / -23 )

I'm sorry but his is getting out of hand! S. Korea needs to either accept that the issue was resolved a few years ago and move on, or reject the agreement and hand the money back! This is nothing but extortion on the part of the Korean government against Japan. Japan is not a cash machine that can be used every time someone gets emotional about an issue that happened close to a century ago! Where does this stop, I suspect never, as once those who were involved have died, their relatives will start barking on about it and demand "emotional" compensation as well.

What annoys me the most is that these statues are funded by private organisation and supported by people who have no links what so ever, with what they are supposed to be protesting against. Its a band wagon that has been hijacked by people with nothing better to do than bring up old issues and make a point. Shame on Mayor Lee for crumbling to such views.

I think id like to set up opposite this statue one protesting the internment of Japanese Americans during WW2 as it emotionally affects me! I wonder if that would be allowed, or would it be refused on the grounds that it was an issue that was "settled". Who knows but would be interesting to try.

S. Korea needs to focus on the real issues affecting its people at the moment, and I suspect the majority of the population are more emotionally affected by events north of the border than by the this at the moment!

20 ( +26 / -6 )

I know that both the US and Canada have formally, on record, apologized to former internees. Has Japan apologized ON RECORD and that is recognized by all politicians here and that no politician denies and says is just propaganda? Nope.

Did all the relevant US and Canadian politicians have the opportunity to recognise their apology and not deny it or say it was just propaganda?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Toasted Heretic: "People all over the world should be aware of the horrors of war. And how, as usual, it's the ordinary people who suffer."

Exactly! What's amazing, though, is watching some Japanese claim the world should know about Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the horrors of war, then support Abe wanting to change the constitution, and THEN turn around and when another nation wants to address atrocities and the horrors of war they suddenly get upset and angry and want it shut down, even threatening and extorting.

-14 ( +9 / -23 )

@Puckey: I am not biased like you think. It's the opposite. Indeed, I never denied that this sexual slavery happened. But:

  • I don't like how this stuff is used like a political tool both by China and South Korea. They are using these women for their political agenda. If they cared for them genuinely, South Korea government would have given Japanese money to these women already in 1965.

  • I think when you do an agreement, you must respect it. Japan gave other money in the latest agreement, where are they? This isn't like diplomacy works. And this is why this conflict will last for ever. Here in Europe we were able to move on from WWII horrors, even though there are still some problems (for example, Greece thinks Germany never paid properly for their war crimes, but Germany considers the matter over), but also this way, we have handled the things a little better than what Asians are doing. And the more you continue with this bickering, the more you deny the possibility for true peace in your continent. But whatever, you are free to act like you want. I find these problems interesting, but of course they don't change my life. :P
17 ( +22 / -5 )

n 2015, Japan and South Korea reached a landmark deal to "finally and irreversibly" resolve the comfort women issue, with Japan disbursing 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) last year to a South Korean fund to provide support to former comfort women and their families.

But the administration of new South Korean President Moon Jae In argues that "the majority of the country's public do not approve of the comfort women agreement" on an emotional level.

A shame that such a sad piece of history has come to this. But just one question, has the current South Korean administration repaid the JPY1Bn? I mean, they are entitled to their current opinion but not if you keep the money.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Letsberealistic:  Oh, okay, so with that logic, statues that commemorate the holocaust should say 'to all victims of genocide' throughout history, and statues commemorating the 2011 tsunami should read 'to all people in history who dies in tsunamis' and not mention the 2011 disaster. Brilliant idea (not).

Nope. Most wwI & wwII memorials' inscriptions in Europe do not mention Germany (or other 'invaders') but focus on the thousands of americans, aussies, kiwis etc who gave their lives to free Europe. "To all who perished, we will never forget your sacrifices", "to the heroic men of etc", are the kind of inscriptions we get there, lists of names of those who died etc. In other words, we focus on the victims & heroes rather than name/shame the oppressors. Different mindset.

In this case, *This monument bears witness to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of women and girls euphemistically called 'Comfort Women,' who were sexually enslaved *during ww2 (i.o 'by the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces in thirteen Asian-Pacific countries from 1931 to 1945") would have, imo, been better.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Why drag Asian historical problems into America and further divide the Asian American community? Chinese communist supporters could be behind all this, with help from their embassy staff.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

If Japan will accept to have Vietnam issues in that Indochina War against USA, I'm sure most of Americans will boycott Japan's action and politically will be very bad relation. Why is SF doing that? Any money going from S. Korean gov't to that sanctuary city? I only thing this issue continues to any S. Korean government persisting this issue, so why this new South Korean President Moon Jae administration doesn't return what Japan disbursing 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) in the last government they were adversary if not agreed? It's very trick! Who got the money from Japan, this government or the last one? Any money from any government to those women? Well, I never have heard. C'mon, people of the world this is very political issue that many Japanese or Koreans citizens don't want to confront.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

@Goldorak: totally agree with you, and I think this kind of mindest is part of what let us Europeans to move on from WWII horrors, even if there are still some problems. I guess Asian nationalism is too much strong.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

It would be nice to have Comfort Women statues inside the Yasukuni shrine and also in front of Shuri castle.

This move would surely soothe the Korean peoples strong emotions regarding the brutal colonization of their country by Imperial Japan.

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

If the agreement is between the governments of Japan and Korea fine, but private citizens are free to do whatever they want. Japanese deny Nanking and Unit 731 everyday but that's their right as free citizens. Korean government can't control it's citizens' thoughts any more than the Japanese government can. Osaka by abandoning the sister city relationship gains nothing but a collective diddums from the rest of the world. Harden up and take it on the chin.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

Comfort Women statues should also be erected in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki to commemorate all those who suffered from the Pacific war.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

TigersTokyoDome: "A shame that such a sad piece of history has come to this. But just one question, has the current South Korean administration repaid the JPY1Bn? I mean, they are entitled to their current opinion but not if you keep the money."

It's not opinion, it's fact, actually. Fact that you guys can't accept, regardless how high the amount of hush money is. They should pay the money back, though, I agree. Unless Japan was actually serious that the money was for egregious crimes it committed and not the victims, and not just simply to shut up, which no one ever should about such things anyway.

Does it frustrate you guys, though, when the world laughs at Japan and becomes even more knowledgable about the facts whenever Japan tries to bury them and then complains about having been unsuccessful in paying people to shut up?

Hiro S. Nobumasa: "Comfort Women statues should also be erected in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki to commemorate all those who suffered from the Pacific war."

Why? I think there's enough already in those places, and Hiroshima does have a monument to Koreans there in the Peace Park, I believe, which acknowledges there were forced laborers there that also died in the bombings. But I think you should push for one to be put in Tokyo in a park somewhere, since you are genuinely concerned about it.

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

Paying restitution to those your have wronged in war doesn't mean a forgetting history and sweeping it under the rug. Statues and commemorations are for exactly that, remembering past wrongs so that hopefully they aren't repeated. War restitution and historical monuments are mutually exclusive.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

For 70 years Japanese leaders have not been sincere in spirit about the extreme atrocities they had committed on Asians. Japanese value & promote sincerity among themselves but not when they were in the wrong to non-Japanese during the wars. Japan put up apologies only in form but not in spirit. And foreigners especially Asians can see through it. The yearly visits to Yasukuni shrine by national leaders is a good example of this internal language among themselves of those "glorious" imperial days. On the other hand they keep reminding the world of their sufferings from the atomic bombs.

This contradiction makes many who suffered so much during the wars angry & upset about the hypocrisy of the leaders.

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

All that is left is to put one atop the Everest, and the Moon. Also, send one into the outer space, so that intelligent extra-terrestrial life would avoid this green-blue landfill.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

smith, it was a serious question. If the current RoK administration strongly believes that 'emotionally' compensation is not enough to resolve this piece of sad history from over 70 years ago, then surely they should return the compensation on 'emotional' grounds? Or maybe its a nice little election-winning ploy to reverse the compensation agreement everytime a South Korean election comes along.

Of course, Mayor Lee being second generation Chinese American is just a total coincidence.

The comfort women abuse is an awful story. But this argument is about accepting a compensation agreement, then rejecting it but keeping the money.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Ahh, Japan - the endlessly self-delusional petulant child. I don't think a single soul in San Francisco will lose a wink of sleep over it.

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

letsberealistic

The inscription on the statue says it all:

"This monument bears witness to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of women and girls euphemistically called 'Comfort Women,' who were sexually enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces in thirteen Asian-Pacific countries from 1931 to 1945".

Hello----?

I read everybody's posts above, and just found amazing and appaling how people simply believe the "story".

Is this what liberals do these days?

Never thought that you need to hear the story from other side before conclusion?

or checking the evidence or material that support their claim?

You say, "Japan, accept the past!" huh!

You don't know anything about what exactly happened,nor what comfort womens were.

The issue is not about statue.

The issue is the fact statue has its written message which is nothing but false spreading to the world,

Those ignorants, read the website below.

Weeks ago, brave Korean Professor Park Yuha got guilty in South Korea because of her truthful opinion and research with lots of evidence about comfort women

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

And South Korea is full of Hypocrisy as well.

Korean comfort woman sued Korean government and US, so far no apology, nor compensation. Korea doesn't care about Woman issue, they just use anything to blame Japan!

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-usa-military/former-korean-comfort-women-for-u-s-troops-sue-own-government-idUSKBN0FG0VV20140711

How about this? no apology?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/vietnam-war-women-seek-justice-mothers-raped-south-korean-soldiers-war-untold-stories-a7940846.html

17 ( +24 / -7 )

It's not a good idea for Osaka's mayor to sever sister city ties.  Let the wounds of war heal, and make peace . . . .

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

That is a very handsome statue.

But that is a very dumb decision.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Just to get some facts straight, this statue was not paid for or made by S. Koreans. From the New Yorker:

”While most of the comfort-women statues around the world have been put up by South Koreans or members of the Korean diaspora, the push for this statue was led by San Francisco’s Chinese-American community, with support from several other groups, including members of the Japanese-, Filipino-, Korean-, and Jewish-American communities”

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I personally don’t see why Yoshimura or Abe are so upset. Wartime rape of girls is still an ongoing problem that we as a society need to solve.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

It's a memorial to a very dark part of recent history. It was only 70 odd years ago, so it is still recent history, which is part of the problem. If it wasn't for the Japanese politicians, historians and hotel chain owners (roll eyes) playing down and straight up denying that Japan took several thousand women from countries they invaded and turned them into sex slaves for their soldiers this political madness would have died out years ago when the first settlement was made back in the 60's.

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

South Korea really needs to move on. They have been trying for decades to forge some kind of national identity, but all they have to work with is a kind of knee-jerk anti Japanese sentiment. They want so hard to be relevant in the world, but in actuality aren't. Their obsession with Japan and trying to rebrand WW2 needs to stop.

As for the statue, I don't see why those who funded it think it is necessary. Like the Dokdo issue or East Sea/Sea of Japan fiasco, it is largely unknown outside of Korea. Americans simply don't care. Any attempt at rational discussion of the comfort woman issue or the facts surrounding it is inevitably met with a torrent of abuse and emotional blackmail. No doubt many were abused by the Japanese Army. However, how they wound up in the hands of the IJN is complicated. Statues like this one don't add to the discussion, they shut it down by appealing to emotion over reality and reason.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

States don’t have friends, but only interests.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

These statues seem provocative. China and Korea may want penitence from Japan, but this isn’t the way to get it.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Its rather telling how the meaning of this is missed on so many here.

If Germany was held accountable with reparations and deep acts of contrition, what makes Japan unique to these?

It might be too late for reparations now but unless Japan can imitate the German model of contrition, expect more statues to go up much to your perpetual disdain.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

If it is of any help to bettering relations between Japanese and Koreans, I would like to offer the following,

Japanese Americans (ethnic Japanese) who died fighting for South Korea

http://articles.latimes.com/1997-02-16/local/me-29367_1_korean-war

Japanese who fought with allied forces during Korean War

http://apjjf.org/2012/10/31/Tessa-Morris-Suzuki/3803/article.html

People of Japanese descent in Korea

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

Japanese, Koreans, Chinese sharing common ancestry during the Yayoi period

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

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Since this is a multi-person statue installation, why not include a statue of the Korean pimps that organized the women, or better yet the Korean fathers that sold their daughters to the pimps to pay off gambling or drinking debts?

History needs to be remembered, but if we're going to remember it then let's remember all the sordid details. Leaving out the unflattering parts for political purposes seems criminal in and of itself. The women themselves seem to be of little consequence to the groups providing these statues and working so hard to keep hate alive.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

They have some nerve telling a foreign country what to do on their own soil. This is an American domestic issue and a foreign country has no right to intervene whatsoever. I wonder what would happen if Korea tells Japan to remove the Yasukuni Shrine?

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

I wonder what would happen if Korea tells Japan to remove the Yasukuni Shrine?

Lots and lots of hot, empty noise.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Osaka is already one of the least visited cities in Asia and now he wants to cut ties with San Francisco over .....a statute?

Either you live in the stone ages or have some Tokyo complex but Osaka for the past 2 years has been the fastest growing city in terms of visitor rate in Asia. Get over your hatred and take a walk down Shinsaibashisuji and I bet the first 10 people you meet will be from a different country.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Japan needs to build statues remembering the women and girls raped by occupying US soldiers. The Occupation of Japan was halted and a standdown ordered by MacArthur due to the number of rapes, murders and robberies by US troops in the first months of the occupation.

Almost every family in Okinawa had some member raped. It's time to erect statues to them.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Out of curiosity, does anyone think that San Fransisco would consent to a statute commemorating the Tiananmen square protests and later massacres in Beijing, if China objected? My guess is that it wouldn't.

San Francisco does have one, and it's a sister city to Shanghai.

Washington DC has one, and it's a sister city to Beijing.

Vancouver has one, and it's a sister city to Guangzhou.

Calgary has one, and it's a sister city to Daqing.

Heck, even Hong Kong has several monuments, exhibitions, and annual gatherings.

I'm pretty sure China objected to these things at one point, and maybe still do, but they're still not as petty as to end their sister city status to these cities.

You bringing up a comparison of a different country is not only petty in itself, but in the case of the examples listed above, it doesn't even work in your argument.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Let me add that Toronto also has one, and it's a sister city to Chongqing. There's probably more around the world. But I hope you get the point.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Peter14:

Germany has owned its horrendous activities during WWII and has no problem admitting and discussing the issues to ensure they never happen again

Germany has gone to the other extreme and brainwashed its population to the extent that they are actual embarrassed to be German would rather respect any other culture than the German one. Which is why Merkels horrendous population replacement project meets so little resistance.

I hope you are not seriously suggesting that is a model Japan should follow. The Japanese people like being Japanese, and I hope they protect their identity.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

This could become embarrassing for the US too. It is not well known, but after the war, Korean and Chinese sex slaves (i.e. "comfort women") who had been brought to Japan during the war were made to service US servicemen after the war along with Japanese sex slaves.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

When J politicians shrug off outside criticism of them visiting Yasukuni Shrine each year, Koreans can shrug off the same criticism over these statues. What goes around comes around

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

These statues seem provocative. no more so than J politicians visiting Yasukuni Shrine each year.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Out of curiosity, does anyone think that San Fransisco would consent to a statute commemorating the Tiananmen square protests and later massacres in Beijing, if China objected? My guess is that it wouldn't.

Safe bet.

Or how about a statue commemorating the victims of the Chinese occupation of Tibet, Mr. Lee?

Rest assured that suddenly he will decide San Francisco should not get involved in political arguments between other countries.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

I am in favor of erecting statues for all of the raped women of Okinawa. The Americans have never accounted for their crimes against the people of Okinawa. Erect them outside of the American bases. Erect them in the United States. The suffering of my ancestors needs to be acknowledged and money paid to the surviving women and their families.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

South Korea really needs to move on. They have been trying for decades to forge some kind of national identity, but all they have to work with is a kind of knee-jerk anti Japanese sentiment. They want so hard to be relevant in the world, but in actuality aren't. Their obsession with Japan and trying to rebrand WW2 needs to stop.

As for the statue, I don't see why those who funded it think it is necessary. Like the Dokdo issue or East Sea/Sea of Japan fiasco, it is largely unknown outside of Korea. Americans simply don't care. Any attempt at rational discussion of the comfort woman issue or the facts surrounding it is inevitably met with a torrent of abuse and emotional blackmail. No doubt many were abused by the Japanese Army. However, how they wound up in the hands of the IJN is complicated. Statues like this one don't add to the discussion, they shut it down by appealing to emotion over reality and reason.

Great analysis and well thought out. The plaque on this statute is highly misleading and is even debated regarding the accuracy on this issue. Not to mention the conspicuous absence of the numerous Koreans involved that kidnapped these women in the first place. Again, it is meant to harm the reputation of Japan as its sole purpose and nothing more. Since this issue is not well studied thoroughly outside of Asia, I'm sure the mayor of SF was not aware of the intricacies involving this issue and acted based on innocuous and benevolent intent to commemorate the comfort women. His background ethnicity should not automatically justify his action if that is the only evidence that would base if agreement for the statute to be erected.

I would have thought the same if I didn't delve into the subject a bit further and realized there was a lot more to this than what appears on the surface. I'm hoping that more historians and just people curious about this take a more proactive research into the comfort women issue so that they will easily recognize the half-truths, lies and propaganda that Korea is trying to spread. A prime example of this falsehood can no better be described than the the Korean scholar who went and argued against the Korean propaganda, backing her theory with academic research, only to be found guilty of defaming the comfort women. No research is perfect and can be interpreted in many ways but to be found guilty of defamation speaks volume of the Korean mindset when it comes to anything anti-Japan. If I remember correctly, she did not absolve Japan of any liability but mentioned that, based on her research, the situation was a lot more complicated since there were Korean who were involved with the system and should also be blamed.

If Osaka wants to cut ties with San Francisco, so be it. There isn't really a direct benefit between the two anyways. Perhaps both cities will now be more aware and cautious of promoting anything that may result in political posturing to one side.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

To obtain a more balanced view, read Professor Park Yu-ha, book, an expert in Japanese literature at Sejong University, “Comfort Women of the Empire”.

Comfort Women Articles by Scholars

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

The campaign, a focused political agenda that has accompanied these statues propagated by activists, The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan that will not give solace or alleviate the inescapable aspect of extreme psychological and emotional distress these now frail old women have endured.

The ruthless cynical goal is to agitate, fan division, so facilitate and inject a poisonous discontent into future generations of Korean and Japanese young people motivated purely by a relentless pious combination of revenge and retribution.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

wtfjapan:

These statues seem provocative. no more so than J politicians visiting Yasukuni Shrine each year.

Yasukuni Shrine is in Japan. Would you be fine with building a Yasukuni Shrine, including the "museum" annex, in San Francisco? Would Mr. Lee be?

9 ( +14 / -5 )

There probably are. I know that both the US and Canada have formally, on record, apologized to former internees. Has Japan apologized ON RECORD and that is recognized by all politicians here and that no politician denies and says is just propaganda? Nope.

Can't speak for Canada but the US did not unanimously apologized for the internment of their own citizens.

While the majority of Democrats in Congress voted for the bill, the majority of Republicans voted against it. On September 17, 1987, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 243 to 141, with 38 members not voting. The majority of Democrats in the House voted for the bill (180 in favor vs. 43 opposed) while a majority of Republicans voted against it (63 in favor vs. 98 opposed).[13] On April 20, 1988, the U.S. Senate passed the bill by a vote of 69 to 27, with 4 members not voting. A large majority of Democrats voted for the bill (44 in favor vs. 7 opposed), while a more narrow majority of Senate Republicans also voted for the bill (25 in favor vs. 20 opposed).[14]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Liberties_Act_of_1988

Where are you getting your source from?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

This is like, if Israel decided to start sending the "Burned Jew" statues all over the world. And em Jews with connections would be able to actually send one on moon. But they are not doing it. Because both Israel(~) and Germany are mentally over that age, and moving forward. Poor Koreans stuck in the past, both of them.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

The mayor of San Francisco recognized the image of comfort women as public and decided to cancel the sister city with Osaka city.

The comfort women issue is a strategy to split America and Japan that China and Korea are planning.

Is the Chinese mayor of San Francisco the Chinese spy?

7 ( +12 / -5 )

So many are written by people who do not like Japan.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Some people in Japan don't seem to understand the concept of jurisdiction.

Statues erected in the USA or South Korea, are not really the concern of the Mayor of Osaka. His concern as Mayor should be representing the people of Osaka and dealing with Osaka's issues.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Time for Korea to heal and get over this

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Some people in Japan don't seem to understand the concept of jurisdiction.

Bingo. Hizzoner the mayor was on TV last night claiming that this was 'Japan bashing,' which made me laugh. Osaka is bankrupt and in dire straights; that's where his attention should be.

For the mayor and likeminded people this is about controlling the narrative, 'managing the reality'. The 'reality' as they see it is theirs to construct and these statues are a threat to their version of history.

The mayor seems to be about 25, which is a pleasant change given how Japan is largely controlled by 75 year old men, but sadly the nonsense he was spouting was just the same.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

At least two posters here have used a comparison of Japan to Germany with respect to WWII apologies. To date Germany has never apologized for the forced prostitution of European women during WWII. Of course no nation has made it a perpetual issue as South Korea and China have towards Japan.

"German military brothels were set up by Nazi Germany during World War II throughout much of occupied Europe for the use of Wehrmacht and SS soldiers.[1] These brothels were generally new creations, but in the West, they were sometimes set up using existing brothels as well as many other buildings. Until 1942, there were around 500 military brothels of this kind in German-occupied Europe.[2] Often operating in confiscated hotels and guarded by the Wehrmacht, these facilities used to serve travelling soldiers and those withdrawn from the front.[3][4] According to records, at least 34,140 European women were forced to serve as prostitutes during the German occupation of their own countries along with female prisoners of concentration camp brothels.[1] In many cases in Eastern Europe, the women involved were kidnapped on the streets of occupied cities during German military and police round ups called łapanka or rafle.[3][4]

1 ( +9 / -8 )

The plaque on this San Francisco monument reads;

“This monument bears witness to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of women and girls euphemistically called 'Comfort Women,' who were sexually enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces in thirteen Asian-Pacific countries from 1931 to 1945,” the inscription reads."

The term "hundreds of thousands" is used. However US Army interrogation reports from during WWII as well as a 7 year $30 million multiagency investigation carried out by the U.S. government could not find any evidence to support this figure of 200,000, much less any evidence to support the narrative that they were even kidnapped or that they were "slaves". They were paid military prostitutes, working in military sanctioned brothels, a practice not uncommon as evidenced by Germany and France.

"In The Comfort Women: Sexual Violence and Postcolonial Memory in Korea and Japan, Chunghee Sarah Soh, a professor of anthropology at San Francisco State University who specialises in issues related to gender and sexuality, says the widely cited figure of 200,000 comes from a 1981 essay in the Hanguk Ilbo by Yun Cheong-ok, a professor of English literature who claims that of 200,000 “volunteers” only 50,000 to 70,000 were sent to the front lines to become comfort women. Yun “did not reveal the source of the figures given in her essay”, Soh says. She tells us a writer named Kim Teok-seong used the same figures a decade earlier in an article in Seoul Sinmun, and provides an excerpt.“From 1943 to 1945 approximately 200,000 Korean and Japanese women were mobilised as cheongsindae [comfort women for the Japanese military],” Kim wrote. “The estimated number of Koreans among them is between fifty and seventy thousand.”

In other words, according to these sources, not all 200,000 were used as comfort women, and even of those that were, not all were Korean. On the other hand, Kim makes no mention of recruits prior to 1943, when most comfort women survivors say they were recruited.

http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/2062028/can-korea-handle-truth-about-japans-comfort-women"

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Good move by Osaka. Sister city relations should not be made with cities that glorify SK prostitution

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Alex80: "I don't like how this stuff is used like a political tool both by China and South Korea."

But you don't care about how it's being used as a political tool by Japan.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

OssanAmerica: "To date Germany has never apologized for the forced prostitution of European women during WWII. Of course no nation has made it a perpetual issue as South Korea and China have towards Japan."

Well, at least you are now admitting that the IJA forced prostitution instead of just saying the women were all "well-paid prostitutes" (your words). I guess that's a baby step up. Well done.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Frankly, I'm no fan of the Mayor of Osaka, But now I'm certainly no fan of the Mayor of San Francisco. The city of San Francisco has a history with Japan that goes back to 1860, when the Japan's first sail/steam ship arrived from Japan escorted by the USN ship Powhatan. The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty brought Japan back into he international community after WWII. There are memorials for both in San Francisco. In contrast the "Comfort Women" issue was created in the early 1990s, has NOTHING to do with San Fracisco, and is nothing more than a political tool being used to break apart the US-Japan alliance.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

I see a larger opportunity here.

Awareness of tragic issues can help teach the younger generation about acts of injustice and inhumanity. The best way to teach about controversy is through discussion and the statues will help everyone in the world to discuss topics of violence against women. This topic seems it will always be controversial to people but that is not the point. Exploring issues will help promote better understanding.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

ossan:

In contrast the "Comfort Women" issue was created in the early 1990s, has NOTHING to do with San Fracisco

Using that logic, there shouldn't be any memorials in USA dedicated to those killed in Tiananmen. Get rid of the godess of democracy statues. And any other country outside Japan should not have memorials dedicated to those who died from the atomic bombings. Oh, that's right, we can cherry-pick.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Saying that you dispute the numbers of victims is not a basis to reject the freeedom to erect a memorial to their sufferering.

Also, there is this from Wikipedia:

“Estimates vary as to how many women were involved, with numbers ranging from as low as 20,000 (by Japanese historian Ikuhiko Hata[6]) to as high as 360,000 to 410,000 (by a Chinese scholar[7])“

20,000 deserves our attention .

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Osaka_DougToday 09:32 am JSTI see a larger opportunity here.

Awareness of tragic issues can help teach the younger generation about acts of injustice and inhumanity. The best way to teach about controversy is through discussion and the statues will help everyone in the world to discuss topics of violence against women. This topic seems it will always be controversial to people but that is not the point. Exploring issues will help promote better understanding.

Obviously no argument there, Except that this Comfort Women issue is being advanced no for the purpose of increasing awareness about violence towards women. If it were, that plaque would have been to memorialize ALL the women who have suffered, in German and French military brothels, raped in wartime like the Vietnamese women by SKorean troops, even the Korean prostitutes employed to service US military personnel in SKorea. By omitting everything else and specifically blaming Japan, using an alleged figure with which even some SKorean scholars disagree, it is obvious to anyone that this is not about "violence against women" but a politically motivated stunt predicated on unproven allegations - a hoax.

obladiToday 09:57 am JSTSaying that you dispute the numbers of victims is not a basis to reject the freeedom to erect a memorial to their sufferering.

I am not the one disputing it. A South Korean scholar, Chunghee Sarah Soh, a professor of anthropology at San Francisco State University is the one disputing it. The freedom to erect a monument is a separate issue from placing a plaque containing false information on it in a public location for the purpose of vilifying a country.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Pukey2Today 09:48 am JSTossan:

In contrast the "Comfort Women" issue was created in the early 1990s, has NOTHING to do with San Fracisco

Using that logic, there shouldn't be any memorials in USA dedicated to those killed in Tiananmen. Get rid of the godess of democracy statues. And any other country outside Japan should not have memorials dedicated to those who died from the atomic bombings. Oh, that's right, we can cherry-pick.

The difference between the Comfort Women issue and the others you mentioned are that those are documented, proven and undisputed. In contrast, No records available anywhere, including the U.S. which has documentation from even during WWII supports the claim that "200,000 women were kidnapped". Even the 7 year investigation by the US government failed to find any evidence. Why would the City of San Francisco NOT believe the information we have in the U.S., but believe the claims of a foreign country? Isn't that like the POTUS believing Putin but NOT the intelligence agencies of the U.S.?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I don't know why they make such a fuss about the sex slave issue. There were FAR worse atrocities committed by the Imperial Forces of Japan.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

San Francisco is free to erect a statue. Isn't Osaka also free to inform the SF mayor that the plaque contains false information and ask him not to make it a part of SF's public property?

For nearly 30 years after Asahi Newspaper launched a huge campaign harshly criticizing Japan for the so-called "abduction of Korean women" for use as "sex slaves" before and during WWII, Most Japanese totally believed Asahi's reports and the words of poor comfort women, and felt truly sorry for them. Most of the former Japanese soldiers openly admitted that they bought their sex service, but swore to their God or Buddha they DIDN’T ABDUCT any women in Korea. Literally no Japanese believed the words of these “evil” soldiers.

During these 30 years, more and more testimonies were made and records were discovered. Some brave Koreans spoke out at the risk of legal prosecutions in Korea and despite death threats and hate mails from fellow Koreans. Their testimonies coincide with many written records from the 1930’s and 1940’s. Today, many Japanese are finally starting to realize that their “evil” grandfathers might have been telling the truth.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

– In an interview with Professor Chunghee Sarah Soh of San Francisco State University, a former Korean comfort woman Kim Sun-ok said that she was sold by her parents four times.

Yet she testified before UN Special Rapporteur Radhika Coomaraswamy that she was abducted by the Japanese military.

– In an interview with Professor Park Yuha of Sejong University in South Korea, a former Korean comfort woman Bae Chun-hee said she hated her father who sold her. She said that men who recruited Korean women and operated comfort stations were all Korean, and that Korean women who testified before UN Special Rapporteur lied on behalf of Chong Dae Hyup, (Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery, an organization co-founded by the wife of a man arrested as a North Korean spy in South Korea]. 

– In 1993 a former Korean comfort woman Kim Gun-ja told Professor Ahn Byong Jik of Seoul University, “I was sold by my foster father.”

Yet she testified before UN Special Rapporteur Radhika Coomaraswamy that she was abducted by the Japanese military.

Source: http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-comfort-women-by-chunghee-sarah-soh.html

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Why did some former comfort women have to lie?

The Korean American author of a book “Comfort Women” visited Pak Pok-sun (1921-2005) in April 2000. Pak was extremely critical of the way the Korean Council has conducted the redress movement. She stated that in addition to hate calls and death threats, she had also received offensive mail from irate supports of the Korean Council’s publication series. Pak asserted with anger and disgust that some of the victims are “imposters” and that they are telling “lies” about life at comfort stations.

 

“Pak Pok-sun (1921-2005) became the target of death threats and hate calls for going against the Korean Council’s adamant opposition to the AWF atonement project. For eight years until her death, she led a bitter life of social isolation from fellow Koreans. She was fortunate, however, to find a sympathetic confidante in Usuki Keiko. A representative of the Japanese non-governmental organization Hakkirikai (Association to Clarify Japan’s War Responsibility)”

“When Pak died in 2005, Usuki flew from Japan to attend her funeral. Political leaders in Seoul and Tokyo expressed their condolences by sending huge wreaths with their names inscribed on them, but no one from Pak’s family was in attendance. It was Usuki who carried the urn holding Pak’s ashes at the crematory.”

https://books.google.com/books?hl=fr&id=GIHcaFVxXf0C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA97#v=onepage&q&f=false

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Korean Newspaper Reports from 1930's

--1939.03.28 동아일보 50여 처녀가 조선인 인신매매단에 걸려서 북지, 만주에 창기로 팔림. 일본경찰이 구해줌.

March 28, 1939 Donga Ilbo Over 50 women were deceived by a Korean trafficker (Bae Jang-eon 배장언) and sent to Northern China & Manchuria. He was arrested and the women were rescued by Japanese policemen.

-- 1939.08.31 동아일보 악덕소개업자가 발호, 이들이 유괴한 농촌부녀자의 수가 무려 100명 이상. 모두 일본경찰님들이 구출해내심.

 August 31, 1939 Donga Ilbo Over 100 women from farming villages were deceived by Korean traffickers (Kim Ok-man 김옥만 & his family) They were arrested and the women were rescued by Japanese policemen.

--1935.03.07 동아일보 중국 상해 암흑굴에 조선여성 2천여명. 이들 원정녀들 때문에 조선인의 체면이 손상됨. 그녀들의 참담한 생활에도 불구하고 대책이 막연. 왜냐하면 경제적 문제로 인한 자발적인 근로라서 대책을 세울 수 없음을 안타까워하는 내용.

March 7, 1935 Donga Ilbo About 2,000 Korean women work in the Shanghai slum. These prostitutes tarnish our reputation. But we can't stop them because they voluntarily stay there for economic reasons.

 

The copies of the original newspaper articles are posted here.

Source: http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.com/2014/10/korean-newspaper-articles-from-1930s.html

7 ( +12 / -5 )

English translation of Professor Jun BongGwan's review of the book "Comfort Women of the Empire." (Professor at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) published on July 20, 2014 in ChosunIlbo (Korean newspaper)


After reading the book, I was a little bit disappointed because there was nothing in the book that I didn't know. We all knew that Korean comfort women were not coercively taken away by the Japanese military. Korean comfort station owners recruited women in the Korean Peninsula and operated comfort stations in the battlefields. The Japanese military was busy fighting all over Asia, and it certainly didn't have time to be in Korea recruiting women.

Although Professor Park Yuha recognizes that Japan's imperialism was the root cause of women's suffering, she claims that Korean comfort station owners were legally responsible as well. I disagree with her logic because the Japanese military did allow Korean owners to recruit women. So the Japanese military was the one legally responsible in my opinion.

Korean fathers and brothers who sold their daughters and sisters, Korean comfort station owners who deceived women, Korean town chiefs who encouraged those acts. They all should be held accountable someday. But now is not the time. We must make Japan apologize and compensate again before we admit our responsibility.

If one reads the book carefully, it is clear that Professor Park had no intent to defame former comfort women. But it was not smart for her to suggest that Korea and Japan should both admit responsibility.

Source: http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.com/2014/10/comfort-women-of-empire-reviewed-by.html

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Fascinating diary of a comfort woman who did the best she could to survive a difficult situation

Former Korean comfort woman Mun Oku-chu's memoir: 

“After two or three months, the troop unit to which Yamada belonged returned from the front. Yamada returned in good health. He immediately came to the comfort station. He said "I, private first class soldier Yamada, have just come back from the front." Yamada gave a salute to me. We hugged in full of joy. Such a day was so special that the comfort station owner Matsumoto (a Korean from Daegu [Note: Many Koreans chose to use Japanese names]) closed business for the day. The comfort station was full of excitement, and we, comfort women, contributed 1 yen per woman to hold a big party for them.”

“I often went to see Japanese movies and Kabuki plays in which players came from the mainland Japan. I enjoyed watching players change costumes many times and male players portray women’s roles. I became a popular woman in Rangoon. There were a lot more officers in Rangoon than near the frontlines, so I was invited to many parties. I sang songs at parties and received lots of tips.”

“I could go out once a week or twice a month with permission from the Korean owner. It was fun to go shopping by rickshaw. I can't forget the experience of shopping in a market in Rangoon. There were lots of jewelry shops because many jewels were produced in Burma, and ruby and jade were not expensive. One of my friends collected many jewels. I thought I should have a jewel myself, so I went and bought a diamond.”

“I put on a pair of high heels, a green coat and carried an alligator leather handbag. I swaggered about in a fashionable dress. No one could guess that I was a comfort woman. I felt so happy and proud.”

 

“I saved a considerable amount of money from tips. ----- so I decided to put my money in the saving account.---- I got my savings passbook and found 500 yen written on the passbook. I became the owner of the savings passbook for the first time in my life. I worked in Daegu as a nanny and a street seller from the childhood but I remained poor no matter how hard I worked. I could not believe that I could have so much money in my saving account. A house in Daegu cost 1,000 yen at the time. I could let my mother have an easy life. I felt very happy and proud. The savings passbook became my treasure.”

“I withdrew 5,000 yen from my saving account and sent it to my mother.”

 

http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.com/2014/10/former-korean-comfort-woman-mun-oku.html

6 ( +10 / -4 )

All these 'Comfort Woman' statues sprouting everywhere should teach Japan a lesson that not everything in this world can be bought with zillions of Yen.

In Germany any person can be arrested even for just imitating the Nazi salute.

In Japan they build shrines and make offerings to the Imperial Japanese version of Nazism.

In a parallel, Tokyo should realize that all the money in the world would not make the Ryukyuans suddenly embrace all those massive Amerikano military bases in Okinawa which have effectively colonized the Ryukyus making it the Crimea of Asia.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

Japan is the only country that throw hissy fits over other country's monuments and memorials for victims of war atrocities.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

BertieWoosterToday  10:29 am JST

I don't know why they make such a fuss about the sex slave issue. There were FAR worse atrocities committed by the Imperial Forces of Japan.

And all those were charged and tried at the International Tribunal for the Far East (Tokyo Trials) resulting in many convictions. Why? Because they were documented and provable. Why wasn't the "Comfort Women" issue raised then? Because it did not become an issue until the early 1990s when a fake article in the Asahi newspaper triggered a massive movement. Interestingly, Germany's military prostitution system which included documented kidnapping was not raised as a charge at the nuremberg Trials either.

"The Wehrmacht was also responsible for a network of brothels in which women and young girls were forced to serve the officers. The military leadership justified the brothels as a way of preventing venereal diseases and masturbation among their troops. Forced prostitution grew without interruption in the occupied territories of Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia.

The Nuremberg Trials did not prosecute anyone for rape or other sexual violence; rape was defined as a crime against humanity, but prosecutors deemed that such crimes had “no nexus to war.”

https://www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-ii/war-crimes-wehrmacht.html

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Whether or not, forced/coerced, Professor Park Yu-ha doesn't flinch from the truth that many were.  

The Imperial Japanese Army from 1868 to 1945 committed atrocities, cruelty beyond comprehension.  

The question is how a modern day Japan, a constitution devoted to pacifism, confronts historically and devises a process of interaction in the classroom,  balancing  cultural dignity with attrition.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Funny coming back to this post again and seeing all the re-hashing of stories ad infinitum. Whatever the viewpoint is about the comfort women, I doubt any side has a monopoly on the truth, but many speak as though they know. I'd suggest the probable truth lies somewhere between the extremes being espoused. Also interesting that my original post stating that the Korean govt didn't set up the statues, but private individuals, so attacking the govt is meaningless, seemed to stir many pots. I wonder why???

And back to the headline - Osaka mayor cuts sister city ties. As if the mayor - a mere mortal - has any authority to severe bonds of goodwill, business, education etc built up over decades by enthusiastic citizens. Another example of infantile diplomacy. Grandstanding to a tee.

Anyone may well disagree with others opinions & ideas, but constant discussion, analysis and exchange is what most sensible people would believe to be the best way forward. Hopefully there are such people in the hallowed halls of Osaka city.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura said he plans to complete procedures to dissolve the sister-city affiliation with San Francisco in December"

How much you want to bet the Japanese don't want this part of it printed in international media? Good riddance, Osaka. I'm ashamed to be a part of you in this instance. Fortunately most people don't think the of the mayor and only racist bigots and nationalists (usually racist bigots) do.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

browny1Today 12:40 pm JST

Anyone may well disagree with others opinions & ideas,  but constant discussion, analysis and exchange is what most sensible people would believe to be the best way forward.

I totally agree. The Osaka mayor asked the SF mayor numerous times to give him a chance to meet him in person and discuss the issue. The SF mayor said he had no intention whatsoever of discussing anything about the comfort women issue.

In case you read Japanese, here's the source:

Source: http://www.sankei.com/west/news/171124/wst1711240036-n1.html

6 ( +9 / -3 )

browny1Today 12:40 pm JST

"Anyone may well disagree with others opinions & ideas, but constant discussion, analysis and exchange is what most sensible people would believe to be the best way forward."

I totally agree. The Osaka mayor asked the SF mayor numerous times to give him a chance to meet him in person and discuss the issue. The SF mayor said he had no intention whatsoever of discussing anything about the comfort women issue.

In case you read Japanese, here's the source:

Source: http://www.sankei.com/west/news/171124/wst1711240036-n1.html

8 ( +10 / -2 )

This is because anti-Japan activities are most useful in China and South Korea in order not to amplify the public's dissatisfaction with domestic affairs.

Ya'll already know that only China and South Korea criticize Japan forever.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

kannotomoya:

These new artistic beautiful Comfort Women statues are in Amerika.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

That 'sister-city' stuff is overrated anyway.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Mocheake:

Yes, overrated.

Should cancel all sister-city relations.

Lol!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Watermelon - thanks for the link. I read it.

This news has been reported also in English a number of times, about Yoshimura's letters to SF mayor and desire to discuss the matter. They esp focussed on whether or not the statues would be taken over from the private group and become city owned. It appears that the SF side was not too keen to discuss matters in much more detail. Why - we can only assume - as we are not privy to any "secret" discussions.

But as I said - the only way forward in this matter to engage in dialogue, either directly or through neutral means such as proxy. There is no other way.

Abandoning decades of friendship will only harm Osaka and belittle it. Regardless of one's opinions re all of this, in this world of mass(ive) media, negative surges can swamp a side making it extremely difficult to recover lost ground. Rightfully or Wrongfully I can only see Osaka losing the Public Opinion battle. Better they approach this by means other than Yoshimura's threat of "I'll finish the relationship".

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Grow up Japan, admit what you did and move on. Actually there should be a culture where the next generations accept what their ancestors did wrong and move on. Not only for Japan but for all the countries.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

watermelon:

In case you read Japanese, here's the source:

Source: http://www.sankei.com/west/news/171124/wst1711240036-n1.html

Sankei? Are you serious?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The people of Japan are not above embracing reconciliation, handled with dignified respect, as opposed to politically aggressive demands for retribution. 

Allied POW memorial unveiled in western Japan ......

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/allied-pow-memorial-unveiled-in-western-japan

Frankly Great Britain imperialism is a record of bloodshed.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

My wife has been bellyaching for the last 30 minutes that San Fran is sticking their nose in something that has nothing to do with them.

She said imagine if a statue was put up in the U.S. in recognition to black people who went through slavery lasting almost 400 years. White America would be up in arms (pun half-intended) over it, so....

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Browny1

Thanks for the comment!

You are probably right about Osaka losing the public opinion battle, especially in the western mainstream media, not to mention Korea and China. Or, maybe it could be a chance to get the attention of open-minded people to know more about many sides of the comfort women issue.

I certainly don't support abandoning friendship and exchanges. But I wonder who is actually refusing discussions in this case although I understand the position of the SF mayor, who could lose constituents if he even tries to hear what Yoshimura san wants to say.

Explicitly defining what happened in history and refusing to study any new information, e.g. testimonies and written records that contradict the previous definition, by simply accusing such study as revisionism ---I was probably one of those people, especially when such information could discredit some victims. But going through the process of feeling horrible for the comfort women, questioning with anger the sincerity of the Japanese government's apologies, and finally delving further into this controversial issue has made me a more open-minded student of history.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

chugmagagaNov. 24 05:07 pm JSTGrow up Japan, admit what you did and move on. Actually there should be a culture where the next generations accept what their ancestors did wrong and move on. Not only for Japan but for all the countries.

Japan is willing to listen and discuss the opposing view. South Korea persecutes it's own citizens who have an opposing view. Which ne needs to grow up?

itsonlyrocknrollNov. 24 12:38 pm The Imperial Japanese Army from 1868 to 1945 committed atrocities, cruelty beyond comprehension. 

Please tell us what "atrocities" were committed by the IJA prior to WWII. Particularly in the 1800s.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

You are probably right about Osaka losing the public opinion battle, especially in the western mainstream media

That is exactly what the Koreans are banking on so that they can spread their lies: by relying on the misinformed public or casual observers who will feel sorry for the women. When one starts questioning "facts" that they spew out, they will attack you with ad hominems like right-wing nationalist, revisionist, apologists and so on. If you provide evidence that counters to their claims or ask for sources to back up their claims, they will either ignore you, deflect by screaming and belittling Japan for not being able to accept its past, and/or continue to spread false information to others not versed in this issue. You can easily see this with my previous post when I asked for sources to back up his claim.

Their biggest threat to them is being exposed of their propaganda. As of now, they are winning because of the dearth of in-depth research into this matter. Things are slowly changing post 2000s when some more academics are starting to question the veracity of Koreans lies. Astonishingly, some are coming from Korea, where anything that goes against their propaganda is tantamount to professional suicide and your reputation as an academic is pretty much done for. It takes a lot of courage to proceed in such a hostile environment and hopefully, they will recover from the abuse that they have endured, a somewhat whistleblower of Korean propaganda.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

@Yumster100. That is exactly what the Koreans are banking on so that they can spread their lies: by relying on the misinformed public or casual observers who will feel sorry for the women. 

Be careful here. Blank statements criticizing an ethnic group are not appropriate. Can we discuss controversial matters without making judgements?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Osaka,

Did you read my second paragraph, where I mentioned about Korean academics? Do you read other poster's comment before you decided that to warn about blanket statements about an ethnic group?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The second part of my sentence came out extremely harsh and wasn't intended as how it was supposed to be meant. To clarify, I was trying to indicate that many other posters on here easily makes blanket statements on Japan. I provided the Korean academics as an example for their bravery in challenging their nation's version of its interpretation of the comfort women issue.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Some people in Japan don't seem to understand the concept of jurisdiction.

Statues erected in the USA or South Korea, are not really the concern of the Mayor of Osaka. His concern as Mayor should be representing the people of Osaka and dealing with Osaka's issues.

Seems that the "private" groups and the SK government don't seem to understand jurisdiction either. The US and SF should not be dragged into a matter between Japan and SK. Especially when the matter has been officially settled numerous times.

Of course Japan did things wrong in the Imperial era, as did all countries with an imperial or colonial past. For better or for worse their imperial era coincided with a time in history where humanity had the technical ability to record and disseminate images and information. Sometimes it was disseminated in a fair and unbiased light, but often it was also selectively used and targeted with a good dose of patriotism and propaganda to serve the specific needs of one side or the other.

With that being said, Japan has become an upstanding member of the world community since the end of world war II. I don't think that fact is in dispute at all. The generation that is alive today, even the most senior people had zero to do with the decisions made by imperial Japan. So there is really no reason to punish the children and grandchildren for what occurred during Imperial times. If that was the expected norm, I think that most countries except for a very few would be eternally guilty of some crime or another whether real or perceived.

Japan has at least owned up to the harm they have done other countries in the past. I can think of a few of it's neighbors that do not allow any sort of criticism at all whether internal or external. I think that for anyone that wants to see this for what it is, it is above all a political move. No one is seeking justice for the women that may have been harmed by Imperial Japan. If they were, then there would be a full and transparent audit of the money paid to the women that were supposed to benefit from it.

Short of this, the only point of putting these statues around the world to any local government that will accept them is to set the stage for future extortion and giving Japan a black eye international which the government of SK smiles on.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Someone should erect a statue of small children with their mothers in front of the us emabsssy in Tokyo and consul in Osaka with an inscription that it is dedicated to the millions of innocent women and children killed by the US military in undeclared wars around the world in the last 50 years.

Watch how fast the US cries about it. The down votes will show you.

Wounds ripped open all the time never heal.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Yumster100. The second part of my sentence came out extremely harsh and wasn't intended as how it was supposed to be meant. To clarify, I was trying to indicate that many other posters on here easily makes blanket statements on Japan. 

Thanks for the apology, but the second part still contains some blank statements......As I said, it would be more helpful for all to avoid making blank statements. Trafficking of women in times of conflict continues to be an issue and the issue needs to be discussed. Most recently in Myanmar :-) . https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=75&v=ymfobMtf6sM. Respect for people starts with ourselves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry here is the correct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymfobMtf6sM

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We can go on and on about what statues should be build to remind us of some atrocity. But let's get back to the point. A statue honoring so-called comfort women has been set up in San Francisco and accredited by the city. Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura is terminating sister city relations with San Francisco because, as he says, "My understanding is that sister-city ties are based on a strong relationship of trust, so I believe our relationship of trust has ended."

To get down to basics, what is Yoshimura talking about? What "trust?" Does trust mean agreeing with the ipso facto right-wing denial that the Imperial Japanese government was guilty of sexual slavery? That is not "trust." That is nonsense. Friendships between cities as between people is predicated on honesty. Honesty is something San Francisco embraces and something Yoshimura has betrayed.

San Francisco is a great city and does not need to cater to morally derelict people like Yoshimura.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

San Francisco is a great city and does not need to cater to morally derelict people like Yoshimura.

Too funny. If San Fransansico is such a great city, then putting up statues for political reasons would be unnecessary.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I think South Korea will never stop humiliating Japan forever, even if Japan double or triple or quadruple the amount given last year or the amount given in 1965.

I think, Japan and the BOJ should start punishing South Korea by gradual devaluation of YEN since their export and economic structure are the same. The more product flooding the world market again with the 1 USD equivalent to 160Yen or 360YEN will really bleed South Korea. The BOJ has more now to say in SK Financial health than the US FED. I think BOJ should start gently banging SK economy little by little.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Too funny. If San Fransansico is such a great city, then putting up statues for political reasons would be unnecessary.

Why would it be unnecessary? I'm not seeing the connection.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why would it be unnecessary? I'm not seeing the connection.

Maybe cuz the city leadership are Asian, but not Japanese. Revenge politics.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_San_Francisco

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It's not like the statue is distasteful. It isn't even apparent what it represents. It's not like some North Korean 'work of art' depicting soldiers with pointy fangs abusing helpless women...

This severance of ties exposes much deeper issues in the Japanese national psyche. If they were more self-reflective and reasonable, they would understand that in addition to being sister to a Japanese city, San Francisco was also the arrival point and home to a large number of Korean refugees, and now to those still alive and certainly their offspring. A city's first obligations are to its residents, not to any sort of superficial arrangement they have with a city thousands of miles away in a foreign country.

Most Japanese people just can't handle legitimate criticism. They're very childish in that regard. If the criticism comes from someone in a position of power over the criticized, it produces a lot of bowing and apologizing, not much else. But when it comes from anywhere else on the hierarchy of things, it seems to simply produce a lot of foot-stomping, sulking, and fallacious retorts.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

KabukiloverToday 06:48 pm

To get down to basics, what is Yoshimura talking about? What "trust?"

The trust between the cities of San Francisco and Osaka that goes back to 1860.

Does trust mean agreeing with the ipso facto right-wing denial that the Imperial Japanese government was guilty of sexual slavery? That is not "trust."

There you go exemplifying the need for trust. Are the several South Korean scholars who have spoken up about the truth concerning the Comfort Women all "Japanese right-wing"? Of course not. Look at how biased your question is.

That is nonsense. Friendships between cities as between people is predicated on honesty. Honesty is something San Francisco embraces and something Yoshimura has betrayed.

It is San Francisco which, by denying the evidence available in the United States and the position of these brave South Korean scholars who are facing persecution, that has betrayed it's relationship with Osaka. Regardless of one's position on the matter, San Francisco should have recognized the inconclusiveness of the issue and that pandering to the anti-Japan activists would only fuel divisiveness.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Trafficking of women in times of conflict continues to be an issue and the issue needs to be discussed.

Yes, without a doubt this is very important and I believe no one will disagree with this statement. If the statute truly represent this, then I don't think people will argue. However, the organization behind this statute building has absolutely no concern with the trafficking of women and its ultimate objective is to smear and tarnish Japan's reputation. In my opinion, that is where I find it problematic (other's might have different reason for not wanting it). I'm not going to list again the reasons behind my opinion but I know for sure that it isn't meant to commemorate the plight of the comfort women.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

CaptDingleheimerNov. 25 11:49 pm This severance of ties exposes much deeper issues in the Japanese national psyche. If they were more self-reflective and reasonable, they would understand that in addition to being sister to a Japanese city, San Francisco was also the arrival point and home to a large number of Korean refugees, and now to those still alive and certainly their offspring. A city's first obligations are to its residents, not to any sort of superficial arrangement they have with a city thousands of miles away in a foreign country.

Starting in 1942 we rounded up Japanese immigrants including those born in the US and interned them in camps for the duration of WWII. Ultimately it turned out that no act of espionage against us was carried out on the mainland where they were "relocated" and despite being held prisoners, many served the United States Army in the 101st and 442nd earning high honors. Others served US Army and US Navy intelligence. These Japanese immigrants who have been here much earlier than the Koreans, and suffered through the injustice and racism during WWII have never supported another country against the U.S.

Korean immigrants and refugees who reside in the U.S. do not share this loyalty to the United States, supporting an activist movement spearheaded by the Chong Dae Hyup known to have Chinese and North Korean links. The goal of these "monuments" is to fool the US (and the world) into believing that "200,000 women were kidnapped by the IJA", an allegation contradicting all available documentary evidence including those in the United States, and refuted by a number of South Korean scholars, for the purpose of damaging the US-Japan strategic alliance. That a Chinese-American Mayor of a major US City collaborated with this movement begs the question of HIS personal loyalty towards the United States as well.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I guess I can't resist expressing my opinions.

It seems to me that the bigger controversy would be less controversial if Japan would just admit that it committed this act, the way that the US admits that it rounded up Japanese -Americans living near the Pacific coast, until it became clear that the Allies were winning the war, and that there were no acts of sabotage from American citizens of Japanese descent. And by the way, I have relatives who chose to be repatriated back to Japan, in exchange for Americans interned in Japan who wanted to come back home. They survived the war, and asked their son-in-law to pay for them to return to the States. For the sake of his wife he complied, but was not happy with his wife's parents.

On the issue of the internment of American citizens in America; not all Japanese-Americans were interned. Those in Hawaii were not interned, and those living on the mainland but away from the coast were not interned. Starting in 1943, those who had been forcibly taken from their homes were given the choice to move toward the East coast, or to remain interned. Under no circumstances can their treatment be compared with the 40,000 Dutch civilians who were intentionally killed by starvation in the former Dutch colony of Indonesia. The decision to kill those civilians was intentional. Holland had already surrender to Germany, and its civilians in Indonesia had thought they would be treated humanely by the Japanese.

I had a friend who had been a Jesuit missionary in Korea at the start of World War II. He was one of those repatriated back to America after six months. He told me that while he was treated relatively well, compared to many others, his health was permanently ruined due to the starvation diet he was put on, and the cruel conditions he was kept in. True to his calling his heart was not filled with hate, but he did not forget the truth, either.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

1glennToday 05:48 am JST I guess I can't resist expressing my opinions.

It seems to me that the bigger controversy would be less controversial if Japan would just admit that it committed this act

If by "this act" you mean has Japan admitted to the existence of the Comfort Women system, they certaibly have numerous times.

"Japan has apologized to South Korea and will pay about $8.3 million as compensation for its use of Korean “comfort women” who were forced to work in Japanese brothels during World War II.

The deal—which was announced after a meeting in Seoul on Monday between Fumio Kishida, the Japanese foreign minister, and Yun Byung-se, his South Korean counterpart—could go a long way toward improving relations between the two countries that have been strained for decades over Japan’s wartime occupation of the Korean Peninsula. After the meeting, and a formal apology from Kishida, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe telephoned Park Geun-hye, the South Korean president, to repeat the apology."

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/12/japan-korea-comfort-women/422016/

But if you mean "kidnapping 200,000 women" as "the act" then no, Japan should never admit to an act that never happened, an undocumented unproven false claim which US records from during and after WWII, as well as a 7 year multiagency investigation by the US government found no evidence to support. A number of South Korean scholars question also question this claim with at least one having been persecuted by the South Korean judicial system for expressing a view counter to that held by South Korea.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The war was a long time ago, and it is best if we try not to hold grudges, especially since most of those involved in the conflict have now passed away. Those raised after the war have known mostly peace and goodwill between the former combatant nations. However, the Japanese military did many things much worse than the conscription of young women for the comfort of their military men. Since captured enemy combatants and civilians were routinely executed by the Imperial Japanese forces, is it so hard to accept that lesser crimes were also committed?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

But if you mean "kidnapping 200,000 women" as "the act" then no, Japan should never admit to an act that never happened, an undocumented unproven false claim which US records from during and after WWII, as well as a 7 year multiagency investigation by the US government found no evidence to support. A number of South Korean scholars question also question this claim with at least one having been persecuted by the South Korean judicial system for expressing a view counter to that held by South Korea.

The above is an excellent testimony as to why Japanese universities are amongst the world's worst.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why drag Asian historical problems into America and further divide the Asian American community? Chinese communist supporters could be behind all this, with help from their embassy staff.

Given the heritage of the U.S mayor involved, I should think its quite likely. The tentacles of the China's United Front Work Department, their overseas propaganda workforce, also spread far and wide.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

LandofExcusesToday 12:25 pm JST But if you mean "kidnapping 200,000 women" as "the act" then no, Japan should never admit to an act that never happened, an undocumented unproven false claim which US records from during and after WWII, as well as a 7 year multiagency investigation by the US government found no evidence to support. A number of South Korean scholars question also question this claim with at least one having been persecuted by the South Korean judicial system for expressing a view counter to that held by South Korea.

The above is an excellent testimony as to why Japanese universities are amongst the world's worst.

How about the University of San Francisco?

"In The Comfort Women: Sexual Violence and Postcolonial Memory in Korea and Japan, Chunghee Sarah Soh, a professor of anthropology at San Francisco State University who specialises in issues related to gender and sexuality, says the widely cited figure of 200,000 comes from a 1981 essay in the Hanguk Ilbo by Yun Cheong-ok, a professor of English literature who claims that of 200,000 “volunteers” only 50,000 to 70,000 were sent to the front lines to become comfort women. Yun “did not reveal the source of the figures given in her essay”, Soh says. She tells us a writer named Kim Teok-seong used the same figures a decade earlier in an article in Seoul Sinmun, and provides an excerpt.“From 1943 to 1945 approximately 200,000 Korean and Japanese women were mobilised as cheongsindae [comfort women for the Japanese military],” Kim wrote. “The estimated number of Koreans among them is between fifty and seventy thousand.”

In other words, according to these sources, not all 200,000 were used as comfort women, and even of those that were, not all were Korean. On the other hand, Kim makes no mention of recruits prior to 1943, when most comfort women survivors say they were recruited.

http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/2062028/can-korea-handle-truth-about-japans-comfort-women"

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1glennToday 12:16 pm JSTThe war was a long time ago, and it is best if we try not to hold grudges, especially since most of those involved in the conflict have now passed away. Those raised after the war have known mostly peace and goodwill between the former combatant nations. However, the Japanese military did many things much worse than the conscription of young women for the comfort of their military men. Since captured enemy combatants and civilians were routinely executed by the Imperial Japanese forces, is it so hard to accept that lesser crimes were also committed?

Yes it is. Because the International Tribunal for the Far East (Tokyo Trials) addressed all charges, prosecuted them and convicted many. Naturally as in all Courts of Law the charges were verifiable. In contrast, the claim that "200,000 women were kidnapped by IJA troops" can not be supported by any documented evidence whatsoever. Some South Korean scholars have pointed out the origin of this number and that it does not reflect reality. Contradictory testimony by surviving Comfort Women coached by the Chong Dae Hyup have also been found to be "not credible" by South Korean scholars as well, particularly as some testimonies fluctuate between having been sold by their parents and being kidnapped by Japanese troops.

You are arguing that because Japan was guilty of other war crimes, it follows that they must be guilty of this charge. That's not how it works.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The plaque for the comfort women statue in San Francisco has no mention of these comfort women.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-usa-military/former-korean-comfort-women-for-u-s-troops-sue-own-government-idUSKBN0FG0VV20140711

Former Korean 'comfort women' for U.S. troops sue own government

After she escaped home in the early 1960s, her pimp sold her to one of the brothels allowed by the government to serve American soldiers.

On June 25, sixty-four years after the Korean War broke out, Cho joined 122 surviving comfort women, as they were called, in a lawsuit against their government to reclaim, they say, human dignity and proper compensation.

The suit comes as an embarrassing distraction for the South Korean government, which has pushed Japan to properly atone for what it says were World War Two atrocities including forcing women, many of them Korean, to serve as sex slaves for its soldiers.

The women claim the South Korean government trained them and worked with pimps to run a sex trade through the 1960s and 1970s for U.S. troops, encouraged women to work as prostitutes and violated their human rights.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Thanksgiving in the States. There's no better time to tell kids about the genocide of America’s indigenous people. Maybe even raise a statue.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

CrazyJoe: if we don't remember the past abuses and learn, then we keep repeating them. All nations are guilty of abuses thruout history. Germany has the death camps as museums now to show what we as people of planet Earth must never do again.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

San Francisco is a generally peaceful tolerant city that embraces everyone, and where people basically get along OK.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

waste time in your life to going backward especially hold on the bad memorial and can not let go. what a miserable life to live on. pity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wonder why S Korean wanted the MONEY then ? What a shame.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A little background of the Mayor Edwin Mah Lee:

 His parents immigrated to the United States from Taishan, Guangdong Province, China in the 1930s. Lee's father, Gok Suey Lee, fought in the Korean War.

This should explain a lot.

What should it explain? That his father, like most American men of a certain age, served in the US military during the Korean war?

Or, that like hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents, and millions of Americans in general, he is of Chinese decent?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Given the heritage of the U.S mayor involved, I should think its quite likely. The tentacles of the China's United Front Work Department, their overseas propaganda workforce, also spread far and wide.

Since it's so likely, maybe they should just put all Chinese-Americans in relocation camps.

Oh wait.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The women claim the South Korean government trained them and worked with pimps to run a sex trade through the 1960s and 1970s for U.S. troops, encouraged women to work as prostitutes and violated their human rights.

Yeah, that's a disgusting miscarriage of humanity and ought to be pursued if justice has not yet been served. I wish you the best of luck.

Much like the sex-slaves of the IJA who were systematically pushed into it at administrative level by the IJA on a widespread scale...

You see, clamoring for someone else to drag down with you rather than manning up and admitting to your fault is a schoolboy tactic. Hardly a way to make friends or earn respect.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Whoa, this is not the average American doing this.  First off, the average American doesn't know about comfort women nor do they care, its not a US problem.  Its a South Korea problem, being played like a good little puppet by China who are pushing as hard as they can to disrupt the US and Japan alliance.  I can tell you this news is not at all important to the US and the majority might not even know its happening.  We care more about the Civil War statues that are being taken down by the insane amount of crazy social justice heroes.

Look at the Mayor's name, its Lee! I can already see he is bought out and onboard with the Chinese and North Korean propaganda plus he is catering to his voter base. 

The choice in the women selected by the maker is no surprise, China hates the Japan and the US so they will jump on anything to break the alliance, Filipinos can be easily bought to say whatever you want them to say and Koreans are just liars.  Why do you think we don't really see other Asian countries hounding Japan like China and Korea?

Instead of believing the lies, how about you do your own personal research into the subject and not just from one source but multiple sources to really see what is going on.  I'll even start you of with a link:

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

From what I have seen in the US, Japan is more liked, trusted and preferred over Korea. :)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@ WilliB

Germany has gone to the other extreme and brainwashed its population to the extent that they are actual embarrassed to be German. I hope you are not seriously suggesting that is a model Japan should follow.

You have your modelling wrong. Every German I know is proud to be German. They know their history and know it was not them that participated. They would much rather it hadnt happened, but it is History and they do not ignore it. They teach the truth.

If being truthful is not the Japanese way then there is no point of further discussion.

Honor is a big thing in Japanese culture so being truthful would also be a matter of honor. Brainwashing the people to hide shame is itself a shameful act.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

How Lee Yong-soo's (李容洙) - Testimonies Changed Over the Years

Lee Young-soo - Former Korean Comfort Woman Who Tried to Hug President Trump in the Reception

https://docs.google.com/document/d/171fHdHD-xFU1g7-XAuuYVhR4wMwZ9VBwKVXPCu78riE/edit

The Mayor of Osaka tried to have a talk with the Mayor of San Francisco several times, es, but it was rejected. This is not fair at all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Should have lead all the students in primary school of U.S. and all other of the world come to San Francisco, the  St. Mary square to view and understand the necessary of such a statue  's erecction and the atrocities against women by the Imperial Japanese military!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The Chinese and Korean immigrants have basically taken control the state of California in both the change of demographics and their financial clout. Next they will spread their influence towards the inland states in the coming decades.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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