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San Francisco unveils memorial to WWII 'comfort women'

49 Comments

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"If Japan does not like" the continued focus on comfort women, Lee told the crowd, through a translator, "Japan must apologize."

....again and again and again and again. Oh, and again.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

While I think Japan as could do a much better job of being remorseful about the war, Im not sure that its up to a person in the street to say "sorry sorry".

I certainly don't expect my German friends to constantly be in a state of apology..

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Why San Fran? What the hell does it have to do with america and just outside of china town. Korea should keep their propaganda in korea. Theyre gonna need japan as an ally in this next war.

17 ( +23 / -6 )

"And at the end, we will have a memorial in Tokyo. So they can say, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry' when they pass by," said Lee, who came from South Korea for Friday's ceremony, as she has for at least four other such dedications in the United States alone.

identity collective politics go away. I dont know anyone in japan today that has comfort women. Not gonna happen.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

White supremacist, these people, KKK, uyoku dantai, they all share the same disease. Hate.

Even if the Japanese prime minister was to drop to his knees and say he's sorry, none of these people would even accept his apology. Because no matter what, they will never let go of that hate.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Well then we should have statues of all kinds of people everywhere.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Japanese should insist on erecting a statue of Hirobumi Itoh, who was, after all, a victim of Korean nationalism, in Koreatown in Kawasaki.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

It's important to preserve the memories of "comfort-women" when you have a government in Japan that are keen to erase these memories!

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

a government in Japan that are keen to erase these memories!

Not so sure about that strikebreaker. The comfort women are mentioned in my children's Japanese history textbooks.

There are individuals and groups who would like to erase these and other memories.

But I don't see that the govenment is active in this area. In fact various govenments have tried to work with the South Korean governments to right some of the wrongs and pay compensations. These actions have included officially recognising Korean "comfort women". Many surviving victims (like Lee in this article) and their descendents refuse to accept Japan's actions.

You are right that the memories should be preserved, but for what purpose, for how long and in what form are the questions.

I would ask how many monuments are in San Franscisco for the native tribes who lived there and were wiped out. Shouldn't they be remembered?  After all this is in San Fransisco.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Because no matter what, they will never let go of that hate.

Japanese should insist on erecting a statue of Hirobumi Itoh

I certainly don't expect my German friends to constantly be in a state of apology.

All seemingly valid points. However, the missed point is no one wants perpetual sorries. Thats plain stupid. What is being asked for is honest contrition. The best example I can use is what happened to Germany after the war. Besides the sorries, alot was done to sensitize people about what happened during the war plus making it illegal to deny mass atrocities committed. This is something that has not been replicated in Japan. There is alot of people even on here that continue to belittle and deny what happened to these women.

Therefore, as long as theres no honest acts of contrition, prepare to see even more statues going up. What most people here forget is that not everyone brushes history under the rag. One might deny and whinge all the want but truth is, historical fact will always exist. No matter what!!

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

This is in extremely bad taste. But that's America for you.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Beijing has a heavy investment in all this, for quite another motive.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The comfort women are mentioned in my children's Japanese history textbooks.

Just exactly what textbook is your child using? Also is it Japanese?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Japan should start building memorials to the comfort women Korea used for their troops in Vietnam.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Semantics, denial and whitewashing are at the heart of this issue.

sex slaves were not just Korean, ask the Dutch and others.

not 'comfort women'

let's compare with this victimization wallowing.

"We know it kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea's spies," the president said."

total BS

how many young girls were kidnapped by the IJA

NB. not as language tutors

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Wallace Fred..

But again is this the person on the street.. or the government, I don't necessarily think there shouldn't be reminders and memorials, forgetting the horrible things that have gone on in the past is dangerous. My comment was in respect specifically to the campaigner suggesting there should be a statue in tokyo and passers by should be saying "I'm sorry Im sorry".

A young Japanese person should know that there during the war Japan did some terrible things, including the whole "comfort women" issues, and that no-one should want for war and the terrible abuses of people that all to often occur during war, but they aren't individually responsible for it, nor should feel the need to be shamed or embarrassed about it, simply hope, and hopefully vote for those with the power to do so make amends, which perhaps hasn't been done well enough and the efforts so far, good enough or not, discarded and forgotten.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"If Japan does not like" the continued focus on comfort women, Lee told the crowd, through a translator, "Japan must apologize."

...and pay reparations. Oh wait!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

It isn't about Japanese having to apologize for this again and again (they don't). It is about these terrible events never being forgotten.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

garymalmgren

In recent years, especially under the Abe administration we've seen a rise in the use of nationalistic materials both in the media and at school! Abe himself is a sworn member of the open revisionist group Nippon Kaigi, who openly sow doubt about the use of comfort women during WW2, the Nanking massacre etc.

Nearly half of Abe's present cabinet consist of Nippon Kaigi affiliated politicians! And don't come to me and say that Nippon Kaigi is NOT trying to erase the memories of "comfort women".

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Abe offered his "most sincere apologies and remorse" years ago for the "Final and Irreversible" accord with Korea, which included more money than the other final accord decades ago where the Korean government failed to give the money from Japan to the victims.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

What these grandmas did was change the way the world looked at sex -trafficking.

If promoting the awareness of current day sex trafficking is indeed the purpose then great.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So, where's Japan's 'strong protest' like they made when the statue was erected in Soul near the Japanese embassy?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

After decades of apologies and money and apologies and more money, Japan stopped caring a long time ago and so the rest of the world. The last time I checked, its now 2017. Go fill the earth with these statues, they don't mean a thing to the present generation and much less fot the future. Go wallow in your hatred. We move on.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

It is about these terrible events never being forgotten.

That, and it gives something for Korea to lord over japan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

But Japan has properly apologized and compensated.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

If i'm next to that statue I would stare at it and say:

There're two issues concerning "comfort women" these are if they really happened and if its truth are japanese guilty or not.

first if all the only proof about forced prostitution are these women testifying.

second is are the Japanese Guilty? First of all its been about 73 years and these people responsible would be dead by now.

If it was truth Japan paid compensation 2 times and apologised enough.

but at the end of the day, do we really feel responsible for that? At least not me and most Japanese think that way.

i would say "Sorry Koreans I din't fell guilty at all"

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I din't fell guilty at all

Amen to that, bro'

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Well then we should have statues of all kinds of people everywhere.

We should. Why not?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

sex slaves not comfort women Japanese always water down their crimes

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

sex slaves not comfort women Japanese always water down their crimes

It just prostitutes according to some.

And here less the apologists' inconsistency: we did apologise, but there was nothing to apologise for in the first place. I know because I've spent years reading books in order to show that the accepted version of history is wrong. I did it because it made my country look bad and I didn't like it. I mean, it's not like my country has an unhealthy interest in young girls and rapey porn. No. It doesn't fit with my nation's character.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There need to be statues for the Allied Pow during WWII, Bataan Death March, Japanese civilians, Japanese victims of the nuclear bombs, the possibilities are endless!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What these grandmas did was change the way the world looked at sex -trafficking.

You have your head in the sand if you think anything like this. Google sex-trafficking, but prepare yourself for the UNBELIEVABLE misery and horror you are going to uncover, that is going on today, across the world.

You made this comment because? As I have yet to hear ANY of these grandma's talk about sex trafficking.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

These old women have been used to boost patriotism in Korea, tonunite their country against a common enemy for them, and since its 2017 ill try to remove that statue.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is in extremely bad taste. But that's America for you.

No, that's the "People's Republic of San Francisco" for you.  They authorized construction of the statue.

San Francisco doesn't represent all America.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If we want to build more monuments, I suggest the Vietnamese women raped by South Korean troops during the Vietnam War;

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

And the South Korean "Comfort Women Program" operated by the South Korean Government to service the U.S. Troops;

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30212673

How about the German military prostitution system during WWII?

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

But it's not just the WWII Axis powers. The French operated military bordellos as well:

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

And for those who think Allied forces were angels;

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

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

The question to ask is; Do these monuments mention all these injustices inflicted upon women all over the world? Or do they attempt to distort history by creating the image that only Imperial Japan in WWII was guilty?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I just don't understand, Japan govt. apologized several times and payed a big amount of money (many times) that I have to live 1000 times to pay from my salary that amount. Korean govt. received and where's those has gone to disappear! Another point to display grandmothers that way is really shame. I know that even Japanese women were convoked. I know well what was that ww2 Imperial Japan wrong directions but if I say how many Asian regions/places were colonized by European countries(+USA) at that period of time and they were saints or angels, c'mon!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Correction: where those money have gone to disappear.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the reason they keep building statues is adequately displayed in the comments on this thread.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono statement should have been the last word on the subject.

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

Yet at a frail 89, Yongsoo Lee to quote... clutched a microphone in one hand Friday in a park outside San Francisco's Chinatown, thrust her other clinched fist in the air, and made a vow. "And at the end, we will have a memorial in Tokyo. So they can say, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry' when they pass by,"......

I respect that 89 Yongsoo Lee is the victim of an inhuman crime. I also understand the symbolism, monuments and statues represent, lest we forget. If ever a monument, similar to the "Comfort Women" unveiled on Friday in San Francisco, appears in Tokyo, the purpose of such a monument would be to reflect on humanities cruel infallibility.

Modern Japan population have nothing remotely to apologise for, it is inconceivable for a country that has embraced a pacifist constitution, the only constitution that espouses pacifism into the national conscience to constantly be required to attone generation through generation to appease politically motivated activists masquerading as a Korean council civic group. Whose intent and purpose is to humiliate not heal, to divide not unite, to provoke belligerent discontent....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

While NK threatens destruction of Japan, SK is secretly pushing this non-issue, showing where their priorities are and what sort of "ally" there are..

All future so called comfort women complaints should be 100% ignored

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And the South Korean "Comfort Women Program" operated by the South Korean Government to service the U.S. Troops

That's the thing that gets me. They rightfully decry Japan's treatment of Korean women, but ignore the suffering of Korean women that did their "patriotic duty" (really, the camptown girls were called patriots by the Korean government workers that were in collusion with USFK) in satiating the sexual desires of the American forces.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The trouble is a J poli will apologize and then another will deny. The perpetual circle. Well done San Francisco.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I just don't understand, Japan govt. apologized several times 

But what is an apology without contrition or remorse?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Lee, abducted from her Korean homeland at 15 and forced into working in brothels servicing Japanese soldiers

And some people have a problem with a simple memorial?

It's not a declaration of war. It's a memorial.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

But what is an apology without contrition or remorse?

Who determines the validity of an apology? South Korea? In that case nothing Japan says or does short of the Emperor kowtowing to President Moon on the steps of the Blue House.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There're two issues concerning "comfort women" these are if they really happened and if its truth are japanese guilty or not.

Issue one; Yes, factually, it is true that it really happened.

Issue two; NO Japanese today are NOT guilty!

But, Japan's leaders constantly refuse to acknowledge, in plain language, the atrocities of their fathers.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

YubaruToday 06:20 am JSTThere're two issues concerning "comfort women" these are if they really happened and if its truth are japanese guilty or not.

Issue one; Yes, factually, it is true that it really happened.

Issue two; NO Japanese today are NOT guilty!

But, Japan's leaders constantly refuse to acknowledge, in plain language, the atrocities of their fathers.

What documented atrocities are not acknowledged?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What documented atrocities are not acknowledged?

Interestingly worded question.

You as well as plenty of others use this as an excuse to justify the Japanese governments stance on this issue

Documented....the Japanese burned all theirs so, you wont be satisfied with any answer, because you wont be able to see any "proof".

And this is where you say next, "Oh since there is no documented proof, it never happened!"

THIS is why Japan is being accused of, and rightfully so in my opinion , for white-washing their history. No proof, so it never happened right?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

YubaruToday 11:16 am JSTWhat documented atrocities are not acknowledged?

Interestingly worded question.

You as well as plenty of others use this as an excuse to justify the Japanese governments stance on this issue

It's merely a simple question, which you have failed to answer. It's neither "interestingly worded nor an "excuse" for anything.

Documented....the Japanese burned all theirs so, you wont be satisfied with any answer, because you wont be able to see any "proof".

And this is where you say next, "Oh since there is no documented proof, it never happened!"

So you have no documented evidence of these "atrocities". And your excuse it that they were destroyed. This is the "my dog ate my homework" argument. So do you have any evidence that documentary evidence was destroyed? Or are you making that up as well?

THIS is why Japan is being accused of, and rightfully so in my opinion , for white-washing their history. No proof, so it never happened right?

So you feel it's right to accuse Japan of "atrocities" which you can not even name and admit that there exists no documentary evidence with the excuse that the Japanese destroyed all the evidence. This article is about the Comfort Women System, which is documented, and recognized by the Japanese government. After all, how could South Korea and Japan have reached their 2015 agreement permanently settling this issue if Japan did not recognize it? Is this not what you are talking about?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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