politics

U.S. embroiled in Japan-Korea disputes over history

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By MATTHEW PENNINGTON and MARI YAMAGUCHI

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112 Comments
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One has learned not to expect much from ROK on this topic, but this is disgraceful stuff on the part of the USA.

-1 ( +19 / -20 )

I agree with hidingout. This is disgraceful stuff on the part of the US.

The US' getting "embroiled" in other people's business killed millions in Vietnam and hundreds of thousands in the Middle East.

Perhaps the US needs to get “embroiled” in its own problems before looking elsewhere.

It's got enough.

9 ( +20 / -11 )

Well, I don't know what's the point of statues like those in Glendale for people who didn't even seen nor did anything for US in their lifetime. That's some important point where US should organize. You want a statue in US - first of all, what did that person did for the country on which soil you would like to commorate this person? if you would like to put it in public space and not your own garden.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Perhaps the US needs to get “embroiled” in its own problems before looking elsewhere. It's got enough.

Nailed it Wooster. I'm no anti-American, but for the biggest merchants of death on the planet to be caving in to minority special interest groups on topics like this is shameful. Not to mention hypocritical.

As Mark Keam, a Democratic state legislator said, this is anon-issue for Americans. He should represent the majority of his constituents (who by his own admission don't care a fig for the ROK) and stop buying minority votes in return for political favors.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

Just shows how detached from reality some in this world have become, Koreans building monuments about what another country did to it in a country that had nothing to do with any of it. Korea you need to get back on track you are losing the plot.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

I don't think memorials are a bad thing, but this should be shelved until Japan and Korea have a summit to discuss these issues.

The "East Sea"-thing is just ridiculous. Really, GEOGRAPHY is offensive to Koreans now? State legislatures have no business making policy on this. Plenty of countries have local names for places, and considering this name is specific only to North and South Korea that is exactly what this is, and does not need to be included on a map or in textbooks.

Considering the rest of the world has called it "The Sea of Japan," since the late 18th century (over 100 years before the colonization of Korea began), the arguments for the inclusion of East Sea are completely unfounded.

But I guess historical facts mean very little compared to their hatred for Japan.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

the state’s textbooks note that the Sea of Japan is also called the East Sea, the name used by Koreans

It's not a replacement, merely an aka for the region based on a Korean perspective. Hardly earth shattering. People will call it what they want to call it. The only reason I can thing of Japan protesting such a minor trivial thing is that its against anyone having a Korean perspective. Turns out people don't need Japan's permission.

Instead what could have been an opportunity to build friendship is once again lost.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Japanese Americans have settled in the U.S. long before the new wave of Korean Americans, but they make less noises. Most American politicians have not much knowledge of history and culture of other nations, and are easily caught up with sensational issue as this one. Sex slave is a global issue and should be treated as such. Shame to any group who try to exploit this issue for self glorification and it reflects of how short sighted it maybe. Most Americans value the constitution and American values before just national heritage, and move on for better world.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

sf2kApr. 07, 2014 - 08:47AM JST

Koreans call the sea "Dong Hae", not the East Sea. The East Sea is used only at the rare opportunity that Koreans speak to Koreans in English.

Instead what could have been an opportunity to build friendship is once again lost.

This is not an opportunity for friendship. This is an opportunity that Korean right wingers are showing their political muscle and promoting hate against Japan. Whatever concession Japan make would be interpreted as "confession of guilt", and whatever apology Japan would make would be ignored as if it did not exist.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

You can't possibly be angry with the "US" over this. It has nothing to do with the US administration, it's a state decision to place a statue of make changes to text books. None of it has anything to do with Korea or Japan. So everyone is okay with Tokyo becoming involved in a local law being passed and a statue being put up? That is the greatest issue in this story - Japan trying to influence US local policy with threats (not mentioned in the article).

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

It could also be argued that 'it's a domestic affair' for Koreans in the US-just as Yasukuni Shrine is in Japan. That's an argument that cuts both ways and is never attractive to whoever is on the receiving end of it. Face it-nationalism is ugly regardless of whether its Korean, Japanese or American. To say any different is to bask in hypocrisy.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

"Nariaki Nakayama, from the opposition Japan Restoration Party, told a recent gathering of like-minded lawmakers in Tokyo who deny the military directly recruited sex slaves and instead used commercially recruited prostitutes."

This kind of provocative STUPID tongue will never repent and never change his opinion. However, almost every one knows those law makers are deliberate lairs.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Not entire US. Just VA. Many places can not afford to change textbooks and many places have budget problems. So, let VA go on that. It does not have any tourist locations except Arlington anyway. Let the Japanese companies that employ only 13,000 people close there and move to warm area. The place is too snowy.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Considering a map is a listing of the names of places, and the Sea of Japan is known as the East Sea by an entire country, adding that name on the map as an addendum is only increasing the accuracy of the map.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

nyunt_shweApr. 07, 2014 - 09:51AM JST

Well, I think Korean Government should show evidence that Japanese military directly recruited "sex slaves" from Korea, if it ever could. By now, the Korean Government has not show any evidence to that effect, and I am convinced that the opposite is true.

However, almost every one knows those law makers are deliberate lairs.

I agree. But you have to make sure politicians on which side of the shores are the lairs.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

"this is disgraceful stuff on the part of the USA."

I think it's a tough call. There are hundreds of Holocaust Museums worldwide, including almost 50 in the US and Canada (certainly in every major city). And while I'm not comparing the Comfort Women issue to the Holocaust, in terms Imperial subjugation and sexual abuse to women, it must rank as one of the worst examples in recent history. Where do you draw the line? There is a huge Korean community in the US, and like the Jewish community, their contribution economically and culturally, has been significant. Germany has also apologized for the Holocaust, and paid huge reparations, but I don't think objections or threats from the German government to City and State governments in the US over Holocaust Memorials would be considered appropriate (in the US and Germany), nor would they occur. I think a lot of people would question who is being "disgraceful". However, it would also be appropriate to see some memorials for the millions who died as a result of US Imperialism in Indo-China, let alone an apology or reparations.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

It's politics to the politicians and it's a people issue to the people i.e. politicians aren't people. It will always be like this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The intention of war atrocity memorials is learning from the past. The article cites four memorials and a text book change. What is the purpose of these expressions?

Is the intent to promote hatred for the Japanese people of today? Is the purpose to reach for a broader understanding among all people? Have four local governments used taxpayer funds or are these private memorials requiring local permissions? What then is the civic intent of the four memorials?

Are Korean populations being used as a foil for a larger intent of a local political party in America as the Virginia text book maneuver was shown to be? (An article in the Washington Post said as much.) Was the intent then to promote some prejudice in a political wedge issue as a ploy?

Using the suffering of victims from seventy years ago to wedge a political party's influence with any population can be described as a form obscenity. Why would a self respecting community allow a political party to use their ancestors' suffering as a purely political drum? There may be more to these four memorials than just political grand standing, one would hope so.

Obviously, memorials to the Holocaust of the Nazi's slaughter are not meant to attack the German people of today. What is the intent of the four memorials the article cites? That shouldn't be a matter of confusion or debate and certainly the sponsors had no intent to promote hatred of the Japanese people or promote a political party.

If the purpose were political demonization these are not memorials to loss and shared compassion. They would be then the antithesis of the American ideal. Making a memorial to prove hate of one another is no less savage than the sins of seventy years ago and has no place in the public arena of America today. Local memorials can be judged on that basis and intent.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

There is a huge Korean community in the US, and like the Jewish community, their contribution economically and culturally, has been significant.

Beg to differ. One cannot compare the staggering contributions of Jewish Americans to American culture (since day one) with the insignificant and altogether recent efforts of ethnic Koreans.

But that's not even the point. The point is the specificity of every thing being done by these lobbyists on behalf, not of America, but of their "homeland" and its eternal squabble with Japan. If these lobbyists are indeed motivated by a purely altruistic desire to see victims of sexual slavery, rape etc dignified with remembrance (and who could argue against that) then they would erect generic monuments to the suffering of women in all wars and from all nations. But no, they rather intend to bad mouth Japan and exalt their victimhood over that of others. Its as plain as day.

The fact that American state legislators are only to happy to extend, in return for votes, that "special recognition" the ethnic koreans feel they deserve is yet another symptom of how sick American society has become. The disgraceful spectacle is made only the more absurd when one considers the misery and suffering dealt out by both the Americans and the ROK to various victims throughout the years. Guilty fingers pointing at the guilty. Hypocrisy at its finest.

And the attempted hijacking of accepted English nomenclature for the Sea of Japan, is just so silly and mindless that it beggars belief. 1% of the population does not get to dictate the content of scholastic materials to the other 99%. No change to the status quo should ever be enacted by such a minuscule segment of the population.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

@boweevil

It could also be argued that 'it's a domestic affair' for Koreans in the US-just as Yasukuni Shrine is in Japan.

It is quite peculiar that Japanese politicians always says their attempts to white wash history books are 'an internal affair' but have threatened to pull out investments in Virginia over 'aka East Sea'

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

-1 Good Bad David3APR. 07, 2014 - 11:53AM JST Why no mention of of the U.S. military's Korean "Comfort Women" after the Korean War? And where are the apologies for the rapes of Japanese and Okinawan women by U.S. soldiers committed to this very day? The blatant hypocrisy that the U.S. is going to broker peaceful relations between Japan and Korea, when in fact, the U.S. military occupies both nations and uses them to gain an economic imperial foothold in Asia proper.

Look, no government in the modern era systemised rape like the Japanese government did during world war 2. If you don't agree and believe their is no evidence tell that to the entire historian community (bar the odd distracted, mostly Japanese).

As for the statues and textbook changes, since none of us are citizens of these states we have no say, and that includes the meddling Japanese government.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

"By contrast, Japanese-Americans, many of whom have more distant ties to their ancestral homeland, tend to be a less cohesive political force. Japan itself, rather than Americans of Japanese descent, has stepped into these local disputes, raising them directly with governments at the city and state level."

Not necessarily.

Japanese Americans have their own rich history and tradition as AMERICANS in the United States. A proud history with significant military contributions to the war effort in WW2.

Unlike Korean "Americans" whose sole allegiance is to the Koreas and spouting hatred towards anything Japanese, Japanese Americans are beneath that sort of nonsense as it relates to their ancestry. That's not to say the Nisei don't have their issues over the incessant Japan bashing by Korean "Americans." For example, Koreans are starting to move into and take over some of the businesses in historical Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles.

Do you think these Korean nationalists care about the history of the Nisei, their significant contributions to WW2 and the Korean War? No, to them, it doesn't matter whether it's Nisei, Sansei, or Japanese in Japan. They are one and the same.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

@hidingout

"I'm no anti-American, but for the biggest merchants of death ..." Nonsense staement. It's like saying, I'm not racist but black people commit more crimes that any one.

I guess you are not familiar with the genocides taking place in Africa. No connection to America. What about muslims slaughtering other muslims?

Besides, it's not like Korerans are moving to America just to build the memorials and change textbooks. In some cases they have been in the U.S. for generations but this does not decrease their Korean-ness. They can identify with both. They don't want to build a memorial to something that promotes violence or denies truth...it happened. Korea is their past and America is their future. Very few American Jews were killed in the Holocaust but memorials abound. There are memorials to Ghandi...

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

masterblaster

Generations?

The Koreans only started to move to the US after WW2. Hardly what you could call "Generations" worth of time. I also like to point out that many of those so called American Koreans impersonate as Japanese and open up Japanese food restaurant and Sushi shops.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Okay, this is turning into another Anti-Korean fest. Many posters here are just out to prove their bigoted believes that the Koreans are the most evil humans on the earth. Which is not only disturbing, it's sad in this day and age.

Right, now I've got that of my chest. Together Japanese and Koreans need to come together around the world, recognise all their cultural and historical similarities and become more friendly rival neighbours like Canadians and Americans, or Aussies and Kiwis. We live in hope.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

So certain local governments in the US agree with Koreans, Korean-Americans, and most of the civilized world that it was a moral evil for imperial japan to sexually enslave Korean young women and teenagers, and that it's a good thing to put up a public memorial in their jurisdictions to make certain the victims are not forgotten..? O.K., so anyone who objects to this also objects to all those memorials in American cities to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and the Armenian victims of Turkey's genocide, right? So what are you doing about it -- or is it only a problem when it makes japan look bad?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Too many ANGRY misinformed Japanese here...

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Koreans need to get over it, they have become Japan's haters just as the Chinese do. 2. American congressmen and women have plenty of stuff on theur own plates. So getting into this type of issues is irrelevant for American public and taxpayers. 3. Japan has already apologized, Japanese don't have to kneal and ask for mercy. If ROK's are waiting for that to happen, they can grab a seat and wait. These issues are total NIKKAI KARA MEGUSURI...! Sayonara...! :)
5 ( +11 / -6 )

Korean-Americans are only able to get these memorials put up because & I have said this a million times before:

Japan just doesn't deal/admit its own history well from 1930-45, IF Japan DID, its less likely these memorials would even be considered.

And with idiots like this in overabundance in Japan:

“We must stop disgracing our ancestors,” Nariaki Nakayama, from the opposition Japan Restoration Party, told a recent gathering of like-minded lawmakers in Tokyo who deny the military directly recruited sex slaves and instead used commercially recruited prostitutes.

Japan looks set look bad for a long long time sadly!

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Next up people killed in Nazi concentration camps will be remembered by building statues in... um, Botswana! And Boers killed by the British will be remembered by statues made in Paraguay! It makes as much sense. Come to think of it, how many statues would need to be made to really have any impact? Apart from soon forgotten headlines, if they're lucky, what are they hoping to achieve? Reducing the trade balance by employing local sculptors?

Between this and recognition of the East Sea in, was it Virginia, I can't remember, I think they've well and truly cornered Japan with their cunning.

Why not do something sensible and meaningful instead? WW2 is over. I'm more concerned by WW3.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

As an American -

I'm super glad that the elected officials sided with their constituents instead of bowing to economic threats from Japan Inc.

IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE US - I strongly suggest that you get in touch with your Japanese American cousins.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Ties between East Asian ethnic groups have deepened over the years. Intermarriage is commonplace.

Very true. For the most part, America fosters a pan-Asian consciousness, which is only natural: In Asia, people will focus on differences, but when surrounded by Caucasian culture, Asian-Americans will focus on their similarities. Whether these demonstrations on historical remembrance will be of any effect is unclear, but most Asian-Americans I know seem to have a very healthy attitude: It was long ago, it was not us, and we've got more pressing issues to deal with.

I wish Asian countries would adopt such a mature, forward-looking attitude.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

bannedacctsamApr. 07, 2014 - 04:27PM JST

Do I need to tell Americans that democracy is not the rule of majority over minority? Ethno politics is the way to the death of American democracy and any American who think ethno politics or racism is a good thing should learn the history of 1960s.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Stupid ultra nationalistic koreans. And they call themselves Americans? Go back to Korea! Build statues and shrines to your own country. Don't use the U.S. for your own selfish nationalistic agenda. Miserable!

1 ( +9 / -8 )

CH3CHO

I can assure you that there is absolutely no racial tension between Japanese Americans & Korean Americans. In fact the Asian American community as a whole gets along extremely well. As the article mentioned, inter ethnic relationships/marriages among Asian Americans are very common.

It's my understanding that most Japanese Americans, especially in Asian American enclaves in Southern California, bay area, & the tri state know the history of comfort women and sympathize with their plight.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Where do you draw the line?

In this case, you draw the line at objective standards for nomenclature. A sea is named after the body the makes it a sea. The Irish Sea is not the English Sea. This is the accepted standard. This approach won't work for all territorial disputes, but for seas it works pretty darn well.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"memorials for the victims of Japanese sexual slavery" ? Why? To relive the trauma? To remind the world after they're all gone?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

hidingout

But that's not even the point. The point is the specificity of every thing being done by these lobbyists on behalf, not of America, but of their "homeland"

Well that would certainly apply not just to Koreans, but to the powerful Jewish Lobby in the US in regard to Israel. Indeed many liberal Jews in America are outraged at the huge sums of money paid in reparations by the German Government and corporations that was supposed to go to Holocaust survivors but in fact ended up in the coffers of right-wing groups in Israel, even helping finance illegal settlements (for those interested read Norman G. Finkelstein "The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering". So again, where do you draw the line? Perhaps what the Japanese Government should do is petition those same local governments in the US to also erect memorials for the 500,000 civilian causalities of the indiscriminate US bombing campaign of Korean towns and cities during the Korean War (almost every substantial building in North Korea was destroyed). As these raids were carried out from airbases in Japan, Japan would be legally, and definitely morally within it's right to do so. That would send the appropriate message to the US and pull the rug out from under the anti-Japan Korean Lobby.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

bannedacctsamApr. 07, 2014 - 05:28PM JST

I can assure you that there is absolutely no racial tension between Japanese Americans & Korean Americans. In fact the Asian American community as a whole gets along extremely well.

Oh, really, then what is this?

bannedacctsamApr. 07, 2014 - 04:27PM JST

I'm super glad that the elected officials sided with their constituents instead of bowing to economic threats from Japan Inc.

IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE US - I strongly suggest that you get in touch with your Japanese American cousins.

I though you were trying to induce ethnic rift in the Asian American community. Good will does not come out of nothing. How did the Korean Americans, or how did you contribute to the building of the good will of the Asian American community? It is none of my business, but I can tell you that you can very easily destroy good will.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Not a single reference to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono 1993 landmark acknowledgment and apology on the inscription complimenting the Glendale Comfort Women Monument.

So the monument is just as much a commemoration to human natures inability to release or prevent resentment, or hold out any words of conciliation for Kono san apology, or even the faintest hint of forgiveness.

Little wonder then that Glendale Mayor Dave Weaver admitted regret for “opened a beehive, a hornet’s nest”.

So lets once again, a timely reminder of Kono san 1993 landmark acknowledgment.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono in 1993 - The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.........

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Can we stop this tiresome and unproductive bigoted figure pointing please. Modern humanity is trying to move away from the US vs them mentality which is so counterproductive and dangerous.

I don't see any malice with putting up a statue to remember victims of a human atrocity - it is an important reminder of where we don't want to go again and show respect to all those who suffer under oppression.

And it's a wonderful opportunity for the Japanese (and any country) community to face their own past and deal with it in a mature way. Can we all just grow up already.

(ewaits for inevitable figure pointing, "but the Koreans....!" sigh)

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

sensei258APR. 07, 2014 - 06:32PM JST "memorials for the victims of Japanese sexual slavery" ? Why? To relive the trauma? To remind the world after they're all gone?

To remind the world not to forget them, and not to forget what horrors human beings are capable of to prevent it from happening again.

Good enough?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Okay, this is turning into another Anti-Korean fest. Many posters here are just out to prove their bigoted believes that the Koreans are the most evil humans on the earth. Which is not only disturbing, it's sad in this day and age.

Can we stop this tiresome and unproductive bigoted figure pointing please. Modern humanity is trying to move away from the US vs them mentality which is so counterproductive and dangerous.

Can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or, can't stand the criticisms of Koreans and their actions, just prevent it from being posted in a public forum for anyone to see by trying to second-guess the motivations of posters or trying to divert from the topic.

Freedom of speech (as long as it doesn't make Koreans look bad). Gotta love it.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

SamuraiBlue

Um, if they came after WW2 that would be like third generation Korean American, so yeah, it would be generations. Unless you consider people living during WW2 to be the same generation as people born twenty five years ago.

So what if Koreans work in a Japanese restaurant. A person's employment does not change their genealogy and it does not change "comfort women." Besides, not all koreans living in America work at a Japanese restaurant.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

“We must stop disgracing our ancestors,” Nariaki Nakayama, from the opposition Japan Restoration Party, told a recent gathering of like-minded lawmakers in Tokyo who deny the military directly recruited sex slaves and instead used commercially recruited prostitutes.

He's right. He should stop it immediately.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Genjulo

Can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or, can't stand the criticisms of Koreans and their actions, just prevent it from being posted in a public forum for anyone to see by trying to second-guess the motivations of posters or trying to divert from the topic. Freedom of speech (as long as it doesn't make Koreans look bad). Gotta love it.

I despise criticism of Koreans, Japanese or any entire ethic group, as should we all. It's called racism and it is a slippery slope to hate-crimes and wars.

I don't know what your upbringing or education was but where I come from we are taught to respect all peoples equally wherever they are from or what they look like and never to speak dis-respectively of other ethnic groups, especially in public.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Well, I don't know what's the point of statues like those in Glendale for people who didn't even seen nor did anything for US in their lifetime

So Chenchan, do you advocate tearing down the Boston Holocaust Memorial?

The Korean-American residents are tax paying citizens. Some of them have or had relatives who were sex slaves of the Japanese military. If they want a monument to remember and honor innocent victims of war and relatives, they have my complete support. Their present might be America, but their past is still Korean. And no, I don't care how Japanese feel about it. Those who did wrong did wrong. I would no more try to hide their misdeeds to please Japanese than I would erase the name Jeffrey Dahmer from Wikipedia to please his relatives.

“We must stop disgracing our ancestors,” Nariaki Nakayama

You didn't. Neither is anyone else. They disgraced themselves, all by themselves. If only Japanese ultra-nationalists would grow up and figure that out. Talk about it all would fade.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Ridiculous. The US has no business in this. If you want to build these statues than do so in South Korea and Japan, not in another country and especially not next to a library at all. You are just turning American kids against today's Japanese people who had nothing to do with it. Despicable behaviour by the South Koreans. Shame on you!!

The US' getting "embroiled" in other people's business killed millions in Vietnam and hundreds of thousands in the Middle East. Perhaps the US needs to get “embroiled” in its own problems before looking elsewhere. It's got enough.

Great point Bertie. Completely agree with you.

I am seriously disappointed with the South Koreans. Yes, Japan does not correctly teach history. But last time I checked, Germany was the only one who was doing so.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It's only appropriate, really, that the USA now finds itself embroiled in these Korea-Japan disputes. US president Theodore Roosevelt, idolized by many for being a tough guy, was also an ignorant Social Darwinist bigot who nevertheless thought he understood Asia and Asians. He was a tireless cheerleader for Japan and was convinced (like so many others) that the Japanese were a superior race of beings over other Asians. At the Portsmouth negotiations to end the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, TR gave his full blessing to Japan's establishment of a protectorate over Korea. That was part of the quid pro quo between Japan and the USA that enabled the latter country to establish dominance over the Philippines.

And of course, after 1945 no country was more eager than the USA to have Japanese forget about their sordid imperial past. Can't have a Cold War ally engaging in self-reflection and self-flagellation now, can we. Why do you think Japan has had only one socialist prime minister (Murayama Tomiichi, 1994-96) since 1948?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

In my area in Southern Nevada, Asian people and their siblings are proud to be in USA or and USA Citizen, 2nd generation people usually do bot speak their parents' language. We have Phillipino doctors, etc. Too many that until you get doctors' appointment, you don;t know what is their ethnicity. /so, people here do not discriminate Asians, /and you don;t know ethnicity by what they eat, either. They like American history than somewhere else. Sony Pictures Entertainment channels televise old cowboy series to satisfy public interest, The series that include to degrade Asians do not last well. American history, they love to watch,

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Intellectually lost in the past are we Masswipe? Thanks for the laugh. No proof. Just innuendo.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Modern humanity is trying to move away from the US vs them mentality which is so counterproductive and dangerous.

Someone forgot to tell the Koreans. They move to the USA and still all they can think about is the ethnic Korean "us". Your attempts to purify the ulterior motives of these ROK lobbyists are falling well short of the mark.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

'Okay, this is turning into another Anti-Korean fest. Many posters here are just out to prove their bigoted believes that the Koreans are the most evil humans on the earth. Which is not only disturbing, it's sad in this day and age.'

The close similarities in the outlook of many Japanese, Koreans and Chinese is the core of the problem. Unnerving delusions of 'uniqueness', a tendency to swallow whatever the media pumps out and an ability to judge entire 'races' by trotting out tired old stereotypes ( mostly negative ). It's amazing just how close the mindsets are in all three countries.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

memorial plaque (inscription), reads as follows.

In memory of more than 200,000 Asian and Dutch women who were removed from their homes in Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, East Timor and Indonesia, to be coerced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Armed Forces of Japan between 1932 and 1945. “And in celebration of proclamation of ‘Comfort Women Day’ by the City of Glendale on July 30, 2012, and of passing of House Resolution 121 by the United States Congress on July 30, 2007, urging the Japanese government to accept historical responsibility for these crimes. “It is our sincere hope that these unconscionable violations of human rights shall never recur.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono in 1993 acknowledgement and apology was a clear and unequivocal. To fragrantly omit it from the memorial plaque fans the flames of resentment and discontent. To have included Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono statement could have taken the moral high ground, and most of all neutered the nationalists.

The opportunity was there for Japanese peoples reflect and so to feel inclusive in the healing process, but all it has achieved is law suits, it appears the City Council had not voted to approve the language featured on the plaque which urges the Japanese government to accept historical responsibility for these crimes, something the Kono statement has done so in law.

Any subsequent statement otherwise were made by individual nationalists, who I will fully acknowledge should have considered their positions immediately.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Great post itsonlyrocknroll!!!!!!!!!!!

@Jizmo - Umm would you not call what South Koreans are doing in the USA an anti-Japanese fest. Are they not the ones who are trying to make the Japanese look horrible? Did South Koreans not willingly join the Japanese military? The present president of South Korea's father's has a Japanese name. He was part of the problem as so where many South Koreans as well. I detest a convenient memory and that is exactly what the South Koreans have. A convenient memory. Did not the South Korean president's own father wave any personal reparations funds to individuals from the Japanese government when he was advised not to do so by the Japanese government which tried to establish a fund for those victims????????

Okay, this is turning into another Anti-Korean fest. Many posters here are just out to prove their bigoted believes that the Koreans are the most evil humans on the earth. Which is not only disturbing, it's sad in this day and age.'

It is not turning out to be an anti-Korean fest here. It was an Anti-Japanese fest that has made this a problem.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

You are just turning American kids against today's Japanese people who had nothing to do with it. Despicable behaviour by the South Koreans. Shame on you!!

I will just say this. I saw the monument in Seoul on vacation with my Japanese partner, and I did not think any bit of hate towards Japanese. I just got a tear in my eye thinking of the pain of all these women.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Justbcusisay - Funny just because you say that does not mean that others who see it will not feel that way at all. This is a problem between two countries that should not be put outside. It is in bad taste. The South Koreans do not want to repair relations with Japan at all. How else could they play the victim card??????? Fact is money has been paid. The Japanese government tried to pay people off directly and were rebuffed by the current presidents own father. Apologies have been made and utterly denied by the South Korean and Chinese public. Yes, you got a tear in your eye. Who would not? But you also must understand this. A lot of the so called comfort women were actually prostitutes. Now, before you go and throw up your hands, remember and understand this. So were Japanese woman. So were Chinese and so were so many other countries women, because sex sold and you could feed your family. There are countless stories that Koreans and Chinese love to deny, but of women who were sold by their own families. That is something that is conveniently being forgotten here. To have a better life many families sold their daughters into prostitution. That is how it was all over Asia. I hate the convenient memory that permeates this problem. Yes, many women were forced to sell themselves for sex but a lot of women were forced to do so by their own people.

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sandiegoluv

No matter how hard you try, the Koreans will never accept since the worst thing to them is to admit their own mistakes. For them it's much easier to accept a convenient lie then admit fact as reality.

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Inclusion is the only way forward, this monument could have included a joint refection. On the one hand the consequences of oppressive cruelty coupled with the reflection of that human frailty. Next Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono 1993 acknowledgement of past wrongs, finishing with a lasting statement of hope from both countries youth programmes and yes maybe a signal of future forgiveness.

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SamuraiBlueAPR. 07, 2014 - 11:00PM JST sandiegoluv No matter how hard you try, the Koreans will never accept since the worst thing to them is to admit their own mistakes. For them it's much easier to accept a convenient lie then admit fact as reality.

See what you did there? That mind-reading, or projection?

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@Sandigoluv I think you misunderstood my post. I don't deny bloodymindedness on the part of certain Koreans. I was talking about the similarities in outlook. I think I'll leave Samuraiblue to clarify what I mean by the similarities between the mindsets:

'No matter how hard you try, the Koreans will never accept since the worst thing to them is to admit their own mistakes. For them it's much easier to accept a convenient lie then admit fact as reality.'

That is a quite beautiful example of what I mean by similar mindsets. Substitute 'Japanese' and that could have come from the mouth of a Korean nationalist.

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@Jizmo - My apologies. You are right.

@samuraiblue - Thank you for a week educated opinion.

No matter how hard you try, the Koreans will never accept since the worst thing to them is to admit their own mistakes. For them it's much easier to accept a convenient lie then admit fact as reality.

For me what needs to happen is simple. Koreans to admit that the wronged themselves and get off the back of good Japanese people who feel remorse for what happened. I do see a trend though that I did not want to see. A lot of Japanese are fed up with the Koreans and I do not blame them one bit except for the fact that their school textbooks gloss over the facts of their colonial rule. Unforgivable but if you want peace you can not be so obnoxious as the Koreans are being and say that you want peace. It is simply that the current president whose father was given a japanese name, showed his respect to the country that was Japan while living in a hermit country and fought for Japan. Most likely was one of the people who could also be called a war criminal and all of that, but it does not even pose a blimp on the South Korean radar screen. No, the Japanese are inherently bad. Well, I know a lot of Japanese people who are not.

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To all most Japanese American who are in the country are very silent, respectful and peaceful. The majority of the Koreans who are here now are from Korea bringing their racist views and ideals along with money. In the US if you have money and you support a politician he will listen. This is nothing but PAID ADVERTISEMENT and it doesn't belong in the US but again politician can be bought with money and votes. This memorial is nothing but a waste of time!! IT should be egged.

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As I mentioned in comments on the article about the law in Virginia, legislators will usually do what their constituents want them to do if it doesn't involve a major outlay of state funds. Korean-Americans in Virginia outnumber Japanese-Americans by a 4:1 margin. The majority of the Japanese-Americans in the Washington D.C. area - for whatever reason - chose the State of Maryland to reside in rather than the Commonwealth of Virginia, and so lost any ability to affect what happens in Virginia. If the majority of your constituents don't care one way or another and there is a 4:1 ratio of people who want the change to the people who don't want the change, legislators will generally pass the change because a very small group of constituents are negatively affected.

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Samurai blue - I didn't mean to say "hank you for a "week" education. I meant thank you for the education.

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0 Good Bad SamuraiBlueAPR. 07, 2014 - 11:00PM JST sandiegoluv

no matter how hard you try, the Koreans will never accept since the worst thing to them is to admit their own mistakes. For them it's much easier to accept a convenient lie then admit fact as reality.

Honestly I don't know why I bother but are you suggesting you know the entire population of South Korea has the one opinion? Every man woman and child, all 50 million of them have this opinion and somehow you know it. Realise how juvenile that sounds?

All these (clearly right-wing Japanese) posters, you know all your doing is making non-Japanese feel an increasing sympathy for the Korea-bashing tripe. I live in Japan, help Japanese in my work and pay taxes but if there really is such wide-spread bigotry in this country towards Koreans (or anyone), I don't want to be in such a backward, hateful, heartless society. :( Please tell me I'm wrong.

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I checked statistic reports by various organizations and could not find Korean and Japanese crime rate in USA. Just percentages of White, Black and Hispaniac. Percemtages of any Asian who finish college degrees are way up than white.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Percemtages of any Asian who finish college degrees are way up than white.

Not surprising, considering the "Tiger Mom" mentality that seems to pervade Chinese culture, and then there's Japan's equivalent to a "Tiger Mom": the "Kyouiko Mother".

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Actually there are no dispute in history like this article claims... because there is only one true History. No matter how disappointed or upset current Japanese leaders may become they will not succeed in fooling the rest of World by denying the past and there are growing feeling against ABE's immoral views that Japan has done nothing wrong.

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Whether Japanese PM has different view on history, USA is not going to change history books for all counties in every state. Too too expensive procedure.

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@Fadamor: Kyoiku Mother.... Isn't it Kyoiku children In USA? American children help their foreign language speaking parents?

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sandiegoluvAPR. 07, 2014 - 10:42PM JST Justbcusisay - Funny just because you say that does not mean that others who see it will not feel that way at all.

And just because others might not feel that way, doesn't mean many don't. I mentioned nothing about the guilt of Japan nor the innocence of Korea, yet you went off on a rant. Please think about the fact that you went off though I said nothing to do all those things you mentioned. It is all harmless here on JT, but think about how many diplomatic relations might be soured by people who are constantly on the defensive and not properly listening to what the other side is saying.

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See what you did there? That mind-reading, or projection?

No I merely writing fact on this subject extrapolating from the response a Korean scholar stated when he quit from his position trying to do some fact finding about the so called "Comfort Women". Get out of the denial stage and start digging into what really happened based on evidence that a third party could verify then we could talk.

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Have you giving a thought to why this may be happening now? The war ended 70 years ago next year. These memorials are recent. Japanese and Koreans emigrated to the US at about the same time in the late 1800s. Both groups exploded in emigration in the 1960s. While Koreans kept emigrating after 2000, Japanese emigration reversed which allowed Koreans to surpass the Japanese ethnic population in the US. Today, there are some 1.4-1.5 people of Korean ancestry and of that about 2/3 were born in Korea. The Koreans are the 5th largest Asia-subgroup in the US, Chinese being the biggest with 3.3 million. So, basically Korean-Americans have more political power than Japanese-American and I don't think most Japanese-Americans especially Nisei and beyond are sensitive to the Right-Wing Japanese position on this. After all, most Japanese-Americans volunteered to fight against Japan some 70 years ago but most were sent to Europe with the 442. Anyway, point being these "memorials" would not have happened if not for the visits to Yasukuni. If the Korean-Americans and Chinese-American were politically savvy, they would fund an Asian Holocaust Museum in Washington. The other think in Japan's favor for now is that S. Koreans and Chinese haven't figured out that a unified Korea would be in their favor.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sinister efforts to minimise Japanese war crimes and portray the empire as a victim must be exposed

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/robert-fisk-sinister-efforts-to-minimise-japanese-war-crimes-and-portray-the-empire-as-a-victim-must-be-exposed-9242156.html

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ka_chanApr. 08, 2014 - 07:06AM JST

Anyway, point being these "memorials" would not have happened if not for the visits to Yasukuni.

Which Yasukuni visits are you talking about? Abe visited Yasukuni in December 2013. The "Korean sex slave memorials" were built before that.

The question raised by Abe was whether Korean comfort women were drafted or abducted by Japanese military. The strange thing is that Korean government does not show any evidence to support their position to that question. Logic does not seem to work in Korea.

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@ igloobuyer

Robert Fisk who penned the article posted in your link, is truly a journalist possessing the ethics of objectivity and fairness, a credit to his profession, holder of more British and international journalism awards than any other, one could say he has no peers. Robert Fisk's published works reporting and analysing armed conflicts are master cases in war correspondence.

Robert Fisk also recanted the tragedy that befell a family member on the 10th December, 1941. Sombre and heart-breaking would be a understatement.

Robert Fisk harbours the same bitterness as my English Grand Parents.

On the one hand Robert Fisk encouragingly effuses his like for the Japanese, words like, hard-working, sincere, cultured.

Deep down his soul is filled with same unrelenting bitterness that reduced my Grandfather to a tearful rage when my father married a Japanese woman.

Maybe the day will come that Robert Fisk will be able to reconcile history? I won't pretend my Grandfather will ever forgive but he has taken a step by returned to Japan which would have been unthinkable after his past experiences.

I am not devaluing Robert Fisk as a journalist far from it. I appreciate that Roberts and Grandfather generation will be most difficult if not impossible to convince Japan has changed. Robert will always fall back on the few nationalists that need to be challenged more forcefully.

Shifting Truths

http://www.countercurrents.org/fisk011203.htm

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CH3CHOAPR. 08, 2014 - 01:53PM JST ka_chanApr. 08, 2014 - 07:06AM JST Anyway, point being these "memorials" would not have happened if not for the visits to Yasukuni. Which Yasukuni visits are you talking about? Abe visited Yasukuni in December 2013. The "Korean sex slave memorials" were built before that. The question raised by Abe was whether Korean comfort women were drafted or abducted by Japanese military. The strange thing is that Korean government does not show any evidence to support their position to that question. Logic does not seem to work in Korea.

Whether Japan drafted or abducted Korean comfort women is not up for debate by Korea or Japan; it has been established by the international community that they did. You can believe what you want but don't expect this fact to change any time soon.

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letsberealistic

When did that happen?

Most people outside of Japan doesn't even have access to documents related to the incident and the ones such as the ones collected by the US Military shows a very different picture from what the Koreans are stating.

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SamuraiBlueAPR. 08, 2014 - 05:44PM JST letsberealistic When did that happen? Most people outside of Japan doesn't even have access to documents related to the incident and the ones such as the ones collected by the US Military shows a very different picture from what the Koreans are stating.

Like I said, nothing to do with Korea, this is the internationally recognised position, just like the holocaust - the only doubters are right-wing extremists or sympathisers.

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letsberealistic

Whatever you say, whatever you say. LoL

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It's pretty offensive for some people to compare the highly documented and witnessed by both sides events that we call the Holocaust with the extremist claims made by South Korea regarding the IJA military prostitution system known as the Comfort Women system. The vast majority of the claims made by South Korea are unsubstantiated and questioned even by South Korean scholars. Not to mention that some 240,000 Koreans serving willingly in the Imperial Japanese military made use of the Comfort Women system. Some of he managers of these stations were Koreans. No one seriously doubts the vital role Korean middlemen played in the recruitment and sometimes deceit involved in obtaining women recruits. Yet South Koreans want the world to believe that Japanese soldiers kidnapped 200,000 Korean women from their homes. This is while 240,000 of their brothers, husbands and fathers were serving in the Japanese military. The term "Sex Slaves": has been spread about despite the evidence that these women who were under Japanese military employ were being paid. This is an insult to actual "sex slavery" victims which exist today. So alleged Korean-Americans are putting up monuments of women (regardless of how they got there) who were part of the Imperial Japanese military, in United States parks. Last I checked, the Imperial Japanese military were our enemies 1941-1945. How about K-As put up more monuments commemorating Americans who gave their lives protecting South Korea in 1950/51.

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@Toshiko,

Kyoiku Mother.... Isn't it Kyoiku children In USA? American children help their foreign language speaking parents?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoiku_mama

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@Fadamor: In Japan, there are many many mamas who do not work outside of home. They are usually uneducated females who wish their children perform good in their schools. This is USA. So I wrote about Foreign born USA mamas and their American children, These children perform good in schools, not because their stay home mamas.

.

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OssanAmericaAPR. 08, 2014 - 11:45PM JST It's pretty offensive for some people to compare the highly documented and witnessed by both sides events that we call the Holocaust with the extremist claims made by South Korea regarding the IJA military prostitution system known as the Comfort Women system. The vast majority of the claims made by South Korea are unsubstantiated and questioned even by South Korean scholars. Not to mention that some 240,000 Koreans serving willingly in the Imperial Japanese military made use of the Comfort Women system. Some of he managers of these stations were Koreans. No one seriously doubts the vital role Korean middlemen played in the recruitment and sometimes deceit involved in obtaining women recruits. Yet South Koreans want the world to believe that Japanese soldiers kidnapped 200,000 Korean women from their homes. This is while 240,000 of their brothers, husbands and fathers were serving in the Japanese military. The term "Sex Slaves": has been spread about despite the evidence that these women who were under Japanese military employ were being paid. This is an insult to actual "sex slavery" victims which exist today.

Tell this to the Korean 'sex slaves' that still live today. Tell them they are lying to their faces. Tell them they were lying that they were forcibly removed by the Japanese military and raped, repetitively and brutally. Tell they are lying to their faces that they saw their sisters and friends tortured and killed. Tell these old women they are lying. Now, would you be able to do that? Do you honestly believe they are all lying? they just made it up?

Do you, or your friends, doubt the capacity for the Japanese at that time, given your knowledge of how cruel and brutal Japanese society can be even today (sports coaches beating female judo members, beating to death sumo players, office managers screaming at workers and throwing things at them etc.), to systemize the brutality of Korean females, who especially then, but now as well, were regarded as sub-human? Think again, about any agenda to minimise Japanese war crimes because the victims have a voice and their descendants will never forgive, and the world is listening, and right they shouldn't.

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igloobuyerApr. 09, 2014 - 02:10AM JST

Tell this to the Korean 'sex slaves' that still live today. Tell them they are lying to their faces. Tell them they were lying >that they were forcibly removed by the Japanese military and raped, repetitively and brutally. Tell they are lying to their >faces that they saw their sisters and friends tortured and killed. Tell these old women they are lying. Now, would you >be able to do that? Do you honestly believe they are all lying? they just made it up?

I don't have to. An investigation conducted in South Korea in 1992 by Prof. Ahn Bying Jick of Seoul University on 40 "survivors" resulted in all testimonies not being credible, The brutality of some segments of the Imperial Japanese military is well known and have been tried at the Tokyo trials. In fact the brutality of the Koreans guards against allied POWs is also well known and a number of them were convicted as Class B and C War Criminals. However that has no relevance to the Comfort Women issue, an issue that was not raised by South Korea even as it negotiated a treaty with Japan in 1965 which included some USD 800 million as funds for individuals who suffered under Japanese colonization. South Korea not only has the gaul to claim that the "comfort women" were not included, as if hey weren't individuals, but they even kept this secret from the South Korean people and spent the money elsewhere. Yet South Koreans are incapable of seeing how foolish they look in the eyes of the world when Japan has obviously made compensation and apologized.

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Tell this to the Korean 'sex slaves' that still live today. Tell them they are lying to their faces. Tell them they were lying that they were forcibly removed by the Japanese military and raped, repetitively and brutally. Tell they are lying to their faces that they saw their sisters and friends tortured and killed. Tell these old women they are lying. Now, would you be able to do that? Do you honestly believe they are all lying? they just made it up?

If ALL surviving Korean comfort women tells different version each time they recount their experiences, by default, they lied one time or another. While this may be politically incorrect from a standpoint that they are old women, the gloves came off as soon as they started attacking even the good will former PM in Murayama who spent the last of the his political days working for the surviving comfort women as a head of AWF.

Perhaps lying is a strong word but based on the testimonies that they gave, many are now questioning the stories behind it. If this is a court of law, one needs to prove their allegations and it's really not up to Japan to disprove them.

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Yet another AP propaganda article pushing the mythic 200,000 figure ...

One interesting fact about Japanese-Americans is that their crime rate is even lower than Japanese-Japanese. A start contrast to Koreans in America who are constantly being busted for ... funnily enough ... sex trafficking and prostitution rings.

I think this race hate campaign is actually going to backfire on Korea. Korea is a relatively unknown entity within the international sphere due to its history of isolationism. If its reasonable citizens allow the race hate mob to usurp this issue and use it as an irrational campaign against the Japanese, all it's going to achieve is portraying Koreans on the whole as ridiculous, irrational and malicious hotheads on the make dishonestly.

The issue lost all is moral content when it stopped being a feminist issue shared by feminists within Japan and Korea working together. Now it's simply boiled down to ugly nationalism and economics opportunism.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I think these comfort women talk different stories because they had more than one dya or two days experiences.

@nigelboy: Do you think they were comfort women for only one or two days during WW II?

@Fadamore; How come you have to refer simple Japanese words Kyoiku Mama at WikiPedia? Look at schools. There are always some mama who nose "Why you and your sisters do better than anybody else? When you finish Sr HS, what kid of Daigaku you will go? Can you tell me what kind of reference books your family have? " etc. Kyoiku Mama is words we use to insult them. Kyoiku mama usually only have up to Sr HS education, They never studied abroad and not even in a Japanese female college.

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nigelboy Apr. 09, 2014 - 03:01AM JST If ALL surviving Korean comfort women tells different version each time they recount their experiences, by default, they lied one time or another.

If ALL Japanese Politicians and surviving member of IJA tells different version each time they recount their story, by default, they lied one time or another.

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@nigelboy: Do you think they were comfort women for only one or two days during WW II?

Not at all. But what changes constantly are the versions of how they became one. All of the Korean comfort women NEVER stated initially that they were forced by IJA. Prof. Byeong-jik Ahn of Seoul National University interview of 40 women confirmed this.

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nigelboy Apr. 09, 2014 - 05:58AM JST All of the Korean comfort women NEVER stated initially that they were forced by IJA. Prof. Byeong-jik Ahn of Seoul National University interview of 40 women confirmed this.

This guy Ahn Byung-jik of Seoul National University waited until 2006 to do a research and this is the best evidence you can come up with? I guess he interviewed alot of senile people.

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This guy Ahn Byung-jik of Seoul National University waited until 2006 to do a research and this is the best evidence you can come up with? I guess he interviewed alot of senile people.

"Evidence"? No. It was an investigation as to the credibility of their testimonies. As to date, there are NO EVIDENCE to back up the allegations of these surviving Korean comfort women especially to those who claimed afterwards (contrary to the initial story) that they were abducted or forced by IJA.

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@nigelboy

It is an irreparable mistake that the Japanese government has apologized for such events without clarifying where the responsibility lies. It sounds like nothing more than an excuse to say that this was all the "enforcement of narrow sense and broad sense" at this late point, and it's difficult to think that the world will take that explanation seriously. Japan defending itself won't improve its position, is sad but true.

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sfjp330

People can't take responsibility for something that hadn't happened. They can verify if it did but the Koreans aren't doing anything in that sector beside the Professor nigel had mentioned.

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Why bother. I am so saddened at the lack of humanity on display here. People have an agenda (to somehow make Japan less 'bad', I don't know) and are indifferent to the real human experience of these women (or any people I expect). I pray for our future when all people worry about is saving face. :(

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Moreover, South Korea will change history in order to fulfill pride rapidly. China uses history as a political tool. And in many cases, since the United States says nothing although the United States owns the proof which can protect Japan, and data, Japan is feeling sad. Takeshima's territorial right problem is solvable by "MacArthur's telegram." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrBWODKBsew

Although there were many victims of Nanjing as much as an atomic bomb, why did it lose in the Japanese army which can do such a thing? Scientific investigation is not conducted although some which are used as the dead body of Nanjing Incident are in China. Are you targeted by the China soldier who does not wear the military uniform, and can distinguish from the man in the street? It is the same as the American serviceman in Iran or Afghanistan. The soldier and the man in the street who do not wear the military uniform cannot be recognized in an instant. Therefore, it is a fact that the man in the street was involved in. When bombing China, the Japanese army scattered empty to the villa from before for many days so that the man in the street could escape. Since goods are not rich, only military facilities can be attacked.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If the United States of America continues look oning at this problem unconcernedly, Japan does not escape a false charge. A court is unnecessary if what those who declare themselves a victim say is certainly right.

However, carrying out the demand with Japan impossible for is being continued without solving China and South Korea in a trial.

The United States of America should help Japan. You have responsibility as a winner.

Although you may be surprised, these tone of argument is made into right-wing logic, and is kept in Japan. The mass media which is a Japanese ultraleft organization is making such atmosphere. It is being reversed by development of the Internet. It says once again. Please help Japan if you please.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I don't know about "people" but historians' responsibility is uncover and examine the truth in detail. The primary problem with this issue is that it has been ripped out of the hands where it belong; historians' and feminists' campaigning against all military prostitution, and is being abused by everyone from opportunists out to make an easy buck, to race hate activists seeking nationalistic political and economic benefits.

One needs to go right back to first principles and the beginning of the current Korean nationalists' campaign.

The issue actually first arose out of a coalition of Japanese and Korean feminists working together to oppose both the military prostitution serving the US military (which involved more than 1,000,000 women by 1950) and Korean sex tourism targeting Japanese men in the 1970s. At that point, the issue had a serious moral aspect.

Since the mid 1990s, it has been usurped for complete immoral political or race hate purposes starting with the fabrication of Kim Hak-sun's story. The earliest reliable records - her own submission to the court - state clearly Kim Hak-sun was sold by her Korean parents to a Korean brothel owner and then resold to another Korean brothel owner before ending up transported to a military camp in China.

The fabrications since have claimed she was abducted. The organization that sought her out and politicized her case has since been charged with multiple frauds (6 figure sum) and publicly apologized in Korea.

Other Korean compensation groups, e.g. those dealing with valid cases of forced Korean laborers, are highly critical of the comfort women groups. There exist evidences of comfort women not only earning considerable amounts but claiming compensation for them, e.g. after bank books were lost or war time banks collapsed. These anomalies are so considerable, they cannot be ignored or excluded. The motivations of anyone doing so would be suspect.

Never once have I ever read of these nationalistic polemicists on the Korean side admitting Korean involvement in the entire system; the Japanese Army's policy was not to recruit but contract with local Korean agents and brothel owners running the business in their traditional manner, e.g. buying young girls, accepting young women into debt bondage, tricking, forcing, coercing and falsely advertizing, and so on.

These still go on today.

The politics, especially nationalistically orientated politics need to be removed from the equation entirely and anyone attempting to politicize the issue, e.g. by building insulting statues, refused until the whole truth is made clear.

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igloobuyerApr. 09, 2014 - 10:23AM JST Why bother. I am so saddened at the lack of humanity on display here. People have an agenda (to somehow make >Japan less 'bad', I don't know) and are indifferent to the real human experience of these women (or any people I >expect). I pray for our future when all people worry about is saving face. :(

All victims deserve justice, and justice can not be separated from truth. The current Comfort Women charges which South Korea is pushing on to the world is not truth, it is unsubstantiated and fabricated to satisfy their agenda of making "Japan look bad". That South Korea engages in this kind of action is what is saddening.

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The USA is a “Melting Pot” if all the citizens of the USA decided to have memorials erected to show injustice, and the evil that man does towards man, in all of the countries in the world, their parents or ancestors lived in, it would be almost impossible to walk the streets! Ever hear of some two million Armenians killed in genocide by the Ottoman Turks? Or the indigenous people of Taipei or even the American Indians? A platform of this kind should be one that perhaps the USA should push for Korea to erect a memorial for US soldiers who laid down their lives for the South Koreans!

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Why bother. I am so saddened at the lack of humanity on display here. People have an agenda (to somehow make Japan less 'bad', I don't know) and are indifferent to the real human experience of these women (or any people I expect). I pray for our future when all people worry about is saving face. :(

You should address the points that OssanAmerica and Nigelboy have been making above instead of being sad and emotional. You ought to stop thinking that there is a "lack of humanity" just because other people don't agree with you and your historical preconceptions. Pray instead for people who are overly emotional and keep on dwelling on the past. It's their own undoing that they can't move on.

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OssanAmerica Apr. 10, 2014 - 02:45AM JST All victims deserve justice, and justice can not be separated from truth. The current Comfort Women charges which South Korea is pushing on to the world is not truth, it is unsubstantiated and fabricated to satisfy their agenda of making "Japan look bad". That South Korea engages in this kind of action is what is saddening.

It's not about apology, but liabilty in potential compensation lawsuits. After Japan's acknowledging the involvement of the military in the comfort system in 1992, the J-government conducted formal investigations into the matter before it admitted in 1993 that there had been coercive recruitment in some cases. PM Miyazawa indicated that the government would come up with some vague gesture in lieu of compensation for the survivors. The Miyazawa's goverment was unable to act on this for reasons. The Korean Council and other support groups were opposed to any measure that evaded Japan's legal responsibility. The ruling LDP was trapped between its admission of coercive recruitment and its unwillingness to say or do anything that might indicate legal responsibility. Japan was concerned about the class-action lawsuit, stunned by numerous compensation lawsuit, and Japanese immediately assumed that the comfort women survivors were motivated by economic gain. This is the reason why many backed the J-government position that the 1965 agreement normalizing relations between Korea and Japan had settled all reparation issues.

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@justbcuzisayso - My apologies, but it was not a rant. It was just me stating what I felt was true. And I never said you mentioned the guilt of Japan nor the innocence of Korea. I just stated a fact. If telling what you think is fact can be labeled as "going off" then nobody can say anything here. My so-called "Rant" was not an attack on you at all.

It is all harmless here on JT, but think about how many diplomatic relations might be soured by people who are constantly on the defensive and not properly listening to what the other side is saying.

EXACTLY. You might want to read that very statement that you made again. Because my rant was not an attack on you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is how the Koreans thank the Americans for standing guard in Korea for 60 years and for giving up 10,000+ of their sons/daughters for Korean freedom. They come to the US and wage their petty nationalist fight against Japan. Never mind that it was the Americans who, by and large, defeated the Koreans and liberated the Korean peninsula. Never mind that the Americans led the prosecution of Japanese war criminals and have spoken on a need for Japan, in modern times, to be honest about its past. No, the Koreans want to go to the American's back yard to build a monument meant to confront Japan. How rude of the Koreans...why not hold your anti-Japanese events in Japan or Korea? Why come to the US to do this? And now we see the Koreans are snuggling up the the Chinese and trying to pit them against the US in some trade game! So I say let the Chinese have Korea...they sure showed the Koreans respect and friendship the last time visited......

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Wonderfully said Notasap!!!! My sentiment as well.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This has something to do with Japan's illegal claim over Dokdo islands makes them uneasy as if the name Japan sea automatically gives them right over the islands. The alternative name East sea in my opinion is appropriate as to most countries except for Japan it is on their east side which includes Korea, China and Russia.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Don't be silly. Japan's claim over Takeshima is not "illegal". Korea's military occupation of it is, compounded by its refusal to take the matter to the International Court of Justice ... where it is likely to lose its case.

Let's keep it real.

It wasn't the Japanese who named it the Japan Sea. Some Koreans really have to get over the chips on their shoulders or else Korea is going to end up with the worst bad joke reputation in Asia.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japanese politicians are complete fools for protesting memorials to IJA sex slaves.

Its as stupid as it would have been if German politicians protested the many Holocaust memorials In America. But that never happened because German politicians are not so ignorant and bull-headed.

And of course the common people never protested the Holocaust memorials either, so its extremely hypocritical that they would now stand up and condemn sex slave memorials.

If Japanese politicians were smart they would build their own sex slave memorial right on the grounds of the Japanese embassy in Washington D.C. Humility would win the day for Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It seems that Japan needs gaiatsu or external pressure for everything. It's pretty pathetic. It needs gaiatsu to stop the nuclear plants or report the accident. It needs gaiatsu to stop Abe. It needs gaiatsu to properly acknowledge its past history. It needs gaiatsu for the right wingers to stop being in denial.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It seems that Japan needs gaiatsu or external pressure for everything.

Nothing racist about that statement.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It's not "right wing" to question any claims. It's any decent person's responsibility. Facts ... not racist and nationalistic hyberbole from those with competing financial, political and territorial ambitions, are what are required.

It's immoral to accuse any individual of an actions they did not carry out, and stupidly pointless to accuse someone who is already dead.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

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