Take our user survey and make your voice heard.
politics

'Comfort women' memorial removed from Manila baywalk

27 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

27 Comments

Comments have been disabled You can no longer respond to this thread.

Christopher GlenApr. 29 10:09 am JST

Why does the euphemism “comfort women” continue to be used? It’s insulting to the memory of these women, and what they endured at the hands of the imperial army.

Because it's more polite than calling them Military Prostitutes, as they were correctly called by the US Military during WWII. In South Korea, the military prostitutes who served the US troops were called "American military comfort women". The only ones who were actual "sex slaves: were the ones in Indonesia, a case that was shut down by the Japanese military themselves. The Korean ones answered the recruitment ads or were sold by their parents and families, or were deceived by Korean middlemen, some of wo actually ran "comfort stations". The testimony of surviving Korean "comfort women" alleging to have been kidnapped have been found to be "not credible" due to repeated contradictory testimony by several South Korean scholars.,

The Philippines has a huge sex trafficking problem today, one that has drawn global attention. That a couple of activist groups were persuaded to join the Chong Dae Hyup comfort women hoax rather than address this real issue today brings shame upon the Phillipines. And those with intellectual integrity realized this.

https://www.unodc.org/pdf/crime/human_trafficking/Exec_Summary_NAPOLCOM.pdf

https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2017/271264.htm

In contrast, South Korea continues to permit the Chong Dae Hyup agenda despite it's own history:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/23/asia/south-korea-vietnam-massacre-intl/index.html

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20171109000945

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Anyway, I just read an article on a Philippine news site, that said like this statue was placed in a government property, so it could be seen as a government protest against Japan. There's not any problem if statues like that are placed in private properties.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Alex80, you've presented some thoughts that provoke commentary from other readers, which is what blogs are all about. And the 'comfort women' issue is an interesting one.

I, a Canadian of French, Scottish, and English heritage, took in a Japanese exchange teacher more than twenty years ago and after an initial invitation from his university president father, has visited Japan ten times, each visit lasting four to eight weeks, and each visit including time spent with the professor's (and son's) family, watching two young boys grow into their teens, attending the old man's funeral, and the wedding of a young couple I met a few years ago.

I write this only because I am very surprised you haven't bothered to visit Japan to learn about the culture, when you take the time to express your opinions on this site. I think you should take the time to do so, as I am, later this year, to visit Italy for two months.

Kindest regards.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good job Philippine ,

move forward ,

overcome the past ,

build the future ,

don’t listen to fake propaganda .

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Gradually the world is coming to senses. The “comfort women” is the biggest fake news of the early 21st-century. You can’t fool people forever.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Netgrump: sorry, I never visited Japan, even if I'd like a lot.

Anyway, what you are saying about Russo-Japanese war, is something that I studied during history lessons at school (I am Italian). We learned that Japan's victory was a big shock for the Western colonial powers, because it was the first time a "not white" Country had won against a "white" Country, and it's true that this inspired independence movements in the Countries occupied by the West. Western powers started to speak about "Yellow Peril", just because finally a Country that wasn't "white" had been able to deny white superiority theories.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@ Alex80

I agree with your points as one always should try to analyse matters in a greater perspective.

Don't know if you've ever been to the Yushukan at Yasukuni Jinja. Visitors may learn, among more, that ' Japan's victory in the Russo-Japanese War inspired other oppressed people, particularly Asian people, to dream of achieving independence. Many future leaders of independence movements visited Japan as a model for independence and modernisation '

I think it's a fact that an outcome of the campaigns by the Imperial troops is that colonialism in SE Asia came to an end.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Pretty shameful.

I don't see why Japanese officials should insist it be removed from the Philippines, a country it has great ties with. It's unlike what the South Korean government does when it builds comfort women memorials in other countries, simply to antagonize and stir up hatred against all things Japanese.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

@Strikebreaker555 Today 03:15 pm JST

You can't take countermeasures against your own history of aggression, Japan, and expect to get away with it. Revising history books is a crime against humanity and against all we have built throughout thousands of years, with all our mistakes and wrongdoings in mind.

There are three groups of things that can be said about comments like this, revolving around the Facts and the Law.

First, "comfort women" really became a thing around the 90s and wasn't a significant part of the historical scene before this. So, in chronological terms, their addition is the revision. Which according to you makes that the crime against humanity.

Second, you seem extremely prejudiced, without even an attempt at evidence, by simply assuming that anyone that doesn't unconditionally believe the unilateral claims of the purported comfort women cannot have at least an honest belief that their claims do not reflect the facts. That's probably the basis of your crime against humanity thing, but modern principles of human rights allow people their own beliefs and conscience. Freedom of speech and conscience are ICCPR Article 18 and 19 respectively, and your easy disposal of other people's rights speaks horrendously of your principles (or lack thereof).

Third, as it turns out, the Japanese conservatives were right (as were the Chinese and Koreans who spent time pushing the topic), and surprise it wasn't even an Asian only thing, but a Caucasian thing. Their basic concern (at least as articulated) was that a "masochistic" historical education will limit their citizen's and in turn their country's ability to respond correctly (that is to say, with suitable firmness) to such things as China's rise, since the Chinese definitely aren't masochistic in their own historical education.

Well, guess who else has a "masochistic" historical education. The West! They don't have Nankings to talk about, but a more diffuse history of the Opium War and racism, all of which are taught in a self-reflective, self-critical and as the Japanese would put it, masochist way. Now we are in 2018, the CCP-led Chinese are getting more and more assertive and hooliganistic in their contempt of the international order, and it really is long due past time to put a firm line against them, but the West can't. Because it might be "repeating the mistakes of the past", as too large a percentage of the pundits would argue. On the other side, the Chinese government has no qualms using a historical narrative that unfortunately was conceded by the West without a fight to push an extremist view of the applicable law (which is basically very Sinocentric and selfish and based on the idea of being wrongfully hurt in the distant past...)

So, the right wingers were right, and people like you were wrong on the most important point.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Philippines cannot afford to antagonize Japan over what is indeed mostly considered settled. Billion yens worth of infra projects in Philippines backed by Japan are at stake.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Netgrump: historical revisionism isn't a Japanese only thing. Plus, I am pretty sure most of books in Japanese schools don't deny completely Japanese war crimes, they could be edulcored, but this happens everywhere. Is China educating properly her children about Chinese crimes against Tibet? Is South Korea educating properly her children about the role of pro-Japanese Korean collaborationsts during WWII, or South Korea's atrocities during Vietnam war? How much the Allied teach in their schools about their own war crimes during WWII? I brought the example of the Marocchinate, with the French not even accepting Italian version of the facts. Just because the Allied won the war, this justified their violences against the civilians? They can forget? The truth is, we can only remember, everyone in their own way, but trying to move on, for the sake of the present and future.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@1glenn: I guess Japan's problem with these statues is the fact that the South Koreans are supporting around the world their own narrative about this issue, that is really biased. Like I said in my earlier posts, this exploitation wasn't made only by the Japanese in war. The Korean government let that this model of exploitation was used also by the Americans and by the South Korean soldiers as well. So, why can't we simply admit that sexual exploitation of women happened everywhere, in every war, without making it look like a Japanese only thing? Because this is also historical revisionism. It's way different from to commemorate something specific, like the Nanjing massacre. Also, the South Koreans are building up these statues all around the world. They are the only ones to do this. For example, in Italy we have some statues to remember the victims of the mass rape and killings committed by the colonial troops of the French Expeditionary Corps after the battle of Monte Cassino, event known like the "Marocchinate". But if we tried to build a statue like that in front of the French Embassy, can you imagine France reaction? Or if we started to build these statues around the world. You can be sure it could cause a diplomatic incident with France, since also today they never admitted completely these events.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"In January, Japanese Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Seiko Noda visited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to express displeasure over the memorial....."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

1glennToday 06:19 pm JST

sorry but the Philippines removed it not Japan

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There are memorials dedicated to remembering those killed in the atom bomb explosions.

There are memorials to those killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

There are memorials to those massacred at Nanking.

So why is the Japanese government so opposed to memorials for the women forced into prostitution by the Japanese Imperial Army? Why are some memorials "OK," while others are not? I don't get it. Seems to me that it is about time that Japanese society got over the crimes committed under the name of its Imperial army, and move on. Memorials to women who are by now mostly dead do not harm anyone.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

@ strikebreaker 555

Revising history books can be seen as a crime against humanity and it's indeed the daily practice in Japan. A few years ago I've been reading a booklet ' The Real History of Japan' in an APA hotel, Japan's largest hotel chain. It was written by the CEO Toshio Motoya under an alias and denied the Nanking massacre as well as the comfort women issues. I've seen pictures of the man in company of prominent Diet members and it's known that he belongs to the circle of PM Abe.

Till the seventies of the last century many facts were left out of German history books too but not mentioning facts may feel different than denying facts in public.

On the other hand, exploiting women goes on, and as Alex80 mentions perfectly about the South Korean obsession on the issue, but turning a blind eye to their own 'comforting' practices during the Korean War and beyond.

Probably the same reason why the Philippine government is so willing to please the Japanese, the awareness of the 'comfort' biz around Subic Bay, once the largest US naval base in the region.

Oh, these women were in 'consent' you're saying? :)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Until the earlier 1990s, the term "comfort women" ("Wianbu") was used also to refer to the Korean "prostitutes" for the U.S. military, later to avoid confusion between women exploited by Japanese Army, and women exploited by American Army, the ones exploited by the Americans were called with different names. One of them is "migun wianbu", literally "American comfort women".

But the story is long...people should only educate themselves more. South Korea is only using the specific case involving Japan as a political tool, but not all the Asian Countries share her same political agenda against Japan.

Currently, South Korean men are between the most numerous sexual predators in the Philippines, who abuse the minors, and there is an important human trafficking involving Filipino women in South Korea. Maybe South Korea should be more afraid about what is happening in the present than in the past. This is the true hypocrisy. Using the past to hide the present.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Philippines received their compensation and the issue has been settled. They even have a kamikaze memorial to commemmorate the birth of suicide pilots. Koreans? they are very much hated in the Philippines. Just look at the signs in their hotels.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Only South Korea is so obsessed over this problem, when the South Korean government let American soldiers use Korean women for the same purpose (try to search the term "Yankee princess", and you will discover a new side of history less known than "comfort women", but still horrible).

Obviously, the other Asian Countries have different political priorities. This doesn't mean sexual exploitation of women in war should be forgotten. But it happened everywhere, and nobody is building statues also outside their own Country to remember only one specific situation of exploitation, except for South Korea.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

You can't take countermeasures against your own history of aggression, Japan, and expect to get away with it. Revising history books is a crime against humanity and against all we have built throughout thousands of years, with all our mistakes and wrongdoings in mind.

If you actively try to downgrade your own kind of wrongdoings, you are also downgrading your nation's role in world history. To demand victims to kind of "shut up" about their experience is just inhumane. What would have happened if the U.S demanded the removal of every Hiroshima and Nagasaki memorial, and demanded that every "Hibakusha" should not utter a word about their cruel experience?! Try to put this example into consideration every time you demand South Korea to remove the "comfort women" statues.

Demanding the removal of several "comfort women" statues is actively undermining the victims human rights. By repeatedly demanding this, Japan is showing a lack of remorse and understanding towards the victims cruel experience of Japanese colonial rule.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

There is no good reason to honour prossies

There is no good reason to disparage 'prossies'.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

There is no good reason to honour prossies and this supposed issue is long settled and dead.

I have no problem with your comment as i too agree it only rakes up bad emotions. However by definition even if they’re “prossies”, my problem is that they were left with no other career choice and hence took the only available option. And therefore even if not honored, they shall be remembered, but not the way it’s being done now. All political. All a mess.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Pukey2 good catch on that point talk about TWO FACED.....sadly no surprise!

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Japanese Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Seiko Noda visited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to express displeasure over the memorial.

Let me get this straight. Is this the same excuse of a woman who attended a #metoo-like rally in Shibuya a few days ago?

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/04/20/national/crime-legal/japanese-march-shibuya-calls-end-sex-crimes-young-women/

Quote, unquote:

Seiko Noda, minister for women’s empowerment, said during a rally that the eradication of sexual exploitation is a task for all of society. “I’m calling for the nation’s cooperation,” she said.

Well she's certainly not calling for the Philippines' cooperation, that's for sure. Two-faced. No wonder Japan is what it's like.

My advice to the Philippines - look to Korea.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Why does the euphemism “comfort women” continue to be used? It’s insulting to the memory of these women, and what they endured at the hands of the imperial army.

They were sex slaves, plain and simple. Sure, some were voluntary prostitutes but the vast majority were not.

Demolishing the statue was a stupid move on the part of Manila’s government. I assure you Seoul and San Francisco will not follow suit.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

...the Philippines cannot strengthen its relationship with Japan if it keeps inflaming a matter that is considered "settled."

If only Korea...

10 ( +18 / -8 )

 said the memorial was removed so that pipes could be laid underground.

To pump hot air, I'm guessing.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites