People read the inscription of a statue commemorating so-called "comfort women," a euphemism given by Japan for women and girls enslaved for sex by the Japanese army during World War II, displayed at a residential area in central Berlin, Germany. Photo: AP/Markus Schreiber
politics

Berlin allows 'comfort woman' statue to remain for time being

48 Comments

Reversing an earlier order to remove a statue symbolizing Korean women in Japanese wartime military brothels, authorities in central Berlin said Tuesday they will allow the installation to remain for the time being.

The Mitte district in the German capital said it hopes to explore a plan for Japan and South Korea to reach a compromise on the display. The installation of "comfort women" statues outside of South Korea, in addition to those placed near Japanese diplomatic facilities in Seoul and Busan, has been a source of tension between the two Asian countries.

On Thursday, the Mitte district announced it had rescinded approval for the statue erected last month and called for its removal by Wednesday, amid objections from Tokyo.

Following the decision, a pro-South Korean civic group in Berlin lodged a protest with local authorities and filed a petition with a Berlin court to suspend the district order.

In South Korea, a group of 113 politicians, including lawmakers, submitted a letter to the German Embassy in Seoul on Tuesday, expressing regret and concern over the district's move last week.

A group of about 200 people, including Koreans, also gathered in front of the statue in the Mitte district and voiced opposition to its removal.

In revoking its approval for the display, the district had argued that the statue was related to a conflict between two states, with district head Stephan von Dassel saying that such an installation in Germany was not appropriate.

In Tokyo, the government's top spokesman said Wednesday that Japan will closely watch the situation and seek support for its stance on the comfort women issue.

"We will continue efforts to receive a fair evaluation from the international community," Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said in a press conference.

In South Korea, Lee Yong Soo, a 91-year-old former comfort woman, demanded that the statue be kept in Berlin, calling the city "the capital of the world's conscience."

"Germany is also one of the countries defeated in World War II along with Japan. But it was very different from Japan as it took the lead by apologizing for its past history," she said at a press conference in Seoul.

Issues stemming from Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, including reparations for wartime labor, have hampered the building of friendly ties between the two Asian neighbors.

Japan maintains that the two countries already settled wartime issues when they sealed a bilateral agreement in 1965, while many in South Korea believe that Tokyo has not repented enough for its militarist past, including the comfort women issue.

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48 Comments
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Finally some common sense. Good for Germany and Korea, seems like Japan is going to learn a lesson.

-22 ( +24 / -46 )

Following the decision, a pro-South Korean civic group in Berlin lodged a protest with local authorities and filed a petition with a Berlin court to suspend the district order.

I would really be interested in what grounds do they have to complain about the recission of the approval. If they want to make a protest (temporary use of the streets for freedom of assembly), certainly any restriction of that would be an infringement of right. But a permit for a permanent statue?

12 ( +23 / -11 )

That's a bit rich.  Anyone heard of the Joy Division?

6 ( +17 / -11 )

Seems that statue building is Korea's leading business. It will soon outperform Samsung and Hyundai :)

In South Korea, a group of 113 politicians including lawmakers submitted a letter to the German Embassy in Seoul on Tuesday, expressing regret and concern over the district's move last week.

Very ironically, one of the 113 politicians above is Rep. Yoon Mee-hyang who is suspected of having embezzled the comfort women fund (narrowly escaping arrest and charge thanks to parliamentary immunity) Of course the statue is important to her for own survival and sources of income.

19 ( +33 / -14 )

Shouldn't that be a statue of a Polish or French woman? Or the women in the Death Camps who were forced to serve the other camp prisoners? Don't the people of Berlin know what Heuchelei means?

14 ( +35 / -21 )

There is no attempt in reconciliation with the modern day peace loving people of Japan,

This a ghastly political monstrosity, motivated by direct activism from the South Korean Government.

14 ( +32 / -18 )

Koreans should not bring bilateral issues to other countries. If they try to think about global comfort women, compared to Japan, the German government has an even bigger problem with its own comfort women, who have never apologized to their own country.

14 ( +26 / -12 )

OssanAmerica: "Shouldn't that be a statue of a Polish or French woman?"

We know you despise South Koreans, at least in terms of history, to the point where you have literally said they were willing and eager workers and not "sex slaves", so this will be hard for you to get, but it's not just about the women coerced and often raped and murdered by the IJA (and bayonetted if became pregnant!), but it is about the suffering of women in general during times of war, and so it does represent the Polish an French woman you wish to be in the Korean's place as well. Unless, that is, you're against the plight of women during war being shown in general.

-8 ( +24 / -32 )

Shouldn't that be a statue of a Polish or French woman? Or the women in the Death Camps who were forced to serve the other camp prisoners? Don't the people of Berlin know what Heuchelei means?

Seriously, such are supposed to be out there in the city. Note that from the 1945 Berlin liberation to the earlier postwar occupation period, many local German women were also victims of assault by the Allied (mostly Soviet Red Army). "R@pe of Berlin" shouldn't be forgotten.

I may be more understanding or tolerant if the statue is meant for general global issues (e.g. violence against women and marginalized). Though Korean activists insist so, the ongoing statue export and campaign have obviously targeted a specific history event and a particular country. It's a symbol of hate and hatred against solely a particular group of people. Putting it in Berlin is also nonsense and out of context.

16 ( +27 / -11 )

A bit rich coming from Berlin of all cities lol

11 ( +22 / -11 )

Though I personally would have not allowed to keep the statue I feel hilarious how the usual pro Japan right wingers of this forum now start to spit poison against Germany and try to even preach about war.

Well Germany have it’s own statues and memorials for the Jewish and it’s in good relationship with Israel,plus in Germany there is something called alternance between the CDU and SPD,something unheard in the LPD oyaji Nippon kaigi reign.

Oh and if someone wants to put Poland in between I can’t remember a Japanese PM bowing in front of the people of their crimes as Willy Brandt did in Poland.

Right wingers with their best hypocrisy.

-9 ( +18 / -27 )

haha protecting the victimized mentality, i can't wait until SK back stabs the germans, it would happen eventually and hillarious to see

6 ( +22 / -16 )

Extremely regrettable. Summon the German Ambassador and let them know in no uncertain terms the statue MUST be removed within one week.

It would be disappointing for Germany to have threats of trade sanctions placed on them. Do the right thing Germany - tear down that statue.

15 ( +27 / -12 )

Bt SK ate huge sums of money from Japan n forgot bilateral treaty of 1965 then 2015 amnesia n we should put Germany here its the tool of wheel chair ridden Sk way like my uncles mothers cousins brothers adopted sister was a madame not CW kinda of thing

15 ( +24 / -9 )

This could all be forgotten about if Japan would just stop being so stubborn and show a little remorse for its wartime atrocities.

-17 ( +12 / -29 )

Reversing an earlier order to remove a statue symbolizing Korean women in Japanese wartime military brothels, authorities in central Berlin said Tuesday they will allow the installation to remain for the time being.

It's still unfair and unreasonable. Remove it first and immediately to get back to the scratch point, at status quo for a comprehensive review over the installation plan. Letting it remain "for the time being" is already politically driven.

15 ( +24 / -9 )

Good for Germany and Korea, seems like Japan is going to learn a lesson.

The lesson that Korea is an unreliable and petulant country? Already learned. Good luck with China.

14 ( +25 / -11 )

This wouldn’t be an issue if Korea wasn’t so obsessed with victimizing itself that multiple people set themselves on fire at protests or tried to put stickers in classrooms saying “This device was made by a war criminal”.

Remembering victims of war is one thing. Indoctrinating children to hate is another.

14 ( +24 / -10 )

As usual, Koreans are very childish. They forget that they helped increase of comfort women and fought against the Allies with Japan.

4 ( +19 / -15 )

Women forced into sexual slavery, raped several times a day, every day. It happened, stop making excuses for it. Stop condoning rape.

-13 ( +10 / -23 )

Once again Japan not happy that South Korea remembers and commemorates the abused women.

They have every right to do so and Japan has no right to complain. This just makes the world see Japan as they did back in 1945. It harms Japans image and accomplishes nothing. Learn to be silent.

-17 ( +7 / -24 )

"We will continue efforts to receive a fair evaluation from the international community," Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato.

"Germany is also one of the countries defeated in World War II along with Japan. But it was very different from Japan as it took the lead by apologizing for its past history," she said at a press conference in Seoul.

That right-wing, conservative, jingoist individuals fail to see the heinous crime as requiring more than mea culpa, speaks to a blindness that lacks any rationality and is shamelessly ignoring fact.

Germany, unlike Japan, not only atones for the evil it committed but, has preserved the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau to remind of the horrors committed during the Holocaust and it remains an ever-present reminder and symbol for future generations. Nationalist fervor is discouraged along with the pride that feeds such a venture and pure evil. Nor are the misdeeds of its rulers exorcised from history textbooks.

Japan committed numerous atrocities and the deafness and arrogance exhibited by such as former PM Abe and those of his station bespeaks of an inability to accept reality, in so many facets. Let alone to atone for such. The USA also exhibits such arrogance by not apologizing (at a minimum) for the slaughter of innocents in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the firebombing of Tokyo.

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

Wow SK unlike Japan believes the lies told by the sister of the cousin aunt who is a step father of the cousins girlfriends cousin whose half sister heard the story of Madame not CW thats how it gets weird so after eating so much money n receiving so much apologies still saying SK didnt get any is Gangnam Style

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Regrettable the Koreans can get over it after countless apologies and reparations being paid by Japan. Once the borders in Europe open up again, I feel like going there and put a flag of imperial Japan on the lap of the statue just to trigger some Koreans.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Did Japan (along with most if not all countries) do wrongs during WWII? Yes.

But, soap operas have nothing on this story . . . the never-ending story of no apology nor amount of $$$ will be enough. All SK has to do is parade another victim in a wheelchair out and the tragedy play begins anew.

While that's sad, what is amusing is reading the lunatic fringe comments by some. Makes my day. Thanks for the sad laugh CitizenSmith, Luddite, Peter14, and Richard Gallager.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Anyone heard of the Joy Division?

Sure. I loved Unknown Pleasures.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan should set up statues of Jewish victims of the Holocaust in front of German embassies around the world. These issues, supposedly ended with the signing of the peace treaty between Japan and S. Korea, must be kept alive so that rightist groups in S. Korea will get money from citizens. But please understand that I get the issue, and I don't like the word "comfort woman". I think "sex-slave" is more appropriate.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

The anti-Japan brigade out of South Korea and their supporters around the world will stop at nothing to forever demonize and antagonize all things Japan.

It is one thing to remember history, another to weaponize it and spread an international campaign to constantly antagonize Japan. There are now comfort women statues in American cities, and various other forms of misinformation being spread about Japan by Korean groups in America to include Dodko as well as the Sea of Japan controversy.

In South Korea, Lee Yong Soo, a 91-year-old former comfort woman, demanded that the statue be kept in Berlin, calling the city "the capital of the world's conscience."

"Germany is also one of the countries defeated in World War II along with Japan. But it was very different from Japan as it took the lead by apologizing for its past history," she said at a press conference in Seoul.

Interesting how she ignores the multiple apologizes given by Japanese prime ministers in regards to comfort women. And no mention of the Asian Women's Fund as well as the then landmark 2015 decision to compensate and apologize to comfort women either (the decision which was unceremoniously invalidated on a whim by the South Korean government, and the fate of the money allocated to compensate the comfort women never fully accounted for; one South Korean activist was charged with using some of that money to enrich herself and her family).

10 ( +17 / -7 )

So will these statues start popping up in other countries too? I think these statues will make it more harder to have any dialog and will make Japan dig in its heels more.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Can someone please explain to me why so many people in this discussion are against the statue?

I thought the statue was to remember the victims and act as a reminder of the atrocities so that it can never be committed again in the future.

People say that Japan has apologized but what good is an apology if you're trying to silence the victims and stopping them from acknowledging the victims?

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

I can’t remember a Japanese PM bowing in front of the people of their crimes as Willy Brandt did in Poland.

Interesting aside but Willy Brandt was an assumed name used to avoid arrest by the Nazi's. His real name was Herbert Ernst Carl Frahm. He took the name Willy Brandt upon fleeing the Nazis in Germany. He spent WWII in exile first in Norway until he was arrested by German soldiers, released and fled to Sweden for the remainder of the war. His German citizenship had been revoked around 1938 for his close association with socialists, particularly those in Spain during their civil war where he was a reporter. He gained Norwegian citizenship during his exile in Sweden circa 1940 or 41. He didn't return to Germany until 1946. The reality is he had nothing to apologize for as he was as much a victim of the Nazis as any of the other groups the Nazis persecuted.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Time for some Japanese activists to "inform" the German embassy about the real meaning and wrong information on that billboard next to the statue.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Spreading hate throughout the world. Will this ever end? I refuse to apologize for the crimes of my ancestors. With the exception of some very old people, the people that f Japan are innocent. We have committed no foulness against the Korean people.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Come on Berlin. They have been compansated And it's time to forget and forgive just like us Australians have done

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Can someone please explain to me why so many people in this discussion are against the statue?

I thought the statue was to remember the victims and act as a reminder of the atrocities so that it can never be committed again in the future.

Because it has been put there to embarrass, shame and bully Japan, thats why. Koreans hate Japan - thats a given. But to attempt to influence a traditional ally of Japan - Germany - into also bullying Japan is despicable.

Secondly - no normal nation in 2020 erects statues, only nations intent on propoganda, hatred and nationalism. Statues are relics, unimportant in this age for mature nations.

Germany had better hurry up and remove that statue before Japan takes action against them.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

I refuse to apologize for the crimes of my ancestors.

Well done, refusing to do something no one is asking you to do.

Now whether the nation of Japan should formalize an apology is another question.

That all said, Japan did make a good-faith effort to negotiate a final agreement so that both nations could move forward, and after coming to agreement, the Koreans ripped it up, and offered nothing in its place. So it's hard to feel bad about any complaints by the Korean government. They are the ones negotiating in bad faith.

Nevertheless, Japan still could formalize an apology, and even put up some statues of their own, as a good-faith gesture. The world would recognize such, and Korea would look silly for continuing to complain. Unfortunately, I don't see the Japanese government taking this step, even though it would be the right thing to do, and wouldn't cost them a thing.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

As a S. Korean citizen, I do not like those statues, which symbolize the totemism rooted in some Koreans (and Japanese, too). But, it was the Japanese government who caused this fuss. It is basically a civilian matter, and any government should not meddle in. It is deplorable that the Japanese government and many Japanese do not tell the difference between the state and the civilian, as they have been so much obedient to the government and society. We call it collectivism. Many Japanese do not seem to recognize this problem.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

As a S. Korean citizen, I do not like those statues, which symbolize the totemism rooted in some Koreans (and Japanese, too). But, it was the Japanese government who caused this fuss. It is basically a civilian matter, and any government should not meddle in. It is deplorable that the Japanese government and many Japanese do not tell the difference between the state and the civilian, as they have been so much obedient to the government and society. We call it collectivism. Many Japanese do not seem to recognize this problem.

The statues are financed and sited by political organizations who use these statues as a fund raising tool. The funds are used to elect officials friendly to their particular cause. It is a bald faced lie to claim the statues are "civilian", whatever that mean. They are a political statement by a conservative elected officials and their party apparatus in South Korea used to further their political agenda. Your post is just more proof that the South Koreans are not being honest.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

japan should place a bowl n few 1 won coins in it n write the word “apology” n place it in the palm of every statue so money m apology to statues

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japan is hypocritical about WWII and it makes it look childish , uncaring and bad to the rest of the world.

Come on Berlin. They have been compansated And it's time to forget and forgive just like us Australians have done.

Australia has forgiven but we will never forget. We will never stop remembering and commemorating those starved to death in Burma by Imperial Japanese soldiers. The nurses executed on a beach after their medical ship was sunk. The executions of unarmed soldiers who were prisoners. We will never forget that and anyone, ANYONE who attempts to complain about that will be put in their place. We have the right to remember and mourn them. Erect statues of them to help future generations remember.

Forgiveness is a hard thing but Australia has moved on and recognizes that following generations in Japan were not responsible for the war or what happened. But we reserve the right to remember and mourn in our own way. South Korea also has the right to mourn those who suffered. Japan has the right to mourn those who died in service to their emporer and who died believing they were defending their country. Every country does it in the way they choose to, it is not for anyone to criticize how people mourn or show grief. Nobody can tell Japan it should not morn or erect statues of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. This is not "weaponized hatred" against any nation. It is deeply personal and must be respected by all for healing to be complete and forgiveness to be achieved.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

KurukiToday 01:31 am JST

People say that Japan has apologized but what good is an apology if you're trying to silence the victims and stopping them from acknowledging the victims?

Since someone has taken the first two paragraphs, I'll do this one, and here it is. From a societal point of view, the point of an apology is to settle the dispute and resume normal relations between the wrongdoer and victim. A nastier way to put it is that it is indeed to "silence the victim".

Have you ever had this experience as a kid? You were wronged. The adults agree you were wronged, and demand the wrongdoer to apologize. He does, perhaps not too sincerely (to your ears), but he mouths the words. If you press the point, it's very likely the adults will tell you to hush. Sometimes, they might even approach you BEFOREHAND, to say "OK, Wrongdoer's going to apologize in a few minutes. I want you to forgive him (that is, to let this matter drop)."

Normally, it is society's role to defend the wrongdoer's interests, once he has apologized - that's why in most cases the wrongdoer does not have to and can focus on looking contrite. Unfortunately, the world when it comes to the comfort women has dropped the ball and this has only caused South Korea to grow a most anti-social stance to this issue. Only after the 2015 fiasco does the world finally begin to wake up an inch and realize who the intransigent one is, and even then they ask Japan to eat the judiciary decision even though it is crap - any country that doesn't think it is should prove the strength of their convictions by allowing other nations sole discretion in interpreting and adjudicating their treaties.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Unfortunately, the world when it comes to the comfort women has dropped the ball and this has only caused South Korea to grow a most anti-social stance to this issue. Only after the 2015 fiasco does the world finally begin to wake up an inch and realize who the intransigent one is,

The world see's that it is Japan continuing to complain and belittle a nation erecting statues and memorializing victims who suffered at the hands of Japanese soldiers. It is not for the guilty country to complain or interfere.

No treaty between Japan and ANY nation that suffered and endured Japanese aggression during the war includes forgetting the victims or stopping memorials and statues being erected in their memory. Japan constantly picks on South Korea and Comfort women in particular. The world watches with regret as this shows current generations have learned nothing, especially how to show respect for, or remorse to its victims.

It is not the world that has dropped the ball on this issue, it is Japan. The world will NEVER view this issue as anything other than women being raped and victimized by often brutal Imperial Japanese soldiers who did not know if they would be alive in a day or two.

Some can dispute the facts that the world has recorded on this issue and attempt to minimize it or call South Korea names for its remembrance. But the world knows and remembers and as long as Japan keeps disrespecting the victims and there descendants, it continues to leave a big question mark on whether Japan understands what it really did during a war it started, and if it is truly sorry for what it was responsible for.

No need for further apologies, just silence and respect. Japan needs to let it go and leave South Korea to erect whatever statues it thinks appropriate. The victims were not the Japanese.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Peter14 Today 04:56 pm JST

It is not for the guilty country to complain or interfere.

And it is not for the victim country to constantly attempt to extort more concessions.

You are correct that usually the apologizer doesn't defend himself. However, that is only possible in a situation where 3rd parties are willing to play fair broker to ensure the victim doesn't get too full of himself. Korea already got its concession on the issue. The world refused to acknowledge that and continued to find excuses for South Korea. THAT is their failure.

Even from the viewpoint of eliciting further apologies, this is a darn stupid idea because no one with responsibility can make concessions where liability is infinite.

People like to bring up Germany, but I think the BIGGEST difference is that Europe plays by the rules. Further, the Cold War was on and they needed Germany's economy and 12 divisions against the Soviet Union. As a result, Germany's liability is finite and everyone knew that. That's why things went relatively well over there, and even then every so often their concession is rewarded by buttholes demanding more.

Japan needs to let it go and leave South Korea to erect whatever statues it thinks appropriate. 

From the viewpoint of Japan, those statues are NOTHING but disadvantage. All things can only have a positive or negative effect on impressions unless they incite absolutely no association at all, and this statue can only be a negative. Since everyone generally concedes modern Japanese bear no culpability for any real or perceived faults of ancestral events now ~80 years old, there is a clear problem and logical inconsistency in demanding that they bear the disadvantage.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

SJ,

I understand your apathy, indifference to the political inter governmental diplomacy

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday 05:46 pm JST

I have not indicated anything in the area of money or reparations for comfort women. My issue is that Japan complains about statues and memorials to the comfort women. Japan has attempted to settle the issue of reparations and can not be faulted for its past settlements. It is the attitude of many Japanese that the topic itself should not be mentioned and statues should not be erected. I find that position offensive.

Complaining about continued seeking of more money is one thing. Attempting to stop the mourning and remembering and talking about the horrendous treatment of those women is another. Settling reparations is different issue separate to remembering and teaching other generations what happened and why.

So Japan can be commended for trying to reach settlement, but can be criticized for trying to stop South Korea from expressing its sorrow of the event.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The whole event demonstrates to me that Japanese diplomacy and soft power really suck.

After decades of friendly relations with the West, they can't cultivate any meaningful influence of Japanese flavors in the West. Meanwhile, South Korea have made huge strides to the point that most US Congresspeople believed in the war crimes of Japan. San Francisco remained defiant against Japanese protests was a prime example of such. BTS and Korean Wave are furthering the Korean soft power way beyond anything that Japanese have done in the 20th century.

Next, China and Vietnam have been able to get whatever they want in the last decade. If there are political dissidents, China will assassinate them, while Vietnam will kidnap them. Berlin voices objections but utlimately, they will bow down to China and Vietnam because Germans are completely relied economically on both nations for trade surpluses. I don't see Japan can do the same level of both authoritarian countries, which both Abe and Suga greatly admired, since the Japanese thugs can't even force Western publishing houses to retract the books on Comfort Women. China has been doing many M&A deals, economic espionage and sabotage, while the EU simply watches. Vietnam did the same thing but sprinkled with transnational crimes on an epic level, where they became the largest smuggler of illicit goods and human traffickers in Europe (hence the tragedy of 39 people in ice truck at UK), and the EU did nothing against Vietnam at all. I am using the examples of China and Vietnam because both countries never have the high level of relationship with both SK and Japan, yet they were able to get the EU kowtowing at them after doing alot of illegal craps.

I am here speaking with a pragmatic mind. I don't want to personally intrude myself in the right or wrong on the South Korean global advertisement of Japanese war crimes. However, I just want to point how the Japanese government is simply powerless in the diplomatic and cultural arenas. South Korea simply says whatever they want, and the world leaders will still believe in them more than Japan.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

All excellent points above by Septim Dynasty. I would add that with some exceptions, the only Westerners (whom I define as any person who was mostly raised in the U.S., Canada, the Central and Western European democracies, Australia, and/or New Zealand and attended secondary and primary schools where the major language of that country was the medium of instruction) willing to strongly support the Japanese side regarding the comfort women issue are people consumed by feelings of self-loathing. In other words, people who zealously defend Japan as a way of compensating and making up for the fact that they were born and/or raised in a place that they've come to hate.

It doesn't help that Japan's official position on the Korean comfort women is that at least some of them were not coerced into the system and voluntarily entered the sex trade. Yes, at least some Korean girls and women wanted to have sex near a battlefield in China with multiple Japanese soldiers per day! That's a winning argument there...

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

MASSWIPEToday  01:20 am JST

It doesn't help that Japan's official position on the Korean comfort women is that at least some of them were not coerced into the system and voluntarily entered the sex trade. Yes, at least some Korean girls and women wanted to have sex near a battlefield in China with multiple Japanese soldiers per day! That's a winning argument there...

The South Korean Professor Sarah Soh as well as Prof Park Yu-Ha also determined exactly that, that some were previously in the trade, some were not. Some joined willingly some did not. Some were deceived and some were forced. Some were sold by their families to settle debts. In the case of the latter, Prof Park was actually prosecuted for voicing her opinion, because it countered the narrative that "all comfort women were kidnapped". Until South Korea becomes willing to treat this issue honestly as historical fact, there can never be an end to the CW arguments. It would behoove anyone to read the books by these South Korean professors before blindly swallowing the CW activist narrative.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

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