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The Japanese seem to be of the view that whatever they do will not be enough to satisfy the Koreans, so why bother?

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Ralph Cossa, president of the Pacific Forum CSIS think tank in Hawaii, referring to the wartime "comfort women" issue. (AP)

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Well, it's understandable. Koreans and Chinese diplomats have the expectation that they should receive some sort of apology at every encounter they have with Japanese. This is not only limited to diplomats. I knew Korean students who said they couldn't be friends with Japanese unless they had a deep understanding of the history of Japan's oppressive occupation of Korea. Good luck with making new friends....

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I went looking for the source article, and found a few references, but couldn't find if Mr. Cossa said anything further. The question is whether this is true, or not. If I were the PM of Japan, I'd sit down with the PM of S Korea and say: Look, let's work on resolving this. What, exactly would it take?

I fully expect there'd be no immediate answer, so I'd suggest a cooperative research committee designed to understand what a strong majority of S. Koreans AND Japanese would find satisfactory. It cannot be a committee comprising politicians or other civil leaders, it has to be composed of academics: sociologists, psychologists, economists, historians, etc.

There could be an advisory panel of civil leaders attached to the effort BUT, and this is really important: the proceedings have to be contained, and an objective study of the topic cannot be hijacked. After the initial study is complete, a program vetting its conclusions with the public would be engaged, and any necessary cycles of revision carried out.

Once a definitive course of action is found to be satisfactory, and mutually agreeable to all parties, the governments MUST lock it down as the official word henceforth. Both governments would have to say: here's the deal, now shut up, and let's get on with other business. One of the critical points everyone would have to agree on is that it's going to be painful, to some extent, for everyone - so toughen up, and get real.

The same could be done with China.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Xeno23

Not going to work since we tried that already in 1965 and see where we are now.

I hold no fantasy wishes with Korea since they are acting just like Joseon 150 years ago.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Not going to work since we tried that already in 1965"

Japan in 1965 did not recognize its involvement in the sex slaves. Not until 1993... and that was after an independent Japanese researcher (Japan dismissed the loads of evidence from non-Japanese) shoved the evidence in Japan's face. And then after it died down, Abe and others backtracked on the issue.

You're right, "Samurai," given such bad faith, it ain't ever going to work.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

JeffLee

Take a long hard look what's written within the treaty;

Article II

1 The High Contracting Parties confirm that the problems concerning property, rights, and interests of the two High Contracting Parties and their peoples (including juridical persons) and the claims between the High Contracting Parties and between their peoples, including those stipulated in Article IV(a) of the Peace Treaty with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, have been settled completely and finally.

2 The provisions of this Article shall not affect the following (excluding those which become the objects of special measures taken by either of the High Contracting Parties prior to the date of the signing of the present Agreement):

(a) The property, rights, and interests of the people of either High Contracting Party who have ever resided in the territory of the other High Contracting Party in the period between August 15, 1947, and the date of the signing of the present Agreement; and

(b) The property, rights, and interests of either High Contracting Party and its people which were acquired or brought under the control of the other High Contracting Party in the course of ordinary contacts after August 15, 1945.

3 As a condition to comply with the provisions of paragraph 2 above, no claims shall be made with respect to the measures relating to the property, rights, and interests of either High Contracting Party and its people which were brought under the control of the other High Contracting Party on the date of the signing of the present Agreement, or to all the claims of either High Contracting Party and its people arising from the causes which occurred prior to that date.

Article III

1 Any dispute between the High Contracting Parties concerning the interpretation or the implementation of this Agreement shall be settled primarily through diplomatic channels.

2 Any dispute which cannot be settled under the provision of paragraph 1 above shall be submitted for decision to an arbitral commission of three arbitrators; one to be appointed by the Government of each High Contracting Party within a period of thirty days from the date of receipt by the Government of either High Contracting Party from that of the other High Contracting Party of a note requesting arbitration of the dispute; and the third to be agreed upon by the two arbitrators so chosen or to be nominated by the Government of a third power as agreed upon by the two arbitrators within a further period of thirty days. However, the third arbitrator must not be a national of either High Contracting Party.

3 If, within the periods respectively referred to, the Government of either High Contracting Party fails to appoint an arbitrator, or the third arbitrator or the third nation is not agreed upon, the arbitral commission shall be composed of one arbitrator to be nominated by the Government of each of two nations respectively chosen by the Government of each High Contracting Party within a period of thirty days, and the third arbitrator to be nominated by the Government of a third power decided upon by agreement between the Governments so chosen.

4 The Governments of the High Contracting Parties shall accept decisions rendered by the arbitral commission established in accordance with the provisions of this Article.

Just like your ancestors 150 years ago never being able to abide what you had agreed upon. You people never learn do you.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If history were properly taught in the schools in Japan then that would be a start...........

4 ( +6 / -2 )

SBlue

The 1965 treaty is all fine & good from a compensation perspective, BUT as for admitting & dealing with history Japan sadly has been one huge epic FAIL!

Personally I don't think Japan needs to shell out $$$ unless it wants to, but clearly all the denial of the sex slaves is a non-starter with SKorea, China etc

The ball has been in Japans court for many decades now & Japan just wants to drop, get rid of the ball & say nothing, do nothing, clearly that aint working to well as I have long predicted.

Japans biggest problem is near total lack of sincerity & the denails of things that VERY WELL KNOWN outside Japan, while SKorea & China are looking stupid of late with their daft media campaigns bottom line is Japan COULD have dealt with all this ages ago & SHOULD be in a position to politely tell China & SKorea to buzz off!!!!

But alas Japan decided on a different path & look where we are, what a waste!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Excellent post GW.

"The Japanese seem to be of the view that whatever they do will not be enough to satisfy the Koreans, so why bother?"

Look it's simple. Germany could rave on and on about how they were forced into the war because of the way WW1 was settled, of that other people have done terrible things in war too. But they don't.

IF the PM of Germany, mayors of major cities (or minor cities for that matter) and leading figures of the public broadcasting bureau said similar comments to Japanese over the years, France, Holland, Jewish people would be up in arms too.

People keep saying "Japan has apologised many times", but I've lived here for over 20 years. I've heard more defences of WW2 Japan than I have apologies. Not to mention that every week I see men in black trucks playing war music - and nobody complaining about it.

Even 20 years ago I wondered why people didn't yell back at the black truck brigade or be embarrassed by them. It should be a national disgrace!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It is like a man saying to his girlfriend, "Look, I said sorry. Why are you still mad at me?"

There has never been a sense of shame or genuine remorse amongst the Japanese. Rather, it was delegated to a treaty and the odd statement by politicians.

So what does the Emporer have to say on the matter?

In 1984, Emperor Hirohito issued the following statement to Korean President Chun, Doo-Hwan, “It is indeed regrettable that there was an unfortunate past between us for a period in this century and I believe that it should not be repeated again.”

Akihito was a bit stronger:

This was followed years later by Emperor Akihito stating (1996), “There was a period when our nation brought to bear great sufferings upon the people of the Korean Peninsula. The deep sorrow that I feel over this will never be forgotten.”

Still, not quite an apology...

Japan has defined how the slate shall be wiped clean and the crimes forgiven. It believes that a diplomatic agreement and a few words given to a primeminister can make everything right again.

Forgive and forget. Well, Japan has done the latter, but Asia is not ready to do the former.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Right wingers would typically never apologize. Most conservatives are like that in all countries. The problem is that the left in Japan are too weak and ineffectual and in fact aren't even trying to take power from the right.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This guy is an ignorant creepoid.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

GW

No the ball is in Korea's court to actually provide physical evidence (not just hearsay or conjecture) and also provide an constructive argument against testimonies made to allies forces right after the war.

No there is no apologies needed. Cry me a crocodile river if you want but absolutely not necessary after 1965.

Peacetrain

Korea is neither an equivalent of France, Holland or Jewish, Korea is in the same position as Austria. Do you hear anything from them?

I hope you learn a little.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Japanese seem to be of the view that whatever they do will not be enough to satisfy the Koreans, so why bother?

That's true... you have to wonder what it WOULD take to satisfy them. I really detest the fact that my friends and loved ones in Japan are considered responsible for what was done in during the Imperial occupation and WW2.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh yeah one more point, if you read Article 3 paragraph 2 of the treaty, it stipulates;

"Any dispute which cannot be settled under the provision of paragraph 1 above shall be submitted for decision to an arbitral commission of three arbitrators; one to be appointed by the Government of each High Contracting Party within a period of thirty days from the date of receipt by the Government of either High Contracting Party from that of the other High Contracting Party of a note requesting arbitration of the dispute; and the third to be agreed upon by the two arbitrators so chosen or to be nominated by the Government of a third power as agreed upon by the two arbitrators within a further period of thirty days."

I have not heard of SK making this process to ANY and ALL arguments that had been made after this treaty had been signed even though Japan had made several approaches toward SK underlined by this treaty being turned down by the SK government.

Can anyone blame Japanese for giving up?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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