AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

Comfort Women from the Japanese conservative perspective

Posted by ampontan on Thursday, March 29, 2007

Now that a month has passed after the initial controvery erupted, it should be apparent that the deluge of blather about comfort women has been simply a superficial exercise in the indulgence of emotions. The participants in this exercise have treated the facts as so many cheap fashion accessories that can be used or discarded to suit the occasion–when they’ve bothered to research them at all.

We all know that people see what they want to see and overlook the rest, sometimes deliberately. That’s true of both left and right, bloggers and the mainstream media, and even the hired experts, who are delighted at the opportunity for a turn on stage in the role of omniscipundit. It’s yet another example of how a debate about any issue these days quickly becomes a waste of time.

Well, let me add a caveat–for some it is hugely enjoyable as entertainment.

Be that as it may, we have seen the anti-Japan position in spades, starting with what was probably a deliberately mistranslated statement in the New York Times and continuing with a House Subcommittee hearing featuring two women from South Korea who openly acknowledged that they weren’t coerced into the business by the Japanese military. (One actually snuck out of the house to volunteer; the other was tricked by a Korean procurer.)

What we haven’t seen in English is a concise, yet comprehensive, summary by Japanese defenders. I’ve been looking around and finally found something that seems to fit the bill. Here is a statement by a group called the Japanese Policy Institute on their website. It is also worth reading their website preface. (They also have a Japanese site here.) This is their conclusion in the matter of the comfort women.

Though it is true that there were “comfort women” in war zones, it is definitely false that these women had been abducted by the Japanese military. In this sense, “comfort women” controversy has already been settled.

When I was a high school student in the Tidewater area of Virginia, one of my best friends was a boy whose father was a Presbyterian minister. I was at his house one day when I heard his father complaining about the Northern Presbyterians. At that time (and perhaps still today), the Presbyterians in the US were divided between a Northern branch and a Southern branch who were often at loggerheads despite the absence of significant theological differences.

I asked my friend’s father why the two groups had such trouble getting along. “Oh, some people are still interested in fighting the Civil War,” he answered. This was fully a century after Lee had handed over his sword at Appomattox.

It’s obvious that the same applies here–some people are still interested in fighting World War II. Isn’t it curious that while the arena itself is deserted, save for a few groundskeepers, the stands are packed with brawlers from the box seats to the bleachers? And it’s fascinating that most of the people who want to duke it out weren’t even alive during the war. Indeed, the parents of many of those people weren’t alive during the war either.

The oddest phenomenon of all? The people most interested in fighting World War II are those from the winning side. It seems as if the annihilation of the defeated nation–Imperial Japan–wasn’t enough for them.

The enormous sums paid in reparations weren’t enough for them, either. They’re still banging their tin cups on the pavement. Some of them won’t accept any money unless it comes in a specially wrapped package with an apology written in a particular kind of ink by the Entire Japanese Nation and delivered in person by the Emperor with his forehead pressed to the pavement. And even then, some would probably still turn up their nose if, with their superior discernment, they decided that the apology wasn’t “sincere”.

One would hope that they don’t expect any sympathy from today’s Japan. But then again, that’s probably what they’re hoping for–no sympathy from today’s Japan.

It gives them the chance to continue entertaining themselves by fighting a war that’s been finished and done with for more than 60 years.

Then there are the folks whose entertainment is to be found in bashing Japan for whatever reason seems to be handy at the moment. But we don’t have to spend time talking about them.

After all, they do know who they are.

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38 Responses to “Comfort Women from the Japanese conservative perspective”

  1. Michael said

    Very interesting post, and I agree with it. One point I would suggest may also be relevant. That is that the area of contention is not about the fact of comfort women existing or whether force was used to coerce them. These are, as you say, matters of history and the past. What is at issue however is when leading political figures deny the past. While the Prime Ministers of Japan have not done this, a small number of influential public figures have both directly and in school text books. This is not uniqe to Japan, nor something worthy of front page headlines, but it is a CURRENT issue, and objecting to this behaviour is not a continuation of an historical war but a debate about freedom of thought and precisely the point you are making: letting go of the past by acceptance of its reality.

  2. […] “One month after the initial controvery erupted, it should be apparent by now that the content of the recent deluge of articles and talk about comfort women has been largely superficial and based on emotions rather than facts,” reports Ampontan in his latest update, which takes a look at the conservative perspective of the issue. [Link] […]

  3. yasuyasu said

    Hi Ampontan

    Many Japanese will sympathize with your opinion in many respects.
    And,it is very interesting that a Japanese right-winger(?) is compared to Confederate.

    If a purpose of “Japan bashing” is only mental sufficiency and financial support of the victorious nation, it’s the same as a conventional problem for Japanese.
    However, it is big concern to develop into a new menace to interfere a Japanese social model.

  4. mitaker said

    It’s very interesting point you make about people still wanting to fight WWII. But, you say it’s the winning side that wants to continue fighting the war, but really, the Koreans and Chinese are not the winners of WWII. From the Japanese perspective, WWII was a war between the White world and the Colored world. The Chinese and Koreans who were conquered by the Japanese fought against the western world. In actuality, there were many Chinese and Koreans who lamented Japan’s loss. So in a sense, the losers of the war are blaming the other losers for their loss.

  5. old jap said

    Hi Michael
    you say “What is at issue however is when leading political figures deny the past.” and “a small number of influential public figures have both directly and in school text books.”. Would you tell me any example of such statement or relevant text? Always in this type of argument, “fact” is necessary. Such statement also should be transrated in accordance with the context where such statement is stated. Please be patient and give me any example.

  6. Chonko said

    I saw this posted from the Marmot’s hole:

    Scroll to 4:54.

    to 5:17.

    Pump up the volume if you want to hear out the original English.

    How typically Korean to highlight the only portion of a documentary which showcases emotionally bigoted statements against Japan by a former victim who obviously will have a severe bias against Japan. It’s as though Koreans really care little about presenting what happened in an objective manner. What really gets them foaming at the mouth with glee is when they hear a white person say the exact same racist bile that they preach 24/7. Nothing could make them happier. Only a Korean documentary would include such dialog from a person and try to tout it as proof or evidence that Japan can do no right. In most normal civilized countries, the use of biased remarks from obvious victims as propaganda and brainwashing is touted as very low class and disdainful journalism. Then again, this is Korea we are talking about so no surprises there…

    Koreans seem to have a really strange and cruel sense of “justice” and “happiness”. They seem to be the happiest when hurting the reputation of others who are rivals. Coming from such a mentality, their very poor display of sportsmanship in sports events is not surprising at all.

  7. jion999 said

    Mitaker

    I agree with your idea completely. People who like to fight with Japan and conquer it are not the real victors of WW2 but Chinese and Korean, who had been conquered by Japan in the modern history.

    In short, it is revenge. However, because they can not fight with Japan any more in this peaceful world, they are trying to conquer Japan with the history of Victors’ justice.

    The real victors of WW2 punished the war crimes of losers only after the war. It was unfair. But it was a reality of victors and losers. And Chinese and Korean who were not real victors are trying to exploit the authority of victors to revenge Japan.

    The case of Korean is very unique. They fought as Japanese during the war against victors. That is the main reason why they have made a desperate effort to distort history and pretend to be a victim of Japanese Empire.

    And Korean criticizes Japanese with the loudest voice, louder than any other victors of WW2.

  8. Leslie said

    Why is a position against forcing sexual slavery on hundreds of thousands of girls and women regarded as “Japan-bashing”?

  9. ampontan said

    When they refuse to admit the bare fact that many of those women signed up voluntarily for the money, others were tricked into it by Koreans and not Japanese, that the Koreans are counting the people who did it voluntarily and women pressed into service in factories (with no sex involved) as “sex slaves”, that Japan did everything required of it at the time by the victorious powers, and that they have already paid compensation to all the countries involved–including South Korea–if they still want to make it an issue after all that, it is Japan bashing.

  10. tomojiro said

    I agree with you, Ampontan. The problem is those words cannot spoken out by a Japanese. It would be taken immediatly as an appologetic explanation regardless of the background.

  11. jion999 said

    Tomojiro

    Japanese hate an apologetic explanation generally. However, because Japanese did not say back to the distorted charges, Korean refused to admit the bare fact about the reality of comfort women and made this controversy diplomatic problem between Japan and US.

    Fortunately, Ampontan-san and Matt-san show their sympathy to Japanese because they can read a lot of evidences written in Japanese.

    This means Japanese have to assert the truth by themselves in English to the world.

    It is nonsense to wait for many foreign people to study Japanese and try to read evidences written in Japanese.

    Chinese and Korean continue to attack Japan with distorted charges because Japan hesitates to fight back.

    Silence or apology does not work in this world.

  12. Leslie said

    Ampontan, are you calling the women who have testified that they were abducted and forced into sex slavery “liars”?

  13. ampontan said

    Leslie: Could you do some basic research on this issue first before you get all hot and bothered?

    Start here:
    https://ampontan.wordpress.com/2007/03/05/congress-backstabs-us-ally-times-lie-trashes-abe/

    Read *all the links*.

    Then you can answer some questions of your own. Such as, do you think everyone who testifies about something is always telling the truth? Do you think it is possible that Koreans will make up stories about Japan out of spite?

    When you’re done with all that, then you can get back to us.

  14. Leslie said

    “Hot and bothered”? Your condesention is not an answer to what was a simple question. Are you refusing to answer the question? Are the women who have testified, for example the testimonies here:
    http://www.cmht.com/cases_cwcomfort4.php
    Or the recent testimonies in the United States, are you saying the women who made these testimonies are liars?
    Because these are the women who are the subject of the issue at hand. You argue “many of those women signed up voluntarily for the money, others were tricked into it by Koreans” — but these are not the women I am asking about, you are shifting the subject. Can you understand that?
    Here’s an example — Mr. A is accused of raping a woman. He defends himself by saying that there are many women he did not rape. That’s a very dim defence, wouldn’t you say?

  15. jion999 said

    Leslie

    “are you saying the women who made these testimonies are liars?”

    Here’s an example — Mr. A is accused of raping a woman because of the woman’s testimony only.

    What country’s court sentences guilty to Mr. A because of the testimony only?

    There are many evidences that Korean comfort women (not Filipino or Dutch women – they were victims of individual war crimes) were recruited for money, and many Japanese ex-solders insist so. But they were all neglected in US house of representative.

    I don’t say those women are liars.

    They are victims of Koreans who make a desperate effort to distort the story and make it the material to criticize Japan.

    Imagine!
    If they confess they worked for Japanese solders for money, how Korean people treat them?

    “Chinirupa”? “Traitor”?

    They can not go back anymore.

    After fabricated the 2000 years history of Taekwando, what happened?

  16. Leslie said

    So your position is that the Korean sex slaves were willing whores and “victims of Koreans.”

    What about Ms. Chong Ok Sun, who “witnessed the Japanese torture a Korean girl who asked why they were forced to service up to forty men a day. A Japanese commander ordered her to be beaten with a sword while the other “comfort women” watched. The soldiers stripped the girl, tied her arms and legs, and rolled her over a board covered in nails “until the nails were covered with blood and pieces of her flesh.” She was then decapitated. One Japanese officer told the witnesses that “it’s easy to kill you all, easier than killing dogs” and suggested that the flesh of the dead girl would be boiled and the survivors forced to eat it.”
    Hwang v. Japan, Complaint, 5, No. 1:00CV02233 (D.D.C. September 18, 2000)

    This is in sworn testimony recorded by an American law firm. Is it your honest opinion that Ms. Chong Ok Sun was actually not harmed by Japanese, did not see what she says she saw, but instead was “a victim of Koreans”? I’m trying to understand you.

  17. jion999 said

    Leslie

    If any testimony is so reliable and important for you, could you please show us all of testimonies of family members whose daughters and sisters were abducted by Japanese solders?

    200,000 comfort women must have around 1 million family members.
    It must be serious incident for them to lose their daughters and sisters.

    How many testimonies did you get from them?
    How many Korean men resisted those abductions and were killed by Japanese solders?

    And when and where they made a riot or demonstration to criticize Japan in 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. Can you show any news article or pictures?

    We are talking about large-scale inhuman crime of Japanese Empire if it is true.

    It is meaningless to pick up a one or two testimonies and insist whole story must be true.

  18. jion999 said

    Leslie

    In 1970s and 80s, so many Korean Taekwando players insisted Taekwando had 2000 years history and broadcasted it in the world.

    But it was a lie.

    People prefer to insist what is convenient for them. That is the reason why they must find evidences.

  19. Leslie said

    jion could you please stay for a moment with the question that is on the table? How can we imagine to deal with thousands of people if you won’t deal with even one?

    Is it your opinion that Ms. Chong Ok Sun is lying in her testimony, that she made this up, that she is somehow a victim not of the Japanese but of the Koreans?

  20. jion999 said

    Leslie

    Why western people believed the 2000 years history of Taekwondo which Korean fabricated?

    Because they didn’t have any knowledge about oriental martial arts.

    “Testimony” of Korean was everything for them and they believed it.

    However, because Taekwondo has become so famous, many evidences were exposed and they found that history was fabricated.

    http://winstonstableford.com/identity.html

    Now, Korean old women are criticizing Japanese and shouting and crying in US.

    Many western people who don’t have any knowledge about the history of Japan and Korea would feel sympathy to them and believe the “testimony” without evidences.

    But if this controversy becomes so famous in the world and many evidences in Japan are translated and introduced in the world, what would happen?

    They would understand they were deceived by Korean.

    That situation must be more serious than Hwang Useok incident for Korean.

  21. jion999 said

    Leslie

    Nobody knows whether the testimony of Ms. Chong Ok Sun is true or not.
    There is only testimony, no evidences.

    But it is not the point.

    You mix up a rape incident with large-scale inhuman crime of Japanese Empire (if it is true).

    Even if one American GI in Korean raped a Korean woman, it can’t be the evidence that US government ordered its soldiers and abducted 200,000 women secretly and raped and killed them.

    Don’t you agree?

  22. Leslie said

    I’m sorry jion but I am not interested in discussing martial arts, and can’t see why you would imagine I was. It seems you’d like to present a good image of Japan to Westerners, but honestly all I’m getting here are distractions and denials. It’s not a question of your English ability, it is something more about maturity — I don’t know if you are an adolescent, but truthfully your style of discussion comes across as such.

  23. jion999 said

    Leslie

    So you mean you are so matured to believe the testimony of no. 16 without evidences and imagine Japanese must be like a devil and hate them?

  24. jion999 said

    Leslie

    If naïve people read the testimony of no. 16, they must be shocked and hate Japanese easily.

    Because they must have many “knowledge” about brutally of Japanese, it would be easy to believe it without any evidences.

    And such kind of people continues to criticize Japanese forever, with the name of justice.

    However, do you really believe such kind of judgment is fair?

    Does the court of you country sentence guilty to innocent people without evidences?

    Do you understand why only Japanese war crimes are criticized again and again?

    Do you really believe the solders of victors never raped local women?

    Any war crimes of Victors were not punished after WW2.

    Why? Because Japanese lost the war. Victor’s justice is still very strong in this world.

    And naïve people like you believe in the Victor’s justice and hate the underdog forever with the name of justice.

  25. jion999 said

    As I told, it is important that Japanese refute against the distorted charges.

    But it is more effective that non-Japanese assert that comfort women controversy is Japan-basing and hypocrisy of victor’s justice.

    This topic is very difficult to deal with because war crime argument, feminism, prostitution argument, and anti-Japan feeling of Korean are mixed up.

    The discussion could be very emotional without any evidences or logics like the above one.

    The book of Iris Chang made a great success in US in spite of many mistakes because the writer was a young beautiful Chinese-American, not an old ugly communist man from Chinese main land.

    I like to convert Mr. Ampontan to young beautiful white American. (笑)

  26. jion999 said

    I mean young beautiful white American women. (笑)

  27. jion999 said

    As for the comment of Leslie No. 16 about the testimony of comfort woman, Ms. Chong Ok sun, I did not expect someone would believe her story.

    She said she was abducted and raped by Japanese soldiers, and she witnessed the other comfort woman was killed and boiled and eaten…….by Japanese.

    It is like a horror movie. Or any kind of joke?

    This is from UN report by notorious Ms. Coomaraswamv.

    http://www.comfort-women.org/coomaras.htm

    If you read the “ANNEX” of this report, you would know who this comfort woman is;

    Ms. Chong Ok Sun Former Comfort Woman (from Pyongyang)

    She was the comfort women selected in North Korea.

    Naïve people who are cheated by the “testimony” of her easily without any evidences had better study about the dark history of North Korea and the current political situation of that kingdom.

    P.S.

    The report calls North Korea as “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”.

    Even the name of this country is a big joke, either.

  28. tomohisa said

    Jion999

    You have a lot of misunderstanding about history, for example, chainese and korea didn’t stand the same point when consider WWII. you look to think that korea was a victor of it, but your country was a part of japan during the war. Don’t ignore the korean country asked to join to japan before 1909. actually your country has a responsibility of that war as well.

    just you have to study that again before post your comments.

    sorry for bothering you, ampontan.

  29. jion999 said

    tomohisa

    I don’t understand your point.

    Do you like to insist like this?

    Mongolians and Koreans invaded Japan in 13c.

    But it was not the fault of Korea because Koreans were followers of Mongolians.

    Koreans fought in WW2 as Japanese.

    But it was not the fault of Korea because Koreans were followers of Japanese.

    Koreans killed many Vietnamese people in Vietnam War.

    But it was not the fault of Korea because Koreans were followers of Americans.

    Dictators of generals of Korea made a lot of bad things.

    But it was not the fault of Korea because Koreans were forced by the Chinirupa.

    Korea is a country of a justice because Korea has never invaded foreign countries before.

    It is a silly talk.

  30. jion999 said

    tomohisa

    If my knowledge of law is correct, Koreans must be guilty for many invasions not as a principal offender but as an accomplice.

    And the accomplice criticizes the principal offender most after arresting.

    Just like Miyauchi who is criticizing Horiemon to make his punishment lighter.

    Most disgusting show of human being.

  31. Sur said

    All the problems are inside of Korean people themselves.
    They will not stop whining until they get over “inferiority complex”.

  32. jion999 said

    Tomohisa

    Do you know the reality of this world?

    Koreans who criticize Japanese with comfort women controversy prefer to mention about Nanjing Massacre, either.

    Chinese who criticize Japanese with Nanjing massacre prefer to mention about Bataan death march, either.

    Everybody prefers to exploit the authority of stronger man.

    And when the question comes to Bataan death march, Americans who are the main actor of Victors of WW2 sentence solemnly that it is a fact, not a debate.

    And Koreans and Chinese smile and laugh at Japanese behind Americans.

    This is the mechanism of Japan Basing.

    In short, this is the victor’s justice and its derivatives.

    If Bataa death march is a fact without a debate, Nanjing massacre must be a fact with fabricated pictures, and comfort women controversy must be a fact with a testimony from North Korea without evidences.

    It is not logical, but it goes on in this world.

  33. overunder said

    jion99 why did marmot ban you?

  34. jion999 said

    overunder

    Because Robert have gone 화병. (笑)

  35. jion999 said

    overunder

    But I think he went 화병 not because of my comments but because of the comments of shakuhachi (Matt of Occidentalism).

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2007/03/29/and-from-the-japanse-right/#comment-75719

  36. naima said

    Your sources which you have analyzed to formulate your ridiculous opinion about Japan’s faults and atrocities committed during WWII are ridiculous. Of course if you ONLY study documents and statements from the Japanese government you will receive nothing but the truth. Why don’t you educate yourself about the Rape of Nanking and the Korean Comfort Women, because I don’t want to waste my time trying to educate insufficient minds such as yourself. Only a complete idiot would come up with the assumptions which you have posted. oh, and BTW, Japan has STILL not paid any reprimands or carried out an apology for these two atrocities which they have bestowed upon mankind. I’m sure if your family was murdered right in front of your eyes, and you were stabbed with a bayonet multiple times, left to die, you would be demanding the same things that these poor victimized people are. The reason why they are still pressuring the Japanese government is because the damage that the Japanese did over half a century ago is still present. fucktard. If a Japanese soldier has cut out your uterus, 50+ years ago….you still won’t have a uterus today. Go and properly educate yourself. I pity you.

  37. naima said

    uhmm..considering that most of you guys don’t really read the news, or keep up with things, or are just plain stupid. The U.S. congress passed the House Resolution 121 in 2007, and many lawsuits have gone to the Japanese supremem court, and global support and attention have been formulated in support of the former comfort women. jion999, i am sure that those grandmas don’t pull these stories out of their ass, and feed themselves the drug 606, and create scars all over their own bodies, and mutilate their own vaginas, and create hearing loss, and consistent inflammation within their own bodies. hmmm…if the survivng 120 comfort women in Korea seem to ALL have such affects and an overwhelming majority of them are unmarried…SHOULDN’T that tell you SOMETHING? ㅎ

  38. mac said

    And a Happy Holiday to you too Naima … I hope your Christmas Day was a happier one than your 24th of December.

    Tell me something …? Yes, they were probably the same women that the Korea government put out to whore for the American occupation force and then the same again ones that the Korea government licensed for Japanese sex tourism in the 70s.

    Japanese apologies and war restitution? Yup, all done many times and paid up on time.

    Tell me, what is your personal interest in all this and what inspires you to post comments like that?

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