AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

WaPo’s Comfort Women Ad

Posted by ampontan on Friday, June 15, 2007

GI Korea is reporting on his ROK Drop blog that a group of “Japanese lawmakers” has taken out a full-page ad in the Washington Post stating that “no historical document has ever been found” proving the direct involvement of the Japanese government and military in conscripting comfort women.

Reader Infimum tipped us off that Occidentalism has a large copy of the full page ad itself, with the names of those signing it, here. It’s still a little difficult to read, but you can probably find ways to magnify it. Of interest is that several members of the primary opposition group, the Democratic Party of Japan, also endorsed it. Another prominent name on the document is that of Yoshiko Sakurai, a journalist who was the main anchor on Kyo no Dekigoto, a national news program that ran at roughly 11:00 p.m. for more than 50 years until September last year.

Of even greater interest is that the ad provides the URL for a 20-page article (.pdf file) by Prof. Ikuhiko Hata titled No Organized or Forced Recruitment.

This is worth reading for anyone who has an open mind on the issue. It reveals, for example, that Mike Honda, the sponsor of the House resolution, was also instrumental in the passage of the Hayden Act in the California state legislature. This act allowed parties to sue Japanese companies for “war crimes” a half-century after the fact, demonstrating that the state remains a fount of unctuous and self-righteous political vapidity. The Supreme Court mercifully struck it down as unconstitutional.

Prof. Hata also references the six (!) contradictory stories given by Lee Yong-soo, one of the three former comfort women who gave testimony to the House subcommittee. Two were Korean; neither were coerced by the Japanese. The third was a Dutch national from Indonesia, and Hata reports that a Japanese officer shut down the brothel and freed the women when he discovered its existence. Also, a Dutch military court tried and convicted 11 people in connection with the incident, executing one. Hata uses this incident to demonstrate that the Japanese military did not countenance coercion as a policy, and that the matter in question was legally dealt with years ago.

Commentary

I agree with GIK when he says the ad is not going to change anyone’s mind; the time for this sort of action was when the issue first erupted a few months ago. He also makes a point I’ve made several times here and elsewhere over the past couple of years, not only about the comfort women in particular, but the war in general:

Prime Minister Abe could apologize for everything from the comfort women issue and the Nanjing Massacre to the Hideyoshi invasions of Korea starting in 1592 and the Japanese piracy of Shilla and Tang dynasty shipping even before then, followed by committing seppuku on top of Namsan mountain in Seoul…and it would still not be enough for these governments because (the issue) provides them with a great domestic political weapon to disguise their own…failures by encouraging anti-Japanese sentiment.

On the other hand, I disagree partly with his proposed solution: a speech by Prime Minister Abe.

…(t)o atone for its past sins, (Japan) would become a champion of women’s rights, beginning with the plight of modern day sexual slavery of North Korean women in China that both the South Korean and Chinese governments choose to ignore. Then announce that Japan would…start accepting North Korean defectors into Japan and become an outspoken advocate of NK defectors, unlike South Korea.

This isn’t a bad idea on the face of it, but one problem with the suggestion is that it would perpetuate the false concept of “women’s rights”. There is no such thing as “women’s rights” or “children’s rights” or “gay rights”, or anything of the sort. Rights are absolute; it is not possible for any group to have its own exclusive collection. An examination of the rights claimed as exclusive would reveal that they either are the same rights possessed by everyone else, or else not really rights at all.

Another problem is that the speech would likely be ignored. Most of the world’s media (which is the real audience here) already overlooks the whaling carried out by such countries as Norway and Iceland to concentrate on Japan’s fleet, for example. In the same way, those in the civil rights profession in the West tend to ignore the contemporary slave trade still conducted in Africa, with other Africans or Arabs as the slaveholders.

Besides, the motivation of the people such a speech would rebut has little, if anything, to do with the surviving comfort women themselves. It was concisely described by Thomas Sowell in the subtitle of his book, The Vision of the Anointed: “Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy”

The real motivation is to see themselves as superior people. This requires inferior, “bad”, non-progressive people to whom they can be favorably compared. It also affords the anointed a turn on the public stage to demonstrate their superiority.

You think not? Pick up any newspaper–you’ll find dozens of examples, none of which has anything to do with comfort women.

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37 Responses to “WaPo’s Comfort Women Ad”

  1. bender said

    If this be true about the Japanese lawmakers, it’s a really bad move…sadly to say. This is because the issue is NOT whether the Japanese government/military was directly involved in the recruitment of prostitutes, but whether the government/military set up brothels with lots of colonial subject people working in them. I’m not saying that this issue is right/correct, or that any country is clean-handed enough to criticize Japan, but the issue is what it is (at least what I discern from the English language media and the sorts), and this will just make Japan’s already hurt image look badder.

    I’ve read “Have your say” in the BBC web about how readers think about the thawing relationship between China and Japan, and it’s amazing how many people assert that Japan never aplogized or never paid any compensations for the war, which are both utterly false. But the Japanese people need to realize that the haters/bashers around them are always wanting to make Japan look unaplogetic, and the way Mr. Abe or the lawmakers here are dealing with the issue seem only to help Japan look like that, which is exactly what Japan-bashers want to have happening. So I rather think Mr. Murayama’s stance was not as bad as Sankei and the Yomiuri say it to be.

  2. infimum said

    I could not find out the identity of the lawmakers.

    Occidentalism has an enlarged copy.

  3. Jon said

    Although it is debated how much Japan truly has attoned for the war, I am of the opinion that the bloody war ended over 60 years ago and I am tired of hearing about China and Korea complaining about it. They really need to get over it already. And the Chinese communists bloody history means they have nothing to say.

  4. GI Korea said

    Ampontan,

    You are right that the speech would largely ignored if given in lets say Japan. However, if PM Abe had given such a speech during his recent visit to the US it would have gotten I think a lot of notice since the comfort women issue was a hot media topic at the time.

    As far as “women’s rights”, I guess “human rights” would be a more accurate term but Japan should seriously think about becoming a champion of such rights of NK defectors and speaking out against sexual slavery of NK women. By doing so puts the Koreans and the Chinese on the defensive over their own moral failings that are happening right now compared to Japan’s moral failings 60 years ago.

  5. […] of debate.  You can read a whole lot more on this development over at the Marmot’s Hole, Ampontan, and Occidentalism.  Occidentalism has a blown up version of the ad that you can read […]

  6. […] Ad about comfort women in the Washington Post, Occidentalism; Matt@O has published the entire ad. Interesting. – Ampontan comments on this here. […]

  7. Jing said

    I’d like to hear your opinion on the comfort women issue Ampontan. Something more tangential than the torrent of disingenuity in this post. One scents the distinct odor of intellectual cowardice, an inability to take a definitive stand and defend it, instead relying on passive voice and non-sequiturs for fear of censure or challenge. Truly ironic that the previous post was entitled calling a spade a spade…

  8. Aceface said

    Jing:

    It’s always interesting to see you become defender of truth and justice and human rights when ONLY it comes to Japan’s past,Jing.I know you’re stance on Tibetan and Uyghrs.
    I take you don’t give a damn about countless apologies by the Japanese government,nor the historical debate restlessly going on in the mediaand the academia(mostly attacking the government and the right wingers stance) ,and Japanese history text books teaching the negative past of the country against the foreign hype.So why bother?

  9. ampontan said

    Jing: Hisashiburi desu ne!

    Ask and ye shall receive!

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

    You make a very curious claim, however.

    Where, specifically, do I use the passive voice to avoid taking a personal stand? NOTE: Reporting or describing the statements of others does not count.

  10. tomojiro said

    Hah, look at the members who signed this Ad. Shudo Higashinakano, Nobukatsu Fujioka, Hidaki Kase et all.

    An almost full cast of historical revisionists. And lawmakes like Jin Matsubara and Toru Toida. Also revisionists.

    And they are thinking that they are doing a favor to Japan. Hah.

  11. Aceface said

    I laughed hysterical when I found those names on the ad.These guys are giving us so many own goals…
    Can’t belive that NewsWeek gave some pages to let Kase to talk about the confort woman issues
    a while back.He ain’t no historian,nor journlist.Just his dad was ambassador to UN ages ago and speak English.

  12. tomojiro said

    Do you know that Jin Matsubara and his friends are actually trying to do some ads about the Nanjing massacre?

    Oh man, he must be mad.

    look at these videos.

    What realy piss me off is that they are thinking that this is a patriotic act.
    In fact they are just playing exactly what the chinese and korean ultra nationalists want.

    “The angry never aplogising, history distorting, dangerous Japanese.”

    本当にこいつらバカ。頭に来る。

  13. Jing said

    Truth, justice, and human rights? I believe I never mentioned those things. All I requested, and received, was someone to fully articulate their position. Back in the old days, I never thought I’d become more interested in the historiography than the facts themselves, but here I am. It was just that to the trained eye, or even a simple critical one, this earlier post was quite evidently directly the reading to a conclusion through a passive manner by selective “descriptions” or “reporting” while attempting to disguise it.

    Anyways, what gets my goat on the sex slavery issue is not the sex slaves themselves but rather the rhetorical methods use to somehow “disprove” that they ever existed in the first place. It’s one thing to say that Japan has offered enough apologies in compensation for them, and claim so out of simple political interest and expediency. It’s another to prevaricate and obfuscate the issue entirely to avoid apologizing at all. For example, the aspersions that are cast one an individual or a carefully isolated number of testifiers naturally leads readers to question the veracity of the claims. However, what is left unsaid is that there are tens of thousands of others still alive today whose grievances are no less valid, but are diminished nonetheless by being ignored.

    Anyways, this whole issue is a tempest in a teacup and those few who read it in the Washington Post who no doubt come to the conclusion that the authors are simply some revisionist ass clowns. Not exactly helpful to Japan’s political image in the U.S. The Japanophiles who continue to insist that Japan has done no wrong while simultaneously claiming that Japan has atoned (How these two technically contrasting positions are bridged I’ll leave for a psychologist) will continue to prevaricate and shill with all of the intellectual and moral rigor of melting blubber (see Occidentalism).

  14. ampontan said

    “It was just that to the trained eye, or even a simple critical one, this earlier post was quite evidently directly the reading to a conclusion through a passive manner by selective “descriptions” or “reporting” while attempting to disguise it.”

    You have yet to make this case. You also stated that I used “the passive voice” and “non-sequiturs”, but you still haven’t made that case, either.

  15. bender said

    Well, the likes of Jing does prove my earlier comment that Japan is not being criticized for direct, forceful recruitment of prostitutes (like how some in Japan like to make the issue contained in this way), but the fact that the Japanese government set up comfort stations for its soldiers. Now that some “revisionists” have made the bad move, those with anti-Japanese slants must be over-joyed. And here goes another round of Japan-bashing…

  16. SweetWater said

    Bender:

    “Japan is not being criticized for direct, forceful recruitment of prostitutes (like how some in Japan like to make the issue contained in this way), but the fact that the Japanese government set up comfort stations for its soldiers.”

    Your interpretation of the current comfort women issue is wrong. I wonder how you get that. Resolution 121, sponsored by Rep. Mike Honda, is not that nice. It claims that the Government of Japan should formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed Force’s coercion of young women into sexual slavery, known to the world as ‘‘comfort women’’, during its colonial and wartime occupation . . .

    All of the Japanese politicians and journalists know and admit that the Japanese government set up comfort stations for its soldiers during the war. However, Rep. Honda and his supporters are clearly claiming direct, forceful recruitment of not “prostitutes” but “sex slaves.” This difference is not negligible, and it is the exact reason why those journalists and congressmen post the advertisement in the Washington Post. Did you really read the ad?

  17. izanami said

    Why do people here show negative views about the ad in Wapo? It’s not only a subjective statement, but clearly contains actual evidence which has been buried deep underneath biased Western history, and in the anti-Japanese education practiced in Korea and China.

    Japan has “officially” kept its mouth shut, occasionally voicing apologies, while paying extensive reparations. Who has appreciated Japan’s apologies, or even acknowledged them??

    Are most of you worried that this might increase anti-Japanese sentiment in those countries, or trigger Japan-bashing worldwide? First, it is hardly imaginable that Japan-bashing would erupt in the world, overshadowed as it is by the U.S’s continuing unethical behavior. And, why worry about Korea and China? They never relent in their anti-Japanese sentiments.

    During the war, history was recorded as pressured by propaganda, which was breathed like air. Why can’t we revisit it with intelligence and dignity?

    Ampontan, it’s been quite some time since I first visited here. I like your thorough analysis and Buddhist mindset. Keep up your wonderful work.

  18. SweetWater said

    Jing:

    “The Japanophiles who continue to insist that Japan has done no wrong while simultaneously claiming that Japan has atoned (How these two technically contrasting positions are bridged I’ll leave for a psychologist) will continue to prevaricate and shill with all of the intellectual and moral rigor of melting blubber (see Occidentalism).”

    You don’t have to be a psychologist to understand on what those Japanese lawmakers are atoned and what they disagree. Why don’t you take a look at the bold-typed paragraph below “Fact 5” in the Washington Post advertisement? You will see those people do not insist that Japan has done nothing wrong.

    (There might be some Japanophiles who claim Japan has done nothing wrong as you wrote, but, in general, they are not the same group of people who claim they have atoned. There is no single identity called Japan. People are heterogeneous, and you will never ever get a unanimous atonement from any nation.)

  19. bender said

    Sweetwater,

    Sure, I read the ad.

    I think you don’t get what I’m trying to say. Did Mr. Abe’s statement about the comfort women help in any way? No, it caused futher allegations that and criticism that Japan is onto hitsorical white-washing.

    Sure, Mike Honda’s resolution seems harsh, and he’s deliberately using the word “sex slave” to demonize past Japanese actions. But normal people don’t really get into the details. I’m not talking about the merits of the allegations made by Koreans or Mike Honda, I’m talking about the international image of Japan. If you can read Japanese, check out what Mr. Okazaki said in the Sankei’s “Seiron”- I think he’s got it right on the issue. Its not whether it’s right or wrong, it’s about how Japan wants to depict herself, and how she deals with anti-Japanism. Here’s his opinion:

    http://www.sankei.co.jp/ronsetsu/seiron/070514/srn07051400

    BTW, I am troubled by the fact that there seems to be anti-Japanese feelings in Asian Americans, as the likes of Mike Honda and his supporters suggest. America is supposed to be free of old-world grudges, and it’s too bad they have to resort to this kind of stuff.

  20. Izanami said

    Jin,
    “Anyways, what gets my goat on the sex slavery issue is not the sex slaves themselves but rather the rhetorical methods use to somehow “disprove” that they ever existed in the first place.”

    -> So you certainly understand the “rhetorical” effect of the word “slave” in the American phyche.

    “Japan has done no wrong”

    -> Why do you see everything in black and white? Do you see grey in the scale between black and white?

    Aceface,
    “He ain’t no historian,nor journlist.Just his dad was ambassador to UN ages ago and speak English.”

    -> Do you judge someone’s opinion by his/her occupation? Such a stereotypical view.

    tomojiro
    “An almost full cast of historical revisionists.”
    -> Often rather than sometimes, what the old man said was not right.

  21. ampontan said

    Bender: That link to Okazaki’s not working…

  22. Keroro said

    Bender

    >Sure, I read the ad.

    Did you notice the name “Hisahiko Okazaki” on the ad ?

  23. SweetWater said

    Bender,

    My objective is to find out (seek) the truth as precise as possible. So, regarding the comfort women controversy, setting the record straight is one of the best actions for the Japanese public if they believe there are some misunderstandings. I think posting an advertisement in the Washington Post is a good idea, although the best action was posting a detailed counter-argument in the Op-Ed section of the major newspapers, which was probably rejected.

    Whether Japan would look nice or not is a secondary issue. To establish a good relationship between countries in the long run, I think, seeking the truth and presenting the facts are the most important. The truth makes the society stable, and the false accusations are not sustainable and only make people resentful.

    The U.S. and Korea might be able to force the Japanese government to apologize for the systematic enslavement of girls during the war, which I believe is a groundless accusation. It would only make the anti-U.S. and anti-Korean sentiments in Japan boil up. Mike Honda and his Korean supporters have made a big mistake.

    (Regarding your question, no, I don’t think Mr. Abe’s answer at the lower house budget committee meeting helped. However, I don’t think Mr. Abe should have lied either. It was a nasty tactics by the Democratic party and the Communist party to bring the comfort women issue to the budget committee.)

  24. Edith Cavell said

    In international law, the term used for the situation the comfort women found themselves in is “sex slave.” Thus, Mr Honda did not use that phrase lightly.

    Mr Hata’s article is missing a number of critical facts not the least being that at issue is not coercion, which he does not understand, but that the Imperial government of Japan established, maintained, and sanctioned an organized system of brothels for its military. There quite a number of documents to prove this. In addition, the legal definition of coercion rests the principle of free will: did the person involved have the ability to resist the situation they found themselves in. In the case of the comfort women, none had that ability.

    It is also interesting that Mr. Hata ignores the testimony of Mindy Kotler from Asia Policy Point at the Comfort Women hearing. Her testimony is a point by point factual and legal analysis of the so-called apologies by Japan. She describes how an official statement is made in Japan and outlines the history behind the Kono Statement, the Murayama Statement, and the Asian Women’s Fund. She also outlines the benefits of Japan offering an official and unequivocal statement on Comfort Women.

    The resolution, far from being anti-Japanese, is quite pro-Japanese. It simply suggests (a resolution is not a demand) that Japan start to align itself with the 21st Century and other great powers.

  25. bender said

    In international law, the term used for the situation the comfort women found themselves in is “sex slave.” Thus, Mr Honda did not use that phrase lightly.

    Wow! Did care to you look up Westlaw or Lexisnexis before you said that?

  26. ampontan said

    EC: We’re still waiting for your citation of material about Japanese lawsuits in the 30s filed by Japanese comfort women.

    [[In international law, the term used for the situation the comfort women found themselves in is “sex slave.”]]

    You might also cite this specific international law.

    [[Mr Hata’s article is missing a number of critical facts not the least being that at issue is not coercion]]

    Of course the issue is coercion. Since prostitution was legal at the time in Japan countries, and if women in fact were not coerced by the Japanese government, this issue does not exist.

    [[the Imperial government of Japan established, maintained, and sanctioned an organized system of brothels for its military.]]

    Which wasn’t against Japanese law.

    [[There quite a number of documents to prove this.]]

    Who is denying it?

    [[In addition, the legal definition of coercion rests the principle of free will: did the person involved have the ability to resist the situation they found themselves in. In the case of the comfort women, none had that ability.]]

    Perhaps it’s time for you to actually read the House subcommittee testimony. One of those women joined voluntarily. She snuck out of the house in the middle of the night to do so.

    [[It is also interesting that Mr. Hata ignores the testimony of Mindy Kotler from Asia Policy Point at the Comfort Women hearing. Her testimony is a point by point factual and legal analysis of the so-called apologies by Japan. She describes how an official statement is made in Japan and outlines the history behind the Kono Statement, the Murayama Statement, and the Asian Women’s Fund.]]

    All of which Mr. Hata knew about before Mindy Kotler.

    [[She also outlines the benefits of Japan offering an official and unequivocal statement on Comfort Women.]]

    The benefits as Mindy Kotler sees them. By the way, what is unofficial about the Kono Statement? What is equivocal about both?

    [[It simply suggests (a resolution is not a demand) that Japan start to align itself with the 21st Century and other great powers.]]

    Could you name some of these “great powers”, and provide a definition of what makes them great?

    If you were so interested in having the UN gets its own act together today, in the 21st century, about its child prostitution rings, which seem to follow its “peacekeepers” around the world, and not focus solely on people dragging people who died in the 20th century into the 21st, it might help your case.

  27. Ken said

    [[In international law, the term used for the situation the comfort women found themselves in is “sex slave.”]]

    You might also cite this specific international law.

    She’s talking about nomenclature convention in international law, not specific laws. The comeback comes across as defensive.

  28. ponta said

    Edith
    I think you have also made a good point.

    The resolution, far from being anti-Japanese, is quite pro-Japanese. It simply suggests (a resolution is not a demand) that Japan start to align itself with the 21st Century and other great powers.

    And I think Hata has made a good point too.

    It occurred to me that having compared the various sources, it might be useful to distribute a few pages from Brownmiller’s book to the supporters of H. Res. 121. Then we can question Mike Honda and his colleagues about the wisdom of their resolution and ask them to withdraw it. Or we could have them replace “the Japanese government” with the “Japanese and U.S. governments.”

    I want to add the south Korea on the list.

    recruitement
    Japan

    The majority of the young females recruited as comfort women came from lower classes. Many were deceived by “human traders” who lured them with promises of well-paying jobs only to deliver them to brothels and military comfort stations. Some, however, chose to leave home, not out of economic necessity but in search of independence and freedom from domestic violence against and gendered mistreatment of daughters
    (Chung-Hee
    Women’s Sexual Labor and State in Korean History)

    Korea

    Poverty, together with low class status, has remained the primary reason for women’s entry into camptown prostitution from the 1950s to the mid-1980s….Still others were physically forced into prostitution by flesh-traffickers or pimps who waited at train and bus stations, greeted young girls arriving from the countryside with promises of employment or room and board, then”initiated” them–through rape–into sex work or sold them to brothels.Women also fell into prostitution by responding to fraudulent advertisements which offered appealing calls for employment as waitresses, storekeepers, singers, and entertainers. Some ads even promised”education” (kyoyuk) without specifying what the women would be expected to learn.(Sex Among Allies
    by Katharine H. S. Moon)

    contract

    Japan

    page 54
    The managers of comfort stations were instructed by the military authorities about the “salary” arrangements for their employees.” For example,….half of the fee had to be paid to the comfort women and the other half to the manager. Expenses fro meals and bedding for the comfort women were supposed to be the manager’s responsibility, while those for closing, hairdressing and cosmetics had to be met by each comfort woman. In case of illness, it was stipulated that 70 percent of medial expenses be paid by the manager. ….in the case of a women for whom more than 1.500 yen had been paid in advance at the time of her recruitment, she would receive at least 40 percent of her taking….

    page 55
    Obviously the managers took advantage of the lack of education and the naivety of their “employees,” and gave them as little information as possible regarding their due payments and expenses that the manager were expected to meet.(Japan’s Comfort Women/Yuki Tanaka)

    Korea

    The”debt bondage system” is the most prominent manifestation of exploitation. …A woman’s debt increases each time she borrows money from the owner–to get medical treatment, to send money to her family, to cover an emergency, to bribe police officers and VD clinic workers….women cannot leave prostitution at will.(Sex Among Allies
    by Katharine H. S. Moon)

    scale
    Japan

    Hata has estimated there were up to 20,000 “comfort women,” while Yoshimi says the figure was between 50,000 and over 200,000.(Japtan Times March 20, 2007/

    Korea

    From the interview with the women, it was made clear that there were cases where Korean women were raped and made prostitutes by military officers.
    In October 1947 before the US military abolished the official system of prositutute, the number of “official prostitutes” were 2124.
    In October 1948, the number of prositutes had increased as much as 50000 or more .
    After Korean War, the number of prositutes was more than 300000.(OhmyNews(2002-02-26)

    Government involvement
    Japan

    the inquiry has revealed that the Government had been involved in the establishment of comfort stations, the control of those who recruited comfort women, the construction and reinforcement of comfort facilities, the management and surveillance of comfort stations, the hygiene maintenance in comfort stations and among comfort women, and the issuance of identification as well as other documents to those who were related to comfort stations(Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Kato(July 6, 1992)

    Korea

    the South Korean army also operated its own “military comfort system” during and until immediately after the Korean War, from 1951 to 1954. (Chung-Hee
    Women’s Sexual Labor and State in Korean History)

    Korea Registered “Comfort Women” for UN Soldiers (March 21st, 2007 occidentalism)

    U.S. military-oriented prostitution in Korea is not simply a matter of women walking the streets and picking up U.S. soldiers for a few bucks. It is a system that is sponsored and regulated by two governments, Korean and American (through the U.S. military).

    Support for the former victims
    Japan
    Japanese activists visited Korea to search for the comfort women. Backed up Japanese activists and Korean organization, the former comfort women came forward.

    Despite the financial generosity of the South Korean government’s own fund for former comfort women, the South Korean government and NGOs used it and other means as instruments of pressure and intimidation against Korean women who otherwise would have sought assistance from the Asian Women’s Fund.

    The government and NGO tend to use ex-comfort women to criticize Japan and to demand conpensation,but they did little to help us. Rather, Japanese people helped ex-comfor t women to receive medical check-ups,to file suit , carry out the funeral and other minor things, and they have showed continuous concern and served us well.(지만원)

    Korea

    most camptown prostitutes, especially of the early generations, refuse to discuss their past

    The vast majority of these women have experienced in common the pain of contempt and stigma from the mainstream Korean society. These women have been and are treated as trash, “the lowest of the low,” in a Korean society characterized by classist (family/educational status-oriented) distinctions and discrimination.

    (sex among allies)

    Apology and the fund
    Japan

    Kato hief Cabinet Secretary 1992
    The Government again would like to express its sincere apology and remorse to all those who have suffered indescribable hardship as so-called “wartime comfort women”, irrespective of their nationality or place of birth.

    Kono the Chief Cabinet Secretary 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.

    Murayama Prime Minister 1995
    The problem of the so-called wartime comfort women is one such scar, which, with the involvement of the Japanese military forces of the time, seriously stained the honor and dignity of many women. This is entirely inexcusable. I offer my profound apology to all those who, as wartime comfort women, suffered emotional and physical wounds that can never be closed.

    Hashimoto Prime Minister 1998
    Recognizing that the issue of comfort women, with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time, was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of large numbers of women, I would like to convey to Your Excellency my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women

    Koizumi Prime Minister 2001
    As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.
    (Mofa)

    I, as Prime Minister of Japan, expressed my apologizes, and also expressed my apologizes for the fact that they were placed in that sort of circumstance.

    Asian Womens fund was set up.

    Korea
    None.

    Surely you support the resolution to make South Korea apologize for the first time. No?
    The resolution, far from being anti-Korean, is quite pro-Koreans. It simply suggests (a resolution is not a demand) that Korea start to align itself with the 21st Century and other great powers.

  29. bender said

    She’s talking about nomenclature convention in international law, not specific laws. The comeback comes across as defensive

    Not sure what this is supposed to mean. Elaborating the word “sex slave” to be some legal term/jargon seems quite like a cheap trick to me.

  30. Bender said

    Speaking of international law, the South Korean govenment unequivocally surrenderd its citizen’s individual right to reparations under the treaty with Japan.

    It’s quite strange why this is never used in arguments against Japan or even for Japan.

    One may argue that the comfort women were not included in the treaty, but unless the above term of the treaty can be interpreted as such (I’d bet both governments intended to inlcude all damages known at the time and any future damages that may be uncovered in the future, unless it wouldn’t make much sense as a treaty, would it?), don’t be so sure about it.

    The fund was not to evade responsibility, but to compensate as much as possible under the treaty. The same kind of reparations was done by the Germans, who had bilateral treaties that settled the issue of reparations but paid to the individuals anyways by way of setting up funds. When the Germans do it, they’re praised for it, but when the Japanese do the same, it’s shameful. That’s how international politics move now.

  31. ampontan said

    Bender: Good points, but it’s unlikely Edith “Hit and Run” Clavell will read them. She shows up once a month to drop a letter bomb, makes unsubstantiated claims, and then moves on to something else.

  32. Aceface said

    Edith said:
    “It is also interesting that Mr. Hata ignores the testimony of Mindy Kotler from Asia Policy Point at the Comfort Women hearing. Her testimony is a point by point factual and legal analysis of the so-called apologies by Japan. ”

    Anybody want to know what Mindy Kotler had said and think about many things.
    I suggest you all to go to National Bureau of Asian Research’s U.S-Japan relation online discussion threads.Kotler seems to me nobody but a firestarter with Washington speak.

  33. Isnaciz said

    izanami Says:
    Sunday, June 17, 2007 at

    Japan has “officially” kept its mouth shut, occasionally voicing apologies, while paying extensive reparations. Who has appreciated Japan’s apologies, or even acknowledged them??

    Could someone please post an URL or such to any information entailing the war reparations?

    Thanks.

  34. ponta said

    Could someone please post an URL or such to any information entailing the war reparations?

    日本の戦争賠償と戦後補償 (Wikipedia)
    Treaty of San Francisco (Wikipedia)
    List of war apology statements issued by Japan (Wikipedia)

    http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/english/html/cw1.htm

  35. Isnaciz said

    ponta Says:
    Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at

    日本の戦争賠償と戦後補償 (Wikipedia)
    Treaty of San Francisco (Wikipedia)
    List of war apology statements issued by Japan (Wikipedia)

    http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/english/html/cw1.htm

    Thanks for links. However, “Treaty of San Francisco (Wikipedia)” did not provide any sources beyond the opening section. I would need to quote the actual documents/publications that provided the figures in the two tables. Preferably publications in English.

    Thanks again.

  36. ponta said

    I would need to quote the actual documents/publications that provided the figures in the two tables.

    I don’t know what you would use the actual documents for.
    But the followings are from MOFA
    http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/gaiko/oda/shiryo/hakusyo/04_hakusho/ODA2004/html/zuhyo/zu010091.htm

    So you might want to ask MOFA for the actual documents.

  37. Isnaciz said

    I am working on an essay discussing some causes of modern European wars, and in particular the WWI and WWII. The core of my essay is to compare the war reparations made by the losers since the Second French Empire. Thus I need to find out how much exactly the Japanese paid out, in comparison to Germany after WWII. In a minor chapter I also discuss the gains the Japanese Empire earned after WWI as a victor.

    I just started my study on the Asia-Pacific nations. I’ll definitely try the government sources from Japan. Hopefully, the MOFA will respond.

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