AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

U.S. Congress: Lacking the courage of its insolence

Posted by ampontan on Wednesday, August 1, 2007

THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES finally roused itself from its slumber and passed a non-binding resolution crassly making demands on the Japanese government regarding the wartime comfort women. They managed to wake up just one day after Japan’s upper house elections on Sunday.

The people shepherding the resolution through the House said their intention was to put off the vote until after the election to avoid embarrassing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. They needn’t have worried—it wouldn’t have been possible to embarrass Mr. Abe any further after the drubbing his party received at the polls.

Not that anyone really took that pro forma excuse seriously. It’s more likely that the Democrat-controlled House wanted to avoid creating a sympathy vote for the conservative Mr. Abe in the election. After all this time and discussion, however, it does seem anticlimactic.

What has it accomplished? The ethnic Korean and Chinese backers of the bill on the West Coast get to bask in their success of briefly blackening Japan’s eye. Primary sponsor Mike Honda will get their support and financial contributions for his reelection campaign. Those comfort women who were really interested in a financial settlement got their money a long time ago.

Typical of the farce were these comments by Mike Honda and one of the women who testified, Lee Yong-soo:

Representative Mike Honda, Democrat of California and the resolution’s chief sponsor, said Lee Yong Soo, a surviving comfort woman who testified before Congress in February of her rape and torture at the hands of Japanese soldiers, watched the proceedings Monday. “All she could do was weep and say thank you,” Honda said. “It vindicated her past.”

Unfortunately, it also vindicated the six different stories Lee has told different audiences about her wartime experience. She told Congress that she snuck out of her house in the middle of the night voluntarily to meet a recruiter. Meanwhile, two weeks later, she told a Japanese audience that some evil Japanese men in uniforms abducted her from her house at gunpoint.

Only a Congressman could take such pride in having no pride.

But more than anything, this has needlessly created ill will between the United States and those in political circles of one of its closest allies. It was all so pointless, which is also an apt description of any further discussion about the issue. No one’s mind is going to get changed at this point, and nothing more is going to happen anyway.

I wasn’t even going to bring it up until I noticed something about the bill’s passage. I’ve stated in the past here that putting the demands to Japan in the form of a non-binding resolution was a singular act of cowardice on the part of Congress. If they were going to unnecessarily disparage an ally, the least they could have done was to give it some official teeth.

They probably were probably afraid to do just that, however—the point of the exercise was to satisfy a few constituents while indulging in cheap, quasi-legal vaudeville, so they didn’t want to push their luck.

But it was still surprising just how craven their behavior turned out to be in the end.

The resolution demands that Japan “formally acknowledge, apologize and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner.”

Except this demand was the ultimate in hypocrisy. Is it important to clearly accept responsibility without equivocation? Only for other people. Not for the House of Representatives.

They passed the resolution with a voice vote. In other words, they just sat on their duffs and said yea or nay and went on to the next non-issue. Other than the sponsors, none of them took the trouble to bother taking clear responsibility for their own demands.

These people think they have the authority to insolently meddle in an issue that has never involved the United States without even condescending to put their name on the record?

Only a Congressman could be so self-centered. Or take so seriously the pointless application of ex post facto morality.

UPDATE: The AP is reporting that an unidentified staffer, speaking on the condition of anonymity (because he was unauthorized to divulge the information) told a reporter the Japanese Embassy requested the delay of the vote until after the Japanese election, so as not to influence the result. Perhaps true, perhaps spin, but even the staffer’s approach is typical of the attitude of Congress throughout–wanting to preen in self-aggrandizement, but not wanting to have their fingerprints on the evidence.

UPDATE #2: The Yomiuri Shimbun ran a three-part series to provide background on the issue (in English).

The first article presents the origins of the comfort woman system.

The second article asserts there is no hard evidence of coercion, while there is evidence of punishment being meted out to those military personnel who took it upon themselves to force women into the brothels.

The third article discusses the Kono Statement.

These were found at Nobuo Ikeda’s English-language blog related to the issue. His latest post reports that Nobuyoshi Ozaki, a writer living in Louisiana, will sue Mr. Honda and Mr. Lantos for defamation on behalf of the Japanese people, and has gotten in contact with Alan Dershowitz about the matter.

It’s hard to believe that grab-bag of proper nouns can fit in that last sentence without crashing the computer!

71 Responses to “U.S. Congress: Lacking the courage of its insolence”

  1. Garrett Milhouse said

    To further illustrate the idiocy of the House of Reps check out House Resolution #508 which i believe will be voted on for passage this week – this bill ‘Recognizes the strong security alliance between the Government of Japan and the United States and expressing appreciation to Japan for its role in enhancing stability in the Asia-Pacific.”

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c110:1:./temp/~c110Mas7RH::

    In the ultimate example of ‘covering your ass,’ some of the co-sponsors for this bill include – Mike Honda and Tom Lantos.

    check out: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:HE00508:@@@P for the list of the rest of the bill sponsors.

  2. bender said

    The resolution demands that Japan “formally acknowledge, apologize and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner.”

    What on world is “historical responsibility”? That’s one, big quasi-legal BS that they’ve created…

  3. ponta said

    I don’t know how the U.S. congress works, but it is interesting only ten congress men were there when it passed.
    http://www.sankei.co.jp/kokusai/usa/070731/usa070731001.htm
    決議案が採決された際に本会議場にいたのは、わずか10人程度

    Japanese media’s reaction:

    Asahi suggests to reissue Kono-statement.
    http://www.asahi.com/paper/editorial.html#syasetu1
    河野談話の継承を疑われているのならば、同じような内容を安倍首相の談話として内外に表明してはどうか。それがいま取りうる最善の道だろう。

    Yomiuri is worried if the misunderstanding of hisotry will be spread.
    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/editorial/news/20070731ig90.htm
    誤った歴史の独り歩きが心配だ・・・日本の外交当局は、米側の誤解を解く努力が、まだまだ足りない。

    On a side note, Yomiuri reports the committee passed another resolution praising Japan.

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/world/news/20070731i416.htm
    米下院外交委員会は31日午前(日本時間1日未明)、米国の同盟国としての日本の重要性を確認する対日礼賛決議案を可決した.

    Sankei wants to correct the misunderstanding.

    http://www.iza.ne.jp/news/newsarticle/column/opinion/72507/
    明らかな事実誤認に基づく決議である。決議に法的拘束力はないが、そのまま見過ごすことは出来ない。…慰安婦決議 官民で事実誤認を正そう

  4. […] What the resolution on the comfort women issue signifies about American politics [link] […]

  5. Edith Cavell said

    Ponta, I understand that you do not know how Congress works, and it is clear neither does Sankei.

    The resolution came up under “suspension.” This means essentially that the rules are suspended, there is no debate, and the vote is pro forma. Resolutions under suspension always pass, and the only members of Congress that attend suspension votes are those most involved in the issues under consideration. A nay vote only means that the member requests a roll call vote, putting the members on the record. With 168 co-sponsors or over one-third of the House, including chairs of some of the most powerful committees in Congress, it was clear to all that the resolution would pass.

    What is significant is that the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee came to floor to personally introduce the resolution. This rarely happens. The Minority Chair of the Committee was also on the floor, another rarity, and she (not all are congressmen) spoke in favor of the resolution. Followed were a number of short speeches supporting the resolution from both sides of the aisle. When you go to the Congressional Record you will also see an number of statements by members of Congress who were not there but who wanted their statements on the record. The members of Congress who were there, spoke for America and spoke from their experience of being ignored, of being degraded, and of knowing that an apology is never too late: a Holocaust survivor, a Black American woman, a Cuban refugee, a Japanese American born in an internment camp, a Vietnam vet.

    Congress has a very complex, formal set of rules. The nuances are difficult to understand for those unfamiliar with process. It is misinformed to evaluate a resolution by the number of members on the floor.

    One other note, is that a resolution is not a demand. It is a suggestion. It is a standard way to express the opinion of Congress and the will of the American people. The US cannot legislate Japan to do something, and there is no reason to sanction Japan.

  6. ponta said

    Edith Cavell
    Thank you. I didn’t know how it worked—interesting.

    So are you the member of the group that has supported Honda?—-you know too well who attended the meeting.

    “One other note, is that a resolution is not a demand. It is a suggestion”
    Right it is only suggestion based on the misunderstandings—at least , Asahi, Yomiuri, Sankei take that way;though, they disagree on what is the cause of the misunderstandings..
    It might be a good idea for Japan to suggest something to the countries concerned.

  7. Edith Cavell said

    One does not need to be in the House Gallery to watch the proceedings of the US House of Representatives (it is not a “meeting”). You can watch it on C-Span (House, C-Span 2 is Senate). You can watch on TV or via the website of C-Span. You can also read the Congressional Record, and the myriad specialized publications that report on Congress and Japan. One does not need to be a member of anything to access any of these. Just interested and one hears a lot by being in Washington. I also read a lot.

    It is also misguided to focus on the resolution as solely the work of Mr Honda. Without the support of the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Majority Leader, and the Speaker, the resolution would have never gotten out of committee.

    Congress does not feel it has misunderstood the Comfort Women issue. Members of Congress have said that they were advised by the Congressional Research Service and some of the best scholars in the US, Australia, and Japan. Historians explained that the Imperial Government of Japan organized a system of sexual slavery for its armed forces. Linguists explained the Japanese in the “apologies” was equivocal, and political experts explained that an official government statement, especially one as important as an apology, needs either to be approved by the Cabinet or passed as a resolution in the Diet.

    In the US, issues of human rights and social justice are important; they just were not as important under a Republican Congress. This has changed. Also the two most bipartisan issues are human trafficking and women’s rights. Go look at the US Embassy in Japan homepage; among the 4 hot topics listed is human trafficking. The US-Japan alliance is another bipartisan are of agreement. Thus it is of great concern to Congress that leaders of such an important ally hold beliefs not credible by any responsible person and that continue to irritate other American allies and stand in the way of greater regional security cooperation.

    The other reality is that the Comfort Women issue is not just one between Japan and Korea. It affected all the women who were in Asia and many boys. There were victims wherever Japanese disembarked; Western men and women included. Sexual slavery in conflict also did not end with the Comfort Stations. Congress is all too aware of Bosnia, Rwanda, East Timor, Darfur, Burma and the list goes on. Reconciliation and peacemaking are big agenda items in the American foreign policy community. Staff members I know (Washington is a small town) find it incomprehensible that Japan has made so few efforts toward reconciliation, especially since our alliance is based on common values.

    168 members have gone on record to show their concern about an important ally that the Bush Administration says is our best ally in Asia.

  8. ponta said

    Edith Cavell
    Thank you Edith.
    One blogger said less than one percent of Amaricans were aware of this resolution, I think that is a quite good guess. So I wonder who is this “human activists” who are exclusively interested in this resolution.
    I agree with that you comfort women issue is important for all the women.
    Prositutes at Sin cities in Vietnam was exploited by the U.S.
    Korean comfort women were exploied by the Korean troop in the exactly same way Japanese troop exploited.
    As Abe said, 20 century was the cetury when the violation of human right was rampant.
    I have no objection to restore the honor of women victimized by military.
    So let’s work together, to make the governments concerned face up to the fact and apologize.
    Do you have any objection to that?

  9. KappNets said

    Edith Cavell,
    How about other countries they had comfort woman systems during war era? Visit
    http://japundit.com/archives/2007/03/02/5179/#comment-363993
    where it is cited that “American soldiers have been among the largest consumers of exploited women and girls.” This subject was raised in “the facts” in Washington Post wirtten by Japanese critics. How did Congress men and women reason?

  10. Aceface said

    Suppose your neighbor’s pick-up truck suddenly storm into your doorstep and run over your family dog.Would you want the driver endlessly telling you the technological excellence of his truck’s suspension or him claiming “This is no pick-up truck.This is s Sports Utility vehicle”?

    You might want step back and look into your mirror and think again why everyone is getting sick of seeing so many Washington people in both the Republican and the Democrat camp addicted with their mandarin politics.Edith.

    And “some of the best scholars in the US, Australia, and Japan” argument.I need some names to believe that they are actually the “some of the best scholar”,especially Japanese one.I’ve read what Larry Niksch had said on this matter in Korean paper,But I’ve got feeling either he doesn’t read Japanese or intentionally ignoring the argument made in Japanese.

    Sankei may have problem in it’s own way(I know that because I read them almost everyday even though I don’t subscribe one),but I think they know pretty well about how the U.S congress works than the congress understands how the system of confort station worked back in the day.

    Anyway I’m pretty sure that Dick Cheney was also informed by some of the best intelligence analyst in the world on WMD in Iraq.What I’m not so sure about is whether the congress people could do any better on objectivity than the vice president of the United States.

  11. bender said

    “Edith” must be able to habit the fourth dimension…to her/him, time is not of the essence. Nothing changes. So in her/his eyes, Japan is always the aggressor, no matter how Japan may have changed after the war. Any post-war development is irrelevant…now this is totally weird.

  12. Aceface said

    The problem is this is not only “Edith” believeing these hype.Every single foreign media that have correspondent in Tokyo write in the same tune.And anybody who challenge these discourses would be laveled as “Right winger”or”History denier”or”conservative nationalist” and outcasted immediately.
    There are way too many fire walls build to contain Japanese self expressions.Some are intentional others unintentional.

    First of all there is language barrier.
    In Edith’s post,all the past apologies and collosal effort for reconcilliation conducted by both Japanese government and civic society is ignored in an insulting way by quoting some nameless congressional staff member who thinks Japanese had done next to nothing.And what the post war Japanese diplomacy had done to the Asian neighbors get totally vanished.Why? Because they were only covered extensively by Japanse media.
    Instead we get all kinds of vicious speculations why we are not acting like Germany.Now Germany wouldn’t have to face such difficulty,for lots of people in the region can either speak or read German and there is little information nor perception gaps.

    Secondly,It is ALWAYS foreigner who explains state of the nation of Japan.
    The fact about Japan that have been smuggled out of the country is always very selective and usually done by the foreigners to meet the needs and the deeds of the society that has no extensive knowledge nor strong sympathy toward Japan.and all the images and discourses that explains social reality and the national motivations of Japanese meets no criticism from various Japanese opinions,simply they won’t give any chance of counterargument to the Japanese.
    That’s why you hear Japanese buying up the whole world in the 80’s and in 90’s you hear Japanese are on the edge of economic collapse and taking world economy with them.That’s why You constantly hear the nationalism is rising and militarism is recovering, almost non stop for 6 decades.And still nothing remarkable happens.Yet no one lose their intellectual credibilities by making wrong accusations.

    Thirdly,Everyone ignores simple fact that Anti-Japanese have become political currency in this region for decades.
    Think about Korea,where politicians and media unshamefully use anti-Japanese rhetoric to achieve any political outcomes,either attracting internationl sports game or signing free trade agreements or attacking political rivals whose relatives were official during the colonial days.
    And China,where Japan-bushing is the only subject that freedom of speech and political activism is guaranteed by communist party.
    Do these countries really want to reconcile with Japan?or do they want keep the past to contain Japanese power and turn it into bargaining power of their own government.

  13. Edith Cavell said

    RE: Ozaki’s fundraiser lawsuit against Honda and Lantos

    LOL!

    20th Century English
    Article 51, Constitution of Japan
    Members of both Houses shall not be held liable outside the House for speeches, debates or votes cast inside the House.

    18th Century English
    Article 1, Section 6, Constitution of the United States
    …and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

  14. Aceface said

    Filing lawsuit against politician in Japanese court by foreigner
    is perfectly legal and happens all the time in Japan.That’s why Koreans are suing Koizumi over Yasukuni visit.
    and ofcouse many of us do remember that kangaroo court conducted by vaw-net Japan over comfort women that sentenced guilty to Hirohito who has been dead for quite some time.
    Mr.Ozaki maybe a confused man,but anybody who read 21 century Japanese newspaper know this is only a political gesture in the form of lawsuit.

  15. ponta said

    Edith
    I am impressed by the congress’s motivation.

    “especially Korean American. Asian American volunteers and the human rights groups, coordinated by two young Korean American Washington lobbyists, were able to bring the message to individual congressman and sign up a record 168 co-sponsors. The professionalism, energy, and experience of these lobbyists were critical for the Asian Americans to understand the legislative process and how to get its voice heard.”

    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/002247.php

    Let’s work together to make Congress to pass another resolutoin for Korean women whose ordeal in Korea and the US’s state-sponsored “system of rape camps resembled the degradations suffering by current victims of human trafficking.”

    Let’s not forget about them and let’t not fail to mention these forgotten comfort women everytime Lantos, Honda, and anybody bring up this topic.
    It is for forgoten comfort women who are despised in Korea as “western whores” while comfort women under Japanese rule often receive spotlight.
    It is also for the stability of East Asia.

    Korea will apologize:the U.S.will apologize. And Japan will apologize in the same way as they do.
    Forgotten Sex slaves exploited by Korea and the U.S . will be happy. Thus, everyone is happy.

    I wonder why I haven’t heard your answer “Yes, Let’s do it”.

  16. Durf said

    Aceface:
    Suppose your neighbor’s pick-up truck suddenly storm into your doorstep and run over your family dog.Would you want the driver endlessly telling you the technological excellence of his truck’s suspension or him claiming “This is no pick-up truck.This is s Sports Utility vehicle”?

    Suppose your country’s soldiers sexually abused countless thousands of women in an organized fashion. Would your neighbors want the prime minister endlessly telling them that technically, the soldiers weren’t involved in the recruitment phase of the operation, or claiming that those girls were all willing whores?

    There are documentation problems that make it impossible to show a grand military plan for the sex station system. There are problems with the accounts given by one witness. Guess what: Nobody gives a shit, except for a handful of Japanese who think that endlessly debating historical technicalities is an activity so important that it’s worth sending Japan’s international image into the toilet every. single. time. this whole thing blows up again. You could write an essay about the evils perpetrated by the khaki-clad imperial Japanese army rampaging across Asia, and these people would come back with a full-page ad in the WaPo stating in 4,000 words that the uniforms were olive drab, not khaki. Nobody gives a shit.

    I swear, nobody in a position of power in this country has an ounce of PR sense.

  17. KappNets said

    A Korean professor of history says that Koreans are too much obsessed by narrow-minded nationalism and that even academic society doen not discuss things based on solid evidences. Any modern history must be interpreted in connection with “Japanese imperialism.” (They deprived. They did nothing good.) Any view is rejected both by historians and citizens if a slight sense of affinity for Japan is involved. A man/woman in favor of Japan is rejected/ostracized.

    Feeling of paranoia? Maybe.

  18. Shiba said

    “Suppose your country’s soldiers sexually abused countless thousands of women in an organized fashion.”

    An organized fashion! If Seiji Yoshida had been right, you would be right too.

    OK. The problem is whether one’s “country’s soldiers sexually abused countless thousands of women.”

    You are right if you included following these tragedies:
    米兵による戦後沖縄の女性に対する犯罪
    http://www.coara.or.jp/~yufukiri/henji/jyoseinohigai.html

  19. tomojiro said

    “I swear, nobody in a position of power in this country has an ounce of PR sense.”

    Durf,I agree with on that. But, still the resolution of the house only messed up things.

    But yeah, the WaPo Ad was the dumbest thing to do.

  20. J_ said

    Durf, it is YOU, not the Japanese, that should face the facts of the past. You are so preocupied by stereotype that you cannot believe the truth.

    First, prostitution was not illigal at that time.
    Second, almost all the comfort women became prostitutes on their own will.
    Third, comfort stations were run by sole proprietors.
    So, what’s wrong with Japan except some moral issues?

    By the way, how many prostitutes are there in your country NOW?
    Does your government apologize to them for its moral obligation?

  21. tomojiro said

    Sorry for my very bad English.

    Just another note.

    Shiba, I don’t know what you mean by organized fashion. I don’t think that there was an organized policy to physically coerce Korean and Taiwanese women to comfort women (but there were a large number of Korean women who were deceived and were not allowed to return), but it is also true that the IJA did this on other places.

    Not only some rare cases in Indonesia but in China, IJA directly recruited (kidnapped or forced Chinese women physically) comfort women.

    The memoirs of former Yomiuri journalist Omata Yukio (小俣行男),correspondent on the Chinese front in 1937,describes it (『戦場と記者』冬樹社、1967年、『侵掠』徳間書店、1982年、『続・侵掠』徳間書店、1983).

    I really think that the Japanese government should ignore the resolution of the house.

    But to assert that there was no coerce is also very naïve and wrong.

    J_ you are wrong. As Hata Ikuhiko said, maybe half of the Korean women were deceived and became comfort women against their will. It is definitely not only about prostitution. They were not allowed to return even after they found out that they were deceived.

    If you read the memoirs from Omata, then you find a part where he mentions Japanese comfort women who were also deceived and forced to prositute.

    It is YOU who got the history wrong.

  22. Durf said

    @ Shiba and J_

    “Other countries also did bad things, so stop complaining.” Yeah, that’ll fly. Congrats, you have just as much talent for public relations as the boneheads who signed the WaPo ad.

  23. J_ said

    “As Hata Ikuhiko said, maybe half of the Korean women were deceived and became comfort women against their will.”
    So, even if what you are saying is right, remaining half of the comfort women were voluntary.

    And who deceived those poor Korean comfort women?
    Koreans, right? Not the Japanese government.

    Koreans deceived Korean women and soled them to Korean brothel owners who ran their business near army camps. Why should Japanese government apologize?

    Read this document, if you haven’t.
    http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

  24. tomojiro said

    And who ordered the Korean pimps to gather comfort women?

    The Korean Government?

  25. tomojiro said

    J_

    Oh by the way,do you know the Japanese historian Asano Toyomi(浅野豊美)?
    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%B5%85%E9%87%8E%E8%B1%8A%E7%BE%8E

    Here is an essay by him about the comfort women in Burma.
    Using the same document that you linked, and of course others.

    You will know the background and the context of that document and other things.
    http://www.awf.or.jp/program/pdf/p061_088.pdf

    Have a nice read!

  26. J_ said

    Tomijiro, Remember prostitution was not illegal at that time.
    Japanese army commanders gave brothel owners permission to run their business, as long as they follow the rules. The rules included, no violence, no deception and no abduction.

    What exactly do you want to accuse Japanese govermnet for?

  27. Shiba said

    “Other countries also did bad things, so stop complaining.”

    It is very rude to me. I do NOT deny any raping that was going around among Imperial Forces’ soldiers at that time.

    “Suppose your country’s soldiers sexually abused countless thousands of women in an organized fashion.”

    An organized fashion! If Seiji Yoshida had been right, you would be right too.

    OK. The problem is whether one’s “country’s soldiers sexually abused countless thousands of women.”

    You are right if you included following these tragedies:
    米兵による戦後沖縄の女性に対する犯罪
    http://www.coara.or.jp/~yufukiri/henji/jyoseinohigai.html

    I just pointed out the US Congressmen/women seek Japan’s apologies while they ignore raping or prostitution during the occupation of Japan, and ignore abortion, “American japanese” as a result of raping and prostitution. Is it still reasonable to you?

  28. Aceface said

    Durf:
    Read this only under one promise.I read your blog sometimes and I consider you as an internet friend(one sided emotion,ofcourse).And I want to feel as the same after you’ve read this.But I also feel that I need to reply your post.So don’t take what ever you feel about me to the other blogs.OK?

    “Suppose your country’s soldiers sexually abused countless thousands of women in an organized fashion. Would your neighbors want the prime minister endlessly telling them that technically, the soldiers weren’t involved in the recruitment phase of the operation, or claiming that those girls were all willing whores?”

    Fact 1.
    Japanese Prime Ministers did not endlessly telling our neighbors
    what exactly the comfort station was all about.

    Correct me if I’m wrong,but I think Abe is the only PM who said about what he think about Imperial army’s involvment on comfort women and to be frank,what he said was not particulary offensive unlike many foreign media had made up the day after,certainly none such as “they were all willing whores”.
    C’mon Durf,you know all this.Don’t let me defend the guy whom I don’t even care to vote for.

    Fact 2.
    Instead endlessly telling meaningless technical trivias on comfort station,many of the PM had apologized.

    Again correct me if I’m wrong,but with the exception of Hata Tsutomu,who was PM in 1994 for only a few months,EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM had apologized.Heck,Hata is definitely more liberal than some of those who had apologized,I just take a wild guess that the reason of his absence on the list was purely his term was too short to do anything other than saving his ass.

    Now since I’m no psychiatrist and I have no way of telling how “sincere”the apologies were and I have little belief in any politicians of the world ever had such “sincerity” you could entirely trust in the first place,I still don’t understand why everyone including the U.S house of representatives turned them all down while demanding a new one.Do they want another apology only to turn it down the next day?

    “There are documentation problems that make it impossible to show a grand military plan for the sex station system. There are problems with the accounts given by one witness.”

    Fact 3.
    There are documentation that had proved to show a military plan for the sex station system.

    There was a trial in Dutch Indonesia on using Dutch women in comfort station in Sumaran and some of the Japanese military men got maximum sentence,Death by hanging,for that.
    Jan Ruff O’Herne,who happenes to be an Australian citizen now,and people surround her know this.Because she was the victim in this case.Somehow she choose to be that there-was-no-justice league.But in my opinion the crime commited upon her had met with justice 60 years ago.
    Unlike Ishii Unit 731,comfort station was never a secret to anyone.There is a valid argument that Korea and Taiwan couldn’t send delegates in Tokyo trials because they were Japanese colonies,thus this issue was not solved there.But if the system of the recruitement was so wide spread why didn’t allies choose this issue at the trial in Tokyo? Or did they?
    Why didn’t Korea nor Republic of China,never used this precious card as diplomatic leverage until the 90’s?They did bring lots of our wrong doings on the table to gain political advantage in the past.Why not political dynamite like confort women?
    Is it too much to say that everyone understood the circumstances of military and the brothels?

    Of course there is progress of ideas in the world and rise of the feminism had shed new light that was overshadowed by the male dominant society in the past.And that’s why the Asian Women Fund was made.Now why is this form of salvation and reconcilliation is kept rejected by everyone including those who don’t know even know it’s existence?

    Fact 4.
    Japan’s international image is destined to go to the toilet with or without deniers.and there is not a single.damn.thing. that Japanese can do about it.

    Since you are regular Mutantfrog Travelogue reader,you may know all the argument regarding WaPo’s “Sushi Police”and”Thought police”that I’ve been making in the past 6 months.You probably read what NYT has been writing on Japan in a past few years as if Tokyo of 2007 is actually Weimar of 1933.
    Gaijin reporters like doing this.And they call this journalism.Japan is a free country and these guys are trained journalists and they can write what ever they want to write.And I’m not objecting their press freedom in any way.Just don’t blame us for the outcomes of their sappy journalism on Japan.

    “Nobody gives a shit, except for a handful of Japanese who think that endlessly debating historical technicalities is an activity so important”
    It ‘s important to talk about the fact and searching the truth.Especially your very ass is at stake in the debate.You don’t know about this because you are not in it.There are reasons why foreigners are called “people outside”.

    “I swear, nobody in a position of power in this country has an ounce of PR sense”
    I certainly agree.And our leaders don’t have any nerve like preaching about wartime wrong doing of the past on one hand and making it in progress on the other.I had to think about it listening to the endless Americana by Edith of which made me to post a rant in broken English.

    “Other countries also did bad things, so stop complaining.” Yeah, that’ll fly. Congrats, you have just as much talent for public relations as the boneheads who signed the WaPo ad.

    Now that I agree whole heartly.
    But when your house gets on fire,people go nuts.And if your house gets fire every.single.time.you rebuild it again and the fire is started by the same neighbor whom we think we did every thing we can to be a friendly neighbor,and the fire fighters who are supposed to be coming at once,stop coming by saying “this is all partly your fault”you will start getting some ugly emotion.and that would partly explain these commenters along with WaPo ad people.Not that I join with the idea,though.

    One question for you,Durf.what exactly do you think about this house resolution anyway? I really like to know your opinion since you are bilingual and experienced translator.And some magic idea to put us off the hook? You know we are not good at PRs.

  29. Durf said

    Aceface: Don’t worry; your post was presented very reasonably and I won’t take it any other way than in the spirit of dialogue. 🙂

    One question for you,Durf.what exactly do you think about this house resolution anyway? I really like to know your opinion since you are bilingual and experienced translator.And some magic idea to put us off the hook? You know we are not good at PRs.

    I think the congressional resolution was a pointless feel-good tactic for a domestic audience. It has no bearing on international relations. This makes Kato Ryozo’s alleged letter (still haven’t seen a full copy of the text) an excessive show of bluster–seriously, “lasting damage”? Nobody cares. Americans will keep buying Sharp TVs and Japanese will keep eating Krispy Kreme donuts in Shinjuku.

    I agree with you of course that there have been proper apologies offered in the past. Japan should be confident enough in *those* historical facts that it feels no need to go nuts every time someone somewhere starts talking about other details in history. まぁ、過去に何度も謝っているけど、その反省を無視したければ勝手に無視すればいいんじゃない? And then just be silent. In my opinion that’s the best thing that Japan can do when it confronts stuff like this resolution.

    The worst things it can do are to let people like the 日本会議 control the Japanese response, or to approach the issue like a college-level history seminar where arguing over minutiae counts for something. The masses are a stupid creature. If you try to communicate with them at that sort of level you’re destined to fail, because they already have a Big Picture in mind–Japan did bad stuff during the war–and any attempt to argue against part of that image instantly makes the masses think you’re rejecting the entire history.

    Just let history be history. If the US Congress proves it can’t, smile and be quiet and superior to the US Congress. (God knows that isn’t too hard to do!)

  30. Ken said

    What I got by this resolution;
    *The dignity of Congress was dedraded by Japanese govt’s neglect.
    *Democratic Party prefers China and Korea to Japan.
    (It is Democratic Party administratrion which executed A-bomb.)
    What I did not get;
    *If at all Japan apoligized, China and Korea would not have been able to repay the cost of bribe to Mike Honda. What was it for?

  31. Topcat said

    http://www.asahi.com/politics/update/0802/TKY200708010476.html

    自民党の代議士でも断ったかもしれませんね(笑)。

    下院での決議案採択は、日米関係の転換点となりましたね、確かに。
    今はそう見えなくても、いずれ、関係が変化したことが誰の目にもあきらかになるでしょう。
    遅くとも3年以内に、日米同盟はほとんど形骸化したものとなっているでしょう。
    現在進行形で変化を促しているのは、アメリカの意思です。

  32. Aki said

    Durfさんのコメントを読んで、アメリカ人にはもう辟易しました。アメリカ上院は、国際問題として決議したんでしょう? アメリカ上院が国際問題にしたのに、何ですか、これは? → “I think the congressional resolution was a pointless feel-good tactic for a domestic audience. It has no bearing on international relations.”
    日本人を馬鹿にするのもいいかげんにしてくれ。

  33. Aki said

    Sorry for the typo
    上院 → 下院

  34. Aceface said

    みなさん聞いてください。

    Durfさんは日本語の文献も読み、日本の世論を正確に把握している人です。今回の一件が日米関係には影響がないという彼の意見には私個人としては同意しませんし、これが日韓関係(そして今後のホンダ議員の動き次第では日中)に与える影響は甚大だと思います。率直にいって、ニクソンショックや湾岸危機と同じ水準の挫折感を外務省や自民党の知米派に与えたことも否定できません。
    しかし、過剰反応はするべきではない、という彼の意見には傾聴するべきところがあるのではないでしょうか。率直にいって、今後の日米関係はアメリカのアジア政策や世界戦略の変化などの変数も考えると楽観できません。となれば、日本側に冷静さを維持し、状況を見定めることが肝要かと考えます。結局のところ、今の日本には対米関係をこれ以上悪化させることができるような贅沢は許されないと考えるからです。(だったら、それに見合ったコメントを最初からしろよ、との声が聞こえるような気もしますが、それはそれで反省します。自分は血の気が多いもので。)

    また、私としては、このポストに寄せられた日本人の方の意見のほうが同意できかねるものが多いのも気になりました。

    本人は好き勝手なことをほざいておいてなにをいまさら、かもしれませんが、しかし、私の議論の基盤には、日本の戦後処理の失敗と、それ以前のアジアでの日本による未曾有の規模の人権侵害があったとの大前提があります。そして、こうした問題を他の事例で相対化することによってでは、問題を解決には導けないとの立場なのです。
    ですから、日本による主体的な取り組みであったアジア女性基金や、90年代を通じた政府による謝罪を全否定し、政治的に無効にしてしまった米下院にはやるせなさを感じますし、取り返しのつかないことをしてくれた、との思いもありますが、最終的に、ホンダ議員らの機会主義に名分を提供してしまったのは日本側(安部政権とワシントンポストに広告を乗せた人々)だ、と考えています。
    また、日本が歴史問題から解決されるには、当事国のモラルハザードにも注文をつけることは必要であるにしても、まず、第一にこうしたオウンゴールを減らしていくのが一番だ、と痛感しています。それには、自己の利益は守り、なおかつ被害者の心理も踏まえつつ、政治的には揚げ足を捕られない口の巧みさを身に付けることがが重要かな、と愚考する次第です。

  35. Ken said

    Ken,

    It is Democratic Party administratrion which executed A-bomb.

    That’s interesting. How many of the same elected officials are still in the Party?

  36. ponta said

    I agree that there was huge violations of human rights by Japanese troop during Ⅱ

    And I agree with Durf that the best that Japan can do is to say “まぁ、過去に何度も謝っているけど、その反省を無視したければ勝手に無視すればいいんじゃない?” (we apologized several times,, if you want to ignore them, so be it). And I think politicians should leave the details to civilians. They are statesmen, not history.

    But this comfort women issue has been repeated endlessly regardless of the fact that Japan apologized several times.
    .
    I think it is time to insist that among the nations concerned, only Japan faced the issue of war-time prostitution.

    If they want Japan to issue more apology, let’s discuss it among the nations concerned and define the terms of apology so that the countries that committed the same crime also may issue the apology. I think that is fair and more productive.

    The resolution was hypocritical, and many Japanese are angry. Nonetheless, I think the U.S.-Japan alliance is essential for Japan. I sometimes wonder if the U.S. wants Japan to be a South Korean type of ally.

  37. ponta said

    http://www.sankei.co.jp/kokusai/usa/070803/usa070803000.htm
    A Chinese organization has been a driving force for Honda.

  38. bender said

    Ponta:

    I don’t give much credit to Komori…it’s probably true that some Chinese constituentes are behind this, but so probably are Koreans/Korean Americans who want to smear it on Japan whenever they have the chance. It’s probably like the Irish/Scottish making nasty statements about the Saxons and creating not-so-accurate movies about the Highlander’s rebellion against them. The only difference is that there’s almost no voice in the States to stand up agaisnt the Japanese, while there’s quite a lot of Anglos here.

    I agree with Durf that trying to couter-argue about the “coerciveness” wouldn’t work. The Sankei and the Yomiuri and other coservative opinions in Japan are off-the-mark about this issue. The Japanese are too naive in that they believe that the “truth” will prevail. This has nothing to do with the “truth”. Okamoto has written something interesting for Sankei, and basically, I think he has it right.

    http://www.sankei.co.jp/ronsetsu/seiron/070723/srn070723000.htm

    BTW, the ones who want to smear it on the Japanese are also full of BS. That’s for sure.

  39. tomojiro said

    Ponta

    I think Sankei (and the revisionist, the rightist inside the LDP) is wrong about the role of the so called anti-Japanese movements of the Chinese organization (and the assumed conspiracy of the CCP).

    I think this blogger who lives in Taiwan is spot on about the ridicule conspiracy theory of the CCP and the anti-Chinese organizations which many Japanese believe.
    http://blog.goo.ne.jp/mujinatw/e/99178ff0f956030cb2d94c6df6a438f5

    I don’t agree with him 100%, but his view about the background of this resolution is correct in my opinion.

    It is dangerous that there are many Japanese (politicians included) who believes this conspiracy theory.

    Arguing about the hypocrisy of the resolution led by the democrats or human rights activist is one thing, but to assume that the American democrats are pro-Chinese and anti-Japanese is ridiculous and dangerous.

    Here is another blogger about a different resolution from the house concerning China.
    http://kok2.no-blog.jp/tengri/2007/06/post_be0f.html

    I really hope that the Japanese in general abandon this simplistic and misleading category of “pro-Japanese (親日)” and “anti-Japanese(反日)”.

    Such kind of dichotomy is immature and childish.

  40. tomojiro said

    I agree with you 100% Bender.

    And Komori is basically a moron. In July on his blog, he wrote an article about the comfort women problem, and his impression about collected material by the Asian Women Fund which (he confessed it unashamedly) he read for the first time.

    FOR THE FIRST TIME! He is a professional journalist writing for years about the comfort women, appearing in American TV defending the position of the LDP rightist, criticizing the Koreans, and alarming about the evil “conspiracy” by the CCP and the Chinese organizations in America, and he has not read even the most basic materials which you can acquire on the net!

    I am speechless about his professionalism!

  41. Aceface said

    There were better days in Komori’s professional life back then,but now he is becoming a caricature of a journalist who does not duplicate fact and his opinion.

  42. Durf said

    Komori is a very good journalist. It’s just not a job he’s done properly for some time.

  43. KappNets said

    <私の議論の基盤には、日本の戦後処理の失敗と、それ以前のアジアでの日本による未曾有の規模の人権侵害があったとの大前提があります。そして、こうした問題を他の事例で相対化することによってでは、問題を解決には導けないとの立場なのです。>

    Japanese probably felt before the war that Westerners, especially Britain and the US, tried to own/control the world. The USSR was another threat. The same type of feeling as Iranians and Iraqis may feel today.
    You talk about democracy and human rights, but such diplomatic cards? may not have ultimate values except for those who want to own the world. Look at China. There is no human rights there, but the people are satisfied.

  44. ampontan said

    “The masses are a stupid creature. If you try to communicate with them at that sort of level you’re destined to fail…”

    That reminds me of one of my favorite political stories of all time.

    When Jesse Jackson was running for President the first time, he went to Alabama to meet with Gov. George Wallace.

    Picture that for a few seconds.

    Jackson asked Wallace if he had any advice for his campaign.

    Wallace told him, “Jessie you’ve got to keep the grass down where the goats can get at it.”

  45. Aceface said

    Jackson also went to Harare back in the 90’s to talk with the president of Zimbabwe,Robert Mugabe.Mugabe dismissed the meeting with visiting japanese health minister to greet Jackson at the airport.Angry japanese minister left Harare on the next plane.The minister’s name was Koizumi Jyunichiro.

  46. ponta said

    I don’t know what kind of conspiracy theory Komori hold.
    Here is what Komori showed.

    Rep. Mike Honda

    July 30, 2007

    I want to thank also the group called the Global Alliance for Truth in the Sino-Japanese War. Back in 1999, they held the pictorial exhibit of what happened in Asia, one of which was about the comfort women issue and their tutelage and their advocacy was the initial exposure that we had as an office, I had as an individual, and it was their advocacy that gave me the information and the impetus to carry the Assembly Joint Resolution 27 in the State of California…

    It seems clear that Chinese group and Korean group were pushing for the resolution. Without their pushing Honda and Lantos, there would have been no resolution.
    Does anybody really believe the U.S. purely out of moral concern passed the resolution?—- without passing the resolution to make Korea (and the U.S.) to issue the apologies for the comfort stations Korean troop learned from Japan in Korea after WWⅡ?

  47. Aceface said

    As I said before sometime in the past thread,Ponta.
    The matter here is Korea was colonized by Japan and that is the basis of their victimhood.Comfort women argument happens to be an issue that was convenient to crystalize that and gain international recognitions.Nothing more,Nothing less.
    So I think your argument on Korean comfort women consumed by Korean military in Korea would only have to be dealt by Koreans.

  48. ponta said

    “So I think your argument on Korean comfort women consumed by Korean military in Korea would only have to be dealt by Koreans.”

    That is the best option.

    But here we have forgotten “sex slaves” out there. Who will restore their dignity does not matter.
    Isn’t that one reason why the U.S. issued the resolution?
    And don’t forget, in case of Korea (and Japan and
    Vietnam) the US was involved in “sex slaves” business.

    The U.S. issued the resolution, it is said, for Japan and for the stability of East Asia, why not the U.S. “suggest” another resolution for Korea and for the stability of East Asia?

    And my point has been that if the countries concerned can settle the terms of apologies so that every country concerned who committed the same crime may agree to issue the apology to the former “comfort women” ,that is the best solution in view of diplomacy and in view of saving the forgotten comfort women—That, I believe, will settle the issue fairly and ultimately.

    But it seems not many people know the fact about the relevant facts. If that is the case, let the world know the fact.

    Another point is if the U.S. keep turning a blind eye
    to the crime she is involved while demanding Japan more apologies, it is like a policeman who rebuke only black people who have already apologized while turning a blind eye to the crime of white people and their donors. Surely that is not what the U.S. want Japanese people to believe, I guess.

  49. Ken said

    Kenny,

    “How many of the same elected officials are still in the Party?”
    Probably none. Then what?

  50. ponta said

    Allow me to double post, but let me make myself clear. I am an admire of the U.S. I respect her openness and her self-critical attitude…. I respect many things American. I have leaned numerous things that influenced my life style from American thinkers. I even hope that the U.S. will lead the world. I believe Japan and the U.S. should make be friendly in every level. That is why I was shocked at this resolution. And I believe this resolution is just wrong.

    I have discussed this issues on many places. What I have learned through the discussions is that however people try to explain that Japan was to blame and so apologized but Japan as a matter of policy didn’t forcibly recruited the women, rather regulated the illegal agents, and coercion was exceptional , some people will point out “so what? the women worked against their will and it was still deadly wrong, you are apologist.
    In this regard, I am afraid the attempt by people like Sakurai to explain away the situation will be cited as the evidence that Japanese evade the responsibility.

    It is vital to realize that this resolution was pushed forward by “human right activists” who are determined to exclusively focus on Japan’s war time crimes to make Japan apologize endlessly no matter how Japan explained, no matter how many times Japan apologize.

    I think we need to shift this frame of reference, and
    focus on the exploitation of the women by military of the countries concerned.

    To settle the matter in this situation satisfactory to everyone involved, I think there is no other way but to get this “human right activists” involved in the frame of reference defined above, using their logic, using their cause. After all that is beneficial for everyone, the former comfort women under Japanese rule, the forgotten comfort women under Korea and the U.S. and numerous “sex slaves” who have been working against their will in Asia for military, Japan, U.S.Korea, and other Asian nations.
    Even Japanese feminists who have been working for the
    former comfort women would not oppose it.

    Besides, it is much easier to understand Japan’s claim if people put themselves in Japan’s shoe. How would, for instance, Koreans or Honda/Lantos who rebuke Japan respond to the allegation the U.S. and Korea forced hundreds of thousands of women into brothels against their will and the victims are still ignored and despised ? Would they immediately issue the several apologies and set the fund to help the former comfort women exploited by thier countries? Or are they become “Holocaust denier”? —-I don’t know, but I am sure they will pay more attention to the nuance of what is alleged.

  51. Ken said

    “How many of the same elected officials are still in the Party?”
    Probably none. Then what?

    I guess I’ll take that point by default.

  52. bender said

    Ponta,

    I think arguing that prostutution is one of the prevalent occupations in S Korea at the time is a bad move. So is the coersion/non-coersion argument.

    This issue is not really about the merits of the accusations- it’s about how these so-called human rights activists want to attack the integrity of the Japanese image. Don’t feed them with bird-feed that will only encourage them to misrepresent Japan to the world. Japan did apologize and compensate. It’s over with.

    Also, it’s important that the Japanese leaders don’t seem like they’re flip-flopping over this issue. Don’t give in to the stupid questions about WWII- ignore it or shrugg it off. Never try to legitimize because that’s really what they’re looking for. They’re bunch of turkey vultures trying to pick on carrion from WWII.

  53. tomojiro said

    Again I agree with you 100%, bender

    Ponta, the more the Japanese try to defend what the IJA did during the WW2, the more they are contributing to make the picture of “the never apologizing ever militaristic Japanese” what the Chinese and the Korean nationalists want.

  54. ponta said

    Bender
    I am not trying to argue prostutution is one of the prevalent occupations in S Korea at the time is a bad move. So is the coersion/non-coersion argument.

    Korea has the exactly the same comfort stations after WWⅡ. Korea emulated Japan

    Forgotten Korean comfort women

    Whereas the Korean comfort women for the Imperial Japan are well-known, the Korean comfort women for the Korean troop and GIs are less known, The Korean and the U.S. governments should face the facts and issue official apologies..

    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)

    the broker
    year……..1927…1931…1937…1941
    Japanese…162… 269….203……211
    Korean…. 2598…2320.. 3097…3744
    (Hata Ikuo, Comfort women and sex of the battle fieil(Japanese)page 40 )

    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

    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….
    (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

    [T]he 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(blog))

    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(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.
    (Ministry of Foreing Affair)

    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.(White House government news release)

    Asian Womens fund was set up.

    Korea

    None.

    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)

    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 US congressional report).

    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-comfort 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)

  55. KappNets said

    The real issue is why so many Congress men/women willingly follow Honda’s advice.

  56. ponta said

    The real issue is the restoration of the dignity of former comfort women and how the relevant governments have faced the past.
    Japan issued the letter of apology to the former comfort women with a donation.

    Korea and the U.s. have not.

    The tactics by people such as Sakurai is bound to fail(at least as long as we don’t shift the framework.)

    The tactics of keeping apologizing have miserably failed.

    And now

    more and more Japanese have come to realize that they are not always treated as equal as other nationals in the world, because of the perception that people overseas have about what Japan did during the 20th century.

    http://www.glocom.org/opinions/essays/20070723_mera_toward/index.html

    I think it is time to work on the new frame of reference.

  57. Aceface said

    Durf:
    Ooops!

    “It ’s important to talk about the fact and searching the truth.Especially your very ass is at stake in the debate.You don’t know about this because you are not in it.There are reasons why foreigners are called “people outside””

    This part is some how lost…

    “and this tiny bit of facts and interests are what makes inside,outside thing.”

    Without that the part sounds more offensive than it was actually intended..

    Ponta:

    I don’t get all of this.What are you trying to say would simply be translated as “an eye for an eye”like counterargument and purely tactical one.

    In Korea,there is a debate at the parliment that government support of ex-victim of Japanese colonialism such as mobilizing for war effort at home or those who had transported to Japan,something that Korea was responsible for the treaty in ’64 with the money they’ve got from Tokyo.But there is a very low coverage of this issue in Korean media and it is less than 10 % of their coverage on the U.S house resolution.Probably because President Roh had vetoed the current plan for it could put more financial debt to tax payers.And the papers simply don’t want make this into political focus point in the year of presidential election.The truth of the matter is Koreans do not care about salivation of the victims or human rights for that matter.It’s all about nationalism here.Your argument would simply add more nastiness in the whole debate.

  58. ponta said

    Aceface
    “I don’t get all of this. What are you trying to say would simply be translated as “an eye for an eye”like counterargument and purely tactical one.”

    Not exactly, I am suggesting the new frame of reference in which participants in this issue can talk fairly.
    Japan will be also under criticism in a context where Korea and the U.S. will be criticized in the same criteria they criticize Japan.

    I just don’t understand at all why people who support
    the resolution will oppose my plan.
    I also don’t understand why Japan should keep such a low profile that you can not point out the same crimes in other countries.

    “The truth of the matter is Koreans do not care about salivation of the victims or human rights for that matter .It’s all about nationalism here.”
    I agree, that is why their demand is endless.
    And that is why my plan will work. It worked for the hypocrites Jesus addressed when he said “he who has no sin throw stones.” Well I hope at least it will work for Americans.


    Your argument would simply add more nastiness in the whole debate.”
    I don’t see how. As i said I believe it will be benificial to everyone concerned.

    By the way , what is your suggestion? keep apologizing for whatever allegation people make? leaving forgetten comofort women ignored and depised?

  59. Aceface said

    “I also don’t understand why Japan should keep such a low profile that you can not point out the same crimes in other countries.”
    You just answered it by yourself“he who has no sin throw stones.” Especially when you are living in the house of glass,you don’t slow stones to others.

    “By the way , what is your suggestion? keep apologizing for whatever allegation people make? leaving forgetten comofort women ignored and depised?”
    No,and I’ve made my point by myself in many posts here,you know that.But I start to think continueing apologies may not that all bad.Sometimes the best offense is the defense.

  60. Topcat said

    Passing the resolution is a clear message that America has chosen China as America’s only and authentic partner in East Asia.

    Nothing surprising to the Japanese public.

    China is:
    1) a great market with 13 hundred million consumers
    2) a gigantic military power which will soon surpass America

    On the other hand, America:
    1) does not want get involved in any conflict in East Asia any longer
    2) knows herself she cannot match China in military strength any more
    3) needs to concentrate her military force in Middle East

    Therefore, we (the Japanese public) understand that America sees no point in supporting Japan.

  61. Ken said

    Topcat,

    Quite frankly, that idea is insane. First, the House does not set foreign policy. The State Department does. After the resolution was passed, the executive branch bent over backwards to ensure Japanese leadership that the resolution was meaningless.

    Have you read the resolution and the related pronouncements? They praise Japan more than criticize it.

    Are you aware of the China-targeted legislation currently under debate in Congress that actually has legal teeth, especially concerning the economy?

    Now, I do agree with point 1 in your second part. As for point 1 in your first part, 13 hundred million consumers? Check out the purchasing parity figures in China.

  62. Topcat said

    And also:
    4) America has made the 6-party talks (on DPK’s nuclear) meaningless by bypassing Japan and having talks with DPK and China … see 1) above
    5) America has decided not to sell F22 (Raptor) fighters to Japan; a signal to China that America admits China’s supremacy in East Asia

    Therefore, we (tha Japanese public) believe little that America will cooperate with Japan’s defence against China.
    China will start to invade Okinawa within a few years after 2011, but America will let China do whatever China wants.

    We are not panicking; we are just feeling ” Well, it’s very American.”

  63. tomojiro said

    “Therefore, we (the Japanese public) believe little that America will cooperate with Japan’s defence against China.
    China will start to invade Okinawa within a few years after 2011, but America will let China do whatever China wants.”

    Topcat, you are in urgent need to see a mental counselor. You need anger management.

    Second, don’t write “we”, write “I”. It is your personal impression and opinion.

    And, it is embarrassing to assume or hint that other Japanese will feel like you.

  64. Aceface said

    Oh,well.It’s a free country,after all.

  65. ponta said

    Aceface

    “I also don’t understand why Japan should keep such a low profile that you can not point out the same crimes in other countries.”
    You just answered it by yourself“he who has no sin throw stones.” Especially when you are living in the house of glass,you don’t slow stones to others.

    I don’t take the story as banning criticism. I take it as suggesting not to be hypocritical. So it does not follow that nobody is exempt from criticism. It does not follow people can not criticize. It only follows each person apply the criteria he used against others to himself.

    I agree to some extent that Japan is the house of glass. But should Japan that weak?— Japan should refrain from criticizing the U.S. and Korea?
    As I said the US Japan relations should be friendly in every level, but it does not follow the U.S. can issue the offending resolution. This resolution was hypocritial.

    No,and I’ve made my point by myself in many posts here,you know that.But I start to think continueing apologies may not that all bad.Sometimes the best offense is the defense

    So here we have three options:
    (1) Keep continuing apologizing whatever the allegation.
    (2) keep apologizing , correcting the wrong statements.
    (3) Set up the new frame of reference where every participant be applied the same criteria of criticism.

    I think (1) has failed diplomatically, and domestically more and more Japanese people are discontent with that tactics.
    And (2) is bound to fail because the more you explain, the more you sound apologetic.

    I think, and I believe you insinuated , the real opponents are not “human right activists” but ultra-nationalists who will demands apology endlessly. I am afraid (1) and (2) do not appreciate this point fully.

    (3) will not fuel nationalism and will settle the issue finally among the nations concerned because because each participants will be subject to the same criteria.
    (3) will further strengthen human right equally among the relevant Asian nations.

    I hope more and more Japanese, from the hard-line rightists to the leftist, from the conservative to the feminists, and the Asian people who have been working for “sex slave” will follow the course of (3)because that, I think , is the most cooperative and productive way, among the options suggested.

    But if somebody has more attractive option, I am ready to change my mind.

  66. Aceface said

    Well,you’ve read my looong post on house resolution and I agree with you about it’s a hypocracy in a way.And I never said Japan should not criticize Korea or the U.S.
    It’s just there is time and place and occasion for making a valid counterargument.
    Speaking up NOW in either in Washington or in Seoul or in Tokyo about Comfort system practiced by other countries may not bring the response you were intended to bring.

    So far I have no option to come up with to satisfy you,but I can safely say your”Set up the new frame of reference where every participant be applied the same criteria of criticism”is a quixotesque act to my eyes and would eventually destroy all the reputation we tried to build throgh the 90’s.This,coming from a Japanese dude with conservative mind.

  67. Mika said

    Topcat may be overreacting, but I know there are many Japanese people who are really disappointed with US politicians and US media’s desrespectful attitude toward Japan. Those who keep pointing fingers at Japan are not only hypocrites, but they are also ignorant. I keep learning how many hypocrite and ignorant people there are in this world.

  68. ponta said

    Aceface

    for making a valid counterargument.
    Speaking up NOW in either in Washington or in Seoul or in Tokyo about Comfort system practiced by other countries may not bring the response you were intended to bring.

    I agree to some extent. I also think now might not be the best time, but on the other hand, I think we should be ready because the ulranationalists might use this resolution to spread the movement.

    I can safely say your”Set up the new frame of reference where every participant be applied the same criteria of criticism”is a quixotesque act to my eyes and would eventually destroy all the reputation we tried to build throgh the 90’s.

    I don’t see why promoting human right will destory the reputation Japan has built.
    Abe said Japan would be promoting human rights and the rule of law. Why not carry it out? And who will oppose it ? My framwork is the one the conservative and liberal can work together.It might touch the nerve of hypocrites by telling the truth that will hurt them, though. Is that what are you afraid of ?

    “The U.S. wants to create trouble between Japan, China and Korea”

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/newsfull.php?newid=17377

    What the US did was not stablizing East Asia but upsetting it. If she really wants to stabilize it, she needs to do something more, and one way to do is to work on the frame of reference I suggested.

  69. tomojiro said

    Ponta

    The problem of Abe is like his choose about the members of the cabinet. He choose the wrong person and could’nt manage them.

    Precisly the same when it comes to problems about history. I value his vists to China and Korea, trying to restoring diplomatic relationship.

    But he got the wrong friends like Nakayama and friends from the 日本会議 who constantly scored numerous own goals. He failed to aptly deal with the intentional miss report by the NYT.

    In other words, he just fucked up.

    And he was thought to be the hope of “ultra nationalists” in Japan you see…

  70. KappNets said

    “This resolution was HYPOCRITICAL.”

    If viewed from outside, “hypocrisy” appears to be a relevant keyword in viewing the policies/posture of the superpower especially on the subject being discussed.

    My concern is if the Americans, too, admit this. They may have their (slightly different) keyword in viewing the world.

  71. Topcat said

    “Topcat, you are in urgent need to see a mental counselor.”
    ” You need anger management.”

    I don’t understand what you mean.

    Look at the map and you will realize why China wants or needs to invade Okinawa. China will attack Okinawa first to get Taiwan.

    And it is NOT impossible for China to take Okinawa.

    Do you believe America (US military bases) will remain in Okinawa eternally?

    Last year in Okinawa, Itokazu Keiko 糸数慶子 (an ultra leftist) lost in the election to choose the governer (she got a seat in Upper House last week).

    But “grass-roots movements” will soon be so active to protest against the presence of US military bases in Okinawa.

    China (and North & South Korea) will maneuver Japanese left-leaned activists behind the scenes.

    Then, America (US military bases) will leave Okinawa willingly.

    Just think of what has been happening in South Korea.

    US bases in Okinawa will of course be taken over by Japan’s Defence Army, but Okinawan leftists will resist the take-over.

    If an ultra leftist becomes the governer, Okinawa will be fully disarmed and China will never miss such a chance.

    Just think again of what happened to Takeshima decades ago. South Korea got the Japan’s island while Japan was fully disarmed.

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