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New York state passes Comfort Women resolution as Japanese email campaign backfires

Two weeks after it was first introduced, the New York State Senate unanimously passed a resolution recognizing the pain and suffering of the Comfort Women.

This is the second state legislative body to adopt such a resolution. The California State Assembly adopted one in 1999.

You can read the resolution below:

Comfort by

Here’s a press conference by Queens lawmaker Sen. Tony Avella, who sponsored the resolution. He mentions the email campaign by certain Japanese elements, which predictably backfired:

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  • que337

    Admist NY State resolution, women leadership made voices: “Japan must acknowledge unsavory past” (Professor Jennifer Lind) and “Germany has an everlasting responsibility for the crimes
    of National Socialism”
    (Chancellor Angela Merkel).

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Japan will never acknowledge anything. Nation of savage beasts proud of their despicable past.

  • Wedge1

    What did Japan ever do to you, Chief?

  • Kev

    The more Japan tries to whitewash their past, the more ridiculous they look in the eyes of international community. In the same week that German chancellor Merkel states that Germans have an everlasting responsibility for their war crimes, Japan announces extensive revisions of their history textbooks and apologetic statements, to allow the region to ‘look forward’ to the future rather than dwell on the past.

  • provIdence

    I have a difficulty in understanding the main resolution “RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to memorialize a Memorial Monument …” Please someone translate it to a sentence which could be understood by most (Korean or Japanese) high-school graduates.

  • ChuckRamone

    the comfort women were really prostitutes. all countries had these services for their militaries. also the Jews were not really in concentration camps. they were actually submissive slaves for their dominant masters. there’s a big s&m industry that forms around every area with soldiers.

  • Kev

    You must be the kind of minions that NY Senator Avella talked about in his press conference, the thousands of minions sending abusive emails protesting the Senate resolution on comfort women.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Nazi Germany never did anything directly to me either, nor you, Chief. How do you feel about the Nazis? The Germans at least apologized. The savages in Japan will never do so, they are still blood thirsty savage assholes.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    He was most likely being sarcastic.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Yeah, I think he’s being sarcastic. But stick around—we have a couple of commenters who really do believe that.

  • gbnhj

    DECIDED, That this group of lawmakers stop its work for a short time, to recognize and think about a monument which was created to remind us about something…

  • stereo

    Read this. http://www.awf.or.jp/e6/statement-12.html
    Japan paid compensation to each former comfort women who came forward between 1996 and 2007. That is in addition to the agregate compensation paid to Korea in 1965. Now they want the 3rd bit out of the same thing. Compensation paid to Korea is just waste of money.

  • yankdownunder

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Alien_Land_Law_of_1913

    California Alien Land Law of 1913

    It affected the Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Korean immigrant farmers in California. Implicitly, the law was primarily directed at the Japanese.

    Racist politicians in NY and CA. What they did/do and said/say are facts, easily verified
    .
    They and their supporters have no evidence about cw. They know nothing about the subject. hey don’t even know that most of the women were Japanese. Racist idiots all.

  • provIdence

    Thank you gbnhj. In that case, I understand that the group of lawmakers have been chiefly discussing whether to approve or not the existence of the Memorial Monument. I wonder why this Resolution of stopping the discussion for a while entertains so many Chinese, Koreans and other Americans as well.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Like I said, Kev, you wouldn’t have to wait long.

  • Kev

    Hi Robert and thanks for your interest in this issue. I have a youtube channel that aims to counter the claims of Japanese history denialists. http://www.youtube.com/user/justice4comfortwomen

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    And waiting for common human decency from Japan is a waste of time.

  • Kev

    For those interested, I have a youtube channel dedicated to countering the claims of the Japanese that comfort women were paid prostitutes. Please take a minute to visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/justice4comfortwomen

  • Kev

    Japanese PM openly denies the accusations. What good is an apology if it is denied later, by the top politician representing the country?

  • stereo

    I am afraid a comfort woman satisfies every definition of a prostitute.

  • cm

    Wait a second. The main objection of that fund is that they were privately funded, not a government redress. The victims were looking for an official state redress from Japan nationally endorsed by the Japanese parliament. Instead it was a sympathy trip designed to shut the women up. Also, each women were offered $16,000, an insulting amount considering that three quarters of the women who served, died in the war, either murdered or killed during the battles.

  • stereo

    What are you waiting for? Has not Japan given to Korea already?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    And a Jap satisfies every definition of savage. You too, tsunami boy

  • http://www.globalasianculture.com Liz

    Comparisons of Japanese redress to German penance is understandable. But then again, two very different populations.

    Germany repudiated race-based nationalism for good reasons. Japan actually considered itself a multi ethnic empire from 1931-1945, and probably before that, but after the war settled for a race/ethnos/minzoku raison d’etre after WWII.

    Through dialogical conceptualization, the Germans were able to see themselves more clearly through the negation of their natural connection to both a real and imagined racial identity.

    Japan’s race-based identity, though, is arguably stronger than ever.

    As long as these Japanese activists see this as a race-based nationalism issue, rather than a human rights issue, I really don’t see a solution to this impasse.

    I can only hope there are more people in general (and not just Japanese) who do actually see this as a human rights issue, and not a matter of one nation trumping another.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Keep talking like that, stereo. It’s worked out great for your cause so far.

  • gbnhj

    Actually, the resolution states that the lawmakers are to stop their regular work for a short time and reflect on the monument and what it represents. After that, their work should continue as normal. The resolution doesn’t instruct anyone to cease discussion related to the monument (or anything else, for that matter).

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    It just makes it easier to isolate Japan and see them for the pariah nation they are. I think its great. Soon no one will be buying anything from them, and the demographic collapse will be nicely accompanied by an economic one. Who needs Japan, anyway? In 100 years parents will be teaching kids about a nation that once inhabited the islands east of Korea, made up of fascist-nationalist chauvinists and how lucky the world is to have them around no more.

  • stereo

    I do not know what garbage the yellow journalism of Korea puts in your head.

    >The main objection of that fund is that they were privately funded
    AWF was funded by tax money. It also accepted private donations.

    >an official state redress from Japan nationally endorsed by the Japanese parliament.
    Read the Japanese constitution. The cabinet has the diplomatic power of Japan. The parliament does not have any diplomatic power. If it ever makes a resolution regarding diplomacy, that resolution has no legally binding power. The cabinet made an apology statement. There is nothing better than that.

    >three quarters of the women who served, died in the war, either murdered or killed during the battles.
    I know that you do not know the “three quarters” is true or not.

  • yankdownunder

    He’s a racist and the only thing he wants is for Japan to be destroyed.

  • stereo

    What solution do you think is appropriate, if there are no “Japanese activists”?

  • stereo

    >Japanese PM openly denies the accusations
    He does not deny Comfort women. Do you understand this point?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    why do YOU deny comfort women?

  • provIdence

    Thank you gbnhj, again. It lets me think that the NY State Legislative Body must be creating hundreds of trivial and non-trivial resolutions everyday, and this is a trivial one.

  • bumfromkorea

    When I see Merkel up there talking about Germany’s guilt, I absolutely believe that she means a word of it. I mean, Germany seriously hesitated screening Inglorious Basterd, a gorefest of Nazi-killing if there ever was one, because it had Nazis in it. Holy shit, dude. That’s a commitment, excessive maybe but definitely impressive and definitive.

    Anytime I see a random Japanese official making the similar statement, I want to believe him but I can’t. Mostly because few months before and after the statement, a major political figure says something like what stereo is saying down there and gets ZERO political or social backlash. I mean, when a dumbass US representative candidate says rape doesn’t impregnate women, his political career gets killed immediately. That’s how everyone confirms that ‘Oh, I guess Americans don’t think rape doesn’t impregnate women.’ When a US politician makes a sounds-like-racist comment in public, his ass is out of the office chair and into the street. That’s how everyone knows for sure that America as a society has rejected racism.

    When the motherfucking mayors of major Japanese cities and PM candidates/PMs says comfort women are prostitutes and doesn’t get his ass kicked out of office (and in fact gets re-elected, over and over again)? That makes me think. That makes me ponder just how much of weight all those apologies that the Imperial apologists love to fling at me really holds. That makes me wonder just what kind of weight such apologetic sentiment has in the Japanese society. I want to believe that vast majority of the Japanese society doesn’t think like Abe, Ishihara, Hashimoto, and the likes. I’ve met so many Japanese int students my age who were even more pissed at those three than I am. But I see all three of them not being politically radioactive in their respective political arena, and it makes me think.

  • Wedge1

    The Japanese apologize all the time. Countries like South Korea and China never accept the apology. It’s a fool’s game. Time to moveon.org.

    Obviously you have never lived in Japan nor know any Japanese people. If you did, you wouldn’t be calling them bloodthirsty savages.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Obviously, you have and you are emotionally biased.

  • Tapp

    I’m so tired of this ridiculous Japan vs. Korea stuff. You’re talking about things that happened over 65 years ago. Anyone that made decisions regarding these women have long since died. The entire world was at war. Everyone involved thought that their particular cause was completely justified. Bad shit happened everywhere and many people were brought up on war crimes charges. Japan was wrong and apologized, but Korea just looks like they’re kicking a man while they’re down. They come by that naturally having spent much of the last 3-400 years at the end of one set of boots or another. I have sympathy, but this animosity is unhealthy. I kinda wish I’d have kept a tally board for the number of times a 6 or 7 year old has told me that they want to kill all the Japanese or drop a bomb on them. That sort of racism and hatred isn’t hereditary… it’s taught. All of this is passed on to a bunch of innocent kids like a plague… just grow up and let it go.

  • stereo

    The apology is sincere to the extent the charges are true. No one wants to apologize what crime he did not commit. If you accuse someone who stole $100 for stealing $1,000,000, you will not get a sincere apology.

    The comfort woman accusation by Koreans is exaggerated, in terms of the number of the women, the country break down of the women and the hiring process. I think Koreans themselves know it is exaggerated, but want to keep it so because of, maybe, respect for the former comfort women. Japanese want accuracy. That is their nature. They argue the precise number and the precise country breakdown of the women. They argue how exactly the women were recruited. That may look insincere to the eyes of Koreans, Japanese are sincere in their own way. Japanese see exaggeration by Koreans insincere.

  • bumfromkorea

    So when the mayor of the goddamn capital of a country publicly states that the victims of the crime that Japan apologized for were willing prostitutes, and your reaction is “Well, hey. They apologized. Grow up and let it go.”?

    That’s the thing I don’t understand. A criminal rapes your family member, goes to jail, publicly apologizes, then goes on TV years later and start claiming that the family member was a whore and she loved getting fucked by the rapist, your reaction is “Well, hey. He apologized. Grow up and let it go.”.

    It blows my mind.

  • stereo

    I do not deny comfort women. What are you talking about?

  • bumfromkorea

    stereo, you sicken me in ways that I can’t express without risking getting banned from here.

  • provIdence

    The article by Professor Lind appeared very poor to me for a scholar who studied at institutions of so high fame and is working at the so prestigious college like Dartmouth which was headed, until recently, by a famed Korean professor, and I did not feel like reading all through. She, as a scholar who is versed with topics in discussion, should have written something about the evidence which led to the Kono statement, with which all were supposed to come to end but everything started.

  • Genie

    “Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and Republic of Korea” was concluded in 1965, but Korean Government kept hiding this treaty from their citizens until the year of 2005.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_Basic_Relations_between_Japan_and_the_Republic_of_Korea

    South Korea’s official documents show that under the treaty the Park Chung-hee administration agreed never to make further compensation demands against Japan, either at a government or individual level, after receiving US$800 million in grants and soft loans from Japan. Park, who was himself an elite product of the Japanese colonial system, did not hesitate to use the Japanese money in abundance for economic development. As a result, Park was acclaimed for bringing about the so-called “Miracle on the Han River”, South Korea’s export-driven rapid economic growth.

    Korean history books were written during the dictatorship era and Koreans were not permitted to have academic freedom. The result is that Koreans have a twisted view of history. Korea was a vassal state of China until Japan defeated China in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95, but Koreans would never accept those important aspect of their own history because it hurts their sense of cultural identity and national pride and threatens their superiority complex.

    I also find it disturbing that Koreans have this incessant desire to bring their historical issues onto American shores. You see it with the Sea of Japan issue encroaching in U.S. schools. Also the Dodko issue being publicized in American newspapers and attempts to mass publicize it by certain Korean owned businesses. It’s not even meant to be a somber remembrance, it’s a deliberate attempt to antagonize and show hostility towards all things Japanese, and hoping that their American “friends” will join in on the Japan hating.

    Most of countries have moved on and have friendly relationships with Japan. There are surveys by BBC that ranks the popularity of countries and it shows that Japan is the most favourably viewed nation in the world. The survey shows that only China and South Korea have significant negative views on Japan. Like it or not, Japan is a respected country and China and South Korea’s hate-mongering campaign against Japan are a failure and stupid.

  • Genie

    Believe it or not, many people were in severe poverty at that time and many parents often sold their daughters to the brokers or sold themselves voluntarily to save their families’ living. The comfort women system in World War II was pretty much ignored for fifty years because it was not seen as wrong. You seem to forget that Korean men formed a large part of the Japanese Imperial force in WWII. Park Chung Hee and many of the founders of Republic of Korea were officers in the Japanese Imperial army. After the Japanese left Korea in 1945, Koreans set up their own comfort women system for Korean and UN soldiers. If If it was such a heinous “sex-slave” system, why did Koreans adopt a same system after the Japanese left and set up “comfort women stations” for Korean and UN troops? There are Korean War comfort women complaining, but the US and South Korean governments ignore them.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/world/asia/08korea.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

    As unsatisfactory as Japanese apologies may or may not have been, at least they apologized, and an apology is better than no apology at all, which is just how many apologies the US and Korean governments have issued for Korean War comfort women.

    If justice has any meaning it has to be applied evenly and universally. What I do have a problem with is calling some nations to account while letting others slide. If you are truly against Sex Trade or feel that prostitution is a form of sexual slavery, then you should be critical of everyone who does it rather than focusing on one particular country.

  • robtseoul19566

    bugger off please

  • stereo

    Very interesting. I have no idea why my comment sickens you.

  • yangachibastardo

    Japan is doing that job really well already

  • yangachibastardo

    Japanese people are ok …Japanophiles on the other hand are generally speaking repulsive freaks

  • stereo

    >So when the mayor of the goddamn capital of a country publicly states that the victims of the crime that Japan apologized for were willing prostitutes

    Whom are you talking about?
    Prime Minister Abe said back in 2007, “there was no written evidence that Japanese military directly abducted women to make them comfort women”, and he was talking about Korea when he said so. He did not say they were “willing prostitute”. He did not deny comfort women, either. Did Koreans find any evidence since then?

  • Tapp

    That’s actually exactly what I’m saying. The mayor of the capital wouldn’t have said anything at all about it if the subject wasn’t being continually broached by Koreans. To my knowledge, he had nothing to do with anything that happened in WWII. I won’t apologize for something my grandfather did, either. I also won’t ask for any personal credit for things that either of my grandfathers did as American Marines during the Korean War. I do not own their accomplishments or their disappointments. No one would have called anyone a “whore” if their fathers and grandfathers hadn’t been called slave-mongers. Nothing good will ever come from any of this…

  • platethief

    `as long as these Japanese activists see this as a race-based nationalism issue, rather than a human rights issue, i really dont see a solution to this impasse`

    Id say both nations are viewing this through a nationalist spectrum. Afterall, i see little concern about those women forced into sexual slavery in current-day Korea. Id have expected that to be a primary concern for anyone viewing forced prostitution as a humanitarian issue,

    I wonder how many of those campaigning about the comfort women issue are involved in other organisations to bring about an end to current abuses and violence against women in modern day Korea?

    One of the tragedies of the comfort women seems to be how a humanitarian causf has become hijacked for the sake of progressing a nationalist agenda

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Well fuck me sideways. I guess since the Soviets deported their Volga German population to the middle of Kazakhstan without an apology and restitution, I guess this means the US really shouldn’t have apologized to Japanese-Americans for interning them during the war. You know, universality of the application of justice and all.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I also find it disturbing that Koreans have this incessant desire to bring their historical issues onto American shores.

    Somebody forgot to give Prime Minister Nakasone the memo:

    http://home.comcast.net/~eo9066/Maga.html

    Or to the asshats who signed the 2007 ad (calling the comfort women not only whores, but highly paid whores) that backfired so badly that it essentially got HR 121 passed.

    he survey shows that only China and South Korea have significant negative views on Japan.

    What does it say that the countries who know you the best like you the least?

    Like it or not, Japan is a respected country and China and South Korea’s hate-mongering campaign against Japan are a failure and stupid.

    I’ve got a Congressional resolution, two US state resolutions and a UN Human Rights Commission report that say otherwise. You want “failure” and “stupid”? OK, here you go—trying to land a permanent seat on the UNSC and normalize relations with your neighbors while acting like blockheads on the comfort women issue.

  • stereo

    Japanese government does not care what Americans do to Japanese-Americans. They are US nationals anyway. The US president apologized to fellow US citizens of Japanese origin probably because they have votes. It is internal matter.

    Universality of Justice is a good thing. When does US president start apologizing to the prostitutes during Korean War or prostitutes during US occupation of Japan after WW2?

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I wonder how many of those campaigning about the comfort women issue are involved in other organisations to bring about an end to current abuses and violence against women in modern day Korea?

    Well, since you ask, I’ve met the head of one of the most active groups dealing with the Comfort Women, and not only has she campaigned against sexual exploitation in Korea, she’s campaigned against sexual exploitation worldwide.

    Anyway, are you going to argue that just because there’s human trafficking in the United States means the State Department shouldn’t condemn slave trading in the Sahel?

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Japanese government does not care what Americans do to Japanese-Americans. They are US nationals anyway. The US president apologized to fellow US citizens of Japanese origin probably because they have votes. It is internal matter.

    Somebody forgot to tell Prime Minister Naksasone that:

    http://home.comcast.net/~eo9066/Maga.html

  • stereo

    I read your link. Everything was prepared by Japanese-Americans. I do not see much of involvement by Japanese government except some random comments by PM Nakasone.

    “Sir, what do you think of the HR442?” “Well, I do not know much about that, but it would be nice if it passes early and would be a nice footnote to US Japan relationship.”

    I remember that he was pretty much surprised to see strong repercussions from the US to his casual comments. If he had prepared it, he would have been more careful.

  • stereo

    When does NY state legislature adopts a resolution condemning sex trade in South Korea?
    I just cannot wait.

  • Genie

    Right, the US apologized only to their own citizens – Native Americans, African Americans, Japanese Americans. The US never apologized for atrocities committed in other countries. For example, The US keeps refusing to apologize for using chemical weapon on civilian population of Vietnam.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500164_162-249593.html

    If you think I’m wrong, feel free to show me the evidence that the presidents of the United States officially apologized to people in other countries for American imperial and wartime aggressions. I really don’t think that the US should really be the one to tell Japan to apologize.I cannot help but wonder how Americans can dare stand up and make such demands when the US military is guilty of creating numerous sex R&R destinations all over Asia, all of this done with the US military full knowledge and cooperation. As I said, Korean War comfort women’s demand for an apology from the US and Korean governments have been complately ignored.

    Any Japanese people who were alive at the time, would now be in their eighties or older. Soon none of them will be left and we will be dealing with a generation of Japanese people who view the deeds of their ancestors the same way Americans look at slavery…..”they did it, not me, I wasn’t there, I’m not responsible”.

    And, well, they aren’t. And neither will be the next generation of Japanese.

    So why not lay it all to rest?

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    You forgot to mention how the Monroe Doctrine necessitates that we recognize Japanese interests in the Great East Asian Coprosperity Sphere.

  • cm

    Japanese people should comemorating the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They were necessary evils that saved many lives. It’s sickening to see Japanese people twisting them around as if America did something wrong.

  • Scott N

    I would accept the resolution. It’s not accurate, but Korean-Americans naturally want their ethnic identity separated from the Japanese-Americans and this type of thing helps them achieve more distinction. It’s harmless and will fade out fast.

  • Scott N

    How is Japan trying to whitewash its past? We all have many more war crimes to live through.

  • Scott N

    There are many Korean women who are forced to prostitute themselves, now, in Korea.

  • cm

    Bull shit. The real reason why the Japanese parliament never endorsed it, is people like you and the rightists in the Japanese government – they would never have endorsed it. They are a considerable force in Japan that stands in the way, that is the problem.

  • platethief

    How about if the State Dept. were complaining about only historical slave trading which had long ago ceased, whilst turning a blind eye to human trafficing at home?

    I think thats a fairer analogy

  • Scott N

    Genie has a good point. This type of behaviour is human and not specific to Japan. I have no problem with Koreans or Korean-Americans focusing on the “comfort women” aspect of war but it’s certainly not an aspect of war unique to the Japanese military.
    What is the point of war if not to kill the enemy and take their women?

  • Genie

    Sorry to dissapoint, but those useless resolutions don’t hinder Japan’s reputation because most people in the world just don’t gives a crap about the comfort women issue. The BBC poll’s results reflect that. Taiwan was colonized by Japan for 50 years, but Taiwanese people are not doing the hatemongering campaign against Japan. In fact, a recent poll shows that Taiwanese selects Japan as their favorite country. Why is Taiwan so different from Korea? It’s because there is the anti- Japan education in Korea.

    Here is the example of anti- Japan education in Korea. Look at drawings by Korean students.
    http://aog.2y.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=1550
    http://aog.2y.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=1558

    It wasn’t some crazy anti-Japan political group who drew those pictures, but students from a middle school with the consent of their teachers, administration, and municipal government (hence their location in a subway). Try and imagine US students posting pictures of that nature up at the public place. Kids should not be taught to hate, but Korean kids are indeed taught to hate from an early age.

  • Genie

    And America reacted angrily to Naksasone;
    “Given the recent history of Japanese militarism and aggression, including
    horrific war crimes, Japan had no right to preach moral policy to the United
    States, Fuller explained to Reagan.”

    “Reagan agreed with Fuller, insisting that “some measure had to be made” to
    inform Tokyo that the White House “did not make legislation at the whim of the
    Japanese Diet.””

    Practice what you preach. America has no right to preach moral policy to Japan.

  • Scott N

    Genocide is a part of what humans do. Placing a certain group of people into servitude is a part of what humans do. There’s no escape from what we are but if it makes some people feel better to focus on this issue then fine, good for them, who really cares?

  • ChuckRamone

    I was being sarcastic, mocking the rationalizing of Japanese rightists. sorry that wasn’t clearer.

  • Scott N

    It’s NY State, not the US. It’s a memorial in the state.

  • http://www.globalasianculture.com Liz

    I think there is some truth to your view that both countries are viewing this issue from a nationalist perspective.

    What both sides need to understand, though, is seeing it from a nationalist POV creates compromising dependencies on discursive Western concepts of the modern nation-state.

    Thanks to nationalism, two (or three, including China) arguably similar cultures now have compelling reasons to pull each other’s hair out. I think this is happening for complicated reasons, but what I know for sure is that creating false racial distinctions or categories among East Asians is really, truly, poisonous stuff.

    But it’s also a powerfully seductive way to bring populations together, so politicians keep at it to the detriment of their people’s sense of self.

    Nationalism doesn’t strengthen collective self-esteem. It only makes East Asians look provincial and petty. But what neither Koreans nor Japanese realize though, is that this provincialism and pettiness is not really an indigenous creation, but rather the result of bringing in the international world system (nation, empire, global capitalism) to an already existing civilization.

    But it still doesn’t fit right, and is creating problems that disturb the peace.

    I’d also add the comfort women issue raises incredibly uncomfortable questions, and I would argue for both Japan *and* Korea’s old guard (i.e. lackeys of the Japanese Empire, who can now repudiate their previously strong connections to what is now a disgraced power structure, aka the colonial period).

    The Koreans who promoted themselves via the Empire, though, are still not yet in any way being held accountable for past wrongdoings.

  • cm

    This is so wrong, I don’t even know where to begin.

    “The mayor of the capital wouldn’t have said anything at all about it if
    the subject wasn’t being continually broached by Koreans.”

    You’re talking about Ishihara Shintaro.

  • provIdence

    Here is a woman professor who, I believe, is better to learn from. Her name is C. Sarah Soh, professor of anthropology at San Francisco State University. She wrote a book on comfort women, and I read a review of the book by Prof. Jeff Kingston, Temple University, Tokyo. In the review, appeared on Japan Times, he wrote:

    She contends that “the canonized story of police or the military forcibly dragging them away from loving parents” is a shibboleth and accuses the redress movement of employing “strategic exaggerations that have effectively impeded deeper understanding of the comfort women issue and any real progress toward its resolution.” In her view, the onus is on Korean society to repudiate victimization, admit its complicity in the comfort women’s trauma, and accept that the entire system was not criminal.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2009/05/10/books/continuing-controversy-of-comfort-women/#.UQkKcY6bMkU

    The book review is, of course, short, and instructive to read. I read it through.

  • que337

    “By attempting to conceal what was terrible about Japan in the past, conservative leaders obscure what is admirable about Japan today.” so did make a good point Professor Jennifer Lind.

  • que337

    “When Japanese leaders refused to acknowledge past crimes they let a Communist dictatorship wrest the high ground from a pacifist democracy.” Prof. Lind hit the nail on the head.

  • cm

    Those pictures were drawn 2006, seven years ago, under a leftist SK government, during a Dokdo/Takeshima row with Japan, when Korean teacher’s union were doing all the educating. With leftist leaning on the wane in South Korea, what was then, isn’t necessarily what is now. That type of drawings in the subway wouldn’t fly in 2013. I like to believe South Korea is a lot more wiser than what they used to be. At least that’s my hope.

  • bumfromkorea

    I won’t apologize for something my grandfather did, either.

    Right. Just go up to his victims and call them fucking whores who loved getting plowed. That’s a morally sound action, according to your twisted moral standards.

    No one would have called anyone a “whore” if their fathers and grandfathers hadn’t been called slave-mongers.

    I don’t even know where to start with this one. So victims calling out their perpetrators for what they did warrants justification for 1. denying that the crime happened and 2. insulting the victims by stating that they probably loved getting fucked by Imperial soldiers, and 3. all the while, the original apology still retains its validity?

  • provIdence

    Are not there anyone who remember a certain case which extremely resembles the comfort women issue? I feel that I just got it.

  • ChuckRamone

    A multi-ethnic empire with them at the top of the racial hierarchy. There’s was not that different from the Germans’. They just came up with a different scheme for the whole thing. It’s not like they were advocating equality and inter-marriage during World War II.

  • ChuckRamone

    For all the so-called hate mongering and nationalism Korea is accused of, you’ll find just as many or more Japanese doing the same thing. The Internet is full of right-wing Japanese propagandists – Twitter, blogs, web sites, comments on news sites, etc.

  • provIdence

    What are the past crimes which she is asking Japanese leaders to acknowledge? She should not mix up other things with the comfort women issue. Depending on the answer, I may judge that the Institute is not as prestigious as it might have been anymore. I once attended a lecture given by Prof. Reischauer, but I have no idea about the institute.

  • ChuckRamone

    I don’t think you know what “shibboleth” means.

  • provIdence

    You are quite right. In reading English, I usually find at least one unknown word per line. I always get pessimistic about it, and I wonder how American kids learn and use so many words in ten or fifteen years. I check words with the dictionary which is intrinsic to Mac of Japanese version. I find many meanings even in the simple dictionary, and I’d rather choose something like “a slogan which does not work any more” for shibboleth to meet my inclination which might be far-off the scale.

  • platethief

    Well said.

    I’m not cynical enough to believe that the comfort women who have chosen to come out in what must be a difficult situation are stupid enough to be the dupes of malevolent nationalists or that they would willingly lie to blacken another nation. I accept what they say is no doubt true.

    One thing that makes me very uneasy about the motives of those propagating this cause, though, is how much time is spent attacking Japan for this and little devoted to the women themselves, or those women in living in similar situations now, whom they could help.

    Perhaps the wounds are too fresh, but one thing’s for certain, by subscribing to an entirely black-and-white stance on this issue, no-one is winning, certainly not truth.

  • que337

    If you consider the Institute at Harvard is no name, how about Cornell? She wrote a book, Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics published by Cornell University Press.

  • bumfromkorea

    providence is clearly a Yale man. ;)

  • platethief

    Ditto Koreaphiles.

  • que337

    “Before countries can start thinking of one another as friends, they must cease to see each other as enemies. [...] unapologetic remembrance (i.e., forgetting, denying, or glorifying past atrocities) elevates threat perception and inhibits reconciliation. Conversely, apologetic remembrance (or “contrition”) reduces threat perception and promotes reconciliation.” – Prof. Jeniffer Lind, “Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics” published by Cornell University Press.

  • provIdence

    What do you expect from Debito although I don’t know him well.

  • http://www.globalasianculture.com Liz

    I agree!

  • robtseoul19566

    twat.

  • Mike

    Let’s be clear that the verified historical evidence PROVES that the Imperial Japanese State initiated, sanctioned, enabled and sustained the sex slave trade during the War of the Pacific. About that there is no doubt. Is the offense less shameful if the number of victims is not 200,000, but only 100,000 or even 20,000? Helping their rightist elements deny the offense makes us complicit in the crime. Continual denials makes their neighbors think that Japan could all too easily repeat its mistakes again. That is why this will not go away..

  • http://profiles.google.com/dcmusicfreak DC Musicfreak

    And this is not racial hatred?

  • ChuckRamone

    Well, they did engage in cannibalism in World War II, and not always for sheer necessity. I’d say that very literally fits the definition of bloodthirsty.

  • yangachibastardo

    Technically no as the Japanese are not a race, they’re a nationality, so it’s more some kind of xenophobia…hey just sayin’

  • wangkon936

    Let’s say some were. Most were not, but some were (a very very small percentage). Even prostitutes are allowed certain things like pay, basic healthcare, sanitary work conditions, reasonable workloads, a right to quit, etc. The comfort women that accompanied Japanese armies usually had none of these. Many were not paid. Some were told their pay was going into the Japanese postal savings system, but never got one cent. They did not have basic healthcare. They worked in unsanitary conditions and had to service an ungodly number of men. They didn’t have the option to run away, with armed guards and being thousands of miles away from home and all that. There just isn’t any way where this doesn’t make the Japanese look bad. Even the comfort women in Japan to service U.S. troops and the comfort women in Korea to service UN troops had better conditions than the ones who were a part of the Imperial Japanese order.

    The Japanese had to find enough women for 6 million men. There is no way they could find enough professional volunteers to fill that need. Thus, they had to coax, lie and kidnap. Sometimes with professional contractors, but many times with direct military and police involvement. There was simply no way to fill the needed quotas otherwise.

  • cm

    “The Koreans who promoted themselves via the Empire, though, are still
    not yet in any way being held accountable for past wrongdoings”

    There was a committee called the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which was set up in mid 2000′s, which attempted to do just that. They identified all the traitors and their decendents and attempted to take away their assets. But it didn’t work out too well, did it? It turned into a witch hunt.

  • IEatYourSandwich

    All the jews who were killed in Holocaust were actually volunteer human experiment to help fatherland of Germany grow bigger in the field of science and human anatomy.

    I know this for a fact. Don’t try to have an argument with me on this. I will slap you back with cold-hard facts.

  • IEatYourSandwich

    I don’t know. It’s not my fault that you can’t watch videos like Nanjing Massacre documentary and japan flamboyantly denying they ever touched one single vagina back in Nanjing.

  • Tapp

    You’re acting as if this policy is uniquely Japanese. Korea denied the Jeju uprising for fifty years, same with the Bodo League massacre. Both of these wartime atrocities were ignored for decades. Roh finally apologized in 2008, but he was mostly paying lip service to his side of the peninsula. It was a political move. There is no political gain for a Japanese politician to do the same. Has the US apologized for the Shah of Iran or Castro or Papa Doc or Suharto in Indo or the Central and South American dictators that we placed and supported or the Nazi’s sneaked into the country for information on the Russians or… the list goes on and on. Russia also makes no apologies. They get nothing from it. There is no benefit. Why do you expect Japan to act differently? Move on and be happy that Korea’s future is bright while Japan continues to spiral down.

  • stereo

    > Is the offense less shameful if the number of victims is not 200,000, but only 100,000 or even 20,000?

    “Shame”? Are you talking about “shame”? I thought we are talking about crime and guilt. Thank you, for reminding me that we do not share the value of “rule of law”. I suppose, in Korea, an accused has not right to defend himself. Yeah, things look differently from that perspective.

    >Continual denials makes their neighbors think that

    Make it “a neighbor”.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Might I suggest that the “Other countries do it, too!” line didn’t work after Mukden, and it probably won’t work now.

  • Tapp

    I’m really not trying to defend Shintaro, despite the way my comment reads. He was born in 1932, though… he was 10 during WWII. He had nothing to do with any of it and he grew up believing a different set of truths. There are still many, many people in the southern US that believe that the US Civil War had very little do with slavery. History is written by the victors, however. There are most likely elements of truth in both sides of the Comfort Women argument. Some were probably prostitutes, some were probably sold by starving family members, and some were probably stolen as some sort of misguided “spoil of war”. There is no absolute truth in anything.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    “Shame”? Are you talking about “shame”? I thought we are talking about crime and guilt. Thank you, for reminding me that we do not share the value of “rule of law”.

    Clearly, that’s not all we don’t share.

  • stereo

    Funny. So, you want an unconstitutional, invalid and no-binding “resolution” rather than valid Cabinet announcement. If Japanese Diet ever does so, Koreans will start complaining “it is invalid”.

  • Tapp

    –it probably won’t work now (sorry… I don’t know how to properly quote here)

    You might say that plausible deniability has been working for them very well for the last 65 years. Until there is something to be gained by Japanese politicians, it will probably continue to work.

  • cm

    At least prostitutes have choices where if they don’t want to work, they can stop. How many of these women had that choice where they decided enough was enough, they were going home? Did the Japanese military give them that choice? Or did they force them to have sex with the bayonets pointed at them (which is far more likely)?

  • RElgin

    Just “who” represents Japan and do they know it?

  • stereo

    >”When Japanese leaders refused to acknowledge past crimes they let a Communist dictatorship wrest the high ground from a pacifist democracy.”

    This is a great example how poorly this essay is written. She says the whole comfort women issue is not about helping former comfort women but about containing communism. There are only 2 communist nations in the world, which are China and North Korea. China is too big to use comfort women issue to “wrest the high ground”. That leaves North Korea. Does she really believe the purpose of comfort women issue is to prevent NK from having strong position in diplomatic talk? There is no use of talk with NK. Her logic is quite absurd.

  • RElgin

    Ironically, this is true and I have witnessed this and have heard the story of one of them and this is as bad as what the Japanese did because Koreans here ignore this evil willingly and act just like some Japanese act towards the comfort women issue.

  • stereo

    As I said,read Japanese Constitution.

  • wangkon936

    Wedge,

    Individual PMs in Japan have given personal apologies to Korea, but “Japan” has never really apologized.

    Oh, I do recall some “shut up” money being given in 1965, but again, no apology by Japan proper.

  • que337

    She spoke for the women too:

    “Japan’s wartime atrocities were terrible. They shattered the lives of millions of Chinese, Koreans and others. Failing to fully acknowledge the wartime sex slave program is a further injustice to the hundreds of thousands of girls and women whom Japanese soldiers raped, tortured and murdered.”

  • stereo

    Thank you for sharing your fantasy with us. Why do not we start talking fact now?
    Asia womens fund has a lot of good old records on its website.

  • stereo

    Thank you for proving my point that any apology or compensation for Koreans is useless .

  • que337

    At least, it is illegal in SK and once found and accused, the criminals could be prosecuted and tried and punished. In ‘comfort women’ cases, justice is denied and obstructed by the responsible national entity of Japan.

  • stereo

    Why? Cannot she put reasons to her assertion? That sentence just tells us her illogicalness.

  • RElgin

    Technically, you are correct, however, I would really, really like to see this issue addressed better than it is now. It really breaks my heart, seeing and hearing what I have.
    Prostitution should be legalized and regulated in South Korea only because that is a humane and responsible action though it is not a solution that would cure all. Better psychological services are needed as well.

  • stereo

    “Is it OK to kill you to save someone else?”
    This is a very interesting ethical question. I do not think the mankind has reached a consensus on this matter. So, I think one cannot safely say “It is OK to do such and such, because it is OK to kill you to save someone else.” One can think of similar sentences. “It is OK to kill Americans to save Japanese.” “It is OK to rape you to save someone else being raped.”
    That being said, I do not accuse Americans. Most Japanese do not, either. However, if your justification is “It is OK to kill Japanese to save Americans”, you look like a primary school kid.

  • Hitokiri 1989

    Thats debatable. Yes the Japanese Empire was multi-ethnic but it always emphasized the Japanese race at the top. For e.g, in Singpaore after their victory the Japanese stated that everyone was now included in a brotherhood of races with the Malays, Indians etc being little brothers and the Japanese as the big brother. Also with the Germans, though inherently racist, you’d be surprised how many foreign soldiers were serving with the Waffen SS.

  • Hitokiri 1989

    Wedge, can you also kindly tell the Poles to let it go and move on?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katyn_massacre

  • Hitokiri 1989

    A lot of moral equivalance in your posts. Does this mean that Western countries, or anyone, have no right to criticise the Chicoms in Beijing because those countries had also committed horrendous deeds in the past?

  • Tapp

    Criticize on events taking place today? Absolutely. There is just no benefit for continuing to chastise for events that are 65 years old. It’s like beating your current pet because the last one shit on the carpet… it does nothing but raise their hackles and keep you from having any meaningful conversations with them.

  • Hitokiri 1989

    Have to agree here. Its like the Germans saying that “Yes, we’re sorry for the Holocaust and crimes against the people of Europe but there are no documents showing that the Holocaust happened and obviously the “crimes” against the people of Europe were legitimate self-defense against Bolshevik-Asiatic hordes. Also Jews were part of a Judeo-Bolshevik plot to enslave Germany”. Is that still an apology? Yes the Japanese “apologised” but after that you have someone in the government or Diet add “We’re sorry, but…”. I think this is the main contention with some people.

  • stereo

    Sorry, I misunderstood her sentence. Disregard my previous comment.

  • que337

    “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” – William Faulkner.

    With her revisionism, Japan keeps reminding other Asians that Japan today still lives the past and the past could be today again.

  • Hitokiri 1989

    Fair enough, although it does have some double standards. Continuing on from the Chicoms, since you mentioned the past, I take it no one then has the right to raise issues about Mao and his crimes. After all its in the “past” as you said and the CCP today is a world apart from the Party of the Mao days.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Of course you don’t. You just think they were prostitutes.

  • Hitokiri 1989

    Not true. IMO, there can never be a return of Japanese militarism as modern day Japan lacks the institution known as the Imperial Japanese Army.

  • cm

    Japanese apologies are useless because as the comments have shown, Japanese claim they didn’t do anything wrong, and that those women sold their own bodies for money. As pointed out again and again, apologies without contrition is basically useless. Perhaps what is really needed is not more apologies, but recognition from Japan that these women were victims, not prostitutes.

  • cm

    I’m just as sick and tired of this never ending issue dragging on and on without end in sight. After 70 years, we’re still arguing the same things. What can Korea do? Face up to the fact that Japan will never change. Stop harping on them, let them dig themselves into bigger holes with each revisions of history. In return for leaving them alone to party with their text books, S.Korea should stop cooperating with them in all fields. Stop buying so much of their goods. Buy German, buy American, buy Chinese, but don’t buy Japanese if you don’t have to. Don’t buy that Toyota corolla when the Hyundai Elantra is just as good and even better. Don’t help Japan’s economy by buying their goods and services when there are just as good alternatives. Out of sight, out of mind. I’m sure Japan would like that too, so this is equally mutual benefit for both sides.

  • stereo

    OK. Then what do you think they were?
    Do you think Japanese soldiers just took some Korean girls and send them to comfort stations?
    Do you think voluntier labor corps girls were forced to be comfort women?
    You know Korean word “wi an bu” means a prostitute. Japanese word “i an hu” means a prostitute.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Do you believe that to be the opinion of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as well?

  • stereo

    In 1965, after so much as 20 years after the end of WW2, leaders of Korea and Japan discussed and agreed to settle all the disputes before August 1945, and signed Korea Japan Basic Treaty. Now the things before 1945 are history. If there is any dispute on history, let historians discuss and determine in a scientific manner. Governments should not be involved in history. Yet, there are group of people in Korea who bring the dispute on history to local government of a third nation.
    cm, are you fed up with the dispute? So am I. “What can Korea do?” Remember the Korea Japan Basic Treaty and keep the promise in it. Yeah, I know. You do not respect rule of law.

  • Tapp

    ‘Raising issues’ about Mao is one thing, demanding another apology from the current government is another. Trying to get other countries involved is even worse. Korea and Japan have both been running smear campaigns against each other for too long. It’s tedious and annoying. Between Dokdo and Comfort Women, it’s amazing to me that there are ever any conversations at all between the two so-called allies. Both countries seem to be testing the limits of the squeaky door theory.

  • bumfromkorea

    Is that what you see when the governor of Tokyo, governor of Osaka, and the Prime Minister publicly states that the victims of their country’s horrific past were willing, happy prostitutes? Korea got its apology, so move on even though the current government officials (major ones) are shitting on that very same apology?

  • bumfromkorea

    In a really twisted irony, it is the very people calling comfort women prostitutes that’s also advocating for Japan to abandon the pacifist clause in their constitution.

  • stereo

    “That” meaning what?

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Don’t be thick. That the comfort women were prostitutes. Do you believe PM Shinzo Abe believes the comfort women were prostitutes?

  • Tapp

    The governor of Tokyo, the governor of Osaka, and the Prime Minister are playing to their constituents. Korea is the reason that this is still an issue. They are the ones that are involving the US and trying to get other countries to take their side. Everything I’ve seen from the Japanese have been reactionary in nature. Again, nothing good will ever come from continuing to bring it up. Texans still respect “Remember the Alamo”, but they’re not teaching their kids “Death to all Mexicans!!” (most of them aren’t, anyway). Let it go, quit filling your kids with vitriol and quit trying to get other countries to join in

  • Hitokiri 1989

    So Koreans continuing to bring up the issue encouraged denial statements from several Japanese leaders. Shows what those Japanese leaders really think if you ask me. Yes your right that maybe the Koreans need to tone done the vitriol, but they should never forget and neither the Japanese. A stage needs to be reached where Japanese crimes are forgiven though never forgotten, but with several leaders in Japan engaged in denial, that isn’t happening anytime soon

  • bumfromkorea

    Precisely. Tapp is completely skipping the part where the Japanese politicians stop saying those fucked up things in public with complete political impunity. He just wants Korea to “get over it” without going through that extremely morally crucial part of the reconciliation process.

    Tapp: Now, Jimmy. It’s time to forgive Tommy for punching you in the face.
    Tommy: HA! He cried like a little bitch too.
    Jimmy: But Tapp, Tommy’s still
    Tommy: What’re you gonna do about it, you little pussy?!
    Tapp: Come on now, Jimmy. Don’t be a little crybaby about it.

  • stereo

    I do not know what image you have in mind to the word “prostitute”, but the comfort women were put under the control of brothel owners and were paid for the sexual service they perform for the soldiers. That is good old brothel prostitution. I think PM Abe is of that recognition and since the brothels were licensed by and under the control of the military, he expressed his affirmation of Kono statement, although he is skeptical to the part that Korean girls were abducted by Japanese army and was forced to be comfort women.

    To answer your question, I understand that PM Abe is of the recognition that comfort women were prostitutes like prostitutes put under the control of brothels in last century.

  • robtseoul19566

    please gfy

  • stereo

    To the best of my knowledge, they did not say “willing happy prostitutes”. There is no telling what Koreans come up with Japan. Yellow journalism of Korea is to blame because they write wild imagination about Japan as fact in their paper.

  • antinip52995

    hope you end up dismembered and decapitated. Fuckface

  • antinip52995

    hope you end up dismembered and decapitated. Fuckface..

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    They are the ones that are involving the US and trying to get other countries to take their side.

    Right. Because Japan NEVER tries to get American support in disputes with third parties. PS: Not only are the Koreans TRYING to get third party support on the Comfort Women issue, they ‘re actually GETTING it. And speaking bluntly, this is just as much thanks to statements by Japanese politicians on the issue as it is Korean lobbying efforts. Like I said, the more guys like stereo talk, the more the world collectively throws up in their mouths.

    PS: I can assure you Shinatro Ishihara doesn’t require foreign prompting before sharing his opinions.

    Again, nothing good will ever come from continuing to bring it up.

    Tell that to the mayor of Hiroshima that:

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/us-conducts-limited-nuclear-test/story-e6frf7k6-1226532367381

    Everything I’ve seen from the Japanese have been reactionary in nature.

    Well, what else would you expect from a bunch of reactionaries?

    Texans still respect “Remember the Alamo”, but they’re not teaching their kids “Death to all Mexicans!!”

    Neither are the Koreans (most of them aren’t, anyway).

    Let it go, quit filling your kids with vitriol and quit trying to get other countries to join in

    Would be easier to do if Japan’s elected officials didn’t give them so much great material to work with.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Weren’t you just bragging about how you go to high class brothels in Seoul? Who’s the beast?

  • stereo

    I have to congratulate the excellent political manipulation by Koreans and Korean Government, imprinting unsubstantiated Korean view as the truth to scholars, press correspondents, local politicians and foreigners. They are too lazy to verify what the government says. Compared to that, Japanese MoFA is doing extremely poor job. In the land of witch hunt, truth is powerless to well organized propaganda. Koreans love propaganda campaigns, as seen in Dog Do, East Sea, and comfort women, and do not engage in other type of resolution method. That may be because they know that the only way they can win is by propaganda campaign.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    First poisoning the wells, now this—when will the Korean outrages stop?

  • yangachibastardo

    “It is OK to kill Japanese to save Americans”, you look like a primary school kid

    It is perfectly ok to kill 100 million Japanese lives to save even ok 1 American life as it was the Japanese who initiated a ruthless aggression against a country who didn’t do much of anything against them.

    In my book in order to defend herself a nation has all the rights to resort to any kind of war tactic and aggressors have absolutely no human rights.

    For the same reason i have absolutely no sympathy for the Germans who try to bring up Dresden: don’t wanna get incinerated ? Don’t start an imperialistic war

  • Tapp

    What

  • Tapp

    What exactly is the end game here? What does Korea hope to accomplish? They want more than an apology, obviously, but I haven’t heard any actual information on what else they are looking to accomplish. Do they want a “sincere” apology? You have to believe what are you saying to be sincere, and the Japanese don’t seem to believe it. Do you want third party nations to try to force Japan to be sincere? It’s not gonna happen. Do you want to reopen WWII war tribunals to put dead men on trial? Makes no sense. Do you just want the rest of the world to say “We hate Japan just as much as the Koreans do”? Japan’s not even in the top twenty of countries hated by the west so I don’t see that happening. Is Korea just trying to improve their image? Again, nothing good will come from this…

  • stereo

    >In my book in order to defend herself a nation has all the rights to resort to any kind of war tactic and aggressors have absolutely no human rights.

    You must have not read the Hague convention and other international laws. A man is known by the book he reads. I wonder why disrespect of rule of law is so common here. Is it national trait of Koreans?

  • Tapp

    There ‘third party support’ is coming from a state legislature in a high Korean population. Hillary Clinton did use the words ‘Comfort Women’ for the first time which was pretty big, but she also mothered the entire region and said everyone need to just cool down. (I said ‘grow up’, but I’m pretty sure it was meant in the same way… she just said it a little nicer) Yes, she said that in reference to island disputes, but I think it applies to all of the venom being aired between the three main East Asian countries.

    –Neither are the Koreans
    I can’t speak for most Koreans. I can only speak for their children and really only the ones that I’ve had in my classes. The kids are definitely calling for Japanese blood; in papers, in pictures, in conversations, every chance they get it seems.

    –Japan’s elected officials….
    Politicians are always going to be politicians. I disagree with at least half of them in every political conversation. They play to nationalism and patriotic messages. It’s part of getting elected, unfortunately. They’ll dance whatever dance is needed to get the vote.

    I asked in another branch of this thread, but I’ll ask again: What’s the end game here? What does Korea expect Japan to do? You can’t force a “sincere” apology and Japan doesn’t seem willing to offer one up anymore by themselves. Korea wasn’t satisfied with the first apology… what do they want to happen now?

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Nothing good will come of it, eh? As opposed to what? Threatening to bring Dokdo to the ICJ? Purchasing the Senkaku Islands? Calling for reviews to the Kono Declaration?

    And what the Koreans want is really quite simple. They want a sincere apology and compensation for the victims. You’re probably right this is a waste, since as stereo has pointed out, Japan won’t apologize for something it honestly has no recollection of doing, and Japan’s recollection of World War II is that it was innocently minding its own business, generously providing gainful employment to thousands of needy Korean prostitutes, when one day the Americans unexpectedly dropped two A-bombs on them.

  • cm

    Very simple. Japanese government officials shut their mouths and stop offending people, getting people and nations upset, and stop making up nonsense history. How’s that?

  • cm

    stereo, why bring this up? That was a government to government deal. The Korean government isn’t asking for any compensation from Japan. It’s a flaw in logic in Japan. What the Korean government has asked for is that Japan face up to history and stop lying. This is not a violation of 1965 treaty. You are conveniently ignoring the provocations that have been coming from Japan. With their government officials making some seriously offensive comments lately, and making moves that are provocative, including revising history, and attempt to indict South Korean president Lee Myung Bak for illegal immigration violation.

  • stereo

    >when will the Korean outrages stop?
    It depends on what their goal is.
    If the goal is to make Japanese admit the existence of comfort women, the goal was achieved from the beginning, because the old timers know comfort women personally. No one in Japan denies it. So, unless Koreans believe in demagogue that Japanese PM denies comfort women, they should not be outraged.
    If the goal is to make Japanese admit that there were 200,000 comfort women, the case is very different. Koreans must find the truth. They just cannot establish truth by a political campaign.
    If the goal is to gain international political power using comfort women issue as leverage, they should keep pretending angry.
    Actually, Japanese are wondering what their goal is. Since NY senate will not help first and second goal, that leaves the third goal.

  • stereo

    If that is the goal, just keep quiet. Japanese will just forget about it soon.

  • stereo

    >They want a sincere apology and compensation for the victims.
    Japan has already done that. Other countries accepted it. Korea refused accepting it.
    http://www.awf.or.jp/e3/korea.html

  • stereo

    You should doubt what you read in Korean newspaper. I do not see anything Koreans would take “seriously offensive comments” lately. Do you know what yellow journalism is?

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler
  • stereo

    > revising history
    How? Who can revise history?
    >attempt to indict South Korean president Lee Myung Bak for illegal immigration violation.
    Unheard of. That may be a joke by someone regarding Takeshima. No one is considering such indictment.
    You do not see Japan directly. That looking glass called Korean newspaper may be probably distorted.

  • yangachibastardo

    Listen genius, i don’t care about the Hague convention or anything else that came out of Europe in the last century and i read quite enough books and i suspect of much higher quality than the sources of your tripe, thank you.

    Other than that what can i say ? Sure Korea has many problems but bringing up Japan as an example of rule of law is in fact beyond ridiculous: where we should start ? Lax enforcement of child pornography laws ? Rampant corruption at every level of government ? Third world-like accounting standards employed by the biggest firms of the country ? MIckey Mouse criminal justice system ? Brutal mercantilism enforced outside of any WTO rule ?

    Your pick samurai

  • que337

    “Japanese strategic bombing campaigns devastated Chinese cities, killing more than 260,000 noncombatants”, whilst “firebombing of Tokyo killed 80,000.” A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki “killed 80,000 and 40,000, respectively.” (Bombing causlaty figures from Robert A. Pape, Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion in War, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996), 337.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    define rule of law. I bet you can’t. Don’t throw terms around you don’t know the meaning of

  • Genie

    You may thnik that it was the correct decision for the US to use atomic-bombs on
    civilians but it doesn’t change the fact that it was the war crime. The problem is that in the end analysis, the victors write history – and thus can use that platform to attempt to justify any action. You
    just can’t justify the fact that a lot of children, who had nothing to do with the
    war, were literally vaporised by dropping atomic-bombs. And If you truely
    think it is perfectly OK to use an atomic-bomb to end the war, do you think America should have used it in the Korean war, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War etc.?

  • que337

    If the US had not used the A-bombs, more civilian and Japanese military casualties would result with the advance of the US to Japan proper islands, given the fanatic suicidal attacks to the US forces (‘Gyokusai’) and false rumors on American troops that led Japanese civilians to commit suicide (Remember what happened in Okinawa and Saipan?).

  • Genie

    You didn’t answer my question at all. If you truely think it is perfectly OK to use an atomic-bomb to end the war quickly, do you think America should have used it in the Korean war, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War etc.?

  • que337

    Korean war, Vietnam war, and the Gulf war were committed in limited areas and limited numbers of people that could be handled without A-bombs. War against Imperial Japan had to deal with extensive front lines of adamant enemies and hundreds millions lives suffering from the Japanese atrocities were involved. So I think it could be justified in the case of war against Imperial Japan.

  • yangachibastardo

    My answer is similar to que: the wars you mentioned saw the US intervening as an ally of a foreign entity, in all these cases the enemy was not a direct (let alone existential) threat to the US, with the possible example of the Gulf War. I do believe that securing the stability of energy supplies is a goal important enough to grant a liberal use of brute force.

    If you want another example where any kind of means was justified to secure victory, that would be Afghanistan for me

  • stereo

    Very funny. So, what is your ethical values, if you have any? You do not care international laws. You do not value foreigners’ life. You criticize a country without knowing much about the country. As I said, a primary school boy is what you look like.

  • stereo

    Your link does not work well on my computer. Which comment?

  • Genie

    3 million civilian dead during the Korean war and South Korea is technically still at war with North Korea(having never signed a peace treaty) and share the world’s most heavily fortified border. Military service for males is compulsory in South Korea and it has been reported that the human rights abuses continue to occur within the South Korean military. North Korea is one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries and many North Koreans have been starving to death. How can you act like the Korean war was well-resolved ?

  • Genie

    It’s Korean that need to face up to history. When Japan ruled Korea, they replaced Korea’s backward, repressed society under the yangban with a modern, industrialized one. Statistics of infant mortality, longevity, public health, education etc, show that there can be little doubt that a living standard in Korea improved far more under Japanese rule than it had under Choeson. Just read the book “Offspring of Empire: The Koch’ang Kims and the Colonial Origins of Korean Capitalism. 1876-1945″ by Carter J. Eckert. The problem with Korea is that they never acknowledge the positive impacts of the annexation. They don’t even know that “Miracle on the Han River” happned because Japan gave US$800 million to Korea. The fact is that South Korea would not have become the modern developed country
    without Japan. If not for Japan’s ODA assistance, South Korea would probably still be
    in the process of recovering from her centuries of economic stagnation. Also, it was Japan that freed Korea from the status of a vassal
    state under China in 1895. If Korea remained under Chinese control, it would have been a communist state.

  • bumfromkorea

    And here comes the “Be grateful to your rapist. He did give you money.” argument. Why are every single argument that the Imperial apologists put out so morally repugnant?

  • yangachibastardo

    I do not value the lives of invading foreigners, which is by the way the normal standard as the A-bombs demonstrate. I’m not a Japanese studies scholar but please feel free to rebut my points of criticism, if you feel they’re not accurate

  • que337

    Again, the Japanese ‘Fifteen Year War’ (1931-1945) that encompassed the Pacific War killed and enslaved immense Asian population of many nations, whilst Korean war occurred only in Korean peninsula and most people died were Koreans. Had Japanese died in Korean war? Aso Taro boasted Japan achieved economic miracle from Korean war. What complain?

  • ChuckRamone

    So that excuses the bad stuff Japan did? And their continuing to equivocate? Some might argue if it weren’t for Japan, Korea would be a unified country. Reunification of Korea is gonna be way more difficult and painful than that of West and East Germany was.

  • provIdence

    Some Japanese died in the war. They were doing mine-sweeping. Do you think Koreans could do this job?

  • que337
  • yangachibastardo

    Sorry to break your 日本人論 fantasy festival but that’s a job generally performed by people from all over the world

  • wangkon936

    This has been refuted a number of times here. The basics are:

    1) Comparing Meiji Japan with Chosun Korea is flawed. The better comparison is Chosun Korea with Tokugawa Japan. Both were equally backwards, in terms of Western style modernization. The main deference was that there was an armed rebellion in Japan that toppled the old regime and in Korea the armed rebellion (Gapsin Coup in 1884) to do the same was put down by garrisoned Qing Chinese troops.

    2) The Koreans very much wanted to rule via self determination during the colonial period. Demonstrations to such were brutally repressed by Japan in 1919 with 5,000 (Japanese estimate) to 50,000 (Korean estimate) deaths.

    3) Korea was a source of rice and labor for Showa era Japan. Nothing more, nothing less. The Japanese cultivated their holding to maximize rice and labor productions. Thus all the good rice was sent to Japan and Koreans ate the courser grains. It is well documented that Korean per capita consumption of rice fell each year of the occupation whereas production increased. Korean labor was conscripted and sent, usually not of their own choosing, to sponsor Japan’s wars of aggression all throughout their empire. Many Koreans died in Japanese coal mines, farms, military labor camps, etc. and notification of next of kin was nearly nonexistent. Not one rail nailed onto the ground or one bushel of rice or one telegraph pole was ever built for the Koreans’ benefit.

  • yangachibastardo

    Christ Almighty i have t admit you got me there, i have to concede your logic is absolutly sterling: all the odata on infant mortality, per capita GDP, education etc. shows that loosing the war was the best thing that ever happened to Japan, as under a benign but firm American rule in a decade it was able to set the groundwork to reshape itself from a feudal, backward country into an industrial powerhouse.

    As cm correctly pointed out Japanese people should celebrate the days the warm confettis were dropped over their head as the beginning of Japan Golden Age.

    A few children vaporised and a few more devastated by radiation effects are a small, pretty much insignificant toll that has been paid to usher in an era of unprecedented prosperity

  • cm

    Stereo, the Shinmane prefecture attempted to indict Lee Myung Bak on illegal immigration violations for his August trip to “Takeshima”. The Japan media reported it. But the joke is on Japan, because who’s coast guard really occupies that island and who’s flag is flying? Just ridiculous.

  • cm

    You’re forgetting Japan’s profit during the Korean War. That was the beginning of their industrial renaissance.

  • pawikirogii

    sooner or later, the chinese and koreans are going to start asking western governments some tough questions:
    1.why do you tolerate a japanese pm who’s father employed forced labor during and before ww2? would you tolerate a western leader with a similar history?
    2. why are you silent on yasukuni? where is your condemnation? is your silence an indication you see asian lfie as chaep? would you tolerate a western leader paying homage to nazis? where is your condemnation?
    3. what is the difference between an asian victim of unit 731 and a jewish victim of mengele? if your answer is there is no difference, then why did the us allow the monsters of unit 731 to go free?
    japan is yesterday and despised in asia. korea is loved and china is massive. better place your bets on the future, western world.

  • que337

    You’re right. Japan could accomplish economic miracle because “fortunately, fortunately” Korean war occurred, said Mr. Aso Taro. Though I mentioned here, it would be worth to remind Genie of how the Golden Age of economic miracle had “fortunately” advanced in Japan.

  • provIdence

    Your general idea does not seem to exclude Japanese casualties in mine sweeping.

  • cm

    In the news, Japan will change their national constitution article 96, to give more power to Abe’s party to pass new amendments to the national constitution. Included will be the Article 9 which prevents Japan from using their military for any attacks. Some people say this is a normalization of Japan’s military. But what’s worrying about Japan is that the current Japanese government does not see their past war time aggression, do not recognize them as aggression, and they are not apologetic about it. So since they have not learned any lessons from history, they are going to be prone to the same mistakes in the past that lead them to war. Will Japan use their military to attack and take Takeshima island? Will they use their military to engage Chinese war ships over the Senkaku? If you had told me a year ago, Japan will turn around and be militaristic and warlike again, I would have laughed in your face. But now seeing all the drum beats going on in Japan to free up their military’s role, I’m not so sure anymore that Japan will be able to remain peaceful.

  • stereo

    So, you do not value the lives of US soldiers who attacked Iraq to kill saddam Fussein. Oh, sorry, I should have said you do not value the lives of US citizens world wide for the US attacked Iraq. You say it is OK to kill entire US citizens to save just one Iraqi. And you say it is “normal standard” of what? Do you see why I call it childish?

  • fe52526252

    die of aids retard

  • fe252525

    hope you die painfully retard

  • fes52225252

    hope you end up dismembered and decapitated. Shithead

  • stereo

    #1 Father’s sin is not son’s sin. What you call “forced labor” is mandated by law at that time for national effort to carry out war.
    #2 Freedom of religion.
    #3 Ask US.

  • stereo

    So, you are angry at a joke.

  • wangkon936

    For some strange reason the Japanese Kwantung Army in Manchuria just didn’t offer that much resistance to the Soviets. They steamrolled through them and conquered all of Manchuria, some of Northeast China and northern Korea in just 11 days. If the Kwantung Army had fought just 10% harder than the Japanese fighting the Americans on Iwo Jima and Okinawa there would be no North Korea. There might not be a Communist China either.

    Thanks a lot Kwantung Army, the least Japanese army in the entire military history of Japan.

  • provIdence

    Sorry to interrupt your dream, but PM Abe’s father was not a business man.
    When a criminal serves his jail term, he is not a criminal anymore in Japan. In the same token, when a criminal sacrifices his life as sentenced, he is not a criminal after execution. People enshrined at Yasukuni were not members of Nazis.
    All 731 documents are at the hands of the US, and they should know better.

  • yangachibastardo

    Didn’t the Soviets attack Manchuria at the end of the war when Japan was already pretty much nothing but a zombie ?

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    As much as I like Eckert, his thesis was roundly disproved by later scholars. His central error was the inability to distinguish just WHO received the benefit (to the extent there was any) of Japan-led industrialization. Look up Choi Seong-jin’s excellent paper analyzing the average height and weight of Koreans during the colonial era. Average height and weight of Koreans decreased throughout the occupation, indicating increasing malnourishment of Koreans. (Choi could separate Koreans from Japanese because he reviewed colonial prison records, which kept track of height, weight and ethnicity.)

    “Positive impacts of the annexation”? Fucking please. Korea was well on its way to having its own version of modernization, which the Imperial Japan derailed and deformed.

  • Josh Perlstein

    This. This. This.

  • yangachibastardo

    Overall the thesis seems reasonable…in all fairness though sampling exclusively from the inmate population may not necessarily give the most accurate results

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Very funny. So, what is your ethical values, if you have any? You do not care international laws. You do not value foreigners’ life.

    And who said Japanese rightwingers don’t have a sense of humor?

  • stereo

    Robert, do you still deny the fact that comfort women were prostitute?

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    200 comments later, and we’re finally getting to the heart of the issue. As I’ve been wanting to say all along, I think you Ishihara fanboys would feel a lot better if you’d just say what you really want to say—that Japan was innocently modernizing Korea and freeing Asian from European imperialism when it was unjustly victimized by American aggression—rather than waste time passively-aggressively taking it out on your neighbors. Come on, Genie, don’t you feel better now?

  • wangkon936

    The reality distortion field force is strong with this one.

  • que337

    “Remembrance that will influence observers’ views the most is that which is institutionalized within laws or policies. [...] One of the most important ways countries institutionalize remembrance of past violence is through history education

    – Prof. Jennifer Lind, Sorry State: Apologies in International Politics, Cornell University Press.

    I am wholeheartedly agree with Prof. Lind. In spite of repeated atrocious wars, France and Germany became so friendly after the WWII, because Germany convinced France by institutionalizing their war remembrance within laws and policies, especially history education. So Daniel Vernet at Le Monde praised “The Germans: unsurpassed both at the crime and at repenting it.”

  • wangkon936

    Who cares the color of the cat (white or yellow) as long as it eats the mouse?

  • wangkon936

    Uh, yes… but what’s Iwo Jima? That was close to the end of the war and those bastards fought hard!

  • wangkon936

    Rob, at what point do we consider these people trolls rather than real commenters? My patience is wearing thin…

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Yes, as does most of the planet outside of Japan.

    But like I said, feel free to continue arguing that they were. The more you call sex slaves “prostitutes,” the more it helps the comfort women’s cause. In fact, do me a favor—get together with your friends and take this ad out again in the WaPo:

    http://www.occidentalism.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/thefact.jpg

    I mean, seriously, why should Koreans waste time lobbying when you Japanese revisionists are willing to do the work for them?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Oh, now ou think its GOOD that they were put to service disgusting Japanese trash

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Just wow. So anything is OK as long as it is mandated by law and for national effort to carry out war?
    The shrine is not what people are against, nor your religion, but the fact that you are also honoring monstrous murderers at the same shrine.

  • stereo

    Who said so?

  • stereo

    Do you mean prostitutes and “sex slaves” are mutually exclusive? If so, why?
    For your reference, here is what distinguished diplomats of American and European nations agreed on prostitutes detained against their will in a brothel. Do you see where the legal argument is?
    INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE SUPPRESSION OF THE WHITE SLAVE TRAFFIC(1910)
    Article 1
    Whoever, in order to gratify the passions of another person, has procured, enticed, or led away, even with her consent, a woman or girl under age, for immoral purposes, shall be punished, notwithstanding that the various acts constituting the offence may have been committed in different countries.
    Article 2
    Whoever, in order to gratify the passions of another person, has, by fraud, or by means of violence, threats, abuse of authority, or any other method of compulsion, procured, enticed, or led away a woman or girl over age, for immoral purposes, shall also be punished, notwithstanding that the various acts constituting the offence may have been committed in different countries.
    FINAL PROTOCOL
    D. The case of detention, against her will, of a woman or girl in a brothel could not, in spite of its gravity, be dealt with in the present Convention, seeing that it is governed exclusively by internal legislation.
    http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/whiteslavetraffic1910.html

  • Wedge1

    What would it take, the entire population of Japanese bowing in the direction of Korea simultaneously? Look, this constant demand for apologies is demeaning. Countries that don’t suffer inferiority complexes don’t constantly ask for apologies, they move on.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Keep talking, stereo. Keep talking.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    A sincere apology rather than the rhetorical jujitsu we’ve seen so far would be nice.

  • bumfromkorea

    Wedge, if I kick you in the nuts, apologize for it, then turn around and tell everyone that you must be a masochist because you moaned oh so sensually when I kicked you, how would you feel about my apology? Good? Feel like it’s time to move on since I apologized?

    What if you demanded another apology from me for that comment, and I keep telling you “I didn’t kick you. It was just a friendly jab in the shoulders, man. What’s wrong with you? You’re crazy.”, how would you feel about my apology? Excellent? Feel like if you kept pressing me about it, you’d be the childish one?

  • Genie

    Then give those money back to Japan. If money isn’t important, S.Korea goverment shouldn’t have accepted to receive 8 hundred million dollars from Japan in 1965. It’s not Japan’s fault that your morally repugnant government chose to use the Japan money for economic development instead of compensating war victims. Also, when S.Korea was on the verge of national bankruptcy in 1997, Japan provide financial supports to S.Korea (10billion dollars). Why Koreans think it’s morally OK to act like an ungrateful brats?

  • bumfromkorea

    I’m not talking about compensation, Genie. And even if I was, the existence of compensation does not give Japan a moral blank check to start claiming that comfort women were prostitutes. That’s the kind of mindset that organized criminal scums have.

  • bumfromkorea

    I mean, holy fuck, dude. What kind of a fucked up mind thinks “Well, Japan gave Korea all those money. So I’m sure that Korea can’t say shit when Japan declares that sex slave victims that they’ve abused/killed/tortured are willing whores.”? What kind of moral gymnastics do you have to do to think that?

  • Genie

    Why does S.Korea run a substantial trade deficit (25 billion-dollar) with Japan? Because key components in Korean products is almost made in Japan. Most manufacturing machinery is made in Japan. The truth is that S.Korea needs Japan more than Japan needs S.Korea. Japan can support their own country. Japan has 1121 billion dollar US Treasury
    bonds. Net external assets is 260 trillion yen(world’s best). Deposit and saving
    of citizens is 800 trillion yen(world’s best). Japan’s collective assets is 8553
    trillion yen. Japan is the largest contributor to the IMF and World Bank. You can’t say same things about S.Korea. S.Korea’s financial status is heavily dependent on foreign capital.

  • que337

    Here is what should be done for both countries.

  • wangkon936

    Genie,

    In exchange for the grants and loans the Japanese also got normalized relations. Do you propose that that get withdrawn also?

    Does Japan need any less friends in North East Asia? Seriously dude, do you hate Japan? You know nobody in North East Asia really is in love with Japan. They have serious territorial disputes with the Chinese and the Russians and the North Koreans openly despises them. In my opinion, South Korea is the closest thing to a friend Japan has in North East Asia. Seriously, think about it dude. If you really love Japan, you wouldn’t be asking them to commit diplomatic harakiri.

  • stereo

    Japan did and Kroea refused. What is jujitsu by the way?

  • stereo

    Robert, it is time you break out of the mind control of Korean government. You really have nothing to support your argument.

  • stereo

    Koreans, respect rule of law. If people made the law that everyone must work at military factories to defend their nation, I see no reason to object.
    >the fact that you are also honoring monstrous murderers at the same shrine.
    Koreans, respect rule of law. That is religion. You cannot prohibit a religion for what it respect. Europeans learned that through bloody history.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    This is NOT the definition of Rule of Law. This is the definition of SLAVERY to law. You don’t even get the basic concept of Rule of Law yet are preaching to us about it, tsunami boy? So the religion is about worshiping vicious killers? Its a shite, vile, worthless religion in that case. Just like your culture.

  • stereo

    Amendment of article 96 of the constitution is not likely. LDP Komeito coalition does not have 2/3 majority in the Upper house. They are unlikely to get majority in national referendum because the popular vote for Abe administration at the Lower house election last December was 39.4%. You can count my one vote against the amendment, by the way.
    > they have not learned any lessons from history,
    Here is a practical question. Which one lesson will be most likely to be deterrence for Japan to go to war?
    1. Japan colonized Korea.
    2. Japan is responsible for comfort women.
    3. America nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki and carpet bombed Tokyo and Osaka.
    4. Japan lost war.

  • Genie

    I’m not a Ishihara fanboy. Get rid of your paranoid ideas and stop making silly judgements about posters. I’ve been reading ths blog for years and I’m dissapointed that you are acting like a nationalistic Korean now. You were more objective and rational about these historical/political issues a few years ago. I’m not sure why your attitude has changed badly, but as an adult you should respect different opinions. It is not my intent to attempt to congratulate Japanese for controling Korea. However, given Korea’s weakness and the political climate of the time (largely created by Korea’s rulers), it is understandable that Korea would fall under the control of another country, which just happened to be Japan. The Prime Minister of Korea “Lee Wan-yong” and the largest Korean political party supported the annexation. I also dispute Korean claim that Japan plundered Korea and was a disaster for the living standards, health, and education of the Korean people. Objectively, all these things were greatly improved under Japanese rule. In my impression, Koreans tend to evade the responsibility of their own by pretending to be total victims of “evil Japanese”, and anything that disagrees with their view is called “historical revisionism”. Accepting objective facts doesn’t mean glorifying Japanese annexation of Korea. Pity that Koreans are so irrationally anti-Japanese.

  • Genie

    The Holocaust stands above all war crimes, not only because the crimes were unprecedented in cruelty and cold-bloodedness, but precisely because it had nothing to do with war. The Nazis targeted the Jews, the blacks, the gypsies, the homosexuals for extinction, not for any hypothetical military gain. There was no room for accommodation or even assimilation in their Holocaust plan. The Japanese government didn’t conduct a systematic programme of extermination against people based on race and sexuality. Anyone that equates them to each other or declares them equivalent is ignorant and irrational. The Nazis’s crime has nothing to do with war, not seventy years ago or now. And why do you ignore about German invasion of Africa, have they ever knelt down and issued apology to African people? When you Koreans say anything about Germany’s past aggression, it’s always about what they did to Jews. Why don’t you tell me how genuine Western countries leaders were towards atoning for their invasions of African and Asian countries.

  • que337
  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    “Nationalist Korean,” eh? As opposed to, say, somebody who’s just essentially argued that Koreans should be grateful to Japan for colonizing them and giving them ODA afterwards?

    What’s next? Asking that African-Americans acknowledge the benefits of the trans-Atlantic slave trade since they live better than your average West African?

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I should also point out that I’m relatively pro-Japanese, and more than happy to admit the colonial era was a complicated time. But I’ll also tell you this—when you’ve got Japanese and their fanboys talking down to Koreans, evading blame for the comfort women and lecturing Koreans about all the great things their colonial overlords did for them, it makes it very difficult to be pro-Japanese.

  • stereo

    Excuse me? I did not say “GOOD”. Does “prostitute” mean good in Korea?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Ask your mother

  • stereo

    Mr. Koehler, what are you hinting?
    Are you implying that Japanese do not respect international law and therefore I do not either?
    Are you implying that Japanese do not value the lives of foreigners and therefore I do not either?
    Do you call it stereotype? Are you happy ridiculing foreigners?

  • que337
  • Dan Levitan

    This is one reason why I, as a foreigner, will likely not stay in Japan for an extended period of time. I would never be welcome, not even with my money.

  • Wedge1

    It’s your blog and I hesitate to argue since you’re a great guy. But (you saw that coming, right?), the 1965 treaty satisfied all legal obligations and numerous PMs, cabinet secretaries, dogcatchers and even the emperor have apologized since. Just because idiot politicians come along later and say something stoopid doesn’t obviate that.

  • Wedge1

    If you give me $800,000,000 like Japan did in 1965 then I’ll be good.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    No, no, no and no. Well, OK, sometimes for the last one, as you are too, clearly.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Maybe Robert isnt implying that but I will say it: Japanese do not value any non-Japanese life.

  • que337

    Wedge, if you were offered $800 M, would you let your women, families, and homeland be invaded and sexually enslaved by Japan?

  • wangkon936

    It isn’t really that much money, even in today’s dollars.

    I went here: http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=800&year1=1965&year2=2012 to adjust for inflation and got $5.8 billion.

    Not really that much considering the economic gain that Japan got for all that cheap labor (5 million conscripted laborers) and rice over 35 some odd years.

    North Korea said the South sold their dignity for a pittance. They may have a point.

  • yangachibastardo

    Your logic was attempted unsuccesfully by the likes of Goring at Nuremberg, since then the i was following orders approach has been completely discredited

  • wangkon936

    Aw hell. If I can rent a country of 20 million some odd people and do what I bloody damn well please for 35 years for $5.8 billion, I’ll do that deal. I’ll do that deal all day everyday. That’s effing cheap.

  • yangachibastardo

    Korea has 300+ foreign currency reserves, proportionally more than Japan. As other posters pointed out the depedendency on short term foreign bank financing has been vastly reduced by Korea.

    True a mismatch in liquidity, structure and duration of foreign assets and liabilities still exist but overall Korea is now a creditor country. Korea runs a bigger current account surplus than dwindling Japan’s, whose cost basis is absolutely uncompetitive with neighbouring Asia, hence this is the reason why the yen is still, despite the recent mudslide, the short of the decade.

    As for private wealth i’ll tell you something: Italians are a bit richer than the Japanese on average, still our economy is a piece of shit. Lots of the nominal wealth of both Italians and Japanese are in low yielding assets like money market instruments, Government bonds and real estate. All of them expressed in a currency (yen, euro) unrealistically overvalued comparing to the productivity of the economy. It’s fictional wealth which will be arbitraged away by the market.

    Ah and last but not least: in Korea people don’t starve, Japanese have a per capita consumption of calories on par with the poorest Eastern European nations (i suspect that’s the main reason why lots of you are, shall i say, height challenged) and still Japan shows a disastrous food trade balance…good luck feeding yourself when you have to compete for food sources with that friendly neighbour of yours, aka China, and their heavier by the day yuan

  • Genie

    Japan has demonstrated generosity and help during the global economic crisis. Last year, the Japanese government provided $60 billion in emergency loans to the multilateral lender amid the global economic downturn following the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. South Korea? I can’t think of any Korean assistance in times of global economic crisis like these.

  • stereo

    South Korea received, in addition to the compensation money, all the Japanese asstes in South Korea, such as universities, rail roads, factories.
    South Korea is the only nation that received compensation from Japan after WW2. All other nations which concluded peace treaty with Japan waived compensation.
    Your point is that Korea was not fully compensated. Sorry for that. No country gets full compensation for war damage. Korean government signed and ratified the treaty. Ask them why. I think they did so because the biggest benefit of a peace treaty is peace itself.

  • stereo

    You must be talking about an irrelevant case.
    Is it OK to draft nationals to work in military facilities?
    Is it OK to draft nationals to work in facilities designated by the military.
    If the answers to the questions are both yes, then there is no problem with what he calls “forced labor”.

  • yangachibastardo

    I can’t speak for most Koreans. I can only speak for their children and really only the ones that I’ve had in my classes. The kids are definitely calling for Japanese blood; in papers, in pictures, in conversations, every chance they get it seems

    Who are you ? Some pc-brigade Guardian reader ??? Got news for you: kids will be kids and lots of them tend to be loud, arrogant, boombastic and belligerant everywhere. They tend to stick to groups in order to define their identity and indulge in war games.

  • stereo

    Congratulations. With that current account surplus, Korea should expect much much more appreciation in won. I somewhat think the economic situation in Korea today is similar to that of Japan in 1987. There was appreciation of yen, which lead to investment boom in stock and real estate. Then collapse of the investment market and 20 years of recession. You Koreans still have 2 years.

  • Genie

    If Koreans opposed to a comfort women set up, why did they have it themselves?
    Have you forgotten that you wrote this article?
    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2007/04/07/professor-says-koreans-also-responsible-for-comfort-women/

    In “100 Minute Debate” , Yi Yeong Hun, a professor of Soeul University,
    mentioned the existence of “comfort stations” during the Korean War and criticised
    Korea’s double standard. Koreans were outraged by his comments and forced him to
    apologize in the public. Totalitarianization doesn’t allow academia to make a free speech. Note that there are lots more Korean scholars who were criticized and forced to quit their job because of their interpretations in favor of Japanese rule before 1945. Before going on and on attacking Japan, take a look at the lack of academic freedom in Korea.

  • yangachibastardo

    Huh ? NO it’s not if labor conditions violate any accepted standard of humane condition which was exactly what happened in nazi Germany and imperial Japan

  • stereo

    If.
    By the way, did not you say that any international law should be ignored?
    What do you mean by “any accepted standard of humane condition”, when you ignore international laws?

  • yangachibastardo

    Laws are written and enforced by victors, don’t you know that shinobi ?

    If enslaved labor is justifiable under the “it was local legal under the local legislation” principle, then the same applies to the atomic bombs or the barring of rare earth exports by China as a tool of trade and political war.

    Remember your place in the world guys: you’re no longer even a medium-ranked powrhouse, youìre more like the PIIGS of Asia and as WK pointed out, you don’t have many friends in your neighbourhood while you have one giant, mean bully who hates your guts.

    Are you sure you don’t wanna make an effort to improve your relationship with S. Korea and cling to technicalities ?

  • Genie

    Russia don’t hate Japan and Japan won’t die wthout North/South Korea, And most Asians countries are being perturbed by the aggressiveness of China. On the foreign policy front, China continues to take a very aggressive policy
    towards other Asian countries on territorial disputes in the South China Sea
    (Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei) and the East China Sea
    (Japan). Moreover, China and India continue to take issue with each other over
    their contested claims to the Aksai Chin and Arunachal. China also maintains
    another dispute with South Korea over the maritime rights over Socotra rock.

  • stereo

    >Laws are written and enforced by victors, don’t you know that shinobi ?
    Oh, you deny democracy this time. Who are you? Dictator or something?
    Your stupidity really has no bottom.

  • que337

    Given Japan has done a lot to build good reputation, “by attempting to conceal what was terrible about Japan in the past, conservative leaders obscure what is admirable about Japan today.” advised Prof. Jennifer Lind.

  • que337

    “When Japanese leaders refused to acknowledge past crimes they let a Communist dictatorship wrest the high ground from a pacifist democracy. At a time when Japanese conservatives seek to generate both hard and soft power to counter China, their denials squander both. They antagonize global opinion and alienate Japan from potential regional partners who also worry about China’s rise. “(Prof. Jeniffer Lind)

  • platetheif

    I’ve got some news for you: most kids are not nationalistic. Those that are, tend to be brought up in countries that are hotbeds of propaganda.

  • Genie

    I will continue to disregard anything I read in American media about Japan’s “
    lack of atonement” as the double-standard it is; Get the logs out of your own
    damn eyes before belaboring others.

  • que337

    I also answered in another branch of this thread that Japan should institutionalize the repentant past memory within laws and policies, especially through history education.

  • que337

    I put a lot more trust in American media and scholarship than Japanese government. ;)

  • Genie

    I put a lot more trust in the BBC Global Poll then an ignorant American. ;)
    http://www.japanprobe.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/japan-influence-around-the-world.jpg

    “Japan is seen as having the mostpositive influence in the world among all countries evaluated, and views have improved slightly since 2011. On average, in the 21 tracking countries surveyed, 58 per cent of respondents hold positive views of Japan’s influence (up from 56% in 2011), and 21 per cent hold negative views (up 1 point from 2011). This very favourable global picture is reflected in the picture by country: out of the 22 countries surveyed in 2012, 20 countries lean positive and only two lean negative (South Korea and China).”

  • que337

    Feel free to call the faculty of the Japanese Studies Institutes at Harvard an ignorant American.

  • Genie

    She clearly needs to do the Global Study because the BBC Global Poll disagrees with her. Her opinion isn’t a fact and the poll results don’t lie ;)

  • que337

    As for your firm belief on polls, Genie, there are “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

  • wangkon936

    Well… The guys who signed a peace treaty were mostly Western Powers such as Holland, France, England, the US, etc. There were very few developing countries that were actual countries at the time. China had the Nationalists, but they were too busy gurding themselves up for the coming struggle with the Communists.

    Remember, in 1918 a lot of countries asked for compensation from the Germans and they got it. However, in 1945 Asia was not 1918 Europe as there were no Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Burma, etc. There were a lot of proto-countries trying to keep the former Western powers out and/or struggling against the Communist challenge. These countries were in no condition to negotiate with foreign entities while they were struggling to establish their countries.

    South Korea, in the beginning, didn’t really demand compensation. However, the Americans wanted their two chief allies in North Asia to kiss and make up. Compensation was a way to do this. But, clearly it wasn’t perfect. The Korean government isn’t asking for any more money. Some old people do because they were not paid by Japan for their labors. I personally believe that the Korean government should compensation those old people who are still alive. However, in terms of moral goals, I still think the Japanese government has an obligation to fill the moral imbalance.

    Lastly, Korea really didn’t get to keep a lot of assets. Much of the industrial assets were in the north. What the Russians didn’t take with them after 1945 was destroyed by American bombing in 1950 or wasted away by the North Koreans. The literacy rate only increased from 15% to 20%. Only one of the three main universities had Japanese origins (Seoul National). The south still kept its main agrarian base. The main railroad from Seoul to Busan was started by the Korean government before 1905.

    Now, having said that, yes Japan did play a huge role in the modernization of Korea. Many Koreans went to Japanese schools and got experience in Japanese companies. Japanese companies sold or let borrow or gave experience to Korean companies. However, ALL things things were done by two independent countries and an annexation of one of the countries by the other was not necessary for any of this to happen. In short, colonialism was not necessary for Japan to offer developmental help to Korea.

  • wangkon936

    I never said Russia hates Japan. I said Russia has serious territorial disputes with Japan. Please reread my comment.

    All those Asian countries that may have more positive feelings about Japan are small, weak and far away. They cannot help Japan if Japan needs it.

    It is in Japan’s best interest to have amicable relations with South Korea. South Korea isn’t asking for money. They are asking for a change in attitude on historical perspectives. This is very very cheap materially. It’s just very difficult politically in Japan.

  • iluvdoggies
  • Pal

    Must read this.
    Questions by Congressman Nakayama at the Diet on March 8, 2013
    http://jpnso.blogspot.jp/2013/03/questions-by-congressman-nakayama-at.html

  • Pingback: Witch hunts, East and West. | Bloody shovel

  • laughing_salesman

    Comfort Women Issue is part of Korean defamation campaign against Japan based on conjured up fake stories and lies
    Visit this site to find the truth:
    False Accusations of Comfort Women
    http://www.howitzer.jp/korea/page03.html

  • Toshiaki Haginoya

    Koreans activists remain silent about Korean procurers who played a role of a broker between parents who wished to sell their own daughters and brothel owners who wished to buy girls for prostitution. It was those people, the parents, procurers, brokers, whoremongers, pimps and brothel owners who forced the women and girls into indentured prostitution (the parents got hefty advance payment by selling their daughters).

    I believe Korean activists know about the true story, since some of their relatives would have told that story as they grew up, or would have read some old newspaper articles about abduction criminal cases arrested by the police. (I personally have some of them.)

    The very fact that the police (80% of policemen were Koreans) made efforts to arrest abduction criminals proves that many girls had become comfort women due to indentured prostitution, not forcibly by Japanese Imperial Army.

    Knowing it quite well, those activists launch anti-Japan smear campaign. They are distorting the true story and telling lies to the world.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Indeed. Damn those anti-Korean activists for smearing the good name of gang rapists the IJA.