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AMPONTAN: US media ignores Japanese ambassador’s press conference

March 8th, 2007 . by Matt

Ampontan tells us about the US media ignoring the Japanese ambassador’s press conference, and offers a quick translation.

Yoshihisa Komori *, the Washington correspondent of the Sankei Shimbun, blogs here in Japanese on the press conference held in Washington DC by Ryozo Kato, the Japanese ambassador to the US, regarding the comfort women brouhaha. Here is my quick and dirty translation of the highlights:

* Most recent reports in the US media and the Congressional resolution now being debated are not based on objective facts.
* The resolution ignores the formal apology of the Japanese government, the private sector funds offered in sincerity to the comfort women, and Japan’s classroom instruction on the comfort women, so is therefore not based on objective facts.
* The Japanese government has consistently upheld the Kono statement of 1993, and this consistency has included the distinction between coercion in the broad sense and the narrow sense. (Narrow sense: forced abductions by the military. Broad sense: Women felt compelled by circumstances to accept the offer of recruiters.)
* Japan is obligated to point out the errors of objective fact in the Congressional resolution and media reports. It is natural that Japan does not have to apologize (again), even if the resolution is passed.
* The submission of this resolution itself is not good for the Japan-US relationship. This bilateral alliance fulfills an important role, not just for Japan and the US, but for most of the regions of the world. This resolution will not have a positive impact on that alliance.
* Kato cannot agree with the assertion that it would be better to remain silent. Resolutions of this type, not based on objective fact, should be rebutted from the perspective that they are not good for the bilateral relationship.
* Ambassador Kato also said American media reports claiming that Prime Minister Abe’s statement denied all Japanese responsibility for, and the military’s involvement with, the comfort women are “not based on objective facts”.

Go to Ampontan’s site and check it out!

14 Responses to “AMPONTAN: US media ignores Japanese ambassador’s press conference”

  1. comment number 1 by: hls

    So the Democrats and the US media are firmly determined to bash whatever is supportive of the Bush administration? The Yomiuri Shimbun reports the resolution is likely to pass.

  2. comment number 2 by: ponta

    This resolution will not benefit the US nor Japan. Japanese who used to claim that Kouno’s statement was wrong will say more strongly it was wrong because of this.

    The effect is some Japanese will become anti-Americans, realizing not only the content of the resolution but also the procedure taken in the US congress was wrong.

    I for one think that it is wrong to inflame Anti-US sentiment because of this :the US is geopolitically the most important ally, but I think Japanese government should pay more attention to diplomacy with Korea, both South and North.

  3. comment number 3 by: void

    It does not supprise me.
    Japanese gov. made big mistake on the issue 15 years ago, and did not try to recover the fault . Those “poor comfort women” have emotional advantage in the media. And most of people think about the issue with emotion, not logic.

  4. comment number 4 by: hana

    Ignoring against statement of Japanese Ambassador made to look that Japan is silent as usual.
    Is this first time?
    Is this freedom of the press in the US?
    I hope not.
    I am wondering that this kind of things happened or not before war start between Japan and the US in the past.

  5. comment number 5 by: hana

    Matt san
    Have you read this before?

  6. comment number 6 by: kjeff

    I haven’t read the resolution myself, but if the editorial here is correct, some of what Mr. Kato said in the press conference are not “based on objective facts.”

  7. comment number 7 by: Sweet Water

    I was extremely dissapointed by this press conference if the above translation was correct. Why didn’t he explain, one by one, using panels or powerpoint slide, which “accusations” in the resolution were wrong? The term “sex slave” was wrong; the number of comfort women, 200,000, was wrong; Kidnapping by the Japanese army was wrong; Repeated raping was wrong; … He should also explain, one by one, article by article, which “accusations” in the newpaper articles were wrong; and which comments of comfort women were inconsistent; what was the role of millitary police on this issue; how each article twisted the fact; … Even I would not write a positive article based on the press conference explained above. I really wish Mr. Kato would be replaced.

  8. comment number 8 by: hana

    This is correct one.

  9. comment number 9 by: hana

    sorry again!
    Somehow different place to jump in.
    please forget it.

  10. comment number 10 by: shadkt

    Why is it that I don’t trust OhMyNews as a source?

    Anyhow, if the U.S. media is ignoring this rebuttal, then it just confirms my suspicion that U.S. media quality has been degrading.
    And if the media quality is degrading, watch out!

    Japan should stand firm on this ground. If the U.S. still feels that Japan is just a stool under the foot of U.S. after 60 years, Japan needs to wake up to that reality.

  11. comment number 11 by: hana

    I do not understand why jump into different page with same address.
    It should be “Report NO.49: Japanese POW Interrogation on Prostitution”.
    But it does not. Anyway sorry.

  12. comment number 12 by: Matt

    I haven’t read the resolution myself, but if the editorial here is correct, some of what Mr. Kato said in the press conference are not “based on objective facts.”

    It is not correct.

  13. comment number 13 by: kjeff


    Why is it that I don’t trust OhMyNews as a source?

    It’s a reprint, please read the note.

    It is not correct.

    Now, that’s succinct, you’re making me curious…care to elaborate…

  14. comment number 14 by: opp

    The facsimile reprint of “Report NO.49: Japanese POW Interrogation on Prostitution” is here(p136-130).
    Matt has already knew this document too.