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Analysis of what is happening with the comfort women controversy

March 4th, 2007 . by Matt

Ampontan has a good analysis of what on earth is going on with the current controversy about comfort women.

We both know that sticking pins into the head of rattlesnakes, wrote Herbert Hoover to a friend the day after the Pearl Harbor attack, is what got this country bit.

The US cut the head off that rattlesnake more than a half century ago, so why are the House of Representatives and the New York Times now sticking pins in the voodoo doll they’ve created of contemporary Japan? The House seems poised to pass a maudlin, facile resolution about comfort women during the Second World War, taking at face value the word of a woman who can’t get her story straight and whose testimony may be fraudulent, while the Times has added fuel to the fire by intentionally—and maliciously–garbling a quote from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

It’s not clear what they intend to accomplish, but one thing is certain—they are gratuitously offending our staunchest ally in Asia and creating unnecessary difficulties for the Abe administration’s heretofore successful efforts at rapprochement with its Northeast Asian neighbors.

Then again, knowing the New York Times, that may be one of the things they hope to accomplish—the other being to bring down the Abe government. And considering that it’s the word of the Times and its butchered quote in English against the actual words of Prime Minister Abe in Japanese, they might just get away with it.

Check out his post, Congress backstabs US ally; Times lie trashes Abe.

22 Responses to “Analysis of what is happening with the comfort women controversy”

  1. comment number 1 by: tman

    This is so amusing.

    I see the Japanese right wing Apologists are squirming like torched rats, especially now that the world’s opinions are absolutely condemning.

    Otherwise, why so much tossing and turning and foaming at the mouth on this issue here? Thanks, Abe, you done a good job showing why Japanese can’t be trusted to any of their so called past ‘apologies’. I guess you can’t hide what you really are.

    Read all these comments from the BBC online and foam at the mouth more. You guys have a lot of work to do to change all these peoples’ minds.

    This discussion clearly demonstrates the dangers of revisionism: there are so many comments here from Japanese that are contrary to those from the rest of the world. Entire generations of Japanese are learning an alternate history. Unfortunately, the concept of personal and national shame in Japanese (and other Asian) cultures makes it extremely difficult for Japan to acknowledge this ugly part of their history. Learning from – not denying – the past is the only way for humans to progress.

    Kent Iacobi, San Francisco

    That’s because that’s what majority of Japanese believe – big news huh? Now you get it?

    My grandfather still bore Kempetai torture scars until his death. Is Mr. Abe suggesting that we should dig all the victims from their graves until the Japanese govt is pleased enough to give a sincere apology?

    This is disrespectful to those victims who have perished under Japanese imperialism (remember, this includes thousands of Romusha ‘slaves’ who died from exhaustion and malaria) and a grave insult to those poor old women who might even tremble at the thought of speaking out.

    Toar, Manado (Indonesia)

    All the Japanese say it’s all Chinese and Koreans conspiring to make Japan look bad. boo hoo. Well, what do you say to this Indonesian? What about Philipinos, Malaysians, the Dutch, even Australian women? Are they on this conspiracy too? This must be an elaborate conspiracy.

    This comfort women issue is just like the ‘Sneak Attack’ fabrication by the USA. All propaganda without the facts to prove it. Now even Washington cannot refute the truth clearly stated at the sacred Yasukuni Shrine that it’s America’s oil blockade of Japan that provoked Tokyo to officially declare war. Even many Taiwanese reported that many women and their families were grateful to be able to find work and food during such harsh times.

    Shoji, Narita

    Ahhh… now it all makes sense, those dastardly Americans, they were the ones sneak attacking Japan. Poor Japan. Poor misunderstood Japan. Yeap this is what is taught and understood in Japan -that they were the only victims.

    Abe appeared in the Court of Final Justice, up in the Heaven, accusing the North Koreans of kidnapping 14 Japanese girls in the 1970s and 80s and demanded ratification and full explanation.

    And in the same breadth, Abe defended that the Japanese had never kidnapped not even a single girl or woman, or forced any into army sex slave, in Korea, China, the Phillipines, Malaysia or Indonesia, in the 1930s or 40s. Why? No admissible evidence.

    How self-righteous and smart, Mr. Prime Minister!

    sam ts chow, Hong Kong

    Yeap, 14 Japanese more precious then thousands of those Asian whores.

    Japan has a history of harrassing the people who speak out our war time atrocity. That is why we need international forcus on this matter.
    When I was a child in Japan, I constantly received an education about atomic bombs. I never leaned anything about Nanjing massacre nor comfort women. True patriotism is to admit own country’s fault and grow up from it to be better country. Some Japanese culture don’t allow this because they require people to be perfect from the start; hence denial happens.

    Minako Abe, London, United Kingdom

    This, coming from a Japanese who once lived in Japan. Explains a lot about sites like this and other hate filled Japanese right wing nationalist sites.

    When will people learn that the more that you hound a country about something nasty that it has done in the past, them more that it will stand its ground and deny it.

    Sure, we all know that Japan committed unspeakable atrocities, its a proven fact of history and everybody in Japan knows it (except a few loonies, of course, but they exist in every country), but constantly going on at Japan about them isn’t the way to get it things done. Take things slowly, and be diplomatic about it.

    This is just a normal reaction in Japan…They will not recognize their mistakes unless they receive sufficient pressure to do so. If this and other issues, related to WW2, become widely known and discussed, and if the international community take a stance (And not only the US polticians) than Japan will, very quickly, change their opinion. If we consider the Meiji Era as well as the aftermath of WW2, we will realize that the Japanese do not change unless they are under threat or fully colonized

    Shinrin Wood, Tokyo

    True, I’m afraid. They got off real light after the war, and this is the result.

    The mistake was made after 1945 to forego putting Hirohito on trial. In contrast, all Nazi leaders who hadn’t killed themselves were tried.

    I believe this sent the wrong message. Now many believe it was a small clique of officers who did everything and all others carry no responsibility. This is far from the case. As ‘divinity’ Hirohito could have stopped the war any time he wanted, but he didn’t do it until the war was utterly lost.

    Germany today feels too guilty and Japan not enough.

    Marcel, The Hague

    Most ruling class of the War time Japan were allowed to stay intact. Of course they think they did nothing wrong, and everything right.

    I cannot understand why the Japanese dont officially bare their souls, tell the truth & move on. All this backtracking is deeply offensive to people like my father who was a Japanese POW & to all of us. We know what happened. It’s time Japan was honest & rewrote their history – & stopped all this honouring of their war criminals. Until then they cannot be trusted.

    David Little, Andenne, Belgium

    Why? because they were allowed to get away mostly free, by the Allied victors. That’s why we can’t find any closure. Of course, you guys will also deny allied POW’s were grossly abused. Everyone is picking on poor Japan.


  2. comment number 2 by: Gerry-Bevers

    Matt, the above link does not seem to be working. I think the following link is correct:

    Congress backstabs US ally; Times lie trashes Abe

    By the way, that is a great post.

  3. comment number 3 by: ponta

    Anpontan’s analysis is great.

    Thank you for your precious opinion. I appreciate it, but where is your opinion about Anpontan’s post?

    I think the next thing the US congress will do is to pass the resolution to demand that Korea admit the mistreatment of Korean comfort women under Korean regime after Independence and atrocities they did in Vietnam and Korea, and the sea of Japan near Dokdo if the US is the moral observer of the world.

  4. comment number 4 by: bearvalley

    Anti-Japan demonstration in korea.

    Caution. There are cruel photos.


  5. comment number 5 by: Matt

    Anti-Japan demonstration in korea.

    Caution. There are cruel photos.


    Somebody needs to tell them not to play with their food.

  6. comment number 6 by: tman

    Matt, I dare you to tell them that yourself, if you’re brave enough. They can rip your face out without any effort. You probably have no ideal what their background is. Needless to say, they were/are still bad ass dudes. I’d like to see you mess with them.

  7. comment number 7 by: James

    Yeah matt, how dare you make fun of their dog head protest and defend those “sneaky” Japanese! Allow me to join tman and threatening you indirectly by telling you that those guys, and not me, will kill you! Come on, try to mess with them, and they, not I, will rip off your face! 😉

  8. comment number 8 by: tman

    threatening you indirectly by telling you that those guys, and not me, will kill you!

    I didn’t say nor do such a thing. You’re reading into things too much.

    “sneaky” Japanese!

    Your words, not mine.

  9. comment number 9 by: Sweet Water

    The Taipei Times explains the background of these Korean psychopaths:

    A former South Korean army commando sticks a knife into the jaws of a dog’s head during an anti-Japanese protest near the Japanese embassy in Seoul yesterday. The protest marked the anniversary of a peaceful mass uprising against Japanese colonial rule in 1919. Knives were stuck in the dog heads to symbolize five key Korean `traitors’ during Japanese colonial rule from 1910 to 1945. South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday urged Japan to stop glossing over its wartime past so the two countries could become friends.

    What is interesting is that there seem to be no protests against the “dog head protest” in Korea, and that Roh Moo-hyun still believes Japanese are eager to make friends with Koreans.

  10. comment number 10 by: Kaneganese

    Since I don’t know much about the politics in U.S., this is very interesting analysis. Ampontan explained what I wanted to say more clearly and precisely. (By the way, I have to apologize that I have misquoted Rep. Mike Honda as Senator before. It was my bad.) When I heard about his movement in Congress, I also thought that this is because of upcoming working group of the six parties and the election for the members of the House of Councilors Japan. Someone is playing those convenient and useful cards to make the results of these events in favour of them, that is my analysis.

    Care to explain about those army commando men in the picture more? What ordinary Korean think about them and their way of protesting? I don’t want to think most Korean support those protest only because they don’t want to mess up with them. By the way, just out of curiousity, those dogs, are they for food? I have no objection to consuming dogs in Korea, but if they did it in Japan, it could violate the law”動物愛護法”.

  11. comment number 11 by: wiesunja

    Who let this piece of work, tman, in here? What happened…are all the laundrymats closed for the day? LOL! Either that or perhaps everyone is recycling…

  12. comment number 12 by: wiesunja

    Somebody needs to tell them not to play with their food

    ROFLMAO! I bow down to your greatness, Matt. That’s hilarious.

    What make it even more hilarious is that your comments seems to have really set a certain person from a certain peninsular nation off like a raging fire! LOL. He is retaliating by saying that those big bad dog killers are gonna physically hurt you? Puhahaha! I think the last time I heard a threat like that was in the third grade when the school dork threatened that he would morph into Ultraman and beat everyone up because we all laughed at his ridiculous Halloween costume.

    Watching Koreans get pissed off really brings back nostalgic memories of elementary school. LOL.

  13. comment number 13 by: hls


    Am I imagining things that you sound very similar to kjeff and bananaboi? Context analysis shows unusually high level of coefficient in the use of particular words.

  14. comment number 14 by: mashtalk

    I am a Japanese. The essence of this issue of comfort women is only one thing. it is an issue whether there was organized forced forcible by the Japanese army. I think so that this point is made light of for some reason. The life of charity dames surely feels sad, but is not what I take only that they say to be true yet and discuss strange? As for the person, the human being who does confidence of a liberal in particular tends to believe a thing of the anti-system of the weak liver unconditionally. I grasp claims of Japanese Government properly, and arguing people are very few.
    Because both claims and examination of exhibit father are fair, is not there it? In this regard, there is duty to show a document and a point at issue properly in Japanese Government.
    Japan has a lot of then Korean records. Generally the woman that a little less than 200,000 people whom Korea says to that I was taken are young says that it is then artificial around 30% concerned. Such a thing is a great riot if really generated. Such a riot does not happen in Korea.
    As for nobody, as for both the Japanese and the Korean, there is even an eyewitness.
    It was war, and there would be some sorrowful event. But it should aim at solution in individual treatment for the two countries.
    Our country apologizes about war of the past many times. I do moral and material support. I already think that I am useless more than this. I think that I had better be cleared up in one kind or another business like in anything whether I investigate it and ask a neutral third nation for ですので, the fact checking that became clear if I can do it.
    It will be good in future for both Japanese and Koreans in the future. Koreaphobia increases steadily and thinks very much as it is. If an American assembly discusses it seriously, why do not you do cross-examination? Do not you let you announce a Japanese opinion? I am unilateral and think it to be arrogant.

  15. comment number 15 by: nighthawk

    Anyways, the whole thing makes me really sad. For my part, I don’t like to call those poor old women liars just because they say whatever people around them tell them to say. And I do believe Japanese government and military at the time to have been morally responsible for allowing some of the brothel men illegally recruiting prostitutes, treating them inhumanely, and get away with it. In a perfect world, we would be discussing this issue as part of the worldwide and ongoing problem of human rights violation accompanying military presence.

    So many Koreans seem to want to believe, however, that the problem never has existed before or after Japanese rule of Korea, that the Japanese government and military were themselves criminals who captured 200,000 unwilling Korean women into sex slavery, with no evidence to support that claim at all. Of course, Koreans are free to believe whatever they want to believe, but now they are demanding Americans, Japanese, and the rest of the world to believe what they believe. That’s way over the top, and it is only reasonable to wish the Koreans to stop spreading their self-serving lies.

    I really wish more professional historians, based outside Korea and Japan and relatively unbiased, to do some research of their own and make some statements. That would alleviate the situation a bit.

  16. comment number 16 by: jion999

    Koreans are spreading the lie because they do not believe it is a lie.
    Their grandfathers’ generation made a lot of lies to pretend they were not “chinirupa” (traitor) to survive the difficult era after the independence.
    They have created a beautiful story which says Korean was right, and Japanese was wrong. It was possible because foreigners were not interested in Korea and foreigners did not understand Korean language.
    Now, Korean new generation started to spread their distorted story to the world.
    However, Korean language has not been mysterious language any more, and it is easy for foreigners to check evidences of Korean documents.
    Once most of foreigners were cheated that Taekwondo was Korean original marshal arts with 2000 years history, most of them have understood it was a lie.
    Korean new generations who believe the lies of old generations and try to spread the lies to the world must be the victim of Korean sad history.

  17. comment number 17 by: jion999

    If you read this confession of Korean old man, you would understand why Korean old men told lies.
    (Korean only)
    After the independence, all of the influences by Japanese empire’s era were denied.
    But how some Koreans who mastered Japanese cultures and earned money to use that knowledge survive in such kind era?
    It was no way that they insist their knowledge was not one they learned from Japanese but it was Korean origin!
    Some Koreans who worked for Japanese hided their career and prostitutes hided their past to work for Japanese soldiers for money.
    Nobody likes to be criticized as “chinirupa” (traitor).
    Once you are recognized as “chinirupa”, you would ruin yourself in Korean society.

  18. comment number 18 by: nighthawk


    I know, it seems to be structural. It is sad to see many young Koreans today call some of their grandparents “traitors” just because they were among the law-abiding regular people (who were in fact the great majority of Koreans under Japanese rule). The whole national/ethnic identity of Koreans has become dependent on the distorted self-image of an innocent victim of evil Japan. Thus it has become practically impossible for Koreans to show any doubts on the stories of evil Japanese and innocent Koreans they’ve been fed since the day they were born, without getting labeled “traitors.” It seems like there’s no way out until the current regime is replaced.

  19. comment number 19 by: tomato


    Here’s an interesting statistic you might want to know…


  20. comment number 20 by: nighthawk

    I wish more Koreans and Chinese (and perhaps people like “tman”) would take a look, too, but I guess they’d rather believe what they want to believe. They would tell you that people in the rest of the world view Japan positively because they don’t know Japan, that they hate Japan simply because they know the truth about Japan, thanks to their honest government and media.

  21. comment number 21 by: Calagatha

    Matt, I dare you to tell them that yourself, if you’re brave enough. They can rip your face out without any effort. You probably have no ideal what their background is. Needless to say, they were/are still bad ass dudes. I’d like to see you mess with them.

    So do you care to enlighten every one about their background?
    I’m sorry,but how badass could they be? (Lol!)
    It’s not as if they actually fought some rabid wild hounds with rabies & ripped their heads off.
    Anyway those protesters would get their asses killed by either the police or the street gangs in South America/Brazil if those protesters actually dared to enact a
    similar protest like that in the South American Fevelahs.

    Just face it the only reason why Korea protests in the rather unothodox way that they do has nothing to do with their “Badassness” it has more to do
    with the fact that Japanese government in general usually won’t retalliate.
    No matter how wild the circumstances may be.

    To put it bluntly protesting in such a manner is in bad taste & looks rather uncivilized.

  22. comment number 22 by: HanComplex

    That’s just as “badass” as chopping your finger off in protest.

    Oh, wait…