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Background of the 1993 apology to comfort women

March 26th, 2007 . by Matt

Here is a video with English subtitles giving a background to the apology and admission of “coercion” in the 1993 Kono statement on comfort women. The video makes it clear that the government never had any evidence to suggest that there was coercion, and that the Kono statement was based on uncritical acceptance of testimonies and the feeling that such things might be possible in war time.


19 Responses to “Background of the 1993 apology to comfort women”

  1. comment number 1 by: jion999

    There are many people who criticize that Japan abducted Korean women because of Kono Statement.

    Kono statement is a useful reason/evidence that Japan committed a crime.

    Oh my god.

    Japanese good custom to apologize first doesn’t work in the world.

    If you apologize, you must take all of responsibilities. That’s why Chinese and Korean who are asking for apology to Japanese never apologize by themselves.

    Rep. Honda is asking another apology to Japan because of only one reason; Kono admitted the crime.

    It shows Japanese should not apologize anymore.

    If you apologize again, it means you have to take all responsibility for another unknown war crime.

    Korean nationalists would use it as an evidence/excuse to criticize Japan to force Japanese to kneel down again in the near future for revenge.

  2. comment number 2 by: Ken

    Most of Japanese people think everybody is born good.
    The Japanese would think there was coercion atomospere because those refgarded as sufferer appealed that plausibly.
    Then they have been escalating the claim as follows.
    http://dc.koreadaily.com/Asp/article.asp?sv=dc&src=opn&cont=opn&aid=20070322061856100100
    Now most of their stories are reversed one by one like othello game.
    If the USA joins their Japan-USA separation strategy, it would be better to bring all things to light including what UN did after WW2.

  3. comment number 3 by: egg

    I think this video is a good job to explain the Japanese point of view.

    I think sorry for the pre-comfort women, but as far as I know, I cannot accept the idea that the Japanese government kidnapped them and made them to prostitute themselves as a national policy. Japan might be responsible for not being able to prevent crimes caused by military officers, to wipe out poverty, or to provide more welfare (so that they don`t have to sell themselves.). But it seems that those are not the reasons why Japan is accused now.

    I think comfort women issue is a tragety(as I think most of them prostituted themselves unwillingly because they had no other means to live.), and never want them happen again. But sadly, there are still human trafficing and prostitution against their will in the world. If the Japanese government were to conpensate, in my opinion, she should make more efforts to prevent the ones happening now by reducing poverty, providing more education.
    Thank you.

  4. comment number 4 by: wiesunja

    I saw this posted from the Marmot’s hole:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DXWOWLufuE

    Scroll to 4:54.

    to 5:17.

    Pump up the volume if you want to hear out the original English.

    How typically Korean to highlight the only portion of a documentary which showcases emotionally bigoted statements against Japan by a former victim who obviously will have a severe bias against Japan. It’s as though Koreans really care little about presenting what happened in an objective manner. What really gets them foaming at the mouth with glee is when they hear a white person say the exact same racist bile that they preach 24/7. Nothing could make them happier. Only a Korean documentary would include such dialog from a person and try to tout it as proof or evidence that Japan can do no right. In most normal civilized countries, the use of biased remarks from obvious victims as propaganda and brainwashing is touted as very low class and disdainful journalism. Then again, this is Korea we are talking about so no surprises there…

    Koreans seem to have a really strange and cruel sense of “justice” and “happiness”. They seem to be the happiest when hurting the reputation of others who are rivals. Coming from such a mentality, their very poor display of sportsmanship in sports events is not surprising at all.

  5. comment number 5 by: fallbluesky

    Japan is once again
    trying to tread over and kill
    the lives of comfort women
    that are full of wounds.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il0xCjBXTmM

  6. comment number 6 by: ponta

    fallbluesky

    Thank you for the link.
    The video will prove how some Korean use this issue just as a political tool and as an expressoin of the hatred, based on the drawings they fancied about comfort women, and a photo of female Jews walking at the concentratoin camps.

    wiesunja’s video also shows some ethnic Korean just use it as an expressoin of hatred. It is about 731 troop.
    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2007/03/29/and-from-the-japanse-right/#comment-76084
    The link appeared in the thread about
    comfort women.

    When I pointed out Korean comfort women during Korean War and around A town have been ignored and depised by Korean people while on this issue they bash Japan that apologized and comepensated for ex-comfort women.

    Cornered, he came up with the video.

    (If I suddenly inked the site that depicted massacres Koreans committed which had little to do with the topic, I would be moderated or banned on that blog.)

  7. comment number 7 by: wiesunja

    Ponta, you would actually try to act like a Korean does. In other words, whenever there is irrefutable evidence that you cannot against, instead of admitting that your argument is not supported, just show a video of Vietnamese calling Koreans “barbaric murderers” and “dog torturing animals.” That is the Korean style of defensive argument.

  8. comment number 8 by: Matt

    Japan is once again
    trying to tread over and kill
    the lives of comfort women
    that are full of wounds.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il0xCjBXTmM

    That video is just made up testimony along with unrelated pictures. As Ponta pointed out, some of the photos are not even of Koreans, but of Jews. Propaganda, pure and simple.

  9. comment number 9 by: Ken

    fallbluesky,

    I have a few questions.
    Though you are blaming coerced prostitution and comfort women that severely, why do you Koreans sell own daughter for prostitution even now?
    (The news is on Oct.24,’05 in ChonsunIlbo)
    Almost 10 million Koreans are multi-debtors and insolvent now to have loaned from non-bank with around 70% interest.
    Do you know there is a condition of forfeiting body in case of bancrupcy in the contract?
    Are you also criticizing Korean government managed comfort office for UN soldoiers, which is even after WW2?

  10. comment number 10 by: Australian

    Matt,

    Yesterday, I posted a link to the testimony of a Dutch POW who was kept as a “comfort woman” in a Japanese prison camp. I notice that you have deleted that comment.

    Having read your FAQ, I don’t really understand why you have done that. Did you consider it off-topic because the woman wasn’t korean? She’s quite well-known, so perhaps her story has already been covered here.

    Anyway, I would be interested to know why the comment was deleted.

  11. comment number 11 by: Matt

    Matt,

    Yesterday, I posted a link to the testimony of a Dutch POW who was kept as a “comfort woman” in a Japanese prison camp. I notice that you have deleted that comment.

    Having read your FAQ, I don’t really understand why you have done that. Did you consider it off-topic because the woman wasn’t korean? She’s quite well-known, so perhaps her story has already been covered here.

    Anyway, I would be interested to know why the comment was deleted.

    Australian, I sent you an email regarding that the other day. Here it is –

    to f_******@hotmail.com
    date Apr 3, 2007 3:12 PM
    subject Occidentalism
    mailed-by gmail.com
    Hello Australian,

    You are most welcome participate on Occidentalism, but please include
    a comment with your link, and please do not leave the same comment on
    different posts.

    Regards,

    Occidentalism Administrator

    I hope you enjoy participating here at Occidentalism.

  12. comment number 12 by: ledtim

    Matt, why are you tolerating Wiesunja? I’ve been reading for a while and he’s by far one of the worst trolls.

    Not to mention that he’s been banned from Marmot’s Hole for having THREE sockpuppets talking to each other and being a dick in general. (http://www.rjkoehler.com/2007/02/04/translation-of-anti-semitic-comic/)

  13. comment number 13 by: egg

    General Tigers
    I have read through little books and I think there are much informations that I don`t know. So, the bellow is my present idea against the comfort women issue made from the limited knowlege that I have now. I am willing to change them in the future, when I know a new thing.
    I personally think there is a similality between the comfort station and the Private Military Company. The difference is what PMC is doing at Iraq (physical distribution, training etc) is still not concidered unmoral today. But the relationship between the government and the both is pretty much the same, I guess.
    You cannot deny the government`s involvement in those companies. But if suppose PMC kidnapped or cheated someone and forced him to go to Iraq, is is the government`s direct responsibility?
    What Japanese people want to say is the same. We are not denying the facts that there were kidnapping and cheating. And we feel sorry for the comfort woman from heart, but taking the direct responsibility is a little too much. (Even though, I feel our government should take the indirect responsibilities such as not being able to stop the PMC`s act and to prevent poverty and such. )
    To begin with above is my present idea.

  14. comment number 14 by: General Tiger

    Egg:

    Sorry for leaving in the middle, I had to do an all-nighter at the consulting firm where I work as an intern.

    Anyway, I’ll start a long-winded process of thought that should at least tell you my thoughts. Here I go.

  15. comment number 15 by: General Tiger

    NOTE: Shortened because I have some crap to do.

    Problem 1: The process of gathering comfort women: Although there were women who became prositutes following offical government advertisements, a large majority were tricked into joining. Here, the Japanese government itself has not done much, but it was the colonial governments that started pretty much conscripting women. They would assign a number of girls to be sent in a village, and the town leaders had to force the girls to go. Also, there were a lot of con artists (pimp isn’t a good word to describe them), both Japanese and Koreans, tricked women to join, under the premise of getting work during the war. Yes, the Japanese government did crack down on some of the con artists, but the ones protected by the colonial goverments were passed over. Most of the Korean guys were executed/jailed following the chaos of 1945~1953.

  16. comment number 16 by: General Tiger

    Problem 2: During the war, and aftermath (I’ll write it when I get some clear writing)

  17. comment number 17 by: ponta

    it was the colonial governments that started pretty much conscripting women.

    Women were never conspricted by the government though, Korean people were conspricted to the factories.
    And it was brokers that recruited women. And most of brokers in the peninsula were Koreans. Japanese police arrested illegal brokers. There was Japanese policy that women be recruied with their consent.

    the Japanese government did crack down on some of the con artists, but the ones protected by the colonial goverments were passed over

    Evidence please.

    Most of the Korean guys were executed/jailed following the chaos of 1945~1953.During Korean War

    “.the South Korean army also operated its own “military comfort system” during and until immediately after the Korean War, from 1951 to 1954. …the South Korean army’s military comfort women system may be indeed the “unfortunate offspring” of the Japanese”

    However, says, Soh, Chung-Hee

    “its historical roots are much deeper than the colonial period.”
    during Korean war, Korea had the same
    kind of comfort station system .

    Around A town,

    Poverty, together with low class status, has remained the primary reason for women’s entry into camptown prostitution from the 1950s to the mid-1980s

    Still others were physically forced into prostitution by flesh-traffickers or pimps who waited at train and bus stations, greeted young girls arriving from the countryside with promises of employment or room and board, then”initiated” them–through rape–into sex work or sold them to brothels

    (Katharine H. S. Moon

    In Vietnam
    Some scieintists are working on comofort women by Korean troops.It is not clear whether there was such brothels for Korean soldiers, but one thing is certain. There were 5000 to 30000 Laitaihan who were born beteween Vietnamine women and Korean soldiders, and who were left behind after the war.

    Korean government has done notihng to help them.

    What is worse,Korea has been hiding the truth to its people , to the world while Korea keep nitpicking the apology and compensation Japan has made to the former comfort women.

    What is still worse, as this post shows,

    South Korea is primarily a country of destination, but it is also a country of origin and transit for trafficking in women and children

    And South Korea does nothing to save North Korean women in China.

  18. comment number 18 by: egg

    General Tiger

    a large majority were tricked into joining

    I am not trying to deny what you say. But can you show me some statistic or the reason why you think like that?
    I know it will take a tremendous effort to prove this (maybe almost impossible for a indivisual), so even if there isn`t I will not deny what you say. I will hear your words with some reservation. The rest of my comments are under the same condition.

    colonial governments

    Are you thinking that they were acting under the orders of Japanese government? Or Japanese government didn`t order them but knew what they were doing and still didn`t prohibit them? Are there some papers left?

    the town leaders had to force the girls to go

    Why do you think like that? Are there testimonies or diaries that the town leaders left?

    Yes, the Japanese government did crack down on some of the con artists, but the ones protected by the colonial goverments were passed over. Most of the Korean guys were executed/jailed following the chaos of 1945~1953.

    Why do you think the most of the Korean ones were executed/jailed while Japanese one not punished?

    By the way is it better for me to wait untill you finish writing? Or may I write my questions in between what you write? I think we can descuss about my questions after you finish writing.

    I want to say it again. I am not asking questions to deny your claim. I would like to know the facts. I want you to understand that.
    I am looking forward to reading your next post.

  19. comment number 19 by: General Tiger

    You can ask what you want: Due to the idiotic amount of work I have to do at my intern job, I can’t be active.

    I’ll first put my thoughts on how I would like this issue to end:

    The Japanese government makes a final apology, admitting that it wasn’t able to contain the abuses that happened in the process of running the comfort women business. As for the comfort women, they should accept this final apology, and try to put this sad episode of history to rest.