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Double jeopardy, double standards, and a tinge of racism

April 28th, 2007 . by Matt

Via James from JapanProbe

Yoshihisa Komori of Japan’s conservative Sankei Shinbun newspaper was interviewed on the comfort women issue for the PBS series Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria on March 29. Although Abe has since made additional statements of apology since that date, many continue to insist that the Prime Minister is denying history. In this interview, Yoshihisa Komori is pretty clear in giving more context to the viewpoint Abe has been expressing, so it’s definitely work watching if you’re interested in the comfort women debate.

Well worth watching.


27 Responses to “Double jeopardy, double standards, and a tinge of racism”

  1. comment number 1 by: jion999

    There is an english text here.

    http://foreignexchange.tv/?q=node/1952

    He did a good job.

  2. comment number 2 by: kjeff

    I was suprised to see that this is on the second page of YouTube’s most viewed of today’s. Lesson learned: Money can’t buy you love. $30 billions to China alone; sure want that money back if I were you. Kind of sad really, hundreds of billions(probably) spent across Asia, and all you got to show for is…(drum roll) Singapore(population-size wise). The whole thing kind of reminds me of Abu Ghraib for some reason, the private ‘contractor’ thing… I wonder how the world and the U.S.(two separate entities) will remember it 60 years from now. Systemic failures(putting it mildly)? Or, a few bad apples? Wait…what are we talking about again?

    Matt,
    Sorry for the double posts, but I linked and commented on this video in an earlier thread. You can erase it(the one before) if you want.

  3. comment number 3 by: jion999

    “Double jeopardy, double standards, and a tinge of racism”
    I would say it is “victor’s justice”.
    But I know the word is not appropriate to persuade Americans.
    Furthermore, Chinese communists and Koreans were not victors of WW2. They are just exploiting the authority of the real victors.
    So, it must be “the derivatives of victor’s justice”.

  4. comment number 4 by: kjeff

    ponta,
    Here’s for you…about apology.
    My wife likes to say that apology should be simple and short; her favorite is “I’m sorry, I screwed up,” period, no ‘but’, no ‘if’, no nothing. Myself, I tend to give reasons(she calls them ‘excuses’) why I screwed up; I like to explain(she calls it ‘justify’) what I did, and time to time, I want to be specific about what I did wrong(she calls it “you’re not that sorry”). Saying sorry should be easy, no? Especially when you repeat it sooo many timesss… Well, I actually googled “how to apologize’, and it looks like someone is getting PhD on it. Hmmm…

  5. comment number 5 by: ponta

    Money can’t buy you love.

    Generally, Japan is viewed positively from the world.

    Japan is most widely seen to have a positive influence. Europe has the most positive scores of all in the poll.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/4674656.stm
    (Please don’t ask where Korea is ranked, probably it was not even an object of the poll.)

    The UN seat is not a matter of love, but a matter of international politics.
    For instance Pakistan was against the plan not because she was against Japan, but because she was againt India.
    How I wish international politics were operating based on love as a kid tend to think.

    Japan was for Ban when he was a candidate UN Secretary-General-designate.
    Is love always one way street?
    The heart full of the hatred will not feel love.
    More and more Japanese start to feel Japan should not invest so much money on the UN, and countries which are against Japanese peaceful policy.

  6. comment number 6 by: ponta

    kjeff
    You wife is right. Your apology should be simple.
    But after the simple apology is made, she should not nitpick your statement which was response to a friend of yours about what happened .
    If she did that, don’t you think she would be really bitch?
    And as you know, explanation is clearly different from justification.(Or are you trying to justify your sinful acts to you wife, pretending to be explaining?)

  7. comment number 7 by: helical

    Since when did Japan only have the support of Singapore for getting a permanent seat on the UN Security Council?
    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I thought Japan had the support of several if not the majority of Asian nations exculding the obvious (PRC, ROK) of course.

  8. comment number 8 by: Gerry-Bevers

    Great interview. I think the guy explained the situation very well, and I look forward to Japan’s finally speaking up on these issues and exposing the lies and half-truths being told by China and Korea.

    The reason that China and Korea harp on these issues is that they are trying to elevate their own status, relative to Japan, by trying to sully Japan’s good reputation. Also, they do it to try to divert attention away from their own past crimes and misdeeds.

  9. comment number 9 by: tocchin

    Accusing Japan of whatever she did and smearing Japanese reputation are Koreans national pastime. Let’s not take it away from Koreans by apologizing to them in a way they are pleased. That will make them happy forever. Making them happy is a real friendship.

  10. comment number 10 by: kjeff

    Gerry,

    Great interview. I think the guy explained the situation very well

    Great interview, although it’s more like a platform rather than a genuine exchange, too many softballs. A little surprised on the admittance of a few bad apples in the beginning, but later on when pressed about the claims that some were coerced, he quickly got back on message, the merchants did it, the contractors. Mr. Zakaria clearly missed an opportunity to press on ‘oversight’ and ‘turning a blind eye” there. Mr. Komori seems annoyed throughout the interview, never a good thing I guess; it didn’t look pretty even on the Bill. A couple of key words that Mr. Zakaria should have caught on, and should have not let go, “involvement” and “wrong.” Oh well…

  11. comment number 11 by: tomato

    I guess in the minds of Korean nationalists like kjeff, bashing Japan makes Korea look better.

  12. comment number 12 by: Matt

    I guess in the minds of Korean nationalists like kjeff, bashing Japan makes Korea look better.

    I do not think that kjeff falls into the category of Korean nationalist. I think that kjeff wants to give Koreans (who are the same 민족 民族 as him) the benefit of the doubt and wants to believe them. But I think that labels like “Korean nationalist” are not helpful, especially when the person being labeled is probably not. I recall that ponta often gets labeled as a “Japanese right wing”, and I know he is not, so labels are not really helpful.

  13. comment number 13 by: tomato

    Matt

    Well, it was hard to tell because it seemed like he was engaging in Japan-bashing. And I believe the notion that Japan did not apologize or never paid any retribution are plainly false, a creature of Korean nationalistic ideology.

    If it annoys you, OK, I’ll try better.

  14. comment number 14 by: tomato

    BTW, the notion that a nation should be forever apologetic for their ancestor’s wrongdoing seems quite disgusting. Seems like some idea from the Dark Ages.

  15. comment number 15 by: ponta

    kjeff

    Mr. Zakaria clearly missed an opportunity to press on ‘oversight’ and ‘turning a blind eye” there

    You clear missed an opportunity to press on women victimized by Korean society after the liberation and have been turning an blind eye on it.
    I used to believe Korean people were very sympathetic to the victims because they have a long history of being victimized sandwiched among big nations.
    But it seems I was wrong. Korean culture seems to be the culture of the hatred where the victimhood is just a used as the material for the hatred. I hope I am wrong.

  16. comment number 16 by: Matt

    Well, it was hard to tell because it seemed like he was engaging in Japan-bashing. And I believe the notion that Japan did not apologize or never paid any retribution are plainly false, a creature of Korean nationalistic ideology.

    Does kjeff have a tendency to be hypercritical of Japan, but have these same critical facilities fail him when it comes to evaluating Korea? Absolutely. I think it is better to point that out rather than to call him a Korean nationalist.

  17. comment number 17 by: tomato

    Matt

    OK, yeah, I guess branding is unconstructive. Got your point.

  18. comment number 18 by: MikeRossTky

    I used to believe Korean people were very sympathetic to the victims because they have a long history of being victimized sandwiched among big nations.

    Korean victims of abduction by North Korea are forgotten. When Japanese victims of abduction by North Korea is brought up, Korea stays silent.

    But if the victim is Korea and the guilty party is “non-Korean”, the knives come out and they stay out regardless of history, outcome, action….

    MikeRossTky

  19. comment number 19 by: jion999

    I agree with the opinion of MikeRossTky.
    “Korean people were very sympathetic to the victims because they have a long history of being victimized sandwiched among big nations.”???
    Koreans were colonized by Japanese.
    But Koreans are never sympathetic to the African people or south-east Asian people who were colonized by westerners.
    To the contrary, Koreans discriminate those people.
    Koreans can’t forgive the colonization of their beloved land only. That’s it.

  20. comment number 20 by: jion999

    “But if the victim is Korea and the guilty party is “non-Korean”, the knives come out and they stay out regardless of history, outcome, action……”
    Yah, exactly. It is true.
    Koreans criticize Japanese for comfort women controversy.
    But it doesn’t mean Koreans take a proactive stance on human rights issue or women rights issue or anti-prostitution.
    Many Korean men go to Vietnam to “purchase” Vietnamese women even now.
    And Korean women go to US, Japan, and Australia to earn higher salary.

  21. comment number 21 by: kjeff

    tomato,

    Well, it was hard to tell because it seemed like he was engaging in Japan-bashing. And I believe the notion that Japan did not apologize or never paid any retribution are plainly false, a creature of Korean nationalistic ideology.

    I’m not really sure how you got that from wmy comments.

    BTW, the notion that a nation should be forever apologetic for their ancestor’s wrongdoing seems quite disgusting.

    I guess I’m a little older than you are because I wouldn’t call my grandparents’ generation ‘ancestors’.
    Matt,

    Does kjeff have a tendency to be hypercritical of Japan,…

    Am I that hypercritical of Japan? LOL…

    …but have these same critical facilities fail him when it comes to evaluating Korea? Absolutely. I think it is better to point that out rather than to call him a Korean nationalist.

    Well, you should see some ak-pel(still can’t get my hangeul software to work) I was getting in some Korean blogs. There are so many of you here, I think a little balance(me, me, and me) is good, no?
    ponta,

    You clear missed an opportunity to press on women victimized by Korean society after the liberation and have been turning an blind eye on it.

    As I wrote earlier, you’ve done a wonderful job at that already, don’t really need me, no? Had the subject -of the interview- been a Korean, I would ask the same questions that you’ve been asking. Anyhow, “you did it too” is not much of an argument(guilty of it too sometime).

    But it seems I was wrong. Korean culture seems to be the culture of the hatred where the victimhood is just a used as the material for the hatred. I hope I am wrong.

    We don’t hate you…and I’m sorry that you got that impression. I’ll see it this way…I think it’ll help to you to understand better… Do we really LOVE soccer that much?
    MikeRossTky,

    Korean victims of abduction by North Korea are forgotten. When Japanese victims of abduction by North Korea is brought up, Korea stays silent.

    You should’ve heard my wife telling a story about a Japanese women(a teacher no less) teary-eyed, cracking voice(and rather loud supposedly) accusing her of kidnapping in her grad class(classmates present and all). Again, Kim Jong-Il may be our ‘min-jok’, but he’s the crazy one, and certainly not ‘us’.
    jion999,

    But Koreans are never sympathetic to the African people or south-east Asian people who were colonized by westerners.
    To the contrary, Koreans discriminate those people.
    Koreans can’t forgive the colonization of their beloved land only. That’s it.

    Discrimination against Africans, well to make it broader, and more accurate, the ‘black’ people is a little complicated. (OK, any discrimination is our fault first and foremost, but…the media, the white, and the black themselves share the blame there) I wonder how many Koreans have actually meet a black person , let alone talk to him/her ever. S.E Asians, that’s a class discrimination based on economic success. I wonder if Koreans would discriminate against Singaporeans or Bruneis, but I doubt it. Have you ever been nicer to someone who wears a nice suits, drives a nice car, lives in a big house? Dang, my wife would call that justifications.

    Koreans criticize Japanese for comfort women controversy.
    But it doesn’t mean Koreans take a proactive stance on human rights issue or women rights issue or anti-prostitution.
    Many Korean men go to Vietnam to “purchase” Vietnamese women even now.
    And Korean women go to US, Japan, and Australia to earn higher salary.

    Yeah…yeah…yeah… Come on, it’s time to come up with something new. Be creative a little bit…
    .
    Did I cover everyone?

  22. comment number 22 by: jion999

    Though kjeff reply so often, his comments are pointless every time. (笑)
    His style is not debate but bull session.
    Anyway, I agree with Matt that he is not a Korean nationalist.
    He is just a person of leisure.

  23. comment number 23 by: HanComplex

    Though kjeff reply so often, his comments are pointless every time. (笑)
    His style is not debate but bull session.

    LOL I have to agree. His posts are like filler for the comments section so that Koreans don’t look half as bad when anything unfavorable about them is reported. I honestly don’t think he can argue logically anyway even if he tried. He’s mildly entertaining, though, I’d give him that.

  24. comment number 24 by: ponta

    ponta,

    You clear missed an opportunity to press on women victimized by Korean society after the liberation and have been turning an blind eye on it.

    As I wrote earlier, you’ve done a wonderful job at that already, don’t really need me, no?

    No, there is a big difference between criticism from outside, and from Korean “brethren”

    Had the subject -of the interview- been a Korean, I would ask the same questions that you’ve been asking.

    No you wouldn’t. When the subject was the trafficking by Korean, you didn’t.

    Anyhow, “you did it too” is not much of an argument(guilty of it too sometime).

    “you did it too ” argument is the attempt to say I am not wrong because you did it too.
    But the case is different.
    You keep missing the fact, like Korean nationalists, that Japan acknowledged the system was wrong, and apologized.
    Korean nationalists do not want to admit it because they can not keep blaming Japan.
    Korea have had a lot of brokers, prostitutes and the victims, with or without Japanese rule.
    Japan admitted it was wrong.
    Korea has never admitted it, never apologized
    for women, keep blaming Japan and keep demanding apology that Korea has no intention to accept.

    It is like this: You had an affair and you apologized your wife keeps blaming you. it turns out you wife had helped you having an affair behind the scene, and you wife have had another affair before and after you had an affair but keep blaming you…..
    I think you must be such a generous guy.

    But it seems I was wrong. Korean culture seems to be the culture of the hatred where the victimhood is just a used as the material for the hatred. I hope I am wrong.

    We don’t hate you…and I’m sorry that you got that impression. I’ll see it this way…I think it’ll help to you to understand better… Do we really LOVE soccer that much?

  25. comment number 25 by: kjeff

    ponta,

    No you wouldn’t. When the subject was the trafficking by Korean, you didn’t.

    Now, come on… I think none of us(and you, ponta, are not that naive) here is under the illusion that the subject came up because occidentallism.org really ‘care’ about Korean women trafficking. It was an opportunity, an outlet to do what you do best. No, ponta, you don’t really care about these women. You used them. And, it’s the same way that HanComplex used the VT tragedy, as he admitted so. Don’t get me wrong, that wasn’t judging; it was an observation. If it makes you feel better, were I in your position, I’d probably do the same thing.

    You had an affair and you apologized your wife keeps blaming you. it turns out you wife had helped you having an affair behind the scene, and you wife have had another affair before and after you had an affair but keep blaming you…..

    I have to say that that wasn’t a good analogy. Try this…
    You’re a landlord of an apartment building that I’m renting. Now, you know I’m a smoker, furthermore, you know that I like to light up that cigarette as soon as I get home. The building’s gas pipes are old(several tenants complained that they smelled gas), but you’re too cheap to fix it the ‘right’ way. You hire this guy who told you that he can do the job for half the price(you don’t really care how). Now you hired him before, and you know through experience that his work sucked, baaadddd… One day I come home, open the door, and go BOOM.
    You apologize repeatedly, and admit that you’re a bad landlord. But is that all you’re guilty of, being a ‘bad’ landlord?

  26. comment number 26 by: Matt

    Now, come on… I think none of us(and you, ponta, are not that naive) here is under the illusion that the subject came up because occidentallism.org really ‘care’ about Korean women trafficking. It was an opportunity, an outlet to do what you do best.

    I care about it as much as any other race of women being trafficked, if the trafficking leads to sexual slavery. I am against any other crime against all people, including Koreans.

  27. comment number 27 by: helical

    You apologize repeatedly, and admit that you’re a bad landlord. But is that all you’re guilty of, being a ‘bad’ landlord?

    Pretty much.
    What’s happening now is that the landlord is being accused of blowing up the building with a cartload of dynamite, and that’s just not true.