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Editorial in Chosun Ilbo criticizing President Bush

April 29th, 2007 . by Matt

An editorial has appeared in the Choson Ilbo criticizing President Bush’s acceptance of the sincerity of Japanese apologies.

Abe, Bush in Apology Farce

At the U.S.-Japan summit in Washington D.C. on Friday, something absurd happened in the matter of women forced into sexual slavery by Japan during World War II. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized to U.S. President George W. Bush, saying “As an individual, and the prime minister, I sympathize from the bottom of my heart with the former comfort women who experienced this extreme hardship. I’m deeply sorry about the situation in which they were placed.” President Bush said, “I accept the prime minister’s apology.” Why did Abe apologize to Bush, as opposed to the elderly women who are still living with the nightmares of being forced into sexual slavery, and what authority does the U.S. president have to accept such an apology?

It’s not Bush, nor by extension the American public, but the 200,000 Asian women from Korea, China and other countries who were dragged off by the Japanese military to suffer rape, forced abortions and torture during World War II. When he was chief cabinet secretary, Abe said the issue of sex slaves was a “fabrication and concoction by the media.” When he became prime minister, Abe said “there is no evidence of forced mobilization of the comfort women.”

A man who used to distort and hide the truth, Abe started to get the jitters when the U.S. House of Representatives submitted a bill calling on Japan to apologize to the victims and the world. On April 3, he called Bush and told him he had been misquoted, and when he arrived in the U.S., he explained his position to Senate leaders before apologizing to Bush. Japan’s Asahi Shimbun in an editorial said the apology was “strange” and questioned Abe’s motive for apologizing so quickly to the U.S. while ignoring the actual victims.

Bush said he valued the “honesty” of Abe’s apology. In reality, Abe did not budge an inch from his position that there was no evidence of the Japanese government or military forcibly mobilizing the sex slaves. Even though he is willing to accept the Kono Statement, which acknowledges the role of the Japanese government and military, Abe is saying there is “no evidence of forced mobilization.” There is no change in Abe’s stance, even though Japan’s highest court on Friday acknowledged the Japanese military’s role in abduction, confinement and rape of sex slaves in China.

What Abe really wants to say is that the sex slaves voluntarily put themselves in such a position to make money. Ten years ago, when he was the head of a group of lawmakers seeking to revise history education in Japan, Abe said “Korea used to have many brothels.” There is no evidence showing that Abe’s true feelings have changed. If that’s the truth, then just what is the “honesty” that Bush saw?

The 200,000 victims of sexual slavery will be watching how the absurd apology and acknowledgment exchanged between the leaders of Japan and the United States will affect the resolution before the U.S. House of Representatives.

I see. So it is OK for Korean-Americans to involve the US congress by pushing for a resolution to demand that Japan apologise, but not OK for President Bush to accept that Prime Minister Abe is sincere? Koreans have been cheering the involvement of the US government in the comfort women controversy up until now. It looks like they cannot decide what they want.


26 Responses to “Editorial in Chosun Ilbo criticizing President Bush”

  1. comment number 1 by: toru

    And the Japanese version of the article put “Abe is crazy(lost his mind)” (頭がおかしい安倍首相、話にならないブッシュ大統領) as the title in Japanese.
    http://koreasparkling.wordpress.com/2007/04/30/korean-newspaper-chosun-ilbo-calls-abe-crazylost-his-mind/

  2. comment number 2 by: dogbert

    What authority does the U.S. have to accept that apology?

    The authority of having won the war against Japan, that’s what.

  3. comment number 3 by: toru

    dogbert,

    What authority does the U.S. have to judge about comfort women issue?

  4. comment number 4 by: goda

    The source of South Korean’s power is to be(been) oppressed victim.

    The starting point of all the value judgments, The truth or lie, good and evil, and beauty and agryness, is a thing who is(was) the victim.

    They cannot endure general of human and the universal truth, that a person can be a victim and even a persecutor at the same time.

    They must not be the persecutors.

    I describe it as child’s selfishness, child’s negative period.
    I don’t know whether it’s the 1’st periode,about 3-4 year old, or the 2’nd, about 12-14 year.

    But 尹永寛, ex. professor of the diplomatic trade part secretary under the Roh Moo-hyun political power, said in a special lectures that South Korean’s outlook on the world remains staying in of TEENS.

    What a surprising and narrow-minded. Incredible!

    The problem is that she failed in an formation of steady ego.
    She has continued for requesting stable ego and independent. but she always repeat self-wound act.and at all, she run into the her narrow world.

    Well,,, It came off from the theme, sorry.

  5. comment number 5 by: stannn

    President Bush said, “I accept the prime minister’s apology.”

    Well, I think this is another Bush blunder.
    It is quite awkward for the US president to accept(?) the apology from Japanese PM for the comfort women issue.

    Anyway, Abe’s apology is still puzzling to me. So does he change his position from the one in March? or he is still sticking to his previous position.

    Can anybody clarify?

    Also, WSJ reports today that

    A foreign ministry official later explained that he had meant that while the army might have entrusted organization of these “comfort stations” to third parties, this would still count as coercion by the army.

    So what is Japanese government’s official stance?

  6. comment number 6 by: manfordr

    Amponton has a brilliant analysis of last weeks japan-u.s. summit and the korean reaction to it at his blog.

    A must read for sure:

  7. comment number 7 by: manfordr

    Amontan Blog Entry

    sorry, forgot to properly link the above entry

  8. comment number 8 by: Matt

    Amontan Blog Entry

    sorry, forgot to properly link the above entry

    Yes, that is a good post and I had been meaning to link that.

  9. comment number 9 by: dogbert

    dogbert,

    What authority does the U.S. have to judge about comfort women issue?

    The authority of having won the war against Japan, that’s what.

  10. comment number 10 by: madboots

    Yes, Abe’s position toward the comfort women issues hasn’t changed, indeed. We can not find anything new in this event.
    Abe only apologized in the same way that successive prime ministers did in the past, That’s all.

  11. comment number 11 by: ponta

    Stann

    Anyway, Abe’s apology is still puzzling to me. So does he change his position from the one in March? or he is still sticking to his previous position.

    Can anybody clarify?

    Also, WSJ reports today that

    A foreign ministry official later explained that he had meant that while the army might have entrusted organization of these “comfort stations” to third parties, this would still count as coercion by the army.

    So what is Japanese government’s official stance?

    These questions presuppose you know little about the issue. It might be inevitable because Korean media has been running distroted articles.
    Abe’s position from his start as PM is the same; he made it clear from the start that he stands by Kono’s statment.
    He admits that Japan had the brokers run the brothels, transferred women, regulated the brokers and brothels. In this sense, Japan was deeply involved in the system. Many brokers….Korean brokers being involved in most of the cases….. used deception and sometimes forces, though there was a policy that women be recruited of their own will. Japanese police regulated them, arrestted them, In some cases, in Indonesia and Philippines, Japanese military officers were involved in recruiting women by force against military rule. The brothel was closed when discovered that women was forced. But in any case, as a result, many women had to endure painful lives as a comfort woman. In view of that, Japan apologized and set up the funds.
    Abe’s stance remains the same.
    Abe stands by Kono’s statement. He answered in respond to the question by a diet member in a diet that it
    is a historical fact so far discovered that there is no evidence Japan as a policy systematically abducted women for comfort station…. You know how Korean media always report the issue …..as if Japanese military systematically, directly kidnapped women…
    The fact being that, Abe is sorry for the former comfort women under Japanese rule because it is a fact many women had to suffer under Japanese system..
    It is some media who picked up his statement out of the context and put spin on it and keep propagating it.
    And I think it was upsetting because it upset Korean myth.

    I think by now, most Japanese are getting used to it.

  12. comment number 12 by: madboots

    It can be said that deliberate misunderstanding and stretch of interpretation have made this issue that complex and elusive.
    Japan must clearly announce its stance to the world.
    At least, Japan must let people in the world to know exactly what Japan has admitted as well as what Japan has denied.

    The following is a list of admitted/denied facts.

    admitted:
    Existance of prostitutes and brothels.
    Several cases in which soldiers were actually involved in taking women forcibly into brothels against military rules.
    Military’s intervention in brothels, including sanitary management.
    denied:
    Systematic abductions by the Japanese military .
    Failure of payment to prostitutes.
    Military’s running of brothels.

  13. comment number 13 by: GarlicBreath

    koreasparkeling. What a great blog!! very funny and interesting.

  14. comment number 14 by: Ken

    If Korea has afford time to critisize other country’s behavior, they should resolve their on-going tragedy.
    A Japanese NGO helped child refugees from North Korea and asked aid to South Korean embassy.
    Then North Korean officers came and they were almost sent back.
    http://www.chosunonline.com/article/20070413000015
    Following destiny would have been waiting for them.
    http://www.chosunonline.com/article/20050316000079
    Besides, Number of refugees to have immigranted in South Korea are over 10,000 but considerable numbers of them have emmigranted to the USA to avoid discrimination.


  15. […] Editorial in Chosun Ilbo criticizing President Bush » Occidentalism “what authority does the U.S. president have to accept such an apology?” […]

  16. comment number 16 by: General Tiger

    Problem with all sides:

    1. Bush: Stop using plain words, and get diplomatic!
    2. Abe: Stop denying the truth!
    3. Korean Media: Stop stretching the truth, damnit!

  17. comment number 17 by: madboots

    I will accept sincerely the fact that the world thinks Abe and the other senior officials are denying the truth.

  18. comment number 18 by: General Tiger

    I will accept sincerely the fact that the world thinks Abe and the other senior officials are denying the truth.

    I agree too, although whether those people are actually denying the truth is arguable.

  19. comment number 19 by: hardyandtiny

    goda said:
    The starting point of all the value judgments, The truth or lie, good and evil, and beauty and agryness, is a thing who is(was) the victim.

    I thought it was the opposite.
    The Korean verdict is unemotional and does not consider the public’s opinion. Action is either legal or illegal. It’s simple, and it’s not fair, but that is how things get sorted out. It does not matter who initiates a crime, all involved are guilty.

  20. comment number 20 by: hardyandtiny

    In Korea, if someone tries to rape you and you beat the living shit out of them…you are wrong…the rapist becomes the victim.

  21. comment number 21 by: goda

    hardyandtiny,

    Thanks for reply.

    I overlooked your post because I didn’t expect the reply for my abstract comment.
    I have problems on English especially on writing. so I will comment simply as much as possible.
    I forgot to describe important sentence on my posting No4. so I want to append a sentence below to “They must not be the persecutors.”

    “And to be(been) victim gives them unconditional Justice and legitimacy.”

    I am suggesting of the strategy or han?(恨) of Koreans mental culture or mental structure. but I will omits.

    About general point, ponta and Ken has already expressed opinions and I agree them fundamentaly.
    So I will try in a little different approach.

    The law has the character of the system for social institutionalization of personal retaliation.
    At the same time, the law is wisdom of human who want to cut the chain of useless and infinity retaliation.
    And law should be stable denying influence from rapid change in political situation and public opinion, even though the law is politically made with the public opinion. In a word, it means do not use law for a political tool.

    1.Why Prescription exists?

    Is there really legitimacy for sue 60 years after incident?
    Have the law, the society and people’s sense of values changed already definitely?
    Is it fair truely? I never think so. never.

    Why didn’t Soouth-korea proboke at the Japan-South Korea diplomatic relation negotiation? please ponder on it.

    Active generation, almostly all of it, in Japan after 60 years doesn’t have immediate responsibility in the incident.
    Is there really a right to demand to the Japan’s present generation for admit the crime unconditionally?

    though it is a delicate proposition, I will dare to ask.
    Are some women’s incidents really balance to acceptance of guilty for innocence Japanese, I estimate it nearly 100 million.

    And, how South-Korea think about the inevitable reality that it gives Japanese negative affects toward South Korea.
    Does she completely disregard it?

    Is it positive to use an irrelevant statesmanship of the third country. Is it fair attitude?

    Moreover, if Korean demand 60 years later was accepted, where on the earth does a steady international relation remain?

    It is just arrogance and meanness if human easily judge the past from modern sense of values.

    2.Why double jeopardy exist?

    please refer to other thread.I think there are no need to explain repeatedly. so I repeat to ask again.

    Why didn’t she(Korea) provide issue at the Japan-South Korea diplomatic relation negotiation?
    please ponder on it.

    >I thought it was the opposite.
    The Korean verdict(議会) is unemotional and does not consider the public’s opinion.

    So, at least, you can admit that Korean People is emotional than verdict.
    But I think Korean Politician is emotional more than enough, in other word, enourmously.
    There are so many examples that I can’t extract the one.

    >Action is either legal or illegal. It’s simple, and it’s not fair, but that is how things get sorted out.
    >It does not matter who initiates a crime, all involved are guilty.
    >In Korea, if someone tries to rape you and you beat the living shit out of them…you are wrong…the rapist becomes the victim.

    Then, “Simply” I want to ask to South Korea why she beaten harshly Yoko K. Watckins, writer of the book a “So Far from the Bamboo Grove”.
    Why didn’t she accept the fact she was persecutors also.

    Why could South Korean society accept the article in which a 11 years old girl is smiling in a proudly attitude blessing her won against 60 years old a woman Yoko, by racial massive pressure.

    I want to ask to South Korea why won’t she apologize for Vienum.
    As Japan had done, why Korea won’t apology many many times in the harsh condemns and make staeady investigation?
    It’s simple also for Japan. Don’t you think so? Is it double standard? Don’t you feel shame on it?

    And let’s ponder on why doesn’t Vietnum act like as Korea? and what is mental difference in these countries?

    Is South Korea proud of this?
    Is it right on law or moral, or beautiful in mentally?

    It is a principle, social impartiality in the nation and the reciprocity between nations.
    Or does she think as below?

    “to be(been) victim gives them unconditional Justice and legitimacy.”

    Why South-Korea doesn’t notice that her harsh campaigns are also the campain for spreading own childish selfishness to the world.
    Does she think that her attitude is admitted as “adult with good sense” from international society?

    This is exactry the thing I never can’t realize her. Never.

    Fooom, it’s too long. sorry. so there is no need to reply. Of cause, ther may be many opinions. but please ponder on these questions calmly by your OWN brain, avoiding to fall in a emortional-shortage. It’s mostly easy and best way to avoid self confliction, contradiction or outer criticizing.

  22. comment number 22 by: goda

    Correction: Yoko K. Watkins was 11 years old at 1945.

  23. comment number 23 by: GarlicBreath

    I wonder what Mike Hyundai is gettig from the Koreans and Chinese for his Japanese witch hunt. One more reason never to trust a politition.

  24. comment number 24 by: goda

    It is so sad.

    I trust the politician on the point that they move by the vote and power.

    If I hope them any more, it’s depend on the personality.
    But, in my judgment throught TV screen, he is not in the kind of man.

    I think, he is mere a so-called good politician.

  25. comment number 25 by: Ken

    Mike Honda;
    You are a little wiser now but not yet enough.
    Anyway, everything must be brought to light.
    Following is the translation of an article of a Japanese newspaper of today.

    ‘Assembly member HONDA “Japan’s now-defunct Army compels it” in which the U.S.
    military also knew “Comfort woman” procurement deflecting and the emphasis.’

    It will become the rice side soon the opening of a lot of prostitution facilities in Japan immediately after the end of the war by the instruction of occupation the U.S. military, and doing of the person the service of the character to the U.S. military, and there was a compelled woman in that, too and is told. Assembly member mike HONDA who put out the resolution that denounced Japan of the comfort woman problem to the US Congress House of Representatives requested the investigation to Congressional Research Service on the fourth. However, this assembly member described to differ from the comfort woman for the U.S. military the point who was only the woman on whom Japan’s now-defunct Army thoroughly restrained, and had forced the comfort woman in Japan under the war as a policy.

    Japanese authorities open the prostitution facilities for a lot of the U.S. militaries by the instruction of occupation the U.S. military in Tokyo etc. in September, 1945 immediately after the end of the war, and Japanese “Comfort woman” of the person employs it according to the report of Associated Press on the fourth. Or, the Japanese side document that proves the requisition is revealed, and assembly member HONDA says that the U.S. military requested the investigation what role of you played to Congressional Research Service for the comfort woman for the U.S. military.

    This assembly member said, “Because the girl and the woman were restrained, compelled, and abducted as a policy of a Japanese empire military forces for the purpose of sexual slave, the comfort woman of a Japanese army is different from that of the U.S. military” the comfort woman’s for the U.S. military in postwar days comparison with the comfort woman of the Japanese military use during the war that oneself was pursuing.

    Associated Press..April..Tokyo..from..U.S…occupation forces..occupation..Japan..government..military authority..prostitute..procurement..prostitution..facilities..establishment..order..a series of..Japanese..document..discover..report..the..content..the end of August in 1945..September..U.S. military..instruction..in the background of..Japanese Government..Home office..Tokyo..begin..Ibaraki..Prefecture..local government..comfort woman..collect..direct. Did (2) the U.S. military authorities that 70,000 total women or more were engaged in prostitution admit comfort place establishment while knowing there was a report that some those women got the compulsion requisition done, and permit the officers and men of the U.S. military to crowd it day and night?It reported it. The broadcast road was related to this the U.S. military comfort place, introduced several people at that time related to a Japanese side by the real name, and quoted the conversation.

    However, it is said that the comfort place for the U.S. military in these Japan was closed by supreme Allied Commander’s MacArthur field marshal’s instruction at the end of March in 1946.

    The testimony of members of “Ase organization” that Japan’s now-defunct Army formed as a preparation organization of the U.S. military occupation acceptance remains of ordering of the U.S. military the prostitution facilities establishment immediately after the end of the war also in Japan. Because the combination of prostitution doesn’t limit to Japan’s now-defunct Army, and be also similar in military forces the U.S. military like this, assembly member HONDA are declaring that the point that all comfort womans of Japan’s now-defunct Army got “Policy of military forces of the empire” compulsion requisition done is different from a Japanese side general.

  26. comment number 26 by: goda

    This may be my overestimation. But i doubt of…

    He is leading voluntarily this issue to contradiction, searching for political conclusion point that allows him ties with his patron.

    If it’s my overestimation,,,, he is simply foolish.

    There is related article, may be original source, from Japan Times.
    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20070505a1.html
    Japanese, my pitiful translation, is here.
    http://extravaganza.at.webry.info/200705/article_3.html