Occidentalism
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Editorial in the Yomiuri Shinbun

March 6th, 2007 . by Matt

There is a interesting editorial in the Yomiuri Shinbun that has been translated into English on its English site.

Don’t misinterpret comfort women issue

The nub of the issue of the so-called comfort women is whether there were instances of their being forced into sexual servitude by the Japanese authorities.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives is deliberating a resolution against Japan in connection with this issue. The resolution calls on the Japanese government to acknowledge historical responsibility for the Imperial Japanese Army’s coercion of young women into sexual slavery during Japan’s occupation of Asia until the end of World War II and urges the prime minister to apologize for the crime.

The resolution says the Japanese military commissioned the acquisition of comfort women. However, no documents have been found to support this assertion. Historians also accept that no such orchestrated action was undertaken by the Japanese military.

We wonder whether the U.S. lawmakers who sponsored the resolution have evidence to back their claims.

At a Diet committee session, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the resolution was “not based on objective facts.” Foreign Minister Taro Aso has expressed a similar view, calling the resolution “extremely regrettable.”

Since the resolution is filled with distortions, the government must properly explain the facts and do everything to prevent it being adopted.

===

Kono statement inaccurate

Concerning the recruitment of comfort women, the prime minister stressed, “None of the testimonies confirmed coercion in the narrow sense.”

Abe explicitly asserted that the comfort women were not forcibly recruited, saying there was no “coercion like the hunting of comfort women, with officials rushing into houses to drag women out, like kidnapping them.”

However, Abe acknowledged that private recruiters lured women against their will in a “broader sense of coercion.” This is totally different from coercion by the military.

Some mass media organizations and Diet members have inaccurately interpreted the meaning of “coercion” and criticized the government, ignoring the nitty-gritty of the issue.

Why does the comfort women issue keep on surfacing?

The main reason is the 1993 statement issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono. The statement suggested that the Japanese military forcibly recruited comfort women, saying, “The authorities were directly involved” in the recruitment of such women.

However, a former deputy chief cabinet secretary and other officials later said that phrase was written without the facts having been confirmed.

===

Govt caved in to pressure

A group of Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers wants to have the Kono statement revised, saying vague expressions in the statement have led to misunderstandings.

The U.S. House resolution criticizes such moves in Japan, saying there is a “desire to dilute or rescind the 1993 statement.”

But it is a natural course of action to revise the inaccurate Kono statement.

What was behind the issuance of the Kono statement was the government’s misjudgment–made under pressure from South Korea–that its acknowledgement that the comfort women were forcibly recruited would lead to the settlement of the issue.

The government should not make the same diplomatic mistake in its response to the U.S. House resolution.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 7, 2007)

It seems that the admission of of forced recruitment that is strongly suggested in the Kono statement about comfort women was made in the context of negotiations with South Korea, and that if the Japanese government gave the comfort women face by admitting that they were forcibly recruited (meaning kindnapped) then that would settle the comfort woman issue once and for all (it didn’t).

The Kono statement seems to be the main basis under which House Resolution 121 is being considered by Congress. This seems to be the reason for the call by some Japanese lawmakers to revise the Kono statement


86 Responses to “Editorial in the Yomiuri Shinbun”

  1. comment number 1 by: ponta

    hyonku
    Maybe I should ignore him/her but I just can not resist it.(sorry, Matt)

    that is about China isn’t it?
    how many Korean soldiers were there?
    Unfortunately Korean guads were know for or brutal than Japanese.
    And if you like that kind of photo, here you are, these are Koreans.

    http://h21.hani.co.kr/section-021075000/2001/04/021075000200104100354037.html
    (BTW you should also read the article)
    And this

    Man can be brutal in war time situation.
    Just as comfort women issue is not Korea-Japan issue but it is the issue of exploitation of women, the issue of war time atrocity is the issue of mankind.
    And viewing that way enable us, Japanese and Korea, and others to work together.

  2. comment number 2 by: GarlicBreath

    I would like an appology from Hyoku for the crimes that Koreans committed in Vietnam.

  3. comment number 3 by: jion999

    As for Alex Yorichi, who wrote the US army report regarding Korean comfort women (No. 34), I put the soldiers name list of Japanese American on the above.
    It says the unit he belonged was “MIS”.
    http://www.goforbroke.org/about_us/about_us_monument_name.asp?initial=y
    “MIS” means Military Intelligence Service.
    About 6,000 Japanese American soldiers belonged to MIS and worked as translators or intelligence analysts.
    http://www.javadc.org/index3.htm

  4. comment number 4 by: kjeff

    Does this descriptoin accurately describe the Korean women/prostitues? I think it does very well.

    WOW…I’m suprise…GarlicBreath actually has an insight on a living-breathing Korean woman, well woman in general, and not just her plastic/rubber varieties.

    Korea and prostituion is like lips to teeth.

    Damn, I got this one wrong on my SAT. It was just too obvious I thought…damn…trick question…

    What really matters to them and what would make them ecstatic with joy would be the chance to rape and kill every living Japanese woman or child living today. If given a choice between improving the comfort women victims livlihood and a chance for revenge at Japan (a.k.a. a chance for korea to finally become to become known as a “strong man” on the block) 100% of all Koreans would choose the latter.

    Wiesunja, Ph.D. commenting on the subconscious psyche of the Korean people as he accepted the Donald T. Campbell Award, the most prestigious award in Social Psychology. Congratulations…
    .
    And ponta,
    I tried to find the one you mentioned, but couldn’t. Can you help?

  5. comment number 5 by: GarlicBreath

    kjeff, why attack me? I provided support for my comments and you just troll. For the Korean economy prostitution is a huge industry where up to one out of five women participate. Its four percent of the Korean economy. Koreans love prostitues Kjeff. Don’t get angry at the messinger. Koreans export their prostitues too. All over the world Korean women get arrested for selling themselves. I think the japanese just bought what was already for sale.

  6. comment number 6 by: GarlicBreath

    wiesunja, you pretty much nailed the Korean psyche. If Japan didn’t exist, korea would wither away and die.

  7. comment number 7 by: wiesunja

    Hey guys, just as a side note, I think the likes of wjk and jk are now releasing their vent up stress and joy by reveling in their hate-fest against Japan at the http://www.japantoday.com website. The website has been for a long time dominated by Korean trolls frothing at the mouth in jealousy towards Japan, just like wjk and jk. Unlike this forum, it seems Japantoday is either run by Koreans or totally turns a blind eye since it is obvious that racist and bigoted comments about Japan remain untouched and actually are encouraged, while any defense of Japan or criticism of Korea is immediately deleted. Thus, it looks like wjk and jk have found their heaven and are happily polluting the internet with their racist hate by posting their bigoted ideas carefree.

    I am thinking that the wjk and jk are posting under the names of “reallyreal” and “cmc87”. Do a search under the names of those posters and you can see the strikingly similar tone of writing and underlying jealousy-fueled hatred of Japan.

  8. comment number 8 by: HanComplex

    kjeff, why attack me? I provided support for my comments and you just troll.

    Do not feed the trolls.

  9. comment number 9 by: kjeff

    GarlicBreath,

    I think the japanese just bought what was already for sale.

    Now, that’s original…

    kjeff, why attack me? I provided support for my comments and you just troll. For the Korean economy prostitution is a huge industry where up to one out of five women participate. Its four percent of the Korean economy.Koreans love prostitues Kjeff. Don’t get angry at the messinger.

    All of a sudden, Korean government is a reliable source of information…how convenient. Ever wonder why they did they study in the first place. I wonder what’s the percentage in Japan. Hint: It’s less than 4, but more than 2.(the high estimate) Ever wonder how Japanese women afford 40% of the world’s Louis Vuitton.
    And finally, the home of the world’s largest porn industry(rank 10th in population), the most diverse(bukkake to tamakeri) and the weirdest sexual fetishes(namasera, anyone?) is suddenly the beacon of morality, well at least you GarlicBreath.

  10. comment number 10 by: kjeff

    …since it is obvious that racist and bigoted comments about Japan remain untouched and actually are encouraged,…

    Coming from you wiesunja…하하하…히히히…호호호…

  11. comment number 11 by: kjeff

    Troll (Internet), a person who is deliberately inflammatory on the Internet in order to provoke a vehement response from other users.

    If Japan didn’t exist, korea would wither away and die.

    If this is not trolling, then I don’t know what is.
    .
    Wait, spoke too soon. “To provoke a vehement response from other users.” Not on this blog I guess.

  12. comment number 12 by: Travolta

    jion999,

    Thanks for the information about the writer of that report. It certainly seems much more legitimate now.

    crypticlife,
    I agree that the prostitution argument SHOULD be more appealing. Any logical and rational person would think so. However the Koreans I have discussed this issue with were disgusted with the idea and refused to consider it. To them it seemed a slap in the face to Korean pride and a big slap in the face to the comfort women. I also think if you took a survey of what Koreans think about such an argument the majority of them would find the idea shocking and might even accuse anyone who held such a belief as being pro-Japanese or anti-Korean. I think the comfort women issue from the Korean perspective helps justify the racism in Korea. To many, if the comfort women were merely prostitutes then their whole argument seems far less powerful and the comfort women would loose support and respect.

    Of course it shouldn’t matter if they were prostitutes or not, the argument is about the abuse of human beings. The official stance in Korea is prostitution is bad, so to think of the comfort women as prostitutes hurts their argument (I think they think).

  13. comment number 13 by: jion999

    There is an interesting memoir by an ex-Japanese soldier regarding comfort women.
    He is very famous because he had continued his campaign even after WW2 in the jungle of Philippines for 29 years.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroo_Onoda
    His memoir is in Japanese. I show his interesting comment as follows:

    “I heard some pimps deceived and gathered many Korean Women. I felt so sorry for them. However, some prostitutes insisted they were cheated and cried in front of soldiers every time. They performed so pitifully to get much tips that many soldiers believed their stories and paid a lot of money.”

    http://www4.airnet.ne.jp/kawamura/enigma/2005/2005-01-16-onoda_ianhunoshoutai.html
    I do not have an intention to say that all comfort women were liars. But it could be possible there were such kind cunning prostitutes to get more money during that tough period.
    The old comfort women cried every time, not only at the US House of representative but in all lectures and assembly. Tears of women are very effective, but it is not evidence.
    We should listen to the voices of ex-Japanese soldiers, not only to ex-comfort women’s.

  14. comment number 14 by: GarlicBreath

    kjeff wrote:
    All of a sudden, Korean government is a reliable source of information …how convenient.

    So you are saying YOU don’t ever trust the Korean gov’t, or I should not? Was the study even done “by the government”? Or, like the comfort whores, by a private orginization?

    Ever wonder why they did they study in the first place.

    WHy don’t you tell me.

    I wonder what’s the percentage in Japan. Hint: It’s less than 4, but more than 2.(the high estimate) Ever wonder how Japanese women afford 40% of the world’s Louis Vuitton

    I don’t even get your point. Japan is worse? Why do Koreans say “japan is worse” when confronted with social problems in Korea? Kjeff, your “korean logic” has lost me.

  15. comment number 15 by: GarlicBreath

    Btw, to answer Koreanjeffs questions; no the Korean government did NOT conduct the studies about all the ongoing Korean prostitution. The studies were done by “civic organizations”. Koreanjeff probably knew this but instead implied that I believe the Korea government when it suits me. Korean quit trolling.

  16. comment number 16 by: kjeff

    GarlicBreath,

    For the Korean economy prostitution is a huge industry where up to one out of five women participate. Its four percent of the Korean economy.

    The stats that you provided came from a study done by Ministry of Gender and Family Equality in 2002. Look it up!!!

    The studies were done by “civic organizations”. Koreanjeff probably knew this but instead implied that I believe the Korea government when it suits me. Korean quit trolling.

    Res Ipsa Loquitur

  17. comment number 17 by: GarlicBreath

    Koreanjeff, I have no doubt that the Ministry of Gender etc did a study too. I got my infor from here. Again, what is your ponit? You dont trust the Ministry of Gender? Please try and make a point, instead of just sarcasm and insults. I asked you several things about you blaming Japan. Quit provolking arguement and trolling

  18. comment number 18 by: kjeff

    Koreanjeff

    I didn’t know that ‘k’ stands for Korean…

    I have no doubt that the Ministry of Gender etc did a study too. I got my infor from here.

    ‘Here’ is this:

    Since prostitution is illegal, there are no official statistics on prostitution. However, according to surveys by civic organisations, there are over 300,000 establishments related to prostitution, in which the sale of sex takes a diversity of forms. 1.2 million women are believed to be involved in these establishments. This number constitutes 20 percent of all Korean women between the ages of 15-29. If we assume that the figures include women engaged in illegal establishments, this gives us a preliminary impression of the shameful situation in Korea. In addition, if we assume that one million men buy sex in a single night, it means one in every 30 men between ages 15-30. A news magazine in 1994 estimated that 43 billion won (about US$36,000) is spent every year in the prostitution business.

    ‘Here’ doesn’t say anything about percentage of GDP, so where did yours come from? I got to give it to you though, you managed to convert 20% to “one out of five,” although you did leave out the “15-29″ part. BTW, ‘here’ is poorly written. GarlicBreath, you should be a little more discriminative.
    And my points,
    Your comments, and to a certain extent YOU GarlicBreath, are my points. If this were a more neutral blog(Gerry, I know that’s subjective, and I’m strictly talking about comparative number),”Quit provolking arguement and trolling,” that would my points. Here, at occidentalism.org,
    Please think before you write! Otherwise, you’ll just sound… (trying not to call names)

  19. comment number 19 by: ponta

    kjeff
    How many Korean women were kidnapped and made prostitutes under Korean regime?
    And how many illegal Korean pimps who deceived and kidnapped them were arrested?
    How many cases are there where Korean women were saved from them?

  20. comment number 20 by: kjeff

    How many Korean women were kidnapped and made prostitutes under Korean regime?
    And how many illegal Korean pimps who deceived and kidnapped them were arrested?
    How many cases are there where Korean women were saved from them?

    I honestly do not know, and I know…I know…I only care about what the Japanese did…I’m discriminative…I’m a bad person…still don’t see a connection…

  21. comment number 21 by: GarlicBreath

    Still didn’t answer my questions KoreanJeff. More red herrings. What about the rampant prostitution in Korea. What about the child rape and molestation that ugly Koreans commit?

    As I said Korea and prostitution are lips to teeth. Blaming Japan and throwing up red herrings will not solve this problem or remove the source of the problem. Koreans like you Koreajeff, who buy sex are the problem. Korea has a long and ugly history of having women sell their bodies. That continues until today.

    That is why its so hard for me to believe that Koreans are honest about their anger towards Japan. If Koreans really didn’t embrace and encourage their daughters to sell their bodies then Korea would not have rampant prostitution.

  22. comment number 22 by: ponta

    I honestly do not know, and I know…I know…I only care about what the Japanese did…I’m discriminative…I’m a bad person…still don’t see a connection

    Or it might be better to put it like, “I don’t want to see a connection because the hatred toward Japan surpasses the love for Korean victims under Korean regime.

    The point is if we look at the issue in view of man’s exploitation of women, Koreans and Japanese can work together. But for nationalistic tendency of Korea, many Koreans tend to view it in the framework of their strange patriotism.
    http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=1306
    (BTW could you confirm if the translation on Korean TV show is correct? )

  23. comment number 23 by: opp

    First, parents sell the broker the daughter for the debt. Next, the broker cheats and takes the daughter. There might have been a comfort woman who agreed reluctantly for her parents, too.
    I think that the majority of the comfort woman taking were such methods. It was often also in the poor country in Japan.
    It is written that 3000yen can be borrowed in advance in this advertisement for subscription. A young woman who goes to the comfort place need not be going to borrow a lot of money in advance. The borrowing in advance is a condition for parents.
    There was a Korean comfort woman who had testified that she had been sold by parents.

  24. comment number 24 by: kjeff

    ponta,
    My laptop doesn’t have good speakers, so I can’t really say for sure, but I think it’s correct. Although it leaves out the part when, toward the end of the video, the co-host said, “It’s not something that we recommend people do.” And another co-host replied, “But, it’s something that we can do for our country. A small thing though.”
    I’d like to remind you that it was a comedy/talk show.
    The other stuff, we went through the same thing already.

  25. comment number 25 by: ponta

    J Japan was wrong in not controlling illegal pimps under Japanese rule sufficiently.
    And it was unfortunate that Korean women were socially and economically forced to be prostitutes.

    K Oh Korea was wrong too. Korea used to send Korean women to China against women’s will before Japanese rule:They were literally slaves. And during the colonization, Korean pimps deceived and kidnapped Korean women and made them prostitutes. Korean soldier used the comfort station too.

    J Right, it was unfortunate that Japanese pimps and Korean pimps worked together in this way.

    J In addition to that, in war zone and under occupation, there are a lot of rapes.
    Women continues to be exploited and victimized. In Asia many women were raped by
    Japanese soldier.

    K Yeah, in Vietnam war, there were a lot of Korean Vietnamese because Korean soldier raped them.

    J right we need to pay more attention to this
    problems.

    K Korean pimps continued to deceive and kidnapped Korean woman even after independence.

    J Really?

    K During Korean war, and Vietnam war, Korean
    has the comfort system similar to the comfort
    station under Japanese rule. And during peace time, Korea government used Kaesen as a part of politics and a source of economy.

    J That is horrible, Korean pimps have been deceiving and kidnapping and still trafficking Korean women, weren’t they?

    K Right in addition to that usually Korean women were socially and economically forced to be prostitutes against their will out of poverty.

    J So the situation hasn’t changed, has it? Japan also have brothels. It is illegal, though. And some Asian women were trafficked.
    The police are working hard, but I don’t think that is sufficient.

    K I think Korean police is working hard too.

    J how many Korean women were saved by appealing to the police that they were deceived and kidnapped.

    K I don’t know.

    J Were they saved? I hear North Korean women were made to be prostitute in China and South
    Koreans know it.

    K I don’t know….but let’s not talk about what is happening now, let’s talk about what happened 60 years ago. let’s not talk about Korea situation. Let’s limit our talk to Korean victims by Japanese. Okay?

    J ??????

  26. comment number 26 by: ponta

    Kjeff
    Thanks for confirming the translation.
    (Supposing it was comedy, I still don’t understand what is so funny about Korean people trying to blame their own rudeness on another nationality )

  27. comment number 27 by: GarlicBreath

    that is a very interesting ‘conversation’ ponta. But I doubt you will ever find any average Korean person so reasonable to admit any of the evil things that Korea does.

  28. comment number 28 by: GarlicBreath

    Ponta, good point. Koreans do blame their rudeness on others. Here they blame “rapid westernization”

    http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2873041

  29. comment number 29 by: zionking

    Your logic is just like this: “you came to my room and stole my wallet yast year: give it back to me or show an evidence to prove that you didn’t do it.” It’s a common sense in every society ruled by law that it’s those who accuse, not those who are accused, that must take responsibility for proving the legitimacy of their claim. I’m not quite sure what things are like in your country, though (I saw a Koren saying just the way like you do).

    I agree completely where you say it is our responsiblity to find a legitimate claim, and regretably no scholars in Korea are yet to come up with any sorts of claim or lack there of.

    Well, I assume the Great Leader Nom-Moo-Huyn will apologise for all the prostitues in Korea.

    Korea and prostituion is like lips to teeth.

    GarlicBreath, don’t tell others not to troll when you are trolling yourself.

    Yes, regretably Korea do have high percentage of prostitution – but Korea prostitution at the moment I believe does not have military police shifting them about. Maybe my question was not directed well enough – so let me clarify the question clearer.

    If there were any involvement from ANY government in mass prostitution, in any form, isn’t that worth apologising or be shameful about?

    and another thing GarlicBreath. If you categorically with good evidence of Korean or Korea doing evil things, I will be more than happily accept and admit its or its’ citizen’s doing. So please, don’t generalise in to the extent where you could change other people’s thought.

    Ponta, thanks for the copy of that apologie letter. Didn’t even know that exist :S

    And again, I agree it is our responsibility to research and find any evidence of any part’s wrong doing, including our own.

    But please, everyone involved in this comment and blog – generalisation is a big tool that can so easily be mis-used in my opinion and it shames me that so many Koreans you all have met in your life has lead you to such conclusive generalisation – but at the same time, I strongly ask you to keep the generalisation in your think-box and keep to the facts in internet.

    Now bash me with another thoughtful discussion please. =)

  30. comment number 30 by: ponta

    zionking

    But please, everyone involved in this comment and blog – generalisation is a big tool that can so easily be mis-used in my opinion

    Right you are misusing generalisation here. Not everyone involved in this blog make a hasty generalization. In fact, previously Japanese commenter talked about it in Japanese on this blog; even if is bothering to put ultranationalist Koreans, almost all Koreans, some Koreans, it is desirable to write that way because there are always exceptions and it is easily attacked and it is in fact misleading and by doing that you are losing friends who would otherwise agree with you.

    I for one think there are many Koreans, ethnic and native, who can rationally and reasonably and fairly discuss the matter.
    Still overall my impression is most of Korean people I met on the Internet were irrationally anti-Japanese.

  31. comment number 31 by: egg

    First of all Matt,I have been reading your blog for several months and I really enjoy it. Thank you for setting it up. This is my first time writing a comment on a blog and my mother tounge is not English, so please forgive me if I were rude or off the manner. I have no intention to offend anybody.
    I think zionking’s opinion is quite fair and I want to suport it.
    As for my opinions,it was a tragety that many women (including Japanese) were forced to be comfort woman. By the word forced, I don’t mean that the Japanese goverment made official orders to kidnap them,I mean it in an economical way. In those days, countries were poor and couldn’t provide much welfare.Some had to sell themselves or their daughters to survive.
    But though it was leagal, the fact that the Japanese government used the system cannot be denied. I think that she has a reason to conpensate(I am not saying that she hasn’t done that yet.). When we talk about slavery, no one says that “In those days slavery was leagal.”
    There are still human trafficing in the develloping countries now and the best way to conpensate the past is to try preventing it by providing education and so on.
    I wish that the Koreans and the Japanese start moving on forward to prevent new trageties which are just going to happen.
    Sorry for my poor English and I wish that my thoughts are being expressed correctly in above sentences.

  32. comment number 32 by: egg

    Sorry I left Gerry out.

  33. comment number 33 by: zionking

    zionking

    But please, everyone involved in this comment and blog – generalisation is a big tool that can so easily be mis-used in my opinion

    Right you are misusing generalisation here.

    I wasn’t neccesarily saying that everyone was generalising, I was just mentioning that generalisation in my opinion is a big-tool that could be mis-used. I suppose I had the innuendo about it, and then saying “keep the generalisation in your think-box” didn’t help either lol. Way to contradict myself;;

    My mother-tongue is Korean, and while My English is no where near perfect, I am still working on it 😉

    Just bit about the nationalist and anti-Japanese feeling within Korea, I think it is so easy to say most of us are irrationally anti-Japanese, but you do need to count in the fact that for 36 years we were occupied by them, and most of the so called decision-makers within Korea have been affected by this fact.

    And again, I admit that from outside point of view it looks almost as plain hatred. But the sad thing is, as far as politics within Korea is concerned, nationalism still pays a lot more than any other. Then there are eduction and media factor to think about – media in Korea is unimaginably politically fickle. One day they will be left-wing and next day they might be right-wing. But as both side of politics will have nationalism as a core, media is extremely prejudiced on any subject anti-Korean.

    And again, I know this would sound like I am spitting on my own grave, but don’t source our media as a credible source. They are NOT as credible as you would think. (I am pretty sure you guys already found that one out yourselves.)

    Personally, with change in generation in Korea, these uber-hatred towards Japan will one day disappear.

    Ultimately, I am a believer of “Winner of the war writes the history” – but at the same time I feel that earth and its society as we know have developed and evolved so much that story from losing side of the war can be spoken and be heard.

    Obviously not all the evidences have surfaced and back in our head we also admit that not ALL the evidences will ever come out to life. We as Korean, should look back into the history and what has or possibly happened and make amends to the current societal problem we have in our own land, as well as looking deeper into the history itself.

    I am not about to write down what Japanese people should do – frankly I have no rights to do that – but ask nicely for same thing I suppose, reflect on the anything they did throughout WW2 and make society better place etc et al.

    At the end of day I think, if UK and India can do it, then Japan and Korea could too.

  34. comment number 34 by: nighthawk

    zionking,

    If there were any involvement from ANY government in mass prostitution, in any form, isn’t that worth apologising or be shameful about?

    It is debatable whether government-regulated mass prostitution (especially in a era when prostitution was legal and socially accepted) was any worse than a hands-free approach on local sex industries and soldier’s choice of using them, which may well have resulted in much worse conditions in the condition of the women in brothels, or worse, random raping. You have convince us that there was a better way for the welfare of the soldiers and the local people.

    Regarding whether it is shameful, MAYBE with hindsight, as prostitution is now illegal in Japan and seen as something governments should not encourage. But apologizing to whom? The biggest mistake in the whole issue is the fixed mindset of “Japan=aggressor, Korea=victim” There were tons of Japanese prostitutes as well as Koreans. Many, if not all, of the brothel operators were Koreans. Many, if not all, soldiers who used the comfort stations were Koreans. In what capacity do those angry Koreans think they deserve apology from Japanese government or people?

  35. comment number 35 by: Faustina

    kjeff stated in the 7th comment of this post:

    I’d very much like to know what those were. For example, if you did it, you’d go to jail. How long? Anyone actually went to jail for it? What were these “prevention”?

    Come on, three times an officer’s.(Although, I’m not sure if I’d be stupid enough to think that I’d get paid)

    I am sorry for posting this comment so late, but I found this site only recently.

    Etsuro Totsuka, a professor of the Graduate School of Ryukoku University, reports a case of a group of brokers who were sentenced guilty of deception and kidnapping across the border, though he also uses this case as evidence of Japanese “systematic enslavement”, according to a news article of Mainichi Shimbun about this trial on Feb. 2th, 2005.

    Anyway, according to that article, a group of 10 brothel brokers recruited girls in Nagasaki with false explanation of the job (waitresses and housekeepers), but actually sent them to Shanghai as comfort women. They were sentenced to 3 and a half years of imprisonment with hard labor.

    The original article is out of link, unfurtunately, but you can find a bunch of sites with quotes it. English sites can be found by searching with “Etsuro Totsuka Nagasaki Shanghai” etc.

    As is often pointed out in various comments on this site, prostitution was legal. There were laws to restrict prostitution to certain authorized areas, and prostitution by coercion and abuse was illegal. Every woman who was going to engage in that business had to report to the local police to make sure that she was not forced without her consent. Currently I do not know how effective these preventions were. I’m anxious to find some relevant historical researches.

    As for the average monthly income of comfort women, Ikuhiko Hata estimates 1,000 yen to 1,500 yen, about half of which went to the brothel owners. Mun Okchu, a former comfort woman, sued the Japanese government to take back her savings in her Japanese postal account. Her bill of complaint states that she saved 26,145 yen in her account while she worked as a comfort woman in Burma for 2 and a half years. Beside that, she sent 5,000 yen to her family in Korea. Mun’s case seems to support Hata’s estimation.

    Their job must have been painful, of course, but they were paid. They were not slaves by definition. I feel using the term “slave” to be quite derogatory and insulting to them.

  36. comment number 36 by: hyonku

    I’m angry that the comfort women forced to become prostitutes by Japanese Gov get no apology and fade away. That’s very obvious that were foreced and mistreated. although they get paid, women were deceived by Japanese Gov. I don’t see them become rich nor a success life but pains with them through their life.

    Some people bring up the issue of Vietname war and other non-related issues that cases has been resloved long time ago.

    I think Koreans are very rational race otherwise they won’t be the 11th largest economy in the world. No matter how rational you are if your parent get killed or raped or humiliated by other people, you become irrational. You never gonna understand their pain because it’s not you!

    I hate to see people joke around and debate about other people’s pain even though they wasn’t even born at the time.

    ABE kept saying that comfort women are lying for their past. But, hey! come to think of this. why do 80 years old women kept asking Japanese Gov for apology? is it because of money? Do 80 years old women really need money at their age? They just want to receive true apology from Japanese Gov for Dishonor that tormented their life.

    Although retired WWII Japanese Soldiers confessed and apologized individually that the women are forced to become prostitute. Japanese Gov will not apologize and admit the fact. I know that they won’t!

    I wish the WWII generations could resolve this issue but I don’t see the end. The hateness will remain forever if this generations couldn’t resolve this issue. That’s what I am most worried about.

    At any war, killing’s not avoidable (If you don’t kill, you get killed) but we can avoid harming the human dignity especially of women and children.

    We are not perfect being because we are human being. We all can make mistakes but difference is that some people apologize and some people don’t.