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Comfort Women - Educated Opinions?

#1
Hi guys,

I wanted to create this thread for an objective opinion of the comfort women issue between Japan and South Korea. I bring this up because every day I read the opinion articles from Yomiuri and they often portray outcry towards the act of SKorea constantly bringing up the topic of comfort women, building statues (in California they're looking to sever ties as sister cities with Osaka because of a statue), etc. despite the agreement and money SKorea received from Japan in 2015(?).

To be fair I am reading the opinion article of a Japanese newspaper, but are there any items of note that make an argument of one side over another? I simply want to be more educated on the arguments of each country. This is not intended to promote hate so please don't post anything too crazy.
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#2
Well, I must declare myself an almost complete ignorant of the issue. So, for starters, I searched the wikipedia for "south korea japan comfort women" and found some interesting entries (probably containing some biases, but what is not biased in historiography?). My guess is you (@TheVinster) probably know (at least some of) them already, but anyway I'll leave them here as a reference for other members. Also, even if you read them all, a reminder that some of the referenced works in their bibliography can be worth checking is due ;-).

First, an article directly discussing the matter:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women

To have some context, these can be valuable too:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of..._relations
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan%E2%8..._relations

Finally, to gain some perspective and see a bigger picture, I recommend skimming though articles like this two:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitute...._military
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bordel_mil...e_campagne

(not that I'm implying anything about the US or French armies in particular: sadly enough, military conflicts in which sex slavery of some form didn't happen are the rare exception Cry )
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#3
I think that it is hard to find an objective opinion in examining arguments on either side of an issue like this.
Discussion over this issue is invariably a political act. There is a struggle for power linked to it.
Even in the words used there is a dispute over power and meaning. Between men and women, between ethno centric ideas and ideas of shared humanity, between ethnic groups, between violence and peace.

What values dose one have if the choose the words "comfort woman" or "rape"  or "state organised sexual slavery"

What role does the past play in the present?
Can the past be objective?
Why do we build statues?
Can the payment of reperation money neutralise the past?
If not money is there any process that can reconcile the past?
Do the parties here want reconciliation? Why? Why not?
What motivation might someone have to pretend something didn't happen?
What motivation might somone have to pretend it did?

I don't know the answers to these questions but,
I think maybe it is easier to find a critical view of the issue than an objective one.
Edited: 2017-11-28, 11:07 pm
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#4
I don't really know what an educated opinion would imply.

We have a lot of proof and trstimonials that comfort women were a thing (namely, that they were forced to offer sexual services, that they were often poor or underage and were basically kidnapped, that the relationships were under duress and often abusive).

The Japanese have a problem with comfort women having a voice because it makes their grandparents look bad.
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#5
I have a few observations. Read into them what you may:
1. Yes, the large scale abuse and sexual enslavement of women by the Imperial Japanese Army is a proven fact.

2. When you think about it, it doesn't really serve an objective purpose for active politicians to opine on historical events. The people better qualified to do that are historians. History shouldn't be written by politicians, in any shape or form whatsoever. There should be just as clear a separation between history and politics as there should be between church and state.

Politicians can of course STUDY history, and draw lessons from it, just as they are free to be religious if they wish to be, but they really shouldn't use their public office to make authoritative judgements about history (whether they're accusatory or apologetic in nature). Just as they shouldn't "endorse" (to cite the US Constitution) any religion, in their official capacity. Those are jobs for historians and priests, respectively, not government officials.

So I don't see what possible purpose it serves to discuss this HISTORY at the government level...whether the government in question is the Japanese, South Korean or Chinese one. South Korea's government has no business pointing fingers (at dead or living Japanese leaders), Japan's government has no business either apologizing or attempting to justify history, and China's government really has no leg to stand on in this (because, unlike the Japanese Imperial war machine, the Chinese Communist Party...which is responsible for even greater crimes...is not entirely history just yet).

3. There are politicians who like to employ history as a political tool. It's a category that includes such names as Slobodan Milosevic, Robert Mugabe, Jean-Marie Le Pen, etc, etc. ...admittedly, the list doesn't just include names that infamous.

But, if you study instances of politicians who focus heavily on historical events (or history in general), over the years (going back not just a few decades, but hundreds of years), you might notice some patterns of behavior and traits the majority share:

- they tend to (implicitly or explicitly) place blame on people somehow related to the perpetrators of, but not actually responsible for, a historical injustice...it gets as ridiculous as calling a 21th century Jew "Christ killer".

- they are collectivists, not individualists (usually right wing nationalists, but leftists too...in the US, for instance, slavery is routinely cited by the political left to justify modern day policies that are collectivist in nature). They are demagogues who think and speak in terms of group merit, group responsibility, and group justice, rather than individual merit and responsibility. And when I say group, I don't mean a group of specific individuals working together...I mean groups defined by ethnicity, skin color, nationality, religious belief or socioeconomic status.

- they are engaged in some kind of power grab (an act of government that takes some decision making power away from individuals...sometimes everyone, sometimes individuals belonging to a category...immigrants, minorities, members of an economic class or industry... and places that power in the hands of the political leadership)

There are some other traits, I won't go on and on. But you get the picture: I don't have any good things to say about this breed of politician. They aim to control, stir up anger, and divide.


In conclusion, history is great. We have to study it, debate it, learn from it. I'm an atheist, but I think even a church might be a nice thing to have, from time to time. At least, they do some good things.

What isn't nice, however, is when either of the two get mixed with politics. That's when bad things tend to happen.

(2017-11-28, 11:49 pm)Zgarbas Wrote: The Japanese have a problem with comfort women having a voice because it makes their grandparents look bad.

My grandfather fought 5,000 miles away, but on the same side as all the Japanese grandfathers.

Guess what: he didn't do anything wrong, and I have no reason to be ashamed of him. He doesn't look bad at all. Not to me, and not to anyone else who is willing to judge a person rationally and objectively. And the same is true for the grandfathers of the vast majority of the 130 million Japanese you're talking about.

So, if you're in Japan and this subject ever comes up, I'd be careful accusing anyone's grandfather of being a rapist. You're liable to lose some friends, and understandably so.
Edited: 2017-11-29, 1:30 am
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#6
Yeah, sorry. That actually does come up as an argument here. Same for nanking. I did have multiple people start bashing Chinese or Koreans because they 'taint the memory of their grandparents', and I wasn't the one to bring it up.

'My grandfather fought there and i don't want him to be associated with rapists' is kind of a thing. Much like how Europeans use the same excuse to deny or underestimate the Holocaust in their iwn country. The use of comfort women was widespread enough for it to be a common practice, rather than an exception.
Edited: 2017-11-29, 3:18 am
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#7
(2017-11-29, 3:17 am)Zgarbas Wrote: Much like how Europeans use the same excuse to deny or underestimate the Holocaust in their iwn country.

I suggest you work out a way to estimate the Holocaust correctly without blaming innocent people for it.

It can be done. I'm sure of it.
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#8
(2017-11-29, 1:04 am)Stansfield123 Wrote: Politicians can of course STUDY history, and draw lessons from it, just as they are free to be religious if they wish to be, but they really shouldn't use their public office to make authoritative judgements about history (whether they're accusatory or apologetic in nature). Just as they shouldn't "endorse" (to cite the US Constitution) any religion, in their official capacity. Those are jobs for historians and priests, respectively, not government officials.
I think this misses the role that the politician and more specifically the prime minister/president/etc has as the spokesperson and representative of the country. Publicly acknowledging that the state has done wrong in the past and that some kind of amends need to be made is something that *only* the PM/President/etc can do, because they're the only one who can speak and act for the state. (I'm using 'state' here and not 'country' to try to distinguish the government+bureacracy+official structures and organisations from individual people or the people as a group.) That recognition of wrongdoing can mean a lot to the victims or their descendants even if (as for instance with the recent posthumous public apology and pardon of Alan Turing) it's purely symbolic, which is why it's worth doing.
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#9
(2017-11-29, 4:12 am)pm215 Wrote: (I'm using 'state' here and not 'country' to try to distinguish the government+bureacracy+official structures and organisations from individual people or the people as a group.
Okay, that's a good start. You're distinguishing between politicians + bureacrats and Japanese people in general. That's excellent.

But you're still not distinguishing between the politicians and bureaucrats who committed those acts over 70 years ago, and the politicians and bureaucrats active today, who had nothing to do with it. You're still grouping people who are guilty, and people who are totally innocent, together, and asking for the innocent to make amends for the actions of the guilty.

Again: this is a historical event. It has nothing to do with the current Japanese government. The government that committed those acts was disbanded, and its leaders were tried and hanged. Those that escaped execution died of natural causes. There's no one left to "speak for them". They're gone. It's over. No one's getting an apology anymore. At least not from anyone who has something to apologize for.

This "controversy" no longer involves the people who had anything to do with the crimes. This is just group identity politics. There's no other point to it.
Edited: 2017-11-29, 5:02 am
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#10
It's not blaming innocent people. Of course, not all soldiers partook in it. But many of them did, and thus could hardly be considered innocent.

When you hear arguments like 'my grandfather was in ww2 and saying that soldiers did bad things taints their memory', you're using anecdotal (at best) evidence to disregard historical truths. That is a great part of the current discourse: it's not about blaming innocent people, it's about hushing down historical truths because they're uncomfortable. Comfort women didn't kidnap themselves.

Also, Japanese politicians kind of keep it in tge family, though course it's not all of them, there is a serious incentive on the side of LDP politicians to renounce war atrocities. Especially in the middle of a nationalist wave that wants to celebrate the ww2 war heroes.

South Koreans are not just randomly bringing this up, it's tied to the current wave of denialism that's being pushed by mainstream Japanese politics and media.
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#11
(2017-11-29, 5:00 am)Zgarbas Wrote: South Koreans are not just randomly bringing this up, it's tied to the current wave of denialism that's being pushed by mainstream Japanese politics and media.

Quotes, please.
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#12
I think there is an interesting discussion here about coming to terms with the past. Can a culture have a memory? What role does that play in building our identities, and guiding our choices today?

What about Kevin Rudd apologising to the australian aborigines, Justin Trudeau to the first nations?
What is different that this kind of reconciliation cant be pursued? 

Here is an interesting article on the topic:
Quote:foreign policy is shaped by self-expectations concerning what sort of identity a state should project in the international sphere and how it should conduct itself vis-a-vis other actors. Allied to this is the supposition that domestic norms, values, interests and other ideational factors play a key role in formulating identities and, in turn, shaping foreign policy choices. In Japan’s case, as indeed with many other states, war memories are particularly powerful forces in the construction of national self-imagery and in policy legitimation.
War memories and Japan’s ‘normalization’ as an international actor: A critical analysisEuropean Journal of International Relations - Stephanie Lawson, Seiko Tannaka, 2011
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10....6110365972

This also is relevant and accessible. 
"The nationalist discourse in contemporary Japan: The role of China and Korea in the last decade"
https://scholar.google.co.jp/scholar?clu...as_sdt=0,5


There are some "quotes" showing evidence of the denialism discourse in the amazon comments on these books
日本軍「慰安婦」にされた少女たち (岩波ジュニア新書) 
石川 逸子 
固定リンク: http://amzn.asia/eYV9jlN

and 

慰安婦問題 (ちくま新書) 
熊谷 奈緒子 
固定リンク: http://amzn.asia/cBQLvKG
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#13
(2017-11-29, 5:09 am)Stansfield123 Wrote: Quotes, please.

If you don't mind browsing conspiracy theory and breitbart-level 'reporting' here is the main source of information for the group that is responsible for suing the cities that enacted comfort women statues. They're usually the spokespeople and the ones who get quoted on the nanking denial/"comfort women were prostitutes, not slaves"/"actually it was the koreans who did the raping" group
http://gaht.jp/RelatedInformation.html
They equate Japan's military behaviour with the honour typical to your nationalist discourse. Random extract. 
Quote:We must take immediate steps to remove the stains 
Quote:on our nation’s honor, for the sake of Japan’s national security. Restoring Japan’s good name will increase respect for our nation and strengthen our diplomatic effectiveness.

 http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/130_S4.pdf
(Before you dismiss them as some crazies because of their outrageous language and cherrypicking the same 'proofs', here is a letter from Trump thanking them for their service. 
https://gahtjp.org/?p=1802 )
I mostly heard the 'my granddad' stories IRL, but you can easily google 私のおじいさん alongside 慰安婦
Quote:私たちのおじいさんたちは、やってもいないことで疑いをかけられて断罪されています

There are lots of books going around the 右翼 underground, this one surprisingly showed up on google.
https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=rDt-DQAAQBAJ&pg=PT54&lpg=PT54&dq=慰安+おじいさん&source=bl&ots=mT3iUGH57c&sig=nydpz2OpEAKOqx48_pPtmiNXuq4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjSib6E6-PXAhUGU7wKHZqyDlY4ChDoAQgcMAA#v=onepage&q=慰安%20おじいさん&f=false

ネット右翼is a thing, just read the comments underneath any article that mentions korea.

Comfort women denialism is actualy a thing. Not even a 'oh the past is past', they are actively trying to revise the kono statement (just like they revised the textbooks that acknowledged the nanking massacre).

And for the record, you really don't need to bring up the topic yourself. Conspiracy theorists are always happy to bring up how smart they are to know the truth, and sometimes they marry your friends or sit next to you at a bar. I just get up and leave when the anti-平和時代 rants start these days since I know better. Actual people who talk about comfort women usually don't atart talking about how many soldiers used their service precisely to prevent backlash, but they get death threats anyway.
Edited: 2017-11-29, 8:08 am
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#14
Zgarbas Wrote:Comfort women denialism is actualy a thing. Not even a 'oh the past is past', they are actively trying to revise the kono statement (just like they revised the textbooks that acknowledged the nanking massacre).

Any idea of how many normal people are like this (polls or whatnot)? Considering there are people in the West that deny the holocaust and bring up the Jewsperacy all the time, isn't the only real difference here that the ones in Japan have some political power? If you didn't look at the way normal people take this stuff, you'd think there's a lot more of holocaust deniers than there really are because of how loud they are online.
(I'm asking because I have no idea)


As for governments apologizing for things that happened a long time ago:
It almost always looks like an empty gesture that's insultingly contrived by people trying to get votes, get hecklers off their back, or virtue signal (probably the worst, at least the other two have value beyond stroking their self-righteous ego).
Just another thing that makes politicians look slimy and disconnected from reality. If you have time to apologize on behalf of dead people from a long time ago (or over a matter that was already settled), you have time to fix problems happening now, but bowing your head and putting on some fake tears for the press is the easier path to improving public opinion.

On the other hand, I think that a current representative of a government that has done wrong in the past (and not admitted it) can apologize for actions that same government took before said representative was a part of it (or even their contemporaries). I don't think this applies to Japan very well though, because the government was completely restructured during the occupation. At the extreme, it'd be like the US government of today apologizing for actions taken by the British government while the states were still British colonies. Not only the people in power, but the very structure of government is different.
Edited: 2017-11-29, 8:56 am
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#15
(2017-11-29, 8:03 am)Zgarbas Wrote: If you don't mind browsing conspiracy theory and breitbart-level 'reporting' ...
The claim you made is that there's a wave of denial in mainstream Japanese media and politics. That's what I find hard to believe.

If you had told me that there are conspiracy theories on the Internet and among far right extremists, I would've believed you, I wouldn't have bothered you for proof.
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#16
(2017-11-29, 9:16 am)Stansfield123 Wrote: The claim you made is that there's a wave of denial in mainstream Japanese media and politics. That's what I find hard to believe.

If you had told me that there are conspiracy theories on the Internet and among far right extremists, I would've believed you, I wouldn't have bothered you for proof.

"Wave" is a good word for it. It goes in and out. Here are a couple of quick English language hits from major Japanese politicians. There are others; I'm too lazy to search harder. I suppose you could call these guys "far right extremists" but they are the guys in power.

Toru Hashimoto, previous mayor of Osaka, on comfort women
Quote:In August 2012, Hashimoto claimed that there is no evidence that the Japanese military used force or threats to recruit the South Korean comfort women who served as sex workers for the military during World War II.
In May 2013, while seemingly conceding that the comfort women served soldiers "against their will", Hashimoto further claimed that they were "necessary" so that Japanese soldiers could get some "rest" during World War II.

Shinzo Abe, prime minister, on comfort women
Quote:On his official homepage he questions the extent to which coercion was applied toward the comfort women, dismissing South Korean positions on the issue as foreign interference in Japanese domestic affairs.
(however, this web page is now archived)


(2017-11-28, 8:57 pm)TheVinster Wrote: Hi guys,

I wanted to create this thread for an objective opinion of the comfort women issue between Japan and South Korea. I bring this up because every day I read the opinion articles from Yomiuri and they often portray outcry towards the act of SKorea constantly bringing up the topic of comfort women, building statues (in California they're looking to sever ties as sister cities with Osaka because of a statue), etc. despite the agreement and money SKorea received from Japan in 2015(?).

To be fair I am reading the opinion article of a Japanese newspaper, but are there any items of note that make an argument of one side over another? I simply want to be more educated on the arguments of each country. This is not intended to promote hate so please don't post anything too crazy.

This is the best summary I can find of why this issue is coming up now: The 'Final and Irreversible' 2015 Japan-South Korea Comfort Women Deal Unravels
(This article is from January)

Quote:Roughly one year and one week ago, the governments of Japan and South Korea came to an agreement over the issue of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery of Korean women — known euphemistically as the “comfort women.” Per the agreement, Japan apologized and agree to contribute 1 billion yen (approximately $8.3 million at the time) to set up a foundation under the South Korean government to support the living victims.

Though the governments of now-impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe thought the deal sufficient at the time to move the 50-year-old bilateral relationship past this decades-old dispute, public opinion was another matter. In Japan, conservatives on Abe’s right condemned the agreement as unnecessary given previous Japanese expressions of remorse and, more significantly, in South Korea, critics in the media and civil society described the deal as Park effectively selling out the dignity of survivors of wartime sexual slavery for short-term diplomatic and geopolitical gain. (A rising North Korean threat and mutual concerns over China were factors that led to the agreement becoming opportune in the first place.)

The deal was not popular to begin with, and Park's impeachment really killed it dead.
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#17
(2017-11-29, 9:16 am)Stansfield123 Wrote:
(2017-11-29, 8:03 am)Zgarbas Wrote: If you don't mind browsing conspiracy theory and breitbart-level 'reporting' ...
The claim you made is that there's a wave of denial in mainstream Japanese media and politics. That's what I find hard to believe.

If you had told me that there are conspiracy theories on the Internet and among far right extremists, I would've believed you, I wouldn't have bothered you for proof.

They're not outliers on the internet. This group sued cities that wanted to erect comfort women status, are heavily involved in political discourse, and get mentions as serious establishments. Any person with basic reading skills can recognise the conspiracy theory style argumentation tho...
You can hear them in passing megaphone cars on a weekly basis. They're quite heavily associated with the zaitokukai, which is quite huge in itself, but mix quite well with the public on multiple points (either anti-Korean, n nationalist pride, or just anti-foreign sentiment). Most things you hear from the Japanese side of the comfort women 'debate' come from their organisation. Good luck finding someone who hasn't heard their arguments, even if not straight from the source. Read the whole post maybe?

Abe also renounced the kono statement, but while his continued election is heavily tired too the nationalist wave he is also s target of criticism due to his ties with the us. Their agendas manage to meet halfway quite well tho smh.
Edited: 2017-11-29, 10:49 am
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#18
Stansfield123 Wrote:I have a few observations. Read into them what you may:
1. Yes, the large scale abuse and sexual enslavement of women by the Imperial Japanese Army is a proven fact.

2. When you think about it, it doesn't really serve an objective purpose for active politicians to opine on historical events. The people better qualified to do that are historians. History shouldn't be written by politicians, in any shape or form whatsoever. There should be just as clear a separation between history and politics as there should be between church and state.

Politicians can of course STUDY history, and draw lessons from it, just as they are free to be religious if they wish to be, but they really shouldn't use their public office to make authoritative judgements about history (whether they're accusatory or apologetic in nature). Just as they shouldn't "endorse" (to cite the US Constitution) any religion, in their official capacity. Those are jobs for historians and priests, respectively, not government officials.

So I don't see what possible purpose it serves to discuss this HISTORY at the government level...whether the government in question is the Japanese, South Korean or Chinese one. South Korea's government has no business pointing fingers (at dead or living Japanese leaders), Japan's government has no business either apologizing or attempting to justify history, and China's government really has no leg to stand on in this (because, unlike the Japanese Imperial war machine, the Chinese Communist Party...which is responsible for even greater crimes...is not entirely history just yet).


3. There are politicians who like to employ history as a political tool. It's a category that includes such names as Slobodan Milosevic, Robert Mugabe, Jean-Marie Le Pen, etc, etc. ...admittedly, the list doesn't just include names that infamous.

But, if you study instances of politicians who focus heavily on historical events (or history in general), over the years (going back not just a few decades, but hundreds of years), you might notice some patterns of behavior and traits the majority share:

- they tend to (implicitly or explicitly) place blame on people somehow related to the perpetrators of, but not actually responsible for, a historical injustice...it gets as ridiculous as calling a 21th century Jew "Christ killer".

- they are collectivists, not individualists (usually right wing nationalists, but leftists too...in the US, for instance, slavery is routinely cited by the political left to justify modern day policies that are collectivist in nature). They are demagogues who think and speak in terms of group merit, group responsibility, and group justice, rather than individual merit and responsibility. And when I say group, I don't mean a group of specific individuals working together...I mean groups defined by ethnicity, skin color, nationality, religious belief or socioeconomic status.

- they are engaged in some kind of power grab (an act of government that takes some decision making power away from individuals...sometimes everyone, sometimes individuals belonging to a category...immigrants, minorities, members of an economic class or industry... and places that power in the hands of the political leadership)

There are some other traits, I won't go on and on. But you get the picture: I don't have any good things to say about this breed of politician. They aim to control, stir up anger, and divide.


In conclusion, history is great. We have to study it, debate it, learn from it. I'm an atheist, but I think even a church might be a nice thing to have, from time to time. At least, they do some good things.

What isn't nice, however, is when either of the two get mixed with politics. That's when bad things tend to happen.


Re 2) What? If a politician if making a policy informed by historical circumstances (which is like all policy), then they are implitcitly committed to making authoritative judgements about history. Because you are saying history happened this way and not *that* way, and *this* or *that was a failure or a success. That's about as an authoritative a judgement on history on one can have.

Of course there's great value in discussing history at the governmental level. If there's some way the government acts, for instance, that is based on a historical failure that will likely fail again because of the nature of that failure it's worth discussing history.


Re your last point: Yeah except, again, it's literally impossible for history to not be mixed with politics. In fact, I'd be more worried if a politicians started saying that the positions they advocate for are ahistorical. It would make no sense whatsoever to form policy that isn't informed by history. Speaking of America, imagine if we actually had to form drug policy without taking into the historical and current failure of the War on Drugs. It would be insanity.
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#19
(2017-11-29, 11:07 am)sokino Wrote: Re 2) What? If a politician if making a policy informed by historical circumstances (which is like all policy), then they are implitcitly committed to making authoritative judgements about history.

Huh? That is the exact opposite of what I said.
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#20
I take issue with both sides on this dispute, though not with the victims themselves obviously.

The Japanese could easily turn all these historical issues in their favor by standing out among all East Asian nations embracing a self-critical and internationalist approach and memorializing the victims in Tokyo and with a day for self-critical historical reflection on the calendar. Instead, Abe and his ilk insist on convincing the world that Japan is essentially no different from what it was before the war, except that it has a liberal democratic constitution imposed on it. They're shooting themselves in the foot in the most regrettable fashion.

The Koreans for their part need to transcend this permanent obsessive victim consciousness, which in the end just holds them back and keeps them from looking critically at their own historical wrongdoings, which if you count the North continue right up to this day. They need to see that North Korea, every bit as rotten as pre-war Japan was, is themselves, and therefore the Japanese are also themselves. How could they think the Korean people would have done any better than the Japanese if put in the same circumstances, when the face of Kim Jong Un is right there in the mirror?

Let each side focus on their own shortcomings and how to overcome those.
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#21
(2017-11-29, 11:32 am)Stansfield123 Wrote:
(2017-11-29, 11:07 am)sokino Wrote: Re 2) What? If a politician if making a policy informed by historical circumstances (which is like all policy), then they are implitcitly committed to making authoritative judgements about history.

Huh? That is the exact opposite of what I said.

Yeah and he disagrees with you on that Smile
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#22
 
Instead of an opinion Tongue , I’d like to share with you testimonies and records that might give you some idea on why Japanese  people are starting to wonder if (or believe that) the Japanese military did not kidnap women in Korea (thus being called revisionists).

**A South Korean professor, Park Yuha, has been fined for her book, Comfort Women of the Empire. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/23702966...704471696/)

(The English translation of a part of her book is posted here: http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.jp/)

Here’s an interesting review of her book by another South Korean professor, published on July 20, 2014 in ChosunIlbo (Korean newspaper).
“After reading the book, I was a little bit disappointed because there was nothing in the book that I didn't know. We all knew that Korean comfort women were not coercively taken away by the Japanese military. Korean comfort station owners recruited women in the Korean Peninsula and operated comfort stations in the battlefields. The Japanese military was busy fighting all over Asia, and it certainly didn't have time to be in Korea recruiting women.

Although Professor Park Yuha recognizes that Japan's imperialism was the root cause of women's suffering, she claims that Korean comfort station owners were legally responsible as well. I disagree with her logic because the Japanese military did allow Korean owners to recruit women. So the Japanese military was the one legally responsible in my opinion.

Korean fathers and brothers who sold their daughters and sisters, Korean comfort station owners who deceived women, Korean town chiefs who encouraged those acts. They all should be held accountable someday. But now is not the time. We must make Japan apologize and compensate again before we admit our responsibility.

If one reads the book carefully, it is clear that Professor Park had no intent to defame former comfort women. But it was not smart for her to suggest that Korea and Japan should both admit responsibility.”

Source: http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.com/20...ed-by.html

**Testimonies by Korean comfort women
– In an interview with Professor Chunghee Sarah Soh of San Francisco State University, a former Korean comfort woman Kim Sun-ok said that she was sold by her parents four times.
Yet she testified before UN Special Rapporteur Radhika Coomaraswamy that she was abducted by the Japanese military.

– In an interview with Professor Park Yuha of Sejong University in South Korea, a former Korean comfort woman Bae Chun-hee said she hated her father who sold her. She said that men who recruited Korean women and operated comfort stations were all Korean, and that Korean women who testified before UN Special Rapporteur lied on behalf of Chong Dae Hyup, a Korean organization for comfort women. 

– In 1993 a former Korean comfort woman Kim Gun-ja told Professor Ahn Byong Jik of Seoul University, “I was sold by my foster father.”
Yet she testified before UN Special Rapporteur Radhika Coomaraswamy that she was abducted by the Japanese military.

Source: http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.com/20...h-soh.html

**Korean Newspaper Reports from 1930's
--1939.03.28 동아일보 50 처녀가 조선인 인신매매단에 걸려서 북지, 만주에 창기로 팔림. 일본경찰이 구해줌.
March 28, 1939 Donga Ilbo Over 50 women were deceived by a Korean trafficker (Bae Jang-eon 배장언) and sent to Northern China & Manchuria. He was arrested and the women were rescued by Japanese policemen.
-- 1939.08.31 동아일보 악덕소개업자가 발호, 이들이 유괴한 농촌부녀자의 수가 무려 100 이상. 모두 일본경찰님들이 구출해내심.
 August 31, 1939 Donga Ilbo Over 100 women from farming villages were deceived by Korean traffickers (Kim Ok-man 김옥만 & his family) They were arrested and the women were rescued by Japanese policemen.
--1935.03.07 동아일보 중국 상해 암흑굴에 조선여성 2천여명. 이들 원정녀들 때문에 조선인의 체면이 손상됨. 그녀들의 참담한 생활에도 불구하고 대책이 막연. 왜냐하면 경제적 문제로 인한 자발적인 근로라서 대책을 세울 없음을 안타까워하는 내용.
March 7, 1935 Donga Ilbo About 2,000 Korean women work in the Shanghai slum. These prostitutes tarnish our reputation. But we can't stop them because they voluntarily stay there for economic reasons.
 
The copies of the original newspaper articles are posted here.
Source: http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.com/2014/10/korean-newspaper-articles-from-1930s.html
Edited: 2017-11-29, 6:30 pm
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#23
(2017-11-28, 11:49 pm)Zgarbas Wrote: The Japanese have a problem with comfort women having a voice because it makes their grandparents look bad.
I've actually assumed that one of the main reasons for denying the issue is that there are still women alive that were comfort women. Beyond the imagery of the government bowing and apologizing for the stain on their country, there might also be a legal course of action that can be had by openly admitting fault. If this was an issue that was over a century in the past and the only people that are slightly connected to it are people that are the [great] grand kids, then it might be fine. Usually when you admit you did something wrong, there needs to be some kind of recourse usually. If this was enough in the past, then maybe you would set up museums or do something involving education on the issue; however, because there are women who literally went through this experience, the recourse could potentially be financial based.

Something similar happened with the Japanese internment that took place in the US during WW2. After the war, they sued and got some money from the government. The issue here isn't exactly the same though, since the Japanese in the US were American citizens, and I doubt the comfort women were Japanese citizens, but something similar might be able to happen (I doubt it though).
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#24
(2017-11-29, 1:35 pm)sumsum Wrote:
(2017-11-29, 11:32 am)Stansfield123 Wrote:
(2017-11-29, 11:07 am)sokino Wrote: Re 2) What? If a politician if making a policy informed by historical circumstances (which is like all policy), then they are implitcitly committed to making authoritative judgements about history.

Huh? That is the exact opposite of what I said.

Yeah and he disagrees with you on that Smile

Exactly. Smile


Also, relevant:

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/...tatue.html

Pretty mainstream, no? Japan ends sister city relationship with San Francisco over a statue for comfort women.
Edited: 2017-11-29, 8:13 pm
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#25
(2017-11-29, 8:07 pm)vix86 Wrote: I doubt the comfort women were Japanese citizens
Actually yes, many were. Including many who were kidnapped or deceived into traveling abroad, and forced into "comfort stations" against their will.

Prostitution was of course legal in Japan (as it has been through most of Japanese history), but as Japan became dominated by fanatics, that liberal aspect of Japanese culture turned into something monstrous: with no taboo against prostitution, and the government having the power to force people to do anything under the guise of "duty to the state", sexual slavery became commonplace throughout the Japanese empire, and Japanese girls and women from poor areas weren't exempt from it.

Late into the regime's reign, Japanese women learned to avoid falling prey to "recruiters", and that well dried up. That's when the decision was made to focus on "recruiting" sex slaves from occupied territories. But there was no principled effort to spare Japanese women, or anything like that. This wasn't a regime concerned with human rights...whether the humans in question were Japanese or not. Everyone was disposable.

(2017-11-29, 10:21 am)satogaeru Wrote: Shinzo Abe, prime minister, on comfort women
Quote:On his official homepage he questions the extent to which coercion was applied toward the comfort women, dismissing South Korean positions on the issue as foreign interference in Japanese domestic affairs.
EVERYBODY dismisses the official South Korean position on this, including American historians who have no reason to be partisan. This is exactly why I'm against government dictating history.

I asked for proof that there's a "waive of denial among mainstream politicians and media". You provided me with one ex mayor (who is nowhere near mainstream, he's in a small, fringe party), and then your second example doesn't even come close to denying any historical facts.

(2017-11-29, 8:12 pm)sokino Wrote: Also, relevant:

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/...tatue.html

Pretty mainstream, no? Japan ends sister city relationship with San Francisco over a statue for comfort women.

It would be, if it was true. If this was Japan (the Japanese Government, lead by Shinzo Abe) doing this, it would be mainstream.

But it's not. "Japan" has nothing to do with this. It's the mayor of Osaka, belonging to the same fringe party from your first example. Way outside mainstream Japanese politics.

(2017-11-29, 10:49 am)Zgarbas Wrote: They're quite heavily associated with the zaitokukai, which is quite huge in itself

I'm not asking you to prove that there are "huge"  groups denying historical facts (though that's not true either, the biggest march the Zaitokukai ever had was 1,000 people, and these days they're lucky to get 100), I'm asking you to prove that mainstream politicians and the media are.

The Zaitokukai are nowhere near mainstream, and they're not that popular either. They lurk around the fringes, same as neo-nazi groups in the US and Europe. In fact they're much smaller than their European counter-parts.
Edited: 2017-11-30, 2:47 am
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