Tensions linger in U.S. over 'comfort women' plaques

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  • 1

    Yubaru

    Good for them. Memorials like these and press like this, unfortunately not enough main stream Japanese press, will be a reminder of what once happened and what should never occur again.

  • -1

    Kuribo1

    yawn.

  • 7

    yosun

    “These memorials are simply stating the fact that it happened, and Japan is arguing that it didn’t happen,”

    Oriental culture regards recognition of past bad doings as kind of shame, but it's actually brave behavior to recognize it. I hope japanese government can be brave enough to face historical facts like germany gov.has been doing continuously.

  • 3

    gokai_wo_maneku

    commemorating slavery, the Holocaust and other atrocities

    "Commemorating" sounds like they are celebrating these as a good thing. Don't you mean "memorializing" or something like that? Like they said, "memorial committee".

  • -8

    BertieWooster

    "These memorials are simply stating the fact that it happened, and Japan is arguing that it didn't happen," Park said.

    That's how it comes across.

    In truth, JAPAN is NOT arguing that it didn't happen. Abe and his right wing buddies are the ones with their heads in the sand who wish to rewrite history. Certainly, they are Japanese, but they don't not represent the whole of the country.

    Of course it happened, I don't know why these guys can't just admit it and move on.

    The more they deny it, the more it's going to come back and hit them in the face, because it did happen.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    In truth, JAPAN is NOT arguing that it didn't happen.

    You are right JAPAN isn't arguing it didn't happen people are, their vision of the past varies, and their view of history says that the women were hired prostitutes and did the work of their own free will and were paid better than their customers.

    There may have been a minuscule percentage who were professional hookers, BUT seeing as how there are no records remaining in Japan. All were burned near and after the war.

    One only has to look at the Japanese Imperial Army's behavior after the end of WWII and see that it's awfully hard to NOT believe the women throughout Asia that were affected.

    The Japanese did the same thing to their OWN women as well during the American Occupation too. It's seems they figured if it worked once, why not stick with a proven thing.

  • 0

    warnerbro

    The Japanese government was fully aware of the practice, so it is entirely appropriate to recognise its culpability. To be sure, Japanese women were also victims and have never received apologies of any kind from anyone. Prostitution was completely legal in Japan until 1956 and even before the Occupation families falling on hard times might sell a daughter into the sex business. We might also ask whether prostitution was legal in Korea before Japan occupied the peninsula in 1910 and whether women were forced into it. If it existed we should assume that women were forced into it.

  • -2

    oldsanno

    Historians say the women, mostly from the Korean peninsula and China, were forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers in military brothels. But rightists in Japan have questioned whether the women were coerced by the military to be prostitutes.

    1. mostly from the Korean peninsula and China - no they were mostly Japanese. Why do these stories never even acknowledge that "comfort women" were Japanese?

    2. But rightists in Japan have questioned whether the women were coerced by the military to be prostitutes. Anyone with a brain would question something they have no reason to believe.

    3. Historians say - I'll bet you this person cannot name one of these historians.

  • -1

    Yubaru

    mostly from the Korean peninsula and China - no they were mostly Japanese. Why do these stories never even acknowledge that "comfort women" were Japanese?

    No they were not mostly Japanese, not at all. It's thinking like this that makes the issue even worse. I see no Japanese women standing up and asking for recognition. The Japanese comfort women for the most part came about AFTER the war. Check your facts!

    But rightists in Japan have questioned whether the women were coerced by the military to be prostitutes. Anyone with a brain would question something they have no reason to believe.

    Because Japanese at the time were not given information about the war nor the people involved in it, so they are and were in effect ignorant of what happened.

    Why is it only Japanese people fail to accept this when the rest of the civilized world openly acknowledges the history?

    I'll answer the question for you; it's because they were shielded from the truth, and lied to by their own government, and never taught how the Japanese Imperial Army victimized millions of people.

    Historians say - I'll bet you this person cannot name one of these historians.

    This is pathetic to say the least.

  • 2

    Yubaru

    Tensions DO NOT remain HIGH in the US. There is no tension. The only tension is with the Japanese government and officials who want to erase history.

  • -3

    issa1

    Come on .. build a monument on every corner. When the truth comes to light it will .....I'm going to grab my bags of popcorn and wait for the next chapter. That is soo funny.

  • 9

    Crazedinjapan

    Doesn't matter how many plaques are put up or how many times Japan says sorry for people responsible making those wrong decisions before. Bottom line is Asia outside of Japan doesn't want to forgive and lay rest to the past. Asians have committed just as many atrocious offences ...some of them are still being done today within their own nations.

    Smear campaign that's all it is. The prime minister himself could literally show up in each place and appologise only to be told he's not sincere and have it thrown back in his face.

    People in the USA have a hard enough time remembering their own history let alone anyone else's. put it in textbooks, the results they are looking for would be better suited there than on a plaque people won't even look at or a statue that people could tell you about when having lunch beside it.

  • 3

    hidingout

    Its truly pathetic to see the lengths to which the Koreans are willing to go with this issue - comparing themselves to victims of slavery and the Holocaust ? Please . Its even more pathetic to see these local governments pandering to a very small minority of their constituents - no doubt in return for cash.

    As I said in another thread, if you are planning to drag your historical feuds along with you when you immigrate, then maybe don't bother immigrating. Immigrant nations like the USA, Canada and Australia etc are places where you leave your historical baggage at the door and start fresh. Little monuments like this one in NJ are an insult to every immigrant who has ever suffered injustice in their homeland and who doesn't get a plaque telling everyone about it.

    Besides, most Americans couldn't tell the difference between a Korean and Japanese anyway ... in fact nine time out of ten when I go to a "Japanese" restaurant in North America I'm served by a Korean pretending to be Japanese.

  • -1

    highball7

    I think most Japanese do feel sorry about its past horrific crimes. And I'm sure most Japanese are still proud of the fact that they once almost ruled Asia for a short period of time. Its a conflicting feeling.

    But judging from all the fantasies that run deep in the dark side of the current adult-themed and comic-themed related culture, it had been and continued to be a tremendously disturbing trend. Some people see it as art when women and young girls are shown as submissive sex-slaves, sex-dolls...etc in all these AV films and manga. Have anyone question why there is such high demands of such particularly in Japan and not in other countries?

    You don't see this in such widespread influence in the US or any other developed countries. You just don't. And I wonder why? There seems to be this aversion to women as objects instead of beings. The fear I have is, if given the opportunity, you might not have seen the last of these comfort women.

    The point of it is, if its shameful, Japanese tend to sweep it under the table instead of facing the problem and correcting it. In another word, you don't man up to it. I honestly belief most of these right wing nuts not only deny the history of comfort women but would re-establish it if given the chance. I would bet you a pretty nickle that many of them still fantasize about things like that. That's why there is a need for such a demand in the AV or Manga markets.

  • -2

    Yubaru

    I think most Japanese do feel sorry about its past horrific crimes. And I'm sure most Japanese are still proud of the fact that they once almost ruled Asia for a short period of time. Its a conflicting feeling.

    How can a people feel sorry for something that they are mostly ignorant about?

    How they they feel proud for the same reason?

  • 3

    yuhki

    No they were not mostly Japanese, not at all. It is not clear because there is no comprehensive data.

    Data shows 16%-40% were Japanese women. The data changes depending on when, where and how the data was taken. The 16%-25% data came from sexual diseases examination in 1940. The 40% is based on an official record of immigration purpose at that time.

    I think probably more than 20% would be Japanese.

  • -2

    Yubaru

    The 16%-25% data came from sexual diseases examination in 1940. The 40% is based on an official record of immigration purpose at that time.

    Japan wasnt at war in 1940, at least the Japanese women were not, and the data you are referring to I do believe was data from here in Japan and not in occupied Korea.

    Few if any Japanese women were sent to Korea to work as prostitutes. How about sharing the links to your data and let people here decide if it's valid or not?

  • 4

    bokuwamo

    Where is this all, "Heating up"? Here on Japan Today, maybe. I doubt very much that anyone out of range of this neighborhood, say 20 miles, knew anything about this plaque being displayed. There is information saying there are 900,000 Koreans in the area, I m sure they knew about, sure.

    Were there comfort women? I think that history shows there were. Was it a bad thing that happened, yes. This all seems to be an attempt to keep the subject in the news and not something that hasn't been addresses in history already. What Japan teaches in it's school is questionable? Have you any idea what American schools now teach or better said, not teach in schools about history anymore?

    By the way, Yabaru. You wrote Japan wasn't at war in 1940. I think you should take another look at history.

  • 0

    Vast Right-Wing Conspirator

    Da Kims need to shut up. Leave the dirty laundry at home. They got their apology, they got their compensation money nearly half a century ago. Time to mind their own business.

  • -2

    Yubaru

    There is information saying there are 900,000 Koreans in the area, I m sure they knew about, sure.

    8% of 900,000 are ethnic Koreans

    The issue is an important one for Bergen County, where the Korean population has quadrupled since 1990 and now accounts for nearly 8 percent of the county’s more than 900,000 residents.

  • 0

    badsey3

    If you actually zoom in on the picture and read the memorial you can see it has been dedicated since October 23, 2010. I don't see an issue with this and America has a large Korean population in areas.

    As with any memorial it is up to the people to keep it looking nice. -This one seems very well kept, especially in Winter and with New Jersey being the "garden state." =Should look much greener in the Summer.

  • -3

    Yubaru

    By the way, Yabaru. You wrote Japan wasn't at war in 1940. I think you should take another look at history.

    I codified my answer by saying the women.

  • 1

    nikku510

    Keep the monuments in Korea . They have nothing to do with USA .

  • 1

    Crazedinjapan

    Highball hit a lot of notes. Most of them could be expanded on to no end.

    Plaques do nothing but pacify the few and antagonize the many. Why should they be put into other countries where these actions and bad events didn't occur ? Two things to that as Hiding and a few others mentioned, leave your baggage in your own country ....want to hinder them then go home once a year on the day that marks Japan's surrender or where Japan previously appologised and it was greatly ignored. Two I as a citizen back home am greatly offended by foreign nationals trying to change our laws or beliefs to suit theirs ...YOU immigrated there so drop it. When you take a oath to be American or Canadian then that's what you are ..don't say I as a citizen must be sensitive to your needs ....if you miss them the go home !

    Japan has long paid for its wrong doings and Korea or any other country should let it rest in history books. We are supposed to be civilized but in many instances it seem many of these Asian nations live in the past where there was oppression and misconduct and all of them are guilty of it.

  • -1

    hobart_mark

    Japan should admit its atrocities of the past

  • 2

    hkitagawa

    I think better to let them make these monuments. No reason to be angry or take it down since any try to change it will make things worse.

  • -1

    Peter Payne

    To Korea, Dokdo is the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. It's hilarious how far a country will go to hypnotize itself that no country ever in the history of the world was dominated by a stronger country. Does Ireland sit around rending its garments over things the British did in the past?

  • -4

    chucky3176

    Japan started all of this. The memorial started off as a very simple plaque on the ground with eulogy for the comfort women. Considering that the area in New Jersey is home to many ethic people from around the world, there were many memorials from many countries around the world dealing with injustices. The Palisade Park New Jersey's 900,000 residents is 8% Korean, which is one of the largest concentration of Koreans in America. So how this turned into such a big deal?

    Japan turned it into a big deal by attempting to bribe the local government with donations in New Jersey to get rid of the memorial. When that failed, the Japanese government and the local Japanese Americans got involved and started to write petitions and threatening harassing letters to the New York state senate. By turning this into a whole big deal by Japan, it has alerted and alarmed the Korean Americans into action who will help in raising more memorials all over the US. The New York state senate after getting disgusted and tired of being harassed by Japan, unanimously passed a resolution recognizing the pain and suffering of the Comfort Women - a direct slap in the face of Japan whose campaign to overwhelm the senate with protests against the memorial, backfired.

    This is the plaque in New Jersey that the Japanese were so afraid of. A small two feet by two feet plaque on the ground, remembering the victims.

    http://www.timesunion.com/news/us/article/Tensions-linger-in-US-over-comfort-women-plaques-4234345.php

    Here is the link to the video of disgusted and angry Queens Democratic Sen. Tony Avella, after the vote, describing the behavior of the Japanese and Japanese Americans who were involved in the harassment campaign that backfired.

    < http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/177193/avella-wades-into-comfort-women-debate/>

    If Japan had not done anything, this plaque on the ground would have gone totally unnoticed. But since Japan never accept that Comfort Women existed, they have to change the history and even try to force others from raising memorials in other countries. It's a good ideal that more memorials go up all over the world, let's see if Japan can stop them all.

  • 2

    bokuwamo

    YubaruFEB. 03, 2013 - 10:06PM JST By the way, Yabaru. You wrote Japan wasn't at war in 1940. I think you should take another look at history.

    I codified my answer by saying the women.

    Meaning you made a mistake in your posting of history, yes?

  • -4

    chucky3176

    Here's the proper link to the interview with NY Sen. Tony Avella, describing Japan's rude tactic.

    http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid67396880001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAAAC3ncfg~,-fW2xLU5yrFO138HQzUPP0eK_R8GqbsA&bctid=2127487596001

  • -3

    Daffy_Duck

    They have nothing to do with USA .

    So? other countries have memorials to events that had nothing to do with them, so why can't Koreans do this in America?

  • -2

    chucky3176

    Pallisade Park in New Jersey where this Comfort Women memorial is located, also have Jewish Holocaust memorial. The area represents multicultural background of America. If Jewish and others can have memorials, why Korean's can't? Why Japanese Americans get involved against memorial, when Japanese Americans got their apology and compensation from the US government for their internment in WWII?

  • 1

    hidingout

    Japan started all of this.

    So the Japanese placed a memorial to the Koreans in NJ? Silly me I must have read the article wrong.

    The memorial started off as a very simple plaque on the ground with eulogy for the comfort women.

    In a public park (in NJ of all places) which it is the prerogative of every citizen to enjoy free from the political propaganda of minority groups who feel hard done by.

    Considering that the area in New Jersey is home to many ethic people from around the world, there were many memorials from many countries around the world dealing with injustices.

    May we please have some examples of other similar monuments placed in that public park, or indeed any other public park in the area. I strongly suspect there are none, and that your reference to "many memorials" is just a sham.

    And let me hasten to add that the fact that you are willing to acknowledge the many nationalities and ethnic groups living in the area is but one further reason the memorial to one specific group is an outrage.

    This is the plaque in New Jersey that the Japanese were so afraid of.

    No one is "afraid" of it. We are rather repulsed by the need of some people to exalt their own sufferings above those of their neighbors .... in a public park ..... in a country thousands of miles from where the incidents in question took place. Frankly it makes the people who erected this monument look weak and selfish.

    A small two feet by two feet plaque on the ground, remembering the victims.

    The size is irrelevant. The location is the problem.

    (the Japanese) have to change the history and even try to force others from raising memorials in other countries.

    Oh the irony. May I say that it is rather the Koreans who are "forcing" every resident, citizen and visitor who goes to that public park to partake in some way in their sick and never ending quest for pity and recognition.

    It's a good ideal that more memorials go up all over the world, let's see if Japan can stop them all.

    No chucky its a terrible idea . You may find that some council officials in desperate cash strapped counties can be uh .... "swayed", but I think the recent rejection of this group's plans by the government of Singapore proves that most public officials have more sense.

    Pallisade Park in New Jersey also have Jewish Holocaust memorial.

    Stop comparing the two. Its a non-starter and a disservice to your cause.

  • -2

    Riceland

    I believe that any horror that another race has cause to another should be known and recorded in all historybooks in the world because all people do not deserve the suffering that had took place in their history whatever it is slavery or the comfort women of WWII.

  • -8

    chucky3176

    hidingout,

    The county has comfort women memorial, alongside monuments dedicated to the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust and the Irish Great Hunger, outside the Bergen County Courthouse. There are plans for more.

    The comfort women memorial is a simple eulogy toward the victims, and it's purpose wasn't to insult Japan. But Japan took it upon themselves to change that.

  • -2

    forzaducati

    Oh yes, "comfort women". Also something concocted by the deniers. Like enjo kosai, soaplands, they have a knack here for making things sound less unsavory than they really are. Why not call it by the proper name, rape. State sanctioned rape. You're not telling me that any of these women were prepared to service long lines of men, every day. There are accounts of these women, as well as women languishing away in Japanese prison camps, none of them Japanese, who definitely did not consent to whatever they were made to endure. But they made it up of course. If any of the deniers would have to face any of this, they would probably squeel a different tune. These denials are an atrocity in itself. The constant denials and flip-flopping on the issue of comfort women or Nanking etc. by these people, with no first hand experience of the war anyway, is exactly the reason why this and any other issue with regard to Japanese atrocities during the war isn't going away. And why denying what happened? What is the agenda of these ignorant, well, fools? It didn't happen? Japanese soldiers, i.e. people that were actually there and probably plagued by a guilty conscience, painted quite a different picture than what Abe and similar minded people would like present day Japan and the world to believe. However, these people were deemed to be mentally incapacitated. Yes, crazy. And generally ostracized. There is a book called "Ah, a story of a navy fool", written by a Japanese soldier named Yasuto Ichikawa, who was stationed in Papua New Guinea during the war, mentioning: "There were 3 brothels in Rabaul and young women were brought in from Joseon, completely by force, regardless of their will". Joseon is in Korea I believe. Maybe this person was crazy too, hmm? Maybe he made it up too. And this is just one account of an eye witness, there are many more, but still we have people saying it wasn't so. Shame on them.

  • 6

    Crazedinjapan

    Forza, Japan isn't denying they did that. They sure wouldn't have officially apologized for it like they did if it didn't happen. They are simply asking for reasons of being continuously slapped in the face with it to be stopped.

    It was wrong. They admitted to it. They've apologized for it. Let it rest.

    And yes ...why should citizens back home be forced to accept these plaques ?? Enough is enough .

  • -8

    chucky3176

    Peter Payne,

    considering that the Irish have erected dozens of memorials of their sufferings all over the United States and Canada, versus only one memorial for Korean comfort women in New Jersey, you're the one to talk. pfffttt....

    > Does Ireland sit around rending its garments over things the British did in the past?

  • -8

    Tony Ew

    "Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “is deeply pained when thinking of the ‘comfort women’ who experienced immeasurable pain and suffering, a feeling shared by his predecessors.”" WHERE IS THE WORD ' APOLOGIZE'?

    I think it is time for ALL Asian countries suffering Japanese atrocities during WWII to have monuments wherever Japanese crimes were commited. Build plaques all over US with large Asian communities. This may solve the endless 'Japan Problem' to embarrass the Japanese government whenever any of them dare to venture to these places. They will then go home and tell their government it is time to own up!

    Build a big plaque in Washington DC to welcome Abe when he show up in a few weeks. That will get his attention!

    I was hoping Abe make a speech at the Death Railway town in Thailand when he showed up a few weeks ago!

  • 4

    hidingout

    The county has comfort women memorial, alongside monuments dedicated to the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust and the Irish Great Hunger, outside the Bergen County Courthouse. There are plans for more.

    Thank you for that information chucky. I under-estimated the susceptibility of the officials of Bergen County and I stand corrected on that point. It doesn't change the fact that there are certain groups (now three) singled out for special attention and I hope you understand that I don't support the idea of any of those monuments for the same reasons I think the korean monument is a bad idea. I am not trying to make an anti-Korean statement with these posts.

    I would like to add further to my post above, that a little digging convinces me that this monument was raised solely because the Korean community exerted political pressure and gave campaign donations. Please look at the following article from a NJ newspaper. I will quote a few of the relevant bits here.

    There are now at least seven Korean-American council members in Bergen County, plus many more on school boards, chambers of commerce and county committees.

    Influence.

    Nearly half of the county’s 43,000 eligible Korean-Americans are registered to vote, up from an estimated 2 percent two decades ago, and there is a strong push for election turnout this November. Korean-Americans are giving more money to local and state political campaigns, with contributions from certain communities nearly doubling in recent years. Their civic organizations are hosting local and county candidate debates, registering voters en masse, and lobbying for Korean causes.

    Votes and money.

    Elected officials, recognizing an economic and demographic imperative, have been quick to respond.

    Squeaky wheel gets the grease.

    In the age-old manner of politicians who have made trips to Ireland and Israel, County Executive Kathleen Donovan has just completed a six-day official tour of South Korea.

    Ireland ... check. Israel ... check. ROK .... check. Hmmm. Wonder why there was no free trip to Armenia for council members?

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/174039211.html


    "As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women. We must not evade the weight of the past, nor should we evade our responsibilities for the future. I believe that our country, painfully aware of its moral responsibilities, with feelings of apology and remorse, should face up squarely to its past history and accurately convey it to future generations."

    How's that one for you Tony? All the right words there to satisfy you?

  • -6

    chucky3176

    hidingout, that's how American democracy work. Through votes and pressures and political campaign donations. Are you telling me Korean Americans are the only ones in America who do this? Like I said in my post, Korean Americans represent 8% of the Pallisade Park area, and has the most concentrated number of ethnic Koreans outside of Korea. Of course their vote is important! I have no illusions that vast number of non-Korean Americans would care about this issue. And like I said, the memorial was just a eulogy for the women, but now has turned into a controversy because Japan chose to do so by saying the comfort women issue was a fraud.

    Your reprint of Japanese government apology in 1995 does nothing for me, it's garbage. The current Japanese govenrment of Abe, itself says it is. But I'm getting sick of apologists keep bringing up past apologies which have already been canceled out by today's Japanese government through their words and actions.

    Can you please you tell me, why Japanese government have a problem with this memorial in NJ, if they really feel sorry about the comfort women and they apologized already? Why would they have a problem with a memorial that honors and remembers the victims? Why aren't they supporting them instead?

  • 7

    OssanAmerica

    chucky3176Feb. 03, 2013 - 10:59PM JST Pallisade Park in New Jersey where this Comfort Women memorial is located, also have Jewish Holocaust memorial. >The area represents multicultural background of America. If Jewish and others can have memorials, why Korean's >can't?

    1)Because the persecution of the Jews by Nazi Germany is highly documented with little debate left. No much he said/she said. 2) A quarter million Jews did not partake in the mass murder of other Jews, In contrast, 240,000 Korean soldiers in the Imperial Japanese Military used the Comfort Women services. 3) The Jews did not side with Nazi Germany causing harm to others then suddenly claim to be a "victim" when Nazi Germany surrendered. 4) Jews were not tried at the Nuremberg war crimes trials the way some Koreans were at the Tokyo trials. 5) Jews do not suffer from a blame-Germany for everything complex, and the State of Israel does not carry on anti-German education.

    ,

  • -10

    chucky3176

    OssanAmerica, that doesn't sound like an apologetic tone to me.

    I'll remember that, when you parrot out that worthless piece of paper next time, which says Japan apologizes.

  • 6

    Crazedinjapan

    Well said Ossan and chucky you are singling out Japan just like Korea now.

    The top government official in Bergen County, Kathleen Donovan, said the delay is not due to any new pressure from Japanese officials

    The representatives of the people in that area have taken it upon themselves to have the plaque reworded as to remove stigmatizing the government of Japan. Also how can you force generations of people that were born and raised decades after the war ended to say sorry for something they had no control over and being the society it is today (pacifist) probably wouldn't do ever again.

  • -6

    jake123

    <.

    well said, chuck!!!

  • 0

    hidingout

    I have no illusions that vast number of non-Korean Americans would care about this issue.

    Then why bother erecting a monument in America? Why not be content with having one across the street from the Japanese embassy in Seoul?

    Can you please you tell me, why Japanese government have a problem with this memorial in NJ, if they really feel sorry about the comfort women and they apologized already?

    I suppose that they feel the monument is an attempt on the part of a few radical Koreans to make it appear that America sanctions their cause - which of course it doesn't as you've already agreed that the monument was erected only because the Korean community bought the influence required to see it done. And I guess the Japanese government probably feels pretty unhappy that an issue they thought was resolved (apologies and compensation accepted) in 1965 with a formal agreement .... and then again in the 1990s with the AWF .... is still being raised year after year. Why do you think they complained?

    However the more pertinent question, and the point I'm trying to get you to see, is why would the Korean immigrants feel the need to bring their historical grievances to America? What misplaced search for pity and recognition made them believe that a monument in a public park, erected on the say so of a few bought and paid for councilors, in a country where nobody really cares about Korea was a good idea? And what did they possibly hope to gain? The only possible answer I can see is that they hoped to distinguish their sufferings above those of others and hopefully strike a blow to the image of Japan abroad. Like I said above, seems pretty selfish and petty to me, not to mention counter to the very spirit of immigration.

    As for the "garbage" apology .... your bitterness says a lot about why this is still an issue doesn't it?

  • 1

    noriyosan73

    This story is a big frog in a very small pond. 99.9% of the USA population knows nothing about this war history or this issue. It was covered (2 minutes) on the national TV networks when the controversy broke, and it is never mentioned in school textbooks, and unless a university professor is interested in it, the information is never presented. It is very similar to the lack of coverage of Pearl Harbor in the Japanese textbooks. When it comes to the Korean Conflict, most Americans think of the movie and TV series M.A.S.H. It was the 2001 movie "Pearl Harbor" that completely opened the history to the Japanese.

  • 5

    OssanAmerica

    chucky3176Feb. 04, 2013 - 01:17AM JST OssanAmerica, that doesn't sound like an apologetic tone to me. I'll remember that, when you parrot out that worthless piece of paper next time, which says Japan apologizes.

    Apologize for what? Exactly what do I,. as am American have to apologize for? And to whom? Your response chuck is exactly that of one who has the truth put before them that they'd rather not have to think about. By the way Japan has apologized and even made payment to the South Korean government in 1965 with specific payment to "individuals who suffered..". I suppose you will argue that Comfort Women were somehow not "individuals"? The fact is known that the South Korean government kept this a secret from the population and spent the money elsewhere.The Comfort Women even sued the South Korean government over this and got nowhere. So now it's very convenient to forget what South Korea did, and pretend the 1965 Treaty was never signed an keep blaming Japan?. So how should the world see South Korean government signed agreements and treaties in the future in terms of credibility?

  • -5

    Moondog

    By apologizing in the past, Japan has already admitted that it happened so there is no need for that discussion.

    As for those past apologies, it's not so much that you apologize that counts. it's how you apologize.

    For a proper apology, the Emperor should travel to Korea to meet surviving sex slaves. The surviving sex slaves should be assembled on the dirt playground of one of the high schools where they were "recruited." Upon arriving at the gate to the school ground, the emperor should get down on his hands and knees and crawl to the feet of the women and beg forgiveness.

    This should have been done by the late Emperor Showa but he's dead so it's up to the current emperor to make the apology.

    Also, forzaducati is right. The term "Comfort Women" should never be used by the media. The correct term is "sex slaves."

  • 2

    bokuwamo

    noriyosan73FEB. 04, 2013 - 01:50AM JST When it comes to the Korean Conflict, most Americans think of the movie and TV series M.A.S.H.

    Oh really? I do and so do a lot of Americans whose parents served during the Korean War.

    Some Koren people want Japanese apology and money paid, still. This was all dealt with when Japan surrendered, the end of the story. Some people in the USA wanted a whole lot of things at the end of the civil war in America, they all didn't get what THEY wanted. You know what happened? They accepted it, acknowledge it and moved on with living life in the new United States of America.

  • 0

    canadianbento

    Who cares, it is history and many things have happened which are bad... But, lets not let it happen again... But, it will...

  • 0

    Frungy

    Fair enough I think. If the Korean community wants a plaque to remind people about this tragedy, one that the Japanese government admits and has apologised for repeatedly, then why not.

    There are memorials up there, like the one to slavery, that are critical of the U.S. government's past, so I see it as entirely fair and balanced.

  • -1

    Xeno23

    Sounds like that park provides glimpses into history that shouldn't be forgotten, and in general, that's a good thing, no? Okay, so it's kind of weird to have it there, and yeah, maybe the content of the memorials isn't composed by the best composers of memorial texts available, but freedom of speech and if the city council wants to spend money on it...

    Debates, controversies, heated discussions - all keep the history alive; isn't that better than forgetting?

  • 1

    noriyosan73

    It is a sad point but most high school and college graduates can't find Korea on the map and can't list the major wars in sequence. It is true: "Americans learn their geography through the wars." The readers here know their history and geography, but not most Americans.

  • -3

    Yubaru

    codified my answer by saying the women. Meaning you made a mistake in your posting of history, yes?

    Reread the post, since editing is not allowed here you will see my comment was there from the start. People see what they want to see and dont read what is actually there.

  • 5

    kaitoyojimbo

    geez, no wonder nothing ever changes! people refuse to forgive and move on from the past...

  • 0

    volland

    "Tensions linger in U.S. over 'comfort women' plaques"

    It is true ! Whereever you go in the US, you will find people talking about nothing but this.

  • 4

    mikihouse

    Koreans are so fixated with the past that they can't see what lies ahead. But if I am a Japanese, i will let them do all their protest and fill the world with their hatred with Japanese to their hearts content. Dealing with them will not bring nothing but trouble. They ask Japanese to grovel on thier feet, wipe the Koreans feet with their tears, kiss their sandals and maybe die a thousand deaths but know what? They are not willing to forgive anyway because they are so fixated with the victim syndrome that moving past beyond it is not not even a possibility.

  • -4

    Yubaru

    @Mikihouse....

    I don't think so, SOME Koreans are fixated with the past, and for them rightfully so, just as some Japanese are fixated with erasing their's, sad part though it's politicians, particularly the current PM.

    I would say that the overwhelming majority, would like to think 99% or more, would like the past to remain there, and become a part of history books and the discussions of scholars and not a constant on the news.

    I would also like to believe that the same majority want to live in peace with their neighbors and work for a better future for all.

    Sadly however, at least for the near future, the politicians, nationalists, and fear-mongers, hold reign.

  • 0

    mrkobayashi

    I think chucky cheese should write out exactly what the Japanese government should say, what angle they should bow, and how much money they should pay. I'll bet you my housing loan for my condo in Tokyo that it won't satisfy him.

  • 0

    slowguy2

    "I think chucky cheese should write out exactly what the Japanese government should say, what angle they should bow, and how much money they should pay. I'll bet you my housing loan for my condo in Tokyo that it won't satisfy him"

    That's nonsense. Way to put words in others' mouths, mrkobayashi. Koreans would love to be able to forgive Japan and put all this behind them -- it's got to be a mental drain on them too, not to mention a lot of young Koreans like some aspects of Japanese culture like young people everywhere. The problem is, Japan is not making it possible for Koreans to forgive them. You sound like you're equating letting go of the past with simply burying it so that nobody knows about it -- and that latter is what Japan wants to do, beautifying its past at Korea's expense.

    If the Emeperor of Japan were to come to Korea, humbled himself as the symbol of Japan's collective contrition by personally apologizing to the surviving Comfort Women in a public ceremony, including the critical words 'please FORGIVE us', and put his money where his mouth is by making it a crime in Japan to backtrack from his apology or deny these women were sexually enslaved -- just like Germany made it a crime to deny the Holocaust -- yes, Koreans would forgive and forget. Does Japan have the will come down from the soapbox and help Koreans forgive Japan?

  • 0

    Yubaru

    If the Emeperor of Japan were to come to Korea, humbled himself as the symbol of Japan's collective contrition by personally apologizing to the surviving Comfort Women in a public ceremony, including the critical words 'please FORGIVE us', and put his money where his mouth is by making it a crime in Japan to backtrack from his apology or deny these women were sexually enslaved -- just like Germany made it a crime to deny the Holocaust -- yes, Koreans would forgive and forget. Does Japan have the will come down from the soapbox and help Koreans forgive Japan?

    Not knowing the Emperor personally, but just seeing all his actions here in Japan I wouldnt doubt for one second that he would do exactly as you suggested here......IF his handler's would allow it, which they won't. Sadly he does not have the power to tell people what to do, even in his own house it seems.

  • -2

    highball7

    OssanAmerica, I don't know what your agenda is but you cannot be more wrong.

    1. Being a Jew myself, the state of Israel does carry an anti-Nazism law. If Germans are Nazi, we are against them.

    2. Between the Japanese and Chinese/Korean, it wasn't about a political group in power, it was one race killing another. The Chinese/Korean never stepped foot on the soil of Japan. There is ZERO justification and comparison between Israel and Japan. Don't even try.

    3. The Koreans that were fighting in the war were forced soldiers, its either fight or die. Basically they were cannon fodders. Again, I don't know what your agenda is but you are dancing on a very thin line here.

    4. Nazism still exist today and ALL Jews are against them. Japan is leaning toward the ultra-right which looking back at history, nothing good has came out of that. So there is a chance that Japan can revert to its militaristic past that caused so much pain and outrages in Asia and across the pacific. That is a legitimate claim against Japan because the voters in Japan are a bunch of ignorant fools. How in the world can you re-elect someone such as Abe and continue to put a guy like Ishihara in office for such a lot time?

    5. Lastly, we do have a blame Germany complex. Each time I see a older German guy, I would silently judge him on is he one of them. And that sentiment is quite widespread. If we don't blame the Germans on the political platform, its because they got on their knees and gave heartfelt and truthful apologizes from the top to bottom in their representative gov't. They have outlawed Nazism. It was codified in law. Don't even try to compare Japan to Germany. You are not in the same class as them.

    Lastly, were there Jews that prayed on our own and fought on the side of the Nazi? Sure there were. Many of them were despicable traitors but many of them were being forced as well. I don't blame the involuntary person being forced to live or die in such situations. And neither should you. Its beneath human decency.

    • Moderator

      Stay on topic please. Germany and Nazism are not relevant to this discussion.

  • -1

    Toshiaki Haginoya

    Koreans have a bad habit of pretending to be a victim. Weeping and crying loudly, they demand something, typically, apology and compensation.

    Japan did a serious mistake of giving money to them in 1993 by creating Asian Women Peace Fund and again in 1997 by providing a loan/aid package to save economic crisis of Korea. Since then, they never stop to do this kind of extortion.

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