Hashimoto offers to meet 'comfort women' to apologize

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  • 11

    WilliB

    " But many in Japan feel events that took place seven decades earlier are used by nationalists abroad as a stick to beat it for their own domestic ends. "

    Well yes, that is true. But idiots like Hashimoto can not excuse their stupid statements with that. Nobody asked him to come out with the bombastic blunder that he now wants to apologise half-heartedly for.

  • 24

    tmarie

    Notice how HE doesn't say HE'S sorry for what HE said. Yes, Hashi, say other countries do the same so you can make yourself feel better. This isn't an apology at all and I hope the women tell him to go and screw himeself The guy just does not get it.

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    This is actually spicing up the political scene, so to speak. You've got an up-and-coming right-wing Governor who is causing trouble for the right-wing PM and his cronies, and then you've got Japanese themselves, in Okinawa, complaining about the issue.

    Sadly, among some circles this US pressure, along with Hashimoto's statement itself, will also win some people to his side -- be it either because they are wingers themselves who believe what he said, or simply as a reaction to the US stepping into the debate.

  • 23

    gaijinfo

    Japan was not the only one doing this," he said. "Everybody was doing bad things.

    Ah, the old moral equivalency argument.

    I think Japanese people... should offer objections if there is a misunderstanding of facts overseas.

    Japanese are so innocent. Why can't the world see that? These poor souls were just minding their own business when this horrible "pacific war" thing fell out of the sky on them. They should get a collective medal for being so brave to withstand such hardship.

  • 2

    isoducky

    An offer to apologize is not an apology. A public statement should not be apologized for in private. Any real leader would recognize this.

  • 0

    Shumatsu_Samurai

    An offer to apologize is not an apology.

    I think that's sort of the point, he is offering to apologise to the people concerned personally. That's a lot harder than making an apology without having to look someone in the eye.

    We will have to see if the meeting takes place, as these people might understandably say they don't want to see him, although I hope they would.

  • 10

    hoserfella

    Yup, the time honored Japanese reaction to criticism; "everybody does it". If its related to the war, either deny it happened at all or create new history where all govt's systematically forced women into sex slavery.

  • -13

    Thunderbird2

    Beijing and Seoul maintain Japan has never faced up to its guilt or expressed sufficient remorse for its brutal warmongering.

    Yes it has... or what would be 'sufficient remorse'? Sacrificing the first born? Everyone in Japan signing a big card saying 'sorry'?

    But many in Japan feel events that took place seven decades earlier are used by nationalists abroad as a stick to beat it for their own domestic ends.

    And they are right - no other reason to keep on about it. It's purely political... a smokescreen for their own broken societies and corrupt governments. Japan has become SE Asia's whipping boy. Got a problem in your country? Blame it on Japan's war record. Easy to do and costs less than a press conference.

  • 17

    zichi

    Up to 200,000 women from Korea, China, the Philippines and elsewhere **were forcibly drafted into brothels **catering to the Japanese military in territories occupied by Japan during WWII, according to many mainstream historians.

    were forcibly drafted into brothels is sexual slavery, which other countries didn't do.

  • 6

    Cricky

    I will tell the comfort women that I’m sorry for Japan having had such a system no matter whether it was forcible or not,” Hashimoto said. Forcible or not? Seriously he thinks that's an apology? As for Japan being a whipping boy for Asia wouldn't be if those in power were educated rather than de-educated.

  • 0

    AKBfan

    I would love to be at this meeting, if it happens. He will almost certainly say something crass to annoy them even more.

  • -6

    Thunderbird2

    As for Japan being a whipping boy for Asia wouldn't be if those in power were educated rather than de-educated.

    So turn on those in power, not my friends and loved ones, or the rest of the Japanese people.

  • 4

    Disillusioned

    Please! Please! Please! Do Japan (and Asia) a favor and only accept his apology if he resigns!

  • 5

    Probie

    But he's not going to do the right thing and resign to try and make up for the disgusting things he said?

  • 7

    Get Real

    Hashimoto is the last person who should be allowed to apologize to those women for their suffering.

    How dare he think for one minute that he has the authority, moral or legal, to represent the people of Japan.

    Wake up, citizens!

  • 6

    JeffLee

    Japan was not the only one doing this, he said. Everybody was doing bad things

    I really hope he tells this to the comfort women as part of his "apology." This could get really, really interesting.

  • -15

    CH3CHO

    Interesting reporting by AFP. Japanese news agencies reported that Hashimoto is to meet those self claimed former comfort women, but there were no mentions that he is to apologize. Since the testimonies of those women change every time they open their mouth, he may use that opportunity for his gain.

    zichi, if you think those women were drafted, you are absolutely wrong. None of the former comfort women in Korea claims they were drafted. But the supporting group for the women uses the name "Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Sexual Slavery by Japan", to confuse people like you.

  • -5

    illsayit

    and sheesh with all the complaining going on about something that was said, about something that occurred years ago, and in someway or other the guy says he doesnt agree with it, and his opinion is so loud out there you know; there should be enough people then to complain and do something about the slavery that occurs in some countries still these days.

  • 9

    smithinjapan

    And yet I see no mention of Hashimoto willing to offer an apology for his remarks.

    CH3CHO: "zichi, if you think those women were drafted, you are absolutely wrong. None of the former comfort women in Korea claims they were drafted. But the supporting group for the women uses the name "Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Sexual Slavery by Japan", to confuse people like you."

    Says the guy who gets his information from 2Channel. None of the Korean comfort women claim they were 'drafted'? How about simply the fact that they were 'forced'? Does that suit you better? Or how about the Dutch women who were forced into sexual slavery in Indonesia? The Japanese who were forced into it? It's amazing how badly you guys need to deny what happened and blame the VICTIMS for the faults of the aggressors.

  • 6

    smithinjapan

    CH3CHO: What do you have to say about the former Imperial soldiers who have admitted to forcing women into sexual slavery? Are you going to claim they are wrong and you, who was not there, are right?

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    Hashimoto’s comments reflect an opinion not uncommon among those on the right of Japanese politics that there was no direct involvement in the system by either the state or the imperial army. The position holds that while there may have been coercion, it was carried out by individuals, gangs or businesses, some of which were non-Japanese.

    When coercion is involved, it is sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is the 3rd largest criminal enterprise in the world (http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/march2011/humansex_trafficking). Not surprisingly, consumers are mostly in the richer developed countries.

    If a large organization contracts with " individuals, gangs or businesses" to receive trafficked women, they bear a serious responsibility. Logically and emotionally, it is not qualitatively different from engaging in the initial coercion directly. Of course an apology would be appropriate.

    However, it think the article may be incorrect in concluding that Hashimoto meant to admit that comfort women included sex trafficked women.

  • -2

    CraigHicks

    However, I think the article may be incorrect in concluding that Hashimoto meant to admit that comfort women included sex trafficked women.

  • -3

    Shachan

    were forcibly drafted into brothels is sexual slavery, which other countries didn't do.

    You clearly miss the point here. Germans had an identical system during WWII and they used Polish, Ukrainian and Russian women. South Korea was securing a similar brothels for US Army until 1990. Not to mention Vietnam where it even became a subject which you could see in almost every film about that war. So more or less each war saw prostitutes doing 'favors' for soldiers.

    Says the guy who gets his information from 2Channel.

    In 2ch probably everyone knows there's not even a single evidence confirming it was 'forced'. China and Korea didn't come with any of them for 70 years and I think there won't be any. What Hashimoto says is true. He admits such system existed but it wasn't forced.

  • 3

    GW

    This moron owes a huge apology to the sex slaves, but not just to them, next the women in Okinawa & finally to EVERY other woman on the entire planet!

  • -10

    CH3CHO

    smithinjapan

    And yet I see no mention of Hashimoto willing to offer an apology for his remarks.

    So, you have not read the article.

    how about the Dutch women who were forced into sexual slavery in Indonesia?

    I know. What you may not know is that Japanese MP found said illegal brothel and stopped the operation well before the end of the war. You cannot generalize the situation based on the illegal operation. In addition, prostitution is and was legal in the Netherland and its former colonies. They should not get upset by prostitution per se.

    How about simply the fact that they were 'forced'?

    Forced sex is called rape. Japan had fair share of rapes during WW2. I feel sorry for that just as you feel sorry for your share. But we are talking about "comfort women", aren't we? "Comfort women" was a system of paid sex or prostitution run mostly by brothel owners licensed by the army. Prostitution is different from rapes.

  • 2

    budgie

    “I will tell the comfort women that I’m sorry for Japan having had such a system no matter whether it was forcible or not,” Hashimoto said. “It was a disgraceful act and should never be repeated.”

    Firstly, he's already trying to go back on the apology before he's even made it as you can see above. He's provide an excape clause for his nationalist supporters.

    Secondly I guarantee no sooner has his plane touched down in Japan after meeting the comfort women, he will hotfoot it back to Yasukuni Shrine to pay his respects to their tormentors.

    They always do.

  • 0

    bannedacctsam

    Hashi needs to shut his mouth and stay out of the public's eye until this matter dies down. He is only prolonging this situation.

  • 0

    Upgrayedd

    how about the Dutch women who were forced into sexual slavery in Indonesia?

    The Japanese officers who forced the Dutch women into slavery were arrested and tried after the war by the Batavia War Crimes commission. The ringleader was executed. They were charged with violating Japanese military orders to only hire volunteer women as comfort women. (Source: wikipedia article on comfort women)

  • 2

    Tamarama

    Keep digging.

    Y'know, the thing that bugs me the most about this guy is that my two sweet, moderate sisters-in-law voted for him last year in the election under the premise that he 'likes families and is kind to kids'.

    When they told me I was agog with disbelief.

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    CH3CHO: "So, you have not read the article."

    Actually, it's you who have not. He has offered an apology for Japan's actions, not his words. Instead, he attempts to deflect by saying it was not unique to Japan. Show me where he says he apologies for what he said and I'll admit I am wrong. If you can't feel free to admit you are.

    "Forced sex is called rape. Japan had fair share of rapes during WW2. I feel sorry for that just as you feel sorry for your share."

    Sorry, my friend, I've never raped anyone, nor would I ever. And if my government allowed it in the past I would not deny it happened, as you do.

    "But we are talking about "comfort women", aren't we? "Comfort women" was a system of paid sex or prostitution run mostly by brothel owners licensed by the army. Prostitution is different from rapes."

    "Comfort women" is the euphemism offered by the Japanese government because admitting the fact that the women were FORCED into sexual slavery in many cases, sometimes servicing dozens of soldiers a day, not by choice, makes their 'mimi itai'.

    "In addition, prostitution is and was legal in the Netherland and its former colonies."

    There may well have been legal prostitution, but there is no doubt, well, for those not in denial, that there was forced as well. That is rape, though you may want to dummy it down to 'comfort' because the facts hurt.

  • 0

    karjai

    resign please.

  • -1

    taj

    Offers to meet? Hashimoto should not be allowed near any women, anytime, ever.

    (And please, no more photos of him. Consider those of us with weak stomachs.)

  • -1

    some14some

    This moron owes a huge apology to the sex slaves, but not just to them, next the women in Okinawa & finally to EVERY other woman on the entire planet!

    exactly and he should resign thereafter.

  • -3

    CH3CHO

    smithinjapan

    the women were FORCED

    International Convention for the Suppression of the "White Slave Traffic,"

    FINAL PROTOCOL

    D. The case of detention, against her will, of a woman or girl in a brothel could not, in spite of its gravity, be dealt with in the present Convention, seeing that it is governed exclusively by internal legislation.

    http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/whiteslavetraffic1910.html

  • 0

    Sentiments

    Its likely that this is all Hashimoto can manage, to try to save him self. Seriously, can anybody see him as anything else than a liability to the conservative. If I understand his track record well enough he will keep on the job to make senseless statement until he is removed from his position. In any other democratic country that is the way it is supposed to be. Extreme right or left wingers keep popping up every now and then to outrage people and engage them in political debate. So far I can only see that these statement serve to strengthen democracy in Japan.

  • 0

    iceshoecream

    I think I have to apologize firmly for what Japan did as I talk to former comfort women. I will tell the comfort women that I'm sorry for Japan having had such a system no matter whether it was forcible or not, Hashimoto said. It was a disgraceful act and should never be repeated.

    WRONG! Man, this guy can't think straight. People are not asking him to apologize for what Japan did decades ago. They are asking him to apologize for what HE SAID. Why is this guy still in the government???

  • 1

    Yubaru

    This dude is slick and playing everyone as fools. All this has got to be staged by him, think about it, everyone is playing their part. Hashimoto makes some off the wall remarks on key, after Abe get's hit with the 731 "incident", Hashimoto takes back the stage with the 'Comfort Women" issue, then one ups Abe by agreeing to meet with the women to apologize.

    Dude has all the corners covered, the right wingers who agree, women, because he is going to come across as contrite and "feel" for them. Men because they "know" what he's talking about. Younger folks because he stands up to people and says what he wants. Old folks because Ishihara has his back and they are by nature here conservatives.

    I fear that he is going to come out smelling like roses. It's a win-win situation for him. He meets the women, apologizes, gets more face time, and popularity rises. They refuse to meet him, on principal, and he says hell I tried.

  • 4

    gogogo

    This guy is Japan's biggest problem.

  • 1

    gogogo

    He will met them, one time, if they come to him. Lip service.

  • -1

    cramp

    I'm confused, so like yesterday he says 'whats the big deal' but suddenly today he wants to apologize?

    something or someone must have brought a big stick to visit him the night before..

  • -2

    crazyforgirls

    Very typical way Japanese Leaders back peddle once they get called out by the rest of the world for saying incredibly ignorant things. I'm sure he has been severely talked to by his aids not to mention leaders of the upper and lower house. The honorable thing to do would be to resign.

  • 1

    Lowly

    Oh I am sure the comfort women would love to hear this from him:

    “I will tell the comfort women that I’m sorry for Japan having had such a system no matter whether it was forcible or not,” Hashimoto said

    Evade responsibility much? Make half-assed cowardly non-apologies much? It was forcible, you owe it to give them that much.

    And this:

    nor the British militaries had comfort stations or comfort women, but it is an obvious fact that they made use of local women. “Japan was not the only one doing this,” he said. “Everybody was doing bad things.

    Seeing prostitutes, and forcibly conscripting 1000s of women and kidnapping them to foreign countries and making them be your rape toy all day long, are two different things, aren't they??? And as for rape, a few, or even many, rapes by soldiers is, however terrible, still very different from a planned system of conscription of women to rape them all day long for months/ years on end, set in motion by the gov and carried out by military higher ups.

  • 0

    sctaber56

    For a translated version of the August, 1993 Kono statement, go to: http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/state9308.html

  • 2

    Micheal Rhian Driscoll

    He's not sorry for what he said. He's sorry he got caught.

  • 0

    Lowly

    I think Japanese people… should offer objections if there is a misunderstanding of facts overseas.”

    About what? It sounds like the misunderstandings of facts is taking place right here in Japan. And it is here in Japan that I hope Japanese ppl have the courage to raise their voices and make objections. And vote this guy out of office.

  • 1

    Reckless

    Dude is gonna get an earful.

  • -1

    daito_hak

    In the case that any women decide to meet this dude, if I would be them I would just spit to his face and leave.

    It's not even worth their time to talk to this garbage.

  • -1

    dbr26354

    Hashimoto's offer has absolutely nothing to do with his future political ambitions!

  • -2

    karjai

    not sincere. kick him out!

  • -1

    Serrano

    "Hashimoto, who has been mentioned as a possible future prime minister"

    Maybe 2020.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Hashimoto's offer has absolutely nothing to do with his future political ambitions!

    I wholeheartedly disagree, everything Hashimoto does is geared towards keeping his face in the public eye. And that keeps his political ambitions growing too.

    Particularly with an election coming up he needs face time, and you can't buy advertising like he is getting because of this issue.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise better think again.

  • 5

    zichi

    @CH3CHO

    no!no!no! I'm not confused with comfort women and the fact that many were forced into sexual slavery to be gang raped 30-40 times a day. There are so many articles, investigations, university papers, personal experiences and even the gov't apologising for it on several occasions and most recently by PM Abe this past March. There's little point in you attempting to white wash it, deny it or try to make out it was ok because it happened in other countries which it didn't. Even Nazi Germany which was guilty of so many evil actions but they didn't provide their troops with comfort people although they did rape and kill tens of thousands of women and young children.

  • -1

    Gobshite

    But Hashimoto, who has been mentioned as a possible future prime minister

    That is what is wrong with this country, summed up in one line...

  • -1

    Ron Barnes

    To late after what he said any apology will be meaningless as he has had pressure put on him to apologize . It will never change this mans opinion of what happened as many of these women are dead from being unable to cope with this or old age.. Should have not spoken in the first place.

  • -1

    yyj72

    Hashimoto: "And a free lifetime supply of tako-yaki for everyone!"

  • 5

    zichi

    The United States is calling the mayor Hashimoto's remarks outrageous and offensive.

    “As the U.S. has previously stated, what happened in that era to these women who were trafficked for sexual purposes is deplorable, and a grave human rights violation of enormous proportions,”

    His planned to America next month is now in doubt since people no longer want to meet with him.

  • -1

    gas07lisa

    @taj

    Actually, those "comfort women" asked him to meet them first, and they were (are?) waiting for his response.

    They have asked him to meet before, but Hashimoto said he would meet and talk to them only as official meeting open to public, not privately, and they refused, which is understandable. I wonder if this meeting will actually take place.

  • -1

    peace_zzz

    “Japan was not the only one doing this,” he said. “Everybody was doing bad things. I think Japanese people… should offer objections if there is a misunderstanding of facts overseas.”

    Who are everybody? Are they The aggresion countries? Wait... Japan said they didn't do agresssion in ww2. Then who did he compare to? Victims countries?

  • 0

    chucky3176

    I don't know why Japan keeps raising this issue with constant hurtful comments. We get it, that you don't think Japan did anything wrong, but why keep making comments on these issues, and bringing up WWII, then blaming Koreans for not accepting the "apologies"? Is it because the Japanese politicians are trying to use this to steer Japan towards a more nationalistic stance based on unity? What makes guys like Hashimoto, Abe, and others to keep blurting out offensive comments against bunch of 80 and 90 year old grandmothers who are ready to pass away? Do these guys find these women so dangerous to Japan, that they must bring them down?

    To Mr. Hashimoto, if you don't really mean to apology (and if you're only going to apologize because what you really mean is that you are just sorry that these women suffered in a war that Japan had not started), then just please be quite. No matter what your opinion on this issue, all we ask is that you stop offending these women by opening your mouths, and muttering words you don't mean, then going back and try to make Japan look like the victim by using these women.

  • 2

    Jack Stern

    Hashimoto is such a two faced ass who was probably brought to task by some of his rightist buddies to save his Image so he won't lose his next election.

  • 0

    Upgrayedd

    To Mr. Hashimoto, if you don't really mean to apology (and if you're only going to apologize because what you really mean is that you are just sorry that these women suffered in a war that Japan had not started),

    In his original statement Hashimoto stated quite clearly that Japan started the war and was the aggressor nation in WWII and bore responsibility for that. You read the statement right?

  • -2

    Thunderbird2

    I don't know why Japan keeps raising this issue with constant hurtful comments

    It isn't Japan that is saying the hurtful things - it's scum like Ishihara and Hashimoto. By generalising you are insulting the people of Japan. By all means hurl abuse at the politicians and apologists on the right, but leave the ordinary man and woman on the street out of it.

  • 1

    Thunderbird2

    Oh, and thanks for the negative marks above... I've never had so many ^_^

  • 0

    toshiko

    But Hashimoto, who has been mentioned as a possible future prime minister, insisted sexual exploitation of women was not unique to Japan. “Japan was not the only one doing this,” he said. ...... He shifted the issue ..... “Everybody was doing bad things. I think Japanese people… should offer objections if there is a misunderstanding of facts overseas.”,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Japan was only the country which had this system, There is no country that had this system, ...... Hello, Japanese historians: You guys can straighten out this issue now. Don't let Hashimoto make you guys as idiots.;;;;;;; There is no mainstream evidence that other countries’ modern militaries have employed a formal sex slavery system.

    His new statement will cause more troubles in other countries.

  • 3

    hoserfella

    It isn't Japan that is saying the hurtful things - it's scum like Ishihara and Hashimoto. By generalising you are insulting the people of Japan. By all means hurl abuse at the politicians and apologists on the right, but leave the ordinary man and woman on the street out of it.

    Thunderbird2 - since very few people in Japan outside of a women's group in Okinawa have complained about Hashimoto's remarks, or Ishihara's constant racism, and indeed keep voting them back into office, Japan IS saying these hurtful things. The "ordinary man and woman on the street" is culpable if they don't have the integrity to speak up against these animals.

  • -2

    hidingout

    I don't get the fuss over what Hashimoto said.

    1) He clearly admitted that the Japanese military had participated in the sexual exploitation of women. He stated that he deplored that behavior in principle, and said the Japan bears the responsibility to apologize for that behavior.

    2) He rightly pointed out that its would be incorrect to say that the all the women who ended up in a "comfort station" were forced and raped - or for that matter that they were all forced, coerced, recruited etc by the Japanese military.

    3) He raised the issue of historical context which is a valid point imo. It was a different era. The worst battles/attacks of WW2 saw more people die than have been lost in a decade of the "war" on terror. These days the liberal media will go crazy if a drone strike takes out one wrong house in Afghanistan while in WW2 swaths of cities were just obliterated. Erased ..... and the media cheered it as a great victory. The perspective that we have today is not an appropriate one with which to judge the violence of the era in which the "comfort women" existed.

    In addition, lets not forget that in the 1940s (even in the West) the lot of a woman was pretty much "servant of husband" ... imagine then how far along "women's rights" had progressed in the Asian countries in question here. I place women's rights in quotes because I doubt that the concept had even been considered. I suspect that many many Asian women in the 1940s who never went anywhere near a "comfort station" were still living lives that would today be judged as borderline slavery. Its not making an excuse to recognize that the exploitation of women (sexual or otherwise) was a lot more acceptable in that era.

    I found Hashimoto's comments to be frank and realistic. Way more balanced than the hysterical rants representatives of the governments of ROK and PRC are known to make on this issue.

  • -1

    Thunderbird2

    Thunderbird2 - since very few people in Japan outside of a women's group in Okinawa have complained about Hashimoto's remarks, or Ishihara's constant racism, and indeed keep voting them back into office, Japan IS saying these hurtful things. The "ordinary man and woman on the street" is culpable if they don't have the integrity to speak up against these animals.

    So unless a person actively goes out of their way to condemn something in public you assume they agree with it?

  • 0

    Exjapan

    It's all a publicity stunt to get his name and face on the far front. He knows he will get a reaction and everyone will be talking about it/him. People like drama and commotion, if not, there's nothing interesting to talk about. Some may like to see him in office to see what "slip up" may occur. It's amusing , and yet embarrassing to see.

  • -1

    Upgrayedd

    since very few people in Japan outside of a women's group in Okinawa have complained about Hashimoto's remarks...

    Lets me think of people in Japan who have complained about the content of his remarks over the past day

    1. Members of his own party
    2. The LDP including most of the Cabinet as well as the New Komeito Party
    3. All other opposition parties
    4. The editorial pages of the Japan's (also the world's) most widely circulated newspaper

    If you are going to talk about how the Japanese feel maybe you should pay attention to the country a little better.

  • -3

    chucky3176

    I found Hashimoto's comments to be frank and realistic. Way more balanced than the hysterical rants representatives of the governments of ROK and PRC are known to make on this issue.

    His statements are frank, but realistic, no. Most of the hysteria is coming from Japan with their constant re-issuing of comments about how Japan is a victim of world conspiracy to label Japan as a "rape nation". If you check the Korean media, hardly anything was mentioned on Hashimoto, other then just few disdains. But mostly it's been, oh so what else is new type of responses, with the story buried in the newspapers. I also must admit though, there are some Koreans who are secretly grinning at the way how Japan is making themselves look bad even without any help. Again, why Japanese politicians keeps making remarks on WWII, I have no ideal. If they got nothing good to say, then don't say them. Then you and others have the nerve to complain Koreans are the ones who are hysterical. Christ almighty. The Comfort Women who are demanding justice are 80 and 90 year olds now, they can't be such a danger that Japanese government must bring them down a peg or two.

  • 0

    tkoind2

    Hashimoto is a right wing fool. The same degree of blatant denial of reality and history as the "south will rise again" confederate types in my country. This kind of person is extremely dangerous in a society where history is not discussed openly and honestly and where being a "talento" politician is equal to being an authority figure.

    Thankfully the youth of Japan are too tied to their phones, hair cuts, anime and games to be too likely to join any hard core right wing revivalist movements. But should the economy worsten and things become harder a fool like Hashimoto could start to gain real power. At which time it will be necessary to abandon Japan for safer shores.

    The worry is that it is unpopular to say what Hashimoto said, but there is a lot of support for much of what this character believes in. Some of those showing outrage in this case, would not do so for Hashimoto's main point of view. And that should worry us all.

  • -1

    gas07lisa

    @chucky3176

    Japanese politicians keep making remarks of WW2, just like Korean/ Chinese government keep claiming Japan to acknowledge history correctly, and keep asking for apology and compensation. Korean representative stated in her speech Japan should acknowledge history correctly, when she won the election. It's not like Japan is suddenly making remarks out of nowhere.

  • 0

    presto345

    How do those who voted this fool into public office feel about their choice today, I wonder. If all of them still support him this is a sad state for the nation, showing that millions are not only totally ignorant but also completely out of touch. What is the future of a nation where the biggest cities vote for the biggest idiots?

  • -1

    Matthew Simon

    Both this story and the Jet 731story have made it to CNN now on the front page. Hashimoto is an idiot, if he had not meant it he should not have said it in the first place. He is probably receiving lots of political pressure to apologize now.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/16/opinion/japan-wartime-past-nationalism-kingston/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

  • -3

    chucky3176

    gas07lisa, if you didn't notice, those are mainly reactions from Korean politicians to the stupid statements like Hashimoto's. If Japanese politicians stopped making inflammatory statements like that, there wouldn't be any statements made by a Korean president. But yes, she did make one or two statements asking Japan to be honest, big deal that is.

    Japanese politicians keep making remarks of WW2, just like Korean/ Chinese government keep claiming Japan to acknowledge history correctly, and keep asking for apology and compensation. Korean representative stated in her speech Japan should acknowledge history correctly, when she won the election. It's not like Japan is suddenly making remarks out of nowhere.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    The good news in all of this is that Hashimoto has almost single-handedly brought the sex-slave issue back to the front pages, and this time it's not going to go away any time soon with the way he said it. And BECAUSE of the way he said it, people that probably agree with him, like those in the central government, are going to have to not only back up previous apologies, but make further amends to ease the storm that's brewing. It's also going to have a major impact on Hashimoto's career, though clearly if you look at some posters on here it's gained him a few fans. His moronic comments are a plus-plus for everyone except the deniers and right-wingers, who are always a minus to begin with.

  • -1

    gas07lisa

    @chucky3176

    So are you saying that if Japanese politicians kept silence (even though they have different way of understanding history), Korean/ Chinese government would stop saying that Japan should acknowledge history correctly? I think that's odd. and being asked to apologize/ compensate, how can they not talk about it? If they ignore it, then that would be bigger problem.

    and, yes, stating that in her first speech after election, is a big deal, if you haven't noticed.

  • -5

    nigelboy

    Since the testimonies of those women change every time they open their mouth, he may use that opportunity for his gain.

    True. This is also the same organization that Seoul University professor investigated and found only two out of 40 surviving comfort women were indeed "forced" but by private individuals.

    It use to be that the Japanese public, in general, had sympathies for these Korean women which launched with the establishment of Asian Women Fund (under Ministry of Foreign Affairs( in mid 90's) which raised $6 million from donated funds and another $5 million from the government budget (welfare and medical expenses) but of course, the said organization pressured these ex-comfort women to not take this fund citing some unknown reason that this was "not official" despite half of the money being actually from the government budget itself.

    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%A5%B3%E6%80%A7%E3%81%AE%E3%81%9F%E3%82%81%E3%81%AE%E3%82%A2%E3%82%B8%E3%82%A2%E5%B9%B3%E5%92%8C%E5%9B%BD%E6%B0%91%E5%9F%BA%E9%87%91

    An apology letter from Prime Minister Koizumi in 2001

    http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/area/taisen/letter.html

    Both Abe and Hashimoto are correct in that there are no evidence to support the argument that the government at that time had a policy of forcing these women against their will to become what they are. Even in the rare incident like that of the Dutch women which they cite indicate that the Colonel who discovered this operation, immediately ordered the termination. Despite the complete lack of evidence, the Japanese government still compensated and gave apologies (Former PM Murayama and Koizumi).

  • -1

    Tom Webb

    Toru, now you can campaign to get these comfort women paid. With your huge support base, you should have no trouble in getting the Diet to pass the compensation law.

  • -6

    nigelboy

    Heck, zichi coming out like he did to prove how wrong you are says a lot. You going to deny that too?

    Smith,

    I don't know what you are reading but I see nothing in zichi post that proves anything. He/she is merely repeating the "accusations" much like the said organization without any proof.

  • 0

    KappNets2

    Take a look at the NYTimes article "Japanese Didn't Invent Military," published Feb. 23, 1992 (written by a Japanese-American woman). "A former Navy chaplain who served in Japan during the post-World War II occupation told her that when he protested the American base commander's efforts to set up prostitution centers using Japanese women, he was reassigned stateside." Many Madame Butterflies were abused by Pincartons. (Note: "Madam Butterfly" is an operatic story of a woman who was abused by a visiting U.S. military.)

    Japan's complaint against endless Japan-bashing from Korea, China, and the U.S. for "comfort women" has long persisted; many ordinary people share the complaint bluntly expressed by Hashimoto. Please let Japan forget the cruel history after San Francisco Peace Treaty and Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and Republic of Korea.

  • -5

    kiyoshiMukai

    The human beings always want to be part of something. even as comfort women. and better if you could receive money from it. its been a long time. these women should just keep going in life and stop whining

  • -1

    Tom Thompson

    he had better pay in cash

  • -2

    Upgrayedd

    Toru, now you can campaign to get these comfort women paid. With your huge support base, you should have no trouble in getting the Diet to pass the compensation law.

    Japan paid Korea reparations for everything bad they did to them between 1910 and 1945 in the 1960s and surviving comfort women in Korea are eligible to receive welfare from the government of South Korea in the form of a special lump sum plus monthly support payments.

    Surviving comfort women of the South Korean government are not eligible for this support and are currently lobbying the South Korean government to include them as they are also victims of war.

  • 3

    zichi

    Just a few of the many,

    In 1965, the Japanese government awarded $364 million to the Korean government for all war damages, including the injury done to comfort women.

    In 1994, the Japanese government set up the Asian Women's Fund to distribute additional compensation to South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Indonesia.

    Each survivor was provided with a signed apology from the then prime minister Tomiichi Murayama, stating "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."

    The fund was dissolved on March 31, 2007.

    January 14, 1992, Japanese Chief Government Spokesman Koichi Kato issued an official apology saying "We cannot deny that the former Japanese army played a role" in abducting and detaining the "comfort girls, " and "We would like to express our apologies and contrition".

    On March 27 1993, the Japanese parliament issued an official apology for the comfort women.

    Three Korean women filed suit in Japan in December, 1991. On April 28, 1998, the Japanese court ruled that the Government must compensate the women and awarded them US$2,300 ($3,240 in 2013) each.

    2001: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi "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."

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    Nigelboy: "Smith I don't know what you are reading but I see nothing in zichi post that proves anything. He/she is merely repeating the "accusations" much like the said organization without any proof."

    As opposed to the nettoyu edited wiki pages or blogs you guys call "proof"? Heck, Upgrayyed himself backtracked on an earlier comment where he accidentally admitted there were forced sex slaves. You guys call proof imagination and imagine up truths through right-wing bloggers. You still can't bring yourself to admit you were wrong that Samsung leads in electronics sales (you said it would "never happen"), as if we need proof of the denial.

    Hashimoto has done the world a favor--he has invigorated the drive to have Japan ACTUALLY stone for its past, and Abe will have no choice but to further apologize in order to distance himself from this lunatic and his flock of deniers. It's classic, because only weeks ago Abe was in the same boat, and now he has to suck it up and beg for forgiveness or he loses a LOT of support, domestic and abroad, at a time when Japan needs more protection than ever. So hats off, Hashimoto.

  • -7

    nigelboy

    In 1965, the Japanese government awarded $364 million to the Korean government for all war damages, including the injury done to comfort women.

    Thanks zichi for the summary.

    The normalization agreement you indicated above took over 17 years of negotiation between the Japanese and the Korean counterparts with tens and thousands of recorded minutes of the negotiations. Now, for the life of me, I still cannot understand why the Korean counterparts NEVER mentioned the issue of comfort women in those tens and thousands of documented negotiations. Perhaps you could englighten us for the reasons.

  • -1

    chucky3176

    Leave it to Upgrayedd and Jiji to take civilian deaths during Communist insurgencies during the Korean War, then bloat up the number of deaths (no one really knows how many died and what the circumstances of those deaths - either they were innocent or they were Communist fighters, probably both), then use it to justify Japan's lost memories during WWII. You guys really should read up on those massacres and should have realized that the Korean government already made a massive apology to the innocent victims of the dead and their families, have erected monuments and memorials all over the country, and the history text books in classrooms have been changed to reflect the incidents. There are practically no-one, certainly not government officials who would dare to deny the massacres that happened during the Korean War, without risking their political lives. Can we say the same with Japan's amnesia? The whole point of this is that every country has done bad things in the past, Korea and Japan included. The whole point is not about laying blame on those countries that did those bad things. You guys still don't get it, and probably never will.

  • -1

    chucky3176

    zichi, the 1965 treaty between Korea and Japan did not cover the Comfort Women compensation.

  • 0

    Upgrayedd

    The normalization agreement you indicated above took over 17 years of negotiation between the Japanese and the Korean counterparts with tens and thousands of recorded minutes of the negotiations. Now, for the life of me, I still cannot understand why the Korean counterparts NEVER mentioned the issue of comfort women in those tens and thousands of documented negotiations. Perhaps you could englighten us for the reasons.

    It's quite obvious they didn't bring it up at the time because they were concurrently running their own comfort women system giving it the exact same name the Japanese used (慰安婦).

  • -4

    nigelboy

    zichi, the 1965 treaty between Korea and Japan did not cover the Comfort Women compensation.

    Of course, the anti-Japan crowd never question the logical reasons behind "why" it was not covered by the Korean counterparts.

  • -3

    EastAsiaForeigner

    When one's livelyhood is being threatened.. or in this case Hashimoto losing his paycheck, he cracks under his so called "beliefs".

    I would have respected him if he actually stood his stance. True, that would mean he's a savage beast that justifies rape.

    But now we know him as a savage beast that justifies rape... and he's a tool.

  • 0

    EastAsiaForeigner

    Anyway, comfort women are dying out. A huge majority of them died in the war so they never knew love and companionship. The japanese were thorough in making sure pregnancy was averted through abortion through physical abuse. With whatever women were left after the brutality, a majority of women were left infertile from the constant abortions.

    In the Phillipines, women were raped in front of their families before being killed off. Are you gonna accuse the people of the Phillipines of lying as well?

    How about the dutch women that were raped? Liars as well?

    A sheep like mentality is always a recipe for disaster.

  • 1

    Upgrayedd

    Leave it to Upgrayedd and Jiji to take civilian deaths during Communist insurgencies during the Korean War, then bloat up the number of deaths (no one really knows how many died and what the circumstances of those deaths - either they were innocent or they were Communist fighters, probably both),

    Your argument can be applied to comfort women and it's exactly why I choose the high estimates from their respective wikipedia articles.

    Would you apply your logic to comfort women? After all, no one really knows how many women served as comfort women, or how many of those that did serve were forced or how many volunteered, or many were raped, or how many died in their service or contracted diseases, or whether or not the Japanese military had standing orders to force women into sexual slavery.

    BTW the media and has no problem citing Yoshiaki Yoshimi high estimate of 200,000 comfort women when he actually estimates 50,000-200,000.

  • 0

    Upgrayedd

    zichi, the 1965 treaty between Korea and Japan did not cover the Comfort Women compensation.

    It covered everything that happened in Korea under Japanese colonial rule, 1910-1945. Comfort women compensation would fall into that blanket lump sum.

  • 0

    kiyoshiMukai

    comfort women want pension

  • -1

    kidojapan

    playing fool again.................he should apologize for what he said and not misleading people again for the wrong he has has done.

  • -2

    chucky3176

    Uh.. no it doesn't. But I'm surprised you called it "colonial rule", the rest of your colleagues say it was a "union". Are you aware that you are blaspheming?

    It covered everything that happened in Korea under Japanese colonial rule, 1910-1945. Comfort women compensation would fall into that blanket lump sum.

  • -6

    nigelboy

    He clearly admitted that the Japanese military had participated in the sexual exploitation of women. He stated that he deplored that behavior in principle, and said the Japan bears the responsibility to apologize for that behavior

    Hidingout,

    Your comment in #1 is clearly spelled out by Hashimoto in his press conference as well as subsequent interview in this mornings morning talk show "Tokudane" on Fuji TV. But of course, the media will basically omit the pertinent parts to spin it and this is no exception especially Hashimoto who has in the past went head to head with the media especially Asahi.

    But he knew beforehand that this was going to happen and based on the recent TV program, he welcomes this attention for it will no doubt give him the more of the platform like today's show where there will be no "editing" or "spinning". In this sense, I'm glad that the meeting on the 24th with the ex-comfort women is going to be "public" rather than "private".

  • 0

    Upgrayedd

    @chucky

    Japanese reparations to Korea cover the entire colonial period and South Korea agreed to never again press Japan for further compensation at the govt and/or individual level. South Korea has also failed to distribute the money to Korean victims.

    http://m.upi.com/story/UPI-38131105952315/

  • -1

    globalwatcher

    tkoind2May. 16, 2013 - 10:57PM JST

    Great comment! I sure agree with you.

  • 0

    888naff

    so from Hashimoto's own words:

    "It is a result of the tragedy of the war that they became comfort women against their will. The responsibility for the war also lies with Japan. We have to politely offer kind words to [former] comfort women."

    time to politely act as he says.

    The bbc was one of only a few English language sites I could find that made an attempt to report more of Hashimoto's original speech and add a bit of "context" to it. Most other English language reports just reported the headline comfort women necessary and didn't report the rest of what Hashimoto had to say. I would expect that from news sources/governments/china/SK that are just trying to stir emotions or get web page clicks.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22519384

  • -7

    nigelboy

    In addition, lets not forget that in the 1940s (even in the West) the lot of a woman was pretty much "servant of husband" ... imagine then how far along "women's rights" had progressed in the Asian countries in question here. I place women's rights in quotes because I doubt that the concept had even been considered. I suspect that many many Asian women in the 1940s who never went anywhere near a "comfort station" were still living lives that would today be judged as borderline slavery. Its not making an excuse to recognize that the exploitation of women (sexual or otherwise) was a lot more acceptable in that era.

    Hindingout,

    As to your subsquent paragraph, your point is clearly displayed by the U.S. report on "comfort women" in Burma in regards to how even the West viewed such operations. It's no wonder that the "comfort women" policies were extended by the Korean government themselves during the Korean war for the benefit of U.S. and U.N. soldiers stationed there.

    A "comfort girl" is NOTHING MORE THAN A PROSTITUTE or "professional camp follower" attached to the Japanese Army for the benefit of the soldiers

    http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

    As Hashimoto stated in his interview this morning, the question of debating whether or not such policy is right or wrong in today's terms is irrelevant for it's obviously wrong in today's standards. This is why he qualified his initial Q&A with "at that time" ((当時) But of course, the media ignored this altogether.

  • 1

    NeonFraction

    If I was those women, I would not accept his apology. I know better than to accept an apology that smells of lies and excuses.

  • 0

    Jaymann

    you know.. the media is partially complicit here by referring to the imperial japanese army's sexual slaves as 'comfort women'. One would expect a free press to call it like it is. And why would these past sexual slaves want to meet this moronic demagogue anyway. If they do I hope it is to further their just case for compensation and unreserved apology from the japanese government for past and present slights.

  • 1

    chucky3176

    Upgrayeddy, read the treaty itself, nowhere does it say specifically, "comfort women".

  • 0

    chucky3176

    So says you. I mean it really makes sense that over 80 to 90 year old women are there for the sole reason of making a profit. Yes that makes sense. They must be determined to make money at all costs because they have been standing in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul as a protest, for over 20 years now without missing a single day. Now that they are dropping dead one by one, they want to erect a statue to represent them when the last of them dies. They really must be desperate to make a buck.

  • 0

    chucky3176

    888naff, the BBC misquotes Hashimoto, either because they got the misquoted story from Asahi Shimbun, or because of some deliberate mistranslation by a Japanese who was too embarrassed to let the world know what Hashimoto really said. The misquoted translation was from the Asahi. What Hashimoto said was that he was sorry those women had to go through the war like that (providing sex for soldiers which was necessary to keep the Japanese soldiers happy and in good fighting condition) so Japanese must be kind to them - but he never admitted Japan had forced these women.

    The bbc was one of only a few English language sites I could find that made an attempt to report more of >Hashimoto's original speech and add a bit of "context" to it. Most other English language reports just >reported the headline comfort women necessary and didn't report the rest of what Hashimoto had to say. I >would expect that from news sources/governments/china/SK that are just trying to stir emotions or get web >page clicks.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22519384

  • -9

    nigelboy

    Upgrayeddy, read the treaty itself, nowhere does it say specifically, "comfort women".

    It doesn't have to.

    ....The High Contracting Parties confirm that the problems concerning property, rights, and interests of the two High Contracting Parties and their peoples (including juridical persons) and** the claims between the High Contracting Parties and between their peoples, including those stipulated in Article IV(a) of the Peace Treaty with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, have been settled completely and finally**.....

    The better question yet, which you still avoid, is why the Korean government counterparts for 17 years leading up to this agreement did not mention anything regarding even the "existintence" of comfort women in their tens and thousands of pages of meeting minutes?

  • -3

    melonbarmonster

    Nice for him to "apologize" to women that he thinks are liars and common prostitutes. Nippon ganbare.

  • -9

    nigelboy

    Nigel, Hashimoto also backed that apology, not because he felt that Japan owed them the apology for forcing them as sex slaves, but because he felt sorry that the women had to go through suffering of war. In other words, Japan still refuses to recognize that they forced the women, and the women want an unequivocal recognition from Japan that they were forced sex slaves, not a sympathy trip to divert international criticism off of Japan's back.

    You're not going to get that simply because the evidence or the lack of it indicates that most of these women became comfort women because of economic hardships or forced by private individuals. This, in essence, is the heart of the debate.

    The problem with the orgnization like the ones in Korea today are that they should of stopped being so irrational during 2002 when monies and apologies were made where at that time, the general population within Japan were very sympathetic towards them. Now, there are pretty much fed up with their ongoing memorial building overseas campign, statutes in front of the Japanese Embassy, and the ever changing testimonies of the Korean comfort women.

  • -1

    chucky3176

    You're not going to get that simply because the evidence or the lack of it indicates that most of these >women became comfort women because of economic hardships or forced by private individuals. This, in >essence, is the heart of the debate.

    The problem with the orgnization like the ones in Korea today are that they should of stopped being so >irrational during 2002 when monies and apologies were made where at that time, the general population >within Japan were very sympathetic towards them. Now, there are pretty much fed up with their ongoing >memorial building overseas campign, statutes in front of the Japanese Embassy, and the ever changing >testimonies of the Korean comfort women.

    Yes indeed, that's the crux of the debate isn't it? Japan says these women were volunteers. Korean women says they aren't. Japan says they are sorry that these women suffered through the war, so here's a few dollars, now please go away. Korean women says not good enough, we don't want your worthless sympathy, we just want you to recognize what you did to us and make it official. Japan says no way, you whores are liars. Round and round it goes.

  • -8

    nigelboy

    Japan forced any of these women.

    This is again, the central issue of the matter. When you refer to "Japan", what do you mean? I ask this because "forced" or "coerced" argument has evolved where "Japan" is now referred to "Korean citizens who were Japanese at that time" to "Economic hardships under Japan". If you specifically mean the Imperial Japanese Army, the answer is no based on lack of evidence to support this.

    As to Hashimoto, he refers to "意を反して” on many occasions for it simply means "against her will".

  • -1

    EastAsiaForeigner

    There is no debate. The international community laughs at Japan's stance that comfort women were mere prostitutes. They were forced into sexual slavery. Abe's careless remarks about there being no invasion of Asia is more icing on the cake.

    I would love to see the dutch's opinion on this. In japanese nationalist eyes, everything that doesn't agree with Japan is fake and made up.

    What a joke. P.O.Ws all noted the cruelty of the japanese. Even my grandfather noted that they were using cheap shots. No surprise considering they faked surrender and taped their guns to their shoulders.

    Quite easy to deny when you killed most of them eh? Th fact that claims made by japanese soldiers and comfort women were thrown out the window. I really couldn't care less. The japanese are proud of their short history of having some sort of power. Their current attitude is beyond disgusting. Ironically the aggressor nation at the time, Japan finds that a few decades is enough to lecture their east asian neighbors. Considering who was the invader for most of their history. I smell hypocrisy. It hasn't even been a century and Japan wants its neighbors to get over it? Childish things such as taking back apologies (I used to do this... in kindergarten). Good luck with that Japan. The problem is going to get worse.

    Japan is counting on one thing which is for all the scarred women to die off.

  • -1

    Upgrayedd

    They were forced into sexual slavery.

    What % of women were forced into slavery? Were the Japanese women forced? Did any women volunteer?

  • -7

    nigelboy

    Yes indeed, that's the crux of the debate isn't it? Japan says these women were volunteers. Korean women says they aren't. Japan says they are sorry that these women suffered through the war, so here's a few dollars, now please go away. Korean women says not good enough, we don't want your worthless sympathy, we just want you to recognize what you did to us and make it official. Japan says no way, you whores are liars. Round and round it goes.

    I believe that the interrogation report by the Allieds I linked to pretty much states they were recruited byprivate operators. Whether or not they were "volunteers" or how many they are, we will never know but it's clearly apparent that the system itself did not have IJA recruit them unlike the Korean government recruitment of their comfort women for U.N., U.S., and their own soldiers during the Korean War.

  • -2

    Yubaru

    In 1994, the Japanese government set up the Asian Women's Fund to distribute additional compensation to South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Indonesia.

    The Fund was run by a third party funded by the government without any official government acknowledgement of complicity.

    "It is true that it was not state compensation. Although the Japanese government spent lots of money on this, we were not able to give the impression that the government was taking full responsibility."

    Not a "wiki" link.....lol!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6530197.stm

  • -6

    nigelboy

    The Fund was run by a third party funded by the government without any official government acknowledgement of complicity.

    Under the joint administration of MOFA and the PM's office.

    Not a "wiki" link.....lol!

    No. Looks like there are forces within certain nations that they wanted to continue this to get more money. What the article doesn't mention that the organization in Korea threatened ex-comfort women to not take the funds. Of the 7 that took the funds, they were promptly banned from the said organization. In addition, the NGO group that specifically brought these funds to the Korean organization lobbied the Korean government for their permant ban to enter to Korea.

  • 0

    hoserfella

    So unless a person actively goes out of their way to condemn something in public you assume they agree with it?

    If it was said by one of their elected officials, absolutely.

  • 4

    zichi

    Sexual slavery was only one of the numerous war crimes committed by Japan during WWII, there were also mass killings, human experimentation, biological and chemical weapons, torture and execution of POW's, cannibalism, forced labor, looting, mass rape, genocide......

  • 0

    Upgrayedd

    Just saw on the news Hashimoto is officially going to meet with a group of former comfort women on the 24th.

  • 2

    hoserfella

    Lets me think of people in Japan who have complained about the content of his remarks over the past day 1.Members of his own party 2.The LDP including most of the Cabinet as well as the New Komeito Party 3.All other opposition parties 4.The editorial pages of the Japan's (also the world's) most widely circulated newspaper

    If you are going to talk about how the Japanese feel maybe you should pay attention to the country a little better.

    upgrayed - mealy-mouthed statements like "this could cause a regrettable misunderstanding" are not rebukes. Not one elected official or government spokesperson has had the guts to properly set hashimoto straight.

  • -6

    CH3CHO

    zichi, I hope you read this interrogation report made by the US Army in 1944, for a document made at that time reflects more truth than news paper today. http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

    They lived in near-luxury in Burma in comparison to other places. This was especially true of their second year in Burma. They lived well because their food and material was not heavily rationed and they had plenty of money with which to purchase desired articles. They were able to buy cloth, shoes, cigarettes, and cosmetics to supplement the many gifts given to them by soldiers who had received "comfort bags" from home.

    The girls were allowed the prerogative of refusing a customer. This was often done if the person were too drunk.

    Do you call them sex slaves or prostitutes?

  • 6

    zichi

    CH3CHO Your linked report is about 20 Korean comfort women out of more than 200,000 and from other investigations they didn't all have the same treatment. If women were forced into sex, and by the war, a large number were, so I would call them sex slaves. Women who volunteered would be prositutes.

  • 5

    zichi

    @CH3CHO

    While prostitution around military encampments has existed throughout history, imperial Japan's institutionalization of military brothels was notable for its enormous scale and cold, efficient brutality. Digging into defense archives, Chuo University scholar Yoshiaki Yoshimi unearthed irrefutable evidence of how the imperial and military authorities procured women much like rations or rifles, often recruited with advertisements for factory workers or other conventional jobs. While experienced prostitutes from Japan were initially sought, overwhelming demand soon led to "sourcing" locally in occupied areas including Korea, China, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Testimony from the victims and former Japanese soldiers paints a grim picture of females tricked or coerced even as minors into a life of indescribable misery. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130516-comfort-women-japan-world-war-ii-sex-workers-history/

    Yoshiaki Yoshimi, stands by his claims that the Imperialist military used sex slaves. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/31/world/asia/31yoshimi.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  • -7

    CH3CHO

    zichi, what are "other investigations"? I heard the Burma report is about the only surviving report on comfort women made by the US Army.

    I believe a document written when the event took place more than a "testimony" 40 years after the event.

    What NYT claims Prof Yoshimi uncovered is an army order that no coercion should be allowed when recruiting comfort women. That is an evidence, by your definition, that comfort women were volunteer prostitutes and not sex slaves.

    You say the number is 200,000. But I doubt the validity of it. You can read the rationale for the number estimation, here. http://www.awf.or.jp/e1/facts-07.html

    This is how they get 200,000. There were 3 mil Japanese soldiers during ww2. ASSUMING there were one comfort women for every 30 soldiers, ASSUMING that the comfort women were replaced once, the estimated number of comfort women is

    3,000,000 / 30 *2=200,000.

    The ratio of a comfort woman to soldiers or the replacement multiplier is just guessing. If there had been 100,000 comfort women at any time and each had had 30 customers every day, the entire 3,000,000 soldiers could have had fun every day.

  • 5

    zichi

    @CH3CHO

    I believe a document written when the event took place more than a "testimony" 40 years after the event.

    Except the documents found by Yoshimi were from the 1930's.

    When the imperial military first started using brothels in 1932, the women were Japanese women volunteers but by the outbreak of the Pacific War there were too many troops to service and not enough Japanese women, so they started to use sex slaves to boost the numbers.

    You continue with your shameful comments to try and defend this war crime.

  • -5

    CH3CHO

    zichi, most of your comments are correct but some of the important parts are wrong.

    so they started to use sex slaves to boost the numbers.

    How can you jump to this? Do you have any supporting matterial?

    documents found by Yoshimi were from the 1930's.

    Yes. But the document is an army order that no coercion should be allowed when recruiting comfort women.

  • 5

    zichi

    @CH3CHO,

    if as you seem to be claiming, the women in the military brothels were all well treated, well paid legal prostitutes, why did so many die in service.

    If they were all legal prostitutes, why did PM Tomiichi Murayama issue every sex slave survivor with a signed apology? Why did he set up the Asian Women's Fund?

    Why have other PM's and Cabinet Ministers also given apologies for the sex slaves?

    Why were tens of thousands of sex slaves forced to have abortions? Was it because they didn't want thousands of child with legal Japanese fathers? How many died from those abortions?

    If the women were legal prostitutes why did the Japanese gov't issue an apology in 1993, one year after Yoshiaki Yoshimi presented them with the documents he discovered? In just two days, he found a rare trove that uncovered the military’s direct role in managing the brothels, including documents that carried the personal seals of high-ranking Imperial Army officers.

    You question the number of 200,000 sex slaves. How many women would have it taken to service the Imperial Military from 1932 to 1945, 13 years?

    At the beginning of World War II, the Japanese army brought Japanese prostitutes with them, but many of them were suffering from venereal diseases and infected the Japanese soldiers. So Japanese brokers recruited Korean village girls, seventeen to twenty years old, from poor families. Toward the end of the war, the supply of women was enlarged by more indiscriminate kidnapping of women aged fourteen to thirty, including married women. Under the enforcement of the Military Compulsory Draft Act in 1943, more women were taken by the Japanese Imperial Army; by then the number had reached approximately 200,000, among whom 70,000 to 80,000 were sent as comfort women to the front lines in Asia. http://www.colorado.edu/peacestudies/area-studies/asia/bcas/sample/comfdoc.htm

  • 4

    smithinjapan

    CH3CHO: How about this?

    "On 12 May 2007 journalist Taichiro Kajimura announced the discovery of 30 Dutch government documents submitted to the Tokyo tribunal as evidence of a forced mass prostitution incident in 1944 in Magelang."

    You DO see the word 'forced' in there, don't you?

    "Approximately three quarters of comfort women died, and most survivors were left infertile due to sexual trauma or sexually transmitted disease.[40] According to Japanese soldier Yasuji Kaneko. "The women cried out, but it didn't matter to us whether the women lived or died. We were the emperor's soldiers. Whether in military brothels or in the villages, we raped without reluctance."

    Ahem... that's a former Imperial soldier admitting this, my friend.

    "Ten Dutch women were taken by force from prison camps in Java by officers of the Japanese Imperial Army to become forced sex slaves in February 1944. They were systematically beaten and raped day and night in a so-called "Comfort Station".[9][42] As a victim of the incident, in 1990, Jan Ruff-O'Herne testified to a U.S. House of Representatives committee:"

    Hmmm... not quite the legal prostitution in the Netherlands you deflect to.

    "Nelson also quotes from Kentaro Igusa, a Japanese naval surgeon who was stationed in Rabaul. Igusa wrote in his memoirs that the women continued to work through infection and severe discomfort, though they “cried and begged for help.”"

    Anyway, there's plenty more where that came from, but my guess is you just won't choose to see it, as is the case with Hashimoto, whose comments you and nigelboy and others defend without justification except not wanting to admit you are all wrong.

  • -2

    CH3CHO

    zichi

    If they were all legal prostitutes, why did PM Tomiichi Murayama issue every sex slave survivor with a signed apology? Why did he set up the Asian Women's Fund?

    Because prostitution, even if legal, is morally bad from present perspective.

    Yoshiaki Yoshimi presented them with the documents he discovered?

    zichi, you should read the document Yoshimi found. http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%BB%8D%E6%85%B0%E5%AE%89%E6%89%80%E5%BE%93%E6%A5%AD%E5%A9%A6%E7%AD%89%E5%8B%9F%E9%9B%86%E3%81%AB%E9%96%A2%E3%81%99%E3%82%8B%E4%BB%B6 It shows army involvement in licensing brothels, but clearly prohibits use of coercion or deception in recruiting comfort women.

    You quote from "Militarism, Colonialism, and the Trafficking of Women" by Watanabe Kazuko. The foot note 13 of essay show the part you quoted comes from "Many books on Korean comfort women are available in Japanese. My report is based on Suzuki's three books (see n. 1) as well as her speeches". Then the footnote 1 says,

    Jugun Ianfu Mondai Uriyosong Nettowaku (Military Comfort Women Issue Uriyosong Network), ed., Kono han o toku (To liberate this bitterness) (Tokyo, Jugun Ianfu Mondai Uriyosong Nettowaku, 1992); and Kaiho Shuppansha, ed., Kim Hak-soon-san no shogen (The testimony of Kim Hak-soon) (Tokyo: Kaiho Shuppansha, 1993). See the end of this article for a list of the names and addresses of twenty-three of the many organizations (thirteen mentioned in this article) that have dealt or are now dealing with comfort women and related issues.

    The sources were not published by publishers but by private groups supporting former comfort women. Quoting several times will not create credibility.

  • -2

    CH3CHO

    smithinjapan, I have already written about it, haven't I? Why not read comments before you write? As they say "look before you leap."

    CH3CHOMay. 16, 2013 - 05:44PM JST

    smithinjapan

    And yet I see no mention of Hashimoto willing to offer an apology for his remarks.

    So, you have not read the article.

    how about the Dutch women who were forced into sexual slavery in Indonesia?

    I know. What you may not know is that Japanese MP found said illegal brothel and stopped the operation well before the end of the war. You cannot generalize the situation based on the illegal operation.

  • -2

    CH3CHO

    zichi

    Under the enforcement of the Military Compulsory Draft Act in 1943, more women were taken by the Japanese Imperial Army; by then the number had reached approximately 200,000, among whom 70,000 to 80,000 were sent as comfort women to the front lines in Asia.

    Just to add, the 1943 law mentioned in the quote, which is usually translated National Mobilization Act, has nothing to do with comfort women. The people drafted by the act were sent to military factories and mines for work. The record of each drafted person is kept in both Korea and Japan. Everyone is accounted for and none was used as a comfort women.

  • 0

    zichi

    CH3CHO

    If they were all legal prostitutes, why did PM Tomiichi Murayama issue every sex slave survivor with a signed apology? Why did he set up the Asian Women's Fund?

    Because prostitution, even if legal, is morally bad from present perspective.

    That's not what PM Murayama stated at the time, he said "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."

    so according to you the women were well treated but according to PM Murayama he apologised for

    **immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women. **

    It shows army involvement in licensing brothels, but clearly prohibits use of coercion or deception in recruiting comfort women.

    Again, why did the Japanese gov't apologise for the comfort women which came about because of the documents discovered by Yoshimi.

    The Imperial Military weren't one for following any kind of rules and broken just about every convention under the sun.

    You have failed to explain why PM's of Japan have apologised for the comfort women/sex slaves, not because it wouldn't be acceptable today, but because it was even acceptable in 1932-1945.

  • -1

    CH3CHO

    zichi, I do not understand why you do not understand.

    "Comfort woman" is a translation of Japanese word "ianfu", which means a prostitute. Any prostitute "underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds." This is true if she was willing or unwilling. That is why the prime minister of Japan apologized and keeps apologizing them. If you do not understand this logic, talk with your wife or girl friend.

  • 0

    zichi

    CH3CHO

    "Comfort woman" is a translation of Japanese word "ianfu", which means a prostitute. Any prostitute "underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds." This is true if she was willing or unwilling. That is why the prime minister of Japan apologized and keeps apologizing them. If you do not understand this logic, talk with your wife or girl friend.

    except according to you the prostitutes were well treated.

  • 0

    zichi

    @CH3CHO,

    if as you seem to be claiming, the women in the military brothels were all well treated, well paid legal prostitutes, first Japanese women and then women from a number of non Japanese countries and non Japanese nationals, and according to you all agreed to work in the military brothels, I think when they eventually returned home they would have faced prosecution and even death for helping the enemy. This happened in France when the war ended all those who had collaborated with the Nazi enemy.

  • -1

    CH3CHO

    if as you seem to be claiming, the women in the military brothels were all well treated,

    No. My point is that they were not "drafted", that in Korea they were not "abducted" by Japanese soldiers, and that the number of comfort women is most likely much less than 200,000.

    they would have faced prosecution and even death for helping the enemy.

    Korea was Japanese ally during WW2. They were not helping their enemy. Actually, I did not realize your point till now. That is a good reason that former comfort women tell they were forced, rather than willing.

  • 0

    zichi

    CH3CHO

    Korea was Japanese ally during WW2. They were not helping their enemy. Actually, I did not realize your point till now. That is a good reason that former comfort women tell they were forced, rather than willing.

    And the women who came from other countries other than Japan and Korea, like Indonesia, Burma, India, China, Malaysia?

  • -2

    CH3CHO

    zichi, in a town occupied by and surrendered to an enemy army, do you think selling goods or giving ordinary service to enemy soldiers an act of treason?

    There were a lot of rapes committed by Japanese soldiers in the occupied zone. That is for sure. But ianfu or comfort women were different issue. They were controled under brothel owners who were licensed by army commanders. Soldiers must pay for the intercourse. Injuring the girls was prohibited, for they were important for brothel owners. There were always bad guys. But I do not think there is anything to support that the government had the policy to kinap girls for prostitution.

  • 1

    DP812

    You clearly miss the point here. Germans had an identical system during WWII and they used Polish, Ukrainian and Russian women. South Korea was securing a similar brothels for US Army until 1990. Not to mention Vietnam where it even became a subject which you could see in almost every film about that war. So more or less each war saw prostitutes doing 'favors' for soldiers.

    Moral equivalency is not an excuse.

    Forced sex is called rape. Japan had fair share of rapes during WW2. I feel sorry for that just as you feel sorry for your share. But we are talking about "comfort women", aren't we? "Comfort women" was a system of paid sex or prostitution run mostly by brothel owners licensed by the army. Prostitution is different from rapes.

    Ever hear of human trafficking? To believe that all prostitution is a willful choice shows either extreme naivety or willful ignorance. Yes, there were and still are women who choose to be prostitutes (mostly out of desperation), but there are also ones who forced into prostitution against their will. This is called human trafficking. It was a problem for Japan back then and it's a problem that still exists today.

  • -1

    CH3CHO

    DP812, talking of trafficing, this was the international rule back then, made by Europeans and Americans.

    International Convention for the Suppression of the "White Slave Traffic,"

    FINAL PROTOCOL

    D. The case of detention, against her will, of a woman or girl in a brothel could not, in spite of its gravity, be dealt with in the present Convention, seeing that it is governed exclusively by internal legislation.

    http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/whiteslavetraffic1910.html

  • 0

    zichi

    Professor Hiroshi Hayashi, historian at Kanto Gakuin University, describes the “comfort women” issue as a thorn in Japan. “The fact that the Imperial Army used innocent women to provide sex for its soldiers represents one of the hardest aspects of war crime and remains a difficult to face in Japan. The typical attitude is to ignore the dark side of Japan’s colonial period which nationalists want to maintain as a war that Japan fought for Asia,” http://www.visionews.net/japan-the-uncomfortable-comfort-women-issue/

  • 1

    zichi

    I have been reading, Japan's Comfort Women: Sexual Slavery and Prostitution During World War II ...By Toshiyuki Tanaka

  • 1

    DP812

    CH3CHO, you're trying to distract from the issue.

    Here is what you said:

    Forced sex is called rape. Japan had fair share of rapes during WW2. I feel sorry for that just as you feel sorry for your share. But we are talking about "comfort women", aren't we? "Comfort women" was a system of paid sex or prostitution run mostly by brothel owners licensed by the army. Prostitution is different from rapes.

    Human trafficking, since you are obviously clueless on its meaning, is the use of forcibly conscripting people into slavery. These days, it is primarily sexual slavery, for them to be used in prostitution.

    If you truly believe that the sex trade in Japan, either in the past or in the present, doesn't rely on slavery for its workers, then you are either ludicrously naive or disgustingly and willfully ignorant.

  • 0

    SunnysideUp

    Can't wait to see what garbage comes out of the clown's mouth when he meets with the rape victims.

  • -3

    CH3CHO

    DP812

    Human trafficking, since you are obviously clueless on its meaning, is the use of forcibly conscripting people into slavery.

    We are talking about events that took place in 1940's. Do you know the legal definition back then? I gave you the link to the international treaty which was in effect then. And if you define the word as "focibly conscripting people into slavery" then comfort women were not traffickered, since they were not "conscripted". I think you have read the US army report in 1944. http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html Are there any mention that they were "conscripted"? If you search the internet, you can find the "standard comfort woman contract" between brothel owners and comfort women. A large sum of money is usually advanced when contracting. Do you understand that they were contracted?

  • -4

    ultradarkmelvin

    Zichi.

    were forcibly drafted into brothels is sexual slavery, which other countries didn't do.

    Not true,actually.

    During the Vietnam War the US established official brothels where dozens of Vietnamese women lived and worked under the strict control of their ‘managers’. Many had been sold by impoverished families and high level US officers regulated the facilities. By the war’s end military demand had left the country with 300,000 to 500,000 prostitutes.

    Thailand was ‘settled’ by the US military, driving the number of prostitutes from 20,000 to 400,000 between 1957 and 1964. Similar problems plagued the Philippines, where US troops have exploited women since the 19th century under a system of “strict surveillance… restriction, inspection, control and punishment. As recently as the 1990s, base-towns such as Olongappo could house up to 30,000 prostitutes apiece, some as young as 14.

  • -4

    ultradarkmelvin

    In recent years understanding of the issue has been broadened by Asian scholars who have moved beyond the version that was dominant in the early 1990s. In the West however, perceptions remain as they were twenty years ago, repeating as fact elements that have been brought into question or utterly disproven. This inaccurate portrayal by Western media and governments has compromised resolution of the issue in Asia and failed to acknowledge widespread use of equivalent systems of prostitution by both South Korea and the USA. The reason Japan was so specifically targeted lies in a timely convergence of feminism, Korean nationalism and latent anti-Japanese racism. Acting to exaggerate the cruelty of Japan’s system while ignoring those of other nations, these factors prevented Japan and South Korea from developing a new perspective on the issue that would allow stronger ties between the two and refocus the campaign to end exploitation of Asian women.

    http://www.japanesestudies.org.uk/ejcjs/vol12/iss3/gray.html

  • -1

    sushilover

    when he bows, kick him in the teeth!

  • -1

    Thomas Anderson

    Denying that comfort women didn't exist, or they weren't "that bad", is like saying the Holocaust didn't exist, or it wasn't "that bad". Is Japan the country of Neo-Nazis?

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