U.S. lawmakers warn Abe not to revise apology on 'comfort women'

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

  • 3

    GW

    OK now lets see if abe behaves or not, we all know he doesnt want to but will he that is the question

  • 4

    Yubaru

    Glad to see that people who have the clout to make Abe's life very difficult took a stance publicly.

    Now the ball is in Abe's court.

  • 9

    Steve Christian

    In the 1993 statement, Japan offered “sincere apologies” for the “immeasurable pain and suffering” inflicted on comfort women. Two years later, Japan issued a broader apology expressing “deep remorse” for war suffering.

    I think it is rather misleading to describe an apology by the PM as "Japan apologized". Its only accurate to state that Japan apologized if the apology was officialized by the Diet. The Diet has never and will never do that, and what do you get if a current PM disagrees with a past one?

    So no, Japan did not apologize. In fact, Japan as a country is still denying it ever happened. In fact, that is the real problem. Its not that Japan has not or even should apologize, since today's Japan and Japanese are not responsible. The problem is that they won't fess up to the truth of the history and their textbooks are lies of omission.

    The government has put the quest for national pride ahead of the truth. And its sickening.

  • 4

    Jimizo

    Abe has already described this possible revision as a 'domestic' issue - in other words, get your nose out of our business. I'm not sure if this issue will be raised by Obama directly but I think I remember Hilary Clinton commenting on it in the past. My guess is no, and we can expect some vague and slippery nonsense in the not too distant future regarding sex slaves. I hope I'm wrong.

  • 5

    BertieWooster

    Abe is on VERY shaky ground, trying to rewrite the history books, bankrupt Japan and suck up to his American masters and keep some kind of popularity in Japan all at the same time.

    How long before his tummy gives out?

    Three months?

    Six?

    I don't think he'll be around for long.

  • 7

    Disillusioned

    My favorite comment to date is that these women were not forced at all. They all volunteered to become sex slaves for the imperial army. Japanese culture prides itself on honesty and honor, yet they will not openly admit to this or to the massacre in China. Just a typical reflection of the patronizing and shallow facade we know as Japanese culture.

  • 4

    smithinjapan

    Anyway, Abe is going to avoid this topic like the plague, even more than he'll try for the issue of the TPP not to be brought up. Japan needs the US to be almost completely mollified in order to keep up tensions with China as they are. IF the issue is brought up Abe will simply try to fob it off as a domestic matter, without stating his opinion or what he plans to do, then when he comes back home he'll put the 'revision' pedal to the floor to ensure right-wing support continues back home. It'll probably become more of a priority than ever, given that 'Abenomics' is starting to show signs of the inevitable weaknesses it espouses, that there are rifts in the party of the BOJ chairperson, that his big plan to give medium-wage earners a boost in pay was shot down by Japan inc., etc. This is just the kind of nationalistic garbage that'll take the people's minds off of what matters.

  • 4

    smithinjapan

    "What matters immediately (about the economy)" I meant to say. The apology will still be there tomorrow, if Abe doesn't have his way. The economy might not.

  • -2

    aidenrock

    I think The 1993 apology is passionately opposed by some conservatives who contend that Japan did not directly coerce the women. http://dynamicmounting.com/products/dno/downandoutmount.html

  • 1

    tmarie

    The puppy has FINALLY gotten smacked with the rolled up newspaper. Now does he listen and abide or does he ignore and continue. I don't think Abe is smart enough to realise what a corner he's backed himself into!

  • 3

    cramp

    we need more people like mr. Honda

  • -9

    CrisGerSan

    Uh, these are only two mere representatives ..minor government elected officials, the same as a town councilman in Japan, hardly any sort of "official" US governmental statement. As it is copyright AFP as a source i hardly think it is worthy of being an official article for this service. Please distinguish between facts and opinion pieces with a byline of some sort. On first glance this appears to be some sort of important statement. It is just two personal opinions. I trust Abe will do what he feels is appropriate. No one regrets sad events of the past more, but it is hardly time for looking so far backwards. Time to live in the present.

  • -2

    bass4funk

    @bertie

    suck up to his American masters and keep some kind of popularity in Japan all at the same time.

    "American Masters?" Funny, I always thought Japan did what it wants and couldn't care less what the rest of the world thinks about it.

  • 4

    humanrights

    How can one man have so much power to re-write what another Prime Minister has written? In such dangerous times in JP, why would anyone want to deny facts of history at the peril of the people? Why is it SO important to provoke your closest ally, once again?? Sounds like something Hitler would do.

  • -1

    tmarie

    No one regrets sad events of the past more, but it is hardly time for looking so far backwards. Time to live in the present.

    No one regrets more? I certainly hope you're not referring to Abe because we all know this is not the case.

  • 10

    YankeeX

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", Just quoting!

  • 1

    Kabukilover

    Hey Abe, this is your master's voice speaking. Better watch your rear or we Americans will kick it.

  • 0

    herefornow

    I know reconciliation through government actions, to admit error, are the only ones likely to be long lasting,” he said

    Hear, hear. Abe needs to can all this talk about a "future oriented" statement on the atrocities. He is embarrassing himself and what can and should be a great country universally respected in the world. .

  • 1

    annemarie08

    Abe should be mending his ways because it is the right thing to do, not just because America is making him. As this is really a world issue and not a domestic issue as Japan claims (it happened generally during a world war - this includes the Sino-Japanese war which had started before that and which most people say influenced world war II - and involved women from various countries outside Japan), America are right in this case to get involved and I hope they stand firm on this issue. Japan can`t just expect support from America on certain issues but ignore it when it feels like it (well it seems it can but...).

    @CrisGerSan - what is the definition of lawmaker in your opinion? As for this guy Honda, I think it is great what he is doing, serving as a representative to show Abe the other side of the World War II coin for Japanese people, and how governments can make reparations. A real apology comes with an effort to compensate the victims who will then be able to move on. Its very easy to say youexpress remorse`. They are just words. Actions speak louder than words.

    These morons who say that the women were not coerced are clearly misogynists who think the same of all women. I wonder if they have daughters (or even sons).

  • -4

    waltery

    The past is the past for countys. first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Lets move on.

  • 3

    BertieWooster

    Nearly half of Abe's cabinet are members of the Nippon no zento to rekishi kyokasho wo kangaeru giin no kai - the Diet Member Group for Considering Japan's Future and History Textbooks.

    These are revisionist Diet members who want to cut out the "masochistic history" (critical engagement with Japanese war crimes) from school textbooks and cultivate "patriotic values" in schools. This means removing all reference to the Nanking Massacre, comfort women and other issues.

    The complete article is well worth reading:

    http://www.japanfocus.org/events/view/170

  • 2

    msmahumane@gmail.com

    Poor Abe is just trying to save face and the name of his family because to admit and apologise for the comfort women and Nanjing massacre crimes commited by the imperial army would be tantamount to condemning his own grandfather who was a cabinet member when these crimes were commited.

  • 2

    Ruud Thea Bisenberger

    Well lets see what happens in March. The United Nations, A/HRC/WG.6/14/L.12, condemns Japan's war time record on human rights, in particular the enforced sexual slavery and other atrocities committed by the Japanese military.Japan has to come forward in March to redress these moral issues.I totally agree with @crisgersan. Women are always the victims. Even today when a women is raped. My mother and I were in Japanese concentration camps. My mother and her sister were raped by the Japanese military and beaten in front of my eyes,while in Moentilan the former Dutch Indies.They lived with these nightmares the rest of their lives.They are not with us anymore, but we the children are still troubled about what happened that time. The traumas caused by the Japanese military will continue to trouble us severely.Generations of Japanese are misled regarding their recent history, particular on the Pacific War.Proof of the fact for the enforced sexual slavery of Dutch women you will find in the verdict by the Batavia Military Tribunal passing sentence on Japanese military in the so called Semarang Coerced Prostitution case. The sentences were severe and included the death penalty, executed on 27 November 1948, and long time prison sentences" for committing war crimes including the movement of girls and women from concentration camps into enforced prostitution, enforcing prostitution and continued rape".The Dutch parliament demanding a sincere apology and redress for the enforced sexual slavery of Dutch women.

  • -1

    Vast Right-Wing Conspirator

    Apology made. + Compensation paid. +

    War criminals exectued.

    Issue put to rest.

  • -2

    Thunderbird2

    You know, in another hundred years this will still be rumbling along... it's like a puss-filled wound which will never heal.

  • -1

    Burappi

    There was a very interesting article about this subject in the Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies recently. Worth checking out for anyone interested in the subject:

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

  • 2

    gelendestrasse

    Well, Abe could surprise everybody by revising the apology to make it stronger. It might be worth it to give in to the demands of the comfort women because 1) it gives Japan the moral high ground 2) it's probably the right thing to do 3) it's really not going to hurt Japan.

    Now, it might give the guys with the black vans indegestion but that's a small price to pay for being able to look NK and China in the eye and say "we've done the best we could for having made a mess. What about you?"

  • -2

    Owain T. Yamanaka

    It's sad what happened to these women, I don't want to use the excuse that this is what happens in war, but the fact of the reality is, is that it does because morals are thrown out the door because the soldiers feel it's a free for all to do anything they want to their enemies. My question to the victims in this, is what do you want as compensation or an apology? Japan has come out to say they've deeply regretted what happened in the war. So is this not enough? Perhaps you're wishing to be taken care of financially for the rest of your life? Well, sorry to say it ain't happening. It's basically time to move on and stop wasting your life protesting for a government to change something that cannot be changed. No one can take back the trauma that the victims went through, but the victims also have to move on with their lives too.

  • -4

    bokuwamo

    "Lets go back into all of the countries history and pick events that were inhumane. England's controlling of India, Hong Kong and other countries before it pulled out of these countries. Russia's inhumane treatments before, during and after WWII. How world's and individuals lives were changed when England, Russia and the USA divided everything up after the war. How Germany was able to divide into east and west, separating entire families and people put into, more or less slave labor. Let's look at all the evil things England did while governing all the foreign countries under it's world domination of British rule. In fact lets go back to, where? Jews being treated badly by Romans? England is not without it's dark side of history, but it seems some here, they are forgetting or not remembering. When making statements about America's involvement with Japan and other foreign countries. Wars are a terrible thing and many terrible things happen. What countries are without sins that have been in a war? Ultimately, people will believe what they want to and today there are people who think that the holocaust in Germany never happened. What happened, happened. Like many things in history some are recorded to the likening of most and other things not. You can keep going on and on about this and it does not serve any real purpose, but to keep alive hate."

  • 2

    sfjp330

    Japan should've done more to help these women. Most comfort women were Korean. Most were left with nothing; literally nothing. Beyond being impoverished, many were unable to bear children after their enslavement due to the amount of unprotected and aggressive sex they were forced to endure. Between venereal disease, interrupted pregnancies without proper medical supervision and rape, they were unable to bear children, and therefore many were never able to integrate into post war society. The average comfort women wound up on welfare, leading a life of poverty and alienation. Of course, not all of the women ended up in such an extreme and saddening plight. Some were married, and were able to find financial security. Most, though, were left behind in the lower classes, especially as they aged. If Korean goverment is so concerned with the issue of comfort women, they need to disclose what happened to the $500 million that Japan gave in 1965.

  • 2

    sfjp330

    After the WWII, the Tokyo war crimes trials did not punish any Japanese leaders for the abuse of comfort women, even though U.S. military intelligence units had gathered incrimminating information on it as revealed in documents kept at the National Archives in the U.S. The Tokyo tribunal's lack of concern for the human rights violations of "comfort girls" reflected not only the pervasive racism of Western nations toward non-white people. The military culture no doubt contributed. There is no comparison from today to situation of comfort wormen under Japanese rule in WWII. Approximately 3 out of 4 of Korean and Chinese comfort women died in WWII, and most survivors were left infertile due to sexual trauma or sexually-transmitted disease.

  • -1

    nigelboy

    After the WWII, the Tokyo war crimes trials did not punish any Japanese leaders for the abuse of comfort women, even though U.S. military intelligence units had gathered incrimminating information on it as revealed in documents kept at the National Archives in the U.S.

    Like what? The military reports by U.S. intelligence have described these operations as" "comfort girl" is **nothing more **than a prostitute or "professional camp follower" attached to the Japanese Army for the benefit of the soldiers"-UNITED STATES OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION Psychological Warfare Team.

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

    SEATIC,ATIS, and US War Information Office above gave reports on this system but found nothing that of criminal nature. This is well documented in the archives collected by AWF.

    http://www.awf.or.jp/pdf/0051_5.pdf

    Approximately 3 out of 4 of Korean and Chinese comfort women died in WWII, and most survivors were left infertile due to sexual trauma or sexually-transmitted disease

    I don't know how you get those numbers when nobody really knows (historians still debating) how many women were under the comfort women system.

  • 2

    sfjp330

    Japan's view of the comfort women is nothing more than a right-wing revisionist society, that uses false look of truth, inflammatory arguments to further their agenda, akin to Holocaust deniers. This is well-known among historians, politicians and academics alike. Have any of you ever spoken with a former sex slave, "comfort girl" or woman who was raped in war? The J-goverment's lack of empathy for these women is denial, like everything else, but predictable. Perhaps it is simply too difficult for Japan to face the harsh realities of an brutal atrocity in which Japan participated.

    Japan will say: "We apologize for what we did, but we will never admit false accusation." Maybe Japan won't, but I have a feeling one day soon, the Japanese government will apologize. If Japan prefer to live in denial of the sufferings endured by the Korean and Chinese women at the hands of Japanese soldiers, I suppose that is their prerogative.

Login to leave a comment

OR
  • TOEICインストラクター

    TOEICインストラクター
    Berkeley House Language Center / バークレーハウス語学センター、東京都
    給与:時給 3,000円 相談可
  • TOEFL・IELTSインストラクター

    TOEFL・IELTSインストラクター
    Berkeley House Language Center / バークレーハウス語学センター、東京都
    給与:時給 3,500円 相談可
  • 海外留学担当者

    海外留学担当者
    Berkeley House Language Center / バークレーハウス語学センター、東京都
    給与:月給 25万円 ~ 35万円 相談可
  • 営業/建設機械  

    営業/建設機械  
    MB Japan 株式会社、埼玉県
    給与:給与要相談 歩合制 給与参考例・・・2013年度営業職月給平均 45万円  
  • PR and Communication Specialist

    PR and Communication Specialist
    Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan、東京都
    給与:給与についての記載なし

More in Politics

View all

View all