Showing posts from 2007

Ministry does about-face on textbooks regarding Okinawa

The Yomiuri reported:
The Education, Science and Technology Ministry approved Wednesday the reintroduction of wording in high school history textbooks referring to the role played by the Japanese military in the 1945 mass suicides in the Battle of Okinawa after the books' publishers filed correction applications.

The approval of corrections to textbooks that had already been approved is unprecedented.

While the Textbook Authorization Council, an advisory panel to the education, science and technology minister, recommended the corrections be approved, it also came to the conclusion that there were no direct orders from the military to carry out the mass suicides, and it therefore refused to allow the reinsertion of wording such as "coercion by the military" that the council had objected to before the books were authorized. This marked the first time the council expressed this view of what it believes happened.

According to this opinion, "From the viewpoint of residents, …

Mass suicide in Okinawa

Two years ago, a novelist Kenzaburo Oe, Nobel Laureate, was sued by ex-Army officials that he falsely accused them as they ordered mass suicide that had resulted 600 people killed themselves in Okinawa at the end of WW2 in his book Okinawa Note.

It turned out in the court that Oe never visited the island in which he alleged the Army killed hundreds of people. He learned it from a book written by journalists who indirectly heard the story. Ayako Sono, a novelist, visited the island and found that many people testified that lieutenant Akamatsu, who Oe called "a slaughter", never ordered suicide.

Probably affected by the suit, the government demanded to delete the description about "Army order" from school textbooks to their authors. Tens of thousands of Okinawa people protested the revision and organized demonstrations against it. As a result, the government admitted the authors to rewrite the story.

However, historians agree that there has never been orders of mass sui…

A troubling position on 'comfort women'

The Yomiuri Shimbun's editorial criticizes the EU Parliament's resolution:The Japanese government must lobby other governments to persuade them not to follow in the footsteps of the European Parliament in adopting a resolution that sullies Japan's standing.

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution condemning Japan over the "comfort women" issue. The resolution calls for the government to apologize, saying the Imperial armed forces coerced young women in Asia to work as "sex slaves" before and during World War II.

The latest development resembles the resolution adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives over the comfort women issue in July. This matter has now spilled over to Europe. The parliaments of Canada and the Netherlands also have adopted similar resolutions.

However, interest in the comfort women issue has not necessarily been high in Europe. The European Parliament's resolution was advocated by the minor Green Party and fewer than 10…

EU Parliament passes resolution on "Comfort Women"

The European Parliament (EP) approved on Thursday a resolution on Justice for the "Comfort Women," women forced into sex slavery in Asia before and during World War II by Japanese Imperial Army, urging the Japanese government to formally apologize and compensate for the victims and their families.

Author of the resolution Raul Romeva, a member of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance in the EP, urged the Japanese government to comply with international law to do justice for the victims. "We are talking about 200,000 women who were forced into sex slavery before and during the World War II by the Japanese Imperial Army," Romeva told the parliament.

This is another false accusation that blindly copied the Honda resolution. It has no legal enforcement and no media except South Korea reported the news. So let's ignore it.

A parliamentary hearing's big flaw

Canada's parliament passed a motion this week calling on Japan to apologize to the brothel prostitutes that served for the benefit of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. It is not difficult to understand the concerns of this motion if you think of the gravity of tragedy and suffering these women endured, and continued existence of “human trafficking”, prostitution (sex slavery), and human right abuse prevalent today in Korea and the rest of world.

Nevertheless I am incensed about the carelessness and unfairness of the motion passed by the Canadian government. My concern and objection are three-fold: unfair procedure, biased evidence, and its negative implication for the current and subsequent generations of people and government of Japan. What I mean by "procedural concern" is that it failed to consider the full range of evidence to prove or disprove its conclusion. They clearly failed to consider a set of evidence that negates or questions the validity…


Ise heijiro, a writer living in Louisiana, opened a blog to protest the Honda Resolution. He compares Rep. Honda to Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Wikipedia was unlocked

Wikipedia's article on Comfort Women was unprotected. Major factual errors were corrected, but many remain. And many people are rewriting it wrongly or reverting to the old version. Please watch it and correct errors.

China lobby pushed the Honda resolution

According to the Sankei Shimbun (in Japanese), in the press conference after the resolution, Rep. Honda expressed great thanks to the China lobby "World Association to Remember the Anti-Japanese War"(世界抗日戦争史実維護連合会), which has proposed, sponsored, and even wrote the resolution since 2001.

The Association collected 42 million signature to block Japan to be the permanent member on the United Nations Security Council in 2005. It was assumed that it is influenced and sponsored by the Chinese government. So there might have Chinese government's political will to hurt Japan's reputation in the U.S.

U.S. government doesn't endorse Honda resolution

John Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State, replied in a press conference held in the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on August 3.QUESTION: One more different issue, that is, "comfort women." The "comfort women" resolution so-called has passed in the U.S. Congress, I think last week. Did you or your counterpart raise that issue during the conversation? And if you have any further explanation, or if you have any difference in position that your Congress has and that your government has?

D/S NEGROPONTE: Well, we didn't get into that discussion, although it is an issue that I've discussed in the past with Japanese Government officials. And we certainly understand the concerns that have been expressed. But we've also taken the position that the trafficking in women that occurred during World War II was deplorable and that it was a grave human rights violation of enormous proportions. So we extend our sincere and deep sympathy to the victims, but we also feel that the …

Protest to Asahi Newspaper on Comfort Women

ABC of Modern Japanese History objects to the reports by Asahi Shimbun.

Here’s a protest to infamous Asahi newspaper, which led the banner in the “comfort women as Japanese army’s sex slaves” campaign: It promoted the “confessions” of a Japanese soldier (i.e. Seiji Yoshida), that he abducted Korean women into prostitution. Later, his book turned out to be a bag of lies, but not before creating a world-wide sensation.
Asahi never informed nor apologized to its readers about the farce.

To Whom It May Concern,
Asahi newspaper by Yusaku Tohgo

I was truly annoyed by your (Asahi) editorial on June 28, after the US House of Representative committee passed Resolution 121. You fabricated and inflated the “comfort women” issue into a “Japanese army’s sex slave” fantasy, and never apologized nor informed the readers the fictional “facts” in your reporting. In light of this fact,

I doubt that you are qualified to discuss this matter from high moral ground.

I had been yo…

A disagreement with the resolution 121

Matt Dioguardi wrote on his blog:

Not unexpectedly, the US house has approved the comfort women resolution. I strongly disagree with this resolution. I very much understand that resolutions like this are par for the course these days in Washington, but personally I think resolutions like this are pro-war. You don’t tell other countries, especially allies how to deal with difficult and complex problems. It will be interesting, if not unsettling, to see what the reaction is to the resolution. (Here are some reactions from when the bill was approved by the foreign relations committee.)Let’s see how many people on the left are all too happy to accept foreign interventionism, so long as they agree with the purpose of the intervention. Let me spell this out for those who don’t understand what I am implying. Japanese nationals, especially politicians, should want the sovereignty of their country respected, and on principal should reject all interventions. However, I am sure that because many …

Korean Army's "comfort women"

According to Asahi Shimbun, Korean Army procured many "comfort women" during the Korean War.

In an international symposium, Kim Kiok, Visiting Professor of Kyonnam University in Korea, reported that at least eight witness testified that they used war brothels. And 89 brothels in 4 areas were used 204,560 times, according to the official record of the Korean Army edited in 1956.

A Korean government official admitted that they employed prostitutes voluntarily during the war and that it was different from the forced comfort women of Japanese Army.

The Log in Thine Own Eye

Foreign Dispatches commented on the "comfort women" resolution.

The Log in Thine Own Eye

An issue I've repeatedly touched upon on here is the rank hypocrisy of Western efforts to push Japan to apologize (again, and again, and again ...) for its war crimes, even as the very same countries prefer to bury their own misdeeds - many of them much more recent - as "old history" the victims need to just "get over." As it turns out, this commentator on Aljazeera currently linked to on Itai News picks up on this double standard, which will be glaringly obvious to many non-Westerners even if not to those Americans, Australians, Dutchmen and Frenchmen inclined to seeing history in rosy terms of their "good guys" fighting against "evil" Japanese imperialists, never bothering to ask themselves by what right Europeans were lording it over South-East Asians in the first place.

I don't agree with Mr. Ming's paranoia about the United States …

The U.S. wants to create trouble between Japan, China and Korea

Al Jazeera commented on the "comfort women" resolution:

A U.S. official said Japan has to apologize for sex slavery during World War II.

Why only Japan? How about the U.S. for killing thousands of innocent Vietnamese women and children by dropping chemical weapons, bringing African people by force as slaves, displacing and killing American natives? Are those things OK?

The American official further said that the United States wants to put its friend on the right track. How about your friend Australia? Did Australia apologize for kidnapping Aboriginal children from their parents in the 60s? Did they apologize for killing so many Aboriginals?

Does the U.S. really want to put Tokyo on the right track, or create trouble between Japan, China and Korea? The U.S. wants to fulfil its own goals by destabilizing the region!

Mistaken view of history must be corrected

From the editorial of Yomiuri Shimbun on August 1

A resolution adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday urging the Japanese government to formally apologize over the "comfort women system of forced military prostitution" is obviously based on a misunderstanding of facts. Although the resolution is not legally binding, we cannot overlook this denunciation.

The resolution accuses the Imperial Japanese Army of having "coerced" women from Asian countries to work as "sex slaves" before and during World War II.

Of course, it would be remiss not to state that the Japan-U.S. alliance is absolutely vital to the national interest of Japan. In addition to close military and economic relations, both countries share common values such as democracy and human rights.

Nevertheless, we must refute the distortion of the facts espoused by the resolution. Allowing misunderstanding of the facts to go unanswered might have the unfortunate effect of creating problems …

Reps. Honda and Lantos will be sued

Nobuyoshi Ozaki, a writer living in Louisiana, said he would file a defamation suit against Representatives Mike Honda and Tom Lantos who wrote and passed the House Resolution 121 to blame Japan's "comfort women" during WW2 as the Japanese Army's coercion.

The charge is their libel against the Japanese people by attacking them without historical ground. There is no document that proves the Army's order to coerce the women into brothels. See his blog entry.

U.S. Congress urges 'comfort women' apology

On July 30, U.S. Congress have called on Japan's government to formally apologise for its role in forcing thousands of women to work as sex slaves in World War II. The non-binding resolution was passed during a voice vote in the House of Representatives.

According to IHT, Tom Lantos, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, called "nauseating" the efforts by some in Japan "to distort and deny history and play a game of blame the victim."

Be logical, Mr. Lantos. The ex-comfort women said only that they might have been victims of somebody who sometimes wore "military-like suits". Ex-comfort women can't prove there were military orders to coerce them. And there are no document or testimony on the side of military officials that they ordered coercion.

Many Japanese know the historical fact that there was no "military sex slaves". They feel this resolution shows the arrogance and racism of U.S. Congress.

Even university professor can't tell the truth in Korea

As commented by pandar on this blog, Professor Yi Yong Hung of Seoul University revealed that the Korean comfort women were just prostitutes in 2004.

However, because of the huge pressure from nationalistic media, he was forced to apologize to the former comfort women. In Korea, even a historian is not allowed to state historical facts. There are lots more scholars who were criticized because of their interpretations in favor of Japanese rule before 1945.

via The Japanese Rightist

The Truth Of Japan’s Annexation Of The Korean Peninsula

South Korean Professor Che Keiho gives a talk on the history behind Japan’s annexation of Korea, presenting a very harsh image of pre-annexation Korea as a brutal and backwards kingdom that needed Japanese imperialism to modernize.

via Japan Probe

A Letter to the House Speaker Pelosi

A novelist Iseheijiro (Nobuyoshi Ozaki) sent following open letter to Ms. Nacy Pelosi:

Madam Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. Office - 235 Cannon HOB - Washington, DC 20515

Re: Comfort Women

July 12, 2007

Dear Madam Nancy Pelosi:

I take the liberty to write you a letter in the hope that I may have my request met by you.

First, I would like to congratulate you on becoming the first woman Speaker of the House in US history.

I just read Chairman Lantos remarks regarding “The Comfort Women” resolution by the foreign affairs committee, issued on June 26, 2007. I was very disturbed and disappointed with the committee’s judgment on this issue. There are some flaws in Rep. Lantos remarks. I would call it “an attack.” Please review the remarks in a separate attached sheet and examine the particular underlined phrases.

I disagree with Rep. Lantos’s charges and accusations. In addition, I do not accept the provocative and insensitive language used in this stateme…

U.S. Envoy for Nuclear Nonproliferation said the A-bombs saved "millions of life"

U.S. Special Envoy for Nuclear Nonproliferation Robert G. Joseph said in a press conference held in the Department of Defense on July 3 that the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved "millions of life".QUESTION: In 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on civilian centers over Nagasaki and Hiroshima, consequently killing over 200,000 people. In hindsight, I think we can all agree that that was a very irNonproliferation Robert G. Joseph answered in a press conference on July 3rd that atomic bombs dropped on Hiresponsible use of the technology at the time. So my question is what gives the United States the right to sit at the head of the table and dictate to other countries how the type of technology should be regulated today?

MR. JOSEPH: I guess that's probably for me. (Laughter.)

Well, I fundamentally disagree with the premise of the question. And in fact, I think that most historians would agree that the use of an atomic bomb brought to a close a w…

Mr. Kase's Open Letter to the Chair Lantos

June 20, 2007
Dear Mr. Chairman:

It is our understanding that the Committee on Foreign Affairs will soon vote on House Resolution 121. We would like, once again, to ask all members of the Committee to give serious consideration to the significance of this resolution.

As stated in reference material we sent to you on April 27 (a report entitled “No Organized or Forced Recruitment: Misconceptions about Comfort Women and the Japanese Military” by Prof. Hata Ikuhiko and in “THE FACTS” (a paid advertisement in the June 14 edition of the Washington Post), House Resolution 121 is not premised on fact, and is therefore an unjust condemnation of Japan.

Human rights are not the heart of the issue. Like you, we have enormous respect for human rights. We are concerned about the damage to Japan’s reputation and the violation of the human rights of Japanese citizens that will result from a resolution that claims to champion human rights, but is based on grossly distorted historical fact.

The resolution …

A "friend of comfort women" is an agent for North Korea

Prosecutors arrested Shigetake Ogata, former director general of the Public Security Intelligence Agency, and two others on June 28 on suspicion of fraud in connection with the transfer of the ownership of the headquarter of North Korea in Japan.

Ogata's counterpart of negotiation, Koken Tsuchiya, is a lawyer for the headquarter of North Korea. Once he was the Director of Japan Federation of Bar Associations and known as the chief of the Group to Demand the State Compensation for the Comfort Women. He used to say that abduction of Japanese people by North Korea was a frame up of the right-wings. He is a typical "friend of comfort women".

Asian Americans Call for Japanese Apology

Bay City News Wire reports:

A group of Asian Americans were calling on the community and elected officials today to help lobby the Japanese government into an apology for the forced prostitution it forced on Asian women before and during World War II.

Members of the Global Alliance for Preserving the History of World War II in Asia, the Chinese Americans for Democracy in Taiwan and others met in a Chinese restaurant today to encourage support for House Resolution 121, introduced by Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose).

Some group members said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and Congressman Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo/San Francisco) have been giving them the runaround, according to Ignatius Ding, Executive Vice President of the Global Alliance for Preserving the History of World War II in Asia.

Members of the group, several of whom are donors to the Democratic and Republican parties, expressed concern that they are used for fundraising purposes but when it comes to action they are le…

Get facts straight on comfort women

The Yomiuri Shimbun Editorial

The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee has adopted a resolution demanding an apology from Japan over the so-called comfort women. But the resolution was based on an erroneous perception of the facts.

The Japanese government should try to unravel the U.S. side's misinterpretation of history in order to remove a source of future trouble, while in the meantime working to block passage of the resolution by the full House of Representatives.

The resolution calls for the government to accept historical responsibility and apologize for "its Imperial Armed Forces' coercion of young women into sexual slavery." It describes "the comfort women system" as "one of the largest cases of human trafficking in the 20th century."

The resolution was made without verifying the facts and smacks of cheap rhetoric. It makes us doubt the intelligence of U.S. lawmakers.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed "sympathy from th…

"Sex Slave" Resolution passed by a Committee

According to AP, A congressional panel on Tuesday endorsed overwhelmingly a resolution urging Japan to apologize formally for coercing thousands of women to work as sex slaves for its World War II military. The 39-2 approval by the Foreign Affairs Committee allows the measure to be considered by the full House. A large crowd of supporters applauded and cheered after the lawmakers' vote.

Many Japanese politicians, historians, and commentators are infuriated at the resolution that includes many factual errors. For example, the description "gang rape, forced abortions, humiliation, and sexual violence resulting in mutilation, death, or eventual suicide in one of the largest cases of human trafficking in the 20th century" is grounded in no historical facts. While they don't tell the number of the "human trafficking", how can they declare it is the largest one in the 20th century?

It's a shame for the U.S. Congress to say such a nonsense. And it's sad that…

U.S. comfort women

According to AP, Rep. Mike Honda asked the Congressional Research Service to look into allegations that Japanese officials set up brothels for U.S. soldiers right after Japan's surrender. He rejected comparisons between the actions of the Japanese during the war and the Occupation forces. He said the Japanese "comfort women" system was set up and sanctioned by the Japanese government and military. "It's different," he said. "This is the military of the Imperial government, the Imperial military's policy, in capturing, coercing and kidnapping girls and women for the purpose of sexual slavery."This excuse would not be accepted by western media that had blamed PM Abe of making such hypocritical distinction of coercion in the narrow sense and the broad sense.

Left wing's New Clothes

Alexis Dudden, Associate Professor of history at Yale University and a feminism activist, wrote an article "Prime Minister Abe’s New Clothes". It says:At stake are not the facts of coercion but the reasons for Abe’s reversals about the meaning of “coercion” and his current decision to avoid discussing the word entirely. Put simply, this is an attempt at whitewashing the record of the Japanese military before reinstalling them as a constitutional force. Abe’s determination to revise the 1947 constitution allowing Japan to operate its military had Washington’s open encouragement, which no doubt factored into his cavalier statements about the historical role of the military in the coercion of comfort women.She is not interested in the facts, as is usual for these activists. Without examining facts, they attack "whitewashing", "revisionism", and "militarism". These are new clothes of the left-wing activists that are facing extinction after the colla…

Abe "bears responsibility"

In an interview with Newsweek, PM Abe reportedly said as follows:We feel responsible for having forced these women to go through that hardship and pain as comfort women under the circumstances at the time. (emphasis added)This translation is inaccurate. According to the full text of the interview in Japanese delivered by Japanese government, Abe answered as follows:We feel responsible for the circumstances in which they should be comfort women.This is not different from Abe's previous statements in the Diet. No "force" was mentioned.

Yoshimi's "new proof"

Prof. Yoshimi and two accusers of "sex slavery" held a press conference at the Foreign Press Club on April 17. They claimed that they had found a new proof of military coercion. Here is the press release. According to them, a document submitted to Tokyo Tribunal includes following passage:Q: How many women were there?
A: 6.
Q: How many of these women were forced into the brothel?
A: Five.In fact it isn't a new proof but a tiny footnote for the Semarang incident.

Comfort women on PBS

Yoshihisa Komori of Sankei Shimbun talked with Fareed Zakaria on a PBS program "Foreign Exchange" on March 30. See it on Google Video (from 11'20") and its transcription. It shows the sad fact that even professional journaist is ignorant of history.Zakaria: But the military was paying for it--just to get at this institutional nature of--of the sex trade; as I understand it the soldiers were not paying for the prostitutes. The military as--as an institution was paying--was contracting with the intermediaries, buying the services of these women and providing them to its--to its soldiers.

Komori: But each soldier was paying--that--the individual.

Zakaria: The individual?

Komori: The individual...

Congressional Research Service report

Here is a report on "Japanese Mlitary Comfort Women System" by the U.S. Congressional Research Service, which was delivered to the congress on April 3. Excerpts:There is no doubt from the available evidence that most comfort women were in the system involuntary if one defines involuntary to include entering the system in response to deceptive recruitment.

The military may not have directly carried out the majority of recruitment, especially in Korea; but the Abe government's denial of any evidence of military coercion in recruitment goes against the testimony of former comfort [women] to Japanese government researchers who compiled the 1992-1993 government report.

In rejecting the testimony of over 100 former comfort women, the Japanese government appears to be putting itself in a position in which outsiders could begin to question the credibility of the claims that North Korea has kidnapped Japanese citizens.One factual error: since the testimony of comfort women to Japan…

Videos on comfort women

Professor says Koreans also responsible for comfort women

Here is a blog article that quotes a Korean professor's speech:
Speaking at the Foreign Press Club in Tokyo to discuss the end of the Asian Women’s Fund, Sejong University professor Park Yu-ha pointed out that Koreans, too, needed to accept responsibility for the comfort women [YTN, Korean].

Park said, “It’s a fact that Koreans, too, were involved in the process of mobilizing comfort women. I think the responsibility for that wrongdoing surely rests with Korea, too.”

In particular, she said one Korean comfort women he she interviewed said she was sold into it by her stepfather, and she said she hated her stepfather even more than the Japanese military.

Politics and the comfort women issue

The Yomiuri Shimbun published an opinion by an editor:Japanese intellectuals who have worked to boost Japan's amicable bilateral ties with the United States have been discouraged and offended by the way the U.S. media cover the problem. They are understandably displeased not only with factual mistakes the U.S. media have made over the issue, but with their nerve in nagging this country over a sex-related matter.

The letter to Congressman Honda

An open letter from Hideaki Kase, quoted before, to Mike Honda, who proposed the House resolution 121.On September 28, 2006, we sent the attached letter to all members of the House of Representatives. In it, we indicated that the accusations in Resolution 759 were exceedingly unjust and based on gross distortions of historical fact. Accordingly, we find it very difficult to comprehend your reasons for submitting this resolution.. We strongly urge you to withdraw it without delay.

If you choose not to withdraw Resolution 121, you must shoulder the burden of disproving historical fact as outlined in the aforementioned letter. The persons referred to as “comfort women” were prostitutes (a legal profession at the time) working in brothels; they were indisputably not coerced to engage in such activities by the Japanese military.

Comfort station originated in govt-regulated 'civilian prostitution'

The Yomiuri Shimbun published an article about ianfu:Modern historian Ikuhiko Hata, a former professor at Nihon University, says the comfort women system should be defined as the "battleground version of civilian prostitution."

Comfort women were not treated as "paramilitary personnel," unlike jugun kangofu (military nurses) and jugun kisha (military correspondents). During the war, comfort women were not called "jugun ianfu" (prostitutes for troops). Use of such generic terminology spread after the war. The latter description is said to have been used by writer Kako Senda (1924-2000) in his book titled "Jugun Ianfu" published in 1973. Thereafter, the usage of jugun ianfu prevailed.

Were comfort women actually forcibly taken away?

An article on the website of Japan-Policy Institute, a conservative think tank. This an average summary of the story, although it has many typos.As a result of these developments, in 1997, the Asahi Shimbun, which had been pursuing the governmentfs responsibility, admitted that the gcomfort womenh had not been ones who were gforcibly taken away by the Japanese authorities.h Consequently, history textbooks one by one dropped the term gmilitary sexual slavery.h By 2006, all junior high school history textbooks had ceased to use this kind of term.

Though it is true that there were gcomfort womenh in war zones, it is definitely false that these women had been abducted by the Japanese military. In this sense, gcomfort womenh controversy has already been settled.

Don't misinterpret comfort women issue

The Yomiuri Shimbun wrote an editorial to object againt the House Resolution 121. It says:The resolution says the Japanese military commissioned the acquisition of comfort women. However, no documents have been found to support this assertion. Historians also accept that no such orchestrated action was undertaken by the Japanese military. [...]

The U.S. House resolution criticizes such moves in Japan, saying they represent their "desire to dilute or rescind the 1993 statement." But it could be a natural course of action to revise the inaccurate Kono statement. What was behind the issuance of the Kono statement was the government's misjudgment -- made under pressure from South Korea -- that its acknowledgement that the comfort women were forcibly recruited would lead to the settlement of the issue.

The use and abuse of the past

A conservative columnist, Hideaki Kase writes in NewsWeek:The fact is that the brothels were commercial establishments. U.S. Army records explicitly declare that the comfort women were prostitutes, and found no instances of "kidnapping" by the Japanese authorities. It's also worth noting that some 40 percent of these women were of Japanese origin.

House Resolution 121 about comfort women

The voting for House Resolution 121 to blame Japanese government for the comfort women was postponed (probably) after PM Abe's visit to the U.S. However, since Abe's comment increased the proponents for the resolution, it might be passed, although it has no legal enforcement. Marion Edwyn Harrison, president of Free Congress Foundation, a conservative think tank, criticized the resolution as follows:H Res 121 is ridiculous for a variety of reasons. Some of them, without limitation and not necessarily in prioritized order: (1) Our United States Government has no jurisdiction over the Japanese Government. (2) Adverse affect upon American - Japanese relations. (3) Congress is, or should be, overwhelmed with issues within its jurisdiction (e.g., spending of taxpayers’ money out of control; unlawful immigration out of control; no effective missile defense system; Social Security headed for bankruptcy; delay and defeat in confirmation of Federal judges; so on). (4) A similar resolut…

Washington Post's double talk

Washington Post's editorial says PM Abe is right to blame North Korea's refusal of response to Japan's request for more information about abduction but wrong to refuse Japan's responsibility of military abduction during WW2:What's odd -- and offensive -- is his parallel campaign to roll back Japan's acceptance of responsibility for the abduction, rape and sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of women during World War II. [...]Historians say that up to 200,000 women from Korea, China, the Philippines and other Asian countries were enslaved and that Japanese soldiers participated in abductions. Many survivors of the system have described their horrifying experiences, including three who recently testified to Congress.This is, to be sorry, one more false accusation based on the wrong reporting of the Asahi Shimbun and the misleading apology of Japanese government. No historian says "Japanese soldiers participated in abductions". Even Prof. Yoshimi, wh…

Asahi admits their Ianfu stories were wrong

According to a comment to my blog, the PR bureau of the Asahi Shimbun replied to his question on the phone as follows:Seiji Yoshida's testimony that he abducted women was not a true story. The Asahi corrected the articles in 1997.It was not true that the Ianfu were forced into brothels as "Joshi Teishintai". The Asahi never reported it was true.The article on 11 Jan. 1992 did not say that the Army had abducted women.Although these excuses are questionable, it is obvious that even the Asahi doesn't say that the Army coerced women into brothels. The "Ianfu" is a phantom issue that was created by the Asahi's wrong report and that it admits they were wrong.

Coercion in the broad and narrow sense

PM Abe's artificial definition of "coercion" is making this issue even more confusing. A blog pointed it out.

Abe didn't deny coercion in the broad sense, i.e., the coercion or deception by contractors of the Army. He denied the coercion in the narrow sense, i.e., kidnapping of women by the Army officials. NYT and other media confused this definition.

This bizarre definition came from an effort to make Abe's denial of coercion in the past consistent with Kono statement. So it is understandable for western media was confused. But some reporter, for example Onishi of NYT, seems to have misinterpreted it intentionally to make his article more sensational.

Asian Women's Fund

This is a report about comfort women by the Asian Women's Fund, a non-profit organization to compensate ex-Ianfu by private funds. Since it was headed by Prof. Haruki Wada of Tokyo University, a pro-North Korean scholar, its neutrality is questionable. But this is the most extensive report about Ianfu in English.

Japanese government insisted the Ianfu was not business

According to an article in WSJ, two lawyer point out that Japanese government insisted that employing comfort women was not a commercial activity, and a federal district court of the United States decided that it was a "war crime":When women who survived the sex-slavery camps sued Japan in federal court six years ago, they alleged that the whole sex slavery scheme functioned as commercial activity. Faced with this charge, Japan denied it had acted as a business. The D.C. District Court agreed, holding in effect that the fact that the women were abducted and enslaved pursuant to a Japanese government "master plan" distinguished their case from routine commercial prostitution. The court concluded that this "barbaric" conduct was more like a war crime or a crime against humanity than a commercial venture, and so Japan could not be held liable under the provision of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act that allows governments to be sued when they act like bus…

Japanese Government states there is no evidence of military coercion

Yesterday Japanese Cabinet endorsed a written statement that there was no evidence that the Japanese military had forcibly recruited women into sex slavery during World War II.

NYT's Onishi quotes the American ambassador's claim that there was testimony by "credible witness", which is wrong, as usual for Onishi. The witness from Korea and Taiwan didn't testify they were kidnapped. Dutch witness claimed she had been raped, but it was not related to the Army's order, as Dutch court decided.


The article about "Comfort women" was vandalized and protected. It is full of so many factual errors that I can't correct them all. Please correct them in the comments.

US Media on Comfort Woman Controversy

Post from Mr. Mitibata, Suzunari 

Few Japanese can express their ideas in English. English speaking people tend to ignore the opinion in Japanese. As a result, discussions in two languages do not meet. English prevails, independent of the content and validity of the argument itself. In the comfort woman issue, US media seems to lack fairness and distorted what PM Abe had said.

"US media ignores Japanese ambassador’s press conference" by ampontan on March 9th, 2007

"PM Abe misquoted in English" by Matt on March 2nd, 2007

Japan Focus

Articles about Ianfu

BBC, Mar. 3: "Sex slave denial angers S Korea"Discussion about this articleNYT, Mar.6: "No Apology for Sex Slavery, Japan’s Prime Minister Says"

NYT, Mar. 6: "No Comfort" (editorial)Discussion about these articlesWashington Post (AP), Mar. 7: "Ex-S.Korea Sex Slaves Recall Humiliation"

LA Times, Mar. 7: "Paging the emperor" (editorial)

Economist, Mar.8: "No comfort for Abe"

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Starting up

This site collects articles, raw materials, links, and other resources about the Ianfu, or "comfort women", the state-regulated prostitutes who served for Japanese Army during the World War 2.

Although there are many sites arguing this issue in Japanese, there are very little information in English. So Western media like NY Times and BBC write many wrong and biased stories. That's why I set up this blog. You can post (or copy)Article about Ianfu in EnglishEnglish translation of the articles about Ianfu in newspapers, magazines, and booksLinks to Japanese sites about Ianfu.The post should be written in English. Since this site is aiming at database, the post must be focused on the fact, not opinion.

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