The world opinion on the “sex slave”

The recent Western media’s negative tone against Japan about the comfort women issue seems dogmatic and over-emotional. It sounds as if they think they can do or say anything against a defeated country. A loser country has to accept what it didn’t or what is not in the case? Don’t judge the things only by listening to some loud speakers’ points. We should be more in control about the issue.

The Japanese are willing to admit what they really did during the war. However they feel that it is an absurd idea that the Japanese army systematically forced 20,0000 Korean women to work as prostitutes and three fourths of them died due to barbarism among Japanese soldiers. If indeed anything so dreadful happened, why did the cases not come out at the Tokyo Tribunal or Japan-South Korea Basic Relations Treaty in 1965? At that time, Korean president Syngman Yi seized many Japanese fishermen in Japanese waters and used them as hostages to bargain the treaty conditions. He fought for every compensatory dollar during the negotiation. So, it took 13 years to reach an agreement of both countries. If the “200,000 sex slaves” existed, how could not he have made reference to it?

The “sex slave” is a new theory which no one knew until 20 years ago. A new theory should be examined closely once again.

South Korea’ s backward legal consciousness

Asahi Geinou, a Japanese weekly magazine, got an exclusive interview with Mr. Kato who was the former bureau chief of the Japanese Sankei Shinbun for Seoul. He was unlawfully arrested by the South Korean government only for a reason of reporting on S.Korean president’s scandal. The case is now becoming an international issue because the government obviously violates freedom of the press and human rights in this case. “Reporters Without Borders” also blamed S.Korea and call for the release of Mr. Kato quickly. At present、everybody knows that S.Korea is a repeated offender of the international law. Also at the Inchon Asian Games held in S.K recently, various unfair determinations or injustice by S.Korean staff in the games were revealed and they became major controversies. I wonder why the international bodies admits such country as S.K to hold so many international events?
The following is an excerpt from the article of Asahi Geinou. I think I translated this into English as accurately as possible, but I am still an English lerner, sorry if there’s mistranslation.

  Korean protesters threw eggs at Mr. Kato’ car.   766448

Kato decide to file a damage report 765451

The protesters kicked two people with Abe and Kato’s masks766472

The former bureau chief of Sankei Shinbun for Seoul discloses information about the “S.Korea’s irrational suppression”
posted on Posted on October 28, 9:56 AM

Tatsuya Kato, the former Seoul bureau chief of Sankei Shinbun, was indicted by the prosecutor’s office of South Korea on a charge of defamation against S.Korean president. Amid concerns about his safety, we got an exclusive interview with him. The interview has pointed out the reality of the odious suppression from both the government and people of S.Korea. We accuse strictly the behavior of the outrageous “autocratic government” that treads on free-speech laws and trample on human rights.

“The court renewed the period of the ban on Mr.Kato’s leaving S.K for 3 further months”——–On 14th October, the prosecutor of S.Korea made the determination for Tatsuya Kato who was the former Seoul bureau chief of Sankei Shinbun. The prosecutor first made the decision to ban Kato from leaving S.K on 7th August. This was as “punishment” for his signed article about the president Park Geun-hye published in Sankei Web on 3 of the same month.
The president Park went missing on the day of accident of the ferry in April. On 3rd July, S.Korea’s newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported in its column, that the reason for her disappearance from public was “meeting a married man secretly” The man was Chong Yunfei, 57 years old, who was the president Park’s former secretary. After that he divorced with his wife, and allegedly he gave all his property to his wife in return to keep her mouth shut about any matters that she knew during their marriage.

Quoting these reports from the Chosun Ilbo newspaper, Mr. Kato wrote an article as the following

“President Park Geun-hye went missing on the day the ferry sank..Who was she with?”

The report was not written in Korean, but Japanese, and only published in Japan.
A S.Korean conservative group, however, sued him for libel against the President. On receiving the lawsuit, the South Korean prosecution concluded on 8, that Kato had written a false report. then decided to put the accused on a house arrest and to extend the period during which he was to be prohibited from leaving the country, on account of defamation under laws regarding the promotion of the use of telecommunication networks, the protection of information, and other issues.

“Everyone who goes against the president Park will face a criminal charge ”
About this kind of behavior of S.Korea govt, Genki Fujii, a Japanese scholar of international politics, said, seemingly shocked, ” S.Korea has proved by itself that it was not a democratic nation. It’s not always true that a country with the electoral system is a democracy because North Korea or former Soviet Union held formal elections. The most important factors of democratic nation is that the law, but a dictator, rules over the county. Also true democracy can never exist unless it has a free press. This case has probably exposed the fact that S.Korea is not an advanced country, and the country ended up lowering itself ”

In Seoul, there have been frequent demonstrations where protesters dragged around those who put on the face masks as Kato or Japanese prime minister, Abe. Some of them even forced these masked men to bow themselves to the ground or kicked them as a performance. Under the cruel crackdown against Kato from both the government and people, could his own safety be assured?
—– Kato replied to this question by himself through the press bureau of Sankei Shimbun.
He said, “Everyday, several protest groups hold the demonstrations for a short time (normally one or two hours, but three hours at longest) in front of the ground-floor entrance of the Kyung hyang Worldnet’s building in Seoul, in which the branch office of Sankei is located. They once tried to set fire to a life-sized straw figure with my picture, and fought with the restraining police.
It surely represent the situation Kato is in that we have to interview him in writing due to concerns about wiretapping.(…)

When Park Chung-hee, Park Geun-hye ‘s father, was the president of S.Korea, the Sankei Shimbun and South Korean government were tightly bonded with the common goal of anticommunism. However, after the Cold War ended, S. Korea started to take Sankei as its enemy. There was even an action to dismantle Sankei’s office in Seoul when one of Sankei’s group businesses published the controversial “New Textbook on History” in 2001. The action against Kato this time exceeds the case in 2001. Kato’s first trial is scheduled on Nov. 15. The authorities has extend the period of Kato’s interdiction to leave the country two times. Now there is the possibility that the restriction would continue “indefinitely” as the trial lasts long. 
“Barring me from leaving this country is an action to limit an individual’s free will and against human rights,” Kato said. “I have told the prosecutors many times to lift the order because I have no intension to flee or abandon evidences, have sincerely accepted voluntary interrogations, and evidences are already secured,” he continued. “Still, the order has not been removed.
It is said that S.Korean govt puts pressure even on unrelated members of the bureau of Sankei shinbun.

A Sankei reporter said,
“At first, the South Korean Government made a secret proposal, ” If you apologize to us here, we will settle out of court” or ” We want you to correct the article.” When the Japanese government released the Kono statement at S.K govt’s earnest request, they took advantage of it on the world stage. Once Sankei complies with their demands. it will be just a matter of time before S.Korean govt pushes propaganda as ‘The Sankei went down on its knees before S.Korea!’ So we absolutely can’t allow ourselves to approve their request. Now, I suspect that our office phones are picked up calls by the authorities of S.K because we heard a strange noise while on the phone. Besides, it seems that it has a tail on not only Kato himself but also another Sankei correspondent for Seoul who is not involved in the case.”
The Sankei shinbun and Mr. Kato face for a pride of the press against S.Korea. Genki Fujii says with anger “North Korea abducted many Japanese citizens, also this case is like an abduction by S.Korean govt”

However Mr. Kato says thoughtfully “I don’t think my situation right now is ‘strictly restraint,’ but I feel much pain about the current situation that I sometimes can’t get in and out of my office because of demonstrations by Koreans or can’t still assume my new duties as a member of editorial board of city news, in charge of Tokyo Metropolitan Police and the North Korean abduction issue.”
Originally, though the case is the matter of defamation, S.K govt targeted only at Mr. Kato who just quoted the articles which S.Korean media wrote earlier, while the media was not accused of any crime. We hear that a lot of S.Korean reporters are frightened by the matter now.
A reporter of a major S.Korean media testifies as follow..
“It’s true that the president Park has someone special and who is Mr. Chung. Also her secret mmeeting with him is true. Personally speaking, I object to charge against Mr. Kato. If we tolerated such an unjust govt’s act like this, sooner or later my turn would come. S.K will be right back on the military regime track “(…)

Korean people who are hitting two persons wearing masks of Mr. Kato of the Sankei newspaper, and Japanese Prime Minister Abe in a demonstration.

US Ambassador and Japanese Diplomat Discuss Liancourt Rock Dispute in 2006

2006 April 20

Classified By: Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer. Reason: 1.4 (b)(d).

1. (S) At 11:00 a.m. on April 20, the Ambassador spoke with VFM Yachi, at Yachi’s request, regarding simmering tensions between Japan and the ROK over a planned Japanese maritime survey near the disputed Liancourt Rocks (reftel). He explained, briefly, that the ROK intended to propose to an international commission in June that features on the bottom of the sea in the disputed area be given Korean names. Japan wants to survey the area in order to make a counter-proposal at the meeting. Korea, Yachi stated, may use force to block the survey ship. Yachi further noted that he might travel to Seoul the following day, April 21, to try to resolve the matter peacefully.

2. (S) The Ambassador stated the United States understands that Japan is within its rights under international law. The Koreans are behaving irrationally, and the United States is concerned that they may do something crazy, causing a major problem. Everyone needs to back off, he stressed, to enable the matter to be resolved peacefully. We do not want our two allies shooting at each other, he asserted. The Ambassador advised that he might get in touch with FM Aso later in the day.

3. (C) Yachi thanked the Ambassador for his concern and said he would do his best. He requested that the Ambassador send an Embassy representative to the Foreign Ministry to hear Japan’s position on the issue. SCHIEFFER

Dokdo or Takeshima?

Public Library of US Diplomacy ( wikileaks)


This is a secret document of the US government which was out of the closet by Wikileaks. The Us would have no intention of unveiling it.
Although It seems that any document or old maps reveal the Japanese legitimacy of the ownership of Takeshima (Dokdo), S.Korea claims its sovereignty over the islands fussily. Why? It is maybe because the issue is not about which side story is right in the context of historical facts. but just political one.
Recently, it just so happened that Russia took Crimea out of Ukraine by force. Pres. Obama and Western nations are huffing over Russia imposing sanctions against it. However Russia keeps on doing what it want to do, with composure. A decline in strength of the US leaves Russia, China and N-S. Korea to do whatever they like. The rest of the world should protect their own country from the outlaws all by themselves in the future.

Tragedy of Extreme Anti-Japanese Education in S.Korea

” A 95 year-old man was beaten to death for saying, “Japan’s rule was good for Korea”, raising cries of, “The old man deserved to die” and “It was a blow for justice”. ”

When a 95 year-old man in South.Korea expressed his opinion that Japan’s rule was good for Korea, another man who happened to be there got angry with him and beat him to death. The accused killer said in a deposition that he did it because of his sense of patriotism. S.Korean net users raised their voices strongly in his defence. Shock spread among the Japanese people who witnessed the awful incident. In the comments section of an article delivered on a portal website, a Korean net user says “The victim deserved to be killed ” and the articles that defend the alleged killer rated very highly.

According to “Sekai Nippo”, it happened on May ,2013, in the Citizen park of Chongmyo Shrine. The park is known as a sightseeing spot or a place where old folks who live near by can relax. They always enjoy a small talk or a game of go under the sun. The victim Mr. Parks(95) is one of these members. There, Wong, the defendant of the case, came, he drunk a lot and completely intoxicated. As the drunken man talked with Mr. Parks, and then his casual words,” I thought experience of Japanese rule was acceptable.” incurred Wong’s wrath.

We don’t know which part of Japanese colonial policy Mr. Parks evaluated, but his words could have carried a lot of weight because he was 95 years old, and was already 27 at the end of the war. So he must have seen the real conditions of Japanese rule over Korea, and the subsequent modern Korean history, with his own eyes. The defendant Wong, on the other hand, is 37 years old, a member of the generation that did not even store the Park Chung Hee regime in their memories.

“What did you say?!” said the patriot Wong with heat. He gave a kick at Park, wrested his stick, and beet his head in an outburst of rage. Mr. Park got a serious injury to his skull bone and brain and was dead despite of medical treatment.
The arrested Wong pleaded that he was in a diminished capacity state due to intoxication, but he was sentenced to 5 years in prison on September 10, 2013.

Surprisingly, many South Koreans have expressed support for Wong. From the first, the above-mentioned article of Sekai Nippo reported the case in a rather sympathetic tone to the defendant, saying, “His patriotism went too far due to alcohol”
Besides, on the web in S. Korea some people praise Park as a patriot. There are many comments made about this article, such as,
“In the first place, once the old cocker admired the Japanese imperialism, he should be considered a criminal and deserved to be murdered”,
“Was the killer sentenced? no, actually rather worthy of a medal”,
“He worked for justice”,
“It is the judge who is a traitor”

As a matter of course, some Korean say ” Is that a member of a constitutional state’s behavior? Since when did Korea come to be such a country that allowed to kill people who held a different views of history from the consensus view?” But this kind of opinion is losing ground on the web in S. Korea where users who hold radical opinions are gathering momentum.

As regards to evaluation of the period of Japanese rule in S.Korea, in recent years, there has been a tendency to approve of it, partly because some researchers consider Japan’s promotion of Korean modernization to be important. However, as soon as the S.Korean authorities gave official permission to the textbook that reflects such opinions on August 30, 2013, the public criticism grew, which triggered a huge argument involving the political world.
This seems to be still a deep-seated taboo.
(webmaster translated the following J-cast news article)
J-cast News
The original article of ‘Sekai Nippo’

               another products of anti-Japanese education…

They killed the Japanese national birds brutally on the road in an anti-Japanese demonstration in S.Korea.

They killed the Japanese national birds on the road brutally in an anti-Japanese demonstration in S.Korea.

The korean soccer supporters hanged a banner saying “Congratulations Japan for the big earthquake” in the game of the AFC Champions League 2011″


Some junior high school teachers in Seoul had their students draw pictures depicting each anti-Japanese sentiment. These pictures were displayed in the subway station in Inchon, Seoul several years ago. A Canadian male blogger happened to find the incident, wrote in his blog, and came to many people’s attention. It is said that S.Korean children are provided anti-Japanese educations from three years old.

"burn Japanese flag"

“burn Japanese flag”

”drop bombs on Japan!”

”drop bombs on Japan!”

”air raid against Japan”

”air raid against Japan”

"stomp on Japanese flag"

“stomp on Japanese flag”

It occurred in Gyeyang junior high school in Inchon. (仁川桂陽中学校)

Beautiful Pictures by an American Artist in Edo period

19世紀にRobert Frederick Blumgaが描いた江戸の風景、飴屋
I found some beautiful paintings in Edo period (1600-1866) by a Western artist named Robert Frederick Blum. His colorful paintings of Edo period could describe living ordinary people’s lives or visual scenes in those days Japan, which were kind of hard to convey with photograph.
The picture above entitled ” 飴屋(ameya)” portrayed a peddler who selled candy to the children on the street. He was breathing into the candy like a g lassblowing to shape it into a bird or other animals. The children were waiting for emerging a tiny artwork from his fingers in the end while gazing intently. They are very cute! It is interesting that every girl gave her younger sister or brother a piggyback ride. Caring them seems to be children’s routine job in the time.

It is said that Robert Frederick Blum, a 19th century painter, had desired to go to Japan some day, since he was inspired by Japanese cultures at the Philadelphia Expo in 1876. 14 years later, in 1890, he was invited the third Domestic Kangyo Expo in Ueno Japan. It made him decide to stay Japan for three years and had drawn many paintings filled with an Edo period atmosphere.

19世紀にRobert Frederick Blumが描いた江戸の花市場
The Picture of “花市場(Hana ichiba=flower market)” portrayed a flower seller wearing “chonmage” who had a smoke taking time out from his business, or the women shopping around for the flowers. According to different records, the Japanese people of the day loved flowers very much. They would plant many flowers in their tiny yard or enjoyed to put potted plants and Bonsais on the veranda.

rovert frederic the picture book
Beautiful pictures made by an American artist in the Edo period

Robert Frederick Blum
Robert Frederick Blum (9 July 1857 – 8 June 1903) was an American artist born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was one of the youngest members of the National Academy of Design, was President of the Painters in Pastel, a member of the Society of American Artists, and the American Watercolor Society.
He visited Japan in 1890 and spent three years there. He had been interested in that country and its art for many years.
A Daughter of Japan, drawn by Blum and William Jacob Baer, was the cover of Scribner’s Magazine for May 1893, and was one of the earliest pieces of color printing for an American magazine. In Scribner’s for 1893 appeared also his Artist’s Letters from Japan. He was an admirer of Mariano Fortuny, whose methods somewhat influenced his work.
(from wikipedia)

E.Todd suggests Japan have nuke


Emmanuel Todd, a French historian, anthropologist and demographer, attracted attention in 1976, predicted the fall of the Soviet Union, based on indicators such as increasing infant mortality rate. His “After the Empire” became a worldwide bestseller.
He analyzes ideas, cultures, societies and nations in an unique way including Demography or Family system. And now he suggested Japan get nuke.

Todd recommends to Japan for having nuke

Emmanuel Todd said in an interview gaven to a Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shinbun in 2006,
“I think uneven distribution of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous situation to the world. The tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place because nuclear weapon was held by only the US at that time. The weapon never be used during the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union. When both India and Pakistan had nuke, they at last went to the peace table. The cause of unstable situation in the Middle East is that Israel has a monopoly on nuke. Also in East Asia, unstable due to nuclear only China has. Japan should have it, too.” Furthermore he said ” from Gaullist view.., if a nation had nuke it could be freed from any military alliance and become in no danger of being involved in a war”
As for the Japanese people’s strong sentiment against nuke because of experiencing the bombing, saying “I can understand the Japanese feeling about it, but they should face up to the difficult reality of the world. ”
he stated that the biggest reason why France went nuclear was that it had been invaded many times in history. It was the only nuclear weapons by which France got out from a geopolitical bad position at once.
He pointed out that if a country that has suffered a nuclear attack has nuke, it will initiate a full-scale discussion about nuke in the world and will become the significant turning point in the history of nuke.

Japan has forgotten a way of national defense because it has stood firm in defense of the unrealistic pacifist constitution ever since the end of the war. It has busily supported neighboring countries by giving money or technologies for their economic progress, and one day it find itself surrounded by enemies that it brought up. In the end, like the proverb says “a country that helps neighborers will go to ruin”
Now China begins to threaten Japan with their massive military force including nuke and tries to redraw its national boundaries by force. Their ambition is anachronistic imperialism which no one welcomes today. The growing inequality of military power of recent date is bringing about tension between Japan and China definitely. I think Japan has no choice but to have nuke to solve this serious problem. The choice will be not only for Japan but for the world including Asia.

A Protesting Letter to Glendale from a Historian

Mr. Max von Schuler-Kobayashi, Historian (German-American, Former US Marine based in Japan and now Representative lecturer of 「Hiizurutokorokara Philosophy of US-Japan relations」) sent out a protesting open letter to City Councilman Frank Quintero, and the members of the City Council of Glendale concerning their decision to put up a permanent memorial to the so called “ Comfort Women.

I personally feel uncomfortable regarding comfort women as mere prostitutes because I don’t think all of tens of thousands of comfort women were willing to do the work no matter how highly they were paid. There must have been many women who were sold by their parents from poverty.
Meanwhile, I fear an atmosphere that people believe all victim’s stories are correct or one can do anything agaist defeated country.


To City Councilman Frank Quintero, and the members of the City Council of Glendale.

I have read of your decision to put up a permanent memorial to the so called “Comfort Women” with deep unease and regret. This is the same as putting up a memorial to the camp guards at Auschwitz.
If I were Jewish, I would find this a great insult. Even though I am not Jewish, I find this insulting as a historian.

You are being conned. During the war, the Korean people were Japanese citizens, and were willing and able participants in the Japanese Empire. It is after the war that they decided that they were victims, and switched roles. And even in their own country, Korea, women are demonstrating for their right to be prostitutes. Yet they accuse Japan of a crime?,29307,2072487,00.html

South Korean Prostitutes Protest Closing of Brothels

South Korean Prostitutes Protest Closing of Brothels

Protesting Korean prostitutes attempt to set themselves on fire.
Let me explain.

America is a country that treasures human rights for the individual. And in particular, the rights of women world wide are a concern for Americans. When people use the term “Sex Slave” to describe the Comfort Women, it resonates in the United States.
But were these women indeed slaves? No. First of all, as distasteful as it may seem, it was common in both Japan and Korea pre war to sell daughters into prostitution. For poor families with too many mouths to feed, this was the only option.

As far as the comfort women were concerned, they were paid. The recruiters were all ethnic Koreans. People have conjured up an image of the Imperial Japanese Army rampaging through Korean villages, and hauling off screaming women. This never happened. Please refer to the Pdf below.

On page 117, it lists some newspaper advertisements from 1944 for Comfort Women.
As a matter of reference, monthly pay is listed as ¥300. At that time a Japanese Imperial Army sergeant was paid ¥30 a month.
The Korean government itself continued the Comfort Women system post war for US troops.
I have written about it extensively in my blog. And I have visited the Silver town mentioned in my blog below.

In any case, Koreans continued the system after the war. And today, Koreans are the greatest human traffickers in the United States.

If the Korean people in the United States are serious about combatting prostitution, why do they not cooperate with the FBI and stop the traffickers from their own community?
There are no organized Japanese prostitutes in the US at all. Those massage parlors you see with names like Osaka and Nagoya, they are Korean.
In any case, Japan has paid extensive reparations to Korea.

At the time of payment, these funds were to settle all claims, including the Comfort Women issue. And Japan has apologized, endlessly.

Now it seems that some Koreans simply want more money.
Koreans have a problem with history. Years ago when I was in Korea, I was discussing WWII with some Korean people. They insisted that their country had the worst experience of the war.
I am a WWII historian, and I differ with that assessment. My candidate for country with the worst war experience, if I had to pick, would be Poland. Invaded by both Germany and the Soviet Union, Occupied by Germany, the Jewish Warsaw

Ghetto uprising of 1943, the Polish Home Army Warsaw uprising of 1944 all devastated the country. Then the savage resistance of the German Army as the Soviets pushed towards Berlin.
And of course there was constant guerrilla activity.

Postwar, Poland lost a third of it’s eastern territory and was ordered to takeover the former German territories of Prussia and Silesia. Many people were killed and displaced. All in all, Poland lost 25% of it’s prewar population.

But when I was in Korea, Korean people insisted that their WWII experience was much worse than Poland. That is when Korean people lost my sympathy for any claim whatsoever about WWII.
The thing about Koreans is, they did not resist the Japanese annexation of their country. Most Koreans embraced it. And this is their shame today.

There was no resistance movement inside Korea. There was one major riot in 1919 where some hundreds were killed. That was all. There was a guerrilla movement in the far north of the country, but they could not base themselves inside Korea, their bases were in Manchuria.
All they could do was make the occasional foray into Korea, they received no help from the Korean populace. And they numbered only about 1,500 individuals.

In April 1938, the Special Volunteers System was inaugurated in Korea. Korean men responded in droves for service in the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces. In 1942, the recruitment goal was announced to be 4077. 254,273 volunteers applied, over-achievement factor reached 62,4.
More Koreans have died fighting post war Korean governments than fighting Japan.
For the March first movement riots, Japanese official figures list 553 dead for all of Korea.

However, the list of casualties for post war South Korean governments are; The Cheju incident of 1948,the South Korean government admits to between 15,000 to 30,000 dead. (civilian groups put the number at 100,000 dead) In the October 1948 Yosu Junten revolt 400 were killed. In the Korean war, in 1950, during the summer some 300,000 civilians were killed by the South Korean government, and in the winter several hundred thousand more were killed. Of course, figures of any kind for people killed by North Korean governments are totally unavailable, but one can imagine that many civilians must have been killed in the North.

Koreans will tell you that during war they were forced to cooperate because Japan was so brutal. Well in Europe, many Balts, Ukrainians, Russians and other nationalities fought in German uniform, something like 1 million. Would the city of Glendale put up a memorial to them? By putting up such an exhibition for the Comfort Women, that is what you are doing. But these countries also had anti German guerrilla movements. Korea has no such history. And this is their shame today. During WWII, they willingly fought for Japan. They willingly recruited their own women for prostitution.
By putting up this exhibition, you are getting involved with Korean inferiority complexes towards Japan. And you are making serious historical mistakes.

The only evidence the Koreans now have are a few eyewitnesses. Yet any historian will tell you, eyewitness testimony is very unreliable. You need other sources. Things just did not happen like Koreans say they did. I seriously ask you to do more research into the true nature of Japanese/Korean relations. And to be fair, if you want to address women’s issues, you should address modern day Korean human trafficking in the United States.

Thank you very much,
Max von Schuler-Kobayashi
April 3rd , 2013
Tokyo Japan

Let’s Talk about the Truth of JP-SK Relations

This is an article from Sankei Shinbun, Japanese newspaper, on July 27, 2013. Professor James. E. Auer, the author of the article, showed surprise at S.Koreans completely ignorance on Japan and felt confused about their one-sided historical perceptions in another place. I think I want all S.Kreans to know about true histories between Japan and S.Korea.

Let’s talk about the truth of JP-SK relations

July 26 2013
James.E.Auer, a director of Center for U.S. Japan
Studies and Cooperation, Vanderbilt University

Last month, I visited to Seoul for three days at the invitation of a S.Korean senior politician who is a supporter of President Park Geun Hye. Unfortunately, most of S.Koreans whom I met there viewed Japan in a negative light.

<The comfort women were not exclusively the Korean women>

I asked the S.Koreans that I have met why they obviously changed their opinion about Japan-Korea disputes after the Japanese prime minister Keizo Obuchi and the President Kim Dae-jung (both at that time) issued a joint statement in 1998 saying that both nations agreed on settling the confrontation between the two and moving toward better relations.

Most S.koreans I met claimed that their stance have not changed since 1998. Instead, their current attitude of ant-Japanese are due to Japanese insensitivity toward bilateral history issues including Prime Ministers’ visits to Yasukuni Shrine or Japan’s claim to Takeshima (Dokdo).

I said them that none of the leader of Japan, S.Korea and the US would forgive the practices of prostitution conducted by Japan till 1945 in China

We have no hard numbers, but it might well be that the number of the Korean comfort women, who were sold by their poor peasant parents or applied for employment by other way, was more than that of the comfort women from Japan, China or other countries.

However, it was not a plan to recruit comfort women only from Korea. There seems little doubt that Japan sincerely feels a sense of remorse for the true suffering which this project inflicted on comfort women of all the nationalities during the war.

In those days, prostitution was legal in Japan. The US troops also received sexual services from Japan during the occupation. I don’t mean to suggest that these facts prove what happened was right, but I mean that they show how different values at that time were from the ones of today.

With regard to Japanese government officials’ visit to Yasukuni Shrine, I said them the Japanese leaders have not visited Yasukuni Shrine in order to either honoring some class-A war criminals listed there or praising Japan’s own behavior of apologies toward other countries. More importantly, it seems to be a big contradictions that such a country like China that hates criticism against its own internal affairs from abroad blames Japan for its politicians’ visits to the shrine which is dedicated to the Japanese soldiers who served and died for their country.


<Yasukuni is no different than Arlington>

Now the US president and leaders of other countries include Japan and S.K. visit the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, US, even though there are many tombs of Johnny Rebs who fought for the South that supported slavery. Today most of advanced countries don’t accept slavery, but there is no one who claim to remove the tombs of Johnny Rebs from the National Cemetery because they believed in slavery.

After much talk with the S.Koreans I found that the most difficult problem was concerned with “Takeshima” I said that Japan didn’t seem change its views of the problem due to legal bases favorable to Japan. Meanwhile, I asked, though Japan never be likely to send SDF troops to drive away the S.Korean soldiers from Takeshima now, why they don’t stop worrying about the issue. The only answer that I heard from them was because the SKoreans thought the Japanese govt should agree the opinion that Takeshima belongs to S.Korea absolutely.

There was only one group that didn’t complain about Japan. They were in the base of S.Korean navy. I saw “Cheonan(天安)” which was the S.Korean corvette (a patrol combatant craft) torpedoed by N.Korea before. The officers never talk about politics, instead, talk of the need to collaborate with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the United States Navy to counter vicious and unpredictable behaviors by N.Korea realistically.

<Contribution of JP-Sino War and JP-Russo war to Korea>

What can we do to change S.Korea’s attitude towards Japan for the better? One of my students who has lived in Seoul since his/her birth and worked there for more than 20 years since graduated from Vanderbilt University, said that he/she thought Japan would have to keep taking a patient stance until the Koreans overcome thier inferiority complex. I’m sorry to say that it seems to be right to the point. However I would expect President Park to be able to work out a deal with Prime Minister Abe.

Although the Japanese would never mention this, I believe it deserves consideration for the Koreans that there was a common reason for Japan to win the two wars against China in 1895 and Russia in 1905. Japan wasn’t against Korea at that time, but it was afraid that Korea come to be controlled either by China or Russia.

If China won JP-Sino War, Korea might have become a colony of China, also if Russia defeated Japan, Korea must have been Russian’s. After all Japan’s victories of the two wars leaded Korea to the position of a democracy based on the market economy like today.
(sorry if misinstlation)