Australian 'Comfort Woman' Survivor to Testify Before Congress on February 15

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Pacific Historian
Jun 4, 2005
Orange County, CA
Australian 'Comfort Woman' Survivor to Testify Before Congress on
February 15
Washington February 13, 2007 - An Australian "Comfort Woman"
survivor, Ms. Jan Ruff O'Herne, will testify as a witness along with
two Korean survivors at a congressional hearing in Washington
titled "Protecting the Human Rights of 'Comfort Women'" on February
15 at 1:30 p.m. (EST).
As O'Herne traveled from her home in Adelaide to Washington today,
she said, "This hearing is the pinnacle of my last 15 years of work
on getting justice for 'Comfort Women.' I can't wait to embrace the
other survivors -- we have waited 60 years for this!"
This is the first official hearing organized by any government to
invite survivors to testify.
"The United States is a powerful country in the world. I hope they
can do what other countries cannot," Ms. O'Herne said when asked what
she expects to achieve from testifying on Thursday. "I have spoken
out in many countries, but I hope by doing so in America they can
pressure the Japanese government to apologize officially and bring us
justice. Japan must acknowledge their war time atrocities and teach
correct history in their text books."
As the first Caucasian "Comfort Women" survivor to speak out,
O'Herne's presence will contribute to maintaining the focus as a
women's human rights issue, rather than an Asian regional politics
Friends of "Comfort Women" in Australia (FCWA) campaign coordinator
Anna Song, accompanying O'Herne says, "This U.S. congressional
hearing provides a chance for the Japanese government to show that
they respect human rights and as a member of the UN Human Rights
Council that they are ready to respect and promote women's human
rights during war."
In Australia, the campaign to bring justice to "Comfort Women" will
continue with O'Herne scheduled to be featured as the main speaker
for the Global "Wednesday Demonstration" for International Women's
Day on March 7, outside the Japanese consulate in Sydney. For more
information, visit Fairfax Water. au.
"I hope this hearing inspires Australian government to take an active
step to protect and promote human rights of 'Comfort Women,'
including that of the Australian survivor Ms. O'Herne," Ms. Song
Wait, so what are the Japanese currently in their textbooks? Anyway, I fully agree that this needs to be acknowledged by the Japanese people and government.
The Japanese conveniently ignore their war atrocities such as “comfort women,” their treatment of POWs, their treatment of Chinese and Korean Civilians and other heinous crimes which made some of the Nazi crimes look like a Sunday school outing – BUT, every year on August 6, they bring up how thousands of poor innocent civilians were vaporized.

Many Japanese also like to bitch about the Tokyo fire bombings.

As the ole saying goes, “Payback’s a Bitch!!!
I agree Wild. And FBJ is correct. In Oct 2005 I was in Singapore. Went to the Old Bunker Head Quartars for Gen Percival Fort Canning. I was speaking to one of the curators there and most Japanese that visit Fort Canning in Singapore or the Replica Changi Chapel Memorial have no clue as to why and what occurred in Singapore in early 1942 to 1945. they arrive at Singapore thinking its all Asian now until some one like the Curator at Fort Canning informs them of what occurred in Singapore during the war and what Japanese Soldiers did to local population and atrocities that occurred. Especially at the Hospitals where Japanese Soldiers bayonetted helpless wounded civilians and soldiers to death and included bayonetting Nursing Doctors and Hospital Staff who tried to protect all the patients. The Japanese are never taught about what their grand parents did during WW2 and before that in Nanking China etc

And that Australian Woman isn't the only Comfort Woman. Many Western Women and Asian Women have lived in shame for 60 years because of what happened to them. they were raped pure and simple. and rape even in War is still an atrocity and I agree Japan must compensate those women and apologise

I remember seeing in London about 10 years ago or maybe bit more than that. the Emperor of Japan went and paid a visit to the Queen. As the Japanese Royal Couple who were in a coach. with the British Royal Family and they were heading for a War Memorial in London. Ex POW's from
Changi and the Thai Burma Railways lined the streets like an honour guard. Until the Coach drew level to the ranks of survivors. And then each man about faced and turned their back onto the Japanese Royal Couple. In doing this those survivors told the Japanese Emperor that Japan until teaching correct history will live in shame for the atrocities it committed during WW2.

Macarthur what the Japanese teach in their history books you would be amazed. what they don't teach in their history books lets put it this way. You would be ****ing pissed off.

And Sys thanks for reminding us about this thread. An old movie has come to mind which starred Virginia Mckenna and Peter Finch. was called A Town Like Alice. It was later remade in a TV Series if I recall properly same title etc. Another I think was called Paradise Road Starred Glynn Close similar to A Town Like Alice but unsure if that is correct title so don't quote me ok.

I watched a Documentary here Sys about the Thai Burma Railway and what the POWs went through. Interesting Doco recommend if you get a chance view it. Saw it on History Channel. And up what was called the Via Duct a wooden structure on the side of a 250 ft cliff built by Australian POWs. There was these B&W photos taken by the Japanese. This bloody Japanese former Army Engineer who over saw the construction. Verhermentally denied that forced labour was used to build this Via Duct by POWs by the Japanese Army etc. But clearly in the photos shown one could see Australians working. This Japanese Officer of Engineers told the film crew these Australians had all volunteered and were well fed and cared for. He wasn't believed by any means
Macarthur what the Japanese teach in their history books you would be amazed. what they don't teach in their history books lets put it this way. You would be ****ing pissed off.

Dude, I'm already pissed off that such atrocities have not been brought to a general public light over there. As per what they're teaching, I say we bring in people from all different nations, including ones that were affected by the Pacific War, and have them help the Japanese book writers figure out the true history.
My wife is a Filippina. Her Grand Father was a Resistance Leader and Organiser in the Visaya of the Philippines. He was also Philippine Army prior to WW2 and afterwards. From what my wife's family has told me about the Japanese Occupation in the Phillippines and particularly around where my wife's family comes from in Cebu. Her family has never forgotten or forgiven the Japanese. And what you are asking has already been done and every case has been dismissed by various Japanese Govts ever since the end of WW2. Japan does not want to except liability for war crimes because they deem already that the Allies had already hanged most involved like Tojo and others like him. Problem is. denial of what occurred doesn't help those effected not just the Comfort Women but every day ordinary people of South east Asia. Japan is ignoring them
This Japanese Officer of Engineers told the film crew these Australians had all volunteered and were well fed and cared for. He wasn't believed by any means

That's a big one for totalitarian regimes. I recall the Nazis used to record the deaths in Camps as due to "Heart Failure". I can't remember what the Soviets used to attribute the deaths to but it was a similar beaurocratic BS line.

"Everybody was fine and treated well. Those that died did so from natural causes".

Tim lets face it as for any convention went on treatment of POWs Civilians Local Population or just about any one. The Japanese have ignored every convention there is to Warfare prior to and including WW2 and have ignored or played down any ideas that their grandparents their sacred ancestors for lack of a better term had behaved in such an uncivilized manner during a war that they lost. As a matter of fact I have little sympathy for those Japanese who perished during the 2 Atomic Bombs being dropped on Japan in 1945. Japan like Germany sowed the wind and reaped a whirlwind you might say.

As for the firebombings of Japanese cities like Tokyo Nagasaki Kote etc etc. Well what of the cities of Shanghi Nanking HongKong Singapore Manila just to name a few. What of the men forced to build a bloody railway in Thailand and Burma. What of the Comfort Women forced into prostitution and what of the ordinary civilians. Men and children murdered and women raped repeatly like the women in Manila in 1945. We may forgive but we certainly don't forget
Amen to the apologies the japanese should be making. I don't hate the japanese now, but I feel they should apologize and teach their schoolchildren of the atrocities that have been committed; like how in my history classes, I've learned of slavery, how the native americans lost their lands to our settlers.
it is acceptable denial through out japan and we are the bad boys because of the dropping of the 2 bombs on the country.

Vassili don't even go there about settlers taking Indian lands. my wife is part Cherokee and I have heard many many stories about the lies and the spreading of toxic diseases. let's face it tribes eliminated tribes all through the east before the white man came over by ship ........... well this could get OT and I won't progress any further
What does Abe have to say about Unit 731?

Unit 731 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Unit 731 - A Half Century of Denial

Unit 731 was a covert medical experimentation unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that researched biological warfare through human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japanese personnel. Officially known by the Imperial Japanese Army as the Army Epidemic Prevention Research Laboratory, it was initially set up as a political and ideological section of the Kempeitai military police of pre-Pacific War Japan. It was meant to counter the ideological or political influence of enemies, and to reinforce the ideology of military units.
If the Japanese were angry about allied atrocities why didn't they rearm and seek vengeance? I don't see how they could have truly believed in what they were fighting for if they simply accepted defeat and made no attempt to reverse the outcome. Being pacifist is fine but if that the case the Japanese should not have acted like they wanted to fight in the first place.
Have the British apologized for what they did in Africa and Asia under colonialism?

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