Japan pulls back on denials of WWII sex slaves

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Thorlifter, May 8, 2013.

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  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Japan pulls back on denials of WWII sex slavery

    TOKYO (AP) — Japan has acknowledged that it conducted only a limited investigation before claiming there was no official evidence that its imperial troops coerced Asian women into sexual slavery before and during World War II.

    A parliamentary statement signed Tuesday by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged the government had a set of documents produced by a postwar international military tribunal containing testimony by Japanese soldiers about abducting Chinese women as military sex slaves. That evidence apparently was not included in Japan's only investigation of the issue, in 1991-1993.

    Tuesday's parliamentary statement also said documents showing forcible sex slavery may still exist. The statement did not say whether the government plans to consider the documents as evidence showing that troops had coerced women into sexual slavery.

    Over the past two days, top officials of Abe's conservative government have appeared to soften their stance on Japan's past apologies to neighboring countries for wartime atrocities committed by the Imperial Army, saying Japan does not plan to revise them.

    The backtracking appears intended to allay criticisms of Abe's earlier vows to revise the apologies, including an acknowledgment of sexual slavery during the war, and calm tensions with neighbors South Korea and China. The U.S. government also has raised concerns about Abe's nationalist agenda.

    Abe has acknowledged so-called "comfort women" existed but denied they were coerced into prostitution, citing a lack of official evidence. He also has repeatedly vowed to reassess apologies by past Japanese administrations.

    The parliamentary statement, released Tuesday and seen by the Associated Press on Wednesday, was in response to an official inquiry last month to the upper house of Parliament by opposition lawmaker Tomoko Kami, who said the government's investigation into sex slavery was "insufficient" and documents it claimed to have collected were incomplete.

    Kami, of the Japan Communist Party, also asked whether the government had ever updated its archives to reflect more recent findings than the earlier investigation. The answer was no.

    The statement acknowledged documents produced by the 1946-1948 International Military Tribunal for the Far East, held in Tokyo, but said they were not in the Cabinet Secretariat's archives. It did not say when the documents were found or whether they are reflected in any official statements about sexual slavery.

    Abe also has criticized the tribunal's decisions as "condemnation by the allied victors' judgment," but has said he's in no position to object to the rulings Japan had already accepted.

    The parliamentary statement described the 1993 findings as "the result of an all-out and sincere investigation" that brought "closure." But it said the government is open to updates if new findings are valid.

    "Due to the nature of the issue, there is a possibility that previously unavailable documents may be discovered. In such a case, we are asking related ministries and offices to report to the Cabinet," it said.

    The documents quote testimony from Japanese soldiers saying they recruited women by posting advertisements for factory workers and "threatened them and used them as prostitutes for the bestial lust of the troops."

    One army lieutenant testified that he helped set up a brothel for soldiers including himself, forcing five women in the city of Guilin in southern China to work as prostitutes for eight months.

    Meanwhile, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that Japan recognizes the harm it caused during its invasion and occupation of much of Asia, and that it has repeatedly and clearly stated that position.

    "The Abe government has expressed sincere condolences to all victims of the war, in and out of the country, and there is no change in that," Suga said in response to a question about a comment by South Korean President Park Geun-hye, published in The Washington Post this week, asserting that Japan should correct its view of its wartime history.

    Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida echoed Suga's remarks.

    "The Japanese government has accepted the facts of history in a spirit of humility, expressed once again our feelings of deep remorse and our heartfelt apology, and expressed our feelings of profound mourning for all victims, both at home and abroad," he told reporters. "And Prime Minister Abe shares the same view."

    China and South Korea have reacted harshly to recent nationalistic events and remarks, including visits by several Japanese government ministers and nearly 170 lawmakers to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, which memorializes 2.3 million war dead, including 14 wartime leaders convicted of war crimes. Rancor over territorial disputes has further strained relations between Japan and its neighbors.

    Only in the past two decades has Japan acknowledged some of its past brutalities, including medical atrocities and use of poison gas, as well as sexual slavery — a legacy that still haunts Tokyo's relations with its neighbors.

    Before he took office in December, Abe had advocated revising a 1993 statement by then-Prime Minister Yohei Kono expressing remorse for the suffering caused to the sexual slaves of Japanese troops.
     
  2. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    'Only in the past two decades has Japan acknowledged some of its past brutalities, including medical atrocities and use of poison gas, as well as sexual slavery — a legacy that still haunts Tokyo's relations with its neighbors'.

    Something to remember when you drive your Toyota...
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Let's not make this political gents!
     
  4. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, we don't fuss about Mercedes Benz when we talk about the Nazi's.

    It has always been head shaking to me when I think about how (in general) the Japanese basically just stick with ..... "It didn't happen" or "We don't know what your talking about". I guess if you keep saying it didn't happen long enough, people will start to believe it.
     
  5. raumatibeach

    raumatibeach Banned

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    I drive a Toyota Hilux, they are made in Thailand
     
  6. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    #6 Readie, May 9, 2013
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
    Not so much these days but, up till the mid 1970's buying any German car was seen as deeply unpatriotic here.
    Best not to mention buying Jap to any Burma Star vet in those days either.

    Nowadays, German cars are seen as quality motors and Japanese equals quality reliability. Look at the JD Power survey Which etc.

    We may have won the military war but, we have lost the economic war both here and in the USA.
     
  7. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Abe seems only wanting to correct exaggeration by the neighbors.
    Don't call us Jap, please.
     
  8. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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  9. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Thanks John!
     
  10. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    As always Shinpachi, even though we don't always agree, I'm glad you responded to this thread as I always respect your perspective. What are the neighbors saying that is wrong? And by neighbors I'm assuming you mean China and possibly Korea?

    The way I see it is I have no problem with national pride at all. I love my country just as I know you love yours. I just have a problem with changing facts and history just because people don't like the past and the "black eye" it gives them. For example, in the U.S., I hate how the settlers treated the indians, but we don't deny it happened or say it wasn't that bad.
     
  11. raumatibeach

    raumatibeach Banned

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    Who was exaggerating? Are you saying Japan didn't force women to become sex slaves in world war 2?
     
  12. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    #12 Shinpachi, May 10, 2013
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
    Thanks Thor for your kind courtesy if I may comment some about the issues with our neighbors.

    In my point of view, Japan has been not only stating her sincere apologies about the last war but providing great amount of financial aids, probably hundreds of billion in US dollars, as well as generous technological assistances to those Asian countries Japan had committed during the war.

    However, in my impression, Chinese in the continent and Koreans in the peninsula are not satisfied with them yet.
    They may have been seeing our generosity based on our regrets about the past as our weak point and may be thinking if they request more, we will give them everything they want, even our territory in the future. This is political, so I quit.

    It is a part of common sense for us Japanese that IJA did not commit managing brothels because services for the military were specialized by the civilians but our neighbors innocently claim IJA cheated girls. It's impossible.

    If I may comment on the Rape of Nanking, there are not a few strange facts in our Japanese point of view.
    I am ready to comment in details anytime.

    Thanks.
     
  13. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I don't think this thread is a very healthy discourse on this subject.

    I recall when I first came onto the forum I used the shortened term for Japanese,
    and was quickly warned I would be banished if I did it again.
     
  14. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I respectfully disagree Bill. I think this thread is the perfect place to discuss it and Shinpachi is gracious enough to offer the Japanese point of view. The mistake was made with the shortened word for Japanese, it was pointed out, it was corrected, and the apology was made. It think that's the way it should work.

    It will continue to amaze me that we can freely discuss Nazi atrocities and to a point on Russian atrocities (I've never seen an in depth discussion), but each time someone brings up what the Japanese are accused of, it's almost "verboten". That's why I respect Shinpachi even more for his willingness to discuss it from Japan's P.O.V.

    Moving on.......I never knew Japan had paid all that money to other countries as financial aid. Thank you for that information.

    In books I have read, it has been mentioned that it was believed if a soldier had sex the night before battle, that he was invincible. Do you know if this belief was true? You stated "It is a part of common sense for us Japanese that IJA did not commit managing brothels because services for the military were specialized by the civilians but our neighbors innocently claim IJA cheated girls. It's impossible." I don't believe the issue is being focused on what the IJA did, but what the Japanese, as a whole, did in regards to this subject. Whether it was the IJA itself or some guy named Bob supplying girls for the IJA, either way it was girls being used as sex slaves and most were in that role NOT of their free will.
     
  15. raumatibeach

    raumatibeach Banned

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    I'd be interested in hearing more about the billions of dollars of financial aid Japan has given to the countries it invaded during the war.But first Shinpachi I realise english isn't your first language so expand on this please

    It doesn't really matter which Japanese people kept the women as sex slaves it looks very much like Japan is trying trying to weasel out of taking responsibilty for their horrendous behavior on some sort of technicality.
     
  16. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    This is a touchy subject to some, especially to my friend Shinpachi. Please be more respectful with your comments.
     
  17. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Limitting to the topic of sex slaves, OK, I will search and show you guys some interesting paper scraps that Korean Goverment has introduced recently as an evidence of comfort ladies.

    Thanks again, Thor, for your kind courtesy and Sorry, Bill, if I may have made you unpleasant.
    That was not my intention.
     
  18. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    #18 N4521U, May 11, 2013
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
    No worries Shinpachi. It's not you at all. It's the subject.
    I only peeked in now because you were the latest to post.

    I usually don't look in on these types of postings. I should not have added my thoughts.
     
  19. raumatibeach

    raumatibeach Banned

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    I realise this is a touchy subject but if a German poster said his country wasn't responsible for his countries behavior during world war two because it was run by an Austrian he'd deservedly be greeted with howls of derision. I really don't think it matters who was in charge of the sex slaves , quibbling over which Japanese people did it looks like they are trying to somehow minimise or deflect from what happened.
     
  20. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    #20 Shinpachi, May 11, 2013
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
    Thanks Bill for your kindest thoughts and comments.
    Sorry again but I have no way but go forward now as I do not want us to be misunderstood in the history forever.


    Gents,
    These small newspaper ad photos are the evidence of comfort ladies that Korean Government has showed us.
    Let me quote all senteces with English translation so that you can understand what they describe.

    COMFOR~1.GIF

    (Left one)
    『軍』慰安婦急募 Urgently Wanted Comfort Ladies for the “Army”
    一、行先 ○○部隊慰安所 Destination: Not decided yet but troops comfort station
    一、應募資格 年齢十八歳以上三十歳以内身體???? Qualification requirements: Age from 18 to 30. Healthy???
    一、募集期日 十月二十七日부터十一月八日까지 Recruitment date: From October 27 to November 8.
    一、出発日 十一月十日頃 Departure date: around November 10.
    一、本人面接하?即時決定할 Adoption will be decided after the interview immediately.
    一、募集人員 数十名 Recruiting number: several dozens
    一、希望者 左記まで至急?? Applicant contact with the following company
    京城府?????町一九五 195 ????? Seoul Prefecture
    (?)???門 (Company name)
    ?①二六四五 (Phone number)
    (許氏) Mr. Ho (Korean name person in charge)

    朝鮮総督府機関紙 Quoted from an organ paper of Korea Government-General
    “毎日新報” Mae Il Shin Bo (News paper in Korean language)
    1944年10月27日広告 Newspaper ad dated October 27, 1944



    (Right one)
    慰安婦 至急 大募集 Urgently Wanted Many Comfort Ladies
    年齢 一七歳以上三十三歳迄 Age: From 17 to 33.
    勤先 後方○○隊慰安所 Place of work: Troops comfort station after the front
    月収 三○○圓以上(前借三○○○圓迄可)Monthly income: more than 300yen(loan up to 3,000yen OK )
    午前八時より午後十時まで本人??Interview?: from 8:00am to 10:00pm
    京城府???二○ (Company address) 20??? Seoul Prefecture
    今井紹介所 (Company name) Imai Agency (Japanese company)
    電話②??? (phone)

    新聞”京城日報”1944年7月26日 Quoted from Newspaper “Keijo(Seoul) Nippo(Daily)” dated July 26, 1944

    To compare, the starting salary for a policeman was 45yen in 1944.
    Were they slaves?
     
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