Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    04 Oct '18 19:561 edit
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/04/osaka-drops-san-francisco-as-sister-city-over-comfort-women-statue

    "Osaka drops San Francisco as sister city over 'comfort women' statue.
    Mayor of Japanese city says memorial for women used as sex slaves
    in Japan is not historically accurate."

    "Osaka’s mayor, Hirofumi Yoshimura, terminated official ties this
    week after the US city agreed to recognise the “comfort women”
    statue, which was erected by a private group last year in San Francisco’s
    Chinatown district, as public property.

    The statue depicts three women – from China, Korea and the Philippines – who
    symbolise women and teenage girls forced to work in frontline
    brothels from the early 1930s until Japan’s wartime defeat in 1945."

    "Campaigners and some historians say as many as 200,000 women
    – mostly Koreans, but also Chinese, south-east Asians and a small
    number of Japanese and Europeans – were forced or tricked into working
    in military brothels between 1932 and Japan’s defeat in 1945."

    "The inscription reads: “This monument bears witness to the
    suffering of hundreds of thousands of women and girls,
    euphemistically called ‘Comfort Women,’ who were sexually
    enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces in thirteen
    Asian-Pacific countries from 1931-1945. Most of these women
    died during their wartime captivity.”

    Yoshimura added that the focus on Japan’s wartime conduct
    ignored the widespread sexual abuse of women by other countries
    during the second world war and other conflicts."

    "Campaigners accused Yoshimura of attempting to rewrite history.
    “Breaking the relationship over a memorial is outrageous and absurd,”
    said Lillian Sing, co-chair of the Comfort Women Justice Coalition.
    “It shows how afraid the Osaka mayor and Japanese prime minister
    are of truth and are trying to deny history.”

    This Japanese politician makes a 'what about' argument that
    it's wrong to criticize Japanese soldiers for raping women and girls
    (which they enjoyed doing on an industrial scale) because other
    soldiers enjoyed rape too.

    It's common for Japanese establishment 'historians' (usually right-wing nationalists)
    to go to about any length to deny evidence of Japanese war crimes.
    Japanese nationalists have a popular belief that the infamous Rape of
    Nanking ever happened and is a fabrication of Chinese propaganda.
    Some Westerners go along with this because they hate enough of
    the same people that right-wing Japanese nationalists hate.

    Indeed, some Western journalists or 'historians' can get paid well
    in Japan to speak out there in support of Japanese nationalist claims
    denying about all Japanese war crimes, at least against Asians.
    Some of these Westerners may take care to make a distinction between
    Japanese war crimes against Asians (who cares?) and those against
    Westerners (which would taken much more seriously in the West).

    In my view, the memorial's inscription is historically accurate enough.
    It seemed common for the Japanese military to murder their sex slaves
    ('comfort women' is such a Japanese euphemism ) after they had been 'used up'.
    On at least one occasion, after American soldiers overran a Japanese-held island,
    they discovered the dead bodies of Asian women, sex slaves who
    were murdered by Japanese soldiers before they could be freed.

    A few Western white women were 'comfort women' too.
    I have read a memoir by a Dutch woman who survived a Japanese military brothel.
    As I recall, she received more privileged treatment than Asian women there.
    Some Japanese soldiers apparently regarded it as a special treat to
    have sexual intercourse with a white woman, so she was considered
    more valuable property.
  2. Behind the scenes
    Joined
    27 Jun '16
    Moves
    1406
    04 Oct '18 21:42
    @duchess64 said
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/04/osaka-drops-san-francisco-as-sister-city-over-comfort-women-statue

    "Osaka drops San Francisco as sister city over 'comfort women' statue.
    Mayor of Japanese city says memorial for women used as sex slaves
    in Japan is not historically accurate."

    "Osaka’s mayor, Hirofumi Yoshimura, terminated official ties this
    week after ...[text shortened]... treat to
    have sexual intercourse with a white woman, so she was considered
    more valuable property.
    "Osaka drops San Francisco as sister city over 'comfort women' statue.
    Mayor of Japanese city says memorial for women used as sex slaves
    in Japan is not historically accurate."



    And in other news: Stink Bugs have been found to be of Economic Importance in America North of Mexico. 😀

    http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1653/0015-4040%282002%29085%5B0297%3ASBOEII%5D2.0.CO%3B2
  3. Joined
    20 Oct '16
    Moves
    8800
    05 Oct '18 20:242 edits
    @duchess64 said
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/04/osaka-drops-san-francisco-as-sister-city-over-comfort-women-statue

    "Osaka drops San Francisco as sister city over 'comfort women' statue.
    Mayor of Japanese city says memorial for women used as sex slaves
    in Japan is not historically accurate."

    "Osaka’s mayor, Hirofumi Yoshimura, terminated official ties this
    week after ...[text shortened]... treat to
    have sexual intercourse with a white woman, so she was considered
    more valuable property.
    I love the Japanese language and culture, but the politics and history (of the late 19th and 20th centuries) are problematic for me. History is either neglected or twisted to the extent of it being propaganda. It's quite common for politicians to deny that any rapes took place in Nanjing, or to blame it on Chinese spies. War criminals are still honoured and schoolchildren are taught a biased view of their history, etc. I could be here all day.

    The bottom line is that a worryingly high number of Japanese people seem ignorant of their country's history. Considering that Japan's crimes were equal in scale to Germany's, this is totally unacceptable. I would equate it with Germans honouring Nazi leaders (like at Yasukuni), being ignorant of the Holocaust, or teaching their children that it never happened. It would be unthinkable.

    My Japanese tutor herself has displayed a degree of Sinophobia that makes me uncomfortable. This has led to some slightly awkward conversations. Japanese people, in general, do not seem to understand why relations with their neighbours (China and Korea especially) are a bit on the frosty side. About no effort has been made to address the past.

    For example, there is a trend in Japan right now called "Manji".

    YouTube

    It speaks for itself. Of course, the symbol is not identical to the swastika, and it was used before the Nazis hijacked a similar version of it, but that's not really the point. What is worrying is that people could not identify the swastika when it was shown to them alongside manji. Almost none of them made the connection or knew anything about the history, even asking "The Nazis, who were they again?". For me, this represents a failure on behalf of the Japanese education system.

    If I recall correctly, you wrote to me explaining why some Chinese and Koreans do not blindly love Japanese culture, using Israeli Jews and German culture as a parallel example, but I was too snowed under to respond. I would say that Germany has done far better than Japan has in that regard. My mother grew up in Israel and Hebrew is her first language. While she does not love Germany, she does not dislike it either. She took me there as a child, and it was O.K, I suppose. I know that Germany is a country with a rich culture and history that has certainly added much value to the world, and that it is much more than the WW1/Nazi era. While I don't think I will ever love Germany, I can appreciate and respect that an effort has been made. Japan, on the other hand, has some catching up to do before her neighbours can move on.
  4. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    05 Oct '18 20:43
    @ashiitaka said
    I love the Japanese language and culture, but the politics and history (of the late 19th and 20th centuries) are problematic for me. History is either neglected or twisted to the extent of it being propaganda. It's quite common for politicians to deny that any rapes took place in Nanjing, or to blame it on Chinese spies. War criminals are still honoured and schoolchildren ...[text shortened]... s been made. Japan, on the other hand, has some catching up to do before her neighbours can move on.
    I have met many Japanese who believe nationalistic propaganda that Japan was
    the innocent victim of unprovoked aggression first by China and then by the USA.
    (Japanese can sometimes get gullible Americans to agree if they omit criticizing the USA.)
    The 'ABCD' (American, British, Chinese, Dutch) powers are seen as Japan's enemies.
    It's about the equivalent of 'Holocaust denial', but while that's illegal and stigmatized
    in Germany, it seems to be a respectable mainstream position in Japan today.

    During the First World War, Japan fought for the Allies, with the aim (approved by
    the British) of seizing German colonial possessions in China and the Pacific.
    German POWs were well-treated in Japan. Indeed, more than few of them chose
    to stay in Japan rather than return to their starving Vaterland after the war.

    My point is that the Japanese were NOT genetically programmed to act as brutally
    toward POWs and civilians as they did toward (mostly Chinese) in 1919-45.
    Yet, even during the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese war, Japanese soldiers already showed
    racist dehumanization of Chinese civilians, sometimes casually murdering them.
    This trend became much worse later.

    So why did the Japanese become significantly more brutal and barbarous in the 1920s-40s?
    There's not a simple answer. One contributing factor may have been the political
    culture of common violence in Japan, where extreme right-wing nationalists often
    murdered their perceived enemies. Even so, as late as around 1940, one brave
    Japanese socialist politician dared to denounce Japan for its aggression against China.

    I have been treated with courtesy and sometimes with admiration by Japanese academics and teachers.
    (One admiring teacher eagerly took many photos of me from various angles.
    I wonder if I became a 'pin up'--for him to fantasize about--on his wall at home.)
    But Japan's wars in Asia and, particularly, Japanese war crimes are subjects too
    sensitive to bring up.
  5. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    05 Oct '18 21:061 edit
    @ashiitaka said
    I love the Japanese language and culture, but the politics and history (of the late 19th and 20th centuries) are problematic for me. History is either neglected or twisted to the extent of it being propaganda. It's quite common for politicians to deny that any rapes took place in Nanjing, or to blame it on Chinese spies. War criminals are still honoured and schoolchildren ...[text shortened]... s been made. Japan, on the other hand, has some catching up to do before her neighbours can move on.
    NHK (Japanese television) ran a story about a Japanese engineer who apparently
    believes that Japan should do more to atone for its past record in Asia, though
    NHK put it much more euphemistically, of course.

    He's trying to do his own share in improving relations between Japan and China.
    Using his vacation time, he's gone to China and advised--without expecting pay--the
    Chinese on how to improve earthquake safety (a common concern in both countries).
    He's helped to facilitate visits by Chinese to Japan in order to study the latest measures
    by the Japanese on earthquake safety. He seems well-liked and respected by the Chinese.
    He says that his work will be worth it if it contributes to saving even one life in the next earthquake.
  6. Standard membershavixmir
    Guppy poo
    Sewers of Holland
    Joined
    31 Jan '04
    Moves
    56281
    05 Oct '18 21:20
    @duchess64 said
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/04/osaka-drops-san-francisco-as-sister-city-over-comfort-women-statue

    "Osaka drops San Francisco as sister city over 'comfort women' statue.
    Mayor of Japanese city says memorial for women used as sex slaves
    in Japan is not historically accurate."

    "Osaka’s mayor, Hirofumi Yoshimura, terminated official ties this
    week after ...[text shortened]... treat to
    have sexual intercourse with a white woman, so she was considered
    more valuable property.
    It’s the age old defence: why are you going after me, everybody does it.

    Anybody using said defence deserves to be strung up like a pinjata and scrotum kicked for stupidity.

    Just to make it clear (because I’m pretty much concinced that some of our trailer bretheren won’t quite comprehend the point I’m making):

    Just because other people are bastards, doesn’t mean you can’t be judged for being a bastard.

    The Japanese seem to be pretty good at ignoring 1923 to 1946; or at least suggesting it was a sign of the times; or at least murmuring that they weren’t the only ones.

    Unit 731. End of. Bastards. Nothing but testicular torture (hell string them up dressed as wide-eyed unicorns for all I care) is good enough for them.

    Okay. Let’s bring a little perspective into things: obviously the current generation of Japanese people can’t be held responsible for the actions of former generations.

    But... denying the severity of those crimes is just asking to be ball-batted.
  7. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    05 Oct '18 21:311 edit
    @shavixmir said
    It’s the age old defence: why are you going after me, everybody does it.

    Anybody using said defence deserves to be strung up like a pinjata and scrotum kicked for stupidity.

    Just to make it clear (because I’m pretty much concinced that some of our trailer bretheren won’t quite comprehend the point I’m making):

    Just because other people are bastards, doesn’t mean y ...[text shortened]... former generations.

    But... denying the severity of those crimes is just asking to be ball-batted.
    The Japanese people today cannot be held responsible for committing the many war crimes before 1946,
    but they can and should be held responsible for refusing to teach history more honestly about them.
  8. SubscriberAThousandYoung
    iEn guardia, Ingles!
    tinyurl.com/y43jqfyd
    Joined
    23 Aug '04
    Moves
    24791
    05 Oct '18 23:111 edit
    I think the Boxer Rebellion led to loss of face for China in the eyes of the world. Here is a famous cartoon in which the UK, Germany, Russia, France and Japan divide up China while a Chinese Mandarin protests helplessly.

    https://comicsgrinder.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/china-imperialism-boxer-rebellion.jpg
  9. Joined
    20 Oct '16
    Moves
    8800
    06 Oct '18 06:59
    https://japantoday.com/category/politics/Japan-to-skip-naval-event-after-S-Korea-protests-over-flag

    Incidents like this happen all the time. Read the comments section for a taste of propaganda. Japan does little to endear itself to its neighbours.
  10. Standard membershavixmir
    Guppy poo
    Sewers of Holland
    Joined
    31 Jan '04
    Moves
    56281
    06 Oct '18 07:01
    @duchess64 said
    The Japanese people today cannot be held responsible for committing the many war crimes before 1946,
    but they can and should be held responsible for refusing to teach history more honestly about them.
    That is exactly what I wrote...
  11. Joined
    20 Oct '16
    Moves
    8800
    06 Oct '18 07:04
    @duchess64 said
    The Japanese people today cannot be held responsible for committing the many war crimes before 1946,
    but they can and should be held responsible for refusing to teach history more honestly about them.
    I agree. Obviously, the Japanese people today are not the same people who committed the atrocities in the name of their country in the 1940s (and earlier). They cannot be attacked for daring to choose to be born Japanese... No, the problem lies in the way history is taught (or not) and general attitude towards the past.
Back to Top