Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Japan to World: You're all gullable idiots

That is what the country is saying. Apparently, since the rest of the world got upset about poor, innocent Abe's (and poor innocent Japan) denial that Japan coerced women into becoming sex slaves in WW2 (but stands by its 1993 sort of "apology" for maybe in some way doing something like that) the Japanese establishment (LDP, media, mainstream academia, right-wing thugs etc.) have decided to once again bring out the tired old pack of lies that Abe's meaning of the word coercion was misunderstood by all those foreign idiots--as well as by many Japanese.

The fact is that nobody gives a f**k what Japan's definition of coercion is. The victims know what the meaning of Japanese atrocities like this are. That is what is important.

Here is a victim's statement. I was taken away by force by Japanese officers, and a Japanese military doctor forced me to undress to examine me before I was taken away,”
Would this not be coercion? Japan is trying to withdraw its 1993 unofficial "apology" because Abe and his ilk who are running the country do not think Japan has anything to apologize for.
They believe if they insist upon this nonsensical spin that there will be plenty of naive, simple-minded foreigners who will accept it.

The Asahi Shimbun, supposedly a liberal newspaper, has published an editorial supporting Abe's excuses. They certainly took no issue with it except to say he should be careful so that foreign idiots do not misunderstand him and harm Japan's reputation. Screw the victims and their reputation, call them liars and whores.

No, the Asahi Shimbun in the IHT does not take letters to the editor.

EDITORIAL/ 'Comfort women' issue


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ignited controversy at home and abroad for his remarks concerning "comfort women"--Asian women in sexual servitude to Japanese troops during World War II.

Responding to a question from the press last week, Abe stated: "There is no evidence to validate the coercion the way it was originally defined. We must now address this issue on the basis of this new understanding."

The U.S. media and others said that the prime minister was denying the existence of wartime sex slaves, or any evidence thereof. Song Min Soon, the South Korean minister of foreign affairs and trade, reportedly said that such comments were not helpful.

These reactions, however, seem to have been excessive. Questioned by a Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) lawmaker during an Upper House Budget Committee meeting on Monday, the prime minister reiterated, "The government continues to support the Kono statement."

Issued by then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono in 1993, the Kono statement represents the Japanese government's official stand on the "comfort women" issue. The statement admits that the Imperial Japanese Army was involved in the establishment of brothels and that the recruitment of the women was generally against their will. The statement also notes that the women were forced to live in dire conditions.

Immediately after becoming prime minister last year, Abe declared that he would continue to support the Kono statement. He now appears to be saying that since his stance has not changed, he does not want anyone to misunderstand him.

Abe seems fixated on the word "coercion," and this is what has made his remarks difficult to understand. The prime minister explained Monday that there was "coercion in the broad sense of the word," citing the fact that traders effectively recruited the women by force. But Abe said there was no "coercion in the strict sense of the word," as in authorities abducting the women.

However, in the overall process of recruiting, transporting and supervising the women, there were obviously situations where coercion was used. The Kono statement takes this position. It is hardly gracious of Abe, the prime minister of Japan, to split hairs over the trivial definition or distinction of a word.

One reason why Abe's remarks have stirred controversy is that he was once the standard-bearer of a group of lawmakers opposed to the Kono statement. This group is still discussing how to revise the statement.

And the group opposes the recent U.S. House resolution bill demanding an official apology from the Japanese prime minister for his nation's wartime sexual exploitation of Asian women.

In response to the Kono statement, the government in 1995 established the Asian Women's Fund designed to compensate former "comfort women" with funds of the private sector. The fund was set up during the coalition administration of Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama of the Social Democratic Party.

After Murayama, each of the next four Liberal Democratic Party prime ministers--from Ryutaro Hashimoto to Junichiro Koizumi--signed a "letter of apology" and sent it to the surviving former "comfort women." This was part of a commitment maintained jointly by the government and private citizens to seek reconciliation with fellow Asians whom Japan victimized during the war.

Having confirmed his position on the "comfort women" issue as the head of government, Abe should refrain from making comments that may invite misunderstandings. He could hurt Japan's credibility if he is not careful.

What the government can do now is to explain to the U.S. Congress how Japan has been dealing with the issue, including the letters of apology and other facts.

Abe is denying any direct Japanese government involvement in this. It was all the dirty deeds of subcontractors? This is supposed to make a difference in the understanding of his statement? It seems to be accurate as reported. Abe is denying Japan's responsibility, like he always had before becoming prime minister. If not, wha exactly is the purpose of reopening the whole issue? Because the U.S. Congress may pass a resolution asking for a clear, unambiguous apology? Note that the Japanese government is NOT paying the victims with money from that fund. It is private contributions. It also ends very soon. And had Abe's LDP been in power in 1993, there would never have been even this inadequate action taken nor would they have permitted the quasi-official, quasi-apology.

Apparently they assume the U.S. Congress is full of idiots too. They may be right. Of course, they can always buy support. Always have.

I wonder why the victims do not accept the letters of apology? Is Japan claiming greed? Claiming they misunderstand? They don't know the meaning of coercion? Or simply calling them liars? (Abe has said there are no witnesses to prove the military forced women into becoming sex slaves. The women themselves apparently are not witnesses. Certainly not reliable, in Abe's and his fellow neo-emperor worshippers' opinions.)

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