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Japan's Parliament runs ad denying CW issues


17 Jan 2007
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Japan's Parliament runs an ad in Washington Post denying Comfort Women issues.

Only found one article regarding this through Google search.
An Australian woman forced into sex slavery in World War II says she's trembling with anger at a Japanese government advertisement denying the war-time atrocities.

Adelaide resident Jan Ruff-O'Herne says she has lost all respect for the Japanese government after the advertisement appeared in the Washington Post newspaper.

The ad, signed by 44 members of Japan's parliament, seeks to share "the truth with the American people" about the 200,000 "comfort women" who were driven into brothels during WWII.


1 Mar 2004
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Japan's Parliament runs an ad in Washington Post denying Comfort Women issues.

Only found one article regarding this through Google search.

The thread title gives readers an impression that Japanese legislature, in other word the government itself, denies the whole issue. The Age article fell into the same misconception.
Adelaide resident Jan Ruff-O'Herne says she has lost all respect for the Japanese government after the advertisement appeared in the Washington Post newspaper.
The truth is, that 42 from House of Representatives (out of 480) and 2 from House of Councillors (out of 242) signed, which is not the official stance of the Japanese government.

It would be the best to first read the advertizement itself: a Web page titled Ad about Comfort Women in the Washington Post has it. Just scroll down a little then "Click here for full size version" link appears there.

It is probably very baffling, if not anger-inducing, to have to go through what people can hardly believe.
Logic structure is mess, the writing style does not meet standards for convincing essays at all, actually the purpose/goal of the whole page is totally unclear.

Most people interpret it as revisionists' unsuccessful attempt to rewrite history, but a few people might feel that it can help to continue researches so that new discoveries perhaps found out sometime.

Comments about each section below:

"No historical document has ever been found by historians or research organizations that positively demonstrates that women were forced against their will into prostitution by Japanese Army."

That was what Yohei Kono said at a conference of 日本の前途と歴史教育を考える若手議員の会, a "right-winger" diet member group, as a guest in 1997 (he is the one who issued Kono Statement in 1993, the fundamental on the issue.)

He said,

Full transcript is available in 歴史教科書への疑問 published by Tendensha.
No lawsuit filed about the content of the book yet.

No reports has been heard about finding solid proof since then, which would be making a breaking news.

Some even claim that the only direct military involvement confirmed so far (except FACT 3 part below) is, regular blood exams for STDs by army surgeons.

The sad thing is that many/most modern Koreans cannot read Chinese characters now. So they simply do not trust Japanese translators who provide information about pre-war Korean newspaper articles.

"This offers proof that the Japanese government dealt severely with inhumane crimes against women."

Overstatement. They must have been serious, but that does not necessarily tell if it worked effective or not.
One article is not enough to see crime statistics back then, although it seems that police did their job properly at least once, probably more than just once.

Lastly, a thought that enrages many people: ethnic Koreans living in the peninsula back then were second-class Japanese citizens.
Therefore former comfort women are not lying at all when they say "Japanese brokers fooled me with nice job opportunity, then I found myself in a brothel" regardless of ethnicity of brokers.
The old Korean newspaper article does not seem to mention criminals' nationality either.

This is a bad one. There are huge differences between claims of the ad and what the rest of the world thinks. More than enough to make Dutch people angered.


"On the island of Semarang in Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), for instance, an army unit forcibly rounded up a group of young Dutch women to work at a 'comfort station.'"

People would feel that the sentence should have been:

"In Mar. 1944 on the island of Semarang in Japanese East Indies (now Indonesia), for instance, the 16th Army cadet unit forcibly rounded up at least thirty five 17-28yr old Dutch women from detention camps in Halmahera, Ambarawa and Gedangan to work at four 'comfort stations' namely Officer Club, Semarang Club, Hinomaru Club and Seiunso, without wages."


"The station was shut down under army orders, though, when this incident came to light, and the responsible officers were punished."

"The stations were shut down in Apr. 1944 under colonel Kaoru Odajima from ministry of army orders the 16th Army, though, when this incident came to the light during the war, they did not try the responsible officers by Japanese court martial."


"Those involved in this and other war crimes were subsequently tried in Dutch courts and received heavy sentenses, including the death penalty."

"In 1948 those involved in this as class B or C war crimes were subsequently tried in Batavia Tribunal and 11 of them were judged guilty, including death penalty for major Keiji Okada."

The army orders in original paper, as well as other primary sources instead of hearsay would give the conclusive answers to deny or prove what exactly happened, otherwise there is no guarantee that one claim is absolutely correct and the other is totally wrong.
Maybe someone has/saw hard evidences to back claims that are not accepted now.

Nevertheless the readers do get strong impressions that they try to belittle the case, then start suspecting how many more "breakdowns in discipline" occured.

Discrepancies among testimonies made by the same person: an example that a poster had mentioned already here is,

The Statement of Lee Yong-soo at Lower House on Feb. 15 2007
In the autumn of 1944, when I was 16 years old, my friend, Kim Punsun, and I were collecting shellfish at the riverside when we noticed an elderly man and a Japanese man looking down at us form the hillside. The older man pointed at us with his finger, and the Japanese man started to walk towards us. The older man disappeared, and the Japanese beckoned to us to follow him. I was scared and ran away, not caring about what happened to my friend. A few days later, Punsun knocked on my window early in the morning, and whispered to me to follow her quietly. I tip-toed out of the house after her. I lift without telling my mother. I was wearing a dark skirt, a long cotton blouse buttoned up at the front and slippers on my feet. I followed my friend until we met the same man who had tried to approach us on the riverbank. He looked as if he was in his late thirties and he wore a sort of People's Army uniform with a combat cap. Altogether, there were five girls with him, including myself.
Then an Associated Press article by Alexis Dudden and Kozo Mizoguchi, about Japanese prime minister's comment on Mar. 1st 2007, titled "Abe's Violent Denial: Japan's Prime Minister and the 'Comfort Women'" states,
Lee Yong-soo, 78, a South Korean who was interviewed during a recent trip to Tokyo, said she was 14 when Japanese soldiers took her from her home in 1944 to work as a sex slave in Taiwan.
It is natural that old people's memories sometimes become not very clear. Then the organizations that support victims, arranging lecture tours throughout the world and helping publications of their experiences, should try to cross-examine other information sources and material to find out what really happened where and when.

Unfortunately there seem to be no such activities conducted. Instead the supporter groups seem to be more interested in blaming Japan without deeper reserches for accuracies in details.
There has been no correction announcement by any support organization about the contradicting testimonies been pointed out for a long time either.

That might be a part of reasons why some people started to feel something fishy.

There was even a pure factual error that was pointed out in the past posts here and here. Did they knowingly or unknowingly make such a basic mistake.

Too weak to convince readers. Real numbers about income should have been provided if the US document states that, in addition to prices back then. Cost for a cup of cofee, buying a house, so forth.

It is also important to find out if the payments were made in military scrip or yen, because scrip turned to garbage when Japan lost the war.
A question is, if it was realistically possible for women in brothels to buy goods at PX with scrip then sell them to obtain cash.

"There are records of soldiers being punished for acts of violence against the woman."

Detailed examples needed, as well as punishments by whom. Just like the FACT 3 part.

To conclude, those who want to raise questions about the issue need to take ENG101 class before typing any paragraph. They also need to understand what people feel when some "unacceptable" comments are made.
It was their first attempt anyway, so they probably did not anticipate consequences.
On the other hand, the activists who support victims had better improve their approaches; when general public feel that they were fooled, they will start suspecting every single statement including past ones too.
Goebbels method might not work forever, as Lincoln mentioned in the past.

The healthiest would be, continued studies about the issue because there are still much to work on. The ideal is involvement of neutral academics, historians and other professionals. Time is rather limited, and most people hope to see more to be unvailed.

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23 Jan 2007
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Is it necessary to have multiple threads of the same or similar information?
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