US lawmakers warn Japan PM on ‘comfort women’


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: New “future-oriented” statement on World War II. AP/KYODO NEWS

WASHINGTON—Two US lawmakers on Wednesday warned Prime Minister Shinzo Abe not to revise Japan’s apology over sexual enslavement in World War II, saying the move would set back relations between the allies.

The lawmakers raised the issue two days before a White House visit by the conservative Japanese premier, whose previous period in office was dogged by historical issues but who is now seen as increasingly pragmatic.

Representative Mike Honda, who spearheaded a 2007 House resolution that took Japan to task for holding wartime sex slaves, and Representative Steve Israel voiced “serious concern” about the Abe government’s stance.

In a letter, the two Democratic lawmakers wrote that if Japan revises a 1993 apology it “would have grave implications for the US-Japanese relationship and could ignite unnecessary tension and provocation with neighboring countries.”

Historians say about 200,000 “comfort women” from Korea, China, the Philippines and elsewhere were drafted into Japanese army brothels. The legacy remains a particular sore point in Japan’s relations with South Korea.

In the 1993 statement, Japan offered “sincere apologies” for the “immeasurable pain and suffering” inflicted on comfort women. Two years later, Japan issued a broader apology expressing “deep remorse” for war suffering.

Abe, whose grandfather was a World War II cabinet minister, raised controversy during his 2006 to 2007 premiership for his statements on comfort women and after leaving office he called for a revision of the apology.

The 1993 apology is passionately opposed by some conservatives who contend that Japan did not directly coerce the women.

Since returning to office in December, Abe said that he plans a new “future-oriented” statement on World War II.

He has declined comment on the comfort women apology, suggesting it was not under his purview as it was issued not by a prime minister but by Yohei Kono, then the chief cabinet secretary.

Honda, who was interned during World War II due to his Japanese ancestry, said that aging former comfort women were “still waiting for an appropriate apology” from Japan.

“Government is a living, breathing organism that is responsible for its past, present and future,” Honda said.

“As someone who was put into an internment camp as an infant during World War II, I know reconciliation through government actions, to admit error, are the only ones likely to be long lasting,” he said.

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  • Yuki Komori

    We know.
    In South Korea, the beginning of this problem began to assert a fiction book on a basis.
    Therefore, South Korea has refused the demand proving an opinion of evidence even now.
    Japan took out the proof which shows the call by collection.
    South Korea was not able to be refuted.
    Only in “human rights abuse”, a South Korean counterargument is always.
    South Korea began to charge compensation later why for 50 years?
    South Korea does not carry out apology compensation of the slaughter of the Vietnamese why?
    In Vietnam, the “rye tie alder” is a social problem.
    A rye tie alder is a half of the South Korean army and the Vietnamese.
    It was raped by the Vietnam War.
    Japan-ROK Basic Relations Treaty.
    South Korea is an international crime country which ignored the treaty.
    You should reread an international treaty.
    Treaty violation is an act which disturbs international order.
    South Korea should restudy history.
    There is always no logic and only an opinion is.
    Neither data nor a basis is taken out why?
    it cannot take out — ? — it is because a South Korean opinion is not true as for it.
    If the opinion of this South Korea passes, the claim of an atomic bomb will be possible for Japan to the United States.
    If it says extremely, Japan can demand compensation to Koguryo = South Korea which invaded Japan by the Mongolian Invasions.
    First of all, South Koreans’ testimony is inconsistency だらけ –.
    If age is calculated as an opinion, it will be birth after the war.
    Comfort women lost a case before in the United States.
    Because inconsistency always.

    • CommonSens6

      Sorry, Yuki, I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to. The topic is Japan’s use of sexual slaves Japan conveniently refers to as “comfort women” in WWII. Today this amount to “sexual abuse” a punishable offense and not tolerated in most civilized society. From what I’m reading Japan is trying to rewrite the history books and pretend it never happened.   

      • Yuki Komori

        Then, please tell me the data which you read. Or how did you get to know “Japan rewrote the history book”? Did you look at the scene on which Japanese people are correcting the book? It is a photograph which associates indirectly what my reference link photograph “does not have compulsive taking for” altogether. It is impossible to show the photograph in which it is shown that there is no compulsive taking. It is a devilish proof. However, it can prove by circumstantial evidence, a historical backdrop, and other photograph data. The following is a fact known if it investigates. It is South Korean comfort women’s opinion. The fact that South Korean comfort women rewrote testimony exists.
        李容珠Testimony (2004). “It was taken in 1944 and the play was given as comfort women in Taiwan during three years.” 1947 are after the end of the war in three years that is,. At this time, a Japanese army does not already exist any longer. What were you doing for two years where? Inconsistency of testimony is pointed out and she changes testimony by the public performance in 2007.
        チョン・ソウンTestimony(she already died in 2004). “Forcible taking was carried out to Indonesia in 1937, and it was made the intersex slave as comfort women for seven years.” 1941 previous Indonesia. Indonesia was a colony in the Netherlands. A Japanese army does not exist yet. Of which army is this person a comfort woman?

      • CommonSens6

        It’s not a testimony of one or two. Please search topic: World War 2 and comfort women. Below is only some info among the hundreds available. These are not found in a Japanese textbook, sumimasen.

        Source Wikipedia:

        “On April 17, 2007 Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Hirofumi Hayashi
        announced the discovery, in the archives of the Tokyo Trials, of seven
        official documents suggesting that Imperial military forces, such as the
        Tokkeitai (Naval military police), forced women whose fathers attacked the Kenpeitai (Army military police), to work in front line brothels in China, Indochina and Indonesia. These documents were initially made public at the war crimes trial. In one of these, a lieutenant is quoted as confessing to having organized a brothel and having used it himself.

        Another source refers to Tokkeitai members having arrested women on the streets, and after enforced medical examinations, putting them in brothels.[30]

        On 12 May 2007 journalist Taichiro Kajimura announced the discovery of 30 Dutch government documents submitted to the Tokyo tribunal as evidence of a forced mass prostitution incident in 1944 in Magelang.[31]

        The South Korean government designated Bae Jeong-ja as a pro-Japan collaborator (chinilpa) in September 2007 for recruiting comfort women.[32][33]

      • Pakkurareman

        It is known that Koreans (Korean “Americans”) distort/fabricate facts on Wikipedia, English version.  Whenever the truth is written about comfort woman related topics, etc., Koreans over-write the facts. 

      • Yuki Komori

        wikipedia will be a place where everyone is rewritten, if it registers.
        You had better restudy the method of information gathering.
        It is equal to making the novel into a historical basis.

      • CommonSens6

        I’m sorry YukiI don’t have to time to research it for you. You need to take this up with the US government if you want to plead your case and re-write history. This is not the proper forum and whatever we say here will not make it to ” print”. Have a great day!

      • Yuki Komori

        Regardless of your proposal, I am already beginning to act not in the Internet but in the actual world.
        Therefore, the proposal of yours is an act unnecessary for me.
        It is wiser to use the word of “rewriting history” for “the South Korean government which deleted the important data of comfort-women advertisement from the homepage.”
        The South Korean government had posted comfort-women advertisement on the homepage once.
        However, he is the South Korean government which is continuing deleting now.

  • Pakkurareman

    Hey, my comment was removed and it is very unfair.  Here is my most important portion of the deleted comment.

    A US military report in 1944 says, “A “comfort girl” is nothing more than a prostitute or “professional camp follower” attached to the Japanese Army for the benefit of the soldiers.”
    This report was written when Japan was the enemy of the USA. Therefore, there is no reason for the USA to distort the fact.

    We don’t need to re-write any history.  This is the truce: comfort women were prostitutes.
    Korean/Chinese advocates mingle the comfort women issue with rape cases to disgrace Japan due to their
    inherent culture of grudge.

    There were rape cases that Japanese soldiers involved.  Don’t confuse those with comfort woman issue.  Comfort woman issue is Korean/Chinese propaganda.

    I am also very sorry for the Bataan Death March.  I mention this because this media seems to be Philippine media.  Again, we are NOT denying what happened actually.  We are not denying the death march.  We were sorry for what actually imperial Japan did 70 years ago.  But we never admit what our grand parents/great grand parents didn’t do.

    • 2 Sun

      @Pakkurareman, US also protected Japanese emperor from the war crime trial.  that does not mean Japanese emperor was not a war criminal.  we all know Japanese emperor was a war criminal who should have been punished.
      the only reason US made the such report if true is because US did not know about the truth of the comfort women, as US had many other important things to worry about.

      p.s. btw, search Unit 731 and see what your ancestors did.  if you defend their actions, then you’re no better than them.

      • Pakkurareman

         What you wrote has nothing to do with comfort women.

      • Yuki Komori

        Your opinion is wrong though regrettable. Because, comfort women’s lawsuit has lost a case in the postwar time further. Please refute inconsistency of testimony of the South Korean comfort women who stated below. Inconsistency of South Korean comfort women’s testimony is not only this. This is an example. There is the fact that the France Military Intelligence party was investigating “whether Japan has observed the warring method application to a prisoner of war” by the Russo-Japanese War. It is very common that such investigation is conducted in war. Comfort women’s compulsive taking did not become the center of attention by Tokyo Trial because the problem did not exist. South Korea betrayed Japan simultaneously with Japanese defeat, and has slaughtered or raped Japanese people. Takeshima is carrying out even the opinion to a his own country territory and the U.S. In Japan’s trial by the West, South Korea which has done such an act did not take out comfort women’s subject just because a problem did not exist. There are no reasons South Korea becomes silent in the situation.

        First of all, investigation is a means for “confirming, since it does not know.” Please restudy the meaning of investigation in school.(-_-)

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