Two of the dwindling number of former ‘comfort women – non-

Japanese woman coerced by the Japanese Imperial Army to have

sex with Japanese troops - after erecting a statue outside the

Japanese Embassy in Seoul. The women were holding their 1,000th

meeting to demand that Japan formally apologize and compensate

them. Japan says it has apologized, and that all monetary claims

are invalid, having been settled under a 1965 treaty.

 

 

Why Further Humiliate 'Comfort Women' by Calling them 'Sex Slaves'? (J-Cast, Japan)

 

"Japanese Web users have trouble understanding what the intention is of changing the terminology to something that is far more humiliating. Reactions have been cool ... 'How will parents explain when their children ask what a sex slave is?' ...  'What can one make of a nation that seeks to strongly emphasize that their grandmothers, mothers, and sisters were sex slaves? ... I feel sorry for the comfort women. I can only conclude that Koreans are discriminating against them.”

 

Translated By Violet Knight

 

July 18, 2012

 

Japan - J-Cast - Original Article (Japanese)

Erected outside the Japan Embassy in Seoul, a statue of a Korean woman coerced by the Japanese Imperial Army to be a prostitute for its troops: The thorny debate about this unpleasant piece of World War II history recently erupted again, when Secretary of State Clinton was reported to have directed State Department staff to end use of the euphemism 'comfort women' and instead refer to such individuals as 'forced sex slaves.' Now South Korea is considering folowing suit.

 

MBC NEWS VIDEO: Former Japanese soldier Yasuji Kanek confesses to participating in and witnessing the abuse of 'comfort women' during WWII, July 17, 00:01:34RealVideo

South Korea media have reported that their government is prepared to replace the term “comfort women” - the term used for women who were forced into prostitution by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II - with “sex slaves.” Some South Korea media report that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has issued a similar directive.

 

However, what Secretary Clinton has done in regard to sex slaves has not been verified. Furthermore, some cast doubt about whether there were “comfort women forcibly coerced into prostitution,” and Japanese Web sites featured a number of cynical responses. One user commented that “choosing an even more humiliating phrase doesn't make sense.”

Posted by Worldmeets.US

 

According to the Japanese online edition of South Korea's influential JoongAng Ilbo, Trade and Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan told a parliamentary committee on July 13 that he was “ready to change the wording to ‘sex slaves.’” Reportedly, he felt that a description more in accord with reality was preferable. Unconfirmed reports say that Secretary Clinton told State Department staff to use the phrase "enforced sex slaves" rather than the euphemistic “comfort women.”

 

Mrs. Clinton’s reported “remarks” have captured a lot of attention on the Internet. On July 9th, the Japanese online edition of the Chosun Ilbo reported that she had given orders in her department to refer to “comfort women” as “enforced sex slaves” following a briefing from a senior diplomat on outstanding historical issues between Japan and South Korea. The newspaper claimed that this indicates Secretary Clinton's belief that the United States should change its posture toward the Japanese government.

 

On the other hand, Web users pointed out that Mrs. Clinton was speaking of the completely unrelated issue of human trafficking of Asians in the United States. On July 10th, the Sankei Shimbun and some American media reported that U.S. State Department Spokesman Patrick Ventrell said that he could not confirm that Secretary Clinton made such a statement, and wouldn't comment on what may or may not have been said in a private meeting.

 

While there is sympathy for the comfort women, Japanese Web users have trouble understanding what the intention is of changing the terminology to something that is far more humiliating. Reactions have been cool:

 

“How will parents explain when their children ask what a sex slave is?”

 

“What can one make of a nation that seeks to strongly emphasize that their grandmothers, mothers, and sisters were sex slaves?”

 

“I feel sorry for the comfort women. I can only conclude that Koreans are discriminating against them.”

 

 

 

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The Japanese government has stuck to its position that the comfort women issue was “fully and finally resolved” in 1965 when it signed a treaty with South Korea normalizing relations. In December 2011, a South Korean civic group [of former "comfort women" and their supporters] erected a bronze statue of a girl modeled on a former comfort woman in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. At budget meeting of the House of Councillors on March 26, when asked about the inscription on the monument, “The Issue of Japanese Army Sex Slaves,” Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda answered that “it widely deviates from the truth,” and added that he had requested its swift removal.

 

[Editor’s Note: According to historians, up to 200,000 females, mostly Koreans, were forced into sexual slavery at frontline Japanese brothels during the war. Japan has refused to pay individual compensation for wrongs committed during its 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, including issues that emerged later such as that of the sex slaves, claiming that the 1965 South Korea-Japan treaty normalizing bilateral relations exempts it from that responsibility, including individual claims for redress. Nevertheless, Japan insists that it has repeatedly apologized and has paid significant compensation.]

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[Posted by Worldmeets.US July 31, 11:38am]







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