Ex-sex slaves won’t meet Hashimoto

Korean pair refuse to be part of mayor's 'political game'

by Eric Johnston

Two former South Korean “comfort women” canceled their planned Friday meeting with Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) coleader Toru Hashimoto, saying through a representative that they did not want to become his political pawns.

Kim Bok Dong, 87, and Kil Won Ok, 85, are currently traveling around Japan and speaking about their experiences as sex slaves for the Imperial Japanese Army. They are due to address a public symposium Saturday in Osaka and had been expected to meet with Hashimoto, the city’s mayor, to call him out over his May 13 remarks that the wartime comfort women system, which was believed started in the early 1930s during Japan’s conquest of China, had been necessary.

But as the domestic and international backlash against Hashimoto escalated, he refused to apologize for his position, even as pressure on him to cancel the meeting from members of his own party grew. On Thursday, he insisted the meeting with Kim and Kil was still on.

“It’s a real shame that I couldn’t meet the former comfort women today. But their feelings are what is most important. The women probably had a lot of things they wanted to say to me, and want to say to Japan,” Hashimoto said.

The mayor was notably more subdued Friday and softer in his choice of words than he has been in recent days, especially in front of numerous South Korean and other overseas media present at his press briefing. But he insisted the problem was one that both Japan and South Korea still had to resolve based on past treaties both had agreed upon.

He added that his remarks on the comfort women do not reflect the official policy of Nippon Ishin, and are his own thoughts.

Around 100 supporters of the comfort women gathered at a rally Friday morning in Osaka’s Nakanoshima Park. A dozen or so rightwingers, including several young women, were seen near City Hall, waving signs saying the comfort women were not forced into prostitution. Police kept the two sides apart.

Members of Nihon Gun Ianfu Mondai Kansai Network (Japanese Military Comfort Women Problem Kansai Network), the nongovernmental organization that brought Kim and Kil to the region, read out two statements, the first from the two women and a second saying the group was not going to engage in a media performance and that it was seeking Hashimoto’s resignation as mayor.

“As two comfort women survivors, and in advance of this summer’s Upper House election in Japan, in order to call for a solution to the comfort women problem, which has once again arisen among Japanese people and in the political world, we’re traveling to Fukuyama (Hiroshima Prefecture), Okinawa, Hiroshima, Okayama, Osaka and Nara to convey the truths of history to Japanese society,” network spokeswoman Pang Chung Ja said on behalf of Kim and Kil.

“We understood that Mayor Hashimoto himself would withdraw and apologize for his comment, and agreed to meethim on the morning of May 24.

“On May 19, we heard clear reports that Nippon Ishin no Kai had agreed not to censure Hashimoto over his comments that the comfort women were necessary. After this, he continued his position of denying (the comfort women) were forced (into prostitution by the government).

“According to the information received from Japanese reporters during our tour, Hashimoto was preparing to use the media for an ‘apology performance.’ We cannot exchange the continued pain of the victims or the facts of history for an ‘apology performance’ by Mayor Hashimoto. It’s not necessary to get trampled again.”

To Hashimoto, the group also had a message: “We are seeking an apology and a retraction of your comments, and we will not approve of the victims being used politically,” said Sumiko Nishimura, also of the network. “The victims are criticizing Hashimoto by asking him how he can say there is no proof when they experienced the comfort women system and firmly assert the past cannot be changed through (his statements).

“There is no other path left for but for you (Hashimoto) to resign,” Nishimura said. During their tour of Japan, Kim and Kil spoke to audiences about the horrors they experienced as young sex slaves in China, serving the Japanese military in Canton, in Kim’s case, and in Harbin, in Kil’s. Though Kim was only 14 and Kil 11, they have testified that they were beaten and made to serve as sex slaves.

“Could Hashimoto force his own daughter to become a sex slave out of necessity? The past cannot be changed by false claims,” Kim said in a rally in Okinawa earlier this week.

Hashimoto meanwhile claimed Friday that he had never said he favored the comfort women system, and that his comments were misreported abroad.

“This is what I wanted to tell the former comfort women today. I, personally, never said we needed the comfort women system and I never said I approved of it. I was talking about it in the context of the time, the Second World War, and the fact that various countries’ armies used women,” he said, repeating what he previously iterated.

Both Japan and South Korea had a responsibility to make clear what happened, Hashimoto said, suggesting a bilateral group of Japanese and South Korean scholars be set up to take testimony and to research the historical archives to clarify what happened.

Yet while Hashimoto will not retract his remarks regarding the comfort women, he said that he did owe the American people an apology for his remark that U.S. military personnel in Okinawa should use more sex establishments as a way of controlling their sexual energy.

“That remark was inappropriate,” he said.

  • Jack

    Sorry to hear they cancelled their meeting with Hashimoto. It would have been interesting for the media to video them making him feel like the low life he has turned into.

    • 秋中 赳

      Some of the things he said are historic fact. Especially the parts of the former victim nations treating their own people even worse, even today (China and North Korea comes to mind), and even the US being involved in forcing women into prostitution. But it’s far easier to get angry at Japan than confronting your own history, isn’t it?

      But I guess it’s all fine because your chocolate messiah will just wave his hands and everything will be good. I’d love to make him and the entire political caste in America feel like the low lives they’ve always been.

    • Issac

      Uncle Jack I counldn’t agree with you more. It should have been a quite a show.

      One of ex-comfort woman, Kim Bok-dong was interviewed with Okinawa Times on May 19 2013. In the article, Madam kim stated that when she was 14 years old, she was told to to help producing military uniform and kidnapped by the japapanese military. She was taken to those fronlines such as Taiwan, Cantong, Hong Kong, Malaasia, sumatra and Indonesia and forced into prostitution with coersion for eight years as a comfort women.

      OK, let’s do a simple math!

      Now she is 87 years old

      She was kiddnapped when shew was 14 years old

      That was 87-14 = 73 years ago
      This year is 2013, so 2013 – 73 = 1940

      She said she was forced to work as comfort woman for eight years.
      1940+ 8 years = 1948

      The WW2 ended in 1945.

      I just wonder those last three years or so whom Madam Kim was doing comfort women thing with?

      According to the US congress and Korean government , the estimated number of comfort women was about 200,000.There is not even single witness for Japanese military had taken those 200,000 women with coersion while there are hundreds of recuing ads for comfort women existed as evidences.

      Is there any valid source to prove if Japanese government and military had systematically involved in abduction of women and forced them into prostitution in the first place?

      If you are accusing them for that, the burden of proof is yours. If you are not able to produce solid evidence verifiable by the third parties, it’s simply wrongful accusation. I rather see it much politicaly motivated one.

      Prove it!!

    • maisonrouge

      The only reason they have canceled the meeting was that their testimonies were debunked.
      Their invited organization decided to avoid meeting Hashimoto
      (also he is a lawyer) not to be pointed out their inconsistencies.

  • 武 東郷

    This article reports only part of what happened. Up until the evening of 23rd, those women were ready to meet Hashimoto. Suddenly, they had a change of heart saying something like what is reported in ths article.Those women claim in their statement that Japanese media told them what Hashimoto was up to. But their supporters deny this and say that after hectic schedule in Japan those women looked so tired. Asked if if was Japanese media which told the women as above, they said it was probably Korean media. Then, asked if the cancellation was due to uncertain information, they said that the decisive factor was not the info from media but becase those women looked tired. This is very typical response from those women. When facing the possibility of getting questioned about circumstances of their becoming comfort women, they always back down and refuse to answer any questions. That is why many Japanese say they cannot believe what those women have been saying. We really want to ask them many questions about what happened to verify their statements. Verification is the very factor which has been missing in this matter.

    • Dogbert Thunderpussy

      Let me get this right – you want these 70+ year old women to verify to you that they were continuously raped and beaten for years. Oh yeah, and you want to question them like criminal suspects because they’ve called out Japan on its rapacious WWII behavior? Once again Japanese arrogance and pseudo-intellectualism has left the stench and smear of rotten egg on their face. Get a life Japan . . . get a life real soon. Your opportunity to sincerely apologize to these women is fast fading. By the way, yes, American and other nations troops participated in the wartime prostitution. That doesn’t make it OK for them either.

    • KenjiAd

      What is the point of asking questions when you aren’t going to believe anything they say anyway?

    • http://kamigatarakugo.wordpress.com/ Matt Shores

      “Verification” …? Did somebody pay you to write that??

      These women — as CHILDREN — were victimized. Hashimoto re-victimized them with his comments, and your comments are equally deplorable.

      You — and nobody for that — have no right to question these women about anything. They are not objects. They are not specimens. They are people who were robbed of their dignity and youth.

      Saying “NO” to being Hashimoto’s political pawn is was a very brave move by Ms. Kim and Ms. Kil. They are asserting their rights, reclaiming their dignity.

      It is sad that these women are still fighting to be recognized as victims. Perhaps more important to them at this point, though, is that people, and particularly Japan, know the truth about what happened to them and countless others, most of whom are no longer around to give their accounts.

      Were you aware that the UN is urging Japan to educate its citizens about how the Imperial Army forced Korean and other Asian women to serve as sex slaves for troops during World War II?

      This sends a strong signal to the right-leaning Japanese government that attempts to whitewash the country’s wartime atrocities are unacceptable.

      The international community agreed in the 1985 UN Victims’ Declaration on the following rights for victims:

      The right to be treated with respect and recognition
      The right to be referred to adequate support services
      The right to receive information about the progress of the case
      The right to be present and give input to the decision-making
      The right to counsel
      The right to protection of physical safety and privacy;
      The right of compensation, from both the offender and the State.

      Victim “verification” … Seriously?

      ms

      • 秋中 赳

        The UN isn’t doing the same in regards to the US, who also forced women into prostitution. Thousands of Japanese women were forced into service under the RAA, which operated with US approval, while the same US whitewashed thousands of rape cases. Funny how it’s okay for the victors to whitewash their history, but when the losers do it all hell breaks lose.

        And by the way that’s the same UN that openly caters to dictators and fascists and gives them a forum to spew their vile nonsense, so anyone putting stock into what these Useless Nutjobs are saying is a few fries short of a happy meal.

    • 1derer

      Haha, this is completely false. They are literally touring all over Japan giving talks about their experiences. All of your questions have been answered in those talks time-and-time again.

      • 秋中 赳

        Which, in all honesty, still doesn’t make it historic fact but rather anecdotal evidence.

        All we have is their word that they were pressed into service, but considering the stakes I don’t take the word from anyone. Cold, hard historic fact must prevail, not emotional sob stories, hysteric hyperbole and blatant nationalism (the Koreans are even more guilty of that nowadays than Japan.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/david.wilds David Wilds

      Typical Japanese: refusing to acknowledge his country’s sins, making excuses instead.

      • 秋中 赳

        Typical American pointing fingers at other countries while having a lot of skeletons in his own closet.

  • Amanda Feijoo

    I’m sure 11 and 14 year olds were giddy with excitement about being used by countless men to promote the war. Patriotism! /sarcasm

  • Jules

    I agree with the women for not wanting to engage with Hashimoto as he is clearly trying to win political points by looking like he is standing up for Japan. He is right in the sense that rape has been a method of terrorism used by armies since day one. But does that justify systematic rape which has been officially sanctioned and organized by the army’s administration itself? Don’t forget that Japanese women were also victims being ‘coerced’ into ‘helping serve for the army’ but they cost more from the soldiers stipend than the cheaper Koreans and Chinese.

    Avatar is looking for further proof. It seems like it is just a fact of life that this happened, like the camps in Poland, the gulags in Russia. What really is the problem with Japan-Asia relations is not that these things happened. It is the constant denial and muddying of the truth. I understand that Japan feels that as a non European colonial power they get hard done by, but two wrongs never make a right!

    • 秋中 赳

      So you’re holding free, democratic Japan responsible for what happened under imperial, fascist Japan 70+ years ago?

      How far do we go back? 70 years? 700 years? According to the South Korean president it goes back 1,000 years, which is why I say that Japan should use this kind of “logic” and demand compensation from the Koreas and China for the Mongol invasions. Germany and Austria could demand money from France for the Napoleonic Wars. Yes, the concept is silly.

      Fact is: the men making the decisions for what happened then are all dead.
      Fact is: most of the men doing these deeds are dead.
      Fact is: most of the victims are dead.
      Fact is: this is only to feed nationalism in former victim countries.
      Fact is: the former victim countries that scream loudest are treating their own people just as bad (even today.)
      Fact is: some of them even engage in territorial conquest like imperial fascist Japan (hello China)
      Fact is: Japan today is light years ahead of all those loudest screaming former victim countries in regards to freedom and democracy.

      And well, here’s another thing to consider: if I want to deny the comfort women issue, I can do so. It’s called free speech. In Europe free speech is dead. Denying the Holocaust nets you jail time. While only a complete fool would deny either, even a complete fool has the right to free speech in a free democratic country. So if a fool wants to deny that women were enslaved for sex, that the Holocaust happened, then he has the right to do so. If Hashimoto wants to be a fool, fine (even though some of his statements are historic fact, denial is not a river in Egypt), he has the right to do so.

      Two foreign nationals, like these two women, however, have no right interfering in Japanese politics by screaming he should resign and leave politics. I mean, I could demand the same from their president, who has made some ridiculously stupid statements this year, which, in the light of common sense, rational thought and historic fact, were even worse than anything Hashimoto could ever say.

      It’s amazing how so many people champion free speech only when it fits into their narrative.

      • Jules

        It is even more amazing that you see no problem in totally contradicting yourself in the exact same little essay you wrote here. Free speech is OK for people like yourself or Hashimoto but these women have no rights under your argument because they are non-nationals? Even though they were forced to take Japanese citizenship, ‘serve’ for their ‘country’ then dropped like trash at the end of the war like thousands of others that were ‘being liberated’ by Japan.

        What saddens me most is that the poor Japanese citizens were hoodwinked into believing that this was a nobel cause by the (now dead and evidently blameless as a result) imperial Japanese government and army.

        The sad thing is these things happen all the time. National pride blinds people to the fact that they are sponsoring murder and rape of other nations while being fed a steady diet of lies.

        I am not asking for a lynch mob to take down every person who denies accepted facts and I know that there are so many cases that are censored. But free speech from rightest elements also involves terrorizing and interrupting any other people who speak out on something they don’t agree with. Japan has a tradition of this dating from post-war times with their loudspeaker vans and general thuggery. So ironic when the ‘free speech’ card is played by them.

        I respect everyone’s right to an opinion. And judging by your comments you don’t. I never expect to change the mind of someone so racist and full of hate. But I genuinely feel sorry for you. You must live a very sad life and be a lonely man with little to love about life.

        Maybe take a walk, eat an ice cream, travel a little and even meet people from other countries so you might get the chance to see that we are all humans trying to get our way through this crazy thing called life. A little compassion for each other and less vitriol would do wonders for the world at large.

      • 秋中 赳

        Funny, where did I say they have no free speech? They can say whatever they want, but as foreign nationals they have no right to interfere in Japan’s politics. Whining for Hashimoto to step back is exactly that. What would you say if I’d go to your country and scream for your president or some other politician to step back? I wouldn’t have the right to that either, do you know why? Because I’m not a national of your country. Period. I’m not allowed to vote there, so why should I be allowed to try and take influence?

        You sound like some EU bureaucrat. you know, that EU that puts sanctions on member countries when elections don’t go the way the EU wants them to (if they even allow elections.)

        Oh yes, the free speech card. The same thing people like you want to abolish. Shall I remind you how this game is usually played? Someone who you people think is “right wing” says something, you quickly scream at him for taking it back (oh yeah, you love that free speech so much!) and then keep whining until he does it. And if he doesn’t do it you make him look worse than Hitler. That happens in Europe all the time. Denying the Holocaust is a felony there. Denying communist atrocities isn’t. Makes a lot of sense, not.

        There was this interesting case in Germany, where a politician wrote a book about immigration. It wasn’t very positive and he based it solely on statistics which were pretty damning. At once everyone went nuts over it, called him a racist, for pointing out the facts. Even Germany’s chancellor Merkel made herself the ultimate authority of what is free speech and what isn’t. Writing a book that isn’t positive about uncontrolled immigration is not free speech according to these people. Screaming for murdering police officers and soldiers, as it happens all the time by certain elements of certain far left parties, is free speech. Hmm, but I’m the bad guy for playing the “free speech card.”

        Racist? So South Koreans are now another race? Really? Nationality now equals race? Calling others racist is the typical helpless approach by people who have no factual argument and have to resort to ridiculous attempts at insulting their opponent. Of course you have to play the race card, what else can you do?

        You have no facts, face it. Instead you cling to belittling me. Typical. Who cares about facts when you can pretend to be on the moral high ground, when you can pretend to be wise with ridiculous and totally laughable “advises”.

        Of course an opposing opinion based on cold hard facts is vitriol for someone like you. Nothing new there.

        You complain about Japan’s “general thuggery” and the completely irrelevant loudspeaker vans. Nobody listens to those vans. These people are nuts, but they have the right to be nuts. Just like silly left wing student groups have the right to spew their nonsense. Heck, there are even pro-North Korean schools in Japan and they are tolerated (which, in my opinion, is a bit insane, because that’s like tolerating pro-Nazi Germany schools.) As for Japan’s “general thuggery”, got any proof for that? Any examples? You want thugs? I give you Chinese navy ships targeting MSDF ships and helos. Chinese forces just recently invading Indian territory. North Korean military operating concentration camps. Shall I go on?

        Here’s an idea: learn the facts, learn how to argue without falling into the cheap emotional hyperbole and ridiculous hysterical screaming. Cause you’re absolutely not capable of saying even a sentence without doing that.

        You’re the classic clueless foreigner who maybe read something on wikipedia and now thinks he’s an expert.

        Just sod off. Yankee go home.

      • Jules

        I got a good laugh from that thanks!

        Ps. I am Irish not American. Might explain my bias of having sympathy for people who are impacted by the greed of imperialism (which includes the general public of the imperialists)

        I know that I am going nowhere by arguing with you. And I am a proponent of free speech. I just think that Hashimoto is better suited being an actual Mayor and leave history to the historians.

        PS. You must have a PhD in history! Good on you!

      • 秋中 赳

        If this whole thing proves one thing, then that so many white people, especially British and American, have zero clue about actual history, blindly believe in what their governments tell them, are full of utterly laughable self-righteousness and are quick to scream murder at the “Yellow Peril” while having zero regard for their own history.

        You’re almost as bad as the Germans, when they went completely nuts after 3-11 and delved into a barrage of racism that hasn’t been in Germany since the Nazis ruled the country. You’re close to being like that.

        Clean your own backyards first.

  • 秋中 赳

    Here’s a fact: the “comfort women” system was established after the Rape of Nanking, in order to prevent such things from happening again. Similar to how the RAA, with authority of the occupation forces (primarily the US), did the same to Japanese women after the war was over. Yes, the US approved of women being forced into prostitution, on a large scale, while at the same time covering up thousands of rape cases and the savage behavior of far too many US soldiers during the occupation. That’s the same US that now screams at Japan over comfort women.

    Of course those two former comfort women don’t show the same dedication and conviction over the nonsense the South Korean president has spewed. Or the fact that the South Korean government is still hampering the full disclosure of “incidents” like the Bodo League Massacre. Some estimates go as high as more than one million South Koreans murdered by the South Korean government simply because they were suspected to be Communists. Men, women, children. Where are the massive protests about this in South Korea? Where is the outrage? Oh, the government there directs the outrage at Japan. Smart move.

    Those two have experienced horrible things, no doubt, but they’re tools for only one side of the story. And to be perfectly honest, the tale of how all those Koreans were forced into service is nothing else but a fairy tale. There were plenty of volunteers just like there were plenty of volunteers in Europe who joined the Nazis after their countries were occupied. In fact, the Nazis wouldn’t have been able to commit all their atrocities if not for willing local helpers. The same applies in Asia. After the war, of course, they all claimed to have been pressed into service. Similar to how suddenly nobody was a Nazi in Europe.

    There is no way that tens of thousands of people could have been forced into service by an occupation force that had no wide spread system like the Nazis. The fairy tale of how they were all forced into service gets even more dents when you consider that many Allied POWs saw the Korean guards as much worse than the Japanese.

    It’s also funny how those suffering from the collective guilt syndrome attack Hashimoto over how he dares to use the victims politically, while they are doing the exact same thing all the time.

    But the South Koreans hate historic facts, as proven by how long their government covered up the Bodo League Massacre, just like it’s normal in other, former “victims” to do similar. China is notorious to spew strange territorial claim, occupy sovereign nations (or at least try) and generally whitewash the deaths of millions of people under their great chairman Mao. North Korea is on the same level as Nazi Germany, it even has a blood and country ideology. And Taiwan? Taiwan is hardly a bastion of freedom and democracy either, as incidents as the infamous Februrary 28th show. They’re all whitewashing their own brutality to their own people while screaming at Japan over something that happened 70 years ago. It shows their real agenda and priorities: distract from your own evils while screaming murder at your neighbor. Classic.

    Funnily enough, in regards to freedom and democracy Japan still leads all of them by light years.

    Btw, if you think this will hamper NInK, don’t be so sure. Many Japanese people are sick and tired of the constant attempts of forcing a culture of collective guilt down their throats, and they have other problems on their minds than what happened 70 years ago.

    And to be perfectly honest, the last thing Japan needs is a culture of collective guilt like in Germany, where, in 2005, the German president said that even the Germans born after the war carry responsibility for the Holocaust, which is an outrageous idea and nothing short of Nazi-like “Sippenhaftung”, aka kin liability.

    I’m only responsible for what I do myself. I’m not responsible for what happened 70+ years ago. I acknowledge that it happened, but I bear no guilt. How could I when I wasn’t even born then? Same with apologies. I can’t apologize for something I wasn’t involved in. If you try to tell me that I carry some kind of responsibility simply because I was born in random country A, then I will call you unfit for reasonable arguments, will dismiss you as a rabid nationalist.

    • Johanna Hahn

      That’s what all the Japanese say. “I’m not responsible for what happened 70 years ago.” It is hard to understand the Japanese, who are polite and apologize for the smallest things, but never for something that you really need to have the guts for. It seems that the “apologies” function more as defense methods, than real apologies. Even in everyday Japan, if something happens people tend to stay out of it, which is the complete opposite of let’s say Korea. What you said about the massacre in Korea is not true. In my opinion Korea surpasses all of its neighbours in democracy, because people actively find responsibility in what goes on in their country. I saw students in universities all over Seoul that say it is a sin, even if you didn’t take part, to be silent of a wrongdoing and not stand up for the truth. That’s what the society in Korea is like.. At least when you study the country…

      • 秋中 赳

        Prove to me that I’m responsible. You’re American? You’re responsible for the Trail of Tears. If you’re British you’re responsible for a lot more than that. Go and apologize. Come on, you like the idea of “Sippenhaftung”, so subscribe to it fully or shut up. Today’s Germans and Japanese are not responsible for what happened 70 years ago. Anybody claiming they are is insane.

        Let’s say my grandfather killed your grandfather. Am I responsible for that? No. Your argumentation, if I can even call it that (your lack of factual arguments makes it hard), is solely emotional. You have no facts whatsoever worth mentioning.

        You place responsibility on 120 million people for something none of them has done simply because they were born in country A.

        You’re on the same level as the Nazis.

        What I said about the Bodo League Massacre isn’t true? Do some reading. You might get very surprised. You people and your wikipedia “knowledge” are hilarious.

      • Guest

        You seem to fail to realize that the “hypocrisy” does not automatically make one’s actions or denials valid – to use your “grandfather” example – “Because you killed my grandfather and lied about it, I can kill yours and lie about it too!” This makes no sense. You also seem to have no concept of history beyond your own nationalistic brand of facts. Do you seriously think no one in the US knows about the Trail of Tears, or the many rapes committed by US occupying forces during the Battle for Okinawa? This isn’t some “secret” we hope to keep hidden. If any politician in the US denied that slavery occurred, or that the U.S. military committed war crimes in Iraq or Afghanistan, he or she would be severely rebuked.

  • Mave Rick

    You should read this report if you want to know the truth.

    Serch ” Report No. 49:Japanese Prisoners of War Interrogation on Prostitution ”

    This report was made by U.S. forces in 1944, meticulous about “comfort women”.

    • yas

      I read the report, And it’s show “Comfort Girls” is a prostitutes worked on brothel that is under Japan army management. This is truth.

      But Is this “Sex Slave?”. They recruited by private agents with sufficient salary. Some malicious agent might not completely explained about content of the work. But thier parents must understood it.

      Korean and Japanese have been disputed about that, Korean persisted the comfort women forcedly occupied to be prostitute by Japan army directed.

  • http://twitter.com/kchasp KchasP

    It is absurd how many people are defending this guy’s comment. Japan has so many things to be proud of, yet they hold onto their darkest deeds as their greatest success. You are dreaming if you think Japan was such a gracious occupier in Asian countries during WWII. Anyone who studies Japanese history a bit knows how cruel their elites could be to their own people. Do you honestly think they were any nicer to others? Please.

    Hashimoto is saying “others were doing the same, so why are you picking on us?” Well, first of all, others are being picked on, too, for their own deeds. But Asian countries are getting mad at JAPAN for what JAPAN did. Wouldn’t make sense if they were demanding apologies from Japan for what the European countries did now, would it? They are also mad at their European occupiers, too. You just don’t hear about it because JAPAN is NOT them thus it is none of its business.

    Second, Japan is a country that has different words for “intention” and “the TRUE intention.” Still, it is presumed to be one of the most polite nation in the world, yet its conservatives even refused to apologize just to be polite to your victims. They don’t even bother to express remorse just as “intention.” In other words, you are basically implying “we stopped what we were doing not because we were wrong, but because we were weak. As soon as we get stronger, we will continue to pillage your land, kill your children, and rape your women.” It baffles me that you are amazed at how upset other Asian countries are despite all that.

    Third, these political pundits don’t even TRY to see the truth. Just the other day, a former soldier who had participated in forcing comfort women came forward and apologized in public. Yet guys like Hashimoto refused to believe people like him saying they were bribed and made to lie. What good is the fact if you don’t believe it? Many prostitutes, not just in Japan but all over the world, don’t do what they do because they enjoy it. They were forced into their situation, some by finances and some by violence. Now, those comfort women were stationed in foreign lands far away from their home, many near battleground. If someone thinks that so many women VOLUNTARILY sold their bodies near where guns and cannons were firing, they need their head examined. Prostitution near battlefields were long-time tragedy throughout human history, but never in such a massive scale, and never for so cheap.