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Forcibly recruited Korean sex slaves a myth: lawmaker

Kyodo

A Lower House lawmaker of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) has questioned whether Koreans were such “cowards” as to allow girls and women in their neighborhoods to be forcibly recruited as sex slaves in Japan’s wartime military brothels.

Nariaki Nakayama, well known for his ultraconservative views, made the remark at an assembly of Nippon Ishin lawmakers Friday to emphasize his belief that “comfort women,” as they are known in Japan, were not “forced” to work in the brothels.

“We need to raise our voices and tell the world that (females) were not forcibly taken away,” Nakayama said while defending remarks made last month by Nippon Ishin co-leader Toru Hashimoto, who attempted to justify the wartime system of sexual slavery.

In remarks that drew global condemnation, Hashimoto, who doubles as Osaka mayor, said the system of military brothels was “necessary” to maintain discipline in the Imperial Japanese Army, sparking outrage especially in South Korea. During Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, thousands of girls and women were rounded up to sexually service Japanese soldiers.

Hashimoto later sought to distance himself from the remarks, claiming he had been misreported and did not personally hold such a view but was only describing the prevailing mindset at the time.

Nakayama told the Nippon Ishin gathering that given the population of the Korean Peninsula was 20 million at the time, if 200,000 females were forcibly taken as claimed, it would mean one out of every 100 was forced into sexual servitude.

The House of Representatives lawmaker called on South Korea to stop making such claims because they only “malign Japanese people, as well as (South Koreans’) own ancestors.”

Nippon Ishin in May expelled Lower House member Shingo Nishimura for alleging that “there are swarms of South Korean prostitutes in Japan.”

  • Michael Craig

    And another Nippon Ishin no Kai lawmaker puts his foot in his mouth…

    • 武 東郷

      Korean media are myteriously quiet this time. Quite unusual. I wonder why.

  • Sho Takeda

    Although “200,000 females out of 20 million” must be exaggerated number, there must be lots of them actually. I’m sure it is hard to clarify the truth because of emotional effect, even though it is needed. I think all japanese need to follow only the truth, not to rely on emotion which would eventually confuse the truth.
    In fact, C’mon Guys Dont Be Stupid Like That!

  • Roan Suda

    This article is at best sloppy, at worst biased. (On a minor grammatical point, “thousands of girls and women were believed rounded up…” should be “thousands of girls and women are believed to have been rounded up…”) The concluding mention of Shingo Nishimura is irrelevant, serving not to provide background but rather merely to suggest guilt by association, as if any politician who says anything to rile anti-Japanese Koreans and other Japan bashers is ipso facto either a lying fascist or a fool. What does “ultra-conservative” mean? How often do we hear “ultra-leftist” as a label?…If the Japanese government declared tomorrow that 21 million Korean women were forced into sex slavery, then tortured, murdered, and eaten, there would be violent demonstrations and protest letters to the Japan Times, demanding that the number be raised to 210 million.

    • midnightbrewer

      The concluding mention of Mr. Nishimura was relevant: it shows that Nakayama is the second Nippon Ishin no Kai member to make remarks in some attempt to justify Hashimoto’s previous statements. You were the one to apply the labels of “fool” and “lying fascist”, not the author.

      The only difference is that Nishimura attempted to deflect the argument using a straw man, while Nakayama tried to use a reductionist, ad-hominem argument based on his own personal incredulity. Three logical fallacies in one! Very ambitious. He sneers at the Korean men for not defending their women, while forgetting to mention that the Koreans were being “persuaded” at gun-point, and that a few Korean men probably got shot in the process of failing to see the Japanese point of view. Unfortunately, it’s a law of nature: he who has the guns makes the rules.

      Nakayama is trying to say that the Japanese didn’t do anything wrong because the Korean men were at fault for not resisting them. Which might very well be a “tu quoque” logical fallacy on top of everything else (tu quoque: “I may be wrong, but you are, too”).

      As for the definition of ultra-conservative, the Oxford Dictionary defines it as: “(adj.) extremely conservative in politics or in the observance of religion; (noun) a person who is extremely conservative in politics or religion.”

      Hope that helps.

  • Ben Snyder

    Nakayama is right. At this point, he and all the other Nippon Ishin Party members need to raise their voices in utter buffoonery; it will become that much easier to flush away the party for good. Too bad there will be no competition to fill the resulting power vacuum, however.

  • dadadidi

    Again, another glaring example of what has come to be the Japanization of world history. Japanese schools edit out the enslavement and forced prostitution of foreign women from students’ textbooks. These kids grow up to be politicians who have no clue about Japanese atrocities committed during WWII. Japan will never understand the outrage of its neighbors over its past egregious conduct. But Japan will pay indirectly in the form of failed diplomacy regarding North Korea, disrupted international business transactions and the permanent loss of its former northern territories. It shall never win the hearts and minds of the citizens of countries in its Pacific region.

  • Wayne

    What a bunch of jerks. It’s just one after another.

  • Kyle

    “Nakayama told the Nippon Ishin gathering that given the population of the Korean Peninsula was 20 million at the time, if 200,000 females were forcibly taken as claimed, it would mean one out of every 100 was forced into sexual servitude.”

    This statement is a misrepresentation. The common number of comfort women forcibly/coerced by Japan is roughly 200,000 young women. This is a broad number covering Korea, Chinese, Filipino women, not solely Korea.

  • WithMalice

    Yet another Japanese lawmaker putting his foot in his mouth for the world to see. Globally embarrassing.

  • wangkon936

    Rein in these idiots Japan or I’m going to start thinking that all your previous “apologies” are not worth the air they were spoken into.

  • ernstdegroot

    I wonder who is next, where do they find these people?