Japan’s wartime sex slavery featured at manga festival in France

Kyodo

A special exhibition on sexual slavery of Korean women by the Japanese military during World War II began Thursday as part of an international comic book festival in Angouleme, southwestern France.

On the opening day an estimated 600 people visited the section on the wartime “comfort women” system, held at the initiative of the South Korean government, according to the organizers.

Japanese Ambassador to France Yoichi Suzuki expressed regret over the event, titled Festival de la Bande Dessinee d’Angouleme, and the Japanese government planned to hand out brochures to visitors explaining its stance on the issue.

“It is regrettable that a manga festival aimed at promoting cultural exchanges and mutual understanding is instead used for a political cause,” Suzuki told French media Wednesday.

The brochures were expected to state that all issues related to individual compensation for women who were forced to provide sex to Japanese soldiers during World War II have been settled under a 1965 treaty on the normalization of ties between Japan and South Korea.

The embassy prepared the brochures in French, Korean and English.

The 41st round of the event, one of the largest manga festivals in Europe, runs through Sunday.

  • Representative in Asia

    In Asian countries except China and South Korea, it is widely said that the sexual slavery did NOT exist then, and Korea may have fabricated it. Unfortunately, this event must damage seriously French credibility as one of the leaders of the world, because French believes such an argument without confirming evidence.

    • Kochigachi

      Nop, Philippine, Indonesia, Malaysia etc.. all criticized Japan over Comfort women denial, they even said it should written as sex slaves not comfort women.

      • Representative in Asia

        Ok, ok. I am from Indonesia, but I have never heard such an argument unfortunately. We all love Japan, personally. Here you had better claim ‘How Korean government’s argument is truth’, because generally, we cannot know the arguments of other countries correctly. (they are biased, aren’t they?)

      • Toolonggone

        State’s official account is not always equivalent to the voices of victims. A former dictator of your government regime Suharto is a living evidence of this.

  • Kochigachi

    Well did you know Japanese government lied to people for last 70 years? May the truth to be told and learn.

    • Representative in Asia

      I’m not sure the truth, however why do you think Japanese government has lied? Objectively, Is it possible that Korean government has lied? By the way, I think you are Korean, and you should avoid using the NINJA picture. Ninja is Japanese culture, isn’t it?

      • mcyoon

        I think you should stop using the word “representative” in your ID since you’re not representing Asia after all.

  • purpledaisy13.

    It is 70 years ago. All Japanese criminals are already dead. Why China my motherland cannot let go the past? Is my motherland using Japan History for his own secretive agenda?or follow it? After the WW2 is Japan invade any country? After WW2 is had Japan killed any Asian? China my motherland now under communism had their own atrocities. Communist Killed almost 100 million Chinese and another 15 Million Asian from Cambodia, laos, to other Asian Countries by spreading Mao communist doctrine of killings. My motherland actually worshipping Mao Tse-Tung as God. His face was in boxed China’s communist Yuan. His statue was eructed in everywhere.

  • Franz Pichler

    not to long ago I watched a history program on the History CHannel, original CHinese/Japanese footage, subtitled. In this footage, the normalization of CHinese/Japanese diplomatic relations, the Japanese clearly and unmistakeably apologized for what happened during the war. The Chinese highest ranks accepted Japan’s apologies and were looking forward to Japanese foreign direct investment to help China out of its huge problems. That’s what Japan did. In the real world you can’t come back and back again and behave like a little kid. What happened during the war is history. It is not forgotten on either side, but I personally think that what’s important is actions and talk. Japan is very important to China’s well being (economical) so is it for Korea. The past needs to be discussed and researched but you really can’t come back all the time. Otherwise, what about the genocide on the American Indians? What about the genocide on the Aborigines? What about Mao killing millions of its own people during the great famine? YOu have to stop with this, they could learn a lot from Nelson Mandela and let the past be the past and create a positive future! Otherwise I see bad clouds on the horizon! The UNDEMOCRATIC Chinese government as well as the scandal ridden Korean one are clearly using this for their own political benefit! China doesn’t care about its pupil, otherwise why would they have left millions perish, invade Tibet, persecute the Ughuirs ecc?

  • Ayame

    We Japanese feel unhappy if someone believe South Korea’s anti-Japan Propaganda, because of this event. It’s hard to know far east stories, but please know ..

    1. In WWII, Japan hired professional army prostitute, You can see a sample of their payment slip in the middle of this site. http://makizushi33.ninja-web.net/ It says the salary paid 26,145yen for 3 years work. (she could buy 20-30 houses at the time)

    2, What they said “Comfort woman who were forced” was that in Korean War.(1950-1953) which North Korea vs South Korea with US, China. Nothing to do with Japan) This is why they’re

    too young in WWII, and some of them told “Korean War”. (Though some of they believe it’s Japan and Korea war … we didn’t have the war)
    Please see a comfort station of Korean War (middle)… English is on the wall, because it was for US army.(WWII, it must not be because US is the enemy of Japan and Korea) There are also historical material which South Korean kidnapped North Korean women at the time.
    http://blog.goo.ne.jp/yamanooyaji0220/e/96439eae8d545a1b5b408201eb52b216

    3. Japan didn’t conquered Korea. 李容九 (??? li rongjiu?) and others requested to merge Korea, and Japan merged. After that, many Korean noble who didn’t work, but just rip off from commons are banned, the government constructed hospital, schools and spent a lot of money for infrastructure and others for healthy life.

    Korea was under China’s control for long years, but their textbook of history (I just read Korean junior high history book) hide this truth. So that it overwrite real history, and people are mind-controlled with it.

    One of their fantasy is “Japan banned Korean characters” — see Koran textbook at the time. It’s mix of Korean and Japanese characters.
    http://blog.livedoor.jp/newskorea/archives/1805879.html

    As you know, most of Japanese are geeks. We have been kept a lot of historical materials, from trash to building. On the other hand, South Korea does not have them, because it’s capital city was North Korea. I don’t know why, but that made South Korean textbook as more fantasy novel, without historical material.

    South Korea will not stop this Propaganda, because they’re hiding a truth – they got a lot of money from Japan, after WWII, including North Korean and for their people, including Korean professional army prostitute. But they spent all to South Korean infrastructure, and didn’t deliver their people. And still didn’t pay it to North Korean. To hide this truth, they’re planning to have another money from Japan.

    I wish everyone know this, and can reach the truth.
    I hope we don’t need to tell this kind of thing in anime/comic festival,but we can’t keep silence if it will be Korean Propaganda event.
    Please stop both side of political groups in next time.

    Merci.

  • disqus_78r6IPfptX

    In the Saturday, February 1, 2014 Japan Times story “Sex slave row erupts at French manga show” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga laments that it is “extremely regrettable” for South Korea, or South Korean manga artists, to exhibit manga that depict Japan’s wartime sex slaves at a forum “aimed at promoting international cultural exchanges and friendship.”. The idea is that the display of such manga is an abuse of the festival. I disagree. I think friends have some degree of obligation to care for each other and what the South Korean manga display is doing is a kind of caring for its neighbor.

    Japan habitually evades acknowledging its true role in the Pacific War because acknowledging it is uncomfortable and contentious. Prime Minister Abe calls it “masochistic history” and is pushing for mandatory patriotism instruction in schools as an antidote. If there’s one thing Japanese culture strives for it is comfort and harmony. More importantly are the cosmetic appearances of comfort and harmony because how things look is much more important here than how they actually are. Towards that end Japanese excel at obfuscation, vagueness, evasion, historical revisionism, destruction of evidence, and outright lying about itself as strategies for controlling the narrative. Under such
    conditions it is the duty of Japan’s friends to remind this country of the
    truth. Japan’s deviance is sometimes so grave that such reminders turn
    into outright instruction, which can be taken as offensive and condescending. When I say “truth” I mean the facts: Japan started the Pacific War; Japan waged the war in a notoriously heinous and criminal fashion; Japan refused to give up its war long after its cause was lost; Japan was saved by the forgiving loving kindness of its enemies. The 1952 San Francisco Treaty did not settle all disputes, nor did the 1965 bilateral treaty with Korea. The Kuril Islands do not belong to Japan, and Gen. Hideki Tojo was a criminal, not a kindly grandpa.

    As a strategy for avoiding danger it is the duty of true friends to
    correct each other when one of them is making a mistake. True friends
    practice forgiving patience with each other as well, and I think the entire
    world is extremely indulgent of the chronic perfidy of Japan’s leaders.

  • Jae Jung

    sex slaves are real, even the PM Murayama and Kono admitted that they did exist and were forcefully drafted. If only Japan did not mention anything about reevaluation of the statements or things that could provoke the Korean government, there would have been no manga about sex slaves in 2014. Sorry to say this but look at Germany and Jews. Do Jews say anything about the holocaust today? No. Because Germany wisely did all the recompensation and apology lots of years ago and did not try to revise their stance on it.
    Whether Germans were truly sorry, no one knows.
    Japan did compensate and acknowledged that Emperial Japan did wrong. But why does Japan act as if they did not? Just keep your stance and thats it. I dont want to mention atrocities happened 104 years ago which was held by ancestors of contemporary Japanese people. People in Japan today did nothing wrong, and we Koreans and Japanese should move on. I do admit that contemporary Koreans are a little bit going too far on anti-japanese sentiment but the Japanese government, too, is stupidly harming both countries national interest. The Japanese government said sorry so many times to the Korean ppl, i know. Then keep your stance for like 30 years and there would be no fight anymore.

  • jcyin

    This article does not mention that japanese right wing set up a similar booth in the festival but was evicted by the French authorities because their booth contained, wait for it, tones of SWASTIKAS.

    http://thediplomat.com/2014/03/japans-uphill-pr-battle/2/

    You see what happens when a government brainwashes generations of their youngsters into believing that their imperialist rape throughout Asia was a ‘War of Liberation’, they have no concept of global condemnation of fascism. Only in japan is fascism tolerated, even venerated at shrines and glorified. SHAME!!!