Hundreds protest in San Francisco for Abe war apology


Hundreds of people protested outside the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco, calling on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to apologize for his country’s treatment of people from other parts of Asia during World War II.

Tuesday’s protest comes days before the prime minister is scheduled to visit California, as part of weeklong trip to the United States that includes a State Dinner at the White House. Korean Americans and Chinese Americans at the protest chanted and waved signs. They spoke in both English and Cantonese and held high the South Korean flag.

“It’s never too late to apologize because the insult and the wound that had been inflicted by Japan will not be forgotten until there is an apology,” said Peter Li, retired professor of East Asian history at Rutgers University.

The Japanese Consulate in San Francisco had no comment.

Abe has faced demands that he use this trip to address Japan’s use of tens of thousands of females who were forced to serve in wartime military brothels for Japanese troops. Some estimate there were as many as 200,000 “comfort women” from the Korea Peninsula, China and other parts of Asia. South Korea has demanded a more forthright and complete apology from Abe.

At a White House news conference Tuesday after meeting with President Barack Obama, Abe sidestepped a question on whether he would apologize, saying instead that he was “deeply pained” by the suffering of comfort women.

The activists in San Francisco also called for Japan to compensate “victims of Japanese aggression,” punish officials who deny war crimes and revise how World War II is taught in Japanese textbooks.

Japan surrendered 70 years ago this summer, ending the war.

Abe is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. He plans to travel to Silicon Valley and San Francisco on Thursday, where he will meet with California Gov. Jerry Brown, before heading to Los Angeles on Friday.

  • kohla adam

    Liar! Liar! Liar!
    They are just Chinse & Krean prostitutes.
    There is the no records that Japan abducted them.
    And they only want money.
    Don’t forget. Prostitution was legal in Korea until 2004.

  • HappyHighwayman

    I think it’s time to let go of anger regarding stuff tha thappened 60 years ago by people who are now dead

  • CaptainAsia

    Are these people US citizens? I dont think so. No matter what these hate filled Koreans and Chinese do, they will never ever be able to bring Japan down. On the surface they ask for compensation, but in reality it is a severe case of sour grapes that drives them. They will only stop if Japan completely failed in everything, that would make them happy. Japan has suffered enough. The Japanese rebuilt their country out of ruble and dust and then lent a helping hand to Korea and China. Now that they have advanced a bit they feel emboldened to reject any sort of gesture made by Japan, nothing will ever suffice. No apology or any amount of money will shut these people up. They are on a hate filled mission.
    Who would believe in this day and age condemning the entire Japanese nation. Hello??? The Japan that fought in the second world war was a different Japan. Not to mention many of these so called comfort women were sold of by their relatives and in some cases I have heard of, even joined voluntarily because the got paid. Many of them were nothing more than ladies of the night according to sources.
    How come Korea and China never thank Japan for all the assistance and aid given to them by Japan since the 60’s??? How come no one ever apologizes for all those millions of innocent Japanese civilians that got firebombed and murdered with the help of the Chinese and Koreans? What about the two atomic bombs that still wreak havoc to this day?
    War is war, no one wins and now it is over. Let it be over and move forwards. Leave all that hate behind and stop trying to make an easy buck.

  • 99Pcent

    Holding up placards that say “pearl harbor, I’ll be back” is showing a lack of respect for all the victims of that day. Chinese and Koreans have no right to invoke Pearl Harbor, that has nothing to do with their demand for compensation from Japan. BTW do these Koreans and Chinese know that the Japanese Imperial army is long gone and that the present day Japanese have nothing to do with them. Do these people know that most Japanese now were either kids during wartime or born after the war. How can you call them by the same name. Something is not right with these protestors. They have an agenda and it is not justice or an apology. Something smells fishy.
    On the other hand. Go Japan! you have done well since the end of the war. Your people have worked hard and created a democratic country that we are all proud of. Regardless of what these haters say and do, we will continue to be by your side and help you in any situation along the way. Why? Because we know you are a different Japan and you would do the same for the world, as you have been doing.
    Meanwhile the Chinese should look at what they are doing to invaded Tibet and the Koreans should stop hating each other so much. Korea and China have a lot to learn from modern Japan and they should not confuse it with the ww2 Japan.

  • AK

    Google Unit 731 and see what the Japanese did to fellow human beings.

  • Tupac Shakur

    These right-wing extremist Japanese commenters sound ridiculous. Forget history and move on? Former Prime Minister Churchill once said, “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Understanding their history, the British government has formally apologized and began a reparation process to compensate their wrongdoings to the people of Kenya during the colonial period. Likewise, Germany’s Prime Ministers periodically visit the Holocaust memorials and countlessly apologize to the surviving victims and their family members. In contrast, Japanese Prime Ministers have been busy manipulating the past with wrong information and brainwashing the future generations. War victims are aware that today’s Japan is not the same as Imperial Japan. However, in order to move on and become a global nation, Japan must formally acknowledge their mistakes and follow the footsteps of European leaders who had, have, and are trying to learn from their past. I would suggest the right-wing conservatives to read and learn from Congessman Honda’s proposition on this issue.

  • timefox

    It looks just Koreans .