‘Comfort women’ rap unfair: Hashimoto


Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) coleader Toru Hashimoto said Sunday he doesn’t believe the so-called comfort women, over whom his controversial remarks have drawn flak, were “sex slaves who were unwillingly forced into service by the country through violence, threat and abductions.”

Hashimoto, who is also the mayor of Osaka, said on a TV program he will clarify his views at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on May 27.

While noting that Japan “has responsibility over former comfort women . . . whether they were sex slaves or not will affect how the world assesses (Japan). The militaries of other countries similarly used women during World War II. It is unfair to criticize only Japan.”

“The United States has shelved the history of using local women during the Vietnam War,” he also said.

Concerning his remarks that the system of comfort women was necessary, he explained, “I just said the military of the time was thinking it necessary.”

About his suggestion that U.S. servicemen in Japan use the country’s legal adult sex industry to prevent them from committing sex offenses — a remark Hashimoto said on Thursday lacked “international awareness” — he said, “I apologize to those working in the adult entertainment industry.”

Later on Sunday, Hashimoto met with Shintaro Ishihara, the party’s coleader, in Nagoya, apparently to talk over how to address the repercussions of Hashimoto’s remarks ahead of the Upper House election in July.

Separately, Your Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe said his party no longer plans to cooperate with Nippon Ishin in the July election. “It is not a party we should be teaming up with,” Watanabe told reporters.

  • KenjiAd

    He isn’t making any sense. That’s what happens when you try to spin something that has your own saliva all over the surface, making the whole thing too slippery to hold.

    If all he meant was to point out “the military of the time was thinking it necessary” as he now claims and he was indeed disagreeing with that kind of thinking, then why did he tell the commander of US Marines in Okinawa that they should utilize more of Japan’s ‘fuzoku’ services over there? Why did he even tell this story to reporters, unless he was trying to back up his opinion about the necessity of sex services for the military?

    Why can’t he just say he was an idiot, was sorry, and just resign?

    • Peter

      I’m definitely not a supporter of Hashimoto or any type of prositution at any time. Even the legal Fuzoku crosses the line by far in my view. However, it does seem like people don’t want to understand what Hashimoto is saying. I haven’t read the original remarks, so I can only say what I got from media coverage. Most likely I have missed a lot.

      Wasn’t the comments made at completely different times and not really related? Reading other articles I got the impression it was the press that linked the two remarks.

      At one time he said that the Japanese military prostitution during WW2 was “considered necessary at the time”, which was interpreted as he saying it was necessary at the time.

      At another time he said that the U.S. military raping and assaults in Okinawa is a problem and that they should utilize the (completely legal) Fuzoku services that exist in an effort to avoid further attacks. This seems to have been interpreted to mean that he thinks they should use full-on sex prostitutes.

      Then, after being picked up as one issue in the media he has been forced to respond to both issues at the same time, making them seem even more as the same issue, even though they were intially two seperate statements.

      Like I said before, I’m not sure I have gotten everything right. I’m just trying to get things clarified.

      • KenjiAd

        Thank you for your comment. His original remarks made on the 13th were listed, for example, at Mainichi Shimbun site here (if you can read Japanese): http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20130514k0000m040097000c.html

        Those two comments you mentioned, one about “Comfort Women” and the other about “Fuzoku” services in Okinawa, were made on the same day.

        In the morning, he was complaining why only Japan was being criticized for the “Comfort women” system when, he claimed, every other country was using some kind of military prostitution. And then he stated that “慰安婦制度が必要なのは誰でも分かる” – “Everyone understands that the Comfort-women system (or something similar to it used by other countries) was necessary,” to give rest to the soldiers risking their lives.

        Because the statement was kind of shocking, not to mention political incorrect, he was interviewed again in the afternoon on the same subject. He didn’t back-track. He reiterated, “軍の規律維持のために、慰安婦制度は当時は必要だった” – “The Comfort-women system* was necessary, at that time, to maintain the military disciplines.” *From the context, it is clear that he was using the phrase “Comfort-women system” to refer to various military prostitution systems used by many countries, including Japan, at that time.

        Because he said “at that time (当時は),” he was asked “How about now?” He replied that it is not allowed now. But he then said “慰安婦制度じゃなくても、風俗業は必要” – “Though not the Comfort-women system, Fuuzoku industry (風俗業) is necessary.” 風俗業 is an industry that provides various services, not necessarily prostitution, catering to tsatisfy sex drives of men.

        To further his point, he voluntarily offered an anecdote in which he said he had suggested to the US commander in Okinawa that they should utilize more of the Fuuzoku services over there. He said “建前論ではだめだ。そういうものを真正面から活用してもらわないと、海兵隊の猛者の性的なエネルギーはきちんとコントロールできない” – “There is no use for a public-stance argument here. Unless we ask them to make use of these services openly, the sexual energies of though guys in the Marines can’t be controlled.” (建前論 is difficult to translate, but it has a connotation of pretense, as opposed to the truth.)

        So as long as the original interviews are concerned, Hashimoto was very consistent in stating his belief that it was and is necessary to control the sex drives of military guys, then and now. He clearly believes that, even though the system like Comfort women is now no longer allowed, it was OK “at the time” and many other countries were doing it. So he wonders why only Japan is being criticized.

        In fact he has a point in pointing out the hypocrisy of some countries. However, he was completely off the mark by stating and still believing that some kind of sex services are necessary to control the military discipline. It reveals his deep-rooted disrespect to the women’s dignity and human rights.

  • He said U.S. military, and has given pain to the people of Okinawa.

    However, he does not speak that the Self-Defense Forces of Japan made ​​and sexual crimes against their own people.

    And to such things Okinawa Governor to say, why the mayor of Osaka will it say? Current state of the Osaka though it is a mess, what can afford to have to worry about other areas?

    He became governor of Osaka in the past. Achievement was only double the debt. At that time, he had quit in the middle of a term. It is too irresponsible, too.

    You might also quit in the middle this time.

  • Pat

    Ease up! Militarily bordellos have been used and approved by the American military for over a century; the only question for you is whether the workers were coerced. In Operation Dragoon, they barely had time to change the sheets the Nazis fled so quickly when the Allied forces invaded!

    • Perry Constantine

      And it was wrong every single time they were used.

      • 151E

        Sex under coercion (ie rape) is always wrong. That is self-evident. But do you mean to suggest that prostitution is inherently wrong? It certainly doesn’t strike me as a particularly desirable profession but, if we respect individuals’ right to self-determination, how can you make such a blanket condemnation? Anticipating a common objection, I doubt that any child dreams of one day being a prostitute, but likewise I doubt any child dreams of working in sewers, cleaning toilets, picking up trash, or doing any number of low-paying low-status jobs that people must endure. How is prostitution any different?

      • Perry Constantine

        Look up “human trafficking” and then ask me that question. Even Japan’s semi-legalized prostitution industry employs many people forced into it against their will.

      • 151E

        I’m aware of human trafficking, thank you. It’s abhorrent – you’ll get no argument from me there. If you’ll indulge me for a moment; would it be fair then to say that your position is that there is nothing inherently wrong with prostitution per-se, but to condone it at any level is to, however inadvertently, encourage human trafficking, and is therefore immoral? Is that a fair interpretation?

      • Perry Constantine

        There are many issues with prostitution, among them the objectification and degradation of women. It regards them as nothing more than products to be sold. And it’s in that kind of environment that human trafficking is allowed to thrive, and thrive it does.

    • Yes. All armies used prostitutes, but coercing perhaps as many as 200,000 women into service is another matter

      • Sennin

        There was no coercing women into service on the side of the Japanese government. The Japanese government was arresting and punishing those who did, and those who did it in Korea were Korean. In Japan, there seems to be people who forced some Japanese women into service, too. But that was illegal too. In any case, 25% of the comfort women seem to be Japanese. Regardless of nationalities comfort women were paid the equivalent of the present 13,300 US dollars a month. I do not know whether the Japanese government did their best when they investigated illegal recruiting, but people were starving in Japan during the war. The Japanese troops were suffering from severe shortage of bullets and other ammunition, weapons, ships, medicine, food, etc. Under these circumstances, I do now know how much the Japanese government was able to do about this problem. So I am not sure whether the Japanese government was responsible for Koreans’ illegal way of recruiting Korean women.

    • KenjiAd

      The thing to keep in mind is this – burden of proof. Right-wingers are shifting it from a) those who do NOT believe the “Comfort women” were mostly coerced to b) those who believe they were.

      Now, who carries the burden of proof? a) or b)?

      The answer is a). Why? Because it is easier to believe that women at that time in Korea or China couldn’t refuse the… um… “request” from the military that was occupying your land, than to believe that those humiliated population volunteered to sacrifice to please the enemy soldiers. There had to be an enormous incentive, or coercion, for that to happen.

      So next time when someone said there was no evidence that Japan forced these women into sexual slavery, please realize that they are attempting to shift the burden of proof. They are the ones who have to show most of them were voluntary. Can they do it? No chance. When something doesn’t make sense, it’s usually not true.

      • Tim Godfrey

        I think the question is not whether the women were coerced (women working as prostitutes are usually coerced by various organized crime actors) but whether the Japanese army was doing the coercion. I believe the latter is what Hashimoto is talking about when he asks for proof.

        I think this is a question worth discussing.

        Are we saying that it is OK for armies to use prostitutes as long as there is a criminal gang acting as a intermediary? Or are we saying that all use of prostitutes by soldiers is wrong?

        I would say the all use of prostitutes by soldiers is wrong because there is no way a woman could be a volunteer in war zone. But if all use of prostitutes is wrong then why is Japan constantly singled out when every army since the dawn of time has used local prostitutes

      • KenjiAd

        There are numerous evidences that the Japanese Army was involved in organizing the military brothels (see, for example, Asian Women’s Fund website: http://www.awf.or.jp/e1/index.html). This much has never been in dispute even among right wingers (except for extreme ones). Should this known involvement render the Japanese Army guilty of gross misconduct? I do believe it would, but people may differ. It’s a matter of opinion, not fact.

        A never-ending dispute in the Comfort women debate is purely semantic:
        the definition of so-called “kyousei renkou (強制連行)”, the direction translation of which
        would be ‘taking someone forcibly.’ So the phrase “kyousei renkou” has a much more criminal connotation than ‘coercion.’ Hashimoto and others do not believe that “kyousei renkou” was involved in the recruitment.

        Right wing folks therefore do not like the fact that this phrase has often been used to describe how “Comfort women” were recruited. But they don’t stop there; their agenda is not just semantics of “kyousei renkou.”

        Their argument is as follows (see “Sennin’s numerous posts in this forum). They say (1) there is no hard proof to show that “kyousei renkou” or any kind of force was used to recruit women, at least not in a large scale. They say this simply because they do not take these women’s testimonies as evidences (Sennin said this clearly).

        They then argue that (2) therefore, these women were essentially voluntary. They even argue that these women actually earned a lot of money, thanks to the Japanese Army (see Sennin’s posts).

        I don’t respond to each of those nonsense for obvious reasons. But I hope people reading my posts would understand that the right-winger’s logic above is a completely fallacious in that it is setting up false dichotomy: “kyousei renkou” versus nothing at all. In reality, there were a whole spectrum of forcible recruitments, and “kyousei renkou” was just one of the extreme methods. Denying the “kyousei renkou” doesn’t mean other coercive methods never existed.

        Finally, as you said clearly, very few woman would be working as a prostitute, especially for foreign soldiers, unless some kind of coercion or deception or both is involved. It’s just a common sense.

  • bsyoo2011

    I have the dream that all japanese politicians respect true history with sincere integrity. I have the dream no more outrageous offensive wording is done by them. just like german politicians do. At that time Japan deserve have true leadership with mature philosophy and value for world in Asia. That should be a vision of promsing rich Japan society. I believe this dream can come true by Japan
    only if they have the courage to see true history.

    • KenjiAd

      I’m a Japanese guy currently living in China. Every time Japanese politicians make insulting remarks about WWII history, I cringe. I often have to explain to my students why they are so stupid.

      I don’t understand why *some* politicians keep saying this sort of things. Don’t they understand that trust has to be earned? The only way to earn trust is to admit wrongdoings.

      Instead, those politicians and right-wing nationalists shamelessly keep going back and forth between self-pity mode (“Japan is a victim”) and self-congratulation (“Japan did the right thing”) without showing any interest in facing the truth – Japan was the aggressor and killed a bunch of innocent people INCLUDING their own. Anyone who can’t see this should have their head examined.

  • Masa Chekov

    He could dig himself slightly out of this hole if he could just say “Yes, the US and other countries have done this as well. They (and we) thought it was necessary at the time. This thinking is wrong, and I apologize for saying it was OK.”

    But he’s not that smart or principled. Just a thoughtless pig.

    • KenjiAd

      I want him (and people like him) say something like this. Then he would have a ‘chance’ to further his career.

      “Like all of you, I love my country. Every time I hear something bad being said about Japan, my natural reaction is to argue against it and I often find it difficult to fight against this emotional reaction. Looking back, I have to admit that my emotions clouded my judgment in many occasions, including the recent incident when I said the ‘Comfort women’ was necessary. I now realize that I was completely wrong, not just for saying what I said but for believing it in the first place. I am truly sorry. I didn’t have courage to face the truth. I also realize that I still have misogynist ideas somewhere in my brain. Thank you for pointing out my stupidity. If you give me a second chance, I promise I will try my best to eradicate these diseases of mine so that I would be able to better serve Japan and Japanese people.”

      But I’m not holding my breath. :-(

      • Masa Chekov

        That would be a fantastic response. I don’t think he has it in him though. It seems like he thinks he’s a victim here.

  • Sennin

    Politically Toru Hashimoto’s remarks on the comfort women issue are totally inappropriate, considering that there are so many people who believe that Japan abducted a huge number of Korean women to force them to work as sex slaves. This belief is widespread due to great efforts on the Korean side that hates Japan. It is a part of political propaganda that has been carried out by Korea and China for so long, and they have been so successful.

    Recently many Japanese citizens came to know the truth about the comfort women through the Internet. Before that, few people knew it because Japanese mass media had been hiding the truth. They never mention a word that might be taken as criticism against Korea and China.

    What Toru Hashimoto said about comfort women is more or less accurate historically, and there are many people who know it. That is why he keeps saying the same politically inappropriate things over and over again, despite the fact that Japanese mass media keeps taking the same old stance.

    First, comfort women were paid a huge amount of money, about four times as much as a male college graduate would make. They were offered a monthly salary of 13,300 US dollars plus an optional
    advance payment of 133,000 US dollars in terms of the current monetary

    Second, one plausible estimate says that 25% of the comfort women were Japanese, while 40% were Korean and 30% were Chinese. It is incorrect that only Korean women became comfort women.

    Third, they became comfort women of their own free will. There seems to have been cases in which they were forced into service, but that was illegal and those who forced women to become comfort women had been arrested and punished by the Japanese government during the war. The illegal way of recruiting comfort women using threats, deception, etc. seems to have been used both in Japan and Korea.

    Fourth, the illegal way of recruiting Korean women in Korea using threats, deception, etc. seems to have been carried out by Koreans themselves. In fact some of them were arrested by the Japanese government during the war.

    That is how the Japanese government came to be criticized for employing comfort women. Naturally there are people, like Toru Hashimoto, who think that the Japanese government should not be blamed for the use of the comfort-women system. The real question is who should take responsibilities for the women who were forced to become comfort women. The problem is that we do not know who did all this now except those arrested during the war.

    Personally I do not know whether the Japanese government is responsible for the illegal acts done by those Koreans and possibly Chinese. Maybe the Japanese government should have spent more time and energy to prevent it. But maybe even if they had done their best, they might not have been able to stop all of them.

    In any case, I think Koreans and Chinese should accept historical facts and express their views accordingly. Otherwise there would be more and more Japanese who hate Korea and China since this is the age of the Internet. Japanese mass media can no longer protect Korean and Chinese views.

    I really do not want those Japanese nationalists to gain power because we all need to build a peaceful society.

    • Steve van Dresser

      There has been too much direct testimony from former “comfort women” that they were compelled into sexual service to believe that they were all volunteers. It is also hard to believe that the Dutch women forced into sexual slavery in Japanese occupied territories were all volunteers.

      The evidence presented by the victims is clear and compelling. If you choose not to believe it, you are being intentionally blind.

      The idea that the comfort women were paid $133,000 recruiting fee plus $13,300 per month is crazy. For 200,000 comfort women, that would total 5,852,000,000,000 yen (almost 6 cho en) for the first year. To believe that the Japanese military in the midst of World War II would throw that much money away on prostitutes is totally insane.

      • KenjiAd

        I believe Sennin just mistranslated the original Japanese.

        According to many posts I see over the Internet (most of which are just rumors), the figures of “Comfort women”‘s supposed salary range from 100-500 yen per month, which is actually higher than even military officers at that time.

        As far as I can figure out, the only “evidence” (note the double quote) is a record of “Comfort womens” interviews by the Allied after the war. In it, there was s description of monthly revenue of the brothel. From that, some people guestimated how much the girls might be getting from the master. Adding some tip income from the “customers”, they concluded that the “Comfor women” must be getting quite a good money.

        I’ve also seen a claim based on the alleged bank-account record of a former “Comfort women” who appeared to have saved over ~25,000 yen in a couple of years.

        Of course it’s quite a stretch to say most comfort women were making a lot of money from these “evidences” alone. As I said, a far more reliable way is to actually track the former “Comfort women” and see how their lives were after the war. If you look at the financial outcome of their job from this angle, you see a completely different picture – a broken human whose life was completely ruined.

      • Sennin

        Kenji, I did not mistranslate anything. If you were Japanese, you should sound happier when you found my posts lift the burden of guilt a bit.

        I am happy, though, that you have already read thousands of posts on the Web that say comfort women were paid workers.

        Job advertisements for comfort women say that they would get 300 Japanese yen a month plus 3000 Japanese yen as an advance payment. I asked my grandparents how much 300 yen and 3000 yen were worth. They said that those are huge sums of money.

        So today I checked the value of the wartime Japanese yen. It seems wartime 300 yen is worth the same as 3,000,000 yen now. That is 30,000 U.S dollars. So, wartime 3000 yen is worth 300,000 U.S. dollars now.

        You could build a three-story house with 2000 yen in the middle of Tokyo during the war. Today only super-rich people can build a new house there.

        Newly employed bank workers earned 70 to 75 yen a month. A woman working as an office clerk earned 35 yen a month. So, again, 300 yen was huge.

        Of course Japanese yen lost its value quickly after the war. So unless those comfort women used the money before the war, that huge amount of money amounted to nothing much.

        As for investigating all the comfort women’s later lives, you cannot do it because all the records have been lost.

        According to the story about one former Japanese comfort woman, she got married but was unable to have a baby as a result of working as a comfort woman, so she adopted a baby. She kept secret the fact that she was a comfort woman until she died. So nobody knew except the person who told the story. That man was her neighbor who met her in the battle field. That is a rare case: meeting your neighbor in a battle field brothel.

        You can read the story on the Web. It is written in Japanese. You are Japanese. So that should pose no problem to you. Search the Web with the Japanese equivalent of “Japanese comfort women.” The story is so vivid and real.

        Personally I do not trust the testimony of anyone who started to claim that he or she was a victim of some kind after half a century. But I would trust the testimony of that man. If you read the story, I am quite sure that you would too.

      • Sennin

        First of all, there is no evidence that there were actually 200,000 comfort women. Some people say 4000, and others say 9000. Yet others say 20,000. Since the vital records are lost, these figures are all based on the number of soldiers, not comfort women themselves. If there had been 200,000 comfort women, there would have been more than 10,000,000 Japanese soldiers fighting outside Japan.

        Stats on my hand say that there were 2,960,000 soldiers fighting outside Japan at the end of the war. “200,000 women” sounds too many to me since each of them is said to have taken care of 16 soldiers a day. If each of the 200,000 women takes care of 16 soldiers every day, the Japanese soldiers would have no time fighting. That might surely explain why Japan lost the war: too busy having fun with girls to fight against the enemies.

        About nationalities, one other estimate says that 70% were Japanese, 20% were Korean, and 10% were Chinese. That is what is written in the Japanese edition of Wikipedia. I do not know which estimate is correct, but it is definitely wrong that all of the comfort women were Korean.

        As for the salary the comfort women get, I have uploaded on my website a photo of the official document that shows how much one Korean comfort woman made. It may be forbidden here to put a link to it. So, if you are interested, you can access my twitter account, then jump to my blog, from there, jump to my website. The link to my website is at the bottom of the side menu on my blog, and the webpage where I uploaded the photo is in the “History” section. So click on “History” if you get there. The part marked in red is the money which that Korean comfort woman earned by working as a comfort woman.

        Also, the evidence presented by the victims does not look that clear to me as far as I have seen. For example, the same person told completely different stories every time she talks. If there were such clear compelling evidence, the Japanese government would have already done something about those victims.

        All I see is copies of the job advertisements that promised a monthly salary of 13,300 US dollars plus an optional advance payment of 133,000 US dollars in terms of the current monetary
        value, and the figures on the savings account statement of a Korean comfort woman.

        I do not know about the Dutch women forced into sexual slavery in Japanese occupied territories. Since all this happened during the war, there might have been some troops that did questionable things. You could see something like that in movies like “Platoon,” “Casualties of War,” etc. But that sort of things were against the policies of the Japanese government at that time. You must understand that a lot of things like that happen in any war. When Koreans and Chinese attacked Japan in 1274 and 1281, they hanged living Japanese war prisoners from their ships so as to prevent the Japanese warriors from attacking them. Something despicable always happens in any war.

        When those Dutch women were forced to become comfort women, there must have been a reason behind it. If some Japanese troop is responsible for it, they may have disobeyed the order from Japan. Have you ever seen a photo of a huge number of Japanese soldiers who starved to die? Under those extreme conditions, I am not sure whether the Japanese government should be held responsible for it.

      • KenjiAd

        First regarding the number of “Comfort women,” I’m sorry but your math actually doesn’t make sense. Division of 3 million soldiers by 200K “Comfort Women” results in 15 (or 16) in terms of soldier:woman ratio. It has nothing to do with how many sex acts they did a day as you implied.

        Historian Hata Ikuhito in his first book (1993) estimated the number of “Comfort Women” to be approximately 90,000, based on three estimated parameters – number of soldiers (3 mil), turnover number (1.5), and soldier:woman ratio (50). Thus 3 mil times 1.5 divided by 50 = 90,000. In his second book (1999), he changed the number to 20,000, by modifying the parameters. Other historians came up with various numbers, but I’ve never seen any number below Hata’s second number.

        I can’t see your Twitter account because China blocks it (I’m in China). But I think I know what you are talking about. Most of those so-called “proof” allegedly showing how rich “Comfort women” must have been – these photos have been around since late 90’s among right-wing publications. They typically show two things: (1) bank account of one former Korean “Comfort Woman” and (2) copy of the job ad saying the service would pay you 300 yen (which is quite a lot at that time). If you have anything else, just show us.

        These documents have been thoroughly scrutinized, Sennin, in the last 10 years or so. I’m not going to repeat that again here, but I’m sure you can find those discussions on the Internet.

        In a nutshell, no one knows, for sure, how much each Comfort Woman was getting (or not getting). Complications are multiple. One, we don’t know how much the “house master” was skimming, charging for food and accommodations, and collecting the debt owed by the girls. We do not know how much tips the girls might be getting. Finally, there is a currency-exchange factor and rampant inflation in the occupied territories (for example, the money paid by Military-issued bills would be useless outside of the occupied territory or after the war). Anyway, most people do agree (perhaps you don’t) that these girls weren’t as rich as right-wing pundits want us to believe. If you have any other evidences to the contrary, please show them to us.

        Finally, do you realize that you are choosing what you believe, based on what you want to believe. On the one hand, you believe a copy of the job ad (no, it doesn’t say “Hey, we pay you 300 yen if you become a prostitute!”) which doesn’t mean much. But you chose not to believe the testimonies of, not just one or two, but every single former “Comfort Woman.”

        I don’t think that’s rational. Rather, what you are doing is to select the evidence, any flimsy evidence, that supports your belief. You are not open to anything to contradict your nationalistic idea.

      • Sennin

        About “Historian Hata Ikuhito,” Hata is his family name and Ikuhito is his first name. Since you say you are Japanese, you must know it. But for the people who do not understand the Japanese language, it is better to write his first name first and his family name last. Surely there are some who write Japanese names in the way you do, but It only makes me more suspicious about your nationality.

      • Sennin

        A photo of a bank statement and copies of two job advertisements are not flimsy evidence in my opinion.

        I understand that you cannot access my Twitter account from China. If that is the case, you may directly access such domains like “senninnokekkai.com” or “senninnokekkai.net” to confirm that I am not a nationalist at all. Evidence regarding comfort women’s salary is uploaded on a domain “www.senninsshield.com”. It is in the History section.

        I found a blog that says about the same thing as what I wrote here. It is “AMPONTAN Japan form the inside out.” You probably cannot access this blog either. The author of this blog was a man named William Sakovich. He was probably American. He died five months ago, on December 21, 2012. I might archive this blog somewhere someday so everybody can read it.

      • 仙人

        Hello. I am Sennin. I signed in with my Japanese-language Twitter account again.

        I checked out the case of Dutch comfort women. It happened in Semarang, Indonesia in 1944, a year and five months before the end of the war.

        At that time there was already a Japanese brothel there, but they needed a new one because of the problem of sexually transmitted diseases at the old brothel. The soldiers there ignored the order issued by headquarters that they should employ only volunteers, and they took away women from the Dutch concentration camp.

        Later a Dutch leader at the concentration camp reported it to a Japanese army officer, Colonel Kaoru Odajima, when he visited the concentration camp for inspection, and he ordered that the new brothel be shut down.

        Later, after the war, the Japanese army officer, Major Keiji Okada, who was in charge of the Dutch brothel, was sentenced to death. But the Japanese army Lieutenant Colonel Asao Okubo who probably played the primary role in this abduction case committed suicide by harakiri before he was taken to trial in court-martial. The 35 Dutch victims were compensated with 2,550,000 U.S. dollars, starting from 1990 and completed in 2001.

        Before Major Keiji Okada died, he wrote in his diary, “I have treated them so well, and yet they are now accusing me with blatant lies. Alas, I imagine they must do so now that the tides have turned and they cannot claim to have cooperated with us. I see I have been made the mastermind. I have nothing more to say. My hands have been bitten by the dogs I have fed.”

        “My hands have been bitten by the dogs I have fed” is a very common Japanese expression used when you are betrayed by someone you took good care of, helped a lot, etc.

        It sounds like Major Keiji Okada was another victim. He was ordered to start a new brothel by his superior and asked the governor of Semarang to have Indonesians working under him recruit women. The day before the brothel opened, he visited the Dutch comfort women for the first time to see how everything went. It seems that he did not know what really happened to them.

        In any case this brothel was shut down after two months of operation.

    • V Lee

      With extreme views like these, it is no wonder why so many Chinese (mainland, overseas, expatriates, overseas born) and Koreans why hate or distrust the Japanese. The Western press belatedly are also adding pressures to Japan’s revisionist versions of history.

    • KenjiAd

      I’ll start with where you completely obfuscated the issue of why Hashimoto got into trouble in the first place. You are correct in saying that he believes Japan did not force comfort women into sex services. A lot of people, including hired guns in academia, have been advancing the idea that “Comfort women” were mostly volunteer prostitutes who basically worked for money. But this belief, which you advocate above and Hashimoto subscribes to, is NOT the reason why he has been criticized. Not at all.

      He has been criticized for stating that a) the system of “Comfort women” (volunteers or otherwise) was necessary and b) a similar kind of services is still necessary for the US Marines in Okinawa. It is this view that’s being criticized, the fact that you didn’t address.

      As to the rest of your post, assertion is not an argument. You need to show us the evidences to back up your claim that appears to counter the conventional view.

      The money allegedly paid to “Comfort women” was really not important, because I’m pretty sure right-wing historians can dig up a paper or two that says Japanese military paid this or that much to women, which may or may not be true. A more reliable way to gauge the financial welfare of these women is to actually track these women and see how they were living after the war. Perhaps you can show us that most of them were living in a big villa with servants, since you claim that they were getting 4-times more than a college graduate plus a big bonus? Please?

      The second point, where comfort women came from, is very hard to investigate because of lack of the historical record. So it is possible that your figure may be reasonably accurate. But the thing is, it doesn’t change anything. The majority, even in your estimate, were non Japanese.

      Your third claim is a very strange one. It was of course illegal to abduct people and put them into the work (sex services) against their will. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Again, I am pretty sure that right-wing historians can dig out a paper or two showing that some pimps got arrested during that period. And that means absolutely nothing, because it simply means that some pimps got caught.

      To find out how they were actually recruited, the most reliable way is to ask the people who were recruited, not an arrest record of pimps. So far, almost all the testimony show that they were either cheated or coerced. Now you can argue that they might be lying to get money from Japan. But that explanation goes against a common sense which is, even today in 12st century, that (cheating and coercion) is the common way of recruiting young girls for brothels (in Thailand, America, etc). Because of that, the testimony of former “Comfort women” does make a lot of sense. If you want to insist they are all liars, you need to come up with a better evidence than mere arrest records of a couple of pimps.

      Finally, your fourth point, which happens to be, I think, correct. Yes, I and others do believe that there must be a large number of Korean collaborators to abduct young girls. That’s almost a given in a occupied territory. People do those things in order to survive. But don’t forget that they were working *for* the occupiers.

      In summary, you basically erred on two points. One, you obfuscated the reason why Hashimoto has been criticized. Two, what you called the truth has very little footing. You can’t simply call something “propaganda by China and Korea” just because you and others don’t like it.

      P.S. In a reply that you deleted, you basically called me a liar saying I can’t be a Japanese person because my English is too good. I’m thrilled to hear that, but I am indeed a bilingual Japanese guy. It was interesting because you were using the same tactics to advance your argument, i.e., slinging the mud to people whose views you disagree. So I request you that you stay civil in this discussion and not call someone a liar. Hopefully.

      • Sennin

        I did not delete any of my posts, and I did not call you a liar. I just questioned your nationality.

        One more thing. I am not a supporter of Toru Hashimoto or his political party. Currently I am one of his enemies. You can confirm it if you visit my main website in the Japanese language. Sennin of sennin-no-kekkai is me. You should be able to find my websites easily.

      • 仙人

        Hello. I signed in with my Japanese-language Twitter account.

        I guess you are a bit too emotional about the issue.

        I read somewhere a few days ago that during the war the Japanese government issued an order not to force women into service because that would become a public social issue or something.

        If the Japanese government ordered people to force women into service, the Japanese government should be held responsible for coercing women into service.

        If not, it is the question of whether they had done enough or not to prevent such cases.

        In any case, the English version of Wikipedia says the following:

        Historians such as Lee Yeong-Hun and Ikuhiko Hata stated the recruitment of comfort women was voluntary. Other historians, using the testimony of ex-comfort women and surviving Japanese soldiers have argued the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy
        were either directly or indirectly involved in coercing, deceiving, luring, and sometimes kidnapping young women throughout Japan’s occupied territories.

        On the other hand, the Japanese edition of Wikipedia says:

        制度としての慰安婦は、軍相手の「管理売春」という商行為をおこなう存在であり、慰安婦には報酬が支払われていた。しかし、韓国では日本の場合だけは無報酬の性奴隷であったとする主張が主流である[51]。 日本のケースでは民間業者が新聞広告などで広く募集するなどして日本人および日本人以外の女性に対しても慰安婦として採用していたが、韓国などでは強制連行であったなどと主張しており、強制的なものであったかどうかなどの点について論争がおこなわれている。慰安婦に関する問題は戦後すぐに起こったのでなく、1970年代になってから、旧日本軍が戦地の女性を強制連行し、慰安婦にしたとする本がいくつか出版されて明るみになった。

        いわゆる慰安婦論争が再燃する契機となったのは、元陸軍軍人の吉田清治(本名:吉田雄兎)が自著『朝鮮人慰安婦と日本人』(新人物往来社 1977年)で、軍の命令で自身が韓国の済州島で女性を「強制連行」して慰安婦にしたと告白し、さらに1982年に樺太裁判で済州島で朝鮮人奴隷狩りを行ったと証言し、1983年7月に戦中済州島で自ら200人の女性を拉致し慰安婦にしたと証言する『私の戦争犯罪―朝鮮人強制連行』(三一書房)を出版したことに始まる。1983年11月10日には朝日新聞が「ひと」欄で吉田清治を紹介した。この吉田の著作内容はのちに済州新聞の許栄善記者や秦郁彦らの調査の末、捏造であることが明らかになり吉田本人も創作と認めることとなるが慰安婦問題は著作を離れ一人歩きすることとなる。

        In short, in Japan people say comfort women were paid workers who volunteered for the job. In Korea, people say they were abducted for slavery. A Japanese former army officer Yoshida said he abducted Korean women and forced them into service as sex slaves, but it was found that he had made up that story. But his forged story became the beliefs of Koreans.

      • 仙人

        Yoshida is the only person from the Japanese Imperial army who testified that the Japanese Imperial army kidnapped Korean women and forced them to serve as sex slaves. But researchers found no evidence that proved his story, and he later admitted that he made up his story. Moreover, he seems to be a rahter mysterious man. What he claims to be his educational background is not confirmed. For example, he claims that he graduated from what is now Hosei University in Tokyo, but there is no record in Hosei University that he was a student there.

        He was also a local congressional candidate from Japan Communist Party after the war, got only 129 votes, and naturally failed.

        You can find details in a blog article titled:
        “吉田清治 本名は吉田雄兎。戦後30年を経て慰安婦問題の嚆矢となる『私の戦争犯罪』を上梓したが後に”

        You can find even more detailed information in another blog article titled:
        “捏造者 吉田清治 の大罪 (昭和の残党)”

        Korean comfort women seem to have no right to demand compensation from Japan because the treaty between Japan and South Korea specifies that the South Korean government should take care of it. In any case, a Korean political scientist Jee Man-won says that 80% of those who are demanding compensation are frauds.

        There seem to be so many frauds about the Korean comfort women issue.

  • someone should tell this idiot to shut up before he commits political genocide and takes out his own party.which aint a bad thing actually. dig deeper dude. believe in darwin.

  • Is this guy brain dead? Why is he making enemies for Japan with his rhetoric?
    China and South Korea wants world opinion to turn against Japan, and
    he’s doing a great job of helping their cause. Toru Hashimoto is the
    Japanese version of Joe Walsh, formerly from the US House of
    Representative, who lost his seat in the House because he was arrogant and could not control his mouth. Toru Hashimoto, if you are reading this, please
    act like a Japanese and be humble. You are embarrassing the rest of your countrymen. Don’t you realize your country is finally coming out of its economic slump, and you are not helping it any? China, and South Korea depend on exports for their economic future. They don’t want to compete with Japan head to head because they would lose. Why do you think China and South Korea keep trying to put Japan down. You are falling into a trap set by them by taking the bait about the comfort women. Even if the ROK Army did the same thing in Vietnam, you make yourself look silly by saying that they did the same thing. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Japan makes superior products, but who would want to buy things from a country who has politicians thinking like you? You are a representative of the people. Please think before you speak. The whole world is watching, and what you say now will dictate what people will purchase in the future.

  • 仙人

    I checked out the comfort women issue with a friend. She knew it, but she believed that the Japanese government kidnapped thousands of women from Korea in order to have them work as comfort women and did not pay them any money.

    I pointed out that they applied for the job of their own free will and got a lot of money, 300 yen a month, for it. She said that she has never heard that story before.

    So I asked her what newspaper she reads, and she answered that she reads The Asahi Shimbun. Then she laughed a lot.