LDP panel explores ways to convey Japan’s views on sex slave issue


Staff Writer

A special Liberal Democratic Party committee on Thursday discussed ways to better convey Japan’s views on wartime historical issues to counter a public relations blitz by South Korea.

During the sixth gathering of the Special Mission Committee to Restore the Honor and Trust of Japan, chaired by Hirofumi Nakasone, some members said a carefully crafted strategic plan is needed to gain the understanding of the international community when it comes to the issue of “comfort women,” a euphemism for those who were forced to work in Japanese wartime military brothels.

In the discussions on how the forced prostitution issue is portrayed in school textbooks overseas, a Foreign Ministry official told the committee that textbooks by one publisher in Germany and three in the United States contain depictions of comfort women.

Although most of the textbooks do not explore the issue in depth, the government needs to look at them carefully and determine whether they merit an official response, Masahiko Shibayama, a Lower House member who serves as a secretariat of the committee, told reporters after the meeting.

Officials from the Foreign Ministry and Justice Ministry attended the meeting to answer members’ questions.

Shibayama also said the government must deal with such issues, which could damage Japan’s national interests, while avoiding the appearance of “historical revisionism.”

During the hour-long meeting, they also studied past lawsuits and rulings in other countries related to the issue.

The committee, launched last October by right-wing LDP members, including party policy chief Tomomi Inada, plans to compile and submit its recommendations to the administration as early as this month.

It also plans to draw up a recommendation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about his expected statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, which will be closely watched by Beijing and Seoul.

Earlier this year, Abe and LDP lawmakers criticized a U.S. history textbook published by McGraw-Hill that included sentences such as: “The Japanese Army forcibly recruited, conscripted and dragooned as many as 200,000 women aged 14 to 20 to serve in military brothels.”

Japanese mainstream historians say it is impossible to determine the exact number of comfort women. But Yoshiaki Yoshimi, a leading historian on the issue, estimates there were at least 50,000.

The Foreign Ministry told the Japanese Consulate in New York last year to ask McGraw-Hill to revise the world history textbook.

  • timefox

    Japanese Government should correct comfort woman’s delusion. Is a comfort woman a mistake, too? That was an ordinary courtesan.

    The United States was using a sexual slave for the time of Korean War. But United States don’t want to admit use of a sexual slave. So They called a courtesan of the Pacific War a sexual slave and blamed Japan. Only that.

    • Hendrix

      Thats right, do what you do best and deflect the blame, obfusicate and never own up because of your disgusting pride…. and stop using google translate to post in English, it makes you look even more silly.

    • R0ninX3ph

      So, if all the other countries in the world who used prostitutes to satiate their military all admit to it, then Japan will? Oh… What? You’re only trying to deflect the issue instead of actually dealing with it? Right.

      And as Hendrix said, stop using Google translate, it makes you look ridiculous. You could at least type your message in Japanese so that the meaning isn’t garbled in the middle of a terrible automated translation.

      • Iain Macpherson

        You guys are right about the Women, but you should stop mocking timefox’s English. Seriously.

      • left nut

        Last time I checked this was an English/Japanese website, and it would be appreciated by others (including myself) if posted something other than incoherent gibberish.

        People want to debate with him (again including myself) but he’s simply a troll.

        I understand why it bothers you how people (I again, being one of them) poke fun at him, but this “one post” wonder can reap what he sowed. You troll… you get trolled… sad reality of the internet.

      • R0ninX3ph

        It isn’t even just “you troll you get trolled”, as you said, people want to engage with others to converse and discuss a topic to come to a resolution that works for both parties.

        Timefox 1) doesn’t even try to do that by sending such a garbled message and 2) being so far right wing, isn’t interested in what anyone other than other right wingers who support his narrative say.

        This comments thread isn’t the first time they have popped their little Net-Uyoku head in and posted bollocks, only to then continue posting bollocks and linking to more garbled rubbish on other “reputable” websites.

      • left nut

        You framed things very well and yes you are correct, about it not being “you troll you get trolled”… I confess, I gotten a tad annoyed by the time I typed out that line.

      • Iain Macpherson

        Well, let’s disagree to disagree then. And I certainly don’t agree with timefox. But he’s not posting incoherent gibberish. You can understand his point. It’s simple, and it’s fully refutable without making fun of his English.

      • left nut

        Fair enough! However to your point regarding “refuting” his comments… Been there and done that… Total waste of time. R0nin framed well by stating…

        “Timefox 1) doesn’t even try to do that by sending such a garbled message
        and 2) being so far right wing, isn’t interested in what anyone other
        than other right wingers who support his narrative say.”

        In the past I stated you would have better conversation with a brick wall and still (EDIT… unfortunately) stands…

      • Manfred Deutschmann

        How do you know you understood his point? Sure, I can try to *interpret* what he is trying to say, but I can never be sure if that was what he actually was saying. Better to completely ignore his comments, it’s even more fair to him / her because I think it’s patronising to do so.

      • Iain Macpherson

        I’m sure he said/meant that Japan’s ‘comfort women’ were in fact “ordinary courtesans.” And then he said that the US effectively used the same sort of ‘sex slaves’ during the Korean War. I’m probably not going too far out on a limb to presume that he means Korean camp prostitutes were so impoverished that they effectively had to f**k for food.

        But I agree with you that ignoring him is the best option. Certainly better than mocking his non-native English or even just demanding that he write in (near-)perfect English. That’s stooping, and helping to make the internet an uglier place – much like the ‘net uyoku’ do, in fact.

      • harryspaz

        It’s an international forum. Stop being such a bigot.

      • left nut

        International forum in ENGLISH, moron. How am I a bigot? I’m happa.

      • harryspaz

        You’re a bigot for slamming someone’s English rather than addressing their point (which you clearly understood) in an international forum. That’s how you’re a bigot, bigot.

      • left nut

        Moderator, why was my comment removed? I was not off topic and a direct response to harryspaz.

        — repost with some edits—

        LOL! You don’t even know how many times I tried to address the point with this 2ch’er, you ignorant fool. Love how you apologist swoop in trying to play hero, since you understand him so “clearly”.

        You are nothing but a judgmental right wing, revisionist, sympathizing, simpleton and your attempt to discredit me by calling me a biggot… rather humorous and very pathetic.

        See what I did? I bet you’re shaking your head in disgust, since I lumped you in with “friend” timefox, without knowing anything about you… this conversation smells about the same as your upper lip… and a good place to end things with you. Full stop!

      • harryspaz

        Well, bigot, I guess you’ve told me!

      • left nut

        that’s right I did

      • He should just post in Japanese then. I can read/write Japanese and would get more out of the Japanese version than the English gibberish he keeps posting.

      • R0ninX3ph

        Or, if they are genuinely trying to use English to engage with English speakers, they could type both. First type their English then type what they were attempting to say in Japanese below it, that way there can be some kind of semblance of comprehensibility of their message.

        But, like I said previously, they aren’t interested in their message being understood, they just want to post their right wing rhetoric and don’t want to actually have a discussion. So, whatever language they post in is largely irrelevant. They would still not listen to any counterpoints.

    • 151E

      Your perseverance is admirable, but your posts often skirt the limits of comprehensibility such that I would be amazed if they passed the Turing test. But keep at it.

    • Four beans, chicken, dog, powder, frog and water… wtf are you saying?

      • left nut

        Kirt, please play nice… you run a risk of being called a “biggot”… lol

  • 151E

    I absolutely love the utterly absurd name of this caucus, “Special Mission Committee to Restore the Honor and Trust of Japan”, so completely oblivious to the irony!

    Really, it’s best to leave history to the historians, but if they’re going to spend all this time studying foreign textbooks maybe they’ll actually learn something. Who knows? Or the chairman, Hirofumi Nakasone, could probably also just ask his father, Yasuhiro, all about it, seeing as dad was responsible for organising a comfort station back in ’42 in Balikpapan, Indonesia.

  • Hendrix

    As for this panel or commitee or whatever, all it is trying to do is to find a clever way to distort or manipulate the truth…. As long as Abe and his cronies are in power they will never come clean.

  • tisho

    i.e. how to come up with a wording that conveys a message to our domestic audience that there were no sex slaves, and another message for the foreign audience that we are sorry for what happened.

    • R0ninX3ph

      The fact that you think it is important to tell two stories makes it obvious you don’t understand the problem. Even if the large majority of comfort women were legitimate prostitutes being paid, it actually doesn’t matter.

      Are prostitutes nowadays free to leave their masters when they feel like it? They’re being paid right? So its their choice to stay? Prostitutes nowadays are paid and are still trapped in their position, thus it becomes slavery. Even if ALL of the comfort women were paid, in their position below the military masters, they couldn’t just leave when they wanted, thus it becomes slavery.

      Slaves are often paid, in their masters minds, with food, shelter and the “good will” of their masters by letting them live. Just because you want to rationalise the slavery by saying “they were paid so they were just normal everyday prostitutes” doesn’t actually stop it from being sexual slavery….

      • tisho

        i think you need to read what i said again slowly this time.

      • R0ninX3ph

        Apologies, I read it from the opposite view point. Thats what I get for getting riled up by certain other posters here then reply to other comments.

      • Manfred Deutschmann

        Valid point. It is important to not get sucked into this dishonourable haggling over the words and keep an eye on the big picture at all times.

  • Ron NJ

    A name like the “Special Mission Committee to Restore the Honor and Trust of Japan” is just too good. I’m half convinced they’re really just so oblivious to the rest of the world that they think that sort of name is acceptable or appropriate and half convinced they’re just trolling the world at this point.

    Either way, bravo Japan. You’re doing more damage to your own international image and standing with ridiculous stuff like this than any foreign entity ever could.

  • Richard Solomon

    For those who wish to learn more about the efforts being made by the Foreign Ministry to get American textbook writers to alter their description of ‘comfort women’ look at the current issuemofmJapan Focus. One of the co-authors of the McGraw Hill textbook discusses his meeting with a Japanese official in Hawaii. By the end of the article I was shaking my head in disbelief: the Japanese official simply would not acknowledge that the author had the right to write the textbook as he saw fit and the facts suggest. The attitude seemed to be ‘don’t bother me with the facts. Just agree with our denial about what the Japanese military did.’

  • Kazuto Matsumura

    Please stop referring to this kind of opinion as “Japan’s” view, which certainly is NOT. I ask your newspaper to use such terms as “LDP’s view,” “Abe government’s view,” etc.

    • Manfred Deutschmann

      How did the LDP get into power time and again since its inception? I think it was by democratic election. So it is fair to say this is Japan’s view.
      If the Japanese people don’t like it, then it would be easy to vote for another party, right? Put your actions where your mouth is.