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.

    • Chad

      Uhh buddy Japan ruled these countries entirely you cannot seriously think all 100 percent of comfort women were previously prostitutes?

      But WHATEVER ITS THE PAST MOVE ON. These whiners act like they are the first group of people to suffer through an atrocity. Ever herd of the Holocaust? Get over it.

      • SF Sunset Guy

        This isn’t about the holocaust. Moreover, are you saying holocaust survivors or say Armenian genocide victims shouldn’t be remembered or acknowledged? That the parties responsible shouldn’t be accurate in their history within their own countries?

        Imperial Japan committed a vast number of war crimes all over Asia to both native Asians and Western Forces – like the Battan death marches in the occupied Philippines and medical experiments. This is not in Japanese history textbooks, to name just one glaring omission and denial of responsibility.

      • Chad

        I’m not condoning Japan’s denial of responsibility but the stretching of the truth to benefit one’s nation is practiced by every country, especially america, so people need to stop acting like japan is the only one covering up skeletons.

        I bring up the holocaust because every group of people has suffered some atrocity. WWII Holocaust, armenian genocide, korea/china comfort women, japan getting A bombed twice, etc. Do you see a lot jew on german hate crimes? Not really, they move on. This hate that carries through the future generations looks very ignorant.

      • SF Sunset Guy

        I wasn’t saying you were condoning anything. Japan getting A bombed wasn’t to perpetuate an atrocity on the Japanese people for being Japanese, it was to end the war and prevent or avoid a ground invasion.

        The press for recognition is hardly ignorance, appearances notwithstanding. The ignorance has to do with, for instance, Japanese school age children not knowing their own country’s history. The Germans after the war were some of the first to acknowledge their role in the war – with both memorials and reparations. I don’t think it’s about “moving on”.

        If you can imagine for a minute, what cataclysmic conniption the world would collectively have if for instance, German textbooks no longer included information on German wartime atrocities?

        I’m not sure what you mean by hate crimes as the holocaust is widely and continuously remembered, acknowledged and a concrete presence in public discourse around the world, 70 years after the fact. Annual remembrances and memorials around the world. That’s the difference.

    • AK

      You sound like a Japanimal.

    • Tupac Shakur

      Sure, there are no records according to your fabricated Japanese textbooks.

  • HappyHighwayman

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

    • Tupac Shakur

      There are hundreds of victims who are still alive and suffering. There were even some Dutch women who were forced in this forced sexual harassment.

      • CaptainAsia

        Some right wing Koreans are known also to make up stories.

  • 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.

    • Sean

      Voluntarily? Who would serve sex slaves for an army during the war? No common sense at all!

  • 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.

    • Sean

      Germany admitted the war crime and moved on, but Japan never did it. That’s the point here.

  • AK

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

    • CaptainAsia

      that is HIstory, the Japan now is very different. But you would not know that, would you?

      • AK

        Is that why the Japs revise history in their text books and refuse to apologize to their victims? Because it’s just history? You Japanimals are ridiculous. Go to hell and burn!

  • 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.

    • CaptainAsia

      exactly how many times must they do that. Germany is full on right wing white power, as are many European and Russia, which is the real white elephant in the room.

  • timefox

    It looks just Koreans .