The “Comfort Women Deal” between South Korea and Japan: Six Alternative Views

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Sukjong Hong is a writer and artist whose writing and graphic journalism has appeared in Fusion News, Al Jazeera America, The Huffington Post, Gothamist, and Triple Canopy Magazine, among others. She is currently working on a series of graphic novellas.

73 Comments

  1. Okay, what exactly does the comfort women want? 1 billion yen is not enough? And let’s say Japan does agree to “everything” demanded by the comfort women? Are the Koreans really willing to accept “closure” or 30 years from now, will they bring up the matter again by saying “the money wasn’t enough”? Does Korea want to perpetuate their anti-Japanese sentiment for all eternity, passing it on to generation after generation. Exactly what benefit can be accrued from that?? A temporary emotional feeling of satisfaction, being able to criticize Japan in a social medium?? Korea, not in vague terms, but in very specific terms, should make it clear what they want Japan to do, and should also provide some guarantee that if Japan is willing to meet those demands, Korea is willing to put this matter to rest? Without such a guarantee, Japan won’t agree to anything, happy to wait it out until every single one of the comfort women dies, and for the world to become apathetic to this issue.

    • Hey tunnel rat, listen. You get the point wrong as stupid as Abe. the comfort women were part of this historical event. It has a lot to do with them and they should be consulted in terms of the resolution. However, other Koreans are related to this issue and those who are peace-loving, against war crimes, genocide are also related. It is not just about the comfort women. We are all watching over Prime Minister Abe and Japan’s right-wing force. Save yourself humiliation and never ask the shitty questions like, “the money wasn’t enough? 1 billion yen is not enough?” You such a disgusting idiot. You and other Japanese need to learn attitude and humble from the Germans. “Happy to wait it out until every comfort woman be dead?!” Nothing surprises me that Japan has lots of devils, including you and Abe.

      • You’re very funny JJ. Calling Abe and me names don’t bother me none, but you don’t offer any solutions for resolving this issue. Rant and rave, rant and rave. I’m asking exactly what does Korea expect Japan to do in order for this issue to be resolved once and for all. Specific requests, very specific requests. You can spend the rest of your life hating the Japanese, calling them names, regarding them as the devil’s reincarnation, that’s your prerogative, go for it if that’s how you get your kicks. But ranting and raving alone don’t help the comfort women none.

      • Hey tunnel rat, you got another Japanese fellow named “Sakurako” to cooperate. One thing I am sure is that all of you are morons. It doesn’t annoy me at all to read your comments and your supporting article. I am also not surprised that you know the word of “prostitute” because Japanese men are very crazy about “prostitute”. Spending the rest of my life to hate Japanese? Oh, no! Japanese don’t deserve it.

      • Hmmm. Do you get “enjoyment” out of seeing the Japanese people being “exterminated”?? Even though the Japanese were bombed twice, we certainly won’t wish the same fate on anybody, no matter what the circumstances. I’ve heard of people having a “chip on their shoulder” but ……

      • Are you “Happy to see every comfort women to be dead?” Are you happy with that? Look at what you have written above! USA is not always doing good, but they are always doing right things.

      • What can I say, Sakurako, Japan started the war in Asia and surrendered after attacking Pearl Harbor. Atomic bombed twice. You were defeated in a major way. It is not fair to the Japanese people who opposed the war and suffered starvation during the wart at home in Japan. Lesson, make your own country better and not invade another country. Korea, do not sell your country out. Make Korea better.

      • Korea Exposé supports freedom of speech but does not tolerate comments that incite violence or carry violent, sexist, or racist overtones. Please keep your discussion intelligent and respectful. Failure to abide by our guideline will result in blacklisting of your IDs and a ban on future commenting. We hope to see cooperation from everyone who is participating in this thread.

      • Funny you should post this photo. Everybody knows that monkeys are the ancestors of all human beings.

      • You are absolutely right! We don’t deserve it. As you say, we may be idiots and morons, but we don’t yell when we want to say something, we don’t rip-off our tourists, and in Japan you’re free to criticize and mock the government without fear of being arrested and imprisoned. In Japan you can even sue the government. We don’t get shot at in the Philippines, we don’t have a blog in Japan called “Hell Nippon”, and our religious leaders don’t kill their children. Since we have 20 Nobel Prizes to our name, we must be “extraordinary” morons.

      • First, I’m not Korean, but let me sum up what you are talking, all you want to say is Japan is better than Korea?? Again, that’s off the point. You continue to demean and look down on Korea and characterize how better Japan is. I’m tired from dealing with one like you. Americans won more Noble than Japan, right?

        And there are lots of countries support freedom of speech. Citizens are free to say anything about their governments. Japan is not the only one. Why are you so egocentric?
        There are reports that Japanese have been killed in HongKong and Thailand because of prostitution. Your religious leaders don’t kill their children, but they rape children, right? By the way, do Japanese have religion? What religion led Japanese to kill that large number of people in the war, the like of which was like ISIS. Do you know ISIS?

        Thank you for admitting that you are a moron.

      • Wow! A very powerful article. I knew about some of the things that the South Korean Army did in Vietnam, but this is the first time that I’ve read detailed accounts of it. One interesting thing is that two Korean surviving comfort women appealed to the South Korean government, urging it to atone for the Korean soldiers’ wrongdoings and providing compensation to the Vietnam people. I find it very disturbing that Judge Judy says these articles don’t “annoy” her. The majority of Koreans are very nice people, but every so often there are some Koreans who will only take “injustices, human rights abuses, and calamities” seriously when the victims are Koreans, but are rather “indifferent” when the victims are non-Koreans.

      • It looks like that Japan still doesn’t admit what they did anything wrong during the Second World War.
        “No matter what anyone says or writes against Japan, because Japanese don’t care?!” Does that mean any nation of such status can ignore what others reasonably claim because its such a big flashy model that everyone must follow?
        Japan has not been as repentant as Germany or other countries that have faced up to the darker sides of their past. There are plenty of evidences showing that the Japanese Army killed a large number of people in Indonesia, Vietnam. Don’t talk to me using the blog article which wasn’t written by a competent scholar or party. What is most important?
        1. First, Japanese need to admit your war crimes and other crimes humanity before talking about other countries. Accept your mistakes, don’t run away from it! Japanese need to learn from the Germans! Do you know a country called Germany? Learn honest and humble from Germany. Remember your history! Remember your war crimes. Japan is the loser of the war!!
        2. You think some of Koreans share the blame because they don’t forgive Japanese?? How funny?! Japanese killed a lot of Korean and raped Korean women, and it’s Korean’s mistake because “Korean don’t forgive Japanese” or “Korean don’t deserve Japanese respect or apologize?” Your opinions are XXXX!! Japanese made a big mistake and did a horrible crime that are hard to be forgiven.
        “War and political crimes have happened in every country and none can pinpoint the reality” well does that mean because others commit horrible acts you are justified in committing horrible acts as well? If you think this way, you are mentally XXX.

      • Do you really think so? Those articles are written and published by a non-competent website, can’t be the weighty evidences. Look at what I found.

        a. 10 Japanese Atrocities From World War II
        http://listverse.com/2014/05/06/10-japanese-atrocities-from-world-war-ii/

        b. Japanese war crimes
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_war_crimes

        c. Japan’s 70-year sex slavery controversy, explained
        http://www.vox.com/2015/12/28/10677136/japan-korea-comfort-women-agreement

      • I feel sympathy for the Korean and Vietnamese women. I know Japan killed 623,000 population in Asia…

    • LIsten, I’m American,and clearly Japan is wrong on this issue. If you are mad at S. Korea for making better phones than Sony or Suzuki, then you should have more class than to blame elderly women who had their lives ruined.

      • Man, it is true that Japan is mad at South Korea for making better phones and spreading K-pop. One Japanese told me that Galaxy is not popular in Japan. Why does Japan always diss South Korea and the war crimes committed against East and Southeast Asian countries? This problem is progressively getting worse with the new generation of Japanese youth being educated in a distorted way. Japan denies the events, they don’t even teach this part of history. They have no understanding of the atrocities that japan caused to other countries.

      • Man, it is true that Japan is mad at South Korea for making better phones and spreading K-pop. One Japanese told me that Galaxy is not popular in Japan. Why does Japan always diss South Korea and deny the war crimes committed against East and Southeast Asian countries? This problem is progressively getting worse with the new generation of Japanese youth being educated in a distorted way. Japan denies the events, they don’t even teach this part of history. They have no understanding of the atrocities that japan caused to other countries.

      • You seem to know a lot about history than me. So you must be knowing about over 200,000 Korean guys fought the WW2 as Japanese soldier. Park Geun Hye’s father Park Chung-hee was a volunteer. Of course, Korean soldiers also went to brothels.

      • He was a spy collects and reports information on the activities, movements, and plans of Japan. Japanese massacred more than 100,000 of Malaysians from 1941-45. He knew Japanese killed a lot of people. He wanted to fight against Japanese. So he secretly collected information of Japan.
        You are always talking about prostitute and brother, why are Japanese so interested in brothel? There are reports that many Japanese fathers raped their daughter. Seriously?! Father rape his daughter? Only Japanese father can do that. OMG!!!!!

      • Just look at the data published by western foreign institutions. All reasonable records show the horrible atrocities committed by Japan. If this isn’t reality then I don’t know what else is.

      • For the sake of argument,, the number you provided is correct (200,000 Korean men who were rounded up by Japanese military and wore Japanese military uniform and dragged into war causes of and for Japan. I do not believe that all 200,000 Korean men used brothels and I do not know if these men received wages. Regardless, I would say that likelihood is that some Korean men might have used brothels. The system is set up, the comfort stations. Even prior to Japanese invasion, I would not be surprised if some Korean men used brothels. That is not the point regarding comfort women. There is a direct cause and effect relationship. Once Japan invaded Korea, the number of women (forced/debt payment) ended in the brothels went up. And, these women were used and suffered (some marriages happened someone said) by in large to comfort men who were involved in the war causes of Japan. Can you imagine Sakurako if you had to have sex with a man (or woman in case you a male gender) after a man with or without STD? A day and a day out.

        It is a well known fact that the former president Park Jung Hee worked with Japanese military and rose into power.

      • That report was given in during wartime by US military. It is important historical material in understanding the facts of comfort women. Even if it is inconvenient truth, we cannot get over that fact. FYI, Suzuki is automaker.

      • That report was given in during wartime by US military. It is important historical material in understanding the fact of comfort women. Even if it is inconvenient truth, we cannot change the fact. FYI, Suzuki is automaker.

      • Are you kidding me? The report was given by US military?! Which Army? US Air Force or US Marine? When was it published? “Even it is inconvenient truth?” Do you know what is the fact? I tell you, Japan doesn’t teach their kids what hell happened back then but Japan forged documents to look like Japan was doing right things. Japan is fake.

      • I did expect you to be in “denial” with respect to the Korean soldiers’ atrocities in Vietnam. But in your comments, you don’t seem to want to address this issue with logic and reason. And if I’m not mistaken are you not the one that said American does the “right” things. So now these US Military de-classified documents seem fake to you?? And are we to believe that Korean fathers have never ever raped their daughters?? That would be one tough sell. And if you’re not Korean, all the more so you should be taking a stand also for the Vietnamese comfort women. You have sympathy for the Korean women but not for the Vietnamese women?? If that is the case, then your “sense of justice” is rather limited.

      • You did expect me to deny your rave, do you know what is logic?
        I believe in USA and I think they are always right.
        Yes, Korean fathers don’t rape their daughters. There are some reports that Japanese fathers raped their daughters. Father raped his daughter? God, how that happened?
        I feel sympathy for the Korean and Vietnamese women. I know Japan killed 623,000 population in Asia…

      • Suzuki?? They don’t make phones. They make world-class motorcycles. There is no need for Japan to be jealous of Korea’s smartphone manufacturing prowess. Japan is the world’s largest creditor nation. Japan’s Sony owns Columbia Pictures. And where in any of the comments on this section do you find anybody even remotely blaming the elderly women whose lives have been ruined?? Toyota is the No. 1 selling auto company, not only in Japan, but in the whole entire world. When Korea made it to the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup, Japan cheered for them. Is Korea gracious enough to cheer for Japan?? Probably never.

      • You said “Happy to see every comfort woman to be dead,” aren’t you?

        Suzuki? What are they making? I never heard of it. Have you heard of Samsung and Hyundai?

        How dare you say that “Toyota is the NO. 1 selling auto company?!!” No! The auto best-selling company goes to Volkswagen in Germany!!! You Japanese remember that the Germans are making the best car in the world!!

        Japanese cheered for South Korea during the World Cup? No way, how did Japanese for S. Korea? How can you prove it? Japanese are known for anti-foreigner. The Japanese system is not really foreigner-friendly. The police can question you without any need, and they can arrest you for a period of several weeks when they suspect you are guilty of a crime, without stating anything in detail.

      • ou said “Happy to see every comfort woman to be dead,” aren’t you?

        Suzuki? What are they making? I never heard of it. Have you heard of Samsung and Hyundai?

        How dare you say that “Toyota is the NO. 1 selling auto company?!!” No! The best-selling auto company goes to Volkswagen in Germany!!! You Japanese remember that the Germans are making the best car in the world!!

        Japanese cheered for South Korea during the World Cup? No way, how did Japanese for S. Korea? How can you prove it? Japanese are known for anti-foreigner. The Japanese system is not really foreigner-friendly. The police can question you without any need, and they can arrest you for a period of several weeks when they suspect you are guilty of a crime, without stating anything in detail.

      • Didn’t you blame on the elderly women? You said “Happy to see every comfort woman to be dead,” aren’t you?

        Suzuki? What are they making? I never heard of it. Have you heard of Samsung and Hyundai?

        How dare you say that “Toyota is the NO. 1 selling auto company?!!” No! The best-selling auto company goes to Volkswagen in Germany!!! You Japanese remember that the Germans are making the best car in the world!!

        Japanese cheered for South Korea during the World Cup? No way, how did Japanese for S. Korea? How can you prove it? Japanese are known for anti-foreigner. The Japanese system is not really foreigner-friendly. The police can question you without any need, and they can arrest you for a period of several weeks when they suspect you are guilty of a crime, without stating anything in detail.

      • If the Japanese gov’t is happy to wait out the situation by waiting to see if every comfort women is dead, how is that “blaming the elderly”? Exactly how does your thought process work?? Samsung & Hyundai? Is that it?? So I guess you’ve never heard of Hitachi, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Honda, Panasonic, Sharp, Subaru, Softbank, NTT, Rakuten, Kintetsu, Yomiuri, Hanshin, Hankyu, and a host of other companies. No way Japan cheered for Korea during the World Cup?? Apparently you haven’t seen the video of the thousands of Japanese saying “Korea, we’re waiting for you to come to Yokohama (the site of the final)”. Even the Korean TV stations showed it. Toyota is not the No. 1 company? That’s weird. The NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, even the Korean newspapers Korea Times, Korea Herald and Chosun Ilbo said so. Japan is so not-friendly to foreigners that more people (over 20 million in 2015) have visited Japan than they have Korea. In Japan, if you are arrested, the police can hold you for a period of 10 days, after which they must decide whether to “charge” you or release you. But unlike Korea, and like most advanced countries, if you are over 20 years old, and if your are charged with a crime in Japan, your name and your offense will both be released to the public. Unlike Korea, Japan tolerates communists, there is a Communist party, and there are several members of the party representing the Japanese congress. And what do you mean by “the Japanese system”?? Are you referring to the system that helped create 20 Nobel Prize winners?? President Park said about a month ago that Korea plans to develop 1,500 “world class scientists” by the year 2020. One reporter asked her exactly what she meant by “world class scientist” and Park replied “one than can finally bring us a Nobel Prize.” Oh, and Miss Judy, when will the Koreans own up to their misdeeds in Vietnam??

      • In this case, it has nothing to do with the Japanese government. It’s You!! You said “Happy to see every single comfort women to be dead.” You said that!! You curse those elderly women to be dead? Are you human being?? How cruel you are!!!
        What is your point? Why are you mentioning those Japanese company? Are we talking about business?
        Were you showing up on the video of “Korea, we’re waiting for you to come to Yokohama”? Are you teasing me?
        You are such a judgemental Japanese right-wing brain-washed limited stereotype of person, when on earth do Korean TV said something about Toyota? Don’t tell me a dirty lie based on your limited imagination. I did some research and found Volkswagen in German is the best-selling auto company TODAY!! NOW!! Suck your Toyota pride!!!

      • Seemed like you were paying by the Japanese government to write this, which is based on the Japanese’s profit. Sounds like you are trying to give the Japanese excuses that they are also the victim. Japan still denies war atrocities and pays respects to war criminals.
        Most of East Asian countries are more angry at Japan than the Europeans & US? Because Japanese are dishonesty, selfish and cruel.
        If a foreigner from India or other South-East Asian countries has a trouble with a Japanese, the police will protect the interests of the Japanese side.
        Do you know there is another Korea Known for Communist? “Unlike Korea,” Which Korea did you mean?
        People go to Japan to live on top of each other like rats in a sewer pipe????
        Visit Japan first, then Korea??? You think South Korea follow Japan and Japan is better than S. Korea because has more Nobel Prize?
        I am a man, don’t call me “Miss”, so wired.. do you know who is Judge Judy????
        When the Koreans own up to their misdeeds in Vietnam? Mind your mistakes first before criticize S. Korea. Japan killed more people than S. Korea. Isn’t it??????

      • Germans make the best cars in the world?? Hmmm, that’s interesting because the German magazine Der Spiegel says the Italians with their Ferraris, Maseratis, and Lamborghinis make the best cars in the world. Hey, if the Germans say it, it must be right!!

      • Both German and Italy are making vehicles better than Japan!!! How dare you mention Toyota as the best-selling auto company in the world???
        If the Germans say it, it must be right? If Korean say it, it must be wrong?!!! How does your brain process?

      • NY Times, Washington Post, Wall St. Journal, Barron’s, Financial Times, The Economist, Business Weekly, TIME, Newsweek, CNBC all say Toyota is the best-selling auto company in the world. HOW DARE THEY!!!!

      • Are you kidding me?? Which article and site did say Toyota is the best-selling auto company of 2015????????????

      • Toyota manufacturing facilities are in 24 countries, not the entire world. There are more than 24 countries in the world. And you are correct about Japan being the #1 creditorand #2 China and #3Germany. Thanks for sharing that. About the World cup, you cannot speak for the entire Japan. You are projecting that all the Japanese supported south Korean soccer team (descent people) and all the south Koreans would not cheer for Japan (Not so descent people). How can you be so sure of that? I cannot speak for all the Korean people. In a culture there is a diversity in views and ideas. It might or might not follow a Gaussian distribution. But, not black and white binary views.

    • Fabricating history to fit your views should be a crime. I checked out the link and the site was about Hilter’s regime in Spanish? Portuguese?. You just inserted a page in English about comfort women as though it was an official document. Lies you disseminate…

      • Let’s talk about an apple to an apple. What about the link that you listed? What do you have to say about that? How in an earth English page just shows up about comfort women when the site is not even about Japan? Why just add another a piece of news clip that is not pertaining to the link that you mentioned? If you wish to add a news clip (I cannot understand fully) you might like to add a source (which news paper, who wrote it) to add a validity to your point. It could had be an opinion page that reflects only one person’s view or who ever was in power at that time.

      • Yes, you do. You and the trolls of Japanese conservative party seems to dilute and spin most inhumane and atrocious events as though nothing was a big deal. Fabricate to support your lies. Sorry. That is how view.

    • Sakurako, that is the fabrication you created in order to sell your DENIAL about sex slaves. This is not about anti-Japanese movement. Both Korea and Japan are trading partners. If you deny what happened during the war, it is only natural to search for what really happened. truth seeking can be a mission. Please the war has been over since 1945. Just simply accept what happened during the war. A war is ugly and inhumane. We all get that. Please do not fabricate data as though Japan is any different from Mongols, Romans, Turks, Greeks, Germans, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc who were offenders. Japan is in good company.

      Most importantly, Sakurako, a brothel is such a milder term that is different from sex slaves. It is not out ot eh ordinary that during a war raping women do happen. Comfort women (sugar coated term) were sex slaves. Soldiers came and stood in line. Sex whether you want it or not is inhumane. I hope you agree.

  2. After years and years of the Korean people screaming murder with respect to Japan’s atrocities during World War II and the Korean media’s relentless calls for Japan’s political leaders to apologize and acknowledge “real history”, I’ve wondered why President Park has suddenly agreed to Abe’s overture and proposal for a “peaceful and irreversible” resolution. Based on the articles exchanged between Sakurako and myself, maybe, just maybe, President Park has come to the realization that if Korea does not resolve this matter soon, they will find themselves in a position to explain the Korean soldiers’ “atrocities” during the Vietnam War, and in a strange twist of karma, be asked to provide compensation to the Vietnamese victims. Will the Korean government ever issue a “formal statement” with respect to the Vietnam situation, or will they maintain their “silence”, pretending not to even know about it, hoping the issue will go away someday?? For those Koreans who will fall under the impression that the Vietnam situation is “propaganda” conjured up by the Japanese, please let me make it clear here that it’s formerly classified documents of the US military, which have now been de-classified, which has brought the Vietnamese “comfort women” situation to light. Korea accuses Japan repeatedly of re-writing history, but if Korea continues to maintain a deaf ear to the Vietnamese comfort issue without addressing it directly, then it’s only natural that Korea then be accused of “deleting” history.

    • It looks like that Japan still doesn’t admit what they did anything wrong during the Second World War.

      “No matter what anyone says or writes against Japan, because Japanese don’t care?!” Does that mean any nation of such status can ignore what others reasonably claim because its such a big flashy model that everyone must follow?

      Japan has not been as repentant as Germany or other countries that have faced up to the darker sides of their past. There are plenty of evidences showing that the Japanese Army killed a large number of people in Indonesia, Vietnam. Don’t talk to me using the blog article which wasn’t written by a competent scholar or party. What is most important?

      1. First, Japanese need to admit your war crimes and other crimes humanity before talking about other countries. Accept your mistakes, don’t run away from it! Japanese need to learn from the Germans! Do you know a country called Germany? Learn honest and humble from Germany. Remember your history! Remember your war crimes. Japan is the loser of the war!!

      2. You think some of Koreans share the blame because they don’t forgive Japanese?? How funny?! Japanese killed a lot of Korean and raped Korean women, and it’s Korean’s mistake because “Korean don’t forgive Japanese” or “Korean don’t deserve Japanese respect or apologize?” Your opinions are XXXX!! Japanese made a big mistake and did a horrible crime that are hard to be forgiven.

      “War and political crimes have happened in every country and none can pinpoint the reality” well does that mean because others commit horrible acts you are justified in committing horrible acts as well? If you think this way, you are mentally…

    • It looks like that Japan still doesn’t admit what they did anything wrong during the Second World War.

      Japan has not been as repentant as Germany or other countries that have faced up to the darker sides of their past. There are plenty of evidences showing that the Japanese Army killed a large number of people in Indonesia, Vietnam.

      “War and political crimes have happened in every country and none can pinpoint the reality?!” Is that your point? Well, does that mean because others commit horrible acts you are justified in committing horrible acts as well? If you think this way, you are mentally…

      1. First, Japanese need to admit your war crimes and other crimes humanity before talking about other countries. Accept your mistakes, don’t run away from it! Japanese need to learn from the Germans! Do you know a country called Germany? Learn honest and humble from Germany. Remember your history! Remember your war crimes. Japan is the loser of the war!!

      2. You think some of Koreans share the blame because they don’t forgive Japanese?? How funny?! Japanese killed a lot of Korean and raped Korean women, and it’s Korean’s mistake because “Korean don’t forgive Japanese” or “Korean don’t deserve Japanese respect or apologize?” Your opinions are XXXX!! Japanese made a big mistake and did a horrible crime that are hard to be forgiven.

      “No matter what anyone says or writes against Japan, because Japanese don’t care?!” Does that mean any nation of such status can ignore what others reasonably claim???

      • Well, if you are going to make a point, I would certainly appreciate it if you could back it up with data, evidence, and examples. For instance, can you name me, other than World War II Germany, that has openly apologized for their “darker side of the past”. Oh yes, England’s apology to Kenya and France’s apology to Algeria come to mind, but there have been even more cases where countries and empires have not apologized. The Spaniards and the Portuguese certainly have not apologized to the Incas, Mayas, and Aztecs. Asia’s own Genghis Khan certainly did not apologize to the Central Asia and European Nations. The Ottoman Empire has yet to apologize to the Balkan nations in Europe. Napoleon certainly hasn’t apologized for its 2 invasions of pre-united Germany during the 19th century. You say we should emulate the Germans. Fine, we are more than happy to. But are the Koreans willing to emulate the Jewish people, who were gracious enough to forgive the Germans, or do the Koreans intend to hate Japan forever? If Koreans plan to hate the Japanese forever, then it makes no sense for the Japanese to do anything about it, since it’s a case of “damned if I do, damned if I don’t”. If you’re gonna be damned either way, might as well do nothing. Unlike Koreans I hate repeating myself, so I’ll say it one last time. Japan is more than willing to apologize and to provide compensation, but to them the bigger question is, is Korea willing to make it a FINAL RESOLUTION, and eventually come to forgive Japan?? The Korean media keeps saying “the ball is in Japan’s court”, but that is oh so wrong. Japan has continually maintained the same stance all throughout the years. Japan’s concern is not the apology or the compensation. It’s whether or not they can put this issue behind them, just like the Germans’ concern. The ball has always been in Korea’s court, they can choose to sue Japan in the international court of justice, which for some mysterious reason, they don’t do. No specific final solutions were ever forthcoming from Korea. Just name calling, the same ol’ talking points about how Japan is “evil”, etc. Okay, Korea you’ve said it a million times before, so how about some NEW IDEAS AND AT LEAST A SEMBLANCE OF A CREATIVE SOLUTION??

      • “War and political crimes have happened in every country and none can pinpoint the reality” well does that mean because others commit horrible acts you are justified in committing horrible acts as well? If you honestly think this way, you are mentally unstable. Surely during WW1 and WW2, other nations committed atrocities in the past, BUT that does not justify nor mitigate the unique set of crimes that Japan committed against its neighbors in East Asia. A criminal is a criminal regardless of whether his own circle of pathetic gangster friends commit worse crimes or not. And we CAN point the reality quiet reasonably. Just look at the data published by western foreign institutions. All reasonable records show the horrible atrocities committed by Japan. If this isn’t reality then I don’t know what else is.

        “Iif the Japanese were at fault really They need to be forgiven .because none knows the other side of the story.” What?! Japan should be forgiven because its victims don’t know the Japanese side of the story? What kind of argument is this? If a victim doesn’t understand the offender, the offender should be forgiven due to lack of understanding of the criminal, when there is clear evidence of the crimes commited? What you write is hard to make any rational sense of but let me just say that historical forgiveness is only possible when all sides involved reach a mutual understanding of the issue for which Japan has so undercut through the so called acts of “patriotism”. And we also do know the other side of the story. Due to overproduction in Japanese economy, it required stable colonies and with the militaristic goal of expanding to East Asia. That is your side of the story. The mindset of a criminal whose intent is both political ambition and economic stability.

        “Though these are extremely painful stories Nothing can be done now ., except sympathising ..No point in talking the same stories .” Everything can be done. If Japan took progressive steps in solving this nationalistic issue like the Germans, this can solve this painfully long-standing historical issue and can lead to peaceful diplomacy in East Asia. Surely the cooperation between all sides is needed, but the offender must first come clean before its victims can forgive.

        Please think more about the current notions of justice and what Japan has done to severely hurt its neighbors. Also think about what Japan must do to solve this diplomatic conflict for the sake of bright future of East Asia. What countries like South Korea and China would like to see is a more sincere and progressive Japan in solving these issues. Then we can really move on.

      • Alright,
        “War and political crimes have happened in every country and none can pinpoint the reality.” Does that mean because others commit horrible acts you are justified in committing horrible acts as well? Surely during WW1 and WW2, other nations committed atrocities, but that does not justify nor mitigate the unique set of crimes that Japan committed against its neighbors in East Asia. A criminal is a criminal regardless of whether his own circle of pathetic gangster friends commit worse crimes or not. We can point the reality quiet reasonably. Just look at the data published by western foreign institutions. All reasonable records show the horrible atrocities committed by Japan. If this isn’t reality then I don’t know what else is.

        “If the Japanese were at fault really they need to be forgiven because we don’t know the other side of the story.” What?! Japan should be forgiven because its victims don’t know the Japanese side of the story? What kind of argument is this? If a victim doesn’t understand the offender, the offender should be forgiven due to lack of understanding of the criminal? What you write is hard to make any rational sense of but let me just say that historical forgiveness is only possible when all sides involved reach a mutual understanding of the issue for which Japan has so undercut through the so called acts of “patriotism”. And we also do know the other side of the story. Due to overproduction in Japanese economy, it required stable colonies and with the militaristic goal of expanding to East Asia. That is your side of the story. The mindset of a criminal whose intent is both political ambition and economic stability.

        Everything can be done. If Japan took progressive steps in solving this nationalistic issue like the Germans. This can solve this painfully long-standing historical issue and can lead to peaceful diplomacy in East Asia. Surely the cooperation between all sides is needed, but Japan must first come clean before its victims can forgive.

        Think more about the current notions of justice and what Japan has done to severely hurt its neighbors. Also think about what Japan must do to solve this diplomatic conflict for the sake of bright future of East Asia.

    • This is an infantile response to a country who is in a denial of what happened during the WWIl. No remorse, no legal responsibilities of what it caused, simply in denial of what types of atrocities that Japan caused during the WWII in Asia. I hate saying this but I glad the current China can kick Japan’s butt for what Japan did during the WWII. As far I am concerned, the nationalist party of Japan members are that similar to American Donald Trump, all the types but no substance. Japan should grow up and accept full responsibility of the WWII. Japan, you are not that great any more. Illusion of what you used to be will not carry you that far. Just grow up.

  3. Even after the WWII, the Germany did not have a problem acknowledging all atrocities happened during the war. Why is that Japan has a problem acknowledging what happen during the WWII, especially regarding comfort women? The most ugly aspect humanities occur during a war. It is a given. Japan is not the first to violate humanities. However, other war started countries accept their responsibilities as perpetrators of a war with grace (oxymoron category). Why not Japan, what is it about you that cannot accept all the atrocities that you caused during the WWII? Denial? Illusion? Grown up, Japan. Things happen during a war. You are not the first and will not be the last to destroy a civilization. Just Admit it. And move on.

  4. What is it about Japan that cannot be responsible for starting the war (WWII) in Asia and not legally responsible for all the atrocities it caused? Grow up Japan. You are not the first and the last to start a war and destroy a human civilization. Germany did not have a problem accepting full responsibilities for what happened during the WWII. I cried watching Schindler’s list in Pittsburgh when the movie was released. It might be oxymoron but the Germany accepted its responsibilities with grace regarding what happened during the WWII. So what is it about you Japan that it is sorry but not legally responsibly about comfort women? Infantile response. Just grown up. It looks bad if you deny about comfort women in the eyes of international news cirques. Do not be Donald Trump of Japan for all of you representing the National conservative party of Japan. All the hypes but no substances. Furthermore, no international respects, neither. Just grow up Japan.

  5. You Japanese Nationalist Conservative Party members, you are disgrace to your other citizens who are peace loving and descent people. Because you show up in New York Times regarding the woman Korean professor who supported your view and now Koreaexpose, you picture Japan as uncivilized country, who deserved atomic bombs to offer surrender. I used to think that America used atomic bombs to Japan and not to Germany for racial issue. Now I think otherwise. And get the facts correctly. Japan offered apology, yes, you did, but apparently you used the language that implied no legal responsibilities before. You were sorry but not legally responsible for the war. I thought Koreans were crazy going after Japan but from what I read in The Economist recently, I do think differently. An extreme view stirs up an equal but opposite an extreme view like Newtons’s third law. I would love to love descent humanistic peace loving Japanese people. They do exist. Let’s see more of them in New York Times and Koreaexpose.

  6. Sukjong, thanks for your article. You have provided more detail information that I have not read anywhere (BBC, Reuters, NYtimes). It is a new information to me that the removal of the stature is conditional item that has come with the fund. It seems so odd that Japan wants to brush everything under the carpet as though it never happened. In Germany there are holocaust museums. It is out in the public domain to go and see. Japan cannot even handle a stature that is not even in their country? I think it should stay. I have read that Japanese prime minister in the (80’s?) apologized about the war. But, he used the language that he was sorry but not legally responsible for the war. What does it mean? How did Germany handle this situation?

  7. I have come to realize through the conversations with Sakurako and his company that his Japan is a different from Germany, France and England (just as an example). A generalization is that Germany, France and England are aggressors who throw and exchange punches at each other. Somehow the war ends and make the aggressor pay for the damages. Sakurako’s Japan is not an aggressor, but an abuser. An abuser will throw a punch and will offer an makeup to hide the bruise and say it never happened. Fabrication is a mild term for what Sakurako and his company are doing. They want to peel a way an ounce of truth at a time until there is nothing to peel away. They want to ERASE the truth. As a result of Sakurako’s inputs, I will say that Japan cannot be trusted with its own military buildups. If they cannot handle the truth (sorry, Hollywood line) they should not be in the possession of deadly weapons. Japan will start again with a clean slate.

  8. You live in a fantasy world. I wouldn’t speak this way towards the victims but not with you, some SJW asian liberal in the vein of “Angry Asian Man”. Well at least your cause if more substantive than “white man culturally appopriates Pho”. South Korea needs to make up with Japan NOW because with North Korea and China the two democracies of east asia need to form a regional alliance especially since the US seem to be run by crazy people (see their actions in Syria and especially Russia). While you’re crying for crimes of the past you’re opening up the possibility of more horrific crimes in the future. The lesson shouldn’t be “Japan did bad things to us lets nag them about this to no end” its “How do we prevent another Japanese colonization, second Korean War, another invasion” from happening. Do you even realize the Japanese rightwing is gaining more and more power and some white guy who acts like a english language ambassador for the Japanese right is writing a book on how the Comfort Women were fake, like Holocaust deniers? Boy you think things are tough now just wait…. Fair or not its clear from my readings that Japan is at the end of its tether in regards to more apologies. Many Japanese think they have apologized enough. Now one of the books I read as a teenager was Iris Chang’s “The Rape of Nanking” and I’ve read tons of Korean history books so I know well the animostiry towards Japan. I understand how outrageous the fact that the Japanese are “tired” of apologizing might be. But that’s life, its reality. How many people who were the victims of Mao’s famines or the Cultural Revolution have gotten even recognition much less justice? South Korea is not a great power, its influence to guilt Japan is only possible due to the unique post WWII circumstances. The fact that they’ve gotten this much is a credit to the tenacity of the victims and to be frank Japanese liberals. While I feel sorry for the victims at a certain point a nation has to move on and think of its self-interest. You can act as morally superior as you want, I just hope you’d be willing to pick up a weapon and be prepared to kill for it when the day comes when this whole post WWII liberal order falls apart and it goes back to the old rule of “the strong eat the weak”.

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