Shodai Okuzaki
Apr 2, 2018 · Last update 3 mo. ago.
Why does the Korean government still get angry with Japanese government about comfort women?
The Korean government demands of the Japanese government that the Japanese government should apologize to the old ladies who have experiences of comfort women.
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This issue requires a new approach
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Both governments turned this humanitarian issue into an economic one
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Apology must not be unilateral.
2 agrees
1 disagrees
The memories of war do not disappear even after a long time.
2 agrees
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The subject of “comfort women” suffers a similar misrepresentation as the issue of climate change
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This issue requires a new approach

The whole issue involving Korean comfort women needs looking at through an improved progressive diplomatic mindset. Even the name given to these victims in the West, “comfort women”, came from a Japanese euphemism for prostitute. If the world and the Japanese government wish to show that they are taking this issue more seriously they need to change the way in which they deal with this issue, and any harsh reactions to it. The issue probably requires two new governments, free from ideologues and corrupt economic practices, and a new media approach, sensitive to nuance and accuracy.

japan-forward.com/ignoring-facts-u-s-newspapers-repeatedly-misreport-on-japan-comfort-women

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Both governments turned this humanitarian issue into an economic one

This whole issue is due to miscommunication and seems to have been generated by uninformed decisions repeatedly made by the respective governments. More care needs to be taken to address victims while they are still alive, not have governments paying each other off. Both governments have made this process undoubtedly more complicated as compensation has been conflated with aid, loans and economic support; it should have been treated as a humanitarian issue, not an economic one.

atimes.com/atimes/Korea/KOR-01-221113.html

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Apology must not be unilateral.

Arguably, the Korean government (on behalf of Korean citizens) are still angry at the Japanese government regarding this issue because the apology made was formal and unilateral. Most apologies and statements made by Japan have been vague public statements with not much effort to apologise on a personal level. This has been made more complicated by the numerous instances of later retraction or denial that can make such apologies seem insincere.

To Koreans it must remain questionable then, whether the Japanese government or military fully accepted that they helped to form the comfort women system. With this in mind the money which was paid to the Korean government must have appeared to be money to silence the argument on the subject of comfort women. As no personal or compensation attempt has been made to counteract that narrative it remains a pervasive outlook.

Presently history lessons about the Japanese colonies of World War Two have no place in the Japanese education system. Issues surrounding this period of the countries history are kept in the shadows of the war. Children will not know what happened and will miss the valuable lessons of what we must not repeat.

What the Korean government wants, is not a simple apology, but two different things; a cordial apology to the victims and objective history education in Japan. The Japanese government should go to greater lengths to address the issue of official apologies to all survivors in Korea, if nothing else than to demonstrate how seriously committed they are to making amends for these historical wrongdoings. Then the Japanese government can reform their education policy to make sure memories of this period are not forgotten, they could look to how the history of the Nazi's is taught in Germany, this will again demonstrate the serious nature of this episode in history and Japan's commitment to solving this problem.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan nytimes.com/2018/01/12/world/asia/japan-south-korea-comfort-women.html quora.com/Were-Japan-s-apologies-after-WWII-sincere

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Daniel Halliday
Apr 10
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DH edited this paragraph
What the Korean government wants, is not a simple apology, but two different things; a cordial apology to the victims and objective history education in Japan. The Japanese government should go to greater lengths to address the issue of official apologies to all survivors in Korea, if nothing else than to demonstrate how seriously committed they are to making amends for these historical wrongdoings. Then the Japanese government can reform their education policy to make sure memories of this period are not forgotten, they could look to how the history of the Nazi's is taught in Germany, this will again demonstrate the serious nature of this episode in history and Japan's commitment to solving this problem.
The memories of war do not disappear even after a long time.

Memories of war do not disappear easily. Especially victim's memories, they do not disappear. When those victims were involved in one of the deadliest conflicts in history that forever changed the world, memories of war become part of a national identity.

Reparation problems after the Second World War have occurred in many countries. But a formal apology may also be necessary, as victims may not be satisfied just with reparations. However the tragic memories of war do not disappear for them regardless of apology or compensation; we have to work out differences in perception peacefully and diplomatically.

This accommodation of the problem is the role of the government, and depends largely on the circumstances of the respective governments. Especially in regards to Japan and South Korea, conflicts often intensify from time to time, and such conflicts are undoubtedly linked to the two states national identities which is why they are also so strongly linked to this issue.

Although the anger of the Korean government is partly understandable, this situation should be rationally resolved. Dialogue, diplomacy and the fostering of a more modern national identity could aid both countries in overcoming this long held dispute. That is not to say that individuals in either country can or should try to forget about such issues, but talking about them constructively, concentrating on cultural similarities rather than differences, and holding more shared cultural experiences like the joint hosting of 2002 World Cup could go some way toward healing old wounds.

tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1386/jwcs.4.3.283_7?journalCode=ywac20 inquisitr.com/1434784/the-difficulty-of-korean-japanese-relations

daytondailynews.com/news/for-those-who-fought-memories-never-fade/FmtI5WSOE3NrESL8nIoFUP thediplomat.com/2015/07/the-troubled-japan-south-korea-relationship

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Daniel Halliday
Apr 10
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/for-those-who-fought-memories-never-fade/FmtI5WSOE3NrESL8nIoFUP/ https://thediplomat.com/2015/07/the-troubled-japan-south-korea-relationship/
The subject of “comfort women” suffers a similar misrepresentation as the issue of climate change

The discussion gets repeatedly derailed by people that are uninvolved and simply misunderstand the issue. Personal opinions are being thrown around from people who are seemingly misinformed, just like the subject of climate science. There needs to be more effort put into researching and educating around this uncomfortable cultural issue in Japan.

It could be argued that the Japanese government’s apologies started off as genuine, but the genuine nature of successive apologies seemed to have declined in time. Aside from initial efforts to compensate Korea’s war victims, when the true extent of this particular atrocity came to light the 1990’s, Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa apologised officially, both publicly and privately to the Korean President and the National Assembly. This sincerity was repeated in the 1994 by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama who wrote personal apologies to hundreds of victims. However, this was all undone in 2007 when Shinzo Abe questioned evidence of government involvement in the matter during his first term as Prime Minister.

However there is a problem, as a historical issue where evidence is sometimes pieced together to gain a scale of the issue, there is some level of debate as to the scale of this crime, the official number is currently held anywhere between 50,000 and 200,000 women. Despite this there has been a push to remove any mention of the issue from history textbooks, there has been numbers instances of politicians and the media defaming victims and there are some outright deniers of the facts. In this way it is comparable to climate change, even though it is a studied science that is being taken seriously by most people, there are a group of climate change denialists that disbelieve all evidence. With the uncomfortable historical truths there are always going to be some that doubt personal accounts from an ideological perspective, but the debate over specific details risks derailing the issue in the public forum, an issue also affecting climate science.

The main Japanese government response to this issue came in form of the “Kono Statment” released in 1993 by Yōhei Kōno. The statement was the result of a two year study into comfort stations run by the Japanese Military during World War Two, and it found that the military were both directly and indirectly responsible for coercion of women into forced prostitution. This statement was met with fierce criticism and a backlash that led to a new push in questioning evidence that subsequently strained Japanese-Korean relations.

Therefore, if the Japanese government are serious about solving this issue and improving ties with South Korea, they should make efforts to ascertain the truth of what happened, and then act accordingly; apologise and compensate, to individuals, not to governments. One study of two years may not be long enough to grasp the magnitude of such a divisive issue, the government should first put together an international and impartial group of historians, to carry out a longer study and then make efforts to reeducate accordingly. Just as with climate science, the government should be putting themselves into the strong position of wanting to close any loopholes of thought, and address the issue for what it is, not pander to any ideological notions of patriotism. www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/docs/ngos/comfortwomen_japan_cedaw44.pdf mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/state9308.html justiceforcomfortwomen.org/2014/08/25/kono-statementstatement-by-the-chief-cabinet-secretary-yohei-kono-on-the-result-of-the-study-on-the-issue-of-comfort-women

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Latest conversation
Daniel Halliday
Apr 10
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
The main Japanese government response to this issue came in form of the “Kono Statment” released in 1993 by Yōhei Kōno. The statement was the result of a two year study into comfort stations run by the Japanese Military during World War Two, and it found that the military were both directly and indirectly responsible for coercion of women into forced prostitution. This statement was met with fierce criticism and a backlash that led to a new push in questioning evidence that subsequently strained Japanese-Korean relations.
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