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Dyana Bagby Posted by on June 23, 2017.

Japanese consul general: Brookhaven memorial is ‘symbol of hatred’

The Japanese consul general in Atlanta is urging the Brookhaven City Council to back off its decision to accept a “comfort women” memorial that honors women from many nations who were sexually trafficked by the Japanese military during World War II.

Takashi “Thomas” Shinozuka said in an interview at the consulate of Japan in Phipps Tower said there is “no evidence” that the military sexually enslaved women, most from Korea, during WWII. He said rather that the women were paid prostitutes.

Takashi “Thomas” Shinozuka, the consul general of Japan in Atlanta, discusses his stance on the “comfort women” memorial at the consulate in Buckhead. (Dyana Bagby)

“This is not a simple art object,” he said. “This is a symbol of hatred and resentment against Japanese.”

City officials and Task Force members deny the memorial bashes Japan and rather it honors the memory of the “comfort women” — the Japanese military euphemism for the women. A city spokesperson said there is no talk of rejecting the memorial, which is set to be unveiled June 30 in Blackburn Park II.

Since the city accepted the memorial in May, there has been intense debate in emails and online comments. Neighbors of the park where it will be located also oppose it, citing the physical change to the green space as well as making it a target for controversy.

In a 2015 agreement between the Japanese and South Korean governments, Japan apologized to “all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women,” in a translation provided by the Atlanta consulate.

But the agreement did not explicitly admit the women were forced into prostitution, and Shinozuka denied that they were.

The Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force stated in its donation of the memorial to the city last month that up to 200,000 women were sexually enslaved by the Japanese military. Shinozuka said that is not true.

“There was not 200,000 women, they were not sex slaves, and they were not taken by force,” he said.

In Asian culture, he said, sometimes women become prostitutes to help their families financially. He noted the 2015 agreement between the Japanese government and Korean government that also led to the Japanese government in 2016 paying more than $8 million to a foundation set up by the Korean government to help former “comfort women.”

The local “comfort women” memorial is identical to this one shown the Facebook page of the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force. (Special)

“The demand for apologies continue to come … and it was decided to resolve the issue once and for all,” he said of the payment. But activists in Korea have not been satisfied, he said.

Shinozuka said he was “puzzled” by the city’s willingness to accept the controversial memorial, especially because the city and Japan enjoy a friendly relationship that includes Japan donating several cherry trees to be planted in Blackburn Park as part of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

He said by accepting the memorial, Brookhaven has injected itself into an international debate between Korea and Japan.

He said more than 300 Japanese Americans live in Brookhaven and did not get an opportunity to speak out about the memorial.

“This is a very controversial situation … and so is the memorial,” he said.

Update: Due to an interview transcription error, an earlier version of this story misquoted the consul general as saying the memorial is a “symbol of hatred and resentment” against the country of Japan, rather than “against Japanese.”

108 Responses to Japanese consul general: Brookhaven memorial is ‘symbol of hatred’

  1. Frank Z.

    June 23, 2017 at 9:54 am

    If the memorial is so controversial, the neighbors have good reasons to think that they should be consulted before the decision by the City.

    • Mina Ikarina

      June 23, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      Frank.Z,

      I feel bad for members of Brookleigh Community Association.
      When a plan to install same kind of memorial came up to one of the boroughs in North Jersey, local senior group launched petition to ask borough to reverse the plan, and almost 80 signatures were collected.
      The statue is a symbol of division, destruction, conflict, and all the negative stuff, not as for healing and peace.
      The city should really reconsider the plan.

      • Kenneth lee

        June 30, 2017 at 12:53 am

        Wow. Division and hatred.

        Offenders should not say.

      • Kyoko A.

        July 2, 2017 at 1:52 am

        Mina Ikarina,

        You should be ashamed of yourself. Honestly, do you have a better word than just saying negative “stuff” what stuff?

    • Yoshio Haraguchi

      June 24, 2017 at 1:43 am

      Absolutely sure.

    • Honor

      June 26, 2017 at 1:08 am

      The Young Girl’s Statue for Peace is only controversial because the perpetrators who victimized these young women and girls choose to deny history.

    • J Song

      June 26, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      I hope all of you who object to the installment of this statue have daughters who can live to tell their survival stories, or experience it yourself if you’re a female. Let’s see how you deal with it when people accuse you of lying and manipulating your story.

    • Irene C

      June 27, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      The girls were only 13, 14, 15 years old girls, not a grown woman. They were taken by force in such a vulnerable age.This is not Politics or Diplomatic matter, it’s all about the HUMAN rights.These kind of crime should be remembered not to be repeated in the human history ahead.

  2. Rescue Mom

    June 23, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    That’s history. Leave it alone.

    • Honor

      June 26, 2017 at 1:09 am

      I don’t think you understand the role of knowing history.

  3. Jon

    June 23, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Now I would like to ask Mr. Shinozuka, “Mr. Shinozuka, is what you said in the interview the official position of the Japanese govenrnment on the “comfort women”? In one side of your mouth, you said these “comfort women” were paid prostitutes.

    Then referring to the agreement in 2015 between the Japanese and South Korean governments, you said, “Japan apologized to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.”

    Which is it: are they prostitutes? Or, are they the victims of immeasurable and painful experiences who suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds?

    Am I the only one who noticed the hypocracy in his claims?

    • Military Pundit, ga

      June 23, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      Good point!

      Well, historians including those in the U.S. have found historical documents which show that the comfort women were paid, sometimes pretty well. Remember, back in those days, prostitution was allowed and regulated under law in Japan and elsewhere in Asia, just as in some European continent countries. And in fact, comfort women of Japanese nationals were believed to outnumber those of Koran or Chinese nationals.

      However, from the viewpoint of contemporary Japan (in 1990s onward), the comfort women system that Japan had before the end of the War was something that they deeply regret. Therefore, Japanese government since 1990s up to the current one maintained the position that Consum-General Shinozuka referred to and reported in the paper. Simply put, it shows an apology.

      As such, pointing out the historical fact that comfort women were paid and showing an apology are not incompatible to each other.

      This is a complex issue, and certainly not a Japan specific issue.

      • Jon

        June 24, 2017 at 1:11 pm

        Dear Military Pundit, ga.,

        Thank you for trying to explain to me from the Japanese viewpoint. But imagine for one minute if you are, let say, a Korean’s or anybody else for that matter. If someone comes to you and says he is sincerely sorry for what he has done to you, causing so much pain and sufferings and so on then turns around and says in your back that you’re are paid prostitutes…. Would you accept that as a sincere apology?

        Nice try. But I don’t buy it, would you? Let your yes be yes and nay be nay. If Mr. Shinozuka sincerely feels apologetic toward all those ‘comfort women,’ then he should have no business calling the memorial a symbol of hatred.

        On the other hand, if he wants to claim that they were well paid prostitutes, then go ahead and see where his claim would end up.

        Besides, if you want to express your ‘sincere apology,’ then you should express it in a way that is acceptable to those whom you have caused so much pain.

        No wonder those ‘comfort women’ have so much hard time in accepting whatever apologies the Japanese government comes up with as sincere. And I am perplexed about it, too!

      • jayjay

        June 28, 2017 at 10:04 pm

        Well, here we should know that many US historians are funded by the Japanese organizations (maybe by the Japanese government?) and many think tanks in the States are known to be funded by Sasakawa Foundation.

        • jayjay

          June 28, 2017 at 10:05 pm

          Well, here we should know that many US historians are funded by the Japanese organizations (maybe by the Japanese government?) and many think tanks in the States are known to be funded by Sasakawa Foundation.

    • Ken L

      June 23, 2017 at 10:15 pm

      Japanese government consistently denies “forcible recruitment” and “human trafficking” by Japanese army. Actually there’s no evidence that proves it except ex-CW’s vague, incoherent and inconsistent testimonies that suddenly appeared in 1990’s. Besides women who voluntarily became CW and got paid well, there were poor women who were deceived by (Korean) brokers and brothel owners or sold by their own parents against their will or unpaid but carried out their job as prostitutes. The Japanese government feels its responsibility.

      • Honor

        June 26, 2017 at 1:19 am

        Ken L. you are incorrect.

        The UN Commission on Human Rights attests to the “meticulous recorded details” which survive from this period. They serve to “highlight the extraordinary inhumanity of a system of military sexual slavery, in which large numbers of women were forced to submit to prolonged prostitution under conditions which were frequently indescribably traumatic.”

        http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/commission/country52/53-add1.htm

        • Ken L

          June 27, 2017 at 12:38 pm

          Honor
          Do you know what source the attestation by UN Commission on Human Rights was based on? It was Yoshida Seiji’s fictitious book that he admitted was false later and comfort women’s testimonies that are too incoherent and inconsistent to believe. They are not even primary sources.
          Isn’t it hypocrite that UN condemns Japan for comfort women issue? The UN army, mostly US army, “used” Korean comfort women during the Korean war and their treatment of the girls were horribly inhumane. Will they keep hiding their own dark past eternally?

          • Sun

            June 27, 2017 at 1:12 pm

            These articles are after Korean War, nothing to do with Japanese military kidnaped Korean women and have their soldiers take them during the Japanese occupation period.

          • Honor

            June 29, 2017 at 1:14 am

            Ken L. you are incorrect. The UN Report was based on evidence gathered with cooperation and assistance by the Korean and Japanese governments, including interviews with victims, detailed documents and more.

    • RcKl

      June 23, 2017 at 11:23 pm

      +Jon

      > Now I would like to ask Mr. Shinozuka, “Mr. Shinozuka, is what you said in the interview the official position of the Japanese government on the “comfort women”? In one side of your mouth, you said these “comfort women” were paid prostitutes.

      In principle, they were thought to be wage workers because, for example, some official documents describe the rules such as that how much of the brothel fee should be paid to the women. ( “Half of the income of the hostesses will be allotted to the (brothels’) managers. ( the rest for the women)”, the U.S. official documents, Research Report No.120, ATIS, p.10)

      It is assumed rare lawless brokers ( the citizens of the Korean Peninsula ) gathered the women with inhumane ways such as abduction/deception, because some newspapers reported the police cracked down such evil brokers in the Korean Peninsula. http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.jp/…/korean-newspaper…
      It is thought rare atrocity by lawless soldiers existed. Some cases were identified and proved to be facts. ( such as the Semarang incident in Indonesia. Some Dutch women were the victims.) Japanese government has apologized for those.

      >Which is it: are they prostitutes? Or, are they the victims of immeasurable and painful experiences who suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds?

      Basically, prostitutes. Rarely victims. That is thought to be the Japanese consul’s assertion.

      Which to believe depends on each individual’s way of thinking. If you, Jon, want someone to believe your idea, “up to 200,000 women were sexually enslaved by the Japanese military”, how about presenting the concrete identified(time,location,victims,perpetrators) incidents and explaining why those cases can be the basis of the “enslaved 200,000 women”.
      I think that is much constructive than citing second source such as sort of politicians’ statements or historians’ assertions.

      Remember that, please think the things logically.
      In the past, many identified Japanese citizens became the victims of the identified U.S. soldiers’ atrocity. But none of Japanese insists hundreds of thousands of citizens were victims of the U.S. soldiers’ atrocity. ( In 1977, there were 48,000 U.S. soldiers, their families and related civilian American workers in Okinawa Pref. of Japan ( not the battlefield ). There were 69 murder/robbery/arson/rape by them in that one year. ( statistics by Okinawa Pref. based on the identified crackdowns by the police))

      Regards.

      • Jon

        June 24, 2017 at 2:02 pm

        RcKl,

        Please see my response to Military Pundit, ga above. Most of what you said sounds like what he was saying, and I don’t buy neither of you.

        As I have encountered you many times else where, your reply is not always honest. For instance, I have never claimed ‘up to 200,000 women were sexually enslaved by the Japanese military.” I may have written hundreds of thousand of women were under Japanese military’s enslavement, and I’ve shared my conclusion that the exact number of ‘comfort women’ may never be known.

        Additionally, I’ve also shared that it was Japanese historian (Yoshimi Yoshiaki, whom I thought be a conscientious scholar) who first came out with that estimation, nevertheless, I was not persuaded by his estimation of the number.

        And I already have answered to your questions and your skepticisms in regard to the primary sources in one of my previous responses, but I assume you did not bother to look it up. Until you do that, please do tell me about my need to think the things logically.

        And I don’t know why you keep dragging me into discussing about how terrible the Japanese military had behaved during the war. That is not my focus. I really want my focus to be on honoring those women who suffered so much. Please don’t call them as well paid prostitutes and thereby dishonor them and try to put them to shame again!

        I have no doubts that there were prostitutes among them and some of them even may have been well paid. But many of them were teen agers who were either deceived or coerced into sexual slavery and were recipients of such atrocious brutalities. Whether those deceivers were Japanese military or Korean collaborators are beside the point. These girls were so young and their whole lives were taken away and it is such a tragic story and we should never forget it.

        Additionally, we should make sure that it does not recur in the future. That is the purpose of building the memorial. When will you start listing and stop talking?

        • H.S. Kim

          June 25, 2017 at 10:08 pm

          Jon,

          Yoshiaki Yoshimi has been debunked. He has since admitted his assertions were wrong.

          > many of them were teen agers

          Not true. Primary sources clearly indicate that most Korean women were in their 20s & 30s. Help wanted ads for comfort women the Korean comfort station operators ran clearly specify that only women between 18 and 30 need apply.

          By the way are you aware that most comfort station owners where Korean women worked were Korean?

          In wars, soldiers sometimes rape innocent women. To prevent this from happening, the Japanese military asked businessmen to recruit prostitutes and operate comfort stations (brothels). The Japanese military sent orders to comfort station operators not to recruit women against thier will. Japanese businessmen followed the order and only recruited willing women in Japan. But Korean businessmen recruited both willing prostitutes and unwilling women in Korea. This is why some of former Korean comfort women are still unhappy while we hear little or no complaint from former Japanese comfort women. If Korean comfort station owners had followed the Japanese military’s order, there wouldn’t have been any comfort women issue.

          The Japanese military was partly guilty because its invasion into China and Southeast Asia did create the demand for comfort women. But the Korean narrative — the Japanese military showed up at the doors and abducted young Korean women — just didn’t happen. The Korean businessmen (comfort station owners) capitalized on the demand, recruited Korean women, operated comfort stations and made lots of money. Japan has apologized for its part. South Korea should admit its complicity and stop demanding Japan for more apologies.

        • Jon

          June 26, 2017 at 7:41 am

          When will you start listening and stop talking?

        • RcKl

          June 27, 2017 at 9:32 am

          +Jon
          Thanks for your reply.

          > your reply is not always honest
          With all due respect, you might lose your manner to use such emotional/subjective terms as “honest” or “skepticism” in a discussion 🙂
          I hope people including you to discuss the things not in an abstract/emotional manner but in a concrete/logical manner.

          The group promoting the statue, The Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force(ACWMTF), insists “more than 200,000 girls and women who were removed from their home in Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan,.. and sexually enslaved”. http://saportareport.com/center-civil-human-rights-faces-monumental-issue/
          They also insist “The purpose of the memorial is to honor the over 200,000 girls and women .. who were trafficked, sexually enslaved, and in many cases killed during World War II.” http://www.ygpm.org/resource_en_view.php?no=2

          I’m afraid I came to be convicted that you believe their assertion. If you also think ACWMTF’s statement lacks objective basis, hope you raise your voice for the correction.

          —- Rare identified criminality. No identified murder.

          It is supposed that most of people believe there were many identified atrocity and identified killed victims because it is said that most of hundreds of thousands of “comfort women” were the victims of the inhumane criminality.

          But the people would be surprised to know that the identified criminality rarely existed. Apart from the cases of the lawless soldiers’ ones settled in the trails just after the war, almost no incidents were identified.
          In addition, there are no identified killed victims. ACWMTF doesn’t disclose even one identified murder nor name of its victim too.

          —- The point to be considered

          The point to be considered is what actually happened in the war time.
          – Mainly Koreans insist most were victims of the national criminality.
          – Japan insists, most were wage workers, rarely victims by lawless soldiers.

          That is, the dispute is whether the issue was “(A) systematic inhumane criminality driven by the national-will” or “(B) rare criminality by lawless soldiers among the normal business deal.”

          The purpose of the statue, the matter of the apology, what politicians or UN said without primary materials, aren’t the points because those have nothing to do with the past fact.

          • Jon Park

            June 27, 2017 at 3:46 pm

            RcKl,

            If this may be any comfort to you, I initially thought the number of those “comfort women” to be up to 200,000 but then as I researched more into the topic, I realized the ground for the assertion is rather slim and I’ve tried to stay away from it since then and instead began to use “hundreds of thousands” and on the inscription it will be stated that way unless someone show me the exact number with convincing evidence.

            You have many other points to disagree with me, but I will leave them to another and more competent historians or scholars. I am overwhelmed with all those questions and response to my view points and I just don’t have sufficient time or energy to respond to each. Hope you understand that and if you please read my last reply to Barbara, I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

        • RcKl

          June 27, 2017 at 9:34 am

          +Jon

          —- Absence of the objective basis of Koreans’ assertion

          > And I already have answered to your questions and your skepticism in regard to the primary sources in one of my previous responses, but I assume you did not bother to look it up.

          You seem to insist historians prove your assertion, and Yoshimi found the evidence of your assertion.
          Then, please cite some sentences describing primary materials of the concrete identified inhumane criminality. And please explain why those individual cases can prove “most of comfort women were victims”.
          You didn’t answer yet.

          I’ve examined/read many historians’ and media’s assertion including Yoshimi’s one before. But I could find no primary materials that can be the evidence of what you insist.
          Many Koreans insist such as “Many historians proved”, “There are many clear evidence.”, but any of them doesn’t cite its primary materials. That’s just like Bush had said “Iraq has WMD. We have clear evidence” before the Iraqi War.

          —- Fact-understanding consists of identified incidents. But Koreans’ assertion doesn’t have those.

          Please try to think another example.
          Many Vietnamese citizens were massacred by soldiers in the Vietnam War.
          – “My Lai Massacre” at March 16, 1968.
          – “Phong Nhi and Phong Nhat massacre” at February 12, 1968.
          ( more for https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_in_Vietnam )
          But Vietnamese don’t insist “those were the systematic inhumane criminality driven by the national-will”.
          They don’t insist “thousands of hundreds of Vietnamese were victims of massacres by the soldiers”.

          The massacre is believed to be the fact because some of the concrete incidents were identified(date, location, victims, perpetrators) with the official record or multiple witnesses. Some of the victims’ names were recorded by the Vietnamese at where the incident happened. ( https://youtu.be/J7REQ61sqN8 ) .

          On the contrary, to try thinking the “comfort women” issue,
          Almost no incidents are identified, no name of killed/disappeared victim is disclosed.

          How do you resolve this contradiction ?

          —- wrap up

          Because there disclosed no objective/verifiable basis, it is the exaggerated false charge that most of “comfort women” were the victims of the systematic inhumane criminality by the national-will of Japan.
          1. Japan insists, most were wage workers, rarely victims by lawless soldiers. Japan respect those victims and apologized.
          2. ACWMTF and you insist the evidence proves most were victims by the systematic criminality.
          3. I pointed out the evidence couldn’t be found in the materials you showed.
          4. I’m asking you to cite some sentences that can be the evidence. Can you ?
          5. I’m asking you to show one name of killed/disappeared victims. Can you ?

          Hope people consider what the fact was in a primary material based manner with their own heads.

          Regards.

    • RcKl

      June 23, 2017 at 11:27 pm

      +Jon

      The link in my previous post doesn’t work well. So I’m posting that part again.

      It is assumed rare lawless brokers ( the citizens of the Korean Peninsula ) gathered the women with inhumane ways such as abduction/deception, because some newspapers reported the police cracked down such evil brokers in the Korean Peninsula. http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.jp/2014/10/korean-newspaper-articles-from-1930s.html
      Japanese government has apologized for those.

    • Yoshio Haraguchi

      June 24, 2017 at 12:31 am

      Not hypocrisy. Victims of the prostitution.

      • Truth Seeker

        June 26, 2017 at 1:22 am

        Mr. Haraguchi, you should be ashamed.

    • MOMO

      June 24, 2017 at 1:11 am

      Jon+
      You have to study human right first. Don’t professional prostitutes have human right? “comfort women” were both professional prostitutes and victims for human right.

      The “comfort women” was absolutely paid professional prostitutes without doubt. At the time, prostitution was legal in Japan and japanese called them “comfort women” as a euphemism. So you can find many advertisement for comfort women recruitment in wartime newspapers.

      It’s sad story but some of them were forced into prostitution by human trafficking of korean mafia or marchants in the region. Even some were sold by their parents because of poverty.

      But before 1945, Korea was part of Japan, japanese government had responsibility for human traffickering crimes. Even if those crimes were cased by korean people. That’s why japanese have apologized many times.

      • Jon

        June 24, 2017 at 2:07 pm

        Momo,

        Please see my response above to RcKl and if you still have some more to say, then send me a reply, I would gladly engage in a dialogue with you. I just don’t have enough time to reply to you all. Hope you understand.

    • Hisatake

      June 25, 2017 at 7:32 am

      Jon if you want to understand what Mr.Shinozuka is talking about, I recommend you to read Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.

      Licensed prostitute in those days, Geisha or comfort woman, underwent painful experiences. Especially those in war zones.

      • Truth Seeker

        June 26, 2017 at 1:26 am

        Mr. Hisatake, are you really asking us to read a fictional work? Furthermore, your reference to Geishas and Comfort Women as the same is ridiculous.

        • Hisatake

          June 27, 2017 at 10:38 am

          Yes, I’m serious. I think Golden did a good research.

          What is the difference between Geisha and Comfort Woman by the way?

          • Truth Seeker

            June 29, 2017 at 1:20 am

            I am not going to argue the difference between a geisha and comfort woman. If you don’t understand the difference between a traditional female Japanese entertainer/hostess and a sex slave, I don’t know what to tell you. Also, Arthur Golden is a novelist.

          • Hisatake

            June 30, 2017 at 8:30 am

            Truth Seeker

            Geisha is an entertainer license holder and prostitute license holder was called Shougi. Geisha who possess prostitute license was call Nimai-kansatsu(double license). Officially, Geisha without prostitute license was not allowed to sell her body, but that doesn’t mean she can refuse to sleep with her patron and unofficially not a small number of them were selling their bodies(illegally).They were sold by their parents at a very young age, bounded by debt which took years and years to pay off (and get free).
            So what is the difference between Comfort Women and Geisha?
            Calling Comfort Women a slave and calling Geisha an entertainer is a hypocrisy.

    • Hide Morya

      June 25, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      It is not that simple as you imagine.
      Japan thought settling the conflict between Japan and Korea came first. If Japan and Korea argue the historical fact it will never end so Japan decided to issue an apology which vaguely imply the atrocity but normal prostitution can be “immeasurable and painful experience”.

    • H.S. Kim

      June 25, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Jon,

      As a Korean historian who has studied this issue for over 15 years looking into every primary source in Korean and Japanese, I can assure you that the Korean activists’ narrative is false. The South Korean activist group Chong Dae Hyup (Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery), which is involved in this project as well, is closely related to North Korea. For example,

      Yun Mi-Hyang (Chairwoman) was investigated for working with North Korea in 2013.
      Kim Sam-Suk (Yun Mi-Hyang’s husband) was arrested as a North Korean spy in 1993.
      Kim Eun-Ju (Kim Sam-Suk’s sister) was arrested as a North Korean spy in 1993.
      Choi Gi-Yong (Kim Eun-Ju’s husband) was arrested as a North Korean spy in 2006.
      Lee Seok-Gi (member) was arrested as a North Korean spy in 2013.

      Westerners must realize that North Korean operatives are using the comfort women issue to drive a wedge into U.S.-Japan-South Korea security partnership.

      I don’t agree with Mr. Shinzuka’s claim that the Korean women were prostitutes. Well some of them were, but others were either sold by their parents or deceived by the Korean traffickers. There are overwhelming primary sources on this such as the diary written by a Korean comfort station manager and the Korean newspaper reports.

      The U.S. military interrogated hundreds of Korean POWs who belonged to the Japanese Army. They frequented comfort stations, and the following was what they said about Korean comfort women.

      “All Korean prostitutes that POWs have seen in the Pacific were volunteers or had been sold by their parents into prostitution. This is proper in the Korean way of thinking, but direct conscription of women by the Japanese would be an outrage that the old and young alike would not tolerate. Men would rise up in a rage, killing Japanese no matter what consequence they might suffer.”

      Are you aware that at least half of the policemen were Korean? What were they doing? Did they just watch the Japanese take Korean women?

      I have also interviewed dozens of Koreans who were born and raised in the Korean Peninsula in the 1920’s and 1930’s including my grandparents about comfort women.

      According to what they witnessed, most Korean women were sold by their parents to Korean comfort station owners. There were also some women who were deceived by Korean traffickers. They never witnessed any Korean women coerced by the Japanese.

      Korean men, who had debts from alcohol, gambling and so on, sold their daughters to Korean comfort station owners who shouldered their debts. Each woman’s contract length was determined depending on the amount of debt the owner took over. Korean women were not allowed to leave until their debts were paid off. Any coercion, violence or confinement was exercised by Korean comfort station owners. So the Korean women were the sex slaves of Korean comfort station owners. They were not the sex slaves of the Japanese military. The common perception in the West that the Japanese military operated comfort stations is incorrect.

      I’m sure you are aware that South Korea used comfort women in Vietnam. If the statue mentioned the atrocities the South Korean Army committed in Vietnam, I would be more sympathetic to the Korean group’s activities, but they refuse to acknowledge their own atrocities, which makes this statue a symbol of anti-Japanese hate.

      • Jon Park

        June 26, 2017 at 4:59 pm

        H.S. Kim,

        I don’t know why my reply to your above observation keep bouncing back, but I tried to answer to your similar comment on Council man Park’s article on June 25th. It has my response to your last paragraph there.

    • Barbara H.

      June 25, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      Hi Jon,
      There is no contradiction between Japan clearly rejecting the fabricated “kidnap and coercion narrative” and, Japan expressing compassion for and a connection to aging ex-prostitutes who once provided a paid service to Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese soldiers and officers in the Japanese Army.

      You ask: Which is it: are they prostitutes? Or, are they the victims of immeasurable and painful experiences who suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds?

      This isn’t either-or. The answer is that they were BOTH. It is true that they were paid prostitutes. Some were resourceful and did quite well for themselves: saved enough to buy a house or shop, became a brothel owner and hired her own workers, became a money lender and made loans with interest to Japanese and Korean soldiers, etc. But others did suffer “incurable physical and psychological wounds.” (That phrase is borrowed from the 1993 Kono Statement written by Japan’s then chief cabinet secretary(with a great deal of input and pressure by then SK president Roh Tae-woo and his foreign minister).

      I would guess the women who suffered psychological wounds the most were those taken unwillingly to a brothel to work off advanced payment loaned to their parents or those tricked by unscrupulous Korean brothel recruiters. According to Sara Soh’s book, many comfort women resented and hated their parents for making them work as a prostitute. (Many were indentured to a brothel even before the brothel contracted to be part of the comfort system). Either way, there is reason to feel sympathy and compassion for the comfort women.

      A sense of compassion and moral responsibility to the comfort ladies (who served the Japanese military) is what prompted the Japanese government to set up an Asian Women’s Fund (1995-2007) to search for all surviving former comfort women from a number of countries and to establish Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) between governments. Japan offered to each Korean comfort woman an elegant written apology for hardships experienced and also 2-million-yen compassion stipend and 2-million-yen toward their health and welfare. Compassion is also in part what caused Japan to agree to an additional $1.8 million for their support.

      But acknowledging and lessening the suffering of former prostitutes, does not mean Japan is guilty of kidnapping and forcing them into prostitution, which is the line pushed by Chon Dae Hyup since the 1990s. Have a good day!

    • Jon

      June 26, 2017 at 7:44 am

      hypocrisy and not hypocracy!

  4. Archie Miyamoto

    June 23, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    To Jon. Confusing to some. Probably not to a Japanese. Professional prostitute or sold into prostitution by parents to pay off loans, all prostitutes went through hardship. As a professional soldier (ironic that I compare myself with professional prostitutes) I went to the Korean War twice and don’t expect any apologies for the hardship and suffering but that is how the Japanese are. They will feel sorry for you if you are injured in an traffic accident you caused. Koreans, like Americans, take apologies as admission of guilt, the Japanese do not. To them, it’s human decency to express sympathy.

    I agree with you the Japanese apologize too much but I believe they are learning a lesson on how to deal with other societies. Koreans should not expect any more apologies.

    • Archie Miyamoto

      June 23, 2017 at 8:01 pm

      Leave out last sentence: “Koreans should not expect any more apologies.”

      • Jon

        June 24, 2017 at 3:20 pm

        Miyamota san,

        Thank you for your reply and your explanation to me on how Japanese people would say sorry, even if they do not mean it as an admission of guilt.

        Does this also apply to Prime Minister Abe when he stood in front of the joint session of US Congress in 2015 and said he was truly sorry for what Japan had caused to American people in WWII?

        I must scratch my head. If you think Japanese apologize too much, then they should stop apologizing whenever they would not mean it as an admission of guilt. And only when they are willing to admit their guilt, then they should truly apologize and say sorry.

        I am not trying to teach you or all those good and polite (perhaps too polite) Japanese people about proper manner, but I just want to point out how confusing to me and I assume to many others and how it is often so difficult to understand the true intention of whatever you would have to say.

        Please don’t misunderstand me. I have a high admiration of Japanese people and its history and culture. I have a lot to learn from them but often I get frustrated by your politeness and mistake it as hypocrisy.

        • Jon

          June 26, 2017 at 7:45 am

          … the true intention beyond whatever you would have to say.

  5. RcKl

    June 23, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Thank you very much to the author, Ms. Bagby, and The Reporter Newspapers. You kindly report what is happening not emotionally but calmly.

    Of course, each individual has the freedom to have own opinion and judgment. For that, it is important media presents the materials with multiple perspectives.
    While some major media in the big cities in the U.S. dismiss multiple perspectives regarding the “comfort women” issue, it is worthful The Reporter Newspapers kindly presents the places for the publicly disclosed discussion by keeping the comments section freely opened to everyone.

    I hope the issue of the statue can be the opportunity for the U.S. people to acknowledge multiple perspectives/assertions regarding the “comfort women” issue. I also hope the issue in Brookhaven will come to be settled in accordance with the interest of the U.S. citizens, Brookhaven inhabitants, especially the residents around the park.

    Regards.

  6. Yoshio Haraguchi

    June 23, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    First I really appreciate the fair and objective broadcasting stance of The Reporter Newspaper and Ms. Dyana Bagby. Thanks a lot.

    The comfort women issue is very complicated and there are many rumors and lies in the Korean side. For example the Korean common view of the comfort women that “200,000 young girls were forced to sex slavery by Japanese military and many were massacred at the end of the war” is not true as is discussed by many historians like Prof. Park Yu-ha of Sejong University in Korea. She denied above common view in Korea and unfortunately she is now under trial because of her view of the comfort women. For the reference, following is her abridged paper of her book “the Comfort Women of the Empire”, 2013.
    Also please refer to the arguments by Prof. Sarah Soh of San Francisco State University
    ・Yuha Park, How We Should Consider the Comfort Women Issue Based on Discussions between Ikuhiko Hata and Yoshiaki Yoshimi. An paper by the author of “Comfort Women of the Empire”. http://blog.parkyuha.org/archives/4368
    ・Sara Soh “The Comfort Women: Sexual Violence and Postcolonial Memory in Korea and Japan, 2008.

    In addition to those arguments, Japan has already expressed deep apologies many times since early 1990’s and already in 1994 founded “the Asian Women’s Fund” for the surviving ex-comfort women of several countries and made compensations, afforded medical expenses for more than ten years since its foundation in several countries including South Korea. 60 Korean ex-comfort women received the support but some denied it(The reason was that the 40% of the compensation money was derived from the fund raising among the Japanese citizen and not totally governmental). So for the final solution, in December, 2015, Japan and Korea reached the agreement for those ex-comfort women support expressing the apology from the prime minister of Japan.
    In 2015 “Comfort Women” agreement, it is stated that “The issue of comfort women, with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time, was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of large numbers of women, and the Government of Japan is painfully aware of responsibilities from this perspective. As Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister Abe expresses anew his most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.”
    http://www.mofa.go.jp/a_o/na/kr/page4e_000365.html
    After this agreement 34 out of 40 surviving Korean ex-comfort women received the compensation. Below link is the Japan Korea agreement at the Foreign Ministry of Japan. Please consult this also.
    http://www.mofa.go.jp/a_o/na/kr/page4e_000365.html

    The comfort women statue is quite biased for the political utilization by the Korean people. I am sure it is not based on the facts found by the scholars and it implies to insult Japan for the political purpose.
    So I have to conclude that the erection of that statue is utterly inappropriate as a monument for a city park of Brookhaven. I hope it should not be erected.

  7. MK

    June 23, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Hypocracy is just golden point to express this CW memorial.
    Thank you, Jon.

  8. J.M

    June 24, 2017 at 1:01 am

    Good job supporting North Korea Brookhaven Council. North Korea will love to see that statue erected in your city. Division between South and Japan will make their invasion so much easier.
    Oh, when it happens, U.S Navy and U.S Air Force based in Japan may not be able to help South, due to strong objection from Japanese citizens. Who wants to involve in a conflict that does nothing to do with his country. Not to mention for the country that hates.
    Another great Job by Brookhaven Council undermining safety of U.S Army force reside in South.
    By the way, U.S Navy and U.S Air Force based in Japan are the largest in the region.

    Now I agree with the other readers, the people promoting this statue have ties or are manipulated by North. The way they are trying to implement this statue is undemocratic and just too weird, like North. How about John Park, is he OK?

    • Truth Seeker

      June 29, 2017 at 1:23 am

      J.M. Your comments are ridiculous.

  9. Barbara H.

    June 24, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Erecting a statue to the comfort women is like building a statue to the woman who lied about being gang raped at fraternity party at the University of Virginia in 2015.

    Rolling Stone Magazine failed to do their due diligence and hastily published articles supporting the phony rape victim’s story, causing fraternity social events to be curtailed. When the real facts came out that the woman lied Rolling Stone had to retract the articles and do a mea culpa. But too late. Rolling Stone’s journalistic credibility has been irreversibly tarnished and they have had to pay $1.65 million in a defamation suit.

    I ask the Brookhaven City Council to do their due diligence on this comfort women statue issue. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly progressive rhetoric.

    • Truth Seeker

      June 26, 2017 at 1:29 am

      Your comment makes no sense.

    • Jon

      June 26, 2017 at 7:32 am

      Barbara,

      Your analogy just baffles my mind. You mean to tell me that those “comfort women” were not gang raped by Japanese military?

      Consul General Shinozuka told in the interview that “Japan apologized to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.”

      Then he said they were just prostitutes. And now you’re saying they are not even gang raped? Are you suggesting if they were prostitutes (let’s suppose for a minute), then it does not matter what men do to them?

      I hope you do not mean by it!

      • Barbara H.

        June 26, 2017 at 9:47 pm

        (Trying again to upload)

        Jon: Simple translation for baffled minds: 🙂

         Don’t build statues to people or movements based on their false claims —

         Don’t worship false idols —

        * * * * *
        It looks like some Brookhaven statue promoters are resorting to a subterfuge when they claim the statue has nothing to do with being anti-Japan.

        The Chong Dae Hyup* movement to build comfort women statues all over the world has EVERYTHING to do with promoting lies about Japan and institutionalizing those lies (creating facts on the ground about Japan via statues). And if you look behind the scene at any of the numerous local committees to erect comfort women statue idols you will find only one to three “degrees of separation” between the local committee and Chong Dae Hyup*! (I’m not saying every supporter is aware of the connection. But it is there.)

        For over 25 years Chong Dae Hyup*’s comfort woman movement has been based upon the lies that the Japanese military kidnapped and coerced 200,000 women into brothels! The comfort women movement couldn’t have gained momentum in Korea without that false premise. Why, because in South Korea, if an aging prostitute revealed that she used to service the Japanese military, she would be reviled. But she had political use-value if she claimed she was kidnapped and forced to be a prostitute by the evil Japanese!

        (* Chong Dae Hyup is a powerful organization in South Korea with close ties to North Korea. They are rabidly anti-Japan, anti-security treaty with the US and Japan, anti US presence in South Korea, anti-THAAD, pro-North Korea)

        Now that the kidnap and dragooning narrative is falling apart, the Chong Dae Hyup comfort women movement has been forced to ease up a bit on the kidnap story and try a subtler plan of attack. I can hear the worried leadership re-grouping at Chong Dae Hyup headquarters:

        “Comrades, since our kidnap lie has been largely exposed, we must modify our tactics to save face and continue our assault on Japan from a different angle. We shall now push the idea that all prostitution is rape and all prostitutes are rape victims. So even if the Korean comfort women were really volunteers or sold by parents to work off a loan, we can still paint the Japanese as monsters. We shall implant the image that the comfort stations were “rape centers” and each soldier client was essentially committing rape and should have been prosecuted. In fact, comrades, we must paint the picture that the comfort women were “gang raped” since many clients used the comfort station in the course of the war. The term ‘gang-rape” will slither deliciously off our tongues! We are such geniuses! Those western third-wave feminists will love it!”

        Folks, if all prostitutes are rape victims, that means any man who has ever visited a prostitute is a rapist and should be found and prosecuted. That goes for men living in the US, and even those living in Brookhaven. (Anyone up for a WITCH HUNT?).

        Listen, I am a strong supporter of women’s rights (and certainly don’t condone prostitutes being mistreated by clients, but the Japanese soldiers were punished if caught mistreating a comfort women, and I don’t agree that all prostitutes are rape victims. I am quite aware that the prostitution issue vis a vis women’s rights is complex and many-sided. Some of the questions that arise in the debate: Should women have the right to choose any profession, including prostitution? Are all prostitutes helpless victims, or do they have volition and agency? Is prostitution something that will never to eliminated, only managed? Should it be legalized or totally banned in America? Confined to red light zones like in the Netherlands? Should there be further restrictions on prostitution? Who, if anyone, should be punished for violations– client or sex worker? Should it be legalized and regulated to prevent the spread of STDs and to mitigate health and safety concerns of the sex worker? How do we reduce violence against prostitutes? Whether legal or illegal, how can we reduce trafficking? Should prostitutes be independent contractors? Is it possible to cut out the middleman? Is it safer to work alone or be a part of a cooperative or brothel of sex workers? How do we create work opportunities for women and men, so that the economic and cultural drivers toward prostitution are reduced?

        So, you see, I am familiar with some of the back and forth of the debate on prostitution. But I object to the dogmatic assertion that all prostitutes are helpless victims of rape and that anyone who ever visited a prostitute is a rapist, because it reflects an arbitrary expansion of the definition of rape and clouds the debate.

        But what really grates is the intellectual dishonesty and political opportunism of human rights hustlers who mechanically apply contemporary “enlightened” women’s rights constructs retroactively to the economic and cultural realities of Asia in the 1930 and 1940s.

        • Jon Park

          June 27, 2017 at 3:54 pm

          Barbara,

          I don’t know why my last reply to your email does not get posted….

          I have good intention and wanted to express my appreciation toward you and many other repliers and I wish you all peace!

          And don’t worry, if it is false claim, it will fall by its own weight and scatter; however, if it is true, you cannot overthrow it and fight against the truth.

          I bid you all peace!

          • Barbara H

            June 28, 2017 at 4:28 am

            Hello Jon Park,
            Peace to you too!I sense from your comments that you have read a lot on the comfort women, and that you are sincerely searching for the truth of the matter. Whether or not we agree with each other on this topic, I admire that you are a truth seeker!

            Four years ago, I did not know much about the issue, but I initially took the side of the comfort women activists in various online discussions. However, as I was researching for details to support my view (for an article I planned to write), I discovered Professor Sarah Soh’s book. It was then that I started to question the veracity of the comfort women’s testimonials. and the honesty of the main activists pushing the issue. I continue to search for information on the topic.

            I’m sorry I did not reply to your response to my post about the 187 historians. I just noticed it yesterday!!! I obtained a copy of the Open Letter, and started writing a point by point reply, but it got too cumbersome and I ran out of steam. One of these days maybe I’ll revisit it. Enjoy the rest of the week. Barbara H.

          • Frank Z.

            June 28, 2017 at 12:08 pm

            Jon
            I have the feeling that you are a sincere nice guy.
            Not only you have a wide knowledge and wisdom, but you try to make this conversation vivid and civil.
            We appreciate!

          • Barbara H

            June 28, 2017 at 5:54 pm

            There are a number of Jon and Johns commenting. My last comment was directed to JON PARK, Not just plain Jon, of John Park, the councilman.

  10. K p

    June 25, 2017 at 1:22 am

    We know what Japan has done.
    https://youtu.be/SU6HHSc6B6c

    The murder scene in China’s Nanjing area is on YouTube.
    https://youtu.be/ggfrJyRoonA
    https://youtu.be/VObVWh2KXaA

    Japan killed many Americans in the Hawaii Pearl Harbor raid.
    Kamikaze suicide plane

    • Hisatake

      June 26, 2017 at 5:43 am

      Thank you Kp. You have done a very good job. Now people can understand the background of this “Japan’s sexual slavery” campaign.

      Several months ago I came across this video made by Korean-American 6th graders.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uicdRsUoD6s

      It is just sad to see East Asia’s hate education being brought over to the United States. This stupid smear campaign must stop.

  11. Brookahven Resident

    June 25, 2017 at 9:34 am

    The ignorant statements by Takashi “Thomas” Shinozuka does not represent the good people from Japan and is self-serving nonsense. Shame on him for his rape-denying rhetoric. He owes an apology to these victims of rape and their families.

    It is right to acknowledge mistakes from the past – and to memorialize those affected. Acknowledging these mistakes and recognizing victims are the way to move ahead.

    It is wrong for fringe groups from Japan to now deny the wrongs of the past – and to refuse to memorialize and honor victims. To pretend that the “comfort women” were willing participants shows a profound ignorance of the meaning of consent: it is per se impossible for prisoners to consent to sexual activity.

    The good people of Japan acknowledge the wrongs that have been done – not only with “comfort women” but also Pearl Harbor – Nanking – Bataan – and rightly honor and memorialize the victims of these crimes. As a community we must continue to work to honor those affected and acknowledge mistakes from the past in order to move on.

    We must show Takashi “Thomas” Shinozuka that we denounce rape and support victims of these terrible crimes.

    • CA man

      June 26, 2017 at 10:39 am

      I am sorry to tell you, but for this particular case, you are wrong. Nowadays, opinion for the majority of people in Japan is closer to what Takashi “Thomas” Shinozuka said including myself, who used to support Kono statement. I wish this issue ended there, at Kono statement for the sake of better relationships.
      However, since Kono statement, Koreans have been asking for sincere apology again and again. In order to sincerely apologize, Japanese need to know what really happened and How. Many people started digging for a clue. However, most of the discoveries, evidences, documents and information, are not favorable to Comfort Women but rather against them. Crucial event took place in 2014. Asahi newspaper, who brought up the comfort women story for the very first time and covering it since then, admitted that they made a fake story. This was a game-changer. The number of 200,000 comfort women was also from this newspaper article and they admitted that they confused with the number of Women Corps, women labor force during the WWII. For these reasons, nowadays, almost all of the Media cover the story of comfort women as not sex slave but paid prostitution that had difficult life during the time of war, and people in Japan are listening to Korean’s assertion with raising their eyebrows.

  12. Jerry Hatter ret.

    June 25, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Hey guys didn’t I see you good people at the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact?

    Really find all the links to selective support documents helpful for correcting my incorrect understanding of historical facts. Good job!

    http://www.sdh-fact.com/category/comfort-women/page/2/

  13. Charles Cabell

    June 25, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    There is a great deal of disinformation among these comments. victims of sexual violence are often dismissed as “prostitutes” or liars, and the “comfort women” victims are no different. Of course, as with any massive assault, the number of victims is controversial. It is beyond doubt, however, that Japanese set up comfort stations throughout Asia wherever troops went, extending into China, Burma, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia. In addition to Korea, “Comfort Women” museums can be found in Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines. The US government investigated this history extensively and passed a resolution calling on the Japanese government to apologize. The United Nations has also concluded that the system of “comfort women” constituted sexual slavery. The “comfort women,” who again are not limited to Koreans, but come from numerous Asian nations, are not liars or women greedy for compensation. Instead they are severely traumatized women who, in the worst cases, were confined in small quarters where they were beaten and forced to have sex with as many as 20 or 30 men a day. The soldiers used “pi” a Korean slang word for vagina to refer to the women, who were also called “public toilets,” as has been documented by Sarah Soh. It is shameful for the Japanese government and its representatives to continue to deny wartime atrocities such as the military “comfort women” system and the Nanking Massacre, which are beyond doubt by serious, fair-minded historians. Remembering those who suffered terribly during war should not be a cause for rancor. Such denial is similar to Turkish claims not to have massacred Armenians, and does nothing more than expose the myopic ultra-nationalism of the deniers.

    • tictactogo

      June 27, 2017 at 4:30 am

      Nice try but you need to dig in a little bit more.

      <<>>
      You don’t seem to even know what Comfort Women controversy is all about. Japan is not denying the military involvement of 1) Establishing Comfort Station, 2) Prostitution Operation/Management, 3) Transportation of Comfort Woment, and 4) Medical Examination.
      http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/postwar/issue9308.html

      <<>>
      I’d assume you are talking about IWG report which consumed $30M U.S. tax money hoping to find the evidence against Japan upon anti-Japan party’s request (Global Alliance For Preserving the History of WWII in Asia) but their attempt failed completely. IWG concluded “In part to reduce local resentment against Japan and in part to prevent the spread of venereal disease among its ranks, the Japanese military contracted private vendors to set up “comfort stations” for the troops as early as 1932. Again, this practice was known to the Allies but no criminal charges were filed at the trials.” Here also is Michael Yon’s interview regarding this report as well.
      http://eng.the-liberty.com/2014/5641/
      So what exactly should Japanese gov apologize for?

      <<>>
      UN concluded “Comfort Women” as “Sex Slaves” mainly based on “Coomaraswamy Report” and “McDougall Report”, so have you even bothered to look into these reports? Both reports completely lack credibilities, “Coomaraswamy Report” referenced the fictional story by Seiji Yoshida and George Hicks and “McDougall Report” described more than 140K out of 200K Korean Comfort Women were dead baselessly. I can be more specific to point out which part of notion if you are interested.

      <<>>
      Although I have some disagreement on Sarah Soh’s assertions, I believe she is the one of very few insightful historians. Comfort Women is not about “tragic ladies who were mistreated inhumainly by constant rape and violence”. I advice you to read through below article.
      http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2009/05/10/books/book-reviews/continuing-controversy-of-comfort-women/#.WVILx2wUmM8

      <<>>
      Whether you like it or not, Nanking Massacre is still controvertial and so is Comfort Women. So what made you believe to say “beyond doubt” while China and Korea are the one forging documents/pics, revising testimonies, exaggerating cusualities without concrete evidence nor rational explanation? How do you define fair-minded historians? Those who only listen to China/Korea while ignoring Japanese side of counter-argument and evidence? Think again.

  14. Yoshio Haraguchi

    June 25, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Here is a historical document by US Army on the Korean comfort women. The title of the document is “Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No.49” in the National Archives and Records Administration, which was disclosed in 1973 and the copy of the original text is now released on the web site of “Asian Women’s Fund, established by Japanese government in 1995.
    http://www.awf.or.jp/pdf/0051_5.pdf
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Japanese_Prisoner_of_War_Interrogation_Report_49

    This document clearly shows that the Korean comfort women are not the sex slaves as the Korean insist, nor the low teenager girls. According to the data shown in the Appendix of the Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No.49 by US Army in 1944, the average age is 23.15, not low teenager girls.

    Following are the excerpts from the interrogation report made by the US Army in Burma in 1944.

    —————————————————————–

    RECRUITING

    Early in May of 1942 Japanese agents arrived in Korea for the purpose of enlisting Korean girls for “comfort service” in newly conquered Japanese territories in Southeast Asia. The nature of this “service” was not specified but it was assumed to be work connected with visiting the wounded in hospitals, rolling bandages, and generally making the soldiers happy. The inducement used by these agents was plenty of money, an opportunity to pay off the family debts, easy work, and the prospect of a new life in a new land, Singapore. On the basis of these false representations many girls enlisted for overseas duty and were rewarded with an advance of a few hundred yen.

    The majority of the girls were ignorant and uneducated, although a few had been connected with “oldest profession on earth” before. The contract they signed bound them to Army regulations and to war for the “house master ” for a period of from six months to a year depending on the family debt for which they were advanced …

    LIVING AND WORKING CONDITIONS

    In Myitkyina the girls were usually quartered in a large two story house (usually a school building) with a separate room for each girl. There each girl lived, slept, and transacted business. In Myitkina their food was prepared by and purchased from the “house master” as they received no regular ration from the Japanese Army. They lived in near-luxury in Burma in comparison to other places. This was especially true of their second year in Burma. They lived well because their food and material was not heavily rationed and they had plenty of money with which to purchase desired articles. They were able to buy cloth, shoes, cigarettes, and cosmetics to supplement the many gifts given to them by soldiers who had received “comfort bags” from home.

    While in Burma they amused themselves by participating in sports events with both officers and men, and attended picnics, entertainments, and social dinners. They had a phonograph and in the towns they were allowed to go shopping.

    SCHEDULES

    Officers were allowed to come seven nights a week. The girls complained that even with the schedule congestion was so great that they could not care for all guests, thus causing ill feeling among many of the soldiers.

    Soldiers would come to the house, pay the price and get tickets of cardboard about two inches square with the prior on the left side and the name of the house on the other side. Each soldier’s identity or rank was then established after which he “took his turn in line”. The girls were allowed the prerogative of refusing a customer. This was often done if the person were too drunk.

    PAY AND LIVING CONDITIONS

    The “house master” received fifty to sixty per cent of the girls’ gross earnings depending on how much of a debt each girl had incurred when she signed her contract. This meant that in an average month a girl would gross about fifteen hundred yen. She turned over seven hundred and fifty to the “master”. Many “masters” made life very difficult for the girls by charging them high prices for food and other articles.

    In the latter part of 1943 the Army issued orders that certain girls who had paid their debt could return home. Some of the girls were thus allowed to return to Korea.
    Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No. 49 p4.png

    The interrogations further show that the health of these girls was good. They were well supplied with all types of contraceptives, and often soldiers would bring their own which had been supplied by the army. They were well trained in looking after both themselves and customers in the matter of hygiene. A regular Japanese Army doctor visited the houses once a week and any girl found diseased was given treatment, secluded, and eventually sent to a hospital. This same procedure was carried on within the ranks of the Army itself, but it is interesting to note that a soldier did not lose pay during the period he was confined.

    ——————————————————————–

    This is the truth. The Korean common view of the comfort women that “200,000 young girls were forced to sex slavery by Japanese military and many were massacred at the end of the war” is not true.

    The statue symbolizes above Korean view and their movement to condemn Japan for that. But that is based on the false propaganda.

    • Jon

      June 27, 2017 at 8:36 am

      Yoshio Haraguchi,

      I saw you and several others referring to the so called US Army Report No. 49. While I was working on reputing your claims point by point, I found someone has already done it and it is easier for me to refer you to that site. It seemed your points are debunked:

      http://fendnow.org/2015/03/08/debunking-the-Japanese-comfort-women-denier-talking-points/

      • Yoshio Haraguchi

        June 27, 2017 at 12:16 pm

        As a primary source, refer to “The Diary of A Korean Manager of Japanese Army Comfort Place”, published in Korea, 2013. You can see the reality.

      • tictactogo

        June 29, 2017 at 10:12 pm

        Jon, why don’t you do me a faver and read the actual No.49 report and if you still think Comfort Women system was Sex Slavery or not? The report is not that long and will only take 10-15min to read through if you are English native.

        I read your referenced article but it’s hardly a debunk. I can talk about individual incorrect “FACT”s but I would like to focus on POW report No.49 for now (I probably will point out each deficiencies directly on this article when I have time).

        There are only three points in this article as related to No.49 report and the author says “They are taking a sentence out of context.” at the very beginning, but I want to say the exactly same thing back to him. POW report No.49 is one of very few primary source documents created toward the end of WW2 so Japan is using this document as an evidence to refute against the idea of “Sex Slavery” with a false interpretation as if “IAJ directly involved in human trafficking activity to abduct beautiful innocent underage Korean girls and chained them up in a prison like brothel raping them continuously till they die”. The author is only pointing out “recruiting process” (still no where near “illegal kidnapping”)and “wage condition” (without mentioning their luxurious living condition and how their free wills were highly valued) and ignoring the whole context of this report.

  15. Barbara H.

    June 26, 2017 at 12:54 am

    Nanking and Pearl Harbor have nothing to do with the issue we are discussing.

    I was recently called to jury duty, and the first thing the judge warned was that we must not judge this case based on the defendant’s past actions or good or bad reputation, or if he “seems like a nice guy” or she “gives off a bad vibe. ” We must come to a decision based on evidence related to this case, and this case alone. The question at hand is: Did the Japanese military kidnap and dragoon the comfort women into brothels or did the women become prostitutes for the myriad usual reasons prostitutes enter the profession (e.g., under their own volition, pressured by life circumstances, sold by parents, tricked by Korean brothel recruiters or other possibilities).

    A nose for detail, critical thinking, and patience to wade through many documents, is needed to get to the truth.

  16. Honor

    June 26, 2017 at 1:06 am

    I’m horrified and embarrassed by most of the comments to this article. The comments by the very obvious trolls paid by the current Japanese government demonstrate the lengths they will go to refute the truth and manipulate those who are unfamiliar with history.

    To re-victimize the Comfort Women by calling them paid prostitutes is utterly shameful.

    Please see UN Commission on Human Rights that clearly supports the Comfort Women History and the truth: http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/commission/country52/53-add1.htm

    • tictactogo

      June 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      And what evidence do you have to substantiate your side of so-called “truth”? UN commission supports Coomaraswamy report which referenced Seiji Yoshida’s fake story so obviously they don’t give a crap about what’s the truth is. Anyway, people who continue to re-victimize CW is clearly Koreans themselves who just can’t let go their propagandistic advantage tied so closely with malicious anti-JP sentiment. Over 70% of CW accepted the reparation provided (again) through JP-ROK agreement in 2015, but you Koreans are still whining “not sincere enough” “it should be void” cluelessly as usual. You really should be embarrassed yourself.

  17. Bill S

    June 26, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    A symbol of hared? Paid prostitutes? This idiotic, history denying, insulting, unrepentant comment by the Japanese consul general is the very reason why we need the memorial. Please remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King who said ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’.

    • tictactogo

      June 26, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      As far as Japan is concerned, being accused as a rapist baselessly and manipulating the world with a false accusation by converting “wartime prostitution” into “sex slavery” is injustice.

      • J Song

        June 26, 2017 at 6:22 pm

        tictactogo – how can they be “baseless” and the whole incident be termed as “injustice” when there are victims who step forward to tell their stories, show pictures of themselves becoming at some unknown military base at a young age, or show their physically abused bodies as proofs??
        I hope you have daughters who can live to tell their survival stories, or experience it yourself if you’re a female. Let’s see how you deal with it when people accuse you of lying and manipulating your story.

        • tictactogo

          June 26, 2017 at 9:19 pm

          You just don’t get it, do you? If I accuse you for raping me and tell horribe things you did to me and show you my knee scar as an evidence to prove how you used a knife to cut me while raping me, will you sincerely apologize and compensate? You see my point? You Koreans skip entire validation processes, modify their statements little by little to eliminate contradictions, exaggerate when releasing to the public, and introduce irrelevant incidents like Nanking or Concentration Camp to manipulate the world to falsely interrprete the worst image they can think of. You basically heroinized “wartime prostitutes” into the sacred symbol “young innocent girl who were abducted by evil Japan” and building the statue everywhere.
          All Japan is asking is a simple evidence to prove your accusation because Japan have reasons and evidence to believe Japan is falsely accused here but all Koreans only say “how dare you to deny the truth!?” like a mindless parrot. Koreans don’t care about the truth, they just want some reason to criticize Japan so comfort thier disoriented anti-JP sentiments. To prove my point, I never heard of Koreans demanding for apology & compensation against US&UN with horrible stories about how CW must have gone through during Korean War & Vietnam War.
          Just by playing a victim doesn’t give you a right to do whatever you want. It used to work for you before 2000 but won’t work any more, many thanks to the internet.

  18. J Song

    June 26, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    why is it not ok for the Nazis to kill the jewish people, but it’s perfectly ok and understandable and false that the Japanese RAPED & KILLED innocent females who are mostly Koreans, Chinese, South East Asians and some Dutch?
    These victims are still alive, just like the Holocaust victims survived and lived to tell their stories.

    • tictactogo

      June 26, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      The answer is simply, “Holocaust” is substantiated whereas “Sex Slavery” is not. Your selection of agressive & manipulative wordings such as “RAPED” “KILLED” “innocent females” “mostly Koreans” “just like the Holocaust” all are unsubstantiated. You really shouldn’t be using “Holocaust” only to amplify your propaganda, it’s just so wrong and disrespectful against Holocaust real victims.

      • Sunny

        June 27, 2017 at 2:18 pm

        Dear Consul General Shinozuka:

        Your recent comment at a press conference about Japanese sex-slave operations during World War II was impudent and absurd. You mentioned they were prostitudes. I believe there were prostitutes. I also believe that you know that Koreans are memorialize those innocent 200,000 young women your government kidnapped and let Japanese soldiers stand in line to wait for their turn to rape these young women.

        Your shameless forebears kidnapped helpless young Korean women, ages 14 and up, 200,000 of them, and sent them to war fronts including Saipan and Southeast Asia. The Japanese forced these young women to lay down on concrete floors so that your animal-like Japanese soldiers could rape them while they were thousands of miles from home. This is historical fact.

        The Japanese government served as pimps, collecting fees from these shameless soldiers. Because your government purchased food to feed the young women, you now claim that they were prostitutes earning a living. Your repulsive comments can’t change history.

        Japanese textbooks promoting Japan’s view of its own history have failed you. In your heart, you know your recent comment is incorrect. I hope you know it’s immoral as well.

        Personally, I try not to beat the drum of war. I lived through it as a child, and it is not a positive time. But you went over and above with your comments, and I will start my own campaign for the true history to be known. We will plant hundreds more of these Japanese Raped Women Statues in the United States. Calling these innocent girls “comfort women” is an insult. Let’s be truthful.

        Sincerely,

        • Jon Park

          June 27, 2017 at 4:06 pm

          Mr. Park,

          I appreciate your letter.

          I you would like to invite you to the concert we are preparing this Thursday evening at the Korean Cultural Center and also to the unveiling ceremony of the statue on Friday morning.

          Just call one of the Korean local newspaper or radio or television station, they will give you necessary information.

          Thank you!

        • tictactogo

          June 27, 2017 at 10:57 pm

          No matter how well you put your wordings politely, what you are saying here is basically same as any other Korean trolls we find everywhere including this post.
          You Koreans are simply jumping into conclusion “200,000 young innocent Korean girls were abducted by IAJ and inhumanly served as sex slaves” as a given premise and irrefutable fact. In other words, Koreans are accusung Japan as “evil rapists” without reasonable explanation nor credible evidence and you don’t seem to think any problem how disrespecful that is.
          If you wanna be truthful to the history, why don’t you start digging into all of archives readily available on the net to really understand what “Comfort Women” is all about. As a starter, why don’t you explain where did the estimation of “200,000 Koreans” come from. Please be aware that I’m expecting to hear the primary source, not some UN report.

      • Blue Bear Bernie

        June 27, 2017 at 11:04 pm

        This is not a place for uneducated person like you to make less than stupid comments.

        • tictactogo

          June 28, 2017 at 1:58 am

          As far as I’m concerned, niether Korea nor Japan teaches the historical truth, too much political essence behind it. You can only educate yourself to build your own interpretation of history. Go do real research yourself to find out who is uneducated here.

  19. Yoshi

    June 26, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    UNITED STATES OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION
    Psychological Warfare Team
    Attached to U.S. Army Forces India-Burma Theater
    Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No. 49
    This official US record made by direct interrogation of comfort women
    captured on the battlefield is one of the most important source materials
    related to documenting the real comfort women.
    In 1944, the United States Army captured some Comfort Women in
    Burma and were interrogated by the U.S. Army. The Army filed “Report
    Number 49” and it stated that the ladies were well-paid prostitutes.
    It clearly defined a “comfort girl” as nothing more than a prostitute or
    “professional camp follower.” (Preface) It also stated that their average month net
    pay was 750 Yen, which was 75 times higher than that of a private first class
    soldier’s pay of 10 Yen. (Pay and Living Condition)
    These show that the comfort women were merely very highly paid prostitutes,
    and having absolutely nothing to do with “sexual slavery.”

    http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

    • Sunny

      June 27, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      this is based on testimony of a few prisoners of war who have dealt with a few prostitutes. You tried but no one will believe that 200,000 young women of age 14 and older was selling their bodies. Shame on you!

      • Yoshi

        June 28, 2017 at 9:20 am

        The US Official Records: Korean PoW’s testimony on Korean “Comfort women” in 1945

        “18. All Korean prostitutes that PoW have seen in the Pacific were volunteers or had been sold by their parents into prostitution. This is proper in the Korean way of thinking but direct conscription of women by the Japanese wold be an outrage that the old and young alike would not tolerate. Men would rise up in a rage, killing Japanese no matter what consequences they might suffer.”

        https://cdn.mainichi.jp/vol1/2016/06/10/20160610p2a00m0na015000q/0.pdf

    • Blue Bear Bernie

      June 27, 2017 at 10:55 pm

      Apparently you are one of those Japanese trying to hide sunshine with a palm of your hand. Just make me puke…

  20. Sunny Park

    June 27, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Clinton says ‘comfort women’ should be referred to as ‘enforced sex slaves’

    https://japantoday.com/category/politics/clinton-says-comfort-women-should-be-referred-to-as-enforced-sex-slaves

    • tictactogo

      June 27, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      Right, she is one of the victim by Korean propaganda.

    • MOMO1333

      June 29, 2017 at 11:08 pm

      Yes, some of them should be referred to as ‘enforced sex slaves’ and others as ‘paid prostitutes’.

  21. Je

    June 27, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Wow, some of the comments here are just sickening. Denying what happened in history when there are survivors still present im Korea, is what makes Japan ignorant and irressponsible. They have denyed history for century now and Japanese are showing no sign of apology and this is the example of that. For those who supoorts this Japanese old man, I dont know what to say.

    • tictactogo

      June 27, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      Can Koreans say something other than “Stop denying the truth!”? It’s quite amazing to see the fact that you can only find Koreans who seriously lack rational thought process and it’s always frustrating to see their denial attitude no matter how nicely we explain to point out their fallacy. I don’t mean to generalize Koreans as a whole, but they all are the same based my direct experience with them in past 25yrs.

    • Kazu

      June 29, 2017 at 8:42 am

      The problem is you cannot find any documentary evidences or eyewitnesses of the kidnapping of enormous number of Korean girls by Japanese Army. Testimony without evidence lacks credibility.

      – In an interview with Professor Chunghee Sarah Soh of San Francisco State University, a former Korean comfort woman Kim Sun-ok said that she was sold by her parents four times.
      Yet she testified before UN Special Rapporteur Radhika Coomaraswamy that she was abducted by the Japanese military.
      – In an interview with Professor Park Yuha of Sejong University in South Korea, a former Korean comfort woman Bae Chun-hee said that she hated her father who sold her.
      Yet she testified before UN Special Rapporteur Radhika Coomaraswamy that she was abducted by the Japanese military.
      – In 1993 a former Korean comfort woman Kim Gun-ja told Professor Ahn Byong Jik of Seoul University, “I was sold by my foster father.”
      Yet she testified before UN Special Rapporteur Radhika Coomaraswamy that she was abducted by the Japanese military.
      Quotes from“Comfort Women Articles by Scholars”
      http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.jp/?

      I have reposted here my comment to article on June 19. I’m sorry to anyone bothered.

    • MOMO1333

      June 29, 2017 at 11:27 pm

      +Je,
      There are many survivors still present in Vietnam. They were trafficked, raped brutally by Korean soldiers.

      If you don’t apology these atrocities, this makes Korea ignorant and irresponsible. Koreans are showing no sign of apology and this is the example of that.

      If you feel sorry about atrocities in Vietnam and Korean War, you should install “Sex slave of Vietnam War” statue on the side of “Comfort women” statue.

  22. son k

    June 27, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    did korean apologized?
    Former President of Korea is a daughter of high rank army officer of imperial Japanese army stationed in CHAINA.

  23. Blue Bear Bernie

    June 27, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    ONLY IF Japan truthfully faces their atrocities against humanity BEFORE and during WWII. Their acts were same if not worse than what NAZI did.

    Japanese cannot make this erase from the history and from our people.

    What would you do if your mother, sisters, and daughters forced to perform sex to all these Japanese soldiers? That is what happened!

    I am seeing few people including some state representatives talking about losing business… it makes me sick!

    • MOMO1333

      June 29, 2017 at 10:38 pm

      +Blue Bear Bernie
      ONLY IF Korea truthfully faces their atrocities against humanity BEFORE(Korean War) and during Vietnam War. Their acts were same if not worse than what JAPAN did.

      Korea cannot make this erase from the history and from out people.

      What would you do if your mother, sisters, and daughters forced to perform sex to all these Korean soldiers? This is what happened!

      To make matters worse, “Lai Dai Han” are still suffering in Vietram today.

  24. Tamio Kido

    June 28, 2017 at 2:24 am

    UNITED STATES OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION said a “comfort girl” is nothing more than a prostitute or “professional camp follower” attached to the Japanese Army for the benefit of the soldiers.
    They were able to buy cloth, shoes, cigarettes, and cosmetics to supplement the many gifts
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Japanese_Prisoner_of_War_Interrogation_Report_49

  25. Jason

    June 28, 2017 at 3:16 am

    I really feel sorry for the girls, however, the word,”slave”is not true, and most of prostitutes were sold or deceived by korean by themselves. and ,yes korean build these statues for the diplomatic matter. if not, why they create them in front of Japan embassy in both Busan and Saoul? Why not they make statues for Vietnamese girls?

  26. son k

    June 28, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Koreans also need to learn history.
    During World War II, Koreans were Japanese.
    Koreans are also involved in the Nanjing massacre.

  27. Isa

    June 28, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    You can refer to the Yoko’s music on “Comfort women song”from 2013/10/14. All discussions here include such as “No.49 Document”,”Kopino”,”Lai Dai Han” ,”Monkey House”,”Yan Kon Shu”,even Overseas prostitutes, too.

    [Comfort Women Song]

  28. Truth Seeker

    June 29, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Apparently even the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China is weighing in here via 6/28 press conference:

    Q: The Japanese consul general based in Atlanta reportedly claimed that there was no evidence that the Japanese military sexually enslaved women during World War II, and he also argued that the women were rather paid prostitutes. The spokesperson of the ROK Foreign Ministry said that they will take necessary steps after verifying the report. What is China’s comment on that?

    A: I have also noted the report. The international community should be alarmed at the remarks made by the Japanese government official. It reveals once again that some people in Japan are still reluctant to face the history, and even try to deny and distort the history.

    We all know that the forced recruitment of comfort women is a grave crime against humanity committed in the victimized Asian countries by the Japanese militarism during WWII. Ironclad evidence brooks no denial. We have told the Japanese side with all seriousness that Japan will never be able to unload the heavy burden of history if it refuses to face up to and reflect upon the history. We once again urge the Japanese side to take the history as a mirror, face squarely the international community’s concerns and deal with relevant issues in a responsible attitude.

    – Lu Kang, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/t1473905.shtml

  29. Kook ja Lee

    June 29, 2017 at 9:10 am

    This is not politics or diplomatic matter it’s” Human rights “13 14 and older girls that could ME and your sister and yor mom.
    there are some survivors still present how mr.shinozuke said “paid prostitutes” it’s make more mad
    These kind of crime should be remembered not to be repeat human history all over the world .we need peaceful girl in the park for peacefully

    • MOMO1333

      June 29, 2017 at 10:56 pm

      +Kook ja Lee
      If you say this is “Human right” matter, how about more statue of peaceful Vietnamese girl you killed and raped brutally during Vietnam War.

      These king of Korean crimes in Vietnam should be rememberd not to be repeat human history all over the world.

      • Kyoko A.

        July 2, 2017 at 10:15 pm

        MOMO who ever you are. Then if you want that. STOP BEING LAZY AND CREATE A MEMORIAL for those Vietnamese girls! By the way before commenting, actually proofread your comments because you misspelled “remembered”. It is not “rememberd”…. if only you knew English properly… Define “king”, I think I’m completely misunderstanding what you are saying, so elaborate more on that.

  30. RcKl

    June 29, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Try to think if you would find an inscription regarding Gaza victims. Then you will understand why Japanese oppose the “comfort women” statue in Brookhaven.

    ….

    Imagine if you found the plaque in Brookhaven regarding the Gaza victims with a statue of a 5 years old girl, one of the victims. Some people or countries would oppose it because it is the factual controversial matter that has nothing to do with Brookhaven.

    Due to the same reason, the “comfort women” statue invited many claims.

    Though you might not know it, the factual controversy about the “comfort women” is not yet resolved as shown in my previous posts.

    Its truth deserves to be examined by each of people with their own heads. Hope you examine multiple perspectives and interpret what actually happened by yourself.

    .
    //// Try to think if you would find the inscription below. ////

    STATUE OF PEACE

    In memory of the history of suffering endured by the young children and women who were killed or wounded by the intentional indiscriminate attack against citizens by the military of the government of Israel in the Israel–Gaza conflict, 2014.

    We hope for the restoration of honour for the victims through an official apology and legal reparations by the Israel government and that such violence and crimes against humanity by war never be repeated in the future.

    ////////////////////////////////////////