20,00,00 WOMEN AND GIRLS ABDUCTED BY JAPAN 1930-1940


Wartime sex slaves were necessary: Japanese mayor




TOKYO: An outspoken nationalist mayor said the Japanese military's forced prostitution of Asian women before and during World War II was necessary to "maintain discipline" in the ranks and provide rest for soldiers who risked their lives in battle.
The comments made on Monday are already raising ire in neighbouring countries that bore the brunt of Japan's wartime aggression and that have long complained that Japan has failed to fully atone for wartime atrocities.
Toru Hashimoto, the young, brash mayor of Osaka who is also co-leader of an emerging conservative political party, also told reporters that there wasn't clear evidence that the Japanese military coerced women to become what are euphemistically called "comfort women."

 
"To maintain discipline in the military, it must have been necessary at that time," said Hashimoto. "For soldiers who risked their lives in circumstances where bullets are flying around like rain and wind, if you want them to get some rest, a comfort women system was necessary. That's clear to anyone."
Historians say up to 200,000 women, mainly from the Korean Peninsula and China, were forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers in military brothels.
In Seoul, the foreign ministry expressed disappointment over what it called a senior Japanese official's serious lack of historical understanding and respect for women's rights. It asked Japan's leadership figures to look back on their country's imperial past, including grave human rights violations that were committed, and correct their anachronistic historical views.
Hashimoto's comments come amid mounting criticism at the prospect of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's conservative government revising Japan's past apologies for wartime atrocities. Before he took office in December, Abe had advocated revising a 1993 statement by then-Prime Minister Yohei Kono acknowledging and expressing remorse for the suffering caused to the sexual slaves of Japanese troops.
 
Abe has acknowledged "comfort women" existed but has denied they were coerced into prostitution, citing a lack of official evidence.
Recently, top officials in Abe's government have appeared to backpedal on suggestions the government might revise past apologies, apparently to calm tensions with South Korea and China and address U.S. concerns about Abe's nationalist agenda.
 
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga repeated the previous government position and said that those women went through unbearable pain.
"The stance of the Japanese government on the comfort women issue is well known. They have suffered unspeakably painful experiences. The Abe Cabinet has the same sentiments as past Cabinets."
 
Education minister Hakubun Shimomura said Hashimoto's remark doesn't help as Japan has faced criticism from its neighboring countries and the US over its interpretation of history.
 
"A series of remarks related to our interpretation of (wartime) history have been already misunderstood. In that sense, Mr. Hashimoto's remark came at a bad time," Shimomura told reporters. "I wonder if there is any positive meaning to intentionally make such remarks at this particular moment."
 
Hashimoto, 43, is co-head of the newly formed Japan Restoration Party with former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, who is a strident nationalist.
 


Sakihito Ozawa, the party's parliamentary affairs chairman, said he believed Hashimoto's remarks reflected his personal view but expressed concerns about repercussions.
"We should ask his real intentions and stop this at some point," he said.

A large group of civilians with young children and various belongingsComfort women and other civilians wait with their belongings to embark for Japan in Borneo, 1945. The Japanese sent comfort women to brothels throughout the Pacific against their will. While there, these women were subject to appalling conditions. [AWM P02919.039] ... Enlarge photo of civilians

 


House seeks Japan's apology on "comfort women"

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Former South Korean comfort women (front row), who served the Japanese military during World War Two, shout slogans with members of civic groups during an anti-Japan rally in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul July 25, 2007. The banner reads, ''Wednesday's demonstration to solve the Japanese military comfort women issue''. The House of Representatives on Monday called on Japan to apologize for forcing thousands of women into sexual servitude to its soldiers during and before World War II. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

WASHINGTON | Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:30pm EDT
(Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday called on Japan to apologize for forcing thousands of women into sexual servitude to its soldiers during and before World War II.




Japanese soldiers, 1945.
Japanese soldiers, 1945.
Image: AP Photo




Exhibition featuring comfort women opens in Taipei
  • Publication Date:08/04/2009
A photo exhibition featuring portraits of comfort women and their artworks opens at Datong Police Precinct in Taipei City Aug. 3. The term comfort women is a euphemism for women who worked in military brothels or were forced into prostitution by the Japanese military during World War II. (CNA)

Japanese Officials Lobby Palisades Park, New Jersey to Remove Memorial for WWII ‘Comfort Women’


(Photo: Steve Chong/Voices of NY)
Japanese consular and political officials have lobbied and visited authorities in the New Jersey town of Palisades Park in an unsuccessful effort to have a memorial to sex slaves– many of them Korean– raped by Japanese soldiers during World War II, removed.
The New York Times reports that officials at the Japanese consulate in New York began e-mailing Palisades Park city leaders last month to request a meeting.
“I called the secretary and said, ‘What is this about?’ And she said, ‘It’s about Japanese- U.S. relations,’” Palisades Park mayor James Rotundo told the Times.
A delegation led by consul general Shigeyuki Hiroki then visited the town of 19,422 on the other side of the Hudson River from Manhattan, a town where more than half the population is of Korean descent.
The Japanese, said Rotundo, wanted a brass plaque on a block of stone, dedicated in 2010 to the sex slaves, removed. It reads:
“In memory of the more than 200,000 women and girls who were abducted by the armed forces of the government of Imperial Japan, 1930s- 1945. Known as ‘comfort women,’ they endured human rights violations that no peoples should leave unrecognized. Let us never forget the horrors of crimes against humanity.”
Korean "comfort women" protest before Japanese embassy
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Photo:<!--###IMAGE_BRIEF###-->
Protestors of the Republic of Korea (ROK), including a few "comfort women" who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese troops during WWII, gathered in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Wednesday, or June 27, urging the Japanese government to face history squarely and handle the "comfort women" issue properly.

Photo:<!--###IMAGE_BRIEF###-->
Protestors of the Republic of Korea (ROK), including a few "comfort women" who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese troops during WWII, gathered in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Wednesday, or June 27, urging the Japanese government to face history squarely and handle the "comfort women" issue properly.