Condom used by Japanese soldiers against Comfort Women

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 09 Nov 2006 09:23

history1 wrote:PS.: I don´t speak japanese nor chinese but maybe you can explain what is the matter of this site?
That site is about Japanized WW2 militaria in Otaku style.

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Post by tonyh » 09 Nov 2006 11:48

Kim Sung wrote: The Japanese always insist that Koreans and Chinese have nothing more than just survivors' accounts. Even the current prime minister Abe Shinzo remarked "Comfort women are fabricated by Koreans and Chinese."

From the state of the preservation, the condom in the initial post is obviously the one used by the Japanese.
You'll have to substaniate this with some proof Sung. I understand you don't like the Japanese, but that still doesn't give you carte Blanch to write such statements, off the cuff.

Also, I have to agree with Penn44 here. The posting of an issued condom doesn't actually prove anything and you'll find few people here who will say that the Japanese didn't engage in the use of comfort women.

So...what exactly are you trying to achieve with this thread?


Tony

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 09 Nov 2006 13:23

This link mentions another brand name---Totsugeki Ichiban

http://www.dpg.devry.edu/~akim/sck/ss2.htm

Protest against a Condom Manufacturer

Women's action groups, such as Osaka Women against Sexual Assault, women
teachers' unions, and the Group Considering the Korean Military Comfort
Women Issue, have formed a coalition linking the issue of comfort women
with sexual violence, postcolonial exploitation by Japanese
corporations, and racism in our everyday lives. As a symbolic action
they have undertaken actions against the Okamoto Rubber Manufacturing
Company, the biggest condom maker in Japan. This company recently
produced condoms with two names on the packages: "Rubber Man" and
"Attack Champion" (Totsugeki Ichiban). The condom called Attack Champion
suggests that the man's most important duty is to "charge" or "attack"
enemies. In a sexual context this term is highly provocative, closely
associated with collective rapes and pornographic cartoons such as Reipu
man (Rape man).(34) The Japanese Imperial Army officially provided
Japanese soldiers with the original condom called Attack Champion to use
in brothels during World War II to protect the soldiers from venereal
diseases. It is obvious that this reissued name is reminiscent of the
comfort women and sex industries of earlier days.

The Okamoto Manufacturing Company monopolized the condom business during
Word War II under the name Kokusai Rubber Company. During the present
AIDS epidemic era, this company has expanded, building factories in
Malaysia with the help of Japanese official development assistance
money. Raw materials have been imported into Japan from the Asian
countries the Japanese Imperial Army invaded, and the company's products
have been sold in Asia as well as in the United States to help family
planning, good contraception, and protection from AIDS. All this shows
us how human-rights-violating sexism and racism are being perpetuated in
the capitalist and postcolonial era.

Women's action groups have demanded that this company conduct research
on its own company's past actions, take responsibility for its actions,
publicly apologize for them, educate employees about human rights,
acknowledge its part in the systematic rape of Asian women during World
War II, and denounce violence against women. Also, these groups demand
that each condom box have a label stating that "every sexual intercourse
without the women's consent is a rape."

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 09 Nov 2006 13:33

Sexual hygiene and the Japanese Army:

http://www.icahdq.org/divisions/feminis ... tPaper.htm
Moreover, the main supply of the Imperial Army relates an intriguing case in which during the course of the Asia pacific war, a Japanese paymaster first Lieutenant was dispatched to the International Rubber Industries in Japan, the forerunner of condom producers, in order to direct the production of condoms for the Army (Yoshimi, 2000, p. 61). Simultaneously, the facts that solders were strictly required to use a condom when they had sexual intercourse with comfort women and that it was compulsory for operators of comfort stations to track down the number of condoms used by soldiers (p. 138) provide us with instances that stress the Japanese preoccupation with military hygiene and the centrality of medical control in the management of the comfort women system.

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Post by Kim Sung » 09 Nov 2006 14:41

tonyh wrote:You'll have to substaniate this with some proof Sung. I understand you don't like the Japanese, but that still doesn't give you carte Blanch to write such statements, off the cuff.
I always try to keep the balance. I don't hate the Japanese. I'm just saying about their war crimes.

tonyh wrote:Also, I have to agree with Penn44 here. The posting of an issued condom doesn't actually prove anything and you'll find few people here who will say that the Japanese didn't engage in the use of comfort women.
You got me wrong. In the long debates on Japanese war crimes, we couldn't give any decisive evidence. The Japanese always attack Koreans and Chinese, saying that we have no evidence except survivors' account.

They insist that all former comfort women were either paid workers or actresses employed by the Korean government and the Chinese government, meaning that Korea and China fabricated the whole story. They believe all brothels were constructed by two governments to blame the innocent Japanese.

In relation to the Nanjing massacre, they insist that photos given as evidences were actually fabricated by Chinese actors and actresses.

A considerable number of Japanese people insist that Japan didn't invade any country. They insist Japan couldn't help but to fight against China because China sent its troops first in 1894 and they started Russo-Japanese War because they had to protect fellow Asians from greedy Russians. So Russia was an invader and Japan was a protector.

Japanese politicians like prime minister Abe or Tokyo governor Ishihara Shintaro think that Japan didn't commit any war crimes at all. They insists Japan was just a victim, not an invader and that all atrocity claims from China and Korea are just propaganda.

I don't think all Japanes people share this view. There are a few good men. But I mean most of them share this view and they don't believe the Japanese government was engaged in the dirty business. .

tonyh wrote:So...what exactly are you trying to achieve with this thread?

Tony
Korea and China have experienced a lot of difficulties in proving Japanese war crimes due to lack of evidences because they left no decisive evidence at all. They don't give credibility to survivors' accounts because they believe survivors are lying or exaggerating their experiences. In regard to the Japanese war crimes, this is the second time we have found an evidence of Japanese war crimes. This is a very important discovery. For 61 years, we've found just two evidences of Japanese war crimes.

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Post by tonyh » 09 Nov 2006 15:59

Japanese politicians like prime minister Abe or Tokyo governor Ishihara Shintaro think that Japan didn't commit any war crimes at all.

...A considerable number of Japanese people insist that Japan didn't invade any country.
Again...prove this Sung.

Off the cuff remarks like this are no good and wouldn't be tolerated against any other nation.

Tony

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 09 Nov 2006 16:18

tonyh wrote:Again...prove this Sung.

Off the cuff remarks like this are no good and wouldn't be tolerated against any other nation.

Tony
What do you mean? I said the fact as it is. Have you ever searched for what Abe and Ishihara said?

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Post by Kim Sung » 09 Nov 2006 16:23

Ghosts of Wartime Japan Haunt Koizumi's Cabinet

Commentary, Christopher Reed,

New America Media, Nov 03, 2005

TOKYO -- Ghosts of World War II haunt the Japanese political scene as neo-nationalist causes and personalities promoted by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi recall disturbing memories of racism and fascism. Such spectral appearances may be fleeting but unmistakable.

They were evident in Koizumi's recent new cabinet appointments. His chauvinistic, right-wing bias seems to demonstrate an indifference to Asian -- and world -- protests raised over his October prayer visit to the ultra-patriotic Yasukuni war shrine here.

Koizumi's choice of Taro Aso as foreign minister also brusquely dismisses continuing concerns in China and the two Koreas over the refusal of Japan, unlike Germany, to confront honestly its legacy of imperial aggression towards its neighbors. Aso, another worshipper at Yasukuni, where convicted war criminals are honored, openly advocates the mystical racist superiority theory of Japan that propelled its 1931-45 militaristic adventures.

In a formal speech on October 15, opening a national museum in Kyushu, Aso proclaimed Japan as "one nation, one civilization, one language, one culture, and one race, the like of which there is no other on this earth." This echoed a 1986 statement by a previous right-wing premier, Yasuhiro Nakasone, that caused uproar, and of which Aso, 65, must have been aware.

Aso's supremacist speech ignored the aboriginal inhabitants of the Japanese islands, the Ainu, who now live cooped up in the northern island of Hokkaido in deprived misery. It also ignored the different origins of Okinawa's people. And, anthropologists have noted, the Japanese themselves come from three different Asian strains.

Aso is one of three contenders expected to succeed Koizumi next year. Another is Shinzo Abe, now made chief cabinet secretary of the conservative ruling Liberal Democratic party. Abe, 51, is a forceful conservative, a Yasukuni devotee and defender of old Japan -- in which his grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, was a convicted wartime criminal and a postwar prime minister.

Abe has defended Japan in the scandal of "comfort women," a cruel euphemism for an estimated 200,000 Asian women, and some Dutch, coerced into what Amnesty International calls "sexual slavery" for Imperial army soldiers during Japan's 14 years of Asian conquests.

Japan has never fully acknowledged its responsibilities in such sex slavery. In 2001 when the national broadcast network NHK made a television documentary about the comfort women, Abe, then deputy cabinet secretary, pressured the producers to tone it down.

Koizumi's cabinet appointments came in the immediate aftermath of a devastating Amnesty report, "Still Waiting After 60 Years: Justice for Survivors of Japan's Military Sexual Slavery System," that condemned Japan's failure to compensate the prostituted women, many of them now in their late 70s or 80s. The Japanese media have ignored the October 28 report.

There are more examples of Japan's obstinacy in refusing to acknowledge its wartime aggression, its evasion of any honest in recalling its cruelties and its failure to educate its young about that history.

A persistent example is Yasukuni and the status of the 14 war criminals who were convicted at the International War Crimes Tribunal in 1948 but only enshrined at the site on October 17, 1978. Koizumi chose the 27th anniversary of that date for his recent, fifth, Yasukuni visit.

There are two issues here, neither of which have been widely reported. One is that the 14 are not just reverently remembered, as in western war memorials, but they are also sanctified and actively worshipped under the Shinto religion as "kami" (divine spirits).

Second is who they actually are. One is wartime premier Hideki Tojo, responsible for authorizing all sorts of brutality and mayhem, including anatomical experiments on POWs.

Two others are the "butchers of Nanking," General Iwane Matsui and his chief of staff Akira Mutou, who allowed their army to massacre at least 370,000 Chinese men, women and children, in six weeks in the then- Chinese capital in 1937-8. Existing documents and photographs record the rampage, which included the bayoneting of babies.

Another name sanctified at Yasukuni is Kenji Doihara, who helped concoct the Mukden (or Manchurian) Incident, in which the 1931 bombing of a Japanese railroad line became Tokyo's excuse to invade Manchuria. The event has been likened to the burning of the Reichstag in Germany. Later Doihara, as Major General of the Japanese air force, gave formal approval for the Pearl Harbor attack.

It is significant that of Koizumi's cabinet, no less than six, including himself, are sons or grandsons of senior politicians active during the wartime period or immediately thereafter.

The Japanese people have been poorly educated in their nation's former militarism, but Koizumi's cabinet and the premier himself have no such excuse.

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Post by Kim Sung » 09 Nov 2006 16:32

Ishihara Shintaro is one of the most popular politicians in japan.
Tokyo governor Ishihara says war kept Asia safe from `white people'

AP , TOKYO

Monday, Oct 04, 2004,Page 5

Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara is a gracious host, settling comfortably into a white leather chair and patiently listening to a question from a visitor. Then he opens his mouth, launching into a tirade.

China is "very dangerous," he thunders. Japan's critics are "just jeal-ous." Tokyo's bloody 1930s and 1940s campaigns saved Asia from colonization by "white people."

At 72, Japan's best-known nationalist politician says he's too old to pursue the prime ministership that pundits have predicted he would capture.

But in a recent interview, the co-author of 1989's The Japan That Can Say No still growls the convictions that have made him perhaps Japan's most divisive and popular political figure.

"I'd say I'm a realist," Ishihara said at Tokyo's towering City Hall. "Everyone misunderstands, though."

Even without gaining the premiership, Ishihara is far more influential than his position suggests. He leads one of the world's largest cities, with a population of 12.5 million people and an economy bigger than Canada's.

Ishihara, who gained fame as a bad-boy novelist in the 1950s, has grown more popular with time. First elected Tokyo governor in 1999, he stomped his way to re-election last year with more than 70 percent of the vote.

At the same time, Ishihara is widely vilified here and abroad for his blunt nationalist talk, criticism of immigrants and unapologetic praise of Japan's militarist past.

Outspoken in his pro-military views, he accuses China of threatening Japanese security with its territorial claims against tiny islands held by Japan.

"We should properly rebuild the military," Ishihara said. ``We don't need nuclear weapons, and even saying we should discuss that possibility would create misunderstanding. But we should protect our airspace and territorial wa-ters. We can't allow China take what they are trying to take."

Ishihara, who called for greater Japanese independence from the US in his 1989 book, has campaigned strenuously for returning to Japan's control the Yokota Air Base, now run by the US Air Force. He railed against Japan's willingness to go along with Washington, alleging Japan's Foreign Ministry was a "branch office" of the US State Department.

"Japan is a vassal of the United States," Ishihara said. "Pretty soon it will be a slave."

Riling others across Asia, Ishihara insists that Tokyo need not apologize for its bloody wartime invasions of neighbors, and argues that Japan did Asia a favor by delivering it from Western imperialism.

"If Japanese hadn't fought the white people, we would still be slaves of the white people. It would be colonization," he said.

While such blunt talk embarrasses some Japanese, supporters say Ishihara is saying out loud what many believe, but hesitate to say.

"Among Japanese leaders, Shintaro Ishihara is a rare politician who has a clear will, talks about it and is convincing," Kazuya Fukuda, a Keio University professor, wrote in a recent book about Ishihara.

Still, Ishihara's popularity in Tokyo is also based on parochial concerns. At his initiative, for example, Tokyo and three neighboring areas won high grades from voters last year by banning older diesel-powered vehicles to reduce pervasive air pollution.

Tokyoites angered by a massive public bailout to help banks overcome bad debt also cheered his attempt to slap a new tax on the banks. His move was struck down in the courts, but was later put into the national tax code.

He fans fears that illegal immigrants are behind a surge in crime and promising to deal swiftly with threats to public security.

Ishihara's government is cracking down on public school teachers who refuse to stand for the rising sun flag and national anthem because these symbols are associated with wartime militarism.

Such views on immigration and patriotism show the dark side of his popularity, said Jin Igarashi, a Hosei University professor.

"He's used the fears and frustrations of the masses to carry out antidemocratic nationalist policies and make nationalistic remarks," Igarashi said. "He's a modern fascist."

Ishihara brushes off such criticism, declaring: "I'm no fascist."

Whatever his appeal, it's unlikely Ishihara will ever be prime minister. He failed in an attempt to take control of the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party in 1989, and his decision to run for re-election last year was taken as a sign he had scaled back his ambitions.

"I'm not young. Yesterday or the day before I pushed myself a little hard when I went diving and I almost died! That never used to happen," he said. "Younger people have to come to the fore now."

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Post by Kim Sung » 09 Nov 2006 16:39

Foreign Minister Aso Taro is a pillar of the Japanese right wing.
Foreign Minister Taro Aso's dirty secret

Japan howls about 70 North Korea abductions, not sorry about its one million Korean slaves

By CHRISTOPHER REED
CounterPunch Exclusive

Japan's "top priority" in new talks with North Korea (opened Saturday, February 4) in Beijing, was the case of 15 of its citizens abducted to Pyongyang between 1977 and 1983. But absent from Tokyo's agenda was another unresolved disgrace: decades of enforced removal to Japan for work-slavery of a million Koreans -- including 12,000 laborers compelled to work under grotesque conditions in coal mines owned by a firm still run by the family of Japan's foreign minister, Taro Aso.

The kidnappings of Japanese men and women to teach their language at North Korean spy schools could eventually total 70, it is suspected. The outrage, constantly covered by the Japanese media, continues to upset people and is an international scandal by any standards. The older, but incomparably worse mistreatment of Koreans over three decades, is hardly mentioned in Japan, and the foreign minister's connection remains taboo. Yet in other countries such an episode would be regarded as intolerable in such an important government official.

The Korean pit workers were systematically underpaid, overworked, underfed and confined in penury. They suffered chronic ill-health, frequent death from insanitary conditions or work accidents, were under 24-hour watch by brutal secret police, yet still managed to escape out of desperation. Only with Japan's 1945 defeat in war were they finally released, to be sent home uncompensated. Neither they nor their surviving families have since received a penny in personal reparations, despite pleas from both Koreas.

Aso cannot argue that a generation separates him from such family odium, for he shares Japan's national lack of atonement for the brutalities and atrocities committed against Asian people during its imperial war of aggression from 1931-45. Even in his remarks before becoming foreign minister last October and since, he displays unfeeling insensitivity to Korean feelings -- as well as expressing unabashed racial supremacy. (Last year in a remark echoing 1930s fascism, Aso described Japan as "one nation, one civilization, one language, one culture, and one race, the like of which there is no other on this earth.")

He ran the Aso Cement Company, as the former Aso Coal Mines was then called, in Fukuoka prefecture in the southern island of Kyushu from 1973-79, when he entered politics. During that time never addressed its terrible corporate legacy of peonage labor. He remains connected to the company today. In 2001 it entered a joint venture with the French cement manufacturer, Lefarge, but remains under the management of his younger brother, Yutaka Aso. Only last December, the French ambassador in Tokyo presented Yutaka with the Legion d'Honneur at a ceremony where honored guests were foreign minister Taro Aso and his wife.

It seemed a fitting tribute to a family steeped in the finest traditions of Japan's recent history. Aso prominence goes back to his great-great grandfather, Toshimichi Okubo, a samurai and one of five powerful nobles who led the 1868 overthrow of the centuries-old shogunate era that ushered in modern times. His great grandfather Takakichi founded the Aso mining firm in 1872 and at one time it owned eight pits in Kyushu's rich Chikuho coal fields and was the biggest of three family corporations mining an area that produced half of Japan's coal.

As the scion of landed gentry, Aso graduated from the university that traditionally educates the imperial family, spent time in London at its university, joined what was then Aso Industries, and quickly became a director before moving to the top. Completing the aristocratic tradition, he was part of the Japanese rifle shooting team in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Following his samurai ancestor, a grandfather was Shigeru Yoshida, prime minister of Japan five times between 1946 and 1954, and an autocratic conservative who, conveniently for the Aso family, conducted a 1950s purge of "reds" in the coal mining unions. Taro Aso's wife adds to the family's power luster as the daughter of Zenko Suzuki, Liberal Democratic Party (conservative) prime minister from 1980-82. There is even a royal link. Aso's sister Nobuko married Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, the emperor's cousin, who recently hit the headlines over his opposition to the proposal -- for an imperial family starved of male heirs -- to allow a woman to occupy the chrysanthemum throne. Tomohito suggested continuing the male line through concubines, an imperial tradition that would move Japan back several centuries.

Despite the fine lineage, it does not seem to have turned Aso into a gentleman. He not only ignores his company's history, but has insulted the Korean people who sacrificed so much for his family's fortune.

By force of arms, Japan annexed the entire peninsula in 1910 and ran it as a colonial property for 35 years, with the people serving as inferior citizens and servants of their imperial masters. In 1939 as Tokyo's grip tightened in the escalating war, its parliament passed a law forcing Koreans to adopt Japanese names, penalizing those and their children who declined to do so. Yet not long before he became foreign minister, Aso referred to these forced name changes as "voluntary" and further suggested that the Republic of Korea's people had fared better under Tokyo's iron heel.

Perhaps Aso's attitude derives from having at the family's disposal thousands of servile Koreans for so many years. The exact history of this time is not officially recorded -- certainly not in the Aso-Lafarge version, where the years from the 1930s to 1950s are blank. But three local amateur historians in the Fukuoka prefecture of Kyushu, Eidai Hayashi, Takashi Ohno, and Noriaki Fukudome, assisted by a Korean living in Japan, Kim Guan-yul, have put together the relevant facts and figures to present a shocking picture, much of it recorded in their various books.

Although Tokyo did not pass until 1939 the National General Mobilization law that forced all colonial subjects, including those in Taiwan and Manchuria in China, to work wherever it suited Japan, the historians found that well before that year, Korean laborers were being shipped to Aso mines in Kyushu. Precise numbers are unknown, but it was several thousands, especially after a famous strike of 400 miners at an Aso mine in 1932. In the years after 1939, the historians calculate, the numbers in the Chikuho region swelled to over a million -- their figure is 1,120,000 -- although Tokyo's official government number is only 724,287. The miners' task was to descend into difficult seams to dig coal shipped exclusively for military use.

They were paid a third less than equivalent Japanese laborers. For the Koreans it amounted to about 50 yen a month, but less than 10 yen after mandatory confiscations for food, clothes, housing and enforced savings for unmarried workers. Young single men were thus fined to prevent them joining the large numbers that frequently escaped, but even then, the "savings" often remained unpaid and just missing from their pockets. All workers toiled underground for 15-hour days, seven days a week, with no holidays at all.

Their "housing" was cramped and dirty dormitory huts with six to seven tiny rooms in each, and single men living and sleeping on one tatami mat, measuring three by six feet. There was no heating and no running water. Lavatories were in earthen pits. A nine-foot high wooden fence topped with electrified barbed wire ringed the outside. So they were prisoners, scrutinized by their keepers, the hated kempei-tai secret "thought" police who terrorized both Japan and its colonies during the fascist period.

But the kempei-tai did keep statistics, which the three historians obtained. They found that in March of 1944, Aso mines had a total of 7,996 Korean laborers of whom 56 had recently died, and a staggering 4,919 had escaped. Across the province of Fukuoka, the total fugitives amounted to 51.3 per cent but at Aso Mines it was 61.5 per cent because conditions there were "even worse", said Fukudome.

Most workers suffered malnutrition, as they received only a handful of rice a month supplemented by inferior cereals. No meat was provided, for what is a more carnivorous people than the Japanese, who to this day prefer fish.

What of the dead? In the Chikuho region, where the last Aso mine closed in the late 1960s, the Hoko Buddhist temple still stands. Here a lonely priest tends hundreds of nameless graves where the remains of the dead Koreans lie. Elsewhere hundreds more resting places are mostly unmarked, according to the historians.

But this is Confucian country, where the remains of ancestors is a deeply important matter. It is here that international relations have intervened. In 2004 the Seoul parliament voted unanimously, with one exception, to form the Truth Commission on Forced Mobilization Under Japanese Imperialism, headed by its chairman, Dr Jeon Ki-ho, and composed of eight others, including two government ministers. It began inquiries early last year and toured 234 cities in 16 Korean provinces to find survivors or their families, conducted hearings, and took evidence from many witnesses. Dr Jeon also visited Japan to investigate and clarify what he boldly called its "atrocities".

In what at first appeared to be a political master stroke, the Koreans also reported that they had compiled a list of 2,600 Japanese companies that exploited forced Korean labor, and would have knowledge of the remains of those who died. One firm prominently on the list was Aso Mines, but the company has declined to answer the request. A spokesman says only that the firm could not investigate the whereabouts of the remains, adding in what may have been an accidental truth, that "even if we could", the records were not available. "There were dozens of mining companies in Kyushu at the time and all used forced labor," said spokesman Akira Fujimoto.

The commission, which is also investigating the scandal of "comfort women", the insulting euphemism that describes thousands of Asian women forced into sex slavery to service the imperial warriors of Japan's army, has yet to issue its promised report. So far Japanese media have almost entirely ignored its proceedings.

A major argument of those seeking redress from a shamefully reluctant Japan, is that while it has made numerous "apologies" of varying sincerity, none amounts to proper atonement. And atonement includes financial compensation of which, it is estimated, Japan has paid one per cent of Germany's disbursements.

One example of a glib apology came from Taro Aso himself in December last year, on the 40th anniversary of normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and South Korea. He said: "Japan seriously takes to heart the sentiments of South Korean people involving the past and will sincerely deal with various issues originating from the past from a humanitarian standpoint. We believe that in the process of making such efforts, mutual understanding and a relationship of trust for building a future-oriented Japan-South Korea relationship will be reinforced."

Note that this does not contain the all-important word "apology" and of course there is no mention of atonement or anything on the vital issue of reparations. Here, the argument Japan uses constantly is that the normalization treaty signed in 1965 agreed on what was to be paid -- a paltry $800m, but this was mainly for grants and low interest loans. Nothing went to personal payments for injury or harm suffered. Perhaps most important, in 1965 much knowledge about the extent of Japanese atrocities was still unknown. Two examples: Neither its biological warfare attacks in China through its notorious Unit 731, nor the vast army of "comfort women" were public information then.

Meanwhile, the world is left with Japan's foreign minister and his "sincere dealings" over his nation's unresolved war crimes. From his record there can be little expectation he will help to clear the shame. He eagerly supports the Yasukuni war shrine visits in Tokyo that have caused severe disruptions to its foreign relations with China and the Koreas, in particular, since prime minister Junichiro Koizumi made his fifth trip there last October. Just the other day, Aso made this worse by urging the emperor to visit, something the imperial household has sensibly avoided since the 1970s.

What makes nonsense of claims by Aso and Koizumi is that they are just paying their respects to war dead, like a US president intoning a prayer at Arlington national cemetery. However, Yasukuni shrine is shinto, so the souls of its 14 class A war criminals enshrined there are regarded as "kami", which means gods. One is wartime premier General Hideki Tojo, who approved Unit 731 among other crimes, and another the general in charge at the Rape of Nanking, where in 1937 Japanese soldiers hideously butchered over 300,000 mainly civilian Chinese in a seven-week bestial rampage.

In the Beijing "normalization" talks with Japan, the People's Democratic Republic of Korea may well raise the question of the enforced laborers, while the Japanese emphasize the abductions. Just two days before the talks began, its media identified a North Korean kidnapper wanted for extradition. The war of propaganda continued.

But for any semblance of what is normal in our modern world -- in a nation like Germany for instance -- surely there are minimum requirements? Would not one of these be a foreign minister with hands clean of vile associations with a war atrocity, especially one so dangerously close to another kind of abduction, but on a mass scale?

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Post by tonyh » 09 Nov 2006 20:29

Kim Sung wrote:
Ghosts of Wartime Japan Haunt Koizumi's Cabinet

Commentary, Christopher Reed,

New America Media, Nov 03, 2005

TOKYO -- Ghosts of World War II haunt the Japanese political scene as neo-nationalist causes and personalities promoted by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi recall disturbing memories of racism and fascism. Such spectral appearances may be fleeting but unmistakable.

They were evident in Koizumi's recent new cabinet appointments. His chauvinistic, right-wing bias seems to demonstrate an indifference to Asian -- and world -- protests raised over his October prayer visit to the ultra-patriotic Yasukuni war shrine here.

Koizumi's choice of Taro Aso as foreign minister also brusquely dismisses continuing concerns in China and the two Koreas over the refusal of Japan, unlike Germany, to confront honestly its legacy of imperial aggression towards its neighbors. Aso, another worshipper at Yasukuni, where convicted war criminals are honored, openly advocates the mystical racist superiority theory of Japan that propelled its 1931-45 militaristic adventures.

In a formal speech on October 15, opening a national museum in Kyushu, Aso proclaimed Japan as "one nation, one civilization, one language, one culture, and one race, the like of which there is no other on this earth." This echoed a 1986 statement by a previous right-wing premier, Yasuhiro Nakasone, that caused uproar, and of which Aso, 65, must have been aware.

Aso's supremacist speech ignored the aboriginal inhabitants of the Japanese islands, the Ainu, who now live cooped up in the northern island of Hokkaido in deprived misery. It also ignored the different origins of Okinawa's people. And, anthropologists have noted, the Japanese themselves come from three different Asian strains.

Aso is one of three contenders expected to succeed Koizumi next year. Another is Shinzo Abe, now made chief cabinet secretary of the conservative ruling Liberal Democratic party. Abe, 51, is a forceful conservative, a Yasukuni devotee and defender of old Japan -- in which his grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, was a convicted wartime criminal and a postwar prime minister.

Abe has defended Japan in the scandal of "comfort women," a cruel euphemism for an estimated 200,000 Asian women, and some Dutch, coerced into what Amnesty International calls "sexual slavery" for Imperial army soldiers during Japan's 14 years of Asian conquests.

Japan has never fully acknowledged its responsibilities in such sex slavery. In 2001 when the national broadcast network NHK made a television documentary about the comfort women, Abe, then deputy cabinet secretary, pressured the producers to tone it down.

Koizumi's cabinet appointments came in the immediate aftermath of a devastating Amnesty report, "Still Waiting After 60 Years: Justice for Survivors of Japan's Military Sexual Slavery System," that condemned Japan's failure to compensate the prostituted women, many of them now in their late 70s or 80s. The Japanese media have ignored the October 28 report.

There are more examples of Japan's obstinacy in refusing to acknowledge its wartime aggression, its evasion of any honest in recalling its cruelties and its failure to educate its young about that history.

A persistent example is Yasukuni and the status of the 14 war criminals who were convicted at the International War Crimes Tribunal in 1948 but only enshrined at the site on October 17, 1978. Koizumi chose the 27th anniversary of that date for his recent, fifth, Yasukuni visit.

There are two issues here, neither of which have been widely reported. One is that the 14 are not just reverently remembered, as in western war memorials, but they are also sanctified and actively worshipped under the Shinto religion as "kami" (divine spirits).

Second is who they actually are. One is wartime premier Hideki Tojo, responsible for authorizing all sorts of brutality and mayhem, including anatomical experiments on POWs.

Two others are the "butchers of Nanking," General Iwane Matsui and his chief of staff Akira Mutou, who allowed their army to massacre at least 370,000 Chinese men, women and children, in six weeks in the then- Chinese capital in 1937-8. Existing documents and photographs record the rampage, which included the bayoneting of babies.

Another name sanctified at Yasukuni is Kenji Doihara, who helped concoct the Mukden (or Manchurian) Incident, in which the 1931 bombing of a Japanese railroad line became Tokyo's excuse to invade Manchuria. The event has been likened to the burning of the Reichstag in Germany. Later Doihara, as Major General of the Japanese air force, gave formal approval for the Pearl Harbor attack.

It is significant that of Koizumi's cabinet, no less than six, including himself, are sons or grandsons of senior politicians active during the wartime period or immediately thereafter.

The Japanese people have been poorly educated in their nation's former militarism, but Koizumi's cabinet and the premier himself have no such excuse.

Well, this isn't bad at "proving" your point. But it's still a long way from YOUR particular quotes on the matter.

Nowhere does Abe or anyone else say that "... Japan didn't commit any war crimes at all." as you suggest.

Also, Christopher Reed (whomever he is) seems to have a particular take on the Japanese himself. His commentary on the Yasukuni shrine is slanted to say the least. "Aso, another worshipper at Yasukuni, where convicted war criminals are honored..." isn't really the full story of the Yasukuni shrine, not by a long shot and neglect's purposefully to mention that the shrine is for ALL of Japan's war dead. And his "Aso's supremacist speech ignored the aboriginal inhabitants of the Japanese islands, the Ainu, who now live cooped up in the northern island of Hokkaido in deprived misery." is extremely funny coming from an American writer. I wonder if Reed has any comments on American history and the treatment of the former inhabitants of that Nation.

In fact, his whole article leaves a lot to be desired.

And, I've said it before and I'll say it again...NO country on this planet has the right to force Japan to say anything
or teach its people anything it doesn't want to, especially China, America or Britain. And, we've also talked on this matter before..maybe Korea has some things in ITS past that need to be faced too.

That Japanese politicians should be more open about their country's past is correct, but that goes for every Nation...including the ones that use WWII as a beating stick on the Japanese.


Tony
Last edited by tonyh on 09 Nov 2006 20:39, edited 1 time in total.

tonyh
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Post by tonyh » 09 Nov 2006 20:31

Kim Sung wrote:Ishihara Shintaro is one of the most popular politicians in japan.
Tokyo governor Ishihara says war kept Asia safe from `white people'

AP , TOKYO

Monday, Oct 04, 2004,Page 5

Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara is a gracious host, settling comfortably into a white leather chair and patiently listening to a question from a visitor. Then he opens his mouth, launching into a tirade.

China is "very dangerous," he thunders. Japan's critics are "just jeal-ous." Tokyo's bloody 1930s and 1940s campaigns saved Asia from colonization by "white people."

At 72, Japan's best-known nationalist politician says he's too old to pursue the prime ministership that pundits have predicted he would capture.

But in a recent interview, the co-author of 1989's The Japan That Can Say No still growls the convictions that have made him perhaps Japan's most divisive and popular political figure.

"I'd say I'm a realist," Ishihara said at Tokyo's towering City Hall. "Everyone misunderstands, though."

Even without gaining the premiership, Ishihara is far more influential than his position suggests. He leads one of the world's largest cities, with a population of 12.5 million people and an economy bigger than Canada's.

Ishihara, who gained fame as a bad-boy novelist in the 1950s, has grown more popular with time. First elected Tokyo governor in 1999, he stomped his way to re-election last year with more than 70 percent of the vote.

At the same time, Ishihara is widely vilified here and abroad for his blunt nationalist talk, criticism of immigrants and unapologetic praise of Japan's militarist past.

Outspoken in his pro-military views, he accuses China of threatening Japanese security with its territorial claims against tiny islands held by Japan.

"We should properly rebuild the military," Ishihara said. ``We don't need nuclear weapons, and even saying we should discuss that possibility would create misunderstanding. But we should protect our airspace and territorial wa-ters. We can't allow China take what they are trying to take."

Ishihara, who called for greater Japanese independence from the US in his 1989 book, has campaigned strenuously for returning to Japan's control the Yokota Air Base, now run by the US Air Force. He railed against Japan's willingness to go along with Washington, alleging Japan's Foreign Ministry was a "branch office" of the US State Department.

"Japan is a vassal of the United States," Ishihara said. "Pretty soon it will be a slave."

Riling others across Asia, Ishihara insists that Tokyo need not apologize for its bloody wartime invasions of neighbors, and argues that Japan did Asia a favor by delivering it from Western imperialism.

"If Japanese hadn't fought the white people, we would still be slaves of the white people. It would be colonization," he said.

While such blunt talk embarrasses some Japanese, supporters say Ishihara is saying out loud what many believe, but hesitate to say.

"Among Japanese leaders, Shintaro Ishihara is a rare politician who has a clear will, talks about it and is convincing," Kazuya Fukuda, a Keio University professor, wrote in a recent book about Ishihara.

Still, Ishihara's popularity in Tokyo is also based on parochial concerns. At his initiative, for example, Tokyo and three neighboring areas won high grades from voters last year by banning older diesel-powered vehicles to reduce pervasive air pollution.

Tokyoites angered by a massive public bailout to help banks overcome bad debt also cheered his attempt to slap a new tax on the banks. His move was struck down in the courts, but was later put into the national tax code.

He fans fears that illegal immigrants are behind a surge in crime and promising to deal swiftly with threats to public security.

Ishihara's government is cracking down on public school teachers who refuse to stand for the rising sun flag and national anthem because these symbols are associated with wartime militarism.

Such views on immigration and patriotism show the dark side of his popularity, said Jin Igarashi, a Hosei University professor.

"He's used the fears and frustrations of the masses to carry out antidemocratic nationalist policies and make nationalistic remarks," Igarashi said. "He's a modern fascist."

Ishihara brushes off such criticism, declaring: "I'm no fascist."

Whatever his appeal, it's unlikely Ishihara will ever be prime minister. He failed in an attempt to take control of the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party in 1989, and his decision to run for re-election last year was taken as a sign he had scaled back his ambitions.

"I'm not young. Yesterday or the day before I pushed myself a little hard when I went diving and I almost died! That never used to happen," he said. "Younger people have to come to the fore now."
This article doesn't doanything at all for your argument Sung.

Tony

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Post by tonyh » 09 Nov 2006 20:37

Kim Sung wrote:Foreign Minister Aso Taro is a pillar of the Japanese right wing.
Foreign Minister Taro Aso's dirty secret

Japan howls about 70 North Korea abductions, not sorry about its one million Korean slaves

By CHRISTOPHER REED
CounterPunch Exclusive

Japan's "top priority" in new talks with North Korea (opened Saturday, February 4) in Beijing, was the case of 15 of its citizens abducted to Pyongyang between 1977 and 1983. But absent from Tokyo's agenda was another unresolved disgrace: decades of enforced removal to Japan for work-slavery of a million Koreans -- including 12,000 laborers compelled to work under grotesque conditions in coal mines owned by a firm still run by the family of Japan's foreign minister, Taro Aso.

The kidnappings of Japanese men and women to teach their language at North Korean spy schools could eventually total 70, it is suspected. The outrage, constantly covered by the Japanese media, continues to upset people and is an international scandal by any standards. The older, but incomparably worse mistreatment of Koreans over three decades, is hardly mentioned in Japan, and the foreign minister's connection remains taboo. Yet in other countries such an episode would be regarded as intolerable in such an important government official.

The Korean pit workers were systematically underpaid, overworked, underfed and confined in penury. They suffered chronic ill-health, frequent death from insanitary conditions or work accidents, were under 24-hour watch by brutal secret police, yet still managed to escape out of desperation. Only with Japan's 1945 defeat in war were they finally released, to be sent home uncompensated. Neither they nor their surviving families have since received a penny in personal reparations, despite pleas from both Koreas.

Aso cannot argue that a generation separates him from such family odium, for he shares Japan's national lack of atonement for the brutalities and atrocities committed against Asian people during its imperial war of aggression from 1931-45. Even in his remarks before becoming foreign minister last October and since, he displays unfeeling insensitivity to Korean feelings -- as well as expressing unabashed racial supremacy. (Last year in a remark echoing 1930s fascism, Aso described Japan as "one nation, one civilization, one language, one culture, and one race, the like of which there is no other on this earth.")

He ran the Aso Cement Company, as the former Aso Coal Mines was then called, in Fukuoka prefecture in the southern island of Kyushu from 1973-79, when he entered politics. During that time never addressed its terrible corporate legacy of peonage labor. He remains connected to the company today. In 2001 it entered a joint venture with the French cement manufacturer, Lefarge, but remains under the management of his younger brother, Yutaka Aso. Only last December, the French ambassador in Tokyo presented Yutaka with the Legion d'Honneur at a ceremony where honored guests were foreign minister Taro Aso and his wife.

It seemed a fitting tribute to a family steeped in the finest traditions of Japan's recent history. Aso prominence goes back to his great-great grandfather, Toshimichi Okubo, a samurai and one of five powerful nobles who led the 1868 overthrow of the centuries-old shogunate era that ushered in modern times. His great grandfather Takakichi founded the Aso mining firm in 1872 and at one time it owned eight pits in Kyushu's rich Chikuho coal fields and was the biggest of three family corporations mining an area that produced half of Japan's coal.

As the scion of landed gentry, Aso graduated from the university that traditionally educates the imperial family, spent time in London at its university, joined what was then Aso Industries, and quickly became a director before moving to the top. Completing the aristocratic tradition, he was part of the Japanese rifle shooting team in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Following his samurai ancestor, a grandfather was Shigeru Yoshida, prime minister of Japan five times between 1946 and 1954, and an autocratic conservative who, conveniently for the Aso family, conducted a 1950s purge of "reds" in the coal mining unions. Taro Aso's wife adds to the family's power luster as the daughter of Zenko Suzuki, Liberal Democratic Party (conservative) prime minister from 1980-82. There is even a royal link. Aso's sister Nobuko married Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, the emperor's cousin, who recently hit the headlines over his opposition to the proposal -- for an imperial family starved of male heirs -- to allow a woman to occupy the chrysanthemum throne. Tomohito suggested continuing the male line through concubines, an imperial tradition that would move Japan back several centuries.

Despite the fine lineage, it does not seem to have turned Aso into a gentleman. He not only ignores his company's history, but has insulted the Korean people who sacrificed so much for his family's fortune.

By force of arms, Japan annexed the entire peninsula in 1910 and ran it as a colonial property for 35 years, with the people serving as inferior citizens and servants of their imperial masters. In 1939 as Tokyo's grip tightened in the escalating war, its parliament passed a law forcing Koreans to adopt Japanese names, penalizing those and their children who declined to do so. Yet not long before he became foreign minister, Aso referred to these forced name changes as "voluntary" and further suggested that the Republic of Korea's people had fared better under Tokyo's iron heel.

Perhaps Aso's attitude derives from having at the family's disposal thousands of servile Koreans for so many years. The exact history of this time is not officially recorded -- certainly not in the Aso-Lafarge version, where the years from the 1930s to 1950s are blank. But three local amateur historians in the Fukuoka prefecture of Kyushu, Eidai Hayashi, Takashi Ohno, and Noriaki Fukudome, assisted by a Korean living in Japan, Kim Guan-yul, have put together the relevant facts and figures to present a shocking picture, much of it recorded in their various books.

Although Tokyo did not pass until 1939 the National General Mobilization law that forced all colonial subjects, including those in Taiwan and Manchuria in China, to work wherever it suited Japan, the historians found that well before that year, Korean laborers were being shipped to Aso mines in Kyushu. Precise numbers are unknown, but it was several thousands, especially after a famous strike of 400 miners at an Aso mine in 1932. In the years after 1939, the historians calculate, the numbers in the Chikuho region swelled to over a million -- their figure is 1,120,000 -- although Tokyo's official government number is only 724,287. The miners' task was to descend into difficult seams to dig coal shipped exclusively for military use.

They were paid a third less than equivalent Japanese laborers. For the Koreans it amounted to about 50 yen a month, but less than 10 yen after mandatory confiscations for food, clothes, housing and enforced savings for unmarried workers. Young single men were thus fined to prevent them joining the large numbers that frequently escaped, but even then, the "savings" often remained unpaid and just missing from their pockets. All workers toiled underground for 15-hour days, seven days a week, with no holidays at all.

Their "housing" was cramped and dirty dormitory huts with six to seven tiny rooms in each, and single men living and sleeping on one tatami mat, measuring three by six feet. There was no heating and no running water. Lavatories were in earthen pits. A nine-foot high wooden fence topped with electrified barbed wire ringed the outside. So they were prisoners, scrutinized by their keepers, the hated kempei-tai secret "thought" police who terrorized both Japan and its colonies during the fascist period.

But the kempei-tai did keep statistics, which the three historians obtained. They found that in March of 1944, Aso mines had a total of 7,996 Korean laborers of whom 56 had recently died, and a staggering 4,919 had escaped. Across the province of Fukuoka, the total fugitives amounted to 51.3 per cent but at Aso Mines it was 61.5 per cent because conditions there were "even worse", said Fukudome.

Most workers suffered malnutrition, as they received only a handful of rice a month supplemented by inferior cereals. No meat was provided, for what is a more carnivorous people than the Japanese, who to this day prefer fish.

What of the dead? In the Chikuho region, where the last Aso mine closed in the late 1960s, the Hoko Buddhist temple still stands. Here a lonely priest tends hundreds of nameless graves where the remains of the dead Koreans lie. Elsewhere hundreds more resting places are mostly unmarked, according to the historians.

But this is Confucian country, where the remains of ancestors is a deeply important matter. It is here that international relations have intervened. In 2004 the Seoul parliament voted unanimously, with one exception, to form the Truth Commission on Forced Mobilization Under Japanese Imperialism, headed by its chairman, Dr Jeon Ki-ho, and composed of eight others, including two government ministers. It began inquiries early last year and toured 234 cities in 16 Korean provinces to find survivors or their families, conducted hearings, and took evidence from many witnesses. Dr Jeon also visited Japan to investigate and clarify what he boldly called its "atrocities".

In what at first appeared to be a political master stroke, the Koreans also reported that they had compiled a list of 2,600 Japanese companies that exploited forced Korean labor, and would have knowledge of the remains of those who died. One firm prominently on the list was Aso Mines, but the company has declined to answer the request. A spokesman says only that the firm could not investigate the whereabouts of the remains, adding in what may have been an accidental truth, that "even if we could", the records were not available. "There were dozens of mining companies in Kyushu at the time and all used forced labor," said spokesman Akira Fujimoto.

The commission, which is also investigating the scandal of "comfort women", the insulting euphemism that describes thousands of Asian women forced into sex slavery to service the imperial warriors of Japan's army, has yet to issue its promised report. So far Japanese media have almost entirely ignored its proceedings.

A major argument of those seeking redress from a shamefully reluctant Japan, is that while it has made numerous "apologies" of varying sincerity, none amounts to proper atonement. And atonement includes financial compensation of which, it is estimated, Japan has paid one per cent of Germany's disbursements.

One example of a glib apology came from Taro Aso himself in December last year, on the 40th anniversary of normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and South Korea. He said: "Japan seriously takes to heart the sentiments of South Korean people involving the past and will sincerely deal with various issues originating from the past from a humanitarian standpoint. We believe that in the process of making such efforts, mutual understanding and a relationship of trust for building a future-oriented Japan-South Korea relationship will be reinforced."

Note that this does not contain the all-important word "apology" and of course there is no mention of atonement or anything on the vital issue of reparations. Here, the argument Japan uses constantly is that the normalization treaty signed in 1965 agreed on what was to be paid -- a paltry $800m, but this was mainly for grants and low interest loans. Nothing went to personal payments for injury or harm suffered. Perhaps most important, in 1965 much knowledge about the extent of Japanese atrocities was still unknown. Two examples: Neither its biological warfare attacks in China through its notorious Unit 731, nor the vast army of "comfort women" were public information then.

Meanwhile, the world is left with Japan's foreign minister and his "sincere dealings" over his nation's unresolved war crimes. From his record there can be little expectation he will help to clear the shame. He eagerly supports the Yasukuni war shrine visits in Tokyo that have caused severe disruptions to its foreign relations with China and the Koreas, in particular, since prime minister Junichiro Koizumi made his fifth trip there last October. Just the other day, Aso made this worse by urging the emperor to visit, something the imperial household has sensibly avoided since the 1970s.

What makes nonsense of claims by Aso and Koizumi is that they are just paying their respects to war dead, like a US president intoning a prayer at Arlington national cemetery. However, Yasukuni shrine is shinto, so the souls of its 14 class A war criminals enshrined there are regarded as "kami", which means gods. One is wartime premier General Hideki Tojo, who approved Unit 731 among other crimes, and another the general in charge at the Rape of Nanking, where in 1937 Japanese soldiers hideously butchered over 300,000 mainly civilian Chinese in a seven-week bestial rampage.

In the Beijing "normalization" talks with Japan, the People's Democratic Republic of Korea may well raise the question of the enforced laborers, while the Japanese emphasize the abductions. Just two days before the talks began, its media identified a North Korean kidnapper wanted for extradition. The war of propaganda continued.

But for any semblance of what is normal in our modern world -- in a nation like Germany for instance -- surely there are minimum requirements? Would not one of these be a foreign minister with hands clean of vile associations with a war atrocity, especially one so dangerously close to another kind of abduction, but on a mass scale?
I'll read this one when I get the time...

Tony

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Post by Penn44 » 10 Nov 2006 21:54

This thread appears to have drifted significantly away from the original contention that photo showed a used condom employed by a Japanese soldier in a liasion with a comfort women.

Given that this thread has drifted into a discussion of right-wing Japanese denial of alleged Japanesed crimes against comfort women, a legitimate topic in its own right, perhaps this thread should be split into a separate thread devoted to that issue.

Penn44

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Post by David Thompson » 10 Nov 2006 22:27

Thanks for the suggestion, Penn44, but the drift was occasioned by tonyh's challenge to Kim Sung at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 318#977318 :
Japanese politicians like prime minister Abe or Tokyo governor Ishihara Shintaro think that Japan didn't commit any war crimes at all.

...A considerable number of Japanese people insist that Japan didn't invade any country.

Again...prove this Sung.
We already have several open threads on modern Japanese attitudes to Japanese war crimes in WWII, so I'll leave this material here.

If anyone has any further sourced information on the topic of "Comfort Women" not already covered in the various other open H&WC "Comfort Women" threads, please post it. Otherwise, we can move on. The other "Comfort Women" threads can be seen at:

U.S. House Takes Japan to Task Over Comfort Women
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=107989
Japan's Comfort Women (and US Comfort Women)
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=102556
Japan's Crimes Against Women
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=37660
The Story Of The Comfort Women
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=52431
Comfort Women Brothel - Torn Down Or Protected?
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=52429

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