On or about November 10, 2012, the Committee for Historical Facts ran an ad entitled “Yes, We Remember the Facts” in the Sunday edition of the Star Ledger, a daily based in Palisades Park, New Jersey. Its purpose was to mislead the Americans by denying that their government forced Asian women to serve as sex slaves for the Japanese imperial army during World War II. The group was led by Yoshiko Sakurai, an ultra right-wing journalist known for her nationalistic views. Japan’s main opposition was the Liberal Democratic Party, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, and 39 independent lawmakers who were also reportedly involved in publishing the ad. The Japanese group’s ad on the sensitive issue came as Japanese leaders, such as former prime minister Shinzo Abe, refused to formally acknowledge and accept Japan’s responsibility for sexually enslaving some 200,000 Asian women during the war, many of whom were of Korean nationality. The ad argued that comfort women ? a euphemism used to describe the victims of Japan’s wartime military sex slavery ring ? were paid prostitutes: “Prostitutes exist everywhere. They were paid even more than some generals. South Korea cannot insist they were sex slaves. It is just damaging the Japanese army.”
“Let’s Look at Some of the Facts” of the atrocities caused by the Japanese Imperial Army under the command of Honorable Emperor Hirohito and the Japanese Government during World War II. Japan’s militants, as well as, their sympathizers of Nationalists and Right Wingers have inflicted tremendous harm to all Asians, Europeans, and Americans in their Asia Pacific colonies. Incidents of horror include, but are not limited to, The Surprise Attack of Pearl harbor; The Battle of Manila; The Battle of Iwo Jima; The Massacre of Nanking; Thailand Death Railroad; Unit 731, a medical unit of the Japanese army that researched biological warfare by experimenting upon Chinese civilians and POWs, in gross violation of Hague Conventions; and forcing “Comfort Woman” in Korea and other Asian countries via involuntary servitude (slavery). In addition, many U.S. veterans who fought in the Pacific Island theater have witnessed the brutalities of the Japanese army and have profound debilitating memories of these experiences in and of themselves. In addition, this can be extremely harrowing for those who survived Japanese POW camps and other incidents such as the Death March of Bataan in the Philippines in May 1942, where more than 20,000 of the 75,000 member of the U.S. Army in POW camps perished; a death rate 14 times higher than in a Nazi POW Camp.
Near the end of the WWII, many of the “Comfort Women” perished in the battlefield, either killed by allied bombings, by Japanese Imperial Army, or by their own suicide. Some of the fortunate ones that survived returned to Korea and Taiwan (Japan took over and annexed both Taiwan and Korea respectively on 1895 and 1910). Most of them had STDs and never married, too ashamed to tell anyone. Some later committed suicide. Only a few of them filed lawsuit in Tokyo, Japan, but was either unsuccessful or ignored. As of 2002, most of the surviving comfort women are now in their 70’s or early 80’s. We all suspect that the Japanese government hopes that when their victims die, any memories of the atrocity will dissipate.
What the Emperor of Japan and their Government should do to win respect from the international community and trust from its neighbors: 1.) Face up to its past deeds and correct its own behavior; 2.) restore and unerase the facts about the whole history of the Second World War from all of its textbooks, that would include forcing Comfort Women and all its other atrocities in WW2; 3.) respect Korea’s sovereignty rights of the Dokdo Islands; and 4.) respect China’s sovereignty rights of the Diaoyu Islands.
History: 1939-1945- Kuniaki Koiso, Japanese Governor-General of Korea, implemented a draft of Koreans for wartime labor under The National Mobilization Law. During World War II, about 450,000 Korean male laborers were involuntarily sent to Japan. Comfort women, who served in Japanese military brothels as a form of sexual slavery, came from all over the Japanese empire. They numbered somewhere up to 200,000 and included an unknown number of Koreans, Chinese from Taiwan, Filipinas, Indonesians, etc. Comfort women were often recruited from rural locales with the promise of factory employment; business records, often from sub-contractees of Japanese companies or local corroborators of the Japanese Imperial Army, showing them falsely classified as nurses or secretaries. There is evidence that the Japanese government intentionally destroyed official records regarding these comfort women.
Special Thanks and in memory of Iris Chang, Chinese American writer and author of The Rape of Nanking.
Related Article: The U.S. Should Correct the Errors in Handling Diaoyu Islands.
www.JusticeForAsianAmerican.org: This site takes no collective position on the politics of any foreign country, but instead focuses and provides educational and informational resources involving Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).
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