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Friday, May 25, 2012

Japan Requests U.S. Remove Comfort Woman Memorial

I recently read a story about how two teams of Japanese officials (no mention was made as to what or who they officially represented) travelled to New York City to ask government officials (again, no idea what department) to remove a plaque remembering Korean comfort women used by the Japanese military during WWII.

Situated outside a public library in Palisades Park (Hey! Isn't Palisades Park in New Jersey?!), the team of Japanese complainers stopped by twice this May to see about getting the 2010 memorial removed, for which Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife assumes is because it embarrasses Japan.

Japan should be embarrassed by this.

Yes, it should be embarrassed about its role in the heinous crime against women, but it should be equally as embarrassed that it should request that the memorial be removed.

Look... I know that statistically-speaking there may not be many of the victims or rapists still alive. But it was a horrible, horrible crime. A crime against humanity.

Canada, New Zealand and Australia utilize the term 'Lest We Forget' when we acknowledge the veteran soldiers who participated in wars to protect the rights of innocents. That's what we do.

Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them.

The brass plaque on a stone block 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. 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."

It was dedicated on October 23, 2010 there in Town of Palisades Park in the County of Bergen, New Jersey.

Yes... the stupid article I first read, did indeed get the State incorrect.  It is New Jersey!

Obviously, the Japanese attempt to stifle this expression of memorial was deemed distasteful to all non-Japanese involved.

Palisades Park, which has about 20,000 residents, has over half its residents being of Korean descent.

Back in December of 2011, the contentious comfort woman discussion was brought back into the arena after a bronze statue honoring the victims was erected in Seoul, South Korea.

The real contentious part was the decision to erect it across the street from the Japanese embassy there.


The statue of a seated teenaged Korean comfort girl has upset Japan, and says the statue contravenes  Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on the dignity of foreign missions.

Of course, South Korea does not call the statue a comfort woman memorial... it's officially called a Peace Memorial. It's a beautiful, sad piece of art.

The comfort memorial, I mean Peace Memorial in Seoul, South Korea.
 Now... at least since the issue of comfort women arose back in 1991, Japan has tried to make amends, as they have formally apologized, expressed remorse and responsibility and even offered to set up a Cdn/US $1-billion (~¥79,643,790,000) fund for the victims.

But Korea - or rather some Koreans - say that those actions just aren't good enough.

Apparently because the monies for the fund would be coming from the private sector, the surviving victims say 'no thanks' and want the Japanese government to foot the bill.

The main problem presented by Japan is that according to the 1965 treaties, Japan says it should be exempt from having to pay individual compensation for the stupid stuff it did while in its colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula between 1910 - 1945. As such, it also includes the issues of the Comfort Women even though it did not come to light until many years later.

You know what? While I know these women and their families suffered terribly, take the damn private money and spend it - while there is still time left to possibly enjoy it! Who really cares where the money is coming from! Take it and spend it on yourself, family, friends, charity - whatever. Why hold it up? It's been 67+ years! I'm not saying to forget - and maybe you don't even need to forgive - but please, don't let someone else's evil stop you from enjoying life! How does holding out hoping for money from the Government of Japan actually change the fact that these poor women were uses as sex slaves? Screw principle! Do something nice with the money! For others, if not yourself!

Sure... maybe it's not about the money. It's about punishing the Government of Japan. No problem... I see that, too. But that government is long since past. It's not even about the sins of the father any more... it's the sins of the grandfather.

Besides... do you really think Japan has an extra $1-billion lying around? I think not! The damn country is nearly broke!

Take the money! Turn an evil into something good.

So... my diatribe is over.

Korean Comfort Women
Back on May 1, 2012, according to a more reputable report I read, the first Japanese delegation to Palisades Park was led by the consul general Hiroki Shigeyuki (surname first) who acted nicely and presented his case as to why he was there.

On May 6, 2012, a second group arrived led by four members of the Japanese Parliament, who, let's just say, weren't all that nice. Group #2 were members of Japan's official opposition part, the Liberal Democratic Party.

While trying to convince the Palisades Park officials that the monument should be removed, these four idiots set a new bar for idiocy. They tried to convince the Americans that the comfort women were not forced to become sex slaves.

Oh my Buddah. Are you kidding me?

Palisades Park mayor James Rotundo says: “They said the comfort women were a lie, that they were set up by an outside agency, that they were women who were paid to come and take care of the troops.”

Continuing his report of the meeting, the mayor notes, “I said, ‘We’re not going to take it down, but thanks for coming.’”

Okay... after hearing about this, maybe Japan should make the Liberal Democratic Party contribute the $1-billion in reparations. Idiots.

Maybe they would feel differently if the rest of the world had no pity for the atomic bomb victims? Or tell them to suck it up, it wasn't that hot.

Japan, you have no right to ask anyone to remove anything in another country. The same with Seoul's cheeky memorial statue across the street from the embassy in South Korea. I guess they are still pissed off at you. 

Suck it up and move on. Hey... couldn't the private sector donate $1-billion to the gov't and then they could give it to the victims... but do it under the table?

I know, I know... no matter how dirty the secret, it will come out.

Files compiled by Andrew Joseph


  1. I can't help but feel horrified while reading your article. Japanese government is already shameful enough by still not having made any excuses about what happened. But they're denying it so much they asking to remove commemorative plaques? That's just horrible. I'm feeling sad for the Japanese people to be governed by this type of people. Thank you for your article.

    1. Horrified is a description I would use when I discovered this, too. I think the people who wanted the plaque removed feel (incorrectly) that by dwelling in the past they will be unable to move forward. The Japanese gov't screwed up in the early part of the 20th century. Big time. But... NOT all of Japan wants these plaques removed, and I can tell you that most are aghast at the behavior of these public officials who tried to have it taken down. I can see how Japanese people would be horrified by the reminder(s) of Japanese atrocities. But, you know what? Japanese needs to really own up to it, apologize, and move on. Germany has done that. The death camps et al... holy crap... they know they screwed up... and do not deny their role. Japan... it's still hiding.
      Thank you for writing.

  2. Its US-S.Korea joint harrassment.
    False Accusations of Comfort Women