Confused? You will be. Unless you aren't. You'll just have to see how you feel at the end of it all, and then you can always go back and change your mind.
During WWII, Japan utilized comfort women - forced women from China, Korea, one Dutch woman and others into brothel work to provide sexual services to its officers, as I suppose to help keep up morale and syphilis.
These women were NOT asked to provide services and then paid for said services.
No… they were forcibly removed from their homes and forced to become sex slaves.
They were. If they weren't paid, and they were kept around to provide sex for Japanese officers, they were sex slaves.
Of course, some Japanese say that - like the holocaust (take your pick of which one, Jewish, Armenian, etc.) - never existed.
That's just stupid. Of course it existed.
The fact that when it comes to Japan's so-called Comfort Women - a term that I am sure was coined to lessen the painful sting felt by the survivors or to protect those (Japan, I am looking at you) who participated in such barbarous activities with the civilian population, or any population or that matter.
Between the years 1932 -1945, according to Amnesty International, the Japanese Imperial Army enslaved between 80,000 and 200,000 women and girls. These people were mostly obtained through abduction or deception and, in some cases, purchased from destitute parents.
Abduction is bad. Deception… that was what happened when some women were lured with the promise of work in factories or restaurants.
Purchased? I am sure the parents are promised that their daughter(s) will be well look after… but really, that was just how one buys a sex slave.
1932 - 1945… in those early years, Japan was already invading China and Korea… its attack on the USA via Pearl Harbor , was to get the U.S. crippled enough so it wouldn't stop Japan's continued attacks into other Asian countries… with the plan that it might soon eventually India - birthplace of Buddhism, a Japanese tradition.
So - which was it? 80,000 or 200,000? That's a difference of 120,000 women (I said women, not people because I'm arguing here in this paragraph as though I am a Japanese history revisionist). A difference that big is like say then that - (Minus) 40,000 to 80,000 women could have been comfort women! Minus 40,000!
If we are in the Minus, then there were no Comfort Women! History needs to be revised.
Now the Japanese aren't using that minus analogy I came up with, but while the VAST majority of Japanese wish that people would just shut the eff up about that whole WWII thing (we suffered with two cities getting vaporized, plus we lost more people than that during the Tokyo air raids a bit earlier)… but, there are still a few brave souls would would talk about Japan and its sometimes shameful role during the war, and then there are a a few more loudmouths who would harass and defame anyone who dares to speak up about Japan's dark past - smearing them and worse… almost coming out and stating that at no time did Japan ever employ such a thing as Comfort Women.
Now… Japanese men even now in 2015, do tend to screw around on their wife - they might have a mistress… they might just mess around at various clubs… I don't have a number for this, because dammit, even though the wife might know, NO ONE is talking about it.
It's shameful, but at least in the modern era, everyone knows, everyone is taken care of, and no one is being forced to do anything they don't want to do(mostly).
Comfort Women… they held their private secret for decades… never discussing it…
Here's what I love about revisionists, and in this case Japanese revisionists… they say there are NO OFFICIAL RECORDS OF JAPAN ORGANIZING AND PARTICIPATING IN THE SERVICES OF COMFORT WOMEN OR BROTHELS.
That's not their words, but that is what they are saying.
No Official Records - so how can anyone prove that the Japanese did something as terrible as set up brothels containing Comfort Women stolen from elsewhere.
WHY on Earth would anyone keep such records - especially when the Japanese were afforded quite a lot of time between the time they had the crap bombed out of Nagasaki, and the time they surrendered… I would be burning every single document I could get my hands on to avoid the specter of possible war crimes.
If I was caught doing something naughty, I would try and destroy all evidence of it. 99.9% of the time, one can do that… but there's always that 0.01% that still exists.
In this case, the damning evidence against Japan and its WWII forced sex slave brothels, was the brave accounts from the women who survived their time as a Comfort Woman.
Recently, a Japanese journalist named Uemura Takashi (surname first) has filed a lawsuit, charging defamation of his character against a publisher and a scholar who said that he made up the stories about Japan forcing women into the sex slavery racket.
That's Uemura in the photo above. Photo by Sasahara Koji (surname first) and The Associated Press.
Uemura says he has only ever written two stories on the topic - one for the Ashahi Shimbun (Asahi Newspaper) back in 1991, which he says was based on information from a South Korean woman named Kim Hak-soon (surname first) who says she was a Comfort Woman.
This story was the first ever published story from a woman who says she was used by the Japanese military.
Ever since then, Uemura says he has been criticized by historical revisionists who say that everything he wrote was bullcrap… that it was based on non-facts, discounting the testimonial from the woman.
Last year (2014), a magazine article was published by Bungeishunju Ltd., and Nishioka Tsutomu (surname first), a Tokyo Christian University professor of Korean studies.
Uemura, launched his lawsuit against them, saying that the revisionist's article has caused harassment and threats to himself, his family and to the university where he teaches.
He wants the Bungeishunju article removed from the Internet, an apology published in the magazine, and Y16.5 million yen ($138,700) in compensation for damage in defamation and the threats.
“Some people want to intimidate me by attacking me and my former employer, the Asahi,” Uemura says at a news conference in Tokyo. “But I’m not a fabrication journalist, and I will continue to prove that.”
Uemura adds that these tips of attacks are part of a current trend where revisionists try to shut up anyone who is exposing or talking about “the dark side of Japanese history — its wartime actions that they want to hide.”
In rebuttal, the Bungeishunju magazine says it has “full confidence in the article,” while so-called revisionist Nishioka believes that HIS article was “within the freedom of speech.”
And there in lies the problem.
In today's society - in free society - people are allowed to say what they want as long as it is not a 'hate crime' - you can't say "I hate Nazis because they are all stupid and I want to kill them all" for example, because, that is a hate crime. You can hate them, you can think they are stupid and may even want to kill them, but you can't broadcast those thoughts to others.
I certainly don't believe the Nazis were stupid. Just as they think I am misguided in many of my views, so to do I think that they are/were, too … but that marketing plan the Nazis had to take over a country, to re-organize a country, to make them all ('real' Germans - not those half-blood Muggles, I mean Jews) feel superior was brilliant manipulation of emotions and facts - sorry, Jews, Gypsies and Homosexuals and others politicos who got in the way. I didn't say it was morally right.
It's this type of logic which allows Charlie Hebdo to publish is satire… that allows Stephen Cobert et al to make fun of the world and its politics… that also allows people like Nishioka and the Bungeishunju to publish whatever they want to publish.
I'm not saying that everyone is correct in what their opinions stand for, but to those with an opinion, it is always correct.
You can believe that getting a flu shot is wonderful and will stop you from getting sick. That is your opinion and you and your opinion are always correct. Others may believe you are wrong. That is their opinion, and as such, their opinion is correct.
The trick is to looking at the real evidence and determining the truth of the actual matter, regardless of what one's opinions are.
My buddy Mike Rogers, who writes the effervescent blog Marketing Japan, often says some inflammatory things because he feels they need to be said and that he is right.
I respect his right to say these things even if I do not share them.
Unfortunately, many people do not share this moral view, which is why people enjoy murdering each other in war in the name of God, Religion, Country, Sex, Skin Color, Race or whatever the fug you can imagine someone hating you for.
Now… back to Uemura and his problems.
The recent sh!t storm for him really hit the fan when the Ashai Shimbun admitted back in August 2014 that some stories written in the 1980s and 1990s that it published, had quotes from a WWII labor official that now appear to made up… specifically quotes made about 'forcing Korean women to provide sex to soldiers during the war. '
The Asahi also said that earlier stories, including Uemura’s, erroneously mixed up “comfort women” with those who worked in other capacities.
Uemura says he did not write stories quoting the labor official - Yoshida Seiji (surname first). In his 1991 Asahi article, he said the South Korean woman he interviewed had been deceived to become a “comfort woman,” a common euphemism for the victims.
So… I suppose that the Bungeishunju publication and Nishioka took that Asahi admission of screw up to heart… and felt that Uemura's claims must be bullcrap, too.
As such, the whole debacle has caused much internal debate in Japan.
Back in 1991-93, there was a Japanese Government investigation that eventually concluded that many women WERE recruited against their will. It led to a a landmark (for Japan) apology… something that still rankles many Japanese because they don't believe it to be true.
Again, this investigation diode not find any proof in any OFFICIAL documents that the whole Comfort Woman thing involved forced sex… no proof of FORCED… so therefore they were NOT corrected.
That's right… these women must have wanted to become sex slaves to the Japanese military, because…. oh screw it… I can't do a joke… it's laughable for the wrong reason.
Anyhow, the deal is this… I think Japan does admit that there were women who were considered Comfort Women… it's just that does not really believe that all of those women were COERCED via trickery... and because of that, Japan was NOT AS EVIL as people think it was.
That is actually true… some were purchased. They weren't all abducted or tricked. Of course, purchasing a human being is pretty damn distasteful... and of course, all around the world, human trafficking still goes on.
Back in 2014, Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo (the guy still in charge - surname first) mentioned to Parliament that the recent report that it had published some articles with false statements in them regarding Comfort Women had hurt Japan's global image. Of course, in my opinion (which is always correct as far as I am concerned) Abe is an idiot.
Yeah, yeah… Japan's Comfort Women…you can deny it happened the way it happened and what actually happened all you want, but evidence to the contrary exists.
You can have your opinion, but you can't deny the evidence already confirmed.
Photo caption and credit
Koji Sasahara / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Takashi Uemura, a former journalist of the Asahi newspaper, shows a copy of his story during a news conference in Tokyo on Friday. Uemura, who wrote stories about women forced into sex slavery by Japan during the Second World War has filed a defamation suit against a publisher and a scholar who accused him of fabricating the issue.