8月 172015
 

The Comfort Women Issue

Hyung-Sung Kim

As a history student, I interviewed over one hundred Koreans who were born and raised in the Korean Peninsula in the 1920’s and 1930’s including my grandparents about comfort women.
What they witnessed was Korean fathers and brothers selling their daughters and sisters, Korean brokers deceiving Korean women. They never witnessed Japanese military coercing any Korean women.
This fact is well documented in San Francisco State University Professor Chunghee Sarah Soh’s book “The Comfort Women.” Professor Soh has looked into dozens of primary source evidences and had interviewed dozens of former Korean comfort women in the early 1990’s before they were taken in by Chong Dae Hyup.
https://books.google.co.jp/books…
http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.jp/…/the-comfort-women-by…
Sejong University Professor Park Yuha agrees with Professor Chunghee Sarah Soh.
http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.jp/…/summary-of-professor…
The follwoing is a diary written by a Korean comfort station worker discovered in 2013 by Professor Ahn Byong Jik of Seoul National University. It details how Korean brokers recruited Korean women in the Peninsula (sometimes on false pretenses) and how they owned & operated comfort stations employing those women. According to the diary Korean owners beat and sometimes raped Korean women when they didn’t obey orders.
http://book.daum.net/detail/book.do?bookid=KOR9788994228761
http://archive.is/1jcC4
The follwoing are the articles published in Korean newspapers in the 1930’s & 1940’s. The articles say that the Japanese police arrested Korean traffickers who were engaging in illegal recruiting.
http://gall.dcinside.com/board/view/?id=history&no=1283822
The following is a help wanted ad in a Korean newspaper Maeil Shinbo on October 27, 1944. A Korean broker (Mr. Ho) was recruiting comfort women. There are other ads like this one.
http://dl1.getuploader.com/g/newsp…/1/maeil+sinbo%5B1%5D.jpg
The following is the order the Japanese military sent to the police in Korea. The order says, “crack down on the Korean prostitution brokers who are engaging in illegal recruiting.”
http://download1.getuploader.com/…/military+order+original.…
Asahi Shimbun published a series of fabricated articles on comfort women in the 1980’s. Based on these articles, the anti-Japan lobby Chong Dae Hyup (with close ties to North Korea and China) was formed in South Korea in 1990. Then out of nowhere a woman named Kim Hak-sun came forward in 1991 and claimed she was abducted by Japanese military. There is clear evidence (recorded tapes) that suggests she was coached by Chong Dae Hyup to give false testimony. If Korean women were indeed abducted by the Japanese military, it is rather odd that not a single woman claimed anything for over 45 years after the end of World War II. Former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo said in 1993 interview with Bungeishunju, “Asahi Shimbun created the comfort women issue out of nothing, provoked Korean nationalism and infuriated Korean people.”
Lower ranked Japanese soldiers did coerce dozens of Dutch and Filipino women in the battlefields of Indonesia and the Philippines. Those soldiers were court-martialed, and some of them executed. But Korean women were not coerced by the Japanese military because the Korean Peninsula was not the battlefield and therefore the Japanese military was NOT in Korea. (Korean brokers recruited Korean women in Korea and operated comfort stations employing them) Japan apologized and compensated, and Netherlands, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan had all accepted Japan’s apology and reconciled with Japan. So there are no comfort women issues between those nations and Japan. The comfort women issue remains only with South Korea because Chong Dae Hyup refuses to reconcile with Japan and continues to spread the false claim of “200,000 Korean girls were coerced by the Japanese military” throughout the world. Chong Dae Hyup’s strategy has been to use the case of a small number of Dutch and Filipino women who were coerced by lower ranked Japanese soldiers and make it look like the same thing happened to many Korean women.
It is ironic that 99% of Westerners fell for Chong Dae Hyup’s (North Korean) propaganda while the majority of South Korean scholars (Professor Park Yuha of Sejong University, Professor Lee Yong-hoon of Seoul University, Professor Ahn Byong-jik of Seoul University, Professor Jun Bong-gwan of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Professor Han Sung-jo of Korea University, Professor Lee Dae-gun of Sungkyunkwan University, Professor Choi Ki-ho of Kaya University, Professor Oh Seon-hwa of Takushoku University, Professor Chunghee Sarah Soh of San Francisco State University, etc.) and a good number of South Korean public agree that the Japanese military did not coerce Korean women. Only a small number of fanatics with loud voice (South Korean leftists with close ties to North Korea and radical left wing Japanese scholars such as Yoshiaki Yoshimi, Yuki Tanaka and Hirofumi Hayashi also with close ties to North Korea and China) falsely claim 200,000 Korean girls were coerced by the Japanese military. Westerners must realize that North Korean and Chinese operatives are using the comfort women issue to drive a wedge into U.S.-Japan-South Korea security partnership.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6g-Yj6c-Hg

Comfort women


8月 122014
 
 2014年8月12日  日本, 捏造慰安婦問題, 政治, 歴史, 韓国

Asahi Shimbun admits errors in past ‘comfort women’ stories
by Reiji Yoshida

The Asahi Shimbun admitted Tuesday to serious errors in many articles on the “comfort women” issue, retracting all stories going back decades that quoted a Japanese man who claimed he kidnapped about 200 Korean women and forced them to work at wartime Japanese military brothels.

The correction came more than 20 years after the Sankei Shimbun based on studies by noted historian Ikuhiko Hata first pointed out apparent errors in the man’s account in April 1992.

Hata and the Sankei said there was no evidence supporting the account of Seiji Yoshida, who claimed he conducted something akin to “human hunting” by rounding up about 200 women on Jeju-do Island in present-day South Korea.

All local residents interviewed by Hata denied Yoshida’s claims. Mainstream historians have now agreed that his statements were false.

Yoshida, who claimed to have worked for a labor recruitment organization in Yamaguchi Prefecture during the war, reportedly died in July 2000.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly called out the Asahi for quoting Yoshida’s accounts, saying the paper’s “erroneous reports” have magnified the issues involving the so-called comfort women.

Asked to comment on the Asahi’s retraction of the articles during his regular news conference Tuesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said: “We hope correct recognition of the history will be formed, based on objective facts.”

The term comfort woman is a euphemism referring to women forced into sexual servitude in wartime Japanese military brothels. Media outlets and activists often describe them as “sex slaves,” given the harsh conditions they faced.

The Asahi repeatedly reported on Yoshida’s accounts in the 1980s and 1990s.

The paper has faced growing criticism about its coverage of comfort women, prompting the paper on Tuesday to carry two pages of feature articles looking into its previous coverage.

In April and May this year, the Asahi dispatched reporters to the island and interviewed about 40 elderly residents and concluded that Yoshida’s accounts “are false.”

As far as the present-day Korean Peninsula is concerned, the Asahi, like most mainstream Japanese historians, maintained that no hard evidence had been found to show the Japanese military was directly involved in recruiting women to the brothel system against their will.

But the Asahi, again like mainstream historians, maintained that most “comfort women” from Korea were forced to work as prostitutes against their will since they were recruited by private-sector brokers through human trafficking.

Before winning his second prime ministership in December 2012, Abe had suggested he might revise or retract the key government apology to the women, issued by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono in 1993.

But to date, Abe has upheld the Kono statement, which admitted that the Japanese authorities and military were “directly or indirectly, involved in the establishment and management of the comfort stations and the transfer of comfort women.”

“The (Japanese) government study has revealed that in many cases they were recruited against their own will, through coaxing, coercion, etc., and that, at times, administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitments. They lived in misery at comfort stations under a coercive atmosphere,” the Kono statement reads.
 
The Japan Times


8月 122014
 
 2014年8月12日  日本, 捏造慰安婦問題, 政治, 韓国

8月5日の朝日新聞は、1面と16~17面を費やして慰安婦問題の特集を組んだ。中でも注目されたのは、彼らが「慰安婦は強制連行された」と主張した根拠である吉田清治の話を「虚偽だと判断し、記事を取り消します」と明確に訂正し、慰安婦が「女子挺身隊」だったという事実誤認も訂正したことだ。

 しかし社としての謝罪はなく、1面では杉浦信之編集担当役員が「慰安婦問題の本質 直視を」という署名記事を書いている。1982年から吉田の嘘を16回も報道しながら訂正しなかった新聞が「本質を直視せよ」という厚顔ぶりにはあきれる。本質を直視すべきなのは、朝日新聞である。
1本の記事が日韓関係を大混乱に陥れた

 2012年の当コラムでも書いたことだが、慰安婦は戦地にはどこにでもいた娼婦に過ぎない。それを日本軍の戦争犯罪に仕立てて世界中に嘘を広め、日韓関係を破壊した朝日新聞の報道は、メディア犯罪として戦後最大と言ってよい。

 朝日新聞の虚偽報道として有名なのは、1950年の伊藤律架空会見記と89年のサンゴ事件だが、実害の大きさは比較にならない。サンゴ事件では当時の一柳東一郎社長が引責辞任したが、今回は大誤報の責任者である植村隆記者が2014年3月に早期退職し、誰も責任を取っていない。

 植村氏は92年1月11日に「慰安所 軍関与示す資料」という記事で「従軍慰安婦」について次のように説明した。

一九三〇年代、中国で日本軍兵士による強姦事件が多発したため、反日感情を抑えるのと性病を防ぐために慰安所を設けた。元軍人や軍医などの証言によると、開設当初から約八割は朝鮮人女性だったといわれる。太平洋戦争に入ると、主として朝鮮人女性を挺身隊の名で強制連行した。

 この記事が「慰安婦の存在」と「軍の関与」と「強制連行」を混同したため、その直後に宮沢喜一首相(当時)が韓国政府に謝罪し、日韓関係が大混乱に陥った。

 特に「女子挺身隊」というのは女性を軍需工場などに動員する制度で、朝鮮半島にはなかったので、明白な事実誤認だ。これは私も含めて多くの人が指摘したが、今回の検証記事でやっと認めた。

 しかし朝日新聞は、これは意図的な捏造ではなく、「研究が足りなかったための混同」だという。本当だろうか。

誤報を認めないで逃げた朝日新聞が混乱を拡大した

 91年8月11日に、植村氏は「女子挺身隊の名で戦場に連行され、日本軍人相手に売春行為を強いられた朝鮮人従軍慰安婦」が名乗り出てきたという記事を書いた。これは韓国メディアより早い「国際的スクープ」だったが、それは彼の義母が慰安婦訴訟を支援する「太平洋戦争被害者遺族会」の幹部だったからだと言われている。

 今回の検証記事は、この点について「元慰安婦の証言のことを聞いた当時のソウル支局長からの連絡で韓国に向かった。義母からの情報提供はなかった」という植村氏の弁解を載せているが、なぜソウル支局長はこの「スクープ」を自分で書かないで、大阪本社の社会部に知らせたのだろうか。

 NHKも同じ頃、慰安婦として名乗り出た金学順の話を放送したが、彼女は「親に売られてキーセン(妓生)になり、養父に連れられて慰安所に行った」と証言した。植村氏にも同じ話をしたはずだが、彼はなぜ「挺身隊の名で連行された」と嘘を書いたのだろうか。

 検証記事によれば、植村氏は「最初はキーセンのことは知らなかった」と弁解しているが、91年12月に金学順が日本政府を相手に訴訟を起こしたとき、キーセンの件は訴状に書かれていたのに、植村氏は翌年1月にまた「強制連行された」と書いた。

 彼は「キーセンだから慰安婦にされても仕方ないというわけではないと考えた」と弁解しているが、これは強制連行の根拠にならない。彼の弁解は不自然であり、それを裏づける証拠もない。元慰安婦の証言と同じだ。

 義母からの情報で「スクープ」を書き、単なる人身売買では大きなニュースにならないので(金学順とは無関係な)強制連行と結びつけたのだろう。これは単なる誤報ではなく、意図的な捏造と言わざるをえない。

 さらに問題なのは、こんな明白な事実誤認を朝日新聞が20年以上、ごまかしてきたことだ。97年3月に慰安婦問題を検証した記事でも、吉田の話は「真偽不明」とし、その後の社説でも、肝心の事実関係をごまかしたまま「強制連行は枝葉の問題だ」などと逃げてきた。

 今回の特集でも、1面では「女性としての尊厳を踏みにじられたことが問題の本質」だとして、ボスニアの強姦事件を引き合いに出しているが、慰安婦は強姦ではない。戦地で頻発する強姦を防ぐために、軍が慰安所を管理したのだ。単なる娼婦を「戦時性犯罪」と呼ぶのはナンセンスである。

 16面の記事では「朝鮮や台湾では、軍による強制連行を直接示す公的文書は見つかっていない」と明記しながら、「自由を奪われた強制性」はあったという。「強制性」とは何か。民間の人身売買でも借金のかたに売られることが多かったので、自由は奪われる。朝日新聞の論理で言えば、政府は吉原の元娼婦にも謝罪する必要がある。

 「他社も強制連行を報じた」と朝日新聞は見苦しい言い訳をしているが、この問題がこじれた原因は、92年の朝日の大誤報で首相が謝罪したことだった。彼らは訪韓の政治的タイミングを狙ったのだろう。「あれは偶然だ」という朝日新聞の弁解を信じる人はいない。

第三者委員会で客観的な調査を

 最初は大した嘘ではなかった。身売りした娼婦の話をちょっと大きくして、1面トップを飾ろうとしただけだ。戦争中のことだから、どうせ証拠は出てこない。紙面を使って義母の運動を支援しよう――植村氏がそう考えてもおかしくない。

 ところが首相が謝罪して韓国が賠償を要求してきたため、騒ぎが大きくなった。この問題の調査結果を発表した93年の河野談話について、検証記事は「各紙は、河野談話は『強制連行』を認めたと報じたが、朝日新聞は『強制連行』を使わなかった」と書いている。

 語るに落ちるとは、このことだ。朝日新聞は、この段階で「強制連行はおかしい」と気づいていたのだ。このとき「あれは誤報でした」と訂正すればよかったのだが、そのタイミングを逃した。

 苦しまぎれに問題を「女性の人権」にすり替えたら、これを国連や海外メディアが取り上げ、「性奴隷」を批判するキャンペーンが2000年代に始まった。ところがこのころ朝日新聞は、慰安婦問題をほとんど報じていない。嘘だと分かっているからだ。大した問題ではないので放置すればそのうち韓国も忘れる、と経営陣は考えたのだろう。

 ところが韓国は、政権が窮地に陥るたびにこの問題を蒸し返し、日韓外交の最大の懸案になってしまった。ここまで大事件になってから嘘を認めると、社長の責任問題になるので、逃げ回っているうちに話はますます大きくなり、朝日新聞の営業や採用にも支障が出てきたと思われる。

 今回、誤報を認めたのは一歩前進だが、いまだに「本質を直視せよ」と開き直っているようでは自浄能力は期待できない。国会に植村氏を招致する話が自民党の石破茂幹事長から出ているが、それがいやなら朝日新聞社が第三者委員会をつくって調査すべきだ。

 STAP細胞の問題では、理化学研究所も早稲田大学も第三者委員会で調査した。労働問題では、ワタミもゼンショーも第三者委員会をつくった。「説明責任」がお得意の新聞社が、まさかこのままほおかむりするつもりではあるまい。


8月 122014
 
 2014年8月12日  不正, 捏造慰安婦問題, 政治, 歴史, 韓国

Asahi Shimbun makes long-overdue corrections over ‘comfort women’

7:52 pm, August 06, 2014

The Yomiuri ShimbunAfter a review of its reports on the so-called comfort women issue, which has become a huge thorn in the side of Japan-South Korea ties, The Asahi Shimbun has admitted its mistakes in the reports—albeit partially—and retracted some of the contents.

The retractions allude to reports on remarks by Seiji Yoshida, who claimed to have forcibly taken away local women from Jeju Island, South Korea, to make them serve as comfort women. During World War II, Yoshida was said to be the former head of the mobilization department of the Shimonoseki Branch of Romu Hokoku-kai, an organization in charge of recruiting laborers.

In September 1982, the newspaper reported—without verification—the remarks of Yoshida, who claimed to have “hunted up 200 young Korean women in Jeju Island.”

Misperceptions about Japan

The report added fuel to anti-Japan sentiment in South Korea, and also became a basis of misperception of Japan spreading through the world. In its Tuesday morning edition, the Asahi concluded—for the first time—that Yoshida’s remarks were baseless, and finally retracted the newspaper’s reports regarding the remarks.

We cannot help but point out the correction should have been made at a much earlier stage. Doubts about Yoshida’s remarks have been raised as early as 1992. The newspaper’s negligence in allowing the issue to linger for more than 20 years is deplorable.

The Asahi has, by its own account, reported about Yoshida on at least 16 occasions. Historian Ikuhiko Hata raised doubts over Yoshida’s remarks in 1992, but the newspaper has long refrained from making a correction.

In March 1997, The Asahi Shimbun carried a special article on the reports about the comfort women issue. However, the newspaper only said it was unable to confirm the authenticity of Yoshida’s remarks.

Yoshida’s remarks were cited by a 1996 U.N. Human Rights Commission report compiled by Radhika Coomaraswamy, helping propagate a misunderstanding in the international community that the forcible recruitment of comfort women took place.

Another serious problem with the Asahi’s reports is the mix-up between comfort women and female volunteer corps.

In a front-page article carried in January 1992, the Asahi stated that “South Korean women became the major target of forcible recruitment conducted in the name of the female volunteer corps. The estimated number [of victims] range from 80,000 to 200,000.”

The report was issued just before then Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa’s visit to South Korea. It prompted the government to conduct an investigation into the comfort women issue, resulting in a statement issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, which expressed the government’s “sincere apologies and remorse” to former comfort women.

In Tuesday morning’s edition, the Asahi admitted its mistake over the mix-up for the first time, saying that the female volunteer corps refers to groups of women mobilized for work in munitions factories and elsewhere during wartime and are “completely different” from comfort women.

“We have been working not to confuse the two since 1993,” the newspaper said in the Tuesday edition. However, the Asahi’s reports have prompted the false understanding that even girls of primary school age were recruited as comfort women.

The Asahi defended its coverage by saying in its two-page spread: “Little progress had been made in investigating the comfort women issue at that time. Some documents to which [Asahi] reporters referred contained statements in which the female volunteer corps was mixed up with the comfort women.” Then the special feature said that some other national dailies had also published articles containing a similar mix-up.

In reporting on the female volunteer corps and Yoshida in initial stages, The Yomiuri Shimbun also ran some stories including factual errors. In the late 1990s and onward, however, we corrected such errors through our editorials and other articles.

Assertions unchanged

We question the Asahi’s assertions about how so-called comfort women were kept at facilities to provide sex for soldiers. Though the heart of the matter was whether they were recruited by force, the national daily argued that great importance must be attached to the fact that those women were caught in a situation marked by “a coercive nature” with which they had been “deprived of freedom.”

In initial stages, the Asahi continued to insist the crux of the problem was that these women had been forcibly recruited, citing testimony from Yoshida and other sources. However, the testimony and data used by the paper as a basis for its reasoning were later disproved. Then the Asahi started to argue that the retention of those women in facilities had a coercive nature.

The Asahi’s assertion has remained fundamentally unchanged in this respect, as illustrated by its latest feature, which stated that the essence of the problem lies in the fact that “women were deprived of freedom in brothels, and their dignity was violated.”

There is no doubt that a large number of women, including those from the Philippines and Indonesia, had their honor and dignity injured during World War II. There may have been cases deemed inexcusable from a present-day human rights perspective, even if no coercive action was taken by the prewar government and the military.

Still, it is necessary to discuss two issues related to the whole controversy as separate matters—that is, how to deal with sex-related issues facing soldiers and whether the Japanese wartime military was involved in forcibly recruiting women for the provision of sex.

Questions can be asked as to the appropriateness of calling the Japanese government to task by insisting coerciveness was prevalent in the provision of sex by those women in a broad sense of the term. We believe focusing on such questions is an attempt to sidestep the real issue.

Gaining a proper perception of history requires thorough efforts to uncover the whole truth behind any historical issue.

Better Japan-ROK ties needed

South Korean President Park Geun-hye strongly opposed a report issued by the Japanese government in June regarding the results of investigations into how the so-called Kono statement on comfort women was drafted and issued in 1993, using Coomaraswamy’s U.N. report and other data as a basis for her assertion. Her unbending hard-line stance on Japan is unlikely to change.

The government should not easily compromise on the controversy. It must persist in urging South Koreans to gain a proper understanding of our government’s stance on the comfort women dispute.

Relations between Japan and South Korea are strained today. There has been no summit meeting between the two nations for more than two years. We hope the media and the public in both nations will come to have an accurate grasp of all the facts, a task essential for their respective efforts to build a future-oriented relationship between the two neighbors.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 6, 2014)