[ KOREAN ]
Issue 242 [11.23]
Issue 241 [07.11]
Issue 240 [06.01]
Issue 239 [03.21]
Issue 238 [01.26]
Tae Guk Gi and Stars & Stripes
Six Pary Talks
Asian Peace Philosophy
☞ Issue 231
The Jeremiad of “Comfort Women”: Who sold us down the river?
January 18 2014
Author’s note: January 15 2014
S. Koreans have elected as their President a darling of Korean neo-cons, a boring/over-rated/wayward/my-way-or-highway daughter of the assassinated/military totalitarian/dictator for life, Gen. Park CH, while their neighboring country/former colonial boss Japanese chose Shinzo Abe as their Prime Minister whose grand father, Kishi Nobuske was an out-and-out tutor for tyrant Park’s ‘Yushin’ Dictatorial governance in the 70s.
Now in 21st Century, both siblings from the Japanese imperialism and S. Korean dictatorship are poised to become a joint vanguard agent for their common boss, Uncle Sam, whose ‘Pivot to Asia’ policy of interdicting the Chinese Power in the Pacific region becomes in full swing. For the time being, Ms Park and Mr. Abe would be facetiously at odds with each other in layman’s view, but they both grew up in a family that took root in a pedigreed upbringing, Park being raised in a flunkey class adoring the Japanese imperialism/suffering from ‘Princess Complex’ that places her above Joe Blows and Abe surrounded by ancestry that enforced the Japanese imperial endeavors in Asia, believing that the Japanese WWII criminals were not de facto war criminals at all but the patriots.
They are absolutely quintessential blood brother/sister who trusts eventually to provide cooperation and assistance each other in domestic/foreign policies like Siamese Twins/Two-cheeks on the same derriere.
Recently, US Congress passed a non-binding document attached to a spending bill in 2014 urging the Secretary of State to encourage the implementation of a 2007 resolution on the ‘comfort women’ issue. It’s a mind-boggling to see Americans meddling into an issue that has nothing to do with them...unless Americans were an enforcer (Mafia) to settle a contretemps between two Capos (Japan and Korea) whose squabble should end to a close so that Capos get together in line against China.
Frankly speaking, the United States, as if the S. Korean Government under Gen. Park during the Vietnam War provided sexual service to their expeditionary forces, was not an innocent bystander as far as prostitute issues are concerned...their military personnel were entertained sexually for years by the Japanese government that provided the brothels in 1945 for the advancing American GIs to the mainland Japan.
Prostitution, after all, is the oldest commercial enterprises in human history.
Author’s note: March 1 2007
(A): “Comfort Women” is a euphemistic term referring to the groups of various ethnic women such as Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Burmese, Indonesians and Dutch during the World War II, who were recruited by the Japanese Imperial Army for serving the Japanese soldiers in the brothels throughout the Asian Pacific region.
(B): No Koreans, scholar, historian, professor, journalist, or politician, would dare to write or publicly say something that I write in the following article, not because they do not know it, but rather they know that they would be immediately attacked a liar, criticized a sellout, pummeled a traitor, and buried a has-been in the society.
(C): As a freelance journalist who values most the freedom of information, expression, and press, I write what I know is right and correct without the fear that other Koreans shudder to escape from.
Prior to delving into the matters regarding the “comfort women”, one should also note the past historical facts:
1. As prostitution is the world’s oldest profession in human history, the sexual trading in both Japan and Korea was thrived, accepted, and licensed as the legitimate business activity from the ancient society where many underclass and indigent people were forced to rely on selling their bodies as their one and only commodity. It was a means for low-caste people serving sexually high, privileged, and rich class in return for money or favor.
2. There is no way to determine precisely how many women were forced to serve as “comfort women”, since there were no data or document available either in the military archives of Japanese Government or mama-san’s ledgers. It is estimated by historians that there were about 200,000 women worked for sexual laborers to enhance the morale of the Japanese military, and the ethnic background of sexual workers varies, waxing and waning depending on whom you ask: the South Koreans claim 80 percent of “comfort women” were Korean women. However, a Japanese researcher breaks down as follows: 40% Japanese, 20% Koreans, 10% Chinese and others like Filipino, Vietnamese, Burmese, and Dutch, making up the remaining 30%.
3. The annexation of the Lee Dynasty (Korea) to Japan in 1910 could be paralleled to the Hawaiian Kingdom’s absorption to the United States…the sovereignty of the Korean Dynasty was ceded to the Japanese Empire and Korea became a part of Japanese Empire and all the Koreans the Japanese subjects, though its legitimacy is disputed due to the Treaty was forced through by ministers threatened and bribed by the Japanese. Therefore, technically and legally, Koreans served comfort women, worked laborers, and drafted to the military as the Japanese subjects whether Koreans like it or not. (If the Japanese won the war, Koreans as Japanese alike were becoming the masters of Asian Pacific region as the soldiers of Hawaiian aborigines do fight in Iraq as the US occupation forces now.)
4. The export of women for sexual service to the war front was not the moral opprobrium committed exclusively by the Japanese Imperial Army…the South Korean Government during the Vietnam War in late 60s did the same thing what the Japanese have done during WWII, dispatching hundreds of thousands of their professional whores to the war fronts providing the sexual pleasures for their mercenary soldiers. There was no pathological distinction between the Japanese and South Korean rationale for the “comfort women system” other than a dispute whether the women were forcibly and coercively drafted as the sex slaves or worked voluntarily for money.
5. Some Koreans attempt to compare the “comfort women” issue with the Jewish Holocaust”…seeking help from the most powerful lobby group, AIPAC, in the US…but there is one and only symmetry between them: these two issues manifested only after two or three decades after the WWII ended, as the Holocaust manifested in the US in late 1960 and the “Comfort Women” began kvetching and went gaga in early 1982…in other words, “comfort women” incident was a non-issue immediately after the WWII through 1980, because the South Korean Military Government of Gen. Park CH did not raise the matter in public, because General was satisfied with the Japanese compensation in 1965.
The ghosts of “comfort women” recently have debuted again in the political arena of the North American Continent thousands miles farthest away from where it rests in peace, and they still reverberate dancing along the corridors and the hearing rooms of the US Congress choreographed by the various NGOs from the Korean-American community.
Though they gradually are becoming an endangered species as years go by, the remaining “comfort women” refuse to vanish in oblivion and keep yelping like a Jewish yenta.
And the apparitions have manifested in the form of HR 121 Resolution at the US Congress that requires the Japanese government formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Army’s coercive activities against the “comfort women” during the colonial and wartime occupation of Pacific and Asian islands in the 1930s through the duration of WWII.
Strangely, however, the Resolution exhibits the peculiarity…contrary to the fact that we are living in the world where every quid has its quo, the Resolution does not have a single word demanding compensation for victims, “comfort women” supposedly drafted for sexual slaves pro bono.
And the Korean NGOs are eagerly avoiding any institutional intervention like the help from the Government or Corporate underwriting in order to gain access to the power circle in the Belt Way of the Washington DC.
Aside from the suspicion why the US Congress involved in business that has got nothing to do with America, one would have an impression by reading the Resolution that the Japanese Government had never done anything, reparation or apology, on the issues of “comfort women”.
On the contrary, the record shows that the Japanese Government had issued over two dozens of statement during over three and half decades since 1972, expressing their condolence, apology, and regret in the name of almost every Japanese Prime Ministers (Tanaka, Suzuki, Nakayama, Hosokawa, Murayama, Hashimoto, Obuchi, Koizumi), Chief Cabinet Secretaries, and Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
And even two Emperors, Hirohito in 1984 and Akihito in 1996, expressed in the formal meeting with the South Korean Presidents that Japan regrets an unfortunate past between two countries and it should not be repeated again.
But the South Koreans have refused to accept these statements as the official documents because it was not ratified by the Japanese Diet (House of Representatives) or by the cabinet meeting.
On the matter of reparation, it was an open and shut case according to the international law… that the Japanese and the South Korean Government have reached an omnibus settlement in the 1965 Treaty On Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea (the South Korea)
According to the document that was disclosed in 2005, the South Korean Government in 1965 requested and received the compensation of $800 million in grants and soft loans from Japan, and agreed not to demand further reparation either at the government or individual level against the Japanese Government.
Among the $800 million, $364 million was specifically allocated in compensation for the 1.03 million Koreans conscripted into the workforce and the military during the colonial period, at a rate of 200 dollars per survivor, 1,650 dollars per death and 2,000 dollars per injured person.
The documents also revealed that the South Korean government claimed that it would handle individual compensation to its citizens who suffered during Japan's colonial rule while rejecting Japan's proposal to directly compensate individual victims and receiving the whole amount of grants on the behalf of victims.
During and after the Japan-South Korean Treaty, the contents of the agreement have remained in the foggy bottom of both Japanese and South Korean government archives for half a century…Japanese wanted to play dumb because they did not yet come to an agreement with the North Korea that demand a whopping $10 billion compensation, and the military regime of the South Korea was desperate getting money, any money, dirty, bloody, fake, fraudulent, or mafioso.
The Treaty was a godsend to the money-starved Military Government of Gen. Park CH who sent his nephew to the treaty negotiation--- Lieutenant Colenel JP Kim, then-Director of Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA)--- as an ambassador extroadinary and plenipotentiary.
Even the Korean Foreign Minister was out of the loop in the negotiation process that JP Kim reported directly to the President who kept the reparation money in his cookie jar disbursing as he deemed appropriate as an emperor gives out some gift to his underlings.
Few knew what the deal was except Gen. Park, KCIA, and some high-ranking lapdogs in the totalitalian regime.
Did the South Korean Government pay the $364 million for the 1.03 million victims according to the treaty?
After paying only about $200 per death in compensating fewer than ten thousands of forced labor victims between 1975 and 1977, Gen. Park CH finagled the rest of money for the slush fund to buy out his opponents and other retired generals, and for seed money to build the major highways, industrial complexes, and Pohang Iron & Steel Co.
During the WWII period, General Park was the first lieutenant of the Japanese Imperial Army stationed in Manchuria serving voluntarily and faithfully as other many Korean collaborators did for the imperial military occupation in China and Pacific region.
They were obviously being provided with the “comfort women” for their R and R furlough and enjoyed their sexual services without any hesitance or compunction.
With this imperial hubris, General Park dispatched again in 1965 thousands of Korean women for the “comfort” of his fifty-thousand-odd mercenaries during the Vietnam War, stoled the money through banditry from poor Vietnameses, and used the hard currency to finance for the economic development of the present South Korea.
The notorious KCIA had the task force unit for recruiting prostitutes with the help of the local police who actively participated to solicit the whores in their beat, and in addition, the Navy chipped in for the transportation and the Military Police in the war front run the comfort station under the supervision of the KCIA case officers.
The taskforce unit also had an extra job to procure the sexual services of young college girls and women in entertainment business in order to accommodate the insatiable appetite of of the General’s libido.
Eventually, the blood money of “comfort women” during WWII and the Vietnam War had paved the highways, roads, and parking lots for the sake of all South Koreans whose Presidents sold the comfort women down the river.
In other words, thousands of the “comfort women” both in the colonial era and after the liberation have contributed their blood for the recovery and development of the South Korean economy.
And all the credits for the economic prosperity go to Gen. Park and his cohorts including his daughter, whose ambition to be a next El Presidente emanates from the blood-soaked hands of his assassinated father, an ex-Japanese Imperial Officer.
The South Koreans are still barking up the wrong tree!
Instead of traveling a red-eye flight across the Pacific Ocean for appearing at the US Congress hearings, the “comfort women” should have a sit-in demonstration in front of the National Assembly in Seoul where General’s daughter flirts with their blood money.
Rather than pumping their wobbly arms into the air in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, they should make a protest visit to the residence of JP Kim whose agreements with Japanese have made them pennyless and dishonorable.
Before condemning the Japanese who pay tribute to Yasukuni shrine, they should go to their national cemetery where Gen. Park lies in comfort and demand their blood money for selling them down the river.
It is at least bizarre and unconscionable to bring the “comfort women” issue to the US Congress where Americans endorse, finance, and execute the imperial policies of world dominion as if Japanese Empire had strived for the colonization of the Asian Pacific region.
It’s like the infighting two Capos in the Mafia family seeking favor from their boss…in other words, the boss (USA) was asked by a Capo(South Korea) to pass a toothless and non-binding fiat ostensibly punishing another Capo (Japan), the boss’s favorite son, and the boss has been refusing to do so six times in the past, and the chance are absolutely nil to pass in the Congress and endorsed by the US Government.
In a nutshell, the matter should be dealt in the UN jurisdiction, as in the International Criminal Court, Human Rights Commission, or UN commission on the Status of Women.
Or let the remaining “comfort women” live in peace comfortably, providing them with sufficient fund from the national coffer.
But please stop doing stupid things like sending their Toy Soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the “Comfort Women” issue to your overlord, USA, or electing the General’s daughter a next El Presidente.
By doing so, you are announcing loudly to the world that the South Koreans are still playing a role of lackeys in the service of the US imperialism as if their General served for the Japanese Emperor a first lieutenant who enjoyed the sexual services of “Comfort Women” in his stint in the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII.
The following is an unknown Korean reader’s comment on the above article.
위안부 결의안? 웃어야 할지 울어야 할지
일본 아베 총리의 위안부 관련 망언으로 인해 미국 내에서도 일본에 대한 여론이 악화되고 있다는 반가운 소식이 들려옵니다. 미국 의회의 위안부 결의안 통과 가능성도 어느 때보다 높아졌습니다. 하지만 저는 지금 바다 건너에서 들려오는 이런 소식에 대해 마냥 기뻐할 수가 없습니다.
죄는 일본이 우리나라와 기타 아시아 국가들에게 지었는데 왜 우리가 미국에게 사죄를 대신 받아 달라고 부탁해야 하는 것일까요.
우리가 지금까지 일본 국민들에게 진심에서 우러나는 사죄를 받아내지 못했기 때문입니다. 그래서 우리는 부끄러워 해야 합니다. 위안부로 강제 동원 당한 할머니 뿐만 아니라, 우리 스스로에게 한 없이 부끄러워야 합니다.
미국 의회 내에서 '위안부 결의안'을 이끈 의원이 일본계 의원(혼다)이었다는 사실도 저를 더욱 착잡하게 만듭니다. 우리가 못한 일을 일본계 의원이 해내려 한다는 점에서 너무나 부끄럽습니다. 또 일본의 죄악을 드러내는 일에 일본계 의원이 앞장 섰다는 사실로 인해, 미국인들이 오히려 일본에 대한 좋은 이미지를 갖게 될 수도 있다는 점을 잊지 말아야 합니다. CNN의 여론 조사를 단순히 조작이라고만 폄하하기 힘든 이유입니다. 패전국 일본은 승자인 미국에게는 가장 충실히 복종하고 사죄(겉으로는)를 했으니까요.
물론 '일제의 성착취' 문제를 널리 알리고 죄값을 받아내기 위한 우리 국민들의 노력이 없었다는 말은 아닙니다.
강제 동원 당한 피해자 할머님들은 세상의 편견이라는 두려운 벽에도 불구하고 용기를 내어 목소리를 내셨고, 또 많은 시민단체들도 힘을 보태었습니다.
그럼에도 불구하고 일본은 우리나라를 별로 두려워 하지 않습니다.
가장 중요한 이유는 친일매국노들이 청산되지 못하고 오히려 득세를 하며 대한민국 각계 각층에서 지배층 노릇을 하고 있기 때문입니다. (사실 친일(親日)이라는 말도 잘못 된 것입니다. 일본과 친하게 지낸 것이 아니고 일본에게 복종하였으니 복일(伏日)이라고 해야 합니다.)
일본인들은 강자에게 약하고 약자에게 강한 습성을 가진 국민입니다. 그래서 우리나라에게는 항상 당당합니다. 우리 스스로 강자가 되지 못했기 때문입니다. 국력이 약하거나 경제력, 군사력이 약한 것을 말하는 것이 아닙니다. 자존심이 강한 국민이 되지 못하였다는 의미입니다.
자기 나라를 팔아먹은 인간 말종과 그 후손들이 고개를 빳빳하게 쳐들고 21세기에도 반공과 호국을 외치는 이 이상한 나라를 일본은 우습게 아는 것입니다.
매국노와 앞잡이의 후손들로 한가득 채워진 정당이 제 1당이고 지지율 50%를 받는 이 정신 나간 나라를 누군들 두려워 하겠습니까?
모 언론인이 노무현 대통령과 일본 총리의 차이를 비교한 글을 보고 정말 이런 정신나간 사람이 우리나라에서 지도층 흉내를 내며 살아간다는 것에 분노하게 됩니다.
자신들의 국민을 납치한 북한에는 그렇게 광분하며 사죄와 진상조사를 요구하는 일본 정치인들이, 남의 나라 국민을 납치하여 위안부로 삼은 일에는 왜 사죄를 할 수가 없는 것일까요?
노무현 대통령이 납북 행위를 좋다고 옹호한 적이 한 번이라도 있나요? 아님 일본처럼 그런 일은 없었다고 거짓말을 하기라도 했나요? 이런 기본적인 논리도 없이 일본을 무조건적으로 신봉하고 옹호하는 저 정신나간 언론인은 도대체 어느 나라 국민인가요? 이런 정신 나간 언론인의 말에 현혹되고 세뇌당하는 많은 국민들은 도대체 정신을 어디다 두고 다니는 것인가요?
친일파들이 가장 좋아하는 국가보안법의 적용 대상 1호가 바로 복일 매국노들입니다. 나라를 팔아먹는 행위보다 더 극악한 이적 행위가 어디 있습니까?
나라를 팔아먹은 매국노보다 사회 정의와 평등을 외치는 좌파가 더 나쁘다라고 말하고 또 그렇게 믿는 정당이 과반을 차지하는 이 나라를 존경할 나라가 있겠습니까?
일본이 전쟁 범죄는 없었다고 아무리 말하고, 독도가 일본 땅이라고 우기고, 한반도 지배가 한반도에 득이 되었다고 아무리 외쳐도, 대한민국 국민들은 말로만 일본을 욕할 뿐입니다.
일본의 위선과 거짓에 대해 실질적인 불이익을 주려고 하지 않는다는 말입니다.
일본 제품을 사기 위해 우리는 무역 적자로 매년 10조원의 돈을 일본에게 주고 있습니다.
그것도 모자라 이제는 한국을 방문하는 일본인보다 일본을 방문하는 한국인이 더 많아져 (일본이 대한민국 국민보다 세 배나 많음에도 불구하고, 또 우리의 반일감정에 대한 보복으로 일본은 한국 여행을 자제하고 있음에도 불구하고) 여행수지 적자까지 고스란히 감수하고 있습니다. 일본 만화, 일본 드라마, 일본 소설, 일본 음악에 중독되어 자기도 모르게 일본의 논리와 자기 합리화에 동조하는 바보 같은 국민들이 되어 가고 있습니다.
일본이 아무리 망언을 쏟아내고 거만을 떨어도, 그들에게 실질적으로 돌아오는 피해가 전혀 없는데 일본인들이 한국인들을 두려워 할 이유란 것이 있겠습니까?
일본 자민당도 우리나라 모 정당처럼 극우 보수이기는 하지만 적어도 자민당 의원들은 매국노는 아닙니다. 그들은 적어도 자국의 이익(물론 잘못된 이익입니다만)을 위해 꼴통 짓을 합니다. 우리나라 상당수 국회의원들처럼 나라를 팔어먹은 것도 모자라 자신과 자기 가족만을 위해 국민을 볼모로 꼴통 짓을 하지는 않습니다.
우리나라 국민들이 참 많이 어리석은 것이고 노력이 부족한 것입니다.
그저 '우리 민족은 우수하고 근성있는 민족이다.' 라는 위안만으로 정말 그렇게 되는 것이 아니라는 말입니다. 더 노력을 해야 합니다. 우리나라가 또 중국, 대만, 동남아 국가 같은 여타 아시아 국가들이 비겁한 일본을 당당하게 비판할 수 있으려면 이제부터 정신을 차려야 합니다. 특히 우리나라 국민들이 먼저 철저하게 각성하고 정신을 차려야 합니다. 그리고 우리가 일본을 당당하게 비판하려면 이렇게 해야 합니다.
1. 우리나라에서 여전히 기득권을 차지하고 있는 복일(伏日)매국노를 청산해야 합니다. 그리고 그러한 매국노 당사자와 사죄하지 않는 후손을 정치가나 사회 지도자로 지지하고 존경하는 일은 절대로 하지 말아야 합니다. 자식을 팔아먹은 부모에게 또 자신을 맡길 수 있습니까? 당신은 그렇게 할 수 있습니까? 제 생각에 그 부모는 또 다시 자식을 팔아먹을 것입니다. 그리고 자식을 팔아먹은 부모가 아무런 처벌도 받지 않았다면 그 가능성은 거의 100%입니다. 복일파들과 그 후손들, 그리고 거기에 빌붙어 기생하는 자들은 자신들을 비난하면 무조건 빨갱이, 간첩 운운합니다. 전 국민의 80%가 친일파 청산을 원하고, 지금처럼 잘못된 기득권 구조 타파, 사회 양극화 개선을 요구합니다. 그럼 친일파들 논리라면 전 국민의 80%가 빨갱이, 간첩이 되는 것인가요? 절대로 그들의 논리에 휘말리는 어리석은 사람이 되지 맙시다.
2. 우리 스스로 부끄러운 국민이 되지 말아야 합니다. 미국에서 돈 좀 벌어보겠다고 미국으로 불법 입국하며 성매매에 종사하는 한국 여성이 수 만명에 달한다고 합니다. 자기들 스스로 다른 나라 국민에게 성매매를 하겠다고 수 만명이 나서는 나라가 '일본의 위안부'를 비난하는 것은 좀 부끄러운 일이 아닐까요? 미국인들은 이렇게 생각하지 않았을까요? '이렇게 돈 벌려고 남의 나라까지 와서 성매매를 하는데, 어차피 강제로 동원하지 않았어도 한국인들은 돈을 위해 군 위안부로 지원했을 거야.' 이렇게 생각하지 않을까요? 성매매. 좋습니다. 저도 성매매의 필요성을 인정합니다.성매매 필요한 사람 있습니다. 그런데 남의 나라까지 가서 성을 사고 파는 부끄러운 짓은 제발 하지 맙시다.
3. 미국이나 일본, 중국 등에 기대고 빌붙어 살아남으려는 썩은 정신(우리 국민이 그렇다는 것이 아니고, 그렇게 하자고 주장하는 세력을 의미합니다.) 을 바로 잡아야 합니다.
자기 나라 작전 통제권을 남의 나라에게 맡기고 지켜달라고 하는 나라가 세상 천지에 어디있습니까?
자기 집 열쇠를 남에게 맡기고 나는 모르겠으니까 대신 우리 집 좀 잘 지켜 달라고 하는 바보도 있습니까? 전쟁과 군사력만이 아니라 지혜와 화해, 기백으로 스스로를 지켜려고 해야 합니다. 미국에게 기대어 스스로를 방기하려고 하는 정신 나간 일부 한국인들을 바라보며 전후 일본인들은 어떻게 생각할까요? '
그래. 한국인들은 원래 저랬구나. 우리가 강제로 지배한 게 아니고 그 때도 저렇게 애걸복걸해서 우리 선조들이 다스려 준 것이구나.'라고 생각하지 않을까요?
4. 일본 내 양심 세력들과 연대해야 합니다.
일본의 지배층과 우파들이 더러운 짓을 하고 있지만, 앞서 미국의 위안부 결의안을 제출한 의원처럼 일본에는 생각보다 많은 양심 세력이 존재합니다. 저는 솔직히 일본이란 국가가 하는 행위는 밉기는 하지만, 이러한 일본의 양심 세력은 존경합니다.
우리나라의 수구 매국노보다 솔직히 일본의 양심 세력이 더 좋습니다. 이러한 양심 세력까지 우리의 적으로 만들어서는 안됩니다. 친한파들을 더욱 늘릴 수 있도록 그들과 연대하고 지원할 수 있어야 합니다.
작금의 대한민국 돌아가는 꼴이 하도 답답하여, 참으로 분기탱천한 마음에 몇 자 적어봅니다.
For the sake of the South Koreans, knave netizens and of simple-minded hoi polloi who gar-gar over much ado about nothing, I would like to submit an abstract on my article “The Jeremiad of Comfort Women: Who sold us down the river.”
1. Regarding the Japanese apology on the atrocities committed against the people of Pacific-Asian region: The records show that the Japanese Government issued the apologies two dozen times since 1972. The South Koreans are only people who do not accept the Japanese apologies as an official statements. The topic has been demanded by the South Koreans ad nauseum year after year for too long. They should stop nitpicking and pettyfogging about the wordings of the statements or the procedural mishandling of apologies.
2. On the reparation for victims: the matter has been settled as the closed case according to 1965 Treaty between Japanese and South Korean Governments, and the latter assumed the responsibility to pay off victims. But the payer did not compensate the payees and stole the funds for the use of building highways, industrial complexes, and political slush funds. In other words, Park ChungHee, ex-lieutenant Japanese Imperial Army and then-Military dictatorial President of the South Korea usurped the compensation funds for his personal use.
3. Who were the victims to be compensated? There were, generally speaking, three kinds of victims…soldiers, laborers, and comfort women. The South Koreans keep mum about the two formers , but kvetching only about latter, comfort women who they claim were “drafted” to serve as sex slaves. Strangely, the dead or injured Korean soldiers or slave laborers did not get any support, verbal or financial, from the South Koreans.
4. Were comfort women drafted or forced to serve according to the Japanese law? No! Absolutely not! They were not mandated by Japanese law to serve as comfort women, but were bribed, duped, sometimes forced, or coerced by the recruiters whose business of procuring women for sex obliged to the wishes of Japanese Imperial Army. It is like the contractors, like Blackwater or Halliburton, that work for the Pentagon obliged to recruit ex-soldiers as the security guard, aka mercenaries, in Iraq.
5. The South Korean Government recruited the comfort women during the Vietnam War as if the Japanese did in WWII…there was no pathological difference between two government in recruiting, employing, cajoling, soliciting, forcing, or coercing women for sex trade. The worst part was that the South Koreans finagled the blood money out of comfort women and demand an apology ad infinitum from the Japanese Government that already paid for the compensation, while turnig the blind eyes on their atrocities committed against the Vietnamese people.
6. HR 121, the Resolution in the US Congress…it’s bizarre and out of sync movement to bring the comfort women issue to the US Congress that has got nothing to do with America…the issue should be in the jurisdiction of the UN, ICC, Human Rights Commission, or UN Commission on the Status of Women, etc.
The following is an article in mainstream Korean media finally admitting that the comfort women case was a ‘done deal’ as far as the compensation issues are concerned.
Victims of Forced Labor by Japan Seek Litigation for Compensation
By Kim Se-jeong
The issue of forced labor during the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945) is creating a new battle ― this time between the victims and their families and the South Korean government.
In response to the petitions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade came out publicly after a long silence and said the government isn't willing to increase the amount of compensation.
The government's current compensation is based on an estimate in 1945, and victims have challenged it to raise the amount.
Successive governments have remained silent for many years, coming under attack as a result. Many victims and their families have also filed lawsuits against the Japanese government.
But, surprisingly, this time the government admitted that Japan had already paid compensation.
The administration said it came in the form of economic assistance of $3 billion, separate from the $5 billion in official development assistance that Japan gave to Korea in line with the reconciliation treaty in 1965.
Former President Park Chung-hee used all the funds to lay the foundations for economic development, such as building POSCO, according to the government.
The government gave only 300,000 won to each family of the dead during the colonial period, which the victims and their family members said was minimal.
During the annexation of the Korean peninsula in 1910, the Japanese government conscripted Korean citizens to work in factories or chemical plants, producing arms and weapons for the Japanese military in the Second World War.
Starting in 1939, Japan officially drafted Koreans in an attempt to fill the shortage of labor in Japan as a result of conscription into the militaryof Japanese males.
Of the draftees, about 670,000 were taken to mainland Japan for civilian work.
About 60,000 are reported to have died from harsh treatment and inhumane working conditions. Since 1946, Japan has begun repatriating them, while 650,000 chose to remain.
Coupled with sexual slavery by the Japanese military during wartime, compensation for forced labor has kept the controversy alive.
* Author's bio:
Dale Han is a free-lance journalist living in Toronto Canada for four decades since he was exiled from the Military regime of Dictator, Park CH in South Korea in the 70s.
He was born, raised, educated, and worked as a journalist for the mainstream media in the midst of the turbulent era of 6.25/4.19/5.16 revolutionary events.
The turning point in his life has arrived at the workshop in Mass. USA in the 90s when he was tutored by Emeritus Professor Avram Noam Chomsky.
He became a lifetime contrarian, who believes that there is only one way to win a war in Korean peninsula, and that is to avoid it.
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