Friday, August 19, 2011

Abe opinion for comfort women

Japanese PM's denial of war crimes blasted (Toronto Star)

Ottawa urged to condemn remarks as outrage grows

Mar 03, 2007 04:30 AM
Carl Freire
Associated Press

TOKYO-Anyone who doubts the Japanese army forced Asian women into sexual slavery in World War II should "face the truth," South Korea's foreign minister said yesterday as outrage grew over comments by Japan's prime minister that there was no evidence of the enslavement.

Women's rights activists in the Philippines and a group of politicians in South Korea denounced the remarks by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday that there was no proof so-called "comfort women" were forced into prostitution during the war.

Chinese-Canadian politicians and community leaders also called on Ottawa to publicly condemn the comments.

But one of the harshest reactions came from 81-year-old Hilaria Bustamante of Manila, who said she was kept as a sex slave in a Japanese garrison for a year in 1942 as a 16-year-old.

"What (Abe) said has angered me," she said. "They think we are just like toilet paper that they can throw away after being used.''

Historians say some 200,000 women ? mostly from Korea and China ? served in Japanese military brothels throughout Asia in the 1930s and 1940s. Witnesses, victims and even some former Japanese soldiers say many of the women were kidnapped or otherwise forced into brothels, where they could be raped by scores of soldiers a day.

Abe on Thursday said there is no proof the women were forced into prostitution: "The fact is, there is no evidence to prove there was coercion."

His statement contradicted evidence in Japanese documents unearthed in 1992 that historians said showed military authorities had a direct role in working with contractors to forcibly procure women for the brothels, known as "comfort stations."

The remark also cast doubt on a 1993 Japanese government apology to the sex slaves.

"We should speak out and issue a condemnation," NDP MP Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina) said in Ottawa yesterday.

Conservative MP Inky Mark (Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette) said he was shocked when he read Abe's words and said he wants Prime Minister Stephen Harper to condemn the comments.

"It's along the same lines of denying the Holocaust. It was a war crime against humanity."

There's a double standard when it comes to recognizing war crimes in the West, said Joseph Wong, the founding president of the Chinese Canadian National Council.

"We have heard how quick Western politicians are to condemn Holocaust deniers, which is good, because that has to be done," he said.

"But on the other hand, Western politicians are so silent when they encounter these denials from Japanese right-wing politicians who say the rape of Nanking was justified and these comfort women, these sexual slaves, were willing victims."

Before a speech yesterday in Washington, South Korean Foreign Minister Song Min-soon said Abe's comments were "not helpful."

"We had better face the truth," Song said in the South Korean government's first reaction to the remarks.

Victims and their supporters have pushed unsuccessfully for a parliament-approved apology from Japan and official government compensation. Japan set up a private fund for compensation in 1995, but has refused to provide government money.

In China, Su Zhiliang, director of the Chinese Comfort Women Research Centre at Shanghai's Normal University, said she was surprised by Abe's remarks.

"Suddenly to have Abe deny the fact that women were coerced into sexual slavery is both very regrettable and very enraging," said Su, who compiled 100 case studies with testimonials from Chinese comfort women.

In Manila, Rechilda Extremadura, executive director of Lila Pilipina, an organization of activists and former Filipino wartime sex slaves, said 120 are still alive among 174 documented Filipino comfort women.

With files from Canadian Press

☆Japanese PM's denial of war crimes blasted (カナダ紙「トロント・スター」)
昨日のワシントンでの演説の前に、韓国の外務大臣(韓国では外交通商部長と呼ばれている)、宋旻淳(ソン・ミンスン)Song Min-Soon氏は安倍発言は「全く話にならない。」「私たちは、現実を直視するべきだ。」と韓国の政府としては、安倍発言への最初のコメントの中で語った。
中国では、上海にあるノーマル大学(Normal University)の中国慰安婦研究所のディレクターであるSu Zhilianさんが、安倍発言に驚きを隠せない様子だ。「安倍総理が突然、性奴隷として働くように強制されたということを否定したことは、非常に遺憾であり、怒りを誘った。」と語ったSuさんは、これまでに中国の慰安婦から100件あまりの実例を検証している。

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