Saturday, September 1, 2012

Korea expresses dismay at Japan's denial of wartime sex slavery

Korea expresses dismay at Japan's denial of wartime sex slavery

2012-08-28 09:17 Text

LG, Samsung show strength in appliancesLuxury travel services lure big spenders to Korea‘Service quality key in luxury travel service’Domestic instability behind Japan’s foreign policyRomney accepts nomination, blasts ObamaFord CEO pins high hopes on Korea-U.S. FTASamsung to roll out premium OLED in Q4[Howard Davies] Putting Europe back on trackRediscover your creative sideCalendar

The South Korean government on Monday criticized a high-profile Japanese official's denial of the country's forced wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women, calling on Tokyo to take "sincere measures" for the victims.

According to historians, up to 200,000 women, mostly Koreans, were coerced into sexual servitude at front-line Japanese military brothels during World War II as the Korean Peninsula was a Japanese colony between 1910 and 1945. Those sex slaves were euphemistically called "comfort women."

"It is deeply disappointing that key figures of the Japanese government made remarks to deny the forced enslavement of Korean women," a foreign ministry official said.

Earlier in the day, Jin Matsubara, chairman of Japan's National Public Safety Commission, told parliament that no direct descriptions have been found of Japan's forced mobilization of sex slaves, suggesting an amendment to the Japanese statement that apologized for its wartime atrocities.

In 1993, then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono apologized for the forced sex slavery by issuing a statement, which said the Japanese military was directly or indirectly involved in running "comfort stations," and that it coerced women into providing sexual services.

Jin Matsubara's comments are in line with similar remarks recently made by Japan's leading political figures that dismiss the issue.

Last week, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said there is "no evidence that 'comfort women' were taken captive due to the (Japanese) military's assault and threat." Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara also argued that the women were not coerced and instead chose to work in the front-line brothels.

"It is undeniable historical fact that Korean women were coerced into sex slavery, which was also acknowledged by Tokyo in 1993 via the Kono statement," Seoul's ministry official said. "We urge Tokyo once again to take sincere measures that could be accepted by the victims."

Seoul has pressed Japan to resolve the issue, which has been a long-running grievance between the neighboring countries, by apologizing and giving compensation to the Korean women on a humanitarian level.

But Tokyo has refused to do so, saying the matter was already settled by a 1965 treaty that normalized relations between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Seoul's foreign ministry held a meeting involving a task force and advisors on Monday on how to resolve the comfort women issue with Japan.

The meeting came on the eve of the first anniversary of the ruling by South Korea's Constitution Court that it is unconstitutional for the Seoul government to make no specific effort to resolve the issue with Tokyo.

Among diverse options, Seoul officials reportedly thoroughly discussed whether to propose Japan set up a joint arbitration committee to deal with the matter.

"Last year, we made a proposal to Japan to hold a bilateral consultation meeting to discuss the comfort women issue, but Tokyo has not made any response so far," another ministry official said.

"We will make a decision on other possible measures such as suggesting a committee after reviewing diverse opinions and considering diverse aspects of the circumstances," he added. (Yonhap News)

08-27-2012 15:50
Sex traffickers nabbed for soliciting Japanese tourists
A large-scale Korean prostitution ring has been busted on charges of soliciting Japanese tourists on the southern resort island of Jeju, police said Monday.

The Jeju Provincial Police Agency said they arrested a brothel owner, only known by her surname Shin, and booked another owner surname

Six brokers who run popular tourist sites such as bars and hotel casinos, as well as 19 female sex workers, were booked without physical detention, the police said.

The brokers allegedly introduced male Japanese tourists to brothel operators in exchange for 10,000 yen (US$127) for every customer they brought in.

The tourists payed 40,000 yen for services, police investigators said, adding that the pimps took 7,000 yen and another 23,0000 yen was given to the sex workers.

Jeju Island has become one of the most popular tourist destinations for Japanese tourists, with the number of visitors from Japan to the island hitting a record high in the first half of the year.

The police, following a tip-off, raided the brothels and secured proof such as receipts and bills for commission fees. (Yonhap)

08-15-2012 17:03
'Japan’s sex slavery is anti-humanity crime'

Members of a student group dance to “Gangnam Style,” singer Psy’s recent hit, at Seoul Plaza, downtown Seoul, Wednesday, during an event celebrating Liberation Day. / Yonhap

By Kang Hyun-kyung

President Lee Myung-bak said Wednesday colonial Japan’s conscription of sex slaves who were forced to serve soldiers amounted to a crime against humanity.

“The issue involving mobilization of comfort women by the Japanese military goes beyond relations between Korea and Japan,” Lee said in a speech to mark the 67th anniversary of Liberation Day.

“It is about the issue of women’s rights in time of war. It was an act that contravenes our universal value as human beings and contradicts the flow of history.”

This is the first time a South Korean leader has addressed the issue of sexual slavery in a Liberation Day speech.

The issue remains unsettled because Japan has been reluctant to heed the growing voices for compensation for the victims, insisting this has already been rendered.

Activists and victims put up a statue of a girl in traditional costume in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul last November to mark the 1,000th anniversary of weekly rallies against Japan.

Tokyo reacted nervously to the Peace Statue, asking Seoul to remove it, which was not accepted.

Of 234 registered victims of the wartime crime, only 61, who are in their 80s, are still alive.

Calling Japan a close neighbor and friend, President Lee urged the Japanese government to be cooperative in removing historic hurdles to progress in bilateral relations.

“We have to point out that chains tangled in the history of Korea-Japan relations are hampering the common march toward a better tomorrow in the Northeast Asian region, as well as bilateral ties,” he said.

Lee made the remarks amid escalating tension after he made a surprise visit last week to the easternmost islets of Dokdo, which are also claimed by Japan.

The President has played hardball with Japan recently, a shift from his pragmatic position on the neighbor in his early presidency.

On North Korea, President Lee said South Korea will carefully watch for the possible changes in the reclusive nation.

“Pyongyang has come to a situation where it needs to look at reality and consider a transformation.”

Of late North Korea has sent a series of signals that some construe as indicating that it might be seeking economic reform.

Kim Jong-un attended a rare performance featuring Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh last month. Actresses were also seen in strapless gowns and little black dresses, which were thought to be unthinkable before.

The North also sent the high-level delegations to Laos and Vietnam and China. All these signs were seen as a change, prompting analysts to speculate North Korea might be set to launch economic reform.

President Lee said South Korea is “open to inter-Korean dialogue while at the same time being mindful of the human situation in the North.”

A Cheong Wa Dae official said on condition of anonymity that Seoul will watch closely what’s going on in the North and will be willing to encourage and help it if the Stalinist state is heading along the right path.

In the speech, President Lee addressed the widening income gap between high-and low-income earners and the negative fallout of the eurozone crisis as two major policy challenges facing the nation.

08-31-2012 18:52
Stricter control needed over teachers sex crimes
The Gwangju Education Administration has been under criticism over failing to exercise control over teachers who are alleged to have been involved in sex crimes.

It is difficult to find records of their wrongdoing even if these teachers are punished for their criminal behavior.

According to the administration, there is not a single teacher found to have been associated with sex crimes who is under special monitoring.

In most cases, those who are subject to fines or wage cuts are normally sent to other schools while maintaining their occupation.

In other words, there is some punishment but they are left in contact with students. Worse, there are almost no records of their activities and even the punishment they received as a consequence, thus leaving open the possibility for repeat offences.

There have been cases when teachers guilty of sex crimes who were transferred to other schools where they repeated similar activities.

orea blasts Japan over remarks denying responsibility for sex slave issue

2012-08-29 21:52 Text

LG, Samsung show strength in appliancesLuxury travel services lure big spenders to Korea‘Service quality key in luxury travel service’Domestic instability behind Japan’s foreign policyRomney accepts nomination, blasts ObamaFord CEO pins high hopes on Korea-U.S. FTASamsung to roll out premium OLED in Q4[Howard Davies] Putting Europe back on trackRediscover your creative sideCalendar

South Korea lambasted Japan on Wednesday for trying to dodge responsibility for its mobilization of Korean women as sex slaves during World War II, saying the country would have "no future" if it "turns a blind eye to history."

Earlier this week, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and other senior officials made remarks that there is no documentary evidence showing Japan forced Korean women into sexual slavery during its 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

The remarks were seen as running counter to a 1993 apology that Japan's then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono issued for the forced sex slavery. The so-called "Kono statement" has been considered a key element of the basis for relations between the two countries.

"This is truly an act that goes contrary to the flow of the times," Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tae-young said in a statement, accusing Japan of ignoring the pain of the victims and international calls for resolving the issue.

"Japan's government should keep this point deeply in mind that a country that turns a blind eye to history has no future, and come up with solutions to cure the scars and pain of the victims," he said.

Cho stressed that Japan already acknowledged its responsibility for the issue in the 1993 statement, and U.N. reports have called for Japan's government to admit its responsibility, apologize to and compensate the victims and punish those responsible.

Historians say up to 200,000 women, mostly Koreans, were coerced into sexual slavery at front-line Japanese military brothels during World War II. Moreover, former sex slaves, who are euphemistically called "comfort women," have long testified the hardship they were forced into.

Seoul has increased pressure on Tokyo to resolve the grievances of the victims, saying the issue is becoming increasingly urgent as most victims are elderly, well over 80 years old, and may die before they receive compensation or an apology from Japan.

Currently, there are only 60 victims alive.

Japan, however, has been ignoring Seoul's demand for official talks on compensating the aging Korean women, claiming all issues regarding its colonial rule were settled in a 1965 package compensation deal under which the two countries normalized their relations.

Relations between South Korea and Japan have deteriorated seriously in recent weeks after South Korean President Lee Myung-bak made an unprecedented visit to the country's easternmost islets of Dokdo, and Japan protested the trip.

Earlier Tuesday, Japan's upper house of parliament adopted a resolution calling for South Korea to end what it calls Seoul's "illegal occupation" of Dokdo. Seoul's Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho flatly rejected the resolution.

"The repetition of unreasonable claims to our territory of Dokdo shows Japan has no intention to liquidate the leftovers from Imperialist Japan's colonial pillage," the spokesman said in a separate statement. (Yonhap News)

2012-08-28 16:12 Text

LG, Samsung show strength in appliancesLuxury travel services lure big spenders to Korea‘Service quality key in luxury travel service’Domestic instability behind Japan’s foreign policyRomney accepts nomination, blasts ObamaFord CEO pins high hopes on Korea-U.S. FTASamsung to roll out premium OLED in Q4[Howard Davies] Putting Europe back on trackRediscover your creative sideCalendar

Police said Tuesday two Japanese men are suspected of setting up provocative wooden posts to lay claim to South Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo at entrances to two history research-related establishments in Seoul.

Wrapping up an internal investigation, Seoul's Seodaemun Police Station said that two Japanese nationals allegedly put three wooden posts with the phrase, "Takeshima (referring to Dokdo in Japanese) is Japanese territory," at the front and rear entrances of the War and the Women's Human Rights Museum, and the entrance to the Dokdo Research Institute last Wednesday.

The museum, which shares the same building with a local activist group that represents voices of a group of Korean women who were coerced into sexual servitude for Japanese troops during World War II, displays materials and documents honoring victims.

Meanwhile, the institute is under the state-run North Asian History Foundation.

The two suspects in their 30s and 60s are also suspected of attaching leaflets to a wall that said, "Comfort Women = Sex Slave is Lie." The victims are euphemistically called "comfort women."

The two fled to Japan on Wednesday noon, police investigators said, adding that they have not committed other crimes.

One of the suspects reportedly had entered South Korea five times for tourism purposes while the other was making his first visit here, they added.

The news of the provocative incidents came about two months after another Japanese conservative activist tied a post with the phrase 'Dokdo is Japanese territory' to a symbolic statue of a wartime Korean sex slave in front of the Japanese embassy in downtown Seoul, inciting protests from civic groups and causing public uproar.

A group of sexual slavery victims filed a defamation suit against the activist, known as Nobuyuki Suzuki, and prosecutors are considering asking Tokyo to extradite him for investigation in the suit.

Police plan to launch an investigation after complaints are filed, an official in charge of the investigation said, adding that the institute is mulling over suing the suspects.

"When complaints are filed, we will inform the immigration office of the suspects' offense and further investigate relations between them and Suzuki," the official said.

Japan, which ruled the Korean Peninsula between 1910 and 1945 as a colony, has repeatedly renewed its claim to Dokdo in the East Sea while rejecting Seoul's demand for an apology and talks on compensating the sexual slavery victims. (Yonhap News)

<관련 한글 기사>

일본인, 독도ㆍ위안부 관련 단체에 '테러'!

최근 한국정신대문제대책협의회(정대협)와 독도 연구소 건물 앞에 `말뚝 테러'를 한 용의자는 60대와 30대 일본인 남성인 것으로 밝 혀졌다.

서울 서대문경찰서는 이 같은 내용의 내사 결과를 발표하고 피해를 본 단체로부터 고소장이 접수되면 수사를 진행할 예정이라고 28일 밝혔다.

경찰에 따르면 지난 22일 서울 마포구 성산동 정대협 건물과 독도연구소가 있는 서대문구 미근동 임광빌딩 앞에 말뚝과 전단 등을 부착한 용의자는 일본에 거주하는 A(61)씨와 B(38)씨 등 2명이다.

조사 결과 A씨는 범행 전날인 21일 대한항공을 이용, 하네다 공항을 출발해 오전 11시51분께 김포공항에 도착했다. B씨는 아시아나항공편으로 하네다를 출발해 오 전 11시23분께 김포공항을 통해 입국했다.

이들은 서울 중구의 L호텔과 K호텔에 나눠 투숙한 뒤 다음 날 오전 5시께 호텔을 나섰다. 각각 택시를 타고 이동한 이들은 독도연구소 소재 임광빌딩 앞에서 만나 말뚝을 설치하고 정대협으로 따로 이동해 말뚝과 전단을 부착한 것으로 확인됐다.

범행을 마친 뒤 A씨는 오전 9시13분 출발한 대한항공 비행기를, B씨는 오전 8시 40분 출발한 아시아나항공 비행기를 타고 일본 하네다로 도주했다.

이들은 범행 전날 동행하며 범행지 주변을 정탐한 것으로 추정되며 `말뚝 테러'외에 다른 범죄 행위는 확인하지 못했다고 경찰은 설명했다.

A씨는 1995년 이후 다섯차례 관광 목적으로 한국에 단기체류한 적이 있으며 B씨 는 이번이 첫 방문인 것으로 알려졌다.

경찰의 한 관계자는 "현재 독도연구소에서만 고소 의사를 밝힌 상황"이라며 "고 소장이 접수되면 용의자들의 범죄사실을 출입국관리사무소에 통보하고 스즈키 노부유키와의 관계도 수사할 예정"이라고 말했다.

지난 22일 오전 정대협과 독도연구소 소재 건물 앞에서 `다케시마는 일본땅'이라고 적힌 말뚝과 위안부를 비하하는 내용의 전단이 발견됐고 스즈키 노부유키는 블 로그를 통해 이 테러를 자신이 주도했다고 밝힌 바 있다.

스즈키는 지난 6월 종로구 주한 일본대사관 맞은편에 세워진 일본군 위안부 평화비(소녀상) 옆에 유사한 말뚝을 놓고 사진과 동영상을 촬영해 물의를 일으킨 인물 이다.

No comments:

Post a Comment