Gunkanjima (Battleship Island): A World Heritage Site Soiled by Korea Part 4 , Chapter 17,18
Chapter 17: The fiction of “the forced abduction of comfort women”
Let us look into the sordid nonsense of the “forced abduction of comfort women”. My books, There Was No Forced Abduction of “Comfort Women” [published by Meisei-sha] and Thus Fabricated One Thousand Years’ Korean Grudge [published by WAC] clearly explain the circumstances in detail. Here, I will just highlight a few salient points.
Where is documentation of resistance or disobedience in response to “forced abductions”?
Two hundred thousand unmarried Korean women were forcibly abducted and forced to be sex slaves of the Japanese military and political officials!
Koreans firmly believe this, but just stop and think for a moment!
According to the “Result of Population Survey as of May 1, 1944,” issued by the Governor-General’s Office of Korea, there were 220,000 18 year-old female Koreans, 210,000 19 year-old female Koreans and 200,000 20 year-old female Koreans; no more and no less. In Korea at the time, females between 18 to 20 were of marriageable age. Thus, many Korean women were already married. Given the facts, for there to be 200,000 Korean “sex slaves”, numerous Korean women must have been kidnapped, one after another. Would Koreans have allowed such a heinous act? Surely, had this had occurred, the parents, brothers and relatives of abducted females would have surely rose up against this atrocity, putting the entire Korean Peninsula into chaotic carnage.
However, there is no record of resistance: at all. This is evidence demonstrating that “forced abduction” is a merely a lie.
If detractors insist that forced abductions took place, then this only demonstrates that Korean men willingly allowed their daughters, sisters and girlfriends to be “sex slaves”. Crying that Korean women were victims of “forced abduction” is in fact defamation of one’s own ancestors, calling ones’ male ancestors un-masculine.
The story of “forced abduction of comfort women” was thus created
As far as I have seen, the alleged “forced abduction of comfort women” first appeared suddenly and without documentation in The Record of Forced Abduction of Koreans written by Park Kyon-sik:
Young Korean women were taken under the pretext of “women’s volunteers’ corps” or “war front comfort squad” and were victimized as comfort women in executing the ongoing War.
Korean women were taken to warfront in China, the south and even Okinawa. The total number of victims supposedly amounted to fifty to sixty thousand.
Ten years later, in 1975, non-fiction writer Kim Chang-jon, who graduated from Korea University (in Tokyo), wrote Testimonies of Forced Abduction of Koreans, in which he doubled the number of victims of “forced abduction,” “although not actually confirmed”:
In August 1944, “the decree of women’s voluntary work” was issued. By the decree with the mighty power of the state, several hundred thousand Korean women were “mobilized” as work force at munitions factories and as military personnel. Many of them, without knowing what was about it, were sent to the Chinese Continent and the southern front to serve as “military comfort women.” The total number of them has not been clarified to this day. It was estimated at around a hundred thousand.
Through a series of anti-Japanese propaganda created by pro-North Korean writers and their self-hating Japanese sympathizers, the bizarre “forced abduction of Korean women” image formed within Japan–a Japanese named Yoshida Seiji took advantage of this trend.
At a public rally on September 1, 1982 in Osaka, he made his “bombshell” statement, that in Jeju Island, he and nine of his men abducted young Korean women, put them in a truck and sent them to the battle zone. In July 1983, Yoshida wrote My War Crime—Forced Abduction of Koreans, in which he “confessed” to “having forcibly abducted about two hundred Korean women in Jeju Island and made them comfort women.”
Manipulation of information on the part of the Asahi Newspaper
The Asahi Newspaper gobbled up Yoshida’s story and disseminated it as the truth both domestically and internationally.
On the front page of the Asahi, dated January 11, 1992, the military involvement in the process of recruiting comfort women was reported. The article claimed that 80,000 to 200,000 Korean women were forcibly abducted under the pretext of being members of the voluntary corps. The newspaper, apparently on its own, decided to increase the number of victims to 200,000.
At that time, the Asahi Newspaper presented its evidence indicating military involvement was a “notification” addressed to the dispatch army by the Department of War, titled “Regarding Recruiting of Female Employees at the Military Comfort Stations.”
In brief, this order showed that military and civil police cooperated to ensure that unscrupulous pimps, and others, were not using deception to recruiting women and not out-right kidnapping women. In fact, this showed that the Japanese military “were involved” in protecting women against unscrupulous pimps who tried to con naïve Korean women.
The Asahi Newspaper, without even bothering to view the evidence, just jumped at the inflammatory title and parroted the line, without serious thought, that “the military was involved.” The newspaper manipulated information.
South Korea instantly responded to this report. The Dong-a Ilbo [East Asia Daily] Newspaper, dated January 15 of the same year (1992), stated: “Even twelve-year old elementary school girls were mobilized and sexually abused in the battle zone. We cannot help but feel utterly indignant at the fact.” Korean people read the article and became furious, thinking, “How could such a brutal act have been committed?” Then Japanese Prime Minister Miyazawa Kiichi, who happened to visit South Korea immediately after this incident, apologized eight times during his stay, not knowing exactly for what he was apologizing. With Prime Minister Miyazawa’s thoughtless and indulgent attitude, the Dong-a Ilbo Newspaper’s article became the “truth” within South Korea and paved the way for the “comfort women” to become a big issue.
Anti-Japanese Japanese lawyer who ran about badgering former comfort women
Besides the Asahi Newspaper’s manipulation of information, maneuvers on the part of Japanese lawyers exerted tremendous influence. Vice-Cabinet Secretary Mr. Ishihara Nobuo, under Cabinet Secretary Kono, stated at a meeting of the “Society to Think about Future and History Education of Japan” on April 9, 1997:
Very regrettably, a certain lawyer went to the scene in Korea, persuaded women to publicly press the issue and make such-and-such a statement. He worked so passionately to bring the issue to light that those who did not know what to do at first gradually came out as victims of forced abduction. Thus, the Japanese lawyer dug up this issue in Korea and made it into a big one. In response to the lawyer’s action, the issue was discussed in the Japanese Diet. The Korean Government was hesitant to make this a big issue at first, but after movement in Japan, they could no longer ignore it.
After all, the Japanese mass media ignited the entire affair, then an anti-Japanese Japanese lawyer went to South Korea and persuaded reluctant, former comfort women to “confess” their past, thereby inflating the issue and shoving it over the point of no return. The Japanese lawyer, a fanatic anti-Japanese ideologue, supposedly did not care one bit about the overall circumstance and feelings of the women who were to be exposed to the harsh, abusive stares of Koreans for having once been comfort women (or Japanese military prostitutes). I cannot help but sympathize with those poor Korean women who were utilized as political tools.
Yoshida Seiji’s “forced abduction of comfort women” fabrication
Ms. Ho Yong-son, reporter for the Jeju Newspaper, had some doubt about the Asahi Newspaper’s report and went to Jeju Island, the scene of an alleged “hunt for comfort women”. She interviewed those concerned at the time, in detail, on the alleged “forced abduction of comfort women” and none of the interviewees knew anything about this, or even saw anything. They were unanimous: “That is sheer nonsense! How could anyone have allowed such a thing to happen?”
She wrote up the results of her investigation in the August 14, 1989 issue of the Jeju Newspaper.
Thereafter, Professor Hata Ikuhiko of Nihon University revealed Mr. Yoshida’s lie through his own research. Mr. Yoshida himself admitted that he lied in order to sell his book. The Asahi Newspaper had long regarded Mr. Yoshida as hero, but eventually confessed that Mr. Yoshida’s statements were false and retracted every article related to him. The newspaper also published an apology to its readers on August 5, 2014.
Japan became a “sex-slave state” after the Kono Statement
However, the Asahi Newspaper’s correction and apology arrived much too late. In 1993, then Cabinet Secretary Kono announced his so-called “Kono Statement” at a press conference. Cabinet Secretary Kono blandly stated that there was “forced recruitment” without presenting any evidence whatsoever. The rest of the world took his statement as acknowledging Japanese “forced abduction” of so-called comfort women. Japan’s over-consideration for South Korea totally backfired.
Korea, moving with the spirit of the times, teamed up with anti-Japanese Japanese lawyers and castigated Japan at the United Nations. Their lobbying activities turned to be very effective. As I mentioned previously, Ms. Coomaraswamy, who was appointed “Special U.N. Rapporteur regarding violence against women” by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, called the “comfort women” “sex slaves.” She submitted her “Coomaraswamy Report” to the Human Rights Committee, in which she demanded that Japan punish those responsible, compensate victims and promote education to prevent such brutality from ever happening again. As a result, Japan was put in a very bad position, being scorned by the rest of the world. National assemblies all around the world, including the United States and Canada, adopted resolutions demanding Japan apologize and compensate “comfort women”. The “Kono Statement” was not the end, but just the beginning of a protracted condemnation of Japan.
For that matter, an anti-Japanese Japanese lawyer boasted, “Since I used the term “sex slaves,” the United Nations took up the comfort women issue as a global issue.” Japanese as he is, he seems to thoroughly enjoy debasing Japan’s international status. This author can hardly comprehend his mental status.
The “Coomaraswamy Report” is malicious to Japan
Ms. Coomaraswamy is a Sri Lankan and as previously mentioned, she personally investigated the so-called comfort women as “Special UN Rapporteur”, submitting her report to the UN Human Rights Committee in January 1996.
However, the contents of the “Coomaraswamy Report” are merely repetitions of previous South Korean and North Korean “assertions”, even referring to Yoshida Seiji’s fabrications—the report is outrageous, irresponsible, predictable and prejudiced. It is not too much to say that the report is entirely false, full of prejudice and maliciousness against Japan.
In the Report there is the following from an associate investigator, who was sent to North Korea, from a seventy-year old woman named Chon Okusun:
A Japanese company commander Yamamoto ordered them to hit this girl with a sword. While we were watching, they stripped the girl of her clothes, tied her hands and legs and rolled her over a board with sharp nails sticking out of it until the nails were covered with her blood and flesh. At the end, they beheaded her. Another Japanese Yamamoto said, “It’s cinch to kill all of you. It’s even easier than to kill a dog.” He also said, “Since these Korean girls are crying for food, why don’t you cook this flesh and feed them?”
It is likely that the interviewed woman parroted what the North Korean Government ordered her to say. Clearly, this kind of statements went much further than what leftist Japanese are used to.
The Report’s only reference to English sources is Sex Slaves—Military Comfort Women, written by Australian journalist George Hicks. Mr. Fujii Mitsuhiko, representing the “Refutation Project,” found out that this English language book is based on Emperor’s Army and Military Comfort Women, written by someone named Kim Il-myon. What is more, Kim Il-myon’s books are based on sensual novels and cartoons and weird stories that appear in tabloid Japanese weekly magazines such as the Weekly Taishu [Masses] and the Weekly Jitsuwa [True Story] .
Of course, the Japanese Government examined the “Coomaraswamy Report” and immediately submitted its findings, refuting it in a perfectly logical and rational manner, the accompanying Document Number I, in their comment on the “Report of the Special Rappourteur on Violence against Women”. However, for whatever bizarre reason, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs rescinded its statement and, consequently, the “Coomaraswamy Report” is regarded as “factual” to this day. Thus, in the film Gunkanjima, a comfort woman is brutally killed by being pushing down over a hill of sharp-tipped nails. This cinematic nonsense is the direct result of the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
The “Kono Statement” was “Kono Collusion”
The Sankei Newspaper of October 16, 2013 reported that it is clear that the interview of sixteen former so-called comfort women, which formed the basis of the Kono Statement, was incompetently performed. The date of birth of half of the sixteen women were entirely unreliable and the place of birth of twelve women were unknown. Furthermore, six women claimed that they had worked in areas where, in fact, there were no military comfort stations.
Moreover, a front page scoop in the Sankei Newspaper, January 1, 2014, showed that the Kono Statement was created with Korean collaboration. Based on this article, during a House of Representatives budget committee meeting held on January 20 of the same year, Representative Yamada Hiroshi demanded that the Government reveal the truth about the “Kono Statement.” The Japanese Government, very reluctantly, decided to examine the process by which the Kono Statement was made. The investigatory team, consisting of governmental experts, was formed and the result of its examination was announced on June 20 of the same year. The main points were:
1) Confirmation regarding the interviews was not conducted.
2) The Korean Government strongly requested that the statement be acceptable to the Korean people.
3) The Korean Government demanded that “unless the Japanese Government agrees to certain amendments, the Korean Government will not positively support it.” Moreover, Korea stated to Japan, over and over again, that it is Korean policy not to demand monetary compensation from Japan.
4) It was Japan’s understanding, through its investigation, that Japan could not confirm whether there was any “forced abduction.” On demand from Korea, to clearly state forcibly recruiting comfort women, Japan made an adjustment and used the wording, “on the whole, against their will.”
5) The draft was presented for confirmation to President Kim Young-sam and a final agreement was reached.
In summary, Japan was forced to admit to “forced abduction,” which never took place, was made to issue a statement of self-reflection and was further instructed on how to write this statement. Out of consideration for Korea, Japan did not confirm the validity of the statements of the former comfort women, which alone supposedly constituted evidence of “forced abduction.” The investigation also found that South Korea clearly stated, “If Japan admits that there was forcibility, South Korea will not ask monetary compensation,” during the negotiation.
Consequently, the statement was a “composition” based on lies, which are a far cry from the truth–and both sides agreed to this. Kono Yohei himself admitted that there was nothing to add to or subtract from the report about the results of the investigation. Once the behind-the-scene exchanges were revealed, the “Kono Statement” was degraded to a “Kono Collusion” and any authenticity to it evaporated.
There is no evidence to prove “forced abduction”
The key point of the comfort women issue is whether there was “forced abduction” by the Japanese military or not. The Japanese Government thoroughly conducted an investigation to get to the bottom of the situation. In addition to collecting all related materials kept at individual Ministries, Agencies, the National Diet Library, and the US National Archives, interviews were held, far and wide, with former comfort women, former military personnel, those concerned with the former Korean Governor-General’s Office, former owners of comfort stations, inhabitants in the neighborhood of comfort stations and historians, from November 1991 to August 1993.
The Japanese Government examined a volume of materials and all the statements thus collected. However, no evidence was found to support the contention of systematic abuse of comfort women by the Japanese military or officials, let alone of forced abduction.
Following the result of the investigation, on March 16, 2007, the Japanese Government officially made a cabinet decision to state that nothing was found among the materials the Government collected to directly support the allegation of forced abduction by the military and officials in response to the question raised at the Diet. In addition, among materials later discovered, there is nothing that changes the Government statement.
For that matter, the comfort women system at the time was nothing extraordinary in terms of international law. It is totally unbelievable that the Japanese Army killed comfort women in order to “destroy evidence” when Japan lost the War. On the contrary, rumor has it that to make provision for them after they return home to Korea, Japan sent them home, providing them with certification as a “military nurse.”
“Abductors” were Korean pimps
In the Korean Peninsula before and during the War, unscrupulous Korean traders called “human trafficking merchants” and “kidnapping squads” were rampant and they trafficked young Korean women to “human trafficking markets” in Manchuria, Shanghai and Korea. In the Dong-a Ilbo Newspaper of March 29, 1939, an editorial stated: “Deplorably, Korean society itself became a hotbed inviting crimes by kidnappers, reducing our cultural level to a very low one.”
Editorial titled “Rampant Kidnappers” in the Dong-a Ilbo Newspaper, March 29, 1937.
Pictures drawn by former comfort women who claimed that they were forcibly made to become comfort women, depicting “how they were abducted” (one of them is engraved at the “Place to Remember”), indications of their memories of the time when they were kidnapped by those unscrupulous Korean traders.
Japanese officials and police worked hard to rescue these vulnerable women. At the time, under Japanese rule, Koreans were “Japanese citizens” and Koreans were protected by Japanese law as Japanese citizens. However, in Korea, this fact was been all but bent 180 degrees so that “Japanese officials abducted Koreans.”
The total number of comfort women, including Koreans, was around five thousand
Non-fiction writer Mr. Nagao Hidemi published a report, Presentation of Facts Regarding the Numbers of Comfort Stations and of Comfort Women, in April 2018 and estimated the number of comfort stations at a little less than five hundred and the number of comfort women, including Koreans, at a little over five thousand in total.
These numbers were clearly confirmed after Mr. Nagao carefully examined the following materials; the basis of calculation is also clearly shown:
Collection of Related Materials of the Japanese Military “Comfort Women,” book 1 and book 2, compiled by Suzuki Yuuko, Yamashita Hidenori, Sotomura Dai (Akashi Shoten).
Collection of Related Materials of Governmental Investigation about Military Comfort Women, (1)~(5) Asian People’s Peace Fund for Women (Ryukei Shosha).
Testimonies Memories toward Future, Asia Comfort Women, Testimonies I, II North and South Korea and Korean Residents in Japan, Active Museum, Women’s War and Peace Museum, Editors-in-chief Nishino Rumiko and Kin Tomiko (Akashi Shoten).
Testimonies—Forcibly Abducted Korean Military Comfort Women (Akashi Shoten).
Sakuma Tetsu, Nippon Reportk, Investigate Military Comfort Women, Experiences of Military Comfort Women, Memos 1~7, and 9~12 (http://tetsu.cool.coocan.jp/).
In addition, according to Mr. Nagao’s report, the 15th Division of the Japanese Army conducted physical check-ups of special comfort women in Nanjing in January 1943, and the total number of examinees were: 1,007 Japanese, 113 Koreans and 513 Chinese.
Although the ratio of Koreans at each comfort station might vary, supposing that two hundred thousand Korean women had been forcibly taken to China and Southeast Asia, the total number of comfort women would have been well over five hundred thousand. If the Korean assertion that “comfort women were made to serve more than ten men per day” was true, Japanese military soldiers visited comfort stations twice a day. They would have been busy dealing with comfort women instead of engaging in combat.
Comfort women were not sex slaves
An autobiography, entitled I Was A Comfort Woman for TATE Division of the Burmese Front, was published in Japan by publisher Nashinoki-sha. The author is a woman named Moon Oku-chu, the third Korean woman to come out as former comfort woman in Korea.
She came to be known in Japan as the woman who demanded her savings deposit (of 2,645 at the time) at a Japanese Post Office collected when she worked at a comfort station.
In the autobiography, she recounts her days as a comfort woman in Burma (presently Myanmar):
I deposited five hundred yen. When I received a savings passbook bearing my own name, the deposit was correctly written as five hundred yen. It was my first savings deposit ever. In Taegu, I worked very hard, babysitting and vending since I was a little girl. I worked and worked but I was never able to get out of poverty. It is just unbelievable now that I can save this much. A thousand yen can buy me a small house in Taegu. I can make my mother’s life a bit easier and happier. The idea made me so happy and proud. The savings passbook became my treasure.
I never forgot the time when I went shopping at a market in Rangoon (currently Yangon). There was a jewelry store. As Burma produced a lot of precious stones, rubies and jades were sold very cheap. My friend collected many jewels. Wanting to have one myself, I ventured to buy a diamond. [Omitted] I also went to see Japanese movies or KABUKI plays which came to perform from the mainland. In KABUKI plays, a male actor wearing heavy costumes played a female and I thought it was a kind of strange.
When I was at a hospital in Ayutthaya, I sent money to my mother. [Omitted] Drawing from my deposit, I sent five thousand yen to her.
When I got permission to return home, I had to go home. That was an order. If I didn’t want to go home, there was nothing I could do, save run away.
She bought a diamond and sent five thousand yen to her mother in Korea. With this amount of cash at the time in Korea, she would have been able to build five homes. Even though she received permission to return home to Korea, she ran away, going back to Rangoon, on her way home to Korea, and continued working there. This was the real circumstance of a former “comfort woman”. Of course, they underwent hardships. However, it is clear from just this one accountying that the comfort women were not at all “sex slaves” who were property of the Japanese Army.
Condemn today’s violation of women’s rights
Those lamenting over Japan’s “comfort women issue” claim that “the very existence of the Japanese military comfort women” is itself a violation of the rights of women. However, we need to remember that the Japanese Army was not the only military that used “comfort women”: every military in the world used (or still uses) “comfort women”, as a “necessary evil.” Critics must squarely address this fact.
There were numerous comfort women servicing US troops in Korea during the Korean War. After the truce, US military comfort women were officially managed by the Korean government. In the January 31, 1961 edition of the Dong-a Ilbo Newspaper, an
Dong-a Ilbo Newspaper, dated January 31, 1961: At 10 a.m. on January 27, at Donggkwang Theater in Itan (Gyeonggi Province), a cultural training session for over 800 comfort women was held, sponsored by the Itan Branch Office. Many were present at the session, including the military police commander of the U.S. Army 7th Division, civilian service personnel and other U.S. and Korean military personnel. At the session, the control venereal disease was emphasized. After the session, a variety show, song and dance by the comfort women, attracted much audience attention.
article reporting that the Korean police assembled 800 U.S. military comfort women and held a “cultural training session for comfort women.” In attendance was the American commander of the US Army 7th Division military police.
The Korean Army used “comfort women”, or “special comfort squads” during the Korean War and they were called “the fifth-level of supplies” within the Korean Army. In addition, the Korean Army used many “comfort women” during their stay in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
The Soviet Army declined the use of government sanctioned “comfort women”, based on their communist concept of equality. Instead, they engaged in mass rape within territory they occupied. When the War ended, on the Asian continent and in Sakhalin, countless Japanese women were raped by Soviet soldiers. In Germany, more than two million women suffered sexual by the Soviet Army.
To prevent young, naive soldiers from allowing their sex drives from taking over and to quash venereal diseases, militaries the world over must appropriate measures.
In the case of the Japanese military, the military managed lawfully defined comfort stations for its soldiers: respecting the rights of women who worked there and scrutinizing the health of all comfort women.
To the Japanese military, these were appropriate measures and comfort stations were regulated such that they were not in violation of either the domestic or international law of the time, clearly affirmed by the Japanese Government in its rebuttal of the Coomaraswamy Report.
Throughout history, women have sold themselves in order to survive. In Japan, during the Edo Period, in the Yoshiwara entertainment district, prostitutes were readily obtained. Such was the sad circumstance—which has been much alleviated by the Japanese people’s tireless efforts and global thinking in general.
Is there really any point in condemning the Japanese wartime system of “comfort women”, when, in the past, prostitution was legal everywhere, and to object to a violation of one persons’ “human rights” in the light of today’s very fluid and nebulous values?
All of us should acknowledge that women are trafficked today as commodities and women are forced to engage in prostitution by organized criminal elements. Women are kidnapped by extremist militants, raped and forced into being suicide terrorist. Any discussion of the rights of women needs to address their absolute safety and security—there are women who are in need of the UN’s protection, right now, yet the UN chooses to engage in meaning historical banter. Who is really interested in “women’s rights”?
Chapter 18: Compensation has been resolved
“The Agreement Concerning the Settlement of Problems in Regard of Property and Claims between Japan and Korea and Economic Cooperation” was settled
Outstanding issues between Japan and South Korea were entirety settled, for once and for all, by the “Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea,” singed by both parties in 1965. A number of agreements accompanied this Treaty, which really should be read by detractors. With respect to the issue of “compensation”, reflecting the intentions of both South Korea and Japan, the “Agreement Between Japan and the Republic of Korea Concerning the Settlement of Problems in Regard to Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation” was signed by both parties. Article 2 of the Agreement:
Both Parties confirm that problems regarding property, rights and profits of the Parties and their citizens (including corporations) and claims between the Parties and their citizens were completely and finally settled, including those regulated in Article 4 (a) of the Peace Treaty with Japan signed in San Francisco on September 8, 1951. [emphasis by the author].
There is more! In the agreed to agenda, which were publicly announced so that there would be no weaseling out of a legal agreement :
Problems regarding property, rights and profits of the citizens, which are to be completely and finally settled, include all claims within the range of “the summary of claims against Japan” (so-called Eight Items), which was presented by Korea. Therefore, it was confirmed that regarding the summary of claims against Japan, no claim is to be made.
The aforementioned “so-called Eight Items” refer to a list of compensation and claims Syngman Rhee demanded of Japan. The fifth item was an “accounts receivable of mobilized Korean workers,” “compensation for damages of mobilized workers caused by the War” and “Koreans’ claims against Japanese or corporations.” Both the South Korean and Japanese governments clearly confirmed that the issue of claims were resolved.
Nonetheless, as we have already seen, the South Korean Supreme Court, out of consideration for Korean public opinion, ruled that individual claims were valid. The lower courts, following the Supreme Court’s decision, returned one verdict after another, ordering Japanese companies to pay compensation. To be sure, South Korea deserves to characterized as a psychotic state.
However, a state that breaks international treaties at will is not functional, liberal democracy. If South Korea continues to behave in this manner, sooner or later, South Korea will lose international credibility.
To prevent South Korea from further idiocy, the Japanese Government needs to state, without wavering, that “The issue of postwar claims has been settled through an international, inter-governmental agreement and that Japan will not compromise. Should an unfavorable verdict against Japanese companies be returned by an inconsiderate Korean court, Japan will seek intervention by the International Court of Justice.”
If any of the Japanese companies now in dispute with Korea’s nonsense, capitulate and pay ransom, Japan will have zero credibility. The Japanese Government must work with the accused, lest they decide to individually compromise., and in case of damages incurred by Korean court decision of asset freeze, Japan’s policy of compensating from the national treasury should be clearly announced.
Japanese assets abandoned following the Agreement amounted to 16 trillion
According to the findings of the private asset management agency Allied Countries General Headquarters, private Japanese assets in Korea at the end of the War amounted to a total of 16 trillion, at present valuation. Moreover, from this total, 4.9 trillion were individual assets.
Until the end of the War, Korea was a part of Japan. Thus, according to international law, private property that belonged to individual Japanese at the end of the war belonged to Japanese citizens.
During the postwar negotiations between Japan and Korea, Japan maintained that
private assets belong to the people of Japan, a legally sound claim. However, Syngman Rhee, ignoring due process and logic, set up the infamous “Syngman Rhee Line” and abducted Japanese fishermen on the high seas, brutalizing the detainees. In negotiating with Japan, South Korea had the mendacity to force Japan to abandon its assets in Korea, while holding Japanese fishermen as hostages
The Sankei Newspaper, morning edition of February 24, 2003, Headline: Private assets left behind in the Korean Peninsula– 4.9 trillion
Similar tactics were employed during the Park Chung-hee dictatorship.
At the time. Japan’s priority was to rescue Japanese fishermen and Japan caved in and agreed to “abandon Japanese assets,” dishing out $300 million in aid. As I mentioned before, private Japanese assets in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula totaled 8 trillion, in present value.
If South Korea makes any more demands of Japan, disregarding the Agreement, then the Agreement will be nullified and South Korea will need to pay back $300 million aid to Japan, at present value, with interest, and to pay, at the very least, 8 trillion, at current value, property left behind in the south, out of 16 trillion left behind in the entire Korean Peninsula. This is a fair settlement—a bargain, do you not think so?
[Column (4): The Syngman Rhee Line]
On January 18, 1952, President Syngman Rhee unilaterally declared “maritime sovereignty” and demarcated his “Syngman Rhee Line” on the high seas, monopolizing fishery resources and making Takeshima Island Korean territory.
The “Syngman Rhee Line” was never validated by international law. However, Japan, bound by Article 9 (2) of the Japanese Constitution, sat on its hands.
Captured Japanese fishermen were tortured and fed substandard meals. Some died from hunger. Families back home in Japan awaited in mental and physical agony. Desperate wives became insane and killed themselves. Japanese fishermen and their families bore their hardship for fourteen years.
During this period, as many as 328 fishing boats were seized and 3029 fishermen were detained. Twenty-nine men were shot to death, eighty-four men became disabled due to torture and other abuses. The total material loss was 9 billion, value at the time. Despite their perfidy, South Korea has yet to express a word of regret or even pay one yen of compensation to this day.
Compensation was paid to the Koreas, including compensation to North Korea
Article 3 of the “Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea” stated: “The Government of the Republic of Korea is recognized as the sole legitimate government in Korea, which is clearly stated in No. 195 (III) Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly.” Moreover, Article 3 of the Korean Constitution prescribes that “the territory of the Republic of Korea is the Korean Peninsula and its accompanying islands.”
If so, then the Agreement regarding claims and economic cooperation Japan concluded with Korea covers the entire Korean Peninsula. In the case that Japan resumes diplomatic relationship with North Korea, obligations to North Korea do not rest with Japan: the Republic of Korea is entirely responsible for “North Korea” (DPRK). If “South Korea” refuses to acknowledge its responsibly, then South Korea is left to address compensation due to North Korea.
On the other hand, if North Korea maintains that “the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea” and the Agreement concerning claims between Japan and Korea and economic cooperation only apply to South Korea, then, in that case, Japan’s claims remain valid regarding private Japanese assets left in what is now North Korea (worth 8 trillion at present value).
It is indisputable, that after the war, North Korean industries boomed due to the Yunfeng Dam built on the Yarlung River and the chemical industrial complex at Hungnam, both of which were built by the Japanese. If North Korea ever demands that Japan shell out more money, then North Korea should be made to return 8 trillion to Japan, Japan’s previous contributions to the development of northern Korea. After this, there will be plenty of room for discussion!
In addition, after the War, in the early half of the 1970s, Japanese trading companies and manufacturers exported machinery and plant facilities to North Korea. North Korea refused to pay, oddly using their adverse circumstance to their advantage when North Korea was entirely isolated from the international community as their role was observed behind terrorist bombings in 1983 in Rangoon (presently Yangon). North Korea has yet to pay a total of 40 billion, in capital alone. With interest and arrears, the total is estimated at 220 billion. Japanese companies continue to send the bill to North Korea in June and December, every year, but North Korea has yet to respond. If Japan is to send any economic aid, this amount, naturally, needs to be deducted.
And the most important issue remains outstanding—North Korean abduction of Japanese citizens. Japan should not give a penny to North Korea until all abductees are returned and North Korea apologizes for their gross inhumanity.
Japan must make its fundamental and totally justifiable principles perfectly clear and make both South and North Korea understand its position.
It is feared that the conflict between Japan and Korea may lead to unwanted results on both sides
In the first place, Japan’s rule over Korea was entirely legitimate, following international and domestic laws at the time. Expenditures during the period was largely due to Japan footing the bill. Japan did not go to war against South Korea and North Korea– Japan owes absolutely nothing to South Korea and North Korea.
However, exceptionally naive Japan continued to take care of Korea after the War, in the form of “economic aid” and not “compensation.” After every domestic economic crisis, Japan bailed South Korea out. By doing so, Japan naively hoped that “if South Korea became a rich country through Japan’s economic aid, there will be no anti-Japanese sentiment among the Koreans.”
However, quite contrary to Japan’s optimistic expectation, the official Korean view is that “Japan’s rule was an illegal occupation,” ever since Syngman Rhee’s distortion of history. However eagerly Japan helps South Korea with its finances, South Korea never thanked Japan, instead stating, “Japan’s aid is nothing compared with the grave crime it committed in the Korean Peninsula.” Rather than gratitude, fueled by extreme anti-Japanese propaganda, Korean anti-Japanese sentiment took on a life of its own and Korean wariness and spite rose to a religious level. Perceiving Korean hate, some Japanese say in resignation, “There is nothing that Japan can do towards Korea that would be of any help,” and an atmosphere of “leaving Asia” is now permeating discussion.
Is the present circumstance good for both countries?
Today, South Korea has the mistaken, hate-filled notion that Japan is the enemy, moving more and more towards North Korea and China. South Korea does not appear to see a North Korean “red unification” plot looming in the distance.
If the conflict between Japan and South Korea becomes heated over the “mobilized workers” lawsuits, the Japanese Government will refuse to allow the U.S. to use its military bases in Japan in case of an emergency in the Korean Peninsula. The Japanese Government will be no longer be able to subdue the disgust of the Japanese people: “Why do we have to be involved in Korea’s war?” If U.S. forces cannot use its Japanese bases, it will be impossible to stop a North Korean invasion and the turning of South Korea red under North Korea.
Even if there is no war, if conflict between Japan and South Korea runs to extremes, there is a possibility of red unification being realized in one swoop, with South Korea being prodded by North Korea’s appeal to Korean nationalism, “Now is the time for South and North to get together and compete with Japan.” However economically dominant South Korea may feel over North Korea, it may not be beyond the impossible that North Korea, through political manipulation, could totally swallow up Korea.
In fact, negotiations now under way between South and North Korea are going at North Korea’s pace and it makes us uneasy that Kim Jong-un’s popularity is rapidly rising in Korea. The worst-case scenario is the emergence of an Korean anti-Japanese communist state with nuclear weapons.
Should South Korea become red, “north of the 38th parallel” will drop down south to the Tsushima Straits and Japan will be directly threatened by China and a unified anti-Japanese Korea. Under the present circumstance, in which American military strength is gradually weakening, with a Japanese Constitution that does not recognize the state’s right to ‘belligerency’ and without firm resolve to defend the homeland, Japan will have no alternative but to be totally controlled by red anti-Japanese Korea and China. If Korea becomes red, Japan will lose its sovereignty. The on-going conflict between Japan and South Korea is exactly what China and North Korea want, which is something that is undesirable for both Japan and Korea.
Let’s remember the time when Japan and Korea fought together
It is urgent that South Korea recognize their true enemy. To do so, it is indispensable for the peoples of Japan and South Korea to revive and recognize true history. If both nations can share their valuable experience in the Greater East Asian War, in which both sides fought together, hard feelings between the two countries will instantly melt.
Before the outbreak of the Greater East Asian War, most Asian countries were under White colonial rule. America, in keeping with European colonialism, aimed for Manchuria and brought upon Japan, an obstacle against American ambition, an irresolvable predicament. Furthermore, when World War II broke out in Europe, Roosevelt forced an embargo upon Japan. Japan was finally forced to go to war with the U.S. presenting its demands in the “Hull note,” which were totally unacceptable to Japan.
Finally, Japan stood up. The only way possible for Japan to survive as a country was to move into East Asia, defeat White colonial rule and free captive nations, thereby initiating prosperity in a united Asia.
The goal of the Greater East Asian War was Asian self-defense and self-determination. This ideal was declared to the world at the Greater East Asian Conference held in Tokyo in 1943. In attendance were leaders from seven Asian countries.
The Korean people, too, enthusiastically supported the Greater East Asian War and many Korean youths volunteered to fight in the Japanese Army with Japanese people to realize a free Asia. In 1942, there were sixty-two times Korean applicants wanting to join the Army for available places..
Volunteers were not limited to the military. To support this “holy war,” many Korean men labored in mines and factories as “mobilized applicants” and women also volunteered for the Women’s Volunteers’ Corps, working diligently and aspiring to rival mainland Japanese women in work output.
Though Japan was defeated in the War, Asia was liberated from White colonial rule and a racially harmonious free world was realized. The Japanese and Korean people greatly advanced human progress by fighting together in the Greater East Asian War: this is real history. Korean people should not devalue themselves, as a “forcibly abducted and abused people.” Instead, they should have pride as a people who are successors to their great ancestors who fought for Asia.
The Japanese people should awaken from the self-depreciating view of history, sown after the War by outsiders, and deeply reflect on the fact that by repeating unnecessary apologies, Japan has bewildered and confused the Korean people.
If the peoples of Japan and Korea can share true history and have gratitude to their ancestors for having fought against White domination, both can talk about the issue of mobilized workers in terms of past hardship. A day will surely arrive, when Korean spite towards Japan will evaporate and the peoples of both countries, hand in hand, will lead Asia.
Column 5: Of those mobilized from Korea, merely 245 Koreans remained in Japan after the repatriation program was completed after the war.
The total number of Koreans who remained in Japan at the end of the War is estimated to have been about two million. By 1946, most of them returned home to Korea aboard ships provided by the Japanese Government and companies. About 300,000 Koreans who had been mobilized to work in Japan during the War and those who remained were to be sent home. According to a statement from the Foreign Ministry, as reported in the July 13, 1959 edition of The Asahi Newspaper, the number of registered Korean residents in Japan was 610,000 and among them merely 245 Korean were former mobilized workers. In addition, the Foreign Ministry clearly stated, “Except for criminals, Koreans now staying in Japan do so out of their own volition.”
Some argue that Korean residents in Japan from South and North Korea are former forcibly mobilized workers and their descendants and that, therefore, “they should be given the right to vote,” which is clearly wrong.
The blood running in our veins is from our ancestors. Depending on one’s blood, descendants may be greatly self-confident or keep a low-profile.
The United States, after having won over Japan in the Greater East Asian War, schemed to totally destroy the traditional Japanese spirit so that Japan may not rise again. For one, Japanese history was rewritten, and children were taught at school that “your ancestors invaded other countries and inflicted tremendous damages upon them,” thus robbing Japanese youths of their self-confidence and pride as Japanese. And now, as a result, the majority of Japanese people no longer possess either pride or love for their own country, let alone a determination to defend their own homeland.
In addition, as time goes by, Japanese self-flagellation is self-destructive. Professed liberals, claiming that “so long as Japan does not wage war, there will be peace in Asia,” totally rebuke attempts at self-defense and refuse to clearly inscribe a self-defense force in the Constitution. They repeatedly make baseless statements, like calling for the immediate abandonment of nuclear power, and work to weaken Japan’s national strength as they surely have latent a “desire for destroying their own country.” the liberal concept is that in today’s world, an aggressive country like Japan must be dismantled. The American “revisionist history” did much to weaken Japan and bore far more “fruit” than anyone expected.
Just look at the current international situation. China’s militaristic expansion threatens the global peace and the global economy. Nationalistic thinking is dominant worldwide. It is not too much to say that the world is now regressing to a state of “survival of the fittest”, or the law of the jungle, in which countries use force in the name of “national interest”. Japan can hardly afford to be the sole dreamer for a peaceful world. We need to look directly at reality make efforts to defend Japan, or the Japanese people will end up losing their sovereignty, being a nation of slaves to other countries.
I cannot help but wonder if the current historical distortion imposed on Japan is causing increasing numbers of young people to choose withdrawal socially, shutting themselves off from the rest of the world and giving up their careers as “useless” at an early stage of their lives.
How can children have confidence in themselves and live a bold life if they are taught with textbooks that state that they are descendants of murderers and must be careful not to repeat their murderous past. We have seen many boys and girls who are unable to cope with society’s ups and downs, becoming recluses at home, indulge in instant gratification, and unwillingly head toward self-destruction.
However, they, too, will surely recover if they learn that our Japanese ancestors were the first nonwhite people to modernize and prevented, at the last possible moment, White global domination and brought about today’s world of racial equality and non-discrimination.
They will be proud of the Japanese blood running in their veins and overcome obstacles that life throws at them with firm determination—they will feel proud they are Japanese boys and girls. They will in fact be spirited: “We will defend our country.”
That is why it is so important to learn from history. Just learning Japanese history as it is, and people will naturally feel gratitude to our ancestors and joy that we were lucky to be born Japanese.
However, such important Japanese history is now threatened by Korea and China. The threat is not comparable to American historical revision. Korea’s and China’s revision is backed by a conspiracy to disgrace and subjugate the Japanese people for eternity. And what’s more, in the conspiracy is ensconced a strong Korean sense of revenge. If we do nothing about this, our offspring will be destined to be humiliated and ruled by other countries.
I believe that the greatest responsibility of our generation living now is to resolutely cope with Korea’s and China’s historical distortion and fabrication, to faithfully keep our true history intact and regain our honor and pride as Japanese.
Reference and Bibliography
Record of My Gunkanjima, written by Kachi Hideo (Nagasaki Bunken-sha)
Testimonies of Forced Abduction of Koreans, written and compiled by Kim Chan-jong (Shin Jinbutsu Orai-sha)
The Record of Forced Abduction of Koreans, written by Park Kyon-sik (Mirai-sha)
Listen to Gunkanjima—A Record of Forcibly Abducted Koreans and Chinese in Hashima, published by the Society to Vindicate the Human Rights of Korean Residents in Nagasaki (Shakai Hyoron-sha)
Gunkanjima, Miraculous Industrial Assets, written by Kurosawa Naganori (Jitsugyo no Nihon-sha)
Introduction to Gunkanjima, written by Kurosawa Naganori (Jitsugyo no Nihon-sha)
The Heritage of Gunkanjima, co-written by Goto Keinosuke and Sakamoto Michinori (Nagasaki Newspaper Co.)
Burning Lone Island, written by Uchida Yoshiyuki (Bungei-sha)
Gunkanjima in My Memory, written by Ayai Ken (Libre Shuppan)
Gunkanjima I, written by Han Sui-seng (Sakuhin-sha)
Gunkanjima II, written by Han Sui-seng (Sakuhin-sha)
Gunkanjima—Shameful UNESCO World Heritage, written by Lee Munyon (Uri Education)
Hell Island Gunkanjima, written by Kim Yon-suk (Pullbit Publisher)
Photo Documentation—Chikuho, Gunkanjima, Forced Abduction of Koreans and Later Years, written by Hayashi Eidai (Gen Shobo)
Chikuho Seen through Walking All Over There—The Record of Korean Coal Miners, written by Kim Gwang-lie (Akashi Shoten)
A State of Extortion, written by Nishioka Tsutomu (WAC)
Comfort Women and Sex in the Battle Zone, written by Hata Ikuhiko (Shincho-Sensho)
The Army and Sex Violence—the 20th Century of the Korean Peninsula, compiled and written by So Rengyoku and Kim Ei (Gendai Shiryo Shuppan)
Gunkanjima and Combined Fleet, written by Kozato Gakushi (Bungei-sha)
Nagasaki Study 4, compiled by Nagasaki Bunken-sha, supervised by Society to Study Gunkanjima (Nagasaki Bunken-sha)
New History of Nagasaki City, Volume III, Modern Edition, compiled by Compilation Committee of History of Nagasaki City
Korea Fabricates History, written by Nakagawa Yatsuhiro (Tokuma Shoten)
Seodaemun Prison Historical Museum Booklet for Low Elementary School Grades (Seodaemun Prison Historical Museum)
Seodaemun Prison Historical Museum Booklet for Upper Elementary School Grades
(Seodaemun Prison Historical Museum)
Seodaemun Prison Historical Museum Booklet for Youths, (Seodaemun Prison Historical Museum)
Figures Tell History of Korean Residents in Japan, written by Morita Yoshio (Akashi Shoten)
The Collection of Materials Related to Korean Residents in Japan, Volume V, written by Park Kyon-sik (Sanichi Shobo)
Study of Colonized Korea, written by Sugimoto Mikio (Tenden-sha)
Hashima (Gunkanjima), compiled and published by Takashima Town, Nagasaki City
[Articles and Papers]
History of Coal Mines, Chronicle of Coal Mining in Nagasaki Prefecture, compiled by Maekawa Masao
Hyoron, September 2000 issue, “Fiction of the Alleged Forced Abduction of Koreans”, by Nishiokaa Tsutomu
Hanada, October 2017 issue, “Great Korean film Gunkanjima –lies of mobilized workers,” by Nishioka Tsutomu
Hanada, November 2017 issue, “Were mobilized workers unhappy? 1) Gunkanjima,” by Chung Dae-kyun
Hanada, December 2017 issue, “Were Korans unhappy? (2) Wartime mobilization,” by Chung Dae-kyun
Choice Toward Tomorrow, November 2002 issue, “What is Korean ‘forced abduction’ issue?”
SAPIO, October 2017 issue, “How to deal with Korea that fabricates history as national strategy,” by Sakurai Yoshiko
SAPIO, October 2017 issue, “Direct interviews with Mr. and Mrs. Kim, who made and spread statues of a comfort woman and a mobilized worker all over the world,” by Takenaka Akihiro
SAPIO, October 2017 issue, “The film Gunkanjima is the worst faked cinema in history.”
SAPIO, March-April 2018 issue, “A pack of lies of Koreans”
The Yomiuri Newspaper, morning edition of July 28, 2013, “’Law of emotion’ that distorts Korean diplomacy”
The Sankei Newspaper, dated February 8, 2017, “War of History”
The Sankei Newspaper, dated February 11, 2017, From Readers Service Room
The Sankei Newspaper, dated April 12, 2017, “War of History”
The Sankei Newspaper, dated June 7, 2017, “War of History—Anti-Japanese Network”
The Sankei Newspaper, dated December 4, 2017, “To the beautiful and strong country” by Sakurai Yoshiko
The Sankei Newspaper, dated December 24, 2017, “War of History”
Evening Fuji, January 30, 2017, “Special contribution from Mr. Hosoya Kiyoshi”
JAPANISM, 2016, Volume 32, “Never make Gunkanjima anti-Japanese propaganda!” by Ogawa Shigeki
Seiron, September 2017 issue, “Save world heritage ‘Gunkanjima’ from the Korean film’s fabrication” by Sugita Mio
Seiron, October 2017 issue, “Korean film Gunkanjima ‘s astounding anti-Japanese appeal” by Kuroda Katsuhiro
Seiron, January 2018 issue, “Mobilized workers made a modern Korean steel manufacturer” by Abe Nangyu
Rekishi-tsu, April 2017 issue, “Korea—Numerous lies of the ‘National Memorial Museum of Forced Mobilization under Japanese Occupation’” by Miwa Munehiro
Mr. Che SYoung’s Webpage: “So many evidences to indicate that the film Gunkanjima is faked.”
Hearing and on-the-Spot Survey in Hashima (Gunkanjima), written by Goto Keinosuke, Mori Toshio, Sakamoto Michinori and Kojima Takayuki (Nagasaki University, Faculty of Engineering report Vol.35, published in March 2005)
Nagasaki Junshin Catholic University, Faculty of Comparative Culture, Academic Society Report No. 5: “Notes for Gunkanjima” by Nagano Hideki