Lies Inscribed on the Glendale Monument and the Comfort
By Moteki Hiromichi,
Lies Inscribed on the Glendale Monument and the Comfort Women Controversy
Moteki Hiromichi, Secretary
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact
What is inscribed on the stone monument in Glendale is as follows:
“I was a sex slave of Japanese military.”
*Torn hair symbolizes the girl being snatched from her home by the Imperial Japanese Army.
*Tight fists represent the girl’s firm resolve for a deliverance of justice.
*Bare and unsettled feet represent having been abandoned by the cold and unsympathetic world.
*Bird on the girl’s shoulder symbolizes a bond between us and the deceased victims. *Empty chair symbolizes survivors who are dying of old age without having yet witnessed justice.
*Shadow of the girl is that of an old grandma, symbolizing passage of time spent in silence.
*Butterfly in shadow represents hope that victims may resurrect one day to receive their apology.
In memory of more than 200,000 Asian and Dutch women who were removed from
their homes in Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam,
Malaysia, East Timor and Indonesia, to be coerced into sexual slavery by the Imperial
Armed Forces of Japan between 1932 and 1945.
And in celebration of proclamation of “Comfort Women Day” by the City of Glendale
on July 30, 2012, and of passing of House Resolution 121 by the United States
Congress on July 30, 2007, urging the Japanese Government to accept historical
responsibility for these crimes.
It is our sincere hope that these unconscionable violations of human rights shall
July 30, 2013
We can without doubt conclude that these words are 100% false: huge lies. Allow me to explain why.
First, not a single woman was forcibly taken from her home by the Imperial Japanese Army. Absolutely none. That is clear because the Japanese military had no such authority/legal right nor they were so carefree or ill-disciplined as to engage in the business as pimps. If they had committed such an act, it would have become a big social problem, even in the prewar years. In fact, not a single Korean said that he/she actually witnessed such a scene. The monument says more than 200,000 women were removed from their homes. How is it possible, for those who take this for granted, without anyone even wondering that there is not a single witness who has come out to say that he or she actually saw this happen?
One may wonder about the testimonies of the former comfort women. None of them, however, said they were forcibly taken to the war zone by the Japanese military or Japanese authorities. Some of them told vague stories which hinted that they were enticed or taken by military-related persons. But these completely contradict the circumstances as mentioned above. Not one testimony proves forced abduction. They were not asked or forced to go to a military zone but rather they went there to earn money by prostitution, which was commonly practiced at that time.
The only cited proof of forced abduction has been My War Crime, which was written by Yoshida Seiji in 1983. The Asahi Newspaper and others extensively reported on this issue based on the story within his book. However, the book turned out to be a sheer lie. The fabrication was exposed and published in the August 14, 1989 issue of the Jeju Ilbo (Newspaper) after a thorough and extensive investigation conducted by one of the newspaper’s female reporters, together with a local historian on Jeju Island, where author Yoshida said he had conducted comfort women hunts. Please refer to the copy of the article from the Jeju Ilbo and its English translation on the following page.
The local newspaper, in the very island where Yoshida claimed he hunted comfort women, investigated, in collaboration with a local historian, and reported that such hunt never took place. Nevertheless, the Asahi Newspaper continued to report on the comfort women issue for 25 years after the truth was revealed based on Yoshida’s story, as if it were true, ignoring the article in the Jeju Newspaper and not renouncing Yoshida’s
Jeju Ilbo completely contradicts Yoshida’ s comfort women kidnapping story
via an article on August 14, 1989
On the occasion of the 44th anniversary of our Liberation, people are utterly shocked at the publication of a record that described that 205 women from Jeju Island were drafted as comfort women during the Imperial Japanese regime. However, no witness is presented to back up the allegation, which invites various reactions. [The outline of Yoshida’s book is then introduced.]
Not one witnesses for stories described in the book, including one that fifteen to sixteen girls were forcibly drafted as comfort women at a shell-button factory in Josanpo and other incidents of comfort women hunts conducted at various villages such as Hokan-ri.
Islanders flatly denied the story as “nonsense” and strongly doubted the book’s credibility. Chong Okutan (an eighty-five year old woman), who lives at Josanpo, said, “In a village of a little over two hundred fifty households, if fifteen girls had been drafted, it would have been a big event, but at that time, nothing of the sort happened.”
Kim Pon-oku, a local historian, indignantly said, “After the Japanese-version book was published in 1983, I conducted follow-up research for several years and found out that it was not true. This book seems to be a product of the insincere commercial spirit symbolizing Japanese people’s vice.”
( Jeju Ilbo Article of August 14, 1989 written by Ms. Heo Yeong-seon )
fabrication. The Korean Government took no heed of its own country’s local newspaper’s clear denial of Yoshida’s story either, blindly believing what the Asahi Newspaper, Japan’s media “authority”, said and continued in criticizing Japan, based on a false report. Now that we know what the Asahi Newspaper reported turned out to be false, wouldn’t it be the right thing for the Korean Government to sincerely reflect on its conduct and apologize to Japan for their mistake?
Secondly, as “A Guide to Understanding the Comfort-Women Controversy” (http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/113_S4.pdf) reads;
Before World War II, in Japan (and in almost all countries as well at that time), prostitution was legal and there were many facilities, such as houses of prostitution, throughout Japan. Similar facilities were established in war zones and there was no particular illegal involvement on the part of the military. At that time, while within Japan proper these facilities were freely available, there were no such facilities available in overseas war zones, which could be considered discriminatory treatment against soldiers. Therefore, the establishment of comfort stations was based on the principles of fairness and impartiality. It is well beside the point to criticize this practice.
Thirdly, prostitution was not, in general, favorably considered at that time, as it was called an ugly profession. On the other hand, the profession was by far more highly rewarded than ordinary jobs. (This is the same as it is today.) So, prostitution was a good means for poor and not particularly resourceful women by which to obtain a high income. Again, the situation is the same as it is today. Therefore, to condemn this profession from the perspective of an infringement of women’s rights is one line of thinking, but this hardly leads to equal, universal justice. In fact, there was a big rally by prostitutes in Seoul, South Korea, on May 17, 2011.
This was a protest to save their profession, their claim being “Are we to be robbed of our right to engage in prostitution?” (Refer to the photo from Time Photo on the next page.) How do people who believe prostitution is an issue of women’s rights respond to the cries of these protesting women? Even today, when prostitution is legally prohibited, prostitutes are demanding their right to be prostitutes. Seventy years back, prostitution was legally accepted and yet the Japanese Army is accused for having wartime comfort stations from the viewpoint that this infringes on women’s rights. I wonder how on earth this abnormality emerged.
The Japanese human rights advocates who criticized the use of comfort women and deplored its criminality never protested against the abductions of many Japanese citizens by North Korea nor took positive action to rescue them and bring them back home to Japan. It is easily seen that the true “abnormality” lies here. I must conclude that they are not earnestly trying to stand up for “human rights,” but rather, they are only criticizing Japan in the name of “human right”, based on the theory that the Japanese are villainous. President Obama, Mrs. Hillary Clinton and other American human rights advocates must be made aware of this “abnormality” sooner or later.
Fourthly, since it was a job that was engaged within dangerous war zones, the comfort women could expect higher income than that of an ordinary prostitution facility. As “A Guide to Understanding the Comfort-Women Controversy” ((http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/113_S4.pdf) indicates, the monthly payment of 300 yen was nearly the general rate cited in newspaper advertisements. However, the actual income seemed to be much higher. According to Report No. 49, compiled by the US Office of War Information, their average monthly income was 750 yen. Moreover, a former comfort woman named Mun Ok-ju put her money in a postal savings account in Burma while she worked as a comfort woman. Later, she filed a lawsuit, claiming that she could not get her money back. It was not that Japanese Army refused to pay her money back but that she could not receive her money because she had lost her savings account passbook. Through investigation, it was found out that the original record book was kept at Shimonoseki Post Office and that her remaining postal savings account was 26,115 yen. She saved this much money over two and half years, which meant that she earned at least 1,000 yen per month. The salary of a private first class was 10 yen per month. So, her income was a hundred times higher than that of Japanese soldiers. This was extremely huge amount of money. Naturally, there were many women who wanted this lucrative job, and there was no need at all to forcibly abduct women and make them comfort women.
Fifthly, reflecting the common sense at that time as described above, Report No. 49 of the US Office of War Information, based on interviews with 20 Korean comfort women who had become prisoners of war in Myitkyina, Burma, clearly recorded, “A comfort girl is nothing more than a prostitute or professional camp follower.” (See the photo on the next page.) This was nothing unusual.
Certainly, the inscription on the monument includes Japan as origins of comfort women. However, there was not a case of forcible abduction by the Imperial Japanese Army. It is too absurd to mention whether there is any record left about this or not. In the first place, any forcible abduction by the Army is impossible in principle. It is the same with other countries. The fact that such a thing could have never happened in Japan will clearly show what a big lie the monument tells.
As I wrote in “A Guide to Understanding the Comfort Women Controversy” ((http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/113_S4.pdf), prostitution was the oldest profession in human history, and it was not the matter of decades ago. As you all well know, the profession is popularly performed still today. As I mentioned previously, prostitutes in Korea held a big rally in May, 2011, lest their right to prostitute be taken away. It is known that prostitutes of Korean nationality working in the United States outnumber those from any other country. Many Korean prostitutes also have come to Japan to do
their business. They may have come for various domestic or personal reasons to work in Japan. After they worked as prostitutes under such hard conditions, would it be possible for them to ask for an apology and compensation for such a hard time from the Japanese Government? At present, former comfort women and the Korean Government are asking the Japanese Government for an apology and compensation.
The Japanese Government has apologized, although they maintain that there was no forcibility involved. Whether those women suffered during harsh times or not, responsibility should have mostly rested on the individual women or their parents. Neither the Japanese Government nor the military are to be blamed for their hardships. Under these circumstances, why does Japan have to “apologize”? Since Japan apologized, everyone in the world supposes that Japan must have done something wrong or unjust. If some of us expect some countries to consider Japan conscionable, that is totally beside the mark. The mere fact that Japan did in fact apologize misses the essence of the matter and becomes a fundamental point of disgrace to Japan, putting her into a miserable plight.
The “comfort women issue,” which was entirely based on fabrication, basically collapsed when the Asahi Newspaper finally admitted that their report was false. Essentially, Yoshida Seiji’s lie was the only evidence of forced abduction of comfort women. The local Jeju Ilbo (Jeju Daily Newspaper) clearly reported, after a thorough investigation, that Yoshida’s story was fabricated in 1989. Even since then, the Asahi Newspaper has continued to maintain that comfort women were forcibly abducted, not publicly admitting to Yoshida’s fabrication. Their reporting should not be called misreporting or a false report, but nothing more than fabrication and distortion.
Since the Asahi Newspaper has held overwhelming authority among the Japanese press and intellectuals, this fabricated report by the Asahi Newspaper heavily influenced the Japanese Government and politicians, so tremendously that they were obliged to make quite an off-of-the-point “apology” as well as the Kohno Statement, studded itself with lies. Not only that, the Korean Government criticized Japan on the basis of the Asahi report. Although their local Jeju Ilbo clearly concluded that Yoshida’s story was 100% false, the Korean Government shamefully, its own country’s very paper on point concerning the issue, continues to ride on the false report of Japanese Asahi Newspaper.
Based on this 100% false information, the Koreans established a statue of a comfort woman in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul and put up another comfort woman statue, together with a totally false inscription, in the City of Glendale, California, USA. This is the real truth of the matter. It is the Koreans who spread such enormous lies in the United States that should apologize and abolish this statue. At the same time, the City of Glendale is equally responsible, which not conducting proper research and turning a deaf ear to many conscientious Japanese and some of their Assembly members, which approved the establishment of this statue. The City of Glendale should apologize for this error and immediately remove the statue.