VOX POPULI: ‘Comfort Women’ Commentary

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stanley kanzaki (low res)By STANLEY KANZAKI

The following are comments in re to The Rafu Shimpo’s “Vox Populi” of Mo Nishida titled “The ‘Comfort Women’ Issue,” dated Jan. 9, 2014.

Mr. Nishida states that “the only problem I have with the concept is that it’s too narrow; there were also Filipinas, Chinese, a few Japanese and some white/Europeans that were shanghaied. I think all should be included.”

According to reports I’ve read, there were some 200,000 euphemistically called “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army and sanctioned by the Japanese government of that period (1922-1944) and 80% were Korean women.

This large number of Korean women is believable in that Korea was what unjustly amounted to be at that time a slave colony of Japan for 35 years. Therefore it was a simple matter for the Japanese of that period to have forcibly recruited the Korean women into the comfort women system. Of this total it is believed that there are only 58 alive today.

Based on these figures, the “narrowness” and “inclusion” issues brought up by Mr. Nishida raise questions. Why didn’t the governments of the other ethnic comfort women join with the Republic of Korea government to demand rightful apology and reparations when it was first demanded? It seems the question is not the narrowness and the inclusion but what seems to be the insensibleness of their governments to care enough and be involved to seek justice for their victimized comfort women.

Another point is the use of the term “shanghaied.” It seems rather improper usage and somewhat to have unfavorable ethnic overtones. Words such as kidnapped, forcibly removed, abduction, etc., would have been more appropriate.

The Japanese government must face up to the injustices of the past and do what is just, or is it kao or face that they are trying to save? And finally too, it is somewhat disappointing that Mr. Nishida did not come out and state definitively just what the Japanese government must do and his opinion on the comfort women monument issue.

But then I do agree with most of what he wrote and especially note indeed his honesty, knowledge and courageously expressing his beliefs.

Stanley N. Kanzaki writes from New York. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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