Wednesday, April 3, 2013

アメリカでまた慰安婦記念碑を造ります。 More comfort Women memorials in America

Recently, Korean Americans are stepping up their efforts to portray Japan in a bad light in America with the Comfort Women issue.  They are teaming up with Jewish American groups, and claiming the same status as war victims.


Absolutely untrue.  Below, I include the email I sent to America.  For a list of email addresses to contact, please look at the link below.  I sent an email to all of the addresses.




To the members of the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County.


I have read of your decision to put up a permanent memorial to the so called "Comfort Women" with deep unease and regret.  This is the same as putting up a memorial to the camp guards at Auschwitz.


If I were Jewish, I would find this a great insult.  Even though I am not Jewish, I find this insulting as a historian.


You are being conned.  During the war, the Korean people were Japanese citizens, and were willing and able participants in the Japanese Empire.  It is after the war that they decided that they were victims, and switched roles.


And even in their own country, Korea, women are demonstrating for their right to be prostitutes.  Yet they accuse Japan of a crime?


Protesting Korean prostitutes attempt to set themselves on fire.


Let me explain.


America is a country that treasures human rights for the individual.  And in particular, the rights of women world wide are a concern for Americans.  When people use the term "Sex Slave" to describe the Comfort Women, it resonates in the United States.

アメリカは、個人の人権権利を大切にしている国です。特に、アメリカ人が世界中の女性権利を心配しています。それで、慰安婦を説明する為に、英語で"Sex Slave"”性の奴隷”の単語を利用すると、アメリカではこれが深い意味に成ります。

But were these women indeed slaves?  No.  First of all, as distasteful as it may seem, it was common in both Japan and Korea pre war to sell daughters into prostitution.  For poor families with too many mouths to feed, this was the only option.


As far as the comfort women were concerned, they were paid.  The recruiters were all ethnic Koreans.  People have conjured up an image of the Imperial Japanese Army rampaging trough Korean villages, and hauling off screaming women.


This never happened.


Please refer to the Pdf below. 


On page 117, it lists some newspaper advertisements from 1944 for Comfort Women.  As a matter of reference, monthly pay is listed as ¥300.  At that time a Japanese Imperial Army sergeant was paid ¥30 a month.


The Korean government itself continued the Comfort Women system post war for US troops.


I have written about it extensively in my blog.  And I have visited the Silver town mentioned in my blog below.


In any case, Koreans continued the system after the war.  And today, Koreans are the greatest human traffickers in the United States.


If the Korean people in the United States are serious about combatting prostitution, why do they not cooperate with the FBI and stop the traffickers from their own community?


There are no organized Japanese prostitutes in the US at all.  Those massage parlors you see with names like Osaka and Nagoya, they are Korean.


In any case, Japan has paid extensive reparations to Korea.


At the time of payment, these funds were to settle all claims, including the Comfort Women issue.


And Japan has apologized, endlessly.


Now it seems that some Koreans simply want more money.


Koreans have a problem with history.  Years ago when I was in Korea, I was discussing WWII with some Korean people.  They insisted that their country had the worst experience of the war.


I am a WWII historian, and I differ with that assessment.  My candidate for country with the worst war experience, if I had to pick, would be Poland.  Invaded by both Germany and the Soviet Union, Occupied by Germany, the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943, the Polish Home Army Warsaw uprising of 1944 all devastated the country.  Then the savage resistance of the German Army as the Soviets pushed towards Berlin.


And of course there was constant guerrilla activity.


Postwar, Poland lost a third of it's eastern territory and was ordered to takeover the former German territories of Prussia and Silesia.  Many people were killed and displaced.  All in all, Poland lost 25% of it's prewar population.


But when I was in Korea, Korean people insisted that their WWII experience was much worse than Poland.


That is when Korean people lost my sympathy for any claim whatsoever about WWII.


The thing about Koreans is, they did not resist the Japanese annexation of their country.  Most Koreans embraced it.  And this is their shame today.


There was no resistance movement inside Korea.  There was one major riot in 1919 where some thousands were killed.  That was all.  There was a guerrilla movement in the far north of the country, but they could not base themselves inside Korea, their bases were in Manchuria.


All they could do was make the occasional foray into Korea, they received no help from the Korean populace.  And they numbered only about 1,500 individuals.


More Koreans have died fighting post war Korean governments than fighting Japan.


Koreans will tell you that they were forced to cooperate because Japan was so brutal.  Well in Europe, many Balts, Ukrainians, Russians and other nationalities fought in German uniform, something like 1 million.


Would the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center put up a memorial to them?  By putting up such an exhibition for the Comfort Women, that is what you are doing.


But these countries also had anti German guerrilla movements.  Korea has no such history.  And this is their shame today.  During WWII, they willingly fought for Japan.  They willingly recruited their own women for prostitution.


By putting up this exhibition, you are getting involved with Korean inferiority complexes towards Japan.  And you are making serious historical mistakes.


The only evidence the Koreans now have are a few eyewitnesses.  Yet any historian will tell you, eyewitness testimony is very unreliable.  You need other sources.


Things just did not happen like Koreans say they did.  I seriously ask you to do more research into the true nature of Japanese/Korean relations.


And to be fair, if you want to address women's issues, you should address modern day Korean human trafficking in the United States.


Thank you very much,

Max von Schuler-Kobayashi

Tokyo Japan

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