Comfort Women


Tokyo Kaleidoscope June 7

"I don't believe that you didn't receive any money." The abusive language of an Japanese LDP member against a protesting former comfort woman. Kim Sang Ki, a former comfort woman, who visited Japan from South Korea, directly met and protested against Upper House member Itagaki Tadashi of the Liberal Democratic Party. Itagaki had said that the forcible recruitment of many women by Imperial forces was "not a historical fact" on June 4. "We do not agree with the self-tormenting historical recognition." -- emphasized by the forming a new group of Diet members On this day, a new group of LDP Diet members who refuse to admit that Japan waged a war of aggression (Chairman: Okuno Seisuke, former Minister of Justice) was launched. The idea for the group is: "We cannot stand for the self-humiliating historical re cognition and mean apologizing diplomacy". "We have tried to regain what we lost after World War II and raise healthy Japanese." During the press conference, Okuno, who was asked about the issue of sexual slavery, answered, "Comfort women participated in commercial activities, and they were not forced to do so."

Itagaki, secretary general, also commented, "The situation of textbooks of implanting the image of sexual abuse was wrong. Our soldiers and military were innocent" Upper House member Itagaki is also Advisor of the Japan War Bereaved Association which praises the spirits of Japanese who compose the war dead. During the LDP's General Council on May 28, Itagaki criticized the contents of textbooks used in high schools, saying, "The thing was not based on historical facts, such as that minor women were forcibly recruited as comfort women was described one-sidedly as a historical fact." For these kinds of statements, Kim Soki who visited Japan from South Korea became angry and protested by visiting Itagaki at the Members' Office Building along with supporters of a Japanese citizens group. Kim was taken by Japanese wearing military uniforms in the city of Taegu, Korea, where there was a Japanese colony in 1937, and forced to work at a brothel in Suzhou for 8 years. * "Do you have objective proof?" "Weren't you paid?" Major conversations between Kim and Lawmaker Itagaki are as follows: (from the morning edition of the Asahi newspaper, dated June 5) Itagaki: At that time, there was the licensed prostitution system under the poverty, and there were unfortunate women. (The issue of the comfort women is not) something to be praised, and I feel sorry, but was it not a fact that the Japanese military a uthorities took women by binding ropes around their necks. Kim: "I moved in the front-line with the soldiers. People who took us along were all military people. When we tried to escape from the brothels, soldiers shot at us. My friend committed suicide as a result of Japanese making reckless remarks that women were not taken forcibly, I felt like my heart was stirred. I gave my name with the feeling that otherwise you will never recognize the truth". Itagaki: "All were done by the military? I don't believe that. The military might be involved with that but not all of this was done by the military. There must have been some dealers to play that kind of role".? Supporter: "There were brothels directly managed by the military". Itagaki: "What about the compensation? Were you ever paid? " Kim: "Not at all". Itagaki: "I don't believe at all that there was such a case. I judge this from the situation at that time. I have a belief as a politician. I have a pride as a Japanese. Do you have any objective proof that women were taken forcibly"? Supporter: "Are you saying that Kim's testimony is a lie?" Itagaki: "I don't say that it is a lie, but I am asking whether everything is true; there is a great doubt. This is not a matter to be handled emotionally. We need proof. I am saying that there is no basis to judge for myself. Even if we issue acertificate for a victim of an atomic bombing, we need proof. This sounds cruel, but with compiling reference materials, you should be more objective. I think that your destiny must be miserable... Supporter: "Three years ago former Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono Yohei admitted during an informal talk that women were forcibly taken". Itagaki: "I don't admit Kono's statement". Kim: "You did not go to the front-line hovering between life and death. I have scars all over my body". (She showed her scars in various places.) Itagaki: "Didn't you receive any money for 8 years?" Kim: "How is it you can ask if it is true or not for a person who is lingering on the verge of death? You used to rape my body at battlefields, and now you disgrace my soul after 50 years. I strongly protest that I never received any money at all".


If you have found the web site of use or interest and you feel that you would like to show your appreciation, why not send a small donation to the memorial to the victims of Japanese bestiality being erected In St Martin in the Fields London on the 16th August.

Fepow Memorial at Camden