The following is the blog post by Max von Shuler-Kobayashi, an American WWII historian concerning the comfort women memorials being set up in the United States, rearranged in the HTML format for the ease of readers. Links contained in the original text, which no longer work, were deleted. You can refer to the original text at the following Blog site:
Concerning the Comfort Women memorials being set up by Korean/Americans (June 22, 2012)
Recently, South Koreans living in America have started setting up memorials to the so called Comfort women problem. Apparently, they want Japan to pay more money than Japan already has.
When an agreement regarding the Japanese war reparations was signed, the South Korean government promised to pay individual compensation to various victims out of this fund. But they did not, they used the money for economic development.
The Japanese government has apologized endlessly.
Frankly, I am not sure what they want exactly. But I will state a few things.
First of all, I do not think Japan a criminal nation for going to war. White European countries and America were dominating the countries around Japan and colonizing them. Japan's choice was to fight or be destroyed.
OK, yes, comfort women did exist. It was a system of prostitution for Imperial Japanese soldiers. Japan was not the only country to have such a system, the French Army also did so.
Bordel militaire de campagne
In the years before the Second World War, there was a very different attitude towards prostitution than today.
However, there is a curious thing about South Koreans. They keep saying how terrible Japan was. Yet, after the Second World war, the South Korean government sponsored the same type of system of prostitution in South Korea for US troops.
Many of these bars for American troops with prostitutes were openly government run.
Ex-prostitutes say S. Korea and the U.S. enabled sex trade near bases (New York Times; January 7, 2009
Also, today, Korean prostitution in many countries is quite a big business, and well organized.
In America, Korean girls are deceived, brought into America, forced to do prostitution, and treated like slaves. They are treated very badly. Their passports are taken, their every move is watched by a minder. Their pay is very little. If they make trouble, they are beaten.
All these things are being done today, by Koreans.
Korean Prostitution Business
So what is it with South Koreans? They scream very loudly about things they say Japan did 70 years ago. However, they can these things today themselves?
I have been to Korea several times. I have seen these government sponsored places of prostitution. I have been to Kunsan "Silvertown" an area of prostitute bars.
A bar street in Kunsan silvertown
It was a walled compound, a Korean uniformed government security guard, and a uniformed US Air Force Air Policeman were at the gate.
This means the US government was aware of what was going on.
In Korea, many Koreans would tell me how terrible Japan was in the war to Korea.
Well, the fact is, I am very knowledgeable about the Second World War. In my opinion, the country that suffered the most was Poland. 25% of Poland's people were killed, and it was invaded by both Germany and Russia. Many terrible battles were fought on Polish soil.
But if I talked to my Korean friends about this, they would get very angry. They would insist that their experience was the worst of the war.
And it is this aspect of Korean people that I find difficult. Certainly, there were some harsh aspects to Japan's occupation of Korea. However, Korean elites cooperated with Japan. And the anti Japanese guerrilla movement was very small, and never had any real support inside Korea. They spent most of their time in Manchuria.
The fact is, in WWII, Korea had a relatively easy time. No major battles were fought there. There was no guerrilla activity to speak of. Japanese rule did not slaughter individuals.
I know what I am talking about. I am an ethnic German. I know full well what happened in Russia, or other countries occupied by Germany. I know well about the holocaust of exterminating Jews and other peoples.
The Korean experience in WWII just does not compare, and it angers me when they cry about their troubles. The truth is war is a terrible thing, but almost all countries involved in the war had a worse time than Korea.
And even in WWII, the Korean comfort women were recruited by ethnic Koreans, and then passed on to the Japanese military.
Let us keep our history straight.
I understand that more such monuments are planned in the US.
Koo plans to honors for comfort women(Queens Chronicle; June 7, 2012)
Japan has sent a petition with 25,000 signatures to the US a protest. But my American sources indicate this will ignored. Well the point here is, for President Obama, we cannot vote in American elections. And a lot of these Korean/Americans are citizens and can vote.
Well, what can we do? In America, there is freedom of speech. However, in America, State governments, and local governments, are forbidden from conducting foreign policy.
I think what has to happen here is that the Japanese government should hire a team of lawyers in America to prove that this monument craze WILL have foreign policy implications.
And if the American government ignores us, then we should begin to do things like, cancel joint cultural or sporting events to show our anger. And then if that doesn't work, well we have a lot of trade and military ties that could be reviewed.
I want to the US government that they should respect Japan. We have paid reparations, even if the history was not clear who was in the wrong. And in war, everybody is wrong in some way. America had the luxury of winning the war, the terrible things America did could be erased, or forcibly forgotten.
But I think that this problem will increase. But how can Korean Americans today demand apologies for events 70 years ago, when present day Koreans are the biggest source of prostitution trafficking in the US today?
Sources of foreign prostitutes inside the USA.
June 22, 2012
Itfs no secret that there were S. Korean Comfort Women served for the U.S./U.N. servicemen during and after the Korean War. gCamp Townh and gTexas Villageh were famous red zones for such prostitutes among others.
S. Koreans continued to use the same Kanji letters that mean gComfort Women ÔÀwh as used by the Japanese Army until recently.
If the term gComfort Womenh is associated with the tragedy as Koreans claim today, why have they continued to use the same term for decades aster the WWII ?
This news appeared on February 26, 1957, on the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper. The kanji-letters say "Fire on U.S. comfort stations burned down 5 buildings."
The following photo shows the Kisaeng girls contributing "comfort bags" to the Japanese Imperial Army soldiers in support for the war effort. (Source: Vol. No.279/August 1938 edition of the photo magazine gChosen (Korea)h published from the Governor-General of Korea)
If the Japanese Imperial Army soldiers were rampaging through the Korean towns or villages for rounding-up of women and girls for "forced sex slavery," do you think those women had shown such support of war ?
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