According to recent reports from East Asian news agencies, the demand for a proper acknowledgment of sexual exploitation in WW2 by the Imperial Japanese Army continues around various countries and regions.
The ROK government has urged for a sincere apology with intense protests surrounding the Japanese embassy in Seoul (though one man managed to scale their walls):
The Chinese have cut their trip to rebuild bilateral ties with Japan short in response to Abe’s controversial remarks and the joint Sino-Japanese history project has come to an end with nothing worked out as well.
Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Japan has been shortened in response to Tokyo’s saying there was no proof that women who worked in wartime brothels were coerced, Yonhap news agency said yesterday.
Historians from China and Japan have given up cowriting a single history of Sino-Japanese relations in a joint study project sponsored by the two governments because of the apparent huge gaps in their views and time constraints, Japanese participants said Tuesday.
It’s one thing to make idiotic remarks as a private citizen or a low-ranking official, but Abe’s remarks have much weight as Prime Minister since he Constitutionally represents the Japanese people in their views. If 2ch really was a true indicator of mainstream Japanese opinion as many profess, then Abe has done his job well and his party will gain some seats in the upcoming election. However, the perception of Japanese abroad will only worsen, especially in more isolated parts of the world, and it places business interests that depend of stable relations in East Asia in an extremely difficult position to prosper.
It’s also counterproductive to regional ties when the Japanese government through their Cabinet makes an official denial of the wartime exploitation of comfort women:
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government said yesterday it did not believe there was proof Japan forced women into World War II brothels, reiterating remarks that caused an uproar earlier this month.
“The government did not find evidence showing forced recruitment by Japanese military authorities or bureaucrats,” Abe’s Cabinet said in a policy statement in parliament responding to a question by an opposition lawmaker.
That’s just beautiful since we finally get a real clarification on where the Japanese government officially stands in their Prime Minister’s controversial remarks. With that being said, they might as well deny the Rape of Nanjing, the Pearl Harbour bombings, the wartime occupation, and the cruel treatment of WW2 POWs. After all, the United States is willing to let them say these things as long as they remain under their sphere of influence in the areas of defence and act as their proxy regional policeman in East Asia. Then Japanese nationalists also make it a point that non-Japanese cannot understand them since they have unique psychology and that it is none of their business to question their views on history since they are not Japanese.
The only good thing that comes out of this is that Taiwan Province actually takes a common stand against Abe for his remarks as a former colony that also had comfort women and actually enjoyed Japanese colonisation:
Taiwan demands Japanese apology, compensation for comfort women
Taipei (dpa) – Taiwan on Thursday demanded that Japan make a formal apology and state compensation to the former comfort women, women who served as prositutes in the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.
Taiwanese vice Foreign Minister Yang Tzu-pao summoned Koichi Ito, an official from Japan’s representative office in Taipei, to make the demand.
“The Japanese government must face up to the historical evidence. To the comfort women who suffered immense psychological and physical trauma, Japan must make a sincere and formal apology and a state compensation,” a Foreign Ministry news release quoted Yang as saying.
Ito quoted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as saying earlier this month, that in 1993, after Japan had investigated the issue of comfort women, former chief cabinet secretary Koono Yohe apologized to these women, and Japan’s stance remained unchanged.
Ito said foreign media misreported Abe’s speech in parliament, resulting in the misunderstanding. But Yang reiterated Taiwan’s stand that it hoped Japan will face up to historical facts and make a formal apology and state compensation to the comfort women.
During World War II, Japan recruited some 200,000 mostly Asian women to serve as prostitutes in the Japanese Imperial Army.
Japan claimed these women voluntarily provided sexual services, but surviving comfort women in China, Taiwan, South and North Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia and the Netherlands have refuted Tokyo’s claim, saying they had been tricked and forced to join the Japanese army.
They should also be careful how they criticise Japan or else their Self-Defence Forces will never come to Taiwan Province’s aid when China invades because Taiwan has no protection if the United States invade Iran.