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Ex-sex slave says Osaka mayor's remark 'absurd'

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:24 a.m. HST, May 25, 2013

OSAKA, Japan » A former sex slave says a Japanese mayor's remarks about Japan's wartime sex slavery are "absurd."

Kim Bok-dong, who is from South Korea, was referring Saturday to comments by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto. He has angered many by saying Japan's wartime practice of forcing many Asian women into prostitution for its military was considered necessary.

Kim said Saturday (Friday in Hawaii) that anyone who makes such an "absurd comment" should quit politics. The 87-year-old and another victim, Kil Won-ok, were speaking to their supporters to share with them their painful past as so-called comfort women.

The two canceled their planned meeting Friday with Hashimoto, citing his lack of remorse.

Hashimoto's comments reignited longtime resentment in neighboring countries that suffered from Japan's wartime aggression and have complained about the lack of atonement for atrocities.

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bumba wrote:
The Japanese were terrible tyrants during the war, beheading prisoners and mistreating the ones they didn't behead. My father was POW and the stories he told were horrible. Don't forget, they were allies with Hitler. This guy Hashimoto should resign. What an idiot.
on May 25,2013 | 01:14PM
sayer wrote:
Idiot is pretty much an understatement. If sex slavery was justified then, when is there not a cause? Maybe someone should do a search of his basement.
on May 26,2013 | 05:48AM
bumba wrote:
The Japanese were terrible tyrants during the war, beheading prisoners and mistreating the ones they didn't behead. My father was POW and the stories he told were horrible. Don't forget, they were allies with Hitler. This guy Hashimoto should resign.
on May 25,2013 | 01:14PM
DeltaDag wrote:
And lest we forget, the USA allied itself with "Uncle Joe" Stalin's USSR.
on May 25,2013 | 08:44PM
BRock wrote:
Who really cares about this issue?
on May 25,2013 | 04:41PM
environmental_lady wrote:
A lot of people do! Sex slavery still continues to this day even in our own country. We cannot remain silent and apathetic. Guess you're not a woman, Brock.
on May 25,2013 | 07:57PM
mitt_grund wrote:
He may be Japanese. I remember talking to a Japanese transplant to Hawaii. He was generally amicable until I mentioned my favorite "Japanese" singer, Misora Hibari. He literally spat out the words, "She is NOT Japanese. She is Korean." Of course, I apologized for giving the wrong people credit for a great singer. Explains the miserable existence she and her outcast brother had.
on May 26,2013 | 05:31AM
roninsensei wrote:
Yes!! I met ONE person from Japan, and he was a racist. All Japanese are racist!!!
on May 26,2013 | 10:29AM
honopic wrote:
Are you serious? What rock did you just crawl out from under?
on May 26,2013 | 03:36PM
oxtail01 wrote:
If an American politician made a similarly outragious remark, he/she would immediately be crucified by the press but in Japan the unspoken belief that what their country did is justifiable still is a majority belief. The Japanese are one of the most racist and arrogant ethnic groups on earth - historically proven.
on May 25,2013 | 04:47PM
DeltaDag wrote:
We all need to be careful about what is, or is not, historically proven. As far as I know, the Japanese never enslaved Africans, never conducted a genocidal war against their own native people, and never fought a popular "last stand" partly to support the manifest right to own slaves.
on May 26,2013 | 02:00AM
bumba wrote:
I'm betting you were living in a tent at Thomas Square up until a few days ago.
on May 26,2013 | 04:25AM
mitt_grund wrote:
"Japan never conducted a genocidal war against their own native people..." Hmmm, you must be talking about the Ainu. Yes, they were nearly exterminated by love. The Japanese invaders attempted to subdue them, creating a military caste in the process, called Samurai. In an uneasy truce, the Japanese considered the Ainu at the level of animals, pushing them into certain areas of japan, creating a social stigma that compelled mixed blood individuals to hide their unclean lineage by changing their names and purchasing lineages (The Japanese are obsessed with maintaining pure lineages and the elite often do genealogical research to determine if a marriage prospect is of good blood, or is of the unacceptable Burakumin, Ainu, or Korean classes.) Like the U.S. government in its treatment of the American Indian, the Japanese government "recognized" them in order to gain control over their lands. The caste-conscious Japanese still discriminate against the Ainu, the Burakumin, Koreans, and Chinese, whom they consider inferior. Thus, the vicious and brutal subjugation of the Koreans and Chinese in WW II.
on May 26,2013 | 05:19AM
DeltaDag wrote:
The point is, somewhat like two biblical scholars using the Bible to support opposite points of view, people will naturally cherry pick those "historically proven facts" that support their respective agendas. A personal comfort zone is a hard place to step away from. Some African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans - or more recently many Afghans and Iraqis - might agree.
on May 26,2013 | 08:25AM
mrluke wrote:
And, as I've mentioned, our issues are openly discussed and debated. Japan is officially in denial that it existed, and refuses to face it. The story is about Japan's use of sex slaves in WWII and the impact it has had on those unfortunate to have been in it. You seem to want to skirt this topic or justify what happened by pointing out other issues, which may have merit, but are not the story at hand.
on May 26,2013 | 09:00AM
honopic wrote:
Excellent points. Japan still clings stubbornly to its concept that "Nihonjin" (Japanese-born people) are superior to other Asians, and far superior to "gaijin" (alien persons, generally non-Asian.) I lived in Japan for two years, and the racism is not always subtle. The polite bow and smile are often cover-ups for prejudice and dislike. Want to become a Japanese citizen? Good luck. To start, you need to fill out a long and complicated application. Minimum 5 years living in the country, and fluency in the language is mandatory. Then, you must maintain a "history of good behavior" as defined by the Minister of Justice. A single blemish, even a traffic violation, can disqualify you. Still trying? You must prove sufficient wealth and/or employment to support yourself and any family you have, whether Japanese or not. You must also renounce citizenship in any other country, forever. Oh - and if you happen to be Muslim, forget it. You can't even rent an apartment in Japan if anyone finds out, let alone practice your faith in the open. I'm not Muslim, but know others who were and got "ratted out" by neighbors, and eventually deported. This was long before 9/11.
on May 26,2013 | 04:03PM
mrluke wrote:
Big difference. Our trangressions have been historically documented and have been openly discussed. We've made attempts to deal with them and when possible, atone for them. We're still working on it. All most of these women want is for Japan to come out of denial and offer them a decent apology.
on May 26,2013 | 08:21AM
DeltaDag wrote:
The question might be asked, when is there a definitive and globally accepted apology? Who decides? In many ways Americans have been apologizing for enabling slavery since 1865. Germans have been apologizing for the Holocaust since 1945. Are final apologies for both historical periods anywhere close to being made? Should there even be a "final apology?"
on May 26,2013 | 09:19AM
sayer wrote:
My comment disappeared into no man's land. But my point is someone should do a search of Hashimoto's basement.
on May 26,2013 | 05:49AM
yhls wrote:
Not to worry, in due time China and the Koreas will wreak vengeance on Japan for its past crimes, and there will be little to nothing the U.S. will be able to do about it. Mr. Hashimoto's comments serve only to fuel those flames.
on May 26,2013 | 06:17AM
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