Legacies of the Comfort Women of World War II (英語) ペーパーバック – 2001/7/19
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The stories of the former comfort women have galvanized both Asian and non-Asian intellectuals working in a variety of fields. Scholars of Asian history and politics, feminists, human rights activists, documentary filmmakers, visual artists, and novelists have begun to address the subject of the comfort system; to take up the cause of the surviving comfort women's sturggles; to call attention to sexual violence against women, especially during wartime; to consider the links among militarism, racism, imperialism, and sexism; and to include this history into 20th-century political history. This volume contains a cross-section of responses to the issues raised by the former comfort women and their new visibility on the international stage. Its focus is on how theorists, historians, researchers, activists, and artists have been preserving, interpreting, and disseminating the legacies of the comfort women and also drawing lessons from these. The essays consider the impact and influence of the comfort women's stories on a wide variety of fields and describe how those stories are now being heard or read and used in Asian and in the West.
The study by a British scholar Alleyne Ireland in his book “New Korea” shows a true picture of Korea during the annexation. The Colonial Government modernized the territories’ basic infrastructures and improved people’s literacy and their standards of living with the fund provided by the Japanese Government. Many dams, factories and buildings built during the annexation period are still used today.
There was no brutal plundering of Korea by Japanese during the annexation. After World War II, Korea and Taiwan became two leading new economies based on the well-educated populace and infrastructure.
Many Koreans went to study at the military academy in Japan. Some of them have been promoted to the rank of generals like Hong Sa-ik. The father of the current president Park Geun-hye, Park Chung-hee, graduated from the Japanese military academy in 1942 and became an officer of the Imperial Japanese Army. His final rank at the end of the war was First Lieutenant. Many Korean also volunteered to serve in the military in 1942, 1943 and 1944.
20th century history of East Asia has been a difficult subject for people who are not proficient in Chinese, Hangul and Japanese. Japanese scholars have been studying newspapers and magazines published and photographs taken during the war period and finding evidences substantiating the points mentioned above.
In terms of so-called comfort women, US interrogation report of the captured comfort women during the WW2 in Burma, “Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No. 49: Korean Comfort Women” concluded that these women were prostitutes. Japan is asking people who claim that 200,000 Korean women were coerced into sexual slavery to show tangible evidences. Testimony by so-called sexual slaves is not objective evidence. Evidences should be objective verifiable original documents such as military order, name of military officers who ordered such coercion, government documents, list of people who were coerced, or photos taken by independent personnel.
Asahi Newspaper admitted August 2014 that the book titled “My War Crimes” by Seiji Yoshida was false and it could not find any proof that the book content was true. It is an obligation of accuser to submit evidences of crimes. Accused cannot submit evidences to prove he did not commit crimes if there were no such crimes in the first place. This is a fundamental principle of rule of law. Accusing someone or particular ethnic group, in this case Japanese, is like medical witch hunt by religious court which claimed accused people were evil without showing tangible evidences. Some Western and Asian media has been calling people who request to show evidences of Japanese brutal acts in Korea during the annexation “right wing or revisionist”. They should stop such name-calling and come to the table for objective discussion based on facts not rumors or unfounded allegations.