May 1, 2007
Honda's Chinese Accord
The recent visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Washington D.C. has raised, yet again, the tired issue of the Korean and Chinese (and yes, Japanese) "comfort women"... another meaningless cause celebre for Democratic outrage, like the Armenian genocide and reparations for distant descendents of African slaves:
Abe’s first U.S. trip as prime minister comes as Congress considers a nonbinding resolution that urges Japan to apologize for its role coercing women to work as “comfort women” for the Japanese military. Abe sought to explain to U.S. lawmakers Thursday a comment he made last month that seemed to minimize Japan’s role in forcing thousands of Asian women into sexual slavery during World War II....
People across Asia and the United States, including conservative supporters of Japan in Congress, were infuriated at Abe’s suggestion in March that no proof existed that the military had coerced women into brothels.
Abe should have taken Big Lizards' advice. As we said back in March, the proper answer is not to deny that such sex slavery existed; of course it did. The correct response is to point out that the government that carried out that grotesque policy has not existed for 60 years!
The Japanese military dictatorship was obliterated more than three generations ago; nobody who was in any position of authority, from Tojo on down, is still alive... and in fact, we hanged many of them ourselves, including Prime Minister Hideki Tojo himself in 1948.
If only Abe had listened to us! Here is what we suggested, in our previous post, that he say:
To the American Congress, we thank you for illuminating the atrocities and war crimes, committed by the National Socialist dictatorship that occupied Japan for a number of years in the early part of the last century, against the innocent people of Korea and China. That same socialist tyranny committed equally horrific crimes against the Japanese people, and we join with you in expression our abhorrence of all such totalitarian systems.
The current governments of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the People's Republic of China must surely be familiar with the horrors that mass, coercive socialism can inflict: each has plagued its own people with even more murderous and torturous atrocities since World War II ended. And each, unlike Japan, still has the same government that perpetrated those crimes against humanity: Mao's so-called "cultural revolution" and his murder of seventy million of his own countrymen; and Kim Il-Sung's unprovoked invasion of South Korea in 1950 which precipitated a war that killed 2.5 million... and the more millions who have died from starvation under the government of Kim's royal successor, Kim Jong-Il. Not to mention the deprivation of liberty under both those Communist systems.
We extend our sorrow not only to those who suffered under one form of totalitarianism, we also extend our sorrow to those who have suffered under another form of totalitarianism. But we cannot apologize or accept responsibility for crimes that none of us in the government today, nor the government itself, had any hand in committing.
So we thank the American Congress for its interesting history lesson; but as to apologies or reparations -- bite me.
Japan has repeatedly and unnecessarily apologized for past wrongs committed by the military dictatorship. They have paid tens of billions of dollars in reparations to several Asian countries, and are still paying them, mostly to Red China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Korea. China alone has received $30 billion over these many years. Despite this -- or more accurately, because of this -- the issue is brought up over and again by China and both Koreas.
Now the United States Congress, which has no other business to discuss other than the forty or sixty investigations of the Bush administration they're currently running, is weighing in on the issue. A House resolution demanding Japan's formal apology currently squats in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution is sponsored by (Japanese American) Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA, 95%) and is co-sponsored by a bipartisan corruption of more than 100 congressmen and congresswomen.
Recently, I found an illuminating interview on PBS that touches on this issue -- and upon another possible motivation for Rep. Honda. On Foreign Exchange, Fareed Zakaria interviewed Yoshihisa Komori, Washington D.C.-based Editor-at-Large for Japan's Sankei Shimbum (Sankei Newspaper).
Sankei Shimbum is definitely right of the center, and Komori himself is quite right wing. Thus it was hardly surprising that he tiresomely insists that the Imperial military had no official policy to forcibly bring in women for sex slaves. In this, Komori treads the same needlessly disreputable path trodden by Abe himself, as we reported in our earlier post:
Abe is right to resist this nonsense... but the poor sap is right for all the wrong reasons. He is trying to defend Japan against the charge by denying that there were any comfort women in the first place; or failing that, by insisting that the Japanese government and military had nothing to do with it... all the coercion was carried out by private contractors.
...Who were merely hired by the Japanese government and military. So you see, there's no connection!
But in the course of Komori's interview, he levels some very serious charges -- almost Clintonian charges -- against the resolution's main sponsor, Rep. Honda:
Note that we have no independent verification of what Komori is saying; we simply rely upon his appearance on PBS. It's possible Komori is completely wrong. But on the other hand, he is an editor on a major Japanese newspaper; he is based in Washington; and he may very well have solid sourcing on his accusation.
Besides, it's hardly out of character for Honda's party to be remarkably chummy with the People's Republic of China.
So take what he says with a dollop of soy sauce... but I say it still demands an answer.
What follows is transcribed by Sachi from the PBS video; the transcript for the April 28th show is not yet available, but when it is, you should be able to find it here. In the meanwhile, here is Sachi's transcription; this section begins about 7:00 into the segment (when the countdown timer hits 5:40 remaining) and continues to the end (Sachi omits unessential parts):
Look at what's going on [in the] House of Representatives in the U.S....
So we... criticism now coming is from the United States. New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, are bashing Japan and Japanese leadership as if there is something wrong in the Japanese DNA. None of us was around when these things happened....
"So our question is, why do they have to bring up this issue now...?
[E]ven behind this current move against Japan, there is a Chinese move. Congressman Mike Honda of California has been receiving a huge amount of political donation from the Chinese, Chinese activists who associated with the Chinese organization [Komori likely means "Chinese authority"] And so interestingly, there's very little supportive actors from Korea.
So, I see this as a diplomatic maneuver on the part of certain countries [China and the Koreas] to keep Japan in a emasuculated way or inferior way, just portraying Japan as if something. the country or the people who are sort of genetically wrong or something inferior. That's how strongly I feel.
Komori is not just talking about the "comfort women" issue. The Chinese and Koreans (both North and South) have been escalating their complaints to Japan and the world community about a great many issues:
- A few years ago, it was Japanese history text books (which did actually minimize Japan's role in atrocities).
- Then the countries complained about former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to the war shrine of Yasukuni Jinja.
- Then just a year ago, the South Korean navy forcibly seized the island of Takeshima from Japan, despite the fact that there is no international dispute that Japan owns it... only in the mind of South Korea's anti-Japanese (and anti-American) President Roh Moo-hyun.
Everything Japan does, the PRC, the DPRK, and the RoK denounce; they were particularly steamed when Japan sought a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. They accuse Japan of insensitivity, racism, human rights violations, and of not abasing themselves sufficiently -- kow-towing to the Chinese, you might say. Japan has never done enough; and inevitably, the plaintiffs demand more money from Japan.
But this time, I don't think it's about money alone: Communists -- and the rabid President Ro of South Korea -- hate the fact that Japan and the United States have a good relationship. They want to drive a wedge between us.
And of course, the anti-American American left hates pro-America Japan; which is why Rep. Honda has introduced his resolution. What Honda has against Prime Minister Abe is simply that he is pro-America, and even pro-Bush. That, obviously, is quite enough for the Democratic leadership!
But the last thing the Bush administration wants to do is accuse Japan of a "new" war crime. So far, Bush had acknowledged Abe's most recent apology and moved on.
Sadly however, I see many Japanese conservatives -- who should be siding with Bush and the GOP -- becoming more and more anti-American, in response to what seems to them as a growing anti-Japanese fervor in the government. (It's almost impossible to tell Japanese conservative bloggers that congressional Democrats are actually enemies of the Republicans and especially the president, because modern Japan has always had one-party rule: They literally don't understand the idea that one party controls one part of the government, while the other party controls another part.)
The Japanese right would be foolhardy to wreck the relationship between the United States over this silly, meaningless resolution: That is exactly the response the Communists in Red China and North Korea desperately want... just as the terrorists in Iraq desperately want us to enunciate a timeline for surrender.
Isn't it amazing how often the Democratic Party finds itself on the same side as America's national enemies?
Hatched by Sachi on this day, May 1, 2007, at the time of 6:14 AM
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Yes, yes, I know: "De mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est" (do not speak ill of the dead). But why not? I say, go ahead and speak ill of the undeserving dead. Erstwhile South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun is dead.... [Read More]
Tracked on May 25, 2009 11:27 AM
The following hissed in response by: Steelhand
How do you routinely get me thinking first thing in the morning? I read this stuff I see practically no where else discussed in a calm and uniquely reasoned fashion. I am grateful for your information, and depressed at my lack of insight.
The following hissed in response by: Fritz
Sachi, part of the reason the Democrats find themselves on the sides of our enemies is that they have no thoughts on how to handle current or future problems and so they fight battles long past and devoid of any usefulness. They get wound up in the minutia and that leads them to concentrate on little points and those points-selected because of their beliefs-are ones that unite all the poor and oppressed peoples of the world. And yes, I think many Democrats actually think that way and believe that anyone who disagrees with them wants to oppress them and those who agree with them. They see themselves as champions of the poor and oppressed, so naturally any group which claims to be oppressed is immediately their ally and must be supported. It makes no difference if such claims are true, only what is in their hearts. Being unwilling or unable to address current or future problems, they are much like Don Quixote and look for windmills to tilt with rather than do something useful. The sad part is that they are far less entertaining than Cervantes.
Anyhow, I enjoy your posts and wish you would write more of them.
The following hissed in response by: MarkD
I'd publicly make the accusation.
Hey, it could be true, and that's the standard for truth these days, thanks to Mr Rather. Let Rep Honda deny it under oath.
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