Category Archives: 長尾秀美 氏

「慰安婦問題―女性たちの反乱」長尾秀美

長尾秀美(元在日米海軍司令部渉外報道専門官・小説家)氏よりいいただいた「慰安婦問題―女性たちの反乱」をご紹介します。英語版はこちらです。

********************************************************************

令和元年(2019年)11月

長尾秀美

慰安婦問題―女性たちの反乱

 

1.概説

本稿では日本と韓半島の宗教や祭祀にまず焦点を当てる。次にそれらと女性との関わりに触れる。続いて日本と韓国との間で確執となっている慰安婦問題を簡潔に振り返る。最後に強引だと非難されるのを覚悟の上で、この問題に対する結論を出す。

世の中には2種類の人がいるので、理解と解釈の違いについて特記しておく。一般的にいうと、理解とは物事の意味・内容を納得することで、解釈とは物事の意味、内容などを説明することだ。したがって個々人の性癖や思想などが解釈に一定の方向性を与える。たとえば、「こう解釈した方が自分らしい、都合が好い」となる。その際優先されるのは事実関係ではなく、自分の社会的立場でしかない。だから2種類の人がいる。これが世の中の現実だ。

2.宗教

現在、世界には数多くの宗教がある。信徒の多さで並べると、20数億人から5億人強までのキリスト教、イスラム教、ヒンズー教、仏教の順になる。これらの宗教は必ずしも一枚岩とは言えない。キリスト教を例に取ると、カトリック教、イングランド国教会、ギリシャ正教、プロテスタントなどに別れている。これらに加え、特定地域や特定集団が信奉する宗教も世界各地にある。

宗教は信仰の対象により、多神教、一神教、祖霊崇拝、自然崇拝・アニミズム(精霊信仰、地霊信仰)、シャーマニズム(巫師・霊媒師による交信)などに分けられる。経典や教義があるものやないものがあり、多くの場合、儀式を伴う。

現在社会では無宗教の人が数億人いて、その人数は増加しているようだ。

2.1 日本

日本では神道と仏教が2大宗教となっていて、全国各地に神社仏閣がある。

神道には教典や具体的な教えはなく、開祖もいない。神話、八百万の神、自然や自然現象などを崇拝している。

仏教は釈迦の教えを信奉するもので、韓半島を通じ、6世紀に日本に伝来した。民間にまで広まったのは12世紀以後だが、神仏習合という形で現在に至っている。

その他には古くから伝わっている儒教があるが、これは思想や行動規範として捉えられている。16世紀にはキリスト教も伝来したが、現在の信徒数は人口の1%ほどだ。

現在、冠婚葬祭は神道、仏教、キリスト教などに従って行われるが、一部では儒教にのっとって行われている。結婚式となると、神道とキリスト教との混在があり、誰も違和感を覚えていない。

呪術は古くからあり、神道や仏教とも深く関わっている。呪術者や霊媒師が降霊など超自然的行為や超心理学的現象を介して霊的存在からの言葉を伝える。

2.2 韓半島と韓国

現代の韓国では仏教とキリスト教が2大宗教となっていて、人口の55%以上が信奉している。特定地域に根差している宗教を除くと、残りのほとんどの人は無宗教だと言われている。

仏教は7世紀ごろから広まり、高麗王朝(10世紀-14世紀)では国教とされた。ところが後を襲った朝鮮王朝(14世紀末-19世紀末)は仏教を排し、儒教から派生した朱子学を唯一の学問(官学)、国家の統治理念(性理学)とした。その朱子学は現代も韓国社会に大きな影響を与えているが、宗教としての信奉者は少ない。

一方、キリスト教が広まったのは19世紀になってからだが、以後信徒が増加していった。3.1独立運動で独立宣言を読んだ33人の代表のうち、16人はキリスト教徒だった。その運動の1年半後、西大門刑務所で獄死した独立運動家の柳寛順と彼女の両親もキリスト教徒だった。

2つの宗教は相互に独立しているが、シャーマニズムの一種とされる巫(あるいは巫堂)と相互に影響し合っているといわれる。

3.祭祀

祭祀とは、生活全般についての感謝や慰霊のために神々や祖先などをまつる儀式のことで、古来、宗教や統治者と密接に結び付いている。人々が集まって供え物を用意し、お祈りをし、踊りや楽曲などを捧げる。祭祀は病気平癒の祈祷や、天候や戦い、作物などについての吉凶占いをするときにも行われる。祭祀をつかさどる人は巫、霊媒師、占い師など呼ばれる。1つの国が成立し、為政者が特定宗教を国教にすると、祭政不分となる。その結果、彼らが告げる神託などは、時に国策をも左右した。

3.1 日本の神話に登場する天照大神は、主神として登場し、女神とされている。天皇家は第1代神武天皇から始まるが、天照大神は数代前の皇祖神だったとされ、8世紀初めに編纂された『記紀』においては太陽神の性格と巫女の性格を併せ持つとされている。同じく『記紀』によると、古くから太占(ふとまに)と呼ばれた占い方法があり、雄鹿の肩甲骨を使って吉凶を占ったと言われている。後に中国から亀甲を使う方法が伝わると、朝廷の神祇官が亀甲占いをつかさどった。

古墳時代(3世紀-7世紀)においては、ヒメヒコ制度があり、政治をつかさどるヒコ(男)に対し、祭祀をつかさどるヒメ(女、巫女)の権威が強かったとされる。当時男女の古墳埋葬比は6対4とか8対2だったようだ。つまり、ヒメの地位はそれなりに高かった。時代が下るにつれ地位は低くなったが、巫女(シャーマン)は今日でも全国各地にいて、祈祷、占い、神託伺い、口寄せ(降霊)などをしている。ちなみに男性の巫は覡(げき)と呼ばれる。明治以降、神社の神職補佐を務める女性を一般的に巫女と呼ぶ。

現在でも老若男女は元旦に社寺を訪れ、願を掛けている。以前はお祈りのため女性が社寺へお百度参りをする慣習があった。

3.2 韓半島にも神話があり、太陽神の子孫だった檀君が千年以上も国を治めていた。檀君は巫(シャーマン)だったとされ、祭祀はその時代から行われていたようだ。高麗王朝末期までの巫(巫堂)は、国の巫および民間の巫として、日本の巫女と同じような役割を果たしてきた。女性の巫が多いけれど、男性の巫も少なからずいて、博士(박사)とも呼ばれていた。朝鮮王朝が成立すると、巫は儒教の影響で賤民の地位にまで落とされた。しかし一般人の巫術的欲求は強く、巫は朝鮮王朝時代を生き抜いて今日に至っている。

尚、巫に家族の病気平癒などを頼む場合、ある程度の費用が掛かるが、その依頼をするのはもっぱら女性だった。(注:1930年8月現在、韓半島には12,300人の巫がいたとの報告がある。一方、1931年12月現在、官民で医療機関は129、医師は1,791人、医学生は4,472人だったようだが、多くは都市部に集中していた。朝鮮総督府資料によると、1930年の人口は1968万人だった)

4.女性の地位

さて前書きが長くなったけれど、ここから本論に入る。

日本の今上天皇は第126代になられるが、過去には8人10代の女性天皇がおられた。第33代推古天皇(592年-628年)から第117代後桜町天皇(1762年-1770年)までで、短くても7年余り、最長は35年余りご在位された。配偶者に恵まれた方もおられた一方、生涯独身を通された方もおられた。

天皇家の系統維持に際し、公家の間で権謀術数がめぐらされたことは事実だ。武士が統治し始めてからも将軍家内部で争いがあったが、女性が政権を担当することはなかった。ただし、戦国時代に武家の女性当主や城主はいた。明治維新以来現在に至るまで、女性の首相はいない。

韓半島では檀君の神話時代から大韓民国に至るまで、いくつもの国家が勃興したが、女王が存在したという事実はないようだ。しかし韓国では近年女性が大統領になっている。

4.1 日本女性

天照大神や実在した女性天皇や養蚕が盛んだった上州(群馬県)の嬶(かかあ)天下を除くと、女性の地位は低かった。儒教の影響もあり、特に武家社会になってからは家父長制度と男子の長子相続制度が定着していた。武士の場合、主君につかえることを除き、子孫に家名と家禄を存続させることが重要課題となっていた。嫡子にしろ、庶子にしろ、男子が産まれないと、同じ地位にある親類縁者から男子を養子として迎えなければ、お家断絶となった。つまり、婿養子を取らない限り、嫡出女子に家督相続権はなかった。

町民や農民の場合、厳格な男子の長子相続制度はなく、単独相続が主流だったが、兄弟姉妹による分割相続もあった。他に嫡子がいない場合は女子が養子を迎え、家業を継いだ。

明治時代になると天皇制が復活したが、政権の中枢にいたのは元武士だった。その後国際紛争(日清・日露戦争など)が続く中、多くの軍人が政治に関わったので、男性中心の社会に変革はなかった。

したがって、近代まで「夫唱婦随」や「女は三界に家なし――幼少のときは親に、嫁に行ってからは夫に、老いては子供に従う」という状況が続いた。結婚が「永久就職」といわれ、専業主婦は「三食昼寝付き」といわれた時代もあった。ちなみに嫁いだ女性は周囲から奥様、奥さんと呼ばれているが、近代までは夫が妻を家内と呼ぶのがふつうだった。

旧民法には、「被相続人の配偶者は、常に相続人となる。この場合において、前三条の規定によって相続人となるべき者があるときは、その者と同順位とする」、「被相続人の子は相続人となり」、「相続人が数人あるときは、相続財産は、その共有に属する」との記述があり、男女の区別はない。系譜、祭具及び墳墓の所有権については、「慣習に従って祖先の祭祀を主宰すべき者がこれを承継する。但し、被相続人の指定に従って祖先の祭祀を主宰すべき者があるときは、その者が、これを承継する」となっていた。現行民法でも骨格は同じだ。

人が亡くなると葬儀が行われ、墓石が建てられ、故人の名前が刻まれる。本家なら既存の墓石に故人の名前を加える。分家なら新たに墓が建てられる。墓の建立者名を刻むことも多い。その後は婚姻で家を出た女子を除き、直系親族の名前が加えられる。

4.2 韓半島女性

韓半島に住んだ女性の地位も、対男性との関係では近代まで日本女性とほぼ同じだっただろう。武士と軍人が統治した日本と異なり、韓半島では文人が国の公権力を行使した。この違いが日本にはない負の影響力を韓半島女性に与えたかもしれない。

というのも、儒教から派生した朱子学は500年余りも続いた朝鮮王朝唯一の統治理念(性理学)になっていたからだ。その統治機構を担っていたのは両班(文班と武班)だったが、実質的に王朝を支配していたのは中国から取り入れた科挙の試験に受かった文班(文人)だった。知識人としての文班は男性だけの身分制社会を定着させ、文公家礼(冠婚葬祭手引書)を制度化した。その過程で本貫という始祖の発祥地に基づく氏族集団(宗族)を重視し、家父長・長子相続制度を維持した。

日本女性は婚姻後夫の姓を名乗り、実家の家系から離れる。一方、韓半島女性は嫁いでからも父親の姓を保つ。この制度は実家の先祖を守るという意味もあるが、彼女は終生夫の家系とは繋がらない存在だという解釈もできる。

他にも家父長制度の強い影響を伺わせる例がある。嫁いだ女性は実家や故郷の名前などで呼ばれることが多い。すでに英一という子供を産んでいれば、彼女は隣近所から「英一のお母さん」と呼ばれる。さらに女性が実家の姓を名乗り続けることは、必ずしも実家での行事が重視されることに繋がらない。暦の上で大切な祖先祭祀が行われる名節(太陰暦の正月と盆)でさえ、舅や姑が自発的・明示的に許可しない限り、彼女は実家へ帰省することができなかった。ちなみに結婚した女性は「内の人」とか「家の人」と呼ばれた。尚、農業が主要産業だった時代の女性は、村(邑里)での各種寄り合いに参加することもできなかった。

韓半島では小さい山を所有し、そこを墓地として故人を土葬するのが慣例だった。風水で定められた場所に棺を埋め、その上に丸く土を盛る。墓は故人ごとに建てられる。そのとき墓標(床石)が置かれるが、墓の建立者(家長や子孫)の名前が刻まれても、嫁いできた故人の配偶者の名前が加えられることは少なかった。尚、近年は土地確保が難しくなり、法改正により、火葬後に納骨堂に納骨することになっている。

土地などの財産については長男が優先的に相続した。次男以下の男性が一部を相続することはあっても、近代まで長女など女性が遺産を分割して相続することはなかった。(注:朝鮮では17世紀まで男女を問わず、すべての子供に財産が均分相続されていて、この頃の夫婦別姓を女性の高い経済的独立性を表すものとして解釈するべきだという説がある)。

5.慰安婦問題の様相

旧日本軍が戦地において利用した慰安婦(公娼)は、30数名のオランダ人を含め、日本や韓半島や中国や東南アジアの女性だった(概数は20万人ではなく1万人弱)。1990年代初頭より韓国の女性団体が、彼女たちの存在を政治問題として取り上げたことから、日本と韓国の外交問題になった。当初は労働力不足を補う挺身隊と慰安婦との混同があり、彼女たちが強制連行されたという誤解もあった。その後同団体や一部の日本知識人の強い働き掛けがあり、慰安婦問題は国連の人権理事会などで何度も取り上げられた。その過程で慰安婦は人身売買や拉致された性奴隷となり、日本政府は人権侵害の観点から批判され続けている。

これに対し、日本政府は1990年代半ばから何度か関係各国に謝罪をし、基金を設立し、元慰安婦(公娼)だったとされる女性に補償をし、彼女たちに関わる社会福祉施設充実や整備を支援してきた。

韓国だけはそうした措置を受け入れたり、拒否したりを繰り返している。2015年、日韓両政府は慰安婦問題が最終的・不可逆的に解決したという合意に達した。ところが2017年に就任した文在寅大統領は、同合意が問題を解決していないと主張した。同政権下では徴用工(戦時労働者)の補償問題も蒸し返している。現状では韓国側に慰安婦問題と徴用工問題とを解決する意図はないようだ。

公娼にしろ、私娼にしろ、売春は歴史上世界各国に見られる。現在も法的規制のあるなしに拘わらず、売春は多くの国で散見される。それはそれとして、韓国の女性団体や韓国政府は公娼や性奴隷を明確に定義せず、慰安婦と性奴隷とを同列に置いている。したがって、慰安婦あるいは彼女たちの両親が仲介者と契約書を交わし、契約金(前借金)を受け取り、身分証明書を発行され、戦地にある領事館警務部に稼業届けを出し、稼ぎ高に応じた収入を得て貯金をし、実家に送金したことを不問にしている。また、公娼制度により売春を管理したという実態も考慮していない。

今日の世界において売春は疑いもなく人権侵害になる。なぜなら、売春は人身売買と関連する性の搾取になるからだ。しかも男性による性欲を満たすためのみの行為は女性の人格を無視するからだ。しかしながら、日本政府が歴史的背景や事実の妥当性を主張しても、根拠のない主張に基づく非難のみが繰り返されている。

6.結論

6.1 慰安婦問題は、国連の場で何度議論され、日本政府に対する勧告が何度出されようと、国際問題にはなり得ない。なぜなら、この問題は日韓の確執のみに起因するからだ。慰安婦像や慰安婦碑を世界中の都市に設置することは、めくらましともいえる宣伝活動の一環でしかなく、国連には馴染まない。

6.2 慰安婦問題は元慰安婦(公娼)だったとされるすべての女性が他界したとしても、日韓で解決されることはない。なぜなら日韓に新たな懸案が生じる都度、韓国は日本の古傷をつつきたがるからだ。さらにこの問題は日韓併合条約が国際法上有効だったのか無効だったのかという議論にも繋がるからだ。

6.3 では対処法はないのか。否。現状では無理だが、広角レンズを使って全体像を見直すと、慰安婦問題を韓国女性による日韓の男性に対する反乱だと解釈することができる。もちろん韓国女性は公の場所で韓国男性を非難しない。国民として節度をわきまえているからだ。朝鮮戦争中やベトナム戦争中の彼らの行為に対しては、政府を非難するだけだ。結果として日本男性のみに白羽の矢が立てられる。その男性を象徴するのが日本という国だ。フランス語では定冠詞が付かない少数の国を除くと、女性名詞となる国と男性名詞となる国がある。日本は「le Japon」と表記される男性名詞なので、非難の対象として問題はない。

6.4  ではなぜ韓国女性は日本に対して反乱を起こすのか。彼女たちは、王朝時代、大韓帝国時代、日本統治下時代、解放後の軍事政権時代を通じ、自分たちに与えられた役割を勤勉に着実に果たしてきた。しかし彼女たちの働きは正当に評価されてこなかった。文班は朱子学(性理学)を国家統治理念とし、衛正斥邪思想に固執し、中国を除く国外からの文化などを拒絶してきた。かたくなに家父長制度、長子相続制度を維持しつつ、女性の立場に留意しなかった。文化が支配階級と被支配階級とで異なるのはいつの世も同じだろうが、文班が知識を独占したのは事実だった。

ちなみに平安時代の日本では、紫式部(源氏物語)や清少納言(枕草子)や和泉式部(和泉式部日記)が恋愛について筆を進めつつも、支配階級の男性による権力争にはっきりとあるいはそれとなく触れている。事情が似ていた韓半島女性にも同じ想いを小説、随筆、日記に書き残したいという夢があったはずだが、そんなことは彼女たちに許されていなかった。ただし16世紀には画家の申師任堂や詩人の許蘭雪軒が活躍している。

人の口に戸は立てられないというが、目の前の権力闘争や面子に拘る男性と異なり、各階級の女性たちは物事の推移を見守り続けていた。王朝や政府の繁栄や破綻をまざまざと見ていた女性は、しばしば巫(巫堂)を訪れて宗族を含む一家の繁栄を祈願した。夫(家長)は、知ってなのか、知らないでなのか、彼女たちの宗教心に口出しをしなかった。巫に縋ることだけが、彼女たちに許された精神的自由を象徴するものとなり、男性優越主義に対し女性の欲求不満や恨みを晴らす浄化装置にもなった。

なぜ彼女たちは男性や社会に対しそこまで耐え忍んでいたのか。たしかに檀君の母は、真っ暗な洞窟の中で21日間も一握りのヨモギとニンニク20個だけを食べるという試練を経て、熊から女の身に変わった。だから彼女が女性の忍従を象徴しているというのは無責任だ。それが韓半島固有の文化だったとするのも無責任な捉え方だ。

大きな理由が二つある。一つは朱子学が彼女たちに救いの手を差し伸べなかったからだ。もう一つは仏教の聖典もキリスト教の聖書も、女性たちの身近にはなかったからだ。現実問題として、彼女たちには巫に頼るしか選択肢はなかった。

6.5 時代は移り変わった。1960年代後半から、韓国は漢江の奇跡という経済発展への一歩を踏み出した。ここでは日韓請求権協定に基づく無償資金協力などには触れない。いずれにしても70年代後半になると、都市部の発展はもちろん農村でも機械化が進み始め、国の近代化を享受し始めた女性の生活は少しずつ楽になっていった。その過程で彼女たちの考え方や行動にも余裕が出てきた。さらに母親は娘を含む子供の高等教育に目を向けられるようになった。折しも軍事政権が続いていたが、盧泰愚大統領候補は1987年6月29日、8つの選挙公約を掲げ、青瓦台に入ると民主化を実行し始めた。こうして女性たちは慣習という軛(くびき)から徐々に解放され、歴史上初めて女性としての権利に目覚め、大手を振って社会的関与を強めるようになった。

6.6 自分たちの過去を振り返った韓国女性は、いくつかの女性団体を設立し、民主化運動を推進し始めた。その過程である研究者が関心を持ったのが慰安婦問題(当時は挺身隊問題)だった。それが1990年代になって世間に注目され、日韓の政治的確執の主要課題となり、現在まで続いている。

当然のことだが、彼女たちの視点の先には、自分たちを道具として扱い、性欲のみの対象とする男性がいる。表面上、日本(男性)だけを敵視しているが、心裡には韓半島の歴史を牛耳った朱子学があり、それに心酔し家父長制度に胡坐をかいた男性がいる。つまり、慰安婦問題追及は韓国女性にとって男性に対する反乱なのだ。したがって韓半島男性が女性の地位を根底から見直して猛省しない限り、同問題は終息しない。この政治劇場において、日本は彼女たちの脇役にしか過ぎない。残念なことは、日本男性(日本)が各場面で切られ役を演じざるを得ないことだ。

日本はいうまでもなく、韓国にも男性の知識人や政治家や活動家がいて、慰安婦問題で日本の責任を追及している。韓国女性はその事実をすでに織り込み済みとし、男性の贖罪行為の一部だとみなしている。

日本女性は男性に対しどういう立場を取っているのだろうか。彼女たちは同胞に対する希望を諦めてしまい、とにもかくにも自分たちのために前へ進もうとしているのかもしれない。

6.7 この問題を解決するとすれば、男性は単に猛省するだけでなく、自己変革能力を発揮しなければならない。ではどこに視点を置くべきか。男女同権とは、「男女両性の法律上の権利や社会的待遇などが同等であり、差別されないこと」と説明されている。これはすべてのことにおいて男性と女性の役割が平等だと解釈するべきではない。たとえば夫婦間では男性が女性の妊娠と出産と授乳とを肩代わりすることはできない。しかし男性はその負担を理解することなく、性差による役割をはき違え、男性は仕事、女性は家庭としてきた。だからこそ韓国では女性発展基本法(1995 年 12 月制定・2007 年 10 月改正)が、日本では男女共同参画社会基本法(1999年制定、改正同年7月、12月)などができた。

それらの法律は、男性と女性が、社会の対等な構成員として、自らの意思によって社会のあらゆる分野における活動に参画する機会が確保され、均等に政治的、経済的、社会的及び文化的利益を享受することができ、共に責任を担うべきとする。

男性の自己変革とはその意図を理解し、実践することだ。そうしない限り、女性たちは矛(ほこ)を収めてくれないだろう。換言すると、男性はこの世に生を受けたときから女性と同じ出発点にいるのだと常に認識しなければならない。

70年ほど前の著書『第二の性』で、ボーボワール女史は、「人は女に生まれるのではない、女になるのだ」、「女性史さえも男性に作られたものだ」と指摘した。男性はこの解釈の過ちを素直に理解しなければならない。

 

******************************************************************

<参考文献>

青野正明 『朝鮮農村の民族宗教』2001年、社会評論社

趙 興胤 Cho Fung Yum (著), 小川 晴久 (監修), 李 恵玉 (編集, 翻訳) 『韓国の巫(シャーマニズム)』2002年、彩流社

韓国宗教民俗研究会編、星合亘子・姜信和ほか訳 『韓国の宗教と祖先祭祀』2008年、岩田書院

『姫神の本』聖なるヒメと巫女の霊力 2007年、株式会社学習研究所

趙戴国(チョジェグク)『韓国の民衆宗教とキリスト教』1998年、新教出版社

The Korea Times: Children Can Adopt Mothers Surname. Posted : 2007-06-03 18:07, Updated : 2007-06-03 18:07

ウィキペディア 『巫(Wu (shaman))』

ウィキペディア 『韓国の姓氏と名前Korean name』

ウィキペディア 『武家の女性当主』

Classification of Religions written by Charles Joseph Adams on https://www.britannica.com/topic/classification-of-religions

古墳の被埋葬者の男女数。ベストアンサー 回答者: dayone 回答日時:2015/01/22 17:54

宋連玉 【特論】『朝鮮女性はどのように生きてきたか?』掲載:2014.06.28、更新:2018-12-11

“COMFORT WOMEN ISSUE—WOMEN’S REVOLT” Hidemi Nagao

[Japanese]

November, 2019
Hidemi Nagao

COMFORT WOMEN ISSUE—WOMEN’S REVOLT

1. Overview

This essay starts with observations of religions and rituals in Japan and the Korean Peninsula. It then focuses on their relations with women. Next is a brief review of the comfort women issue, a protracted conflict between Japan and South Korea. Presented finally are a few conclusions that may not please the knowledgeable in some sector.

There are two kinds of people in society. Highlighted herein is to explain them by simply clarifying two terms; ‘Understanding’ and ‘Interpreting.’ To understand is to have a clear or complete idea of something, whereas, to interpret is to present something in understandable terms. It follows interpretation is oriented to a certain direction in the light of individual belief, judgment, or circumstance. An example is given; people tend to think “It would be better or convenient for me to interpret this matter this way.” What is prioritized there is not facts but one’s social status. That is why there are two kinds of people, which is reality of life.

 

2. Religions

There are numerous religions in the world today. In terms of the number of followers, Christianity tops with more than two billion while Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism come next with at least several hundred million. Each of the top four is not a monolithic organization. Christianity, for example, has schools of Catholic, the Church of England, the Greek Orthodox Church, Protestant, etc. There are also countless indigenous religions and group-oriented religions in the globe.

Simply speaking, religions can be classified, by objects of worship, as polytheism, monotheism, ancestor worship, nature worship, animism, shamanism, etc. Some of them have scriptures/teachings and others do not. Most of them perform a set form of rituals.
The number of people without religious faith is said to be several hundreds of millions, which is on the rise in the world.

 

2.1 Japan

There are two major religions in Japan; Shintoism and Buddhism. Shrines and temples are abundant in every corner of the country.
Shintoism does not have scriptures or teachings, nor its founder. It is a sort of a tribal religion to worship mythology, a multitude of spirits in natural things, and ancestors.

Buddhism to practice teachings of Buddha was introduced to Japan through the Korean Peninsula in the 6th century. It began to be pervasive among the public at large in the 12th century, however, both Buddhism and Shintoism have been coexisting in harmony until today.

As for other religions, Confucianism came from China through the Korean Peninsula before Buddhism did. It was, however, taken rather as a norm of thought and behavior than a religion. Christianity landed in the nation in the 16th century. Its followers are less than 1% of the population today.

Japanese people are supposed to carry out marriage and funeral ceremonies according to their individual religions. One exception is a wedding ceremony, most of which begin with a Shinto ritual and end with a Christian one. No one considers it as incoherent.

Magic has long been observed in Japan. It is not foreign to Shintoism and Buddhism. Those who practice it deliver what spiritual beings state, through a supernatural act or a parapsychological phenomenon such as evocation. They are called spirit mediums or shaman.

 

2.2 Korean Peninsula and South Korea

Buddhism and Christianity in South Korea are top two religions with followers of more than 55% of the population. The rest are said to be without religious faith, excepting some indigenous ones.

Buddhism began to propagate in the Korean Peninsula from the 7th century. It became the national religion in the Goryeo Dynasty (10th – 14th centuries). The Joseon Dynasty (14th – 19th centuries)—which took over Goryeo—denounced Buddhism while elevating as a national religion the Zhu Xi school of Confucianism. The dynasty made it the sole academic discipline and used it as political construct to govern the peninsula. Despite its significant influence still looming over the South Korean society of today, the Zhu Xi school has no longer many followers as a religion.

Christianity did not get any attention of the people until the 19th century. Followers gradually increased over the years since then. 33 men jointly read their declaration of independence during the 3.1 Independence Movement in 1919. 16 of them were Christians. Yu Gwan-sun, one of the independence movement activists who died in Seodaemun Prison a year and a half later was also a Christian and so were her parents.

Though Buddhism and Christianity are respectively observed in South Korea, both are said to have been inextricably intertwined with “mudang” or shamanism.

 

3. Rituals

Rituals are ceremonies to worship gods and ancestors to appreciate their protection of the people’s life and to console the dead.
Since the dawn of history, they were closely linked with religions and those who govern the people. People gathered to present foods, and offer prayers, dance, and music. Rituals also serve to pray for recovering of a person from illness, a good climate, fortune for battles, and good harvest. Those who perform rituals are called shaman, spirit mediums, diviner, and the likes. When a nation/dynasty was established and its ruler adopted a specific religion to adhere to, government and religion became inseparable. As a result, messages shaman delivered often influenced government policies.

3.1  Amaterasu-omikami appears as the most important goddess in Japanese mythology. She is said to be one of the founders of the nation whose descendant, several generations apart, is Emperor Jinmu who established Japan’s Imperial Household. According to Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters) and Nihonshoki (the Chronicles of Japan), Amaterasu-omikami is a goddess of the sun and a shaman. The two official records above—written in early 8th century—refer to a divinatory method called “futomani” which used a shoulder blade of a male dear for fortune-telling. After a method to use a turtleback was introduced to Japan from China, a Shinto administrator of the imperial court practiced divination by use of the turtleback.

During the Kofun Period (when large burial mounds were built in the 3rd – 7th centuries), it is said there was a Hime-Hiko system, in which Hime (women) as administrators of rituals exercised more authority over Hiko (men) who were responsible for government. A research indicates the ratios of influential men and women buried in mounds were 6 to 4 or 8 to 2. In other words, Hime’s status was reasonably high. As years went by, Hime’s social status declined but Hime as Miko (shaman) have survived to this day and they practice rituals for prayer, fortune-telling, divination, and evocation. A male Miko is called “geki.” A woman who plays a supplementary priestess in shrines is generally called Miko since modern times.

Today, it is still a custom for men and women, regardless of ages, to pay a visit to a shrine/temple on the new year day for praying. There was once a custom for women to visit a shine/temple a hundred times in a day—repetitively walking from the entrance gate to the main hall and back—to wish for good fortune, etc.

3.2 The Korean Peninsula also has a mythical ruler named Dangun who as a descendant of the sun god reigned for more than 1,000 years. He is said to be Mudan (shaman) and therefore the Koreans practiced rituals for the sun god since those legendary years. Mudang, through the end of the Goryeo Dynasty, played a major role for both the dynasty and for the public in the same way as Miko did in Japan. Most mudang were female yet there were also many male mudang who were also called “baksa.” Upon the establishment of the Joseon Dynasty, mudang’s status was lowered to an underclass (Cheonmin, vulgar commoners) due to the flourishment of the Zhu Xi school. The people at large had and still have such a big want for mudang, which has survived until today.

Fact of the matter is it was costly to ask a mudang to pray for recovery of a family member from illness, etc. It was always the women who took pains in arranging a ritual by the mudang. (Note: There were 12,300 mudang in the Korean Peninsula as of August 1930. There were 129 medical facilities, both public and private, with 1,791 physicians and 4,472 physician assistants, most of which were in urban areas. The population was 19.68 million as of 1930 according to a Government General of Korea record.)

 

4. Status of Women

Now that introductory discussions are done, it is time to discuss serious issues.

Emperor Naruhito is the 126th emperor of Japan. History saw eight empresses for ten periods. The first one was Empress Suiko (592-628) and the latest one was Empress Gosakuramachi (1762-1770). The shortest reign was about seven years while the longest one was about 35 years. Some of them had spouses and others stayed single.

It is true that maintaining the imperial lineage had brought about tangles of political machinations in the imperial court before. Similar struggles had also been observed while keeping the Shogunate power intact. Truth is there was no female Shogun in history. Some exceptions were a few female lords and clan heads in the 16th-17th centuries. Since the Meiji Restoration, no woman has become a prime minister of Japan for the past 150 years.

In the meantime, no queen ruled the Korean Peninsula since the days of King Dangun to the 20th century. South Koreans, however, enthroned a woman president in 2013, the first female leader in East Asia.

 

4.1 Japanese Women

Excepting Amaterasu-omikami, eight empresses, and wives of Jushu (Gunma Prefecture of Japan where silkworm cultivation for silk production was going strong), the status of women was low. Due to the influence of Confucianism, patriarchy and primogeniture were social norms, especially since the days of the samurai reign. The most important agenda for a samurai—other than serving his lord—was to maintain his family name and “fuchi” (appropriations given by his lord or Shogun). If the samurai did not bear a son, by marriage or by outside of marriage, he lost the samurai status. The samurai had to adopt a son with the help of his kin. In other words, daughters did not have a right to succeed her family.

In the case of merchants and farmers, they did not strictly follow primogeniture. Though a direct heir often inherited the family estate, the heir’s siblings (brothers and sisters) sometimes shared inheritance. In the absence of sons, a daughter married a man brought into the family to continue the family business.

The imperial rule was restored in 1868. Those who were in government were former samurais in early years. Throughout the periods of international conflicts such as the Sino-Japanese War to the Pacific War, generals and admirals engaged themselves in politics; the male-dominant society had not seen any change in the women’s status.

Consequently, such sayings as “Fusho-fuzui” and “Onna wa sangai ni ie nashi” were prevailing in modern times, which respectively means ‘The wife is to follow the husband’s lead,’ and ‘A woman always obeys her parents, her husband, and her children as she grows old.’ There was a time until recently when women’s marriage in Japan was touted as ‘a permanent employment’ and the life of a full-time housemaker was to come with ‘three meals a day with a daytime nap schedule.’ It was customary for people to refer to a wife as “Oku-sama” or “Oku-san,” which means she is in the ‘back of the house.’ When a husband referred to his wife to other people, he addressed her as “Kanai,” which literally means ‘inside the house.’

The old Civil Code states, “The spouse of the deceased becomes an heir at all times. When there are other heirs …, the spouse’s inheritance order will be the same as other heirs. … Children of the deceased will be successors. … When two or more heirs exist, they will share the estate.” The code did not prejudice male or female. As for the family’s genealogical chart, ritual apparatus, and family tomb, custom dictates who should inherit them unless the deceased stated otherwise in last will. The Civil Code of today follows the old one as far as succession is concerned.

Upon the death of a person, his/her family holds a funeral ceremony and erects a tomb unless one is available. The head family carves the name of the deceased on the side of the tomb stone or on a stone marker. A collateral family may choose to erect a new one, in which case, the branch head inscribes his/her name on the stone/marker as the founder. Thereafter, names of direct descendants will be carved on it, regardless of gender, excepting daughters who married out.

 

4.2 Korean Peninsula Women

Korean women would have been similar in social status to Japanese women until modern times. While samurai clans and military ruled the society in Japan, it was the munban of the yangban who oversaw the dynasty administration. This difference might have affected the status of the Korean women in a more adverse way than that of the Japanese women.

For, the Zhu-Xi school became the sole political/philosophical construct to govern the peninsula for as long as 500 years until the Joseon Dynasty ended. The yangban, consisting of the munban and the muban (soldiers), were the dynasty business administrators. It was the munban—the intellectuals who passed the gwageo exams that had been modeled on the imperial examinations of China—who ruled the peninsula. They firmly established the male-dominant hierarchical society and institutionalized a manual for ceremonial functions as “mun-gong-ga-rye.” Meantime, they emphasized in the lineage system the clan of the extended families, “bon-gwan,” by linking the birthplace of the founder. As such, the patriarchal society upholding the primogeniture continued to survive.

A Japanese woman adopts her husband’s family name upon marriage and detaches from her lineage. A Korean woman, on the other hand, keeps her maiden name after marriage. Though this practice may put more weight on her family than on her spouse’s family, it can be interpreted, in a way, to keep her staying out of his lineage all her married life.

There are other examples to indicate a strong influence of the patriarchal society. A married woman is often addressed not by a given name but by her surname or hometown name. If she has a son named Yeongil, neighbors call her “Yeongil eomma (Yeongil’s mother).” Her keeping the family name does not necessarily mean that she can freely participate in her family rituals. Without express, voluntary permission from her mother/father-in-law, she cannot visit her family on such auspicious days as the lunar new year day (Seol or Seollal) or the 15th day of the 8th lunar month (Chuseok or Hangawi). Additionally speaking, a married woman was commonly called ansaram (a person inside) or jipsaram (a person in the house). As a side note, the women—who lived through those years when agriculture was the main industry—could not participate in village autonomy as it was the men who governed the community.

It was and it is still partially a custom for the Koreans to purchase a small mountain site to build a tomb for the deceased. They first determine the tomb location, using feng shui (Chinese geomancy), then bury a coffin and build a mound. A tomb is prepared for each deceased person. Being erected aside to it is a stone marker with the names of a family head and descendants. The wife of the deceased had her name rarely carved on the marker. Because of the recent change of law, the Koreans are encouraged to cremate the deceased and place the bones in a charnel house due to lack of burial ground.

As for the decedent’s estate, the male head of the family inherited it on a priority basis. Though his brothers sometimes were given a small portion of the wealth, sisters were not entitled to succession of the estate until modern times. (Note: A researcher makes an assertion that the system of having separate surnames for married couples should be interpreted as evidence of the women’s high economic independence up until the 17th century because children, regardless of gender, evenly inherited the deceased’s estate.)

 

5. A Brief of the Comfort Women Issue

The comfort women (licensed prostitutes) the defunct Japanese military used in warfront were women from Japan, Korea, China, and Southeast Asia, including dozens of Dutchwomen—a reasonable estimate of those women is not 200,000 but less than 10,000. The comfort women became a diplomatic issue between Japan and South Korea since a united women’s group launched a political campaign in early 1990s. At the beginning, there was a misunderstanding that the women had been forcibly taken to war zones, in addition to a mix-up about those women with the supplementary Korean wartime laborers.

Because of a series of successful campaigns of the group with a support of certain Japanese intellectuals, the issue was taken up at United Nations commissions/committees many a time. The comfort women, in the process, have been considered as sexual slaves who were subjected to abduction/human trafficking. As a result, the Japanese government has been criticized for violating women’s rights.

In response, the Japanese government offered, since mid-1990s, apologies to the governments concerned a few times and established a fund to provide reparations to the self-proclaimed comfort women (licensed prostitutes) and to improve social welfare facilities related to them.

South Korea alone repeatedly accepted and rejected those measures of Japan. The Japanese government and the South Korean government reached in 2015 an agreement on the issue that it was finally and irreversibly settled. President Moon Jae-in who took the office in 2017 began asserting the bilateral agreement had not solved the issue. He resumed another issue relating to the wartime Korean laborers. It seems that the South Koreans do not have any intention of solving the two issues under existing circumstances.

Licensed prostitution and private prostitution were historically observed in the world. Even today, prostitution, legally or illegally, is practiced in many countries. Putting it aside, the South Korean group and the South Korean government blindly identify the comfort women as sexual slaves, with no intention of clearly defining what a licensed prostitute was or what a sexual slave was. They, as a corollary, disregard such corroborated facts as a contract exchange between an agent and a woman or her parent, receipt of contract money, issuance of her official identification paper, registration of her profession at a consular police division in warfront, receipt of monthly earnings, and remittances of money for home. They do not question either the reality that the prostitution license system was enforced under law.

It is true today that prostitution is unquestionably a case of human rights violation because selling flesh for money is subject to sexual exploitation that can be linked to human trafficking and because man’s satisfying sexual urge amounts to marginalizing woman’s personality. It is also true today, however, that groundless allegations have been repeated despite the Japanese government’s attempt to explain the propriety of historical background and facts.

 

6. Conclusions

6.1 The comfort women issue cannot be an international issue no matter how many times United Nations committees may bring it up as an agenda and present conclusive recommendations to the Japanese government. For, it pertains to a conflict particular to Japan and South Korea. Erecting comfort women statues and cenotaphs all over the world is nothing but a propaganda operation to cover up facts and therefore it is irrelevant to the U.N.

6.2 The issue will never be solved between the two nations even if all self-proclaimed comfort women (licensed prostitutes) pass away. It is because South Korea wants to irritate the old wound each time a new conflict develops between them.
The issue is also linked to the discussion on whether Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910 was legal or illegal under international law.

6.3 Is there any way to solve the issue? No, not for the time being. Nevertheless, using a wide-angle lens to see the whole picture again, it is possible to interpret the comfort women issue as Korean women’s revolt against men in both Japan and South Korea. The Korean women as fellow citizens of the nation, by no means, publicly blame the Korean men because they know where to stop. They point a finger only at the government for what the men did during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. It follows Japan is solely responsible for the issue as it is Japan that represents the men. In French language, most country nouns are given either masculine definite articles (le or les) or feminine definite article (la or les) and the rest are without any article. Japan is “le Japon” in French and, therefore, it is a masculine noun. No wonder the Korean women are tempted to be belligerent toward Japan.

6.4 Then, why do the Korean women are revolting against Japan? They had diligently and tenaciously played their role for centuries of the dynasties and years of the Japanese rule and the military reigns thereafter. They had never been duly appraised of their dedication by the men. The munban, having made the Zhu-Xi school a national political/philosophical construct, kept refusing to accommodate foreign culture and thoughts under the policy of “wijeongcheoksa,” while appreciating whatever China could provide. They did not place much emphasis on the women’s well-being. Culture, in most of history, was different between the governing class and the governed class, however, it is a fact that the munban monopolized intellectual work.

During the Heian Period (794-1185) in Japan, three women, Murasaki-Shikibu, Sei-Shonagon, and Izumi-Shikibu, authored the Tale of Genji (novel), the Pillow Talk (essays), and the Izumi-Shikibu Diary (poems) respectively. While writing about romances and love, they did describe, expressly or tacitly, political struggles among the powers that be. The women in the Korean Peninsula must have shared similar sentiments the trio had, dreaming of engaging themselves in those endeavors. They had never been at liberty to do so. Noteworthy exceptions were Shin Saimdang (artist, writer) and Heo Nanseolheon (poet) who were outstanding as women in the 16th century.

Fact of matter is people talk. So, women in social hierarchy, high or low, had been observing what was going on in the peninsula while men were blindly engaging themselves in power politics and their prestige. The women saw the rise and fall of dynasties and governments. In the face of those discouraging circumstances, they willingly paid visits to mudang to pray for fortune of their clan and family. The head of the family had never dared to intervene his wife’s religious or shamanic commitments, whether knowingly or not knowingly. Seeking for mudang’s advice became a symbol of liberty for the women. It was mudang that served, in a way, as catharsis for the women to let out frustrations and grudges they had against male chauvinists.

Then, why had the women been so subservient to the men and the society? Their mythology says Dangun’s mother went through an ordeal of eating only a bunch of tansy and 20 bulbs of garlic in a pitch-dark cave for 21 days, to transform the body from a bear to a woman. It is irresponsible to interpret the ordeal as the symbol of the women’s obedience. It is also a thoughtless view to attribute the women’s behavior to a built-in culture unique to the peninsula.

Two key reasons follow: (1) it is because the Zhu Xi school had not extended its support for the women; (2) it is because Buddhist scriptures or Christian bibles were not accessible to them until decades ago. Realistically speaking, the women had no alternative but to turn to the mudang.

6.5 Those days were long gone in the Korean Peninsula. Since late 1960s, South Korea started taking a significant step for economic development called the Miracle of the Han River. The Agreements Between Japan and Korea Concerning the Settlement of Problems in regard to Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation and grants and loans are not mentioned herein.

Late 1970s saw farming mechanization spreading throughout the country, not to mention urban development. The Korean women began to experience and appreciate a lifestyle of modernization, which gave them more time to think and act without being bothered so much by traditional household chores. Mothers began to be able to pay more attention to higher education for children, including daughters. While the government was still ruled by a former Army general, a presidential election candidate Roh Tae-woo who was also with military background launched an eight-point proposal for the nation’s democratic reform on June 29, 1987. He did deliver the promises upon arrival at the Blue House. As reforms were being revved up, the women, being gradually freed from traditional tether, took bold steps forward in the society for the first time in history and developed social bridging with other women, being aware of and exercising their rights.

6.6 Those women, reflecting on societal constraints of the past, promoted pro-democracy movements by launching women’s groups. It was not coincidental for a woman researcher to have become interested in the comfort women issue—a volunteer labor corps issue at the time due to their misunderstanding. The issue caught on among the public in early 1990s, which became a major source of political conflicts between Japan and South Korea until today.

The women have, understandably, zeroed in on the men who exploited them either as a convenient tool or an object merely for fulfillment of lust. Their hostility is oriented toward the Japanese men on the surface, however, deep down in their heart are (1) the Zhu-Xhi school that wrapped the entire peninsula for so long and (2) the men who indulged themselves in it and upheld the patriarchy as an unquestionable concept. That having been said, charging the comfort women issue is nothing but the women’s revolt against the men. Unless the men in the peninsula commit themselves to serious soul-searching regarding their counterparts’ status, the issue will never be solved. Japan in this political theater merely plays a supporting role for the women. It is unfortunate for Japan (Japanese men) to keep playing a role to be knifed down at each episode.

In South Korea, as well as in Japan, are male intellectuals, politicians, and activists who continue to condemn Japan for the comfort women issue. The Korean women have already taken it for granted as one of the men’s gestures of penance.
What about the Japanese women toward their counterparts? Having already given up on the men, they may be striving to step forward for their own sake.

6.7 That having been said, the men must demonstrate a massive self-transformation ability to solve the issue.
Where should the men start from? The equal rights of the sexes are defined as both enjoy the same rights legally and socially. It should not be interpreted, however, as their roles are identical in every aspect. Man cannot substitute woman who conceives, delivers, and breast-feed a baby, for example. The men, knowingly misunderstanding the gender difference, have upheld a belief that they should go out to work while keeping the women at home, without heeding to the women’s physical burden. That is why South Korea and Japan respectively passed such laws as the Basic Law for Women’s Development in 1995 with an amendment in 2007 and the Basic Act for Gender-Equal Society in 1999 with two amendments later that year.

Those laws stipulate that both men and women, as equal members of the society, should be guaranteed opportunities to voluntarily take part in every activity, afforded all political, economic, social, and cultural benefits without gender prejudice, and be jointly responsible for their commitments.

The men’s self-transformation means they should fathom the laws’ intent and put it into action. The women would not lay down their arms if they continue to stick to the traditional, unilateral thoughts. In other words, the men must keep telling themselves their counterparts also stand at the same starting point in the society since the day of birth.

Simone de Beauvoir said, “One is not born but becomes a woman” and “The whole of feminine history has been man-made” in her book, the Second Sex, published about 70 years ago. The men must understand the wrongfulness of that interpretation in an unreserved manner.

**************************************************

Primary references

Aono, Masaaki. (2001). Chosen Noson no Minzoku Shukyo [Ethnic religions in Korean farming villages] (author translation). Tokyo, Shakai-Kyoron-Sha

Cho, Fung Yum. (2002). Kankoku no Shamanism [Shamanism in South Korea] (author translation). Tokyo, Sairyu-Sha

Kankoku-Shukyo-Minzoku-Kenkyu-Kai (Ed.). Kankoku no Shukyo to Sosen Saishi [South Korean religions and rituals for ancestors] (author translation). Tokyo, Iwata-Shoin

Classification of Religions written by Charles Joseph Adams on https://www.britannica.com/topic/classification-of-religions

The Korea Times: Children Can Adopt Mothers Surname. Posted: 2007-06-03 18:07, Updated: 2007-06-03 18:07

Wikipedia: Wu (shaman)

Wikipedia: Korean name

Wikipedia: Bukeno Josei Toushu [Female heads of clans and castles in Samurai days]

(author translation)
Song Ryeon-Ok (宋連玉, 송련옥). Tokuron: Chosen Josei wa Donoyouni Ikite-kitaka [Special Opinion on How Korean women have led their life] (author translation). Posted: 2014.06.28, Updated: 2018-12-11

SparkNotes: The Second Sex, Important Quotations Explained 2. https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/secondsexSimone de Beauvoir

A CHRONICLE OF EVENTS Regarding the issues of the Comfort Women, the Conscripted Civilians, and GSOMIA

A CHRONICLE OF EVENTS Regarding the issues of the Comfort Women, the Conscripted Civilians, and GSOMIA

              The relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have moved from a case of “irritation” to that of “seismic rocking” lately.  In other words, the bilateral relations have become worse than ever.

              The current situation stems from the two issues regarding the comfort women and the conscripted civilians during wartime as everyone knows.  Its spillover is the ROK announcement on August 23, 2019 to scrap the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) it signed with Japan in 2016.

              I briefly chronicle major events herein to recognize factors that are vital to understand the current situation and a direction the ROK is heading for.  It is easy to question the nation’s “Moral Justice” that runs as an undercurrent in the mind of the Koreans.  What was right at a time would often become wrong later, according to their moral justice.  I would say it does not fully explain what is going on in the ROK.  More important questions I must ask are as follows:

              (1) What do they want to achieve?

              (2) What is behind their belligerent attitudes?

              (3) Where are they trying to find their home?

              An overview of the past events would give us an answer, I believe. I printed keywords and sentences in boldface below, attaching also a supplementary note in the parentheses with an asterisk.

Hidemi Nagao, Novelist, Non-fiction Writer, living on pension in Yokohama, Japan

August 2019

********************************************************

A CHRONICLE OF EVENTS

 

1965     The Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea was signed on June 22, which established diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea.  On the same day, the Agreement on the Settlement of Problems concerning Property and Claims and on Economic Co-operation between Japan and the Republic of Korea was also signed.  The gist of Article 2.1 of the Agreement is that both nations confirms that the issue of claims regarding the property, rights, and profits of the signatory nations and their nationals has been resolved finally and irreversibly on the date of signing of the Agreement.  The judicial decisions of late in the ROK concluded that the agreement did not solve the issue pertaining to individual citizens.

1973     Seiji Yoshida published a book in which he wrote he had abducted hundreds of Korean women from Cheju to make them comfort women in warfront.  His admission of abduction was later disproved but his book has been quoted by many people.  (*“Even an obvious fabrication is some comfort when you have few others,” according to Margaret Atwood.)

1973     Kako Senda published a book in which he said the military forcibly taken away 200,000 Korean women in the name of labor force, 50,000 to 70,000 of whom had been made comfort women in warfront.  Though he misquoted a source, his false quotation has frequently been used by certain intellectuals as a fact—200,000 Korean women were abducted and forcibly made sexual slaves.  (*Reasonably speaking, 200,000 women had 400,000 parents, 800,000 grandparents, and probably 50,000 brothers and sisters in the Korean Peninsula in those days.  Had the 200,000 been a credible estimate, 1.25 million family members must have inundated police authorities and the mass media with innumerable complaints because their daughters/granddaughters/sisters disappeared without reason.  The Korean Peninsula had a population of 22.95 million in 1940 and 25.12 million in 1944.  No one has yet unearthed official records of complaints or newspaper articles that referred to hundreds of thousands of the missing women.  Had a case like that occurred somewhere in the world, then or now, it would have wreaked havoc in the society.)

1976     The ROK Ministry of Economy and Finance published in December the White Paper Regarding the Claims’ Fund.  Japan provided the ROK—over a ten-year period—with a loan of 200 million dollars and a grant of 300 million dollars, based on the 1965 Agreement (*Another loan of 300 million dollars was provided by Japan’s private sectors).  The ROK government enacted a law in 1966 and established the Claims’ Fund Management Committee to sanction programs to which the Fund was to be allocated.  The intent of the ministry’s publishing the White Paper was to officially and publicly explain how much money had been spent for each program.

              The White Paper’s Book I (Chapter 3, Section 3) mentioned a compensation policy toward its citizens.  Its gist is as follows: “Upon finalization of the Fund available from the Japanese government regarding the Claims, the ROK government considered it necessary to execute compensations for citizens without delay.  The government, however, postponed the execution until the fiscal year 1975.  It was to prioritize the nation’s fiscal condition, improve the national income, and develop the industrial infrastructure.”  As a result, a large portion of the Fund was used to develop the industrial infrastructure, reflecting President Park Chung-hee’s intention.

              The ROK government made a public announcement from May 1971 to March 1972 to accept applications from individual citizens for compensation of Japan’s national bonds, savings in bank, postal money orders, life insurance, etc.  The compensation policy included applications from families of troops and conscripted civilians who lost life on or before August 15, 1945.

              The government issued in 1974 and 1975 a law and an enforcement order to compensate for the civilians.  It began to execute the compensatory procedure from July 1975.  And the White Paper states all compensation procedures would be completed by June 30, 1977.

1982   Major dailies and TV networks reported on June 26 that the Education Ministry—in the course of screening a new history book to be used at high school—had recently intervened in the text editing to rephrase “the invasion” to “the advancement” to Northern China.  As early as June 30, the Mainichi Shimbun admitted the initial report had been erroneous because there was, in fact, no rephrasing in the pertinent part of the history book.  The initial report, however, upset the Chinese and the South Koreans over a few months thereafter.  The South Koreans denounced the rewrite as an attempt to evade and minimize Japan’s responsibilities for colonialization of the Korean Peninsula.  On July 30, a ministry official took a stand at a House of Representatives committee and said, “There was no alleged rephrasing in the relevant textbook.”  From August through September, major dailies admitted the initial report had been based on false information.  The unsolicited fuss, nevertheless, has given the South Koreans an impetus to criticize Japan as having historical revisionism whenever a historic issue develops between the two nations.  (*Speaking of Yoksa (역사history)-palo (바로straight)-seugi (세우기erecting) is fine.  But Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., said this about history, “The use of history as therapy means the corruption of history as history.”)

1983     Seiji Yoshida donated a cenotaph in the ROK to apologize for having abducted Korean women to take to comfort stations (*Despite his admission later of fabricating the abduction).

1987     Roh Tae-woo, presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Justice Party of the ROK, gave a speech titled the Special Declaration for Grand National Harmony and Progress Towards a Great Nation (the June 29 Declaration).   The speech, in serious consideration of the on-going waves of demonstrations in the streets for democracy, presented eight points of reform such as direct election of the president, freedom of speech, and protection of human rights.   Though Roh was a retired Army general, he won the presidential election later in the year and became the 13th President in 1988.  He successfully hosted the Summer Olympic Game.  Since then, the public at large considered the nation to have been “democratized” and civic groups began to launch a variety of campaigns on social issues, one of which was their attention to the comfort women issue.

1889     Emperor Hirohito passed away on January 7.  A coalition of women’s groups issued to the ROK government a statement to oppose its dispatching of a condolence mission to the emperor’s funeral in Japan.  The coalition, at the same time, demanded the Japanese government to apologize for conscripted civilians.  The conscripted civilians were mistakenly understood as the comfort women in Korea those days.

1989     The Berlin Wall with a death strip alongside began to be chipped away after East German people climbed the wall to go to West Berlin in November.  Upon reunification of East and West Germanies in 1990, the wall was demolished in 1992.  The fall of the Cold War structure gave the ROK a chance to establish formal ties with former East Bloc nations: It established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union (Russia today) in 1990 and with the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) in 1992, after severing the tie with the Republic of China.  In the meantime, the ROK joined the United Nations along with North Korea (DPRK).  The ROK began to promote omnidirectional diplomacy and trade, which made its security and economic dependence on the U.S. and Japan less important than before, despite such a thorn as the DPRK nuclear development program.  It follows that the ROK interest in maintaining dialog with Japan gradually lost momentum in the meantime.

1990     Professor Yun Jong-ok contributed to the Hankyoreh Shinmun a four-part article on the “conscripted civilians” from January 4 to 24.  The conscripted civilians (wartime laborers) are not related to the comfort women though the article was about the comfort women.

1990     Shin Kanemaru, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party delegation, and Makoto Tanabe, leader of the Socialist Party delegation visited Pyongyang on September 26 and met General Secretary Kim Il-sung of the Workers’ Party of Korea.  The three parties issued a joint declaration on September 28.  It said, in part, “Regarding normalization of diplomatic relations, the three parties confirmed that the Government of Japan must fully compensate the North Korean people for damages inflicted during the 36-year colonial rule and for 45 years since 1945.”  South Korean President Roh Tae-woo was said to have severely criticized the declaration.  Sticky issues were its references to (1) unification of the Korean Peninsula and (2) compensation of damages to include 45 years after the end of the colonial rule.  The declaration also stated, “Three parties confirmed that it was necessary for them to make efforts to remove nuclear threats in all regions of the world.”

1990     A united front of civic and religious groups launched the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery (*The Korean Council hereinafter) in December; Professor Yun Jong-ok became its leader.  It appealed to former comfort women to come out to the fore to lodge complaints against the Japanese government.

1991     More than 100 South Korean women began to come forward as self-proclaimed comfort women in response to the Korean Council’s request.  The first one, Kim Hak-sun, held a press conference on August 14.

1991     The Miyazawa administration of Japan which was inaugurated in November began investigations of the comfort women issue.  It made public results of two investigations later.

1992     The Korean Council held its first rally in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul to lodge claims against Japan on the comfort women issue.

1992     Etsuro Totsuka, attorney at law, used a word “Sex Slaves” to refer to the comfort women at a committee of the U.N.  His word soon caught on among the self-proclaimed human rights advocates in the world.  Totsuka admitted he had neither found the word in nor loaned it from credible sources he researched; he just coined the word.  Since then, the comfort women were alleged to be sexual slaves and the comfort stations were alleged to be rape centers by certain intellectuals.  (*Had he quoted Victor Hugo, the word could have sounded academic:  “We say that slavery has vanished from European civilization, but this is not true.  Slavery still exists, but now it applies only to women and its name is prostitution.”)

1992     Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato of Japan made public the first-round investigation results as a statement on July 6, which did not find any evidence that Korean women had been forcibly taken to warfront.

1993     A Japanese official presented to his ROK counterpart a draft of a statement Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono would make about the comfort women issue on August 4.  It was a consensus-building effort of Japan toward the ROK regarding the statement’s wordings.  In the evening of August 3, the ROK official contacted the Japanese counterpart and said, “President Kim Young-sam has appraised the draft.  The ROK Government considers it satisfactory.”

1993     Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono of Japan made a statement on August 4 after disclosing the results of the second-round investigation.  The Kono Statement said, in part, “the Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.”  In response, a ROK government spokesman said that the government appreciated the statement because: “The public nature of a support to be provided by the government funding (the Asian Women’s Fund) is added to the statement” and “sincere apologies and remorse by the government are expressed for the persons concerned.”

1993     The Korean Council and the Study Committee on the Conscripted Civilians (wartime laborers) published a book containing witness statements of 19 South Korean self-proclaimed former comfort women.  What they said in it were so impressive in the social context that they established themselves as the utmost “victims” of Japan’s colonial rule.  Fact-finding efforts as well as irrelevancy of their accounts gave way to stereotypical sympathy and pity of the public and the mass media.  Since then, the women themselves could not make any deviation from what they had earlier said.  They have consequently lost their individuality and moral integrity so that they could become a collective, enshrined icon.  (*“I never think of myself as an icon.  What is in other people’s minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing,” said Audrey Hepburn.)

1994     Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama made public in August a plan to establish a civic fund to provide consolation payments for the comfort women, which was officially launched as the Asian Women’s Fund in July 1995.

1995     According to Professor Kazuo Asano, Premier Murayama as a devout socialist was mulling over passing a parliamentary resolution to sum up the past as the 50th anniversary of the war-end was drawing near.  One problem he had at hand was many lawmakers were wary of such a resolution.  In fact, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a coalition government partner, disagreed to the resolution he proposed.  Even the Communist Party opposed it.  Despite those opposition voices, the premier railroaded a bill for voting in the lower house.  The bill did pass the house with only 230 ayes in the 502-member house, less than a majority.  The bill passed because as many as 250 congresspersons abstained from voting.  The result made Murayama give up another voting attempt in the upper house because another wave of abstention was anticipated.  Premier Murayama then plotted to announce the content of the resolution as his official statement.  He decided to ambush the ministers.  On the morning of August 15, Premier Murayama summoned a Cabinet Ministers’ meeting and read out his statement to the 21-member Cabinet, among whom 13 were LDP members.  Having been taken by surprise, no one uttered even a single word.  He took their silence as acquiescence and adjourned the meeting.

1995     Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama issued a statement to commemorate 50th anniversary of the end of the Pacific War on August 15, without express consent of the LDP.  He said, in part, “During a certain period in the not too distant past, Japan, following a mistaken national policy, advanced along the road to war, only to ensnare the Japanese people in a fateful crisis, and, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations.  In the hope that no such mistake be made in the future, I regard, in a spirit of humility, these irrefutable facts of history, and express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology.  Allow me also to express my feelings of profound mourning for all victims, both at home and abroad, of that history.”

1995     The Murayama Statement was generally accepted as a government apology until October that year when he said at the House of Councilors, “The treaty to annex the Korean Empire to Japan had been lawfully signed,” which rekindled protests in the ROK against Japan.  The Kim Young-sam administration changed its stance from favorable to unsatisfactory regarding the Asian Women’s Fund for the comfort women.

1995     George Hicks published a book titled “The Comfort Women” with arbitrary and complacent choice of uncorroborated data.  (*“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored,” according to Aldous Huxley.)

1995     The Asian Women Fund was established in Japan for the former comfort women.  It was disestablished in 2007 upon completion of all programs.

1995     A preliminary report on the comfort women submitted by Radhika Coomaraswamy to a U.N. committee was unanimously approved on March 7.  Coomaraswamy had in it a clear recognition that (1) the comfort women issue pertinent to the Japanese military was not an issue of the past and (2) it would be a legal precedence to deal with a similar crime that was committed in the past, was being committed at present, and was to be committed in future.  The report, after additional editing, was published in February 1996 as the Coomaraswamy Report.  (*The report—a mixture of facts and fabrications—has become the most notorious case of Gresham’s Law:  When there is a legal tender currency, bad money drives out good money.)

1996     Moon Ok-chu had her life story published as a book.  She vividly described her experience in warfront.  She sent home money by post; she saved money in post office.  She was a bona fide comfort woman from the Korean Peninsula.

1996     The ROK became a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in December, which proved the nation has accomplished unprecedented economic transformation in half a century.  Along with the G20 membership in 1999, the ROK secured the position of a world leader on par with Japan, which meant its stance could go from bearish to bullish on issues involving Japan.

1998     The McDougall Report on the comfort women issue was submitted to a U.N. committee as an appendix, which was accepted by the committee members as an authentic document.  (*The report has become the second-most notorious case of Gresham’s Law.)

1998     Ikuhiko Hata suggested Seiji Yoshida in September to publicly admit he had fabricated stories of abducting hundreds of Korean women to make them comfort women.  Having acknowledged his wrongs to Hata, Yoshida still disregarded Hata’s suggestion until his death.

1998     The Asian Women’s Fund published a 5-part book titled “Seifu-Chosa Jugun-Ianfu Kankei Shiryo Shusei [Compilation of Materials Related to the Military Comfort Women Investigated by the Government of Japan] (author translation).  This book contains valuable information to counter South Korean allegations, however, the published accounts of the self-proclaimed former comfort women overwhelmed its importance.

1999     The ROK, being recognized as a great economy, became a member of G20 in September when it was established with the aim to discuss policy pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.  The nation hosted the leaders’ summit in 2010.  G7, on the other hand, developed from G5 with the U.S., the U.K, Germany, France, Italy in 1973, adding Japan in 1975 and Canada in 1976 and Russia in 1998—Russia’s participation has been suspended since 2014.  One reason for leaders of those nations to establish the forum was due to their disappointment with the U.N.  The PRC and the USSR always used veto power on security issues before the Cold War was over.  At present, there is a talk to establish a new United Nations, excluding the PRC.

2000     The Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery was held in Tokyo in December.  A final statement was issued in the Netherlands in December 2001.  This event is not explained further here because the statement was unilateral and self-complacent; witness statements of the ROK self-proclaimed comfort women sufficiently encompass what the tribunal wanted to claim.  (*Mahatma Gandhi said, “There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience.  It supersedes all other courts.”)

2001     A Japanese Embassy staffer in Seoul complained to visiting Liberal Democratic Party members from Japan that the ROK counterpart never failed to mention what the Chinese would do whenever he wanted to discuss bilateral economic issues.  China has become more influential over the ROK than before, which relatively lowered the ROK attention to Japan.

2002     Professor Kim Gi-ok disclosed at an international symposium held in Kyoto on February 23 that the ROK military operated comfort stations with comfort women in the name of the Fifth Logistic Items around the Korean War.

2002     Japan’s Premier Junichiro Koizumi visited Pyongyang in September.  The premier and Chairman Kim Jong-Il of the DPRK National Defense Commission issued the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration on September 17.  The declaration states, in part, “Both sides, pursuant to the basic principle that when the bilateral relationship is normalized both Japan and the DPRK would mutually waive all their property and claims and those of their nationals that had arisen from causes which occurred before August 15, 1945, decided that they would discuss this issue of property and claims concretely in the normalization talks.”  This declaration corrected what the 1990 three-party declaration mentioned about the claims issue.

2005     The ROK government disclosed in January 1,200 pages of diplomatic documents that recorded the proceeding of the treaty signed by the ROK and Japan in 1965.  The documents, kept secret for 40 years, recorded that the Japanese government actually proposed to the ROK government to directly compensate individual victims, but it was the ROK government which insisted that it would handle individual compensations to its citizens.  Then it received the whole amount of grants (300 million dollars) on behalf of the victims.  TV Tokyo, a Japanese TV network, cited the documents in World Business Satellite on 16 August 2019 as follows:  “The Roh Moo-hyun government presented an official opinion in 2005 that the issue of conscripted civilians (wartime laborers) had already been settled by the Claims Agreement:  The government was responsible for individually compensating them and the relief committee (the Claims Fund management committee) consisting of government officials and civilians provided relief for war victims from a holistic perspective.”  Be it official documents or statements, the South Koreans uphold today’s justice over what took place in the past; hence, compensation claims of civilians got rekindled.”

2006     Yuko Suzuki, Yeong-ae Yamashita, and Masaru Tonomura published a 2-part book titled “Nihongun Ianfu Kankei Shiryo Shusei” [Collections of Materials Related to the Comfort Women of the Japanese Military] (author translation).  This book contains valuable information to counter South Korean allegations, however, the published accounts of the self-proclaimed former comfort women overwhelmed its importance.

2007     The U.S. Congress passed the resolution 121 on July 30 to criticize Japan on the comfort women issue.  Mike Honda and others, asserting contemporary justice, successfully brushed damaging facts under the rug after three self-proclaimed comfort women took the witness stand on February 15.  Similar resolutions were adopted in the Netherlands, Canada, and EU, which was attributable to successful campaigns made by the Korean Council.

2007     The Asian Women’s Fund was disestablished on March 31, upon completion of all programs to compensate for the former comfort women in countries, including the Netherlands; They included some of the self-proclaimed comfort women as well.

2007     Professor Park Yu-ha was awarded the Jiro Osaragi Prize for Critiques for her book titled Wakai no Tame ni – Kyokasho, Ianfu, Yasukuni, Dokudo [For conciliation on school textbooks, comfort women, the Yasukuni Shrine, and the Dokdo] (author translation) by the Asashi Shimbun.  It was a translation of the book she published in 2005 in South Korea.  She criticized the Korean Council for exercising violence of justice and appraised the Asian Women’s Fund.  Quite a few intellectuals criticized her verbally and in writing.

2008     The Asia Coalition Forum for the Japanese Military Comfort Women (日本軍「慰安婦」問題アジア連帯会議) hosted its 9th convention on November 23-25 in Japan.  The coalition forum adopted action platforms.  Platform 3 states that it supports foreign countries’ campaigns for the comfort women issue and damage recovery projects, that it forms a joint front with them, and that it promotes campaigns to share historical awareness, to pass down to posterity memories of the issue, and not to tolerate any violence upon women or human rights infringement.  In the background of the action platforms above were resolutions it respectively adopted at the 3rd convention in February 1995, the 4th one in March 1996, and the 5th one in April 1998.  They were (1) to inform the world of inhuman crimes the Japanese military had committed, (2) to strengthen the tie with the women in the concerned countries in Asia, (3) to persuade the concerned governments to encourage Japan to solve the issue, and (4) to step up campaigns in the U.N.  (*Marcus Aurelius said, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.  Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”)

2009     The ROK Administrative Court in Seoul made public in August the existence of a document submitted to the court by the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (*Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2013).  The document, in part, states, “It is difficult for the government to re-assert the claims to the Japanese government because the 300 million-dollar it had received as grants through the Claims Agreement is considered to include the deposited money (unpaid salaries) for the civilians conscripted for work in Japan.”

2010     Rumiko Nishino and Kim Puja published a book that contained statements of 25 South Korean self-proclaimed former comfort women.  (*It is strange for the book to contain stories of six of the 19 self-proclaimed women whose statements were already published as a book in 1993.  They have also become a collective, enshrined icon).

2010     A group of Korean expatriates erected a comfort woman cenotaph in Palisades Park, New Jersey in October, the first one in the U.S. soil.  (*Words carved in it—more than 200,000 women and girls who were abducted—will continue to disgrace the Korean pride till it gets removed.)

2011     The Korean Council erected on December 14 a comfort girl/women statue or a statue of peace in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul to commemorate its 1,000th Wednesday demonstration.  (*A cenotaph attached to the statue fails to mention victims of the Korean patriarchal system.  It also fails to mention the prostitution license system had alleviated financial hardships the comfort women’s parents had.  Of note is a fact that the statue was erected not to remember the girl but to commemorate the Korean Council’s continued demonstrations.)

2011     The ROK constitutional court rendered a decision in August that it was unconstitutional for the ROK government not to have fully committed itself to solve the comfort women issue.

2012     David Lee, leader of the Korean American Public Affairs Committee, led efforts to erect a comfort women cenotaph in Nassau County, New York.  The cenotaph, the second one in the U.S. was placed in Eisenhauer Park in June.  He is also a leader of a Korean lobbyist group.  He said, “It is votes and political campaign funding that can successfully lobby politicians in the U.S.”  On the motive of New York State Senator Tony Avella who supported a resolution on the comfort women, State Congressman Ron Kim said, “Mr. Avera is not interested in the comfort women issue.  He merely acted to get cooperation of Mr. Lee and to get a spotlight in the mass media during elections.  Politicians in New York act when the New York Times reports something of interest.  They care less about protest mails from Japan about the comfort women issue.”  Lee is planning to host an exhibition on the comfort women issue because he entertains a thought that the comfort women issue was a case of Asian holocaust (*Sawada, Katsumi. (2015). Tokyo. Bungei Shunju).

2012     The ROK Supreme Court remanded in May the two lawsuits filed by groups of former conscripted civilians (wartime laborers) to the high courts, stating that the Property and Claims Agreement of 1965 had been signed between the two nations without explicit agreement on the legality of colonial rule or the lawful reparations for forced, conscripted civilians and, therefore, negative prescription was not applicable to individual claims.

2012     The ROK and Japan were supposed to sign the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) in June.  The ROK abruptly cancelled the signing ceremony an hour before it was to begin.  Behind the scene was a serious concern for China by the opposition parties in the ROK Assembly.  Lee Hae-chan, chairperson of the Democratic United Party, said to the press corps, “Our nation’s trade with China exceeds that with the U.S. and Japan combined.”  Park Jie-won, the party’s Assembly leader, said, “We celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomacy with China this year.  A political gamble to dislocate China in favor of Japan must be immediately abandoned.”  The Agreement was signed in November 2016.

2012     Professor Moon Jong-in of the Yonsei University in Seoul said in an article of the Chosun Ilbo in August, “If someone says we have lived with the U.S. for the past 50 years, I would say, we must live with China for the next 50 years.”  2012 marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the ROK-PRC diplomatic relations.  (*Professor Moon may be siding with Bruce Lee who said, “Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity.”)

2012     Lee Yong-soo, a self-proclaimed comfort woman, who took a witness stand at the U.S. Congress in 2007 when the Resolution 121 was passed, said, “I am the Dokdo and the Dokdo is Yong-soo” on the article of the Yeongnam Ilbo dated September 14.  What she meant is the comfort women issue should be treated in the same way as the territorial issue over Japan’s Takeshima (Dokdo in Korean).  (*She attempted to throw herself at President Donald Trump at a presidential banquet in South Korea on November 7, 2017.  President Trump did hold her arm away by his right hand while paying courtesy to her.  Saint Basil the Great said, “He who sows courtesy reaps friendship.”  But she did not.)

2013     The Korean Council began in spring a campaign to collect 100 million signatures from all over the world to pressure Japan to take responsibilities for the comfort women issue.

2013     A group of Korean expatriates erected on July 30 a comfort girl/woman statue or a statue of peace in Glendale, California, the first one in the U.S. soil.  The statue is identical with that installed in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul (*Efforts to erect more statues in America are understandable but adding one after another would tarnish the Korean pride because each carries a message that false allegations can overcome facts).

2013     An Byeong-jik, a Professor Emeritus at Seoul National University, published a book titled Nihon-gun Iansho Kanri-nin no Nikki [Diaries of a book-keeper of the Japanese military comfort station] (author translation) from Naksungdae Institute of Economic Research on August 30.  The book is a translation of the diaries kept by Park (Mr.) from 1943 to 1944.  Park started keeping a diary almost every day from 1922 to 1957 but those for 1928, 1942, 1945-1950 are missing—A sculptor found the diaries at a second-hand bookstore in 2000.  Prior to the book publication, Professor An said in an article of the Chosun Ilbo dated August 7, 2013, “The comfort women can be said to have been forcibly conscripted in a broader sense of the term.”  He said in an article of the Mainichi Shimbun dated August 7, 2013, “It was the agents who recruited women in Korea.  There was no need for the military to forcibly conscript women in the elementary sense.”  The professor concluded in the book, “It would not be much of a problem to consider the military comfort women as being sexual slaves under the circumstance of those days.”

2014     Professor Su Zhiliang at Shanghai Normal University co-authored with Peipei Qiu and Chen Lifei “Chinese Comfort Women: Testimonies from Imperial Japan’s Sex Slaves” from Oxford University Press in June.  Professor Su stated in the book the total number of the comfort women was 400,000, of whom 200,000 were Chinese.  (*Had one sexual slave tended 10 troops a day on average in warfront, 4 million troops must have been given liberty to visit the rape centers per day.  Had she served 30 troops a day on average, 12 million troops went to the rape centers each day.  How many were fighting in frontline when there were approximately 3 million troops in the entire theater of operation?  Had Professor Su read Victor Hugo works, he must have learned this saying, “It is the essence of truth that it is never excessive….  We must not resort to the flame where only light is required.”)

2014     The Asahi Shimbun printed more than a few pages of articles regarding its re-investigation of the comfort women issue in the August 5 edition.  Retracting 16 articles that had been written from 1980 through 1994, the daily concluded that testimonies made by Seiji Yoshida were false.  (*A one-time correction is fine, but it is meaningless unless the daily continues to write articles from the consistent, realistic, and responsible perspective afterwards.  Since then, the Korean Council stopped referring to Yoshida, however, the allegation that 200,000 Korean women had been abducted still stands high.)

2014     President Obama was scheduled to meet President Park Geun-hye in Seoul on June 25.  As the summit was drawing near, President Park ordered her staff to contact Beijing to set up a telephone consultation with China’s Chairman Xi Jinping.  She did talk with the chairman, two days prior to the presidential visit, to discuss on the North Korean nuclear missile issue and the Northeast Asia situation.  On the morning of June 25, the Joong-an Ilbo printed on Page 1 an article of an interview in writing with the president.  President Obama said in it, “It is not extraordinary for South Korea and China to boost economic cooperation in consideration of the two nations’ geographic closeness and history.  It is, however, the United States that can provide the basis of South Korean security and prosperity.”  President Obama knew the phone consultation had taken place.

2014     Professor Park Yu-ha published a book titled “Comfort women of the empire” (*Publishing a book or an opinion piece that provides impartial analyses and thoughts never fails to put an author’s reputation and sometimes his/her life at risk).  Professor Park became the accused in a libel suit and was given a fine later.

2015     Japan’s TBS TV journalist Noriyuki Yamaguchi unearthed documents to prove the South Korean military operated comfort stations in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.  His findings were reported in the April 2 issue of a weekly magazine.  (*“We cannot use a double standard for measuring our own and other people’s policies.  Our demands for democratic practices in other lands will be no more effective than the guarantees of those practiced in our own country,” according to Hubert H. Humphrey.)

2015     Japanese and South Korean Foreign Ministers met on December 28 and jointly and respectively made an announcement to close the comfort women issue.  Both ministers said, “It was confirmed that the issue of comfort women, a long-standing issue over many years between Japan and the ROK, is resolved finally and irreversibly.”  During a subsequent Japan-ROK summit telephone call, Premier Abe and President Park confirmed and appreciated the agreement. Furthermore, they confirmed that they would take responsibility to implement this agreement, and that they would deal with various issues based on the spirit of this agreement.  (*“Unless both sides win, no agreement can be permanent,” said President Jimmy Carter.  The bilateral agreement was unilaterally negated by President Moon in 2017.  Who won?)

2016     Professor Oh Sonfa of the Takushoku University of Japan said that there were two reasons for the ROK concession to the bilateral agreement of December 28, 2015 on the comfort women issue.  One—which is larger than the other—is a summit meeting held in the White House in October 2015.  President Obama is said to have strongly urged President Park to promote friendly relations with Japan.  The president said later at a press availability that he hoped the history-related issue to be solved despite its difficulty.  The other relates to the South Korean economy that has been dwindling due to the recent rise of the won currency and the slowdown of the Chinese economy.   South Korean business leaders met with the Japanese counterparts in Seoul in May 2015.  They expressed their hope of signing a central bank liquidity swap between the ROK and Japan and the ROK participation in the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP) in which Japan is a key player.  Professor Oh provided the analyses above in an article she contributed to the Sapio, a monthly magazine of March 2016.

2016     The ROK government announced on July 8 THAAD missiles would be deployed to the U.S. Forces, Korea.  Its Defense Ministry made a follow-up announcement on July 13 that it had chosen the location of a missile site.  Though China and Russia severely criticized the deployment plan, the first elements of the THAAD system arrived at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea on March 6, 2017.  China, after its protests were ignored by the ROK, issued on March 17 a decree to prohibit domestic tourist agencies from selling group tours to South Korea, which immediately took effect.  On September 7, four additional launch pads to the existing two and construction equipment/materials arrived at the missile site.  According to the Hankyoreh Shinmun of March 13, 2019, the U.S. Forces, Korea submitted to the government a project plan for the missile site on February 21.  There are numerous procedures to take before an environment assessment appraisal gets started.  The assessment work alone is expected to continue at least one year.

2016     Inuhiko Yomota, writer on comparative literature, contributed to a book an opinion piece regarding “Comfort Women of the Empire” Professor Park Yu-ha wrote.  He has it that the historic memories are grouped into four layers from top to bottom:  (1) National memories whose character is sacred and inviolable; (2) Vernacular discourses which the mass media strategically choreographed, put on record, and provided for the public, not as history but as a myth in a precise sense of the term; (3) Voices that can be heard only through the help of the intellectuals and the mass media; and (4) A spell of silence looming over those who are at the bottom, prime examples of them are former Korean and Japanese comfort women who dared not come out to the fore.

              Why has Professor Park become a target of a barrage of slander and libel in South Korea and Japan, questions Yomota.  It is because she presented alternative voices—that are possibly realistic—against the dominant vernacular discourse, because she tirelessly chronicled how the “official memories” had intentionally created a comfort women myth over the years until now, and because she courageously attempted to put the issue in relative perspectives, in her grand vision to scrutinize East Asian nation states that embodied the imperialism and the patriarchy in modern times (Asano, Toyomi/Ogura, Kizou/Nishi, Masahiko (Ed.) (2017). Taiwa no Tame ni—Teikoku no Ianfu” to Iu Toi wo Hiraku [To promote dialog—by reviewing questions posed by “Comfort Women of the Empire”] (author translation). Tokyo. Crane).  (*Friedrich Nietzsche pointed out this.  “Here the ways of men (*humans) divide.  If you wish to strive for peace of soul and happiness, then believe; if you wish to be a disciple of truth, then inquire.”)

2017      Shigeharu Oku, a former member of the Self-Defense Force of Japan, travelled in March to the National Cemetery for Overseas Koreans in South Korea where Seiji Yoshida erected in 1983 a cenotaph of apology for Korean women whom he had abducted.   Oku covered the cenotaph—at the request of Yoshida’s son—with another one he brought himself.  The new cenotaph inscribed “Commemorative Stone” in Japanese.  The ROK police put Oku under house arrest for having damaged a public property.  A district court sentenced Oku to imprisonment with hard labor for six months with a stay of execution for two years.  Oku returned to Japan after approximately 200 days of house arrest.  (*Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.)

2017     President Moon Jae-in said, after inaugurated to the office, the foreign ministerial announcements of December 2015 had not solved the comfort women issue.

2017     Professor Choi Kil-seong published in November a book titled Chosen Shusshin no Choba-nin ga Mita Ianfu no Shinjitsu [Facts on comfort women a Korean bookkeeper saw] (author translation) from Heart Shuppan Publishing in Tokyo.  Professor Choi, as anthropologist, gave thoughts to the 1943-1944 diaries Mr. Park kept (*Those Professor An Byeong-jik also referenced in 2013).  Park spent over two years in Burma and Singapore, departing Pusan on July 10, 1942 and embarking on a ship from Singapore for home on December 17, 1944.  Professor Choi narrates Park having registered and unregistered comfort women for taking on the job or for going home at local police authorities, having mailed money by post and bank for comfort women, having gone out in town with comfort women for ceremonial celebrations, etc.  He also mentioned the presence of many Koreans in Burma and Singapore:  They established a business network in Burma, Singapore, East Timor, Sumatra, Malaysia, Thailand, and Borneo; and their businesses included not only comfort stations but also dining rooms, restaurants, rice product stores, confectioneries, tofu (soybean curd) shops, oil refineries, photo shops, and the likes.  (*Had all Korean comfort women been sexual slaves there, all Korean business operators must have paid no attention to the women’s ordeals, not to mention Park, even though they were from the same peninsula.  All of them must have been of satanic characters.)

2018     Hideo Tanaka published a book titled Semarang Iansho Jiken no Shinjitsu [Facts about the Semarang comfort stations] (author translation) in which Major Keiji Okada diaries shed a new light to the Semarang Incident.  (*Despite the insinuation otherwise made by the Kono Statement of 1993, the military authorities did not force dozens of Dutchwomen to become comfort women.)

2018     The Korean Council changed  in July its Korean name to the Justice Coalition, without changing its English name.  The Council members belatedly recognized the original name was misleading and wrong.

2018     The City of Osaka severed the sister-city relationship with the City of San Francisco in October over the comfort women issue.

2018     The South Korean Supreme Court rendered two judgment respectively in October and November to favor the claims of two groups of former conscripted civilians (wartime laborers) and to order the accused to pay compensation money.

2018     The ROK Navy destroyer Gwanggaeto the Great with STIR-180 medium-to-long range fire-control (FC) radar system locked on to a P-1 patrol aircraft of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force flying over Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone on December 20.  Locking continued for several minutes and multiple times—locking on to a target with the FC radar is generally considered as a hostile act before actual firing of an anti-air missile.  The patrol aircraft radioed to the destroyer by using three separate bands only to receive no response.  In the immediate area were a DPRK fishing boat, a ROK patrol and rescue vessel, and two lifeboats deployed from shipboard, in addition to the destroyer.  The ROK government, changing its accounts a few times, denied using the FC radar at the P-1 or receiving radio transmissions from the P-1.  (*Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.”  King—who fell to a shot in Memphis on April 4, 1968—did not see a sea change in civil rights movements later.  Even if he was a seafarer, he wouldn’t have changed his belief.)

2019     President Trump flew to Seoul on June 29 from the G20 summit meeting in Japan.  Having attended a banquet hosted by President Moon that evening, President Trump praised First Lady Kim to the skies a few times even on the following day for her commitment to the country.  It is not clear if his praise originated from a glittering broach the lady had on her evening dress.  The broach was a blue butterfly.  For some, a blue butterfly is a symbol of opposition to the deployment of THAAD to the Korean soil because of the movie Blue Butterfly Effect released on June 22, 2017.  According to a Washington insider, President Trump tends to lavishly praise things or people when he is not happy with them.

2019     On July 1, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry made public that it would strictly apply the export control system to materials to be exported to the ROK.  There are two specific measures to be taken for the proper operation of the system.  They are (1) to review the appropriateness of the present export control category awarded to the ROK and (2) to reverse the present comprehensive export permit back to the former individual export permit regarding certain items to be exported to the ROK.

              The ministry explained those measures were necessary due to concerns that inappropriate cases of export control had been reported regarding the ROK, which damaged the mutual trust between Japan and the ROK.

              The ministry review does not mean Japan would not export the three controlled items to the ROK.  It means each export request (contract) needs to be individually permitted instead of comprehensive rubber-stamping, which had been the case with the ROK until 2004.  Developed nations in Europe have not recognized the ROK as a White Nation.

2019     On August 2, the Japanese government decided to place the ROK in Group B of the four existing categories for the export control system.  Group A—formerly White Nations—lists 26 nations, including the U.S. and Britain.  Group B includes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, South Africa, Turkey, etc.  Group C includes nations not listed in Groups A, B, or D.  Group D lists ten nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and the DPRK.

2019     On August 22, the ROK announced that it would not renew the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) with Japan.  The Agreement would be officially null and void on November 22.

「民族の誇りを掲げて~僭越ながら、私は大韓民国に尋ねたいことがある Upholding the ethnic pride~I am not in position to make a proposal, but I would like to ask a few questions to South Korea 」

長尾秀美(元在日米海軍司令部渉外報道専門官・小説家)氏よりいいただいた「民族の誇りを掲げて」日本語と英語版をご紹介します。

********************************************************************

民族の誇りを掲げて

 僭越ながら、私は大韓民国に尋ねたいことがある。

 この場では日本と韓国とに関わる白村江の戦い(663年)や豊臣秀吉の朝鮮出兵(1592年、1597年)などには立ち入らない。日朝修好条規(1876年)、日韓議定書(1904年、日本が韓国皇室、韓国の独立及び領土を確実に保障し、片務的防衛義務を負う)、日韓併合に関する条約(1910年)どからの時期を扱う。

 中国はさて置き、韓国が歴史について日本政府への批判を始めたのは、1982年、日本の出版社が歴史教科書の一部を改訂し、日本の東アジアへの「侵略」を「進出」とした時からだ。1991年、韓国の団体は、当初挺身隊と慰安婦(許可を受けた公娼)とを混同したまま、日本政府に対し慰安婦への謝罪と損害賠償を請求し始めた。1992年、戸塚弁護士が国連人権委員会で慰安婦を性奴隷と言い換えると、韓国側は慰安婦の社会的背景や戦地での実生活には蓋をし、人権侵害問題だけを焦点とし、日本政府をさらに非難した。2015年、日韓両政府は外相会談で合意に達し、慰安婦問題に終止符を打った。ところが2017年に就任した文在寅大統領はその合意を批判した。そして2018年、韓国大審院が元徴用工(戦時朝鮮人労働者)の訴えを認める判決を下した。以来、日韓関係は最悪の状況になっている。

 韓国側は、日本側の誤った歴史認識が今日の状況をもたらしたと主張している。「日本が軍国主義を復活させようと画策している」という極端な主張さえも出ている。

 尋ねたいこと:

 問① 韓国は日本との敵礼(対等の礼を行なうこと)を維持しようとしているのか。明朝、清朝の時代に敵礼はあったが、日本側の解釈は一時期やや異なっていた。21世紀の現在、清朝さえ歴史の彼方にある。日本と韓国は国際社会あるいは国際連合の構図の中にある。昨今の言動を見聞きする限り、韓国は日本だけを敵国としている。それはまるで日本が存在する限り、韓国自体が独立国として存在し得ないような振る舞いなのだ。言い換えると、日本という隣人がいなければ、「韓国には歴史認識など必要ない」と言える状況だ。

問② 韓国人はそれでいいと考えているのか。

問③ 韓国は、1876年から1945年までの歴史をどう解釈しているのか。こう問い掛けても韓国の歴史教科書を云々する意図はない。阿附(あふ)・事大、交隣・羈縻(きび)、冊封・宗属、衛正斥邪がもたらした社会的影響について、韓国が自国民にどう教えているのか、を問うている。これらの思想・方針を持ち出すのは、韓民族の自立と自信とを再構築する余地があると考えるからだ。こんな言い方をすれば、韓国人の歴史認識に難癖を付けるのか、と非難されるだろう。そうではない。ある時期に影響力が大だった考え方をきちんと整理するという意味を国民がよく理解していれば、おのずから韓民族の誇りは生まれ育っていくし、彼らには修正能力があるという証明にもなる言論の自由は尊重されなければならないが、民族を分裂させ、民族を害する言論は容認するべきではない。しかしその脈絡での言論とは、日本政府および日本人の専売品ではない。国際問題を国内問題として捉えることに異論はないが、成熟した民主主義国家は健全な言論の自由を保障することができなければならない。

 韓国(朝鮮)には檀君(紀元前2370年)以来の歴史がある。

問④ 彼らの歴史認識が日本と対峙するためだけのものなら、そもそも彼らにとって歴史は必要なのか。

問⑤ 4千年を超える過去と将来に対し、彼らに必要なのは四海に誇るべき韓国史観ではないのか。

問⑥ 彼らは韓民族の誇りの下に結集するべきではないのか。彼らは灰の中から何度も立ち上がろうと悪戦奮闘し、不死鳥のごとく立ち上がって来た。東学民乱、3.1運動、6.25動乱、5.16軍事革命は、血の涙を流した忘れ得ない一里塚だったはずだ。

 故朴正熙大統領の功績は偉大だ。しかし陰の部分を指摘する評価もある。それはそれとして、彼は大統領になる1年前、歴史と自己(*国体)の確立について以下のように述べている

 歴史は人間の主体的な努力と意欲によって克服される歴史である。国を守ったにしても失ったにしても、民族文化を向上させたにしても後退させたにしても、ともかく韓国歴史という地球の一角に築かれた事実に対して責任を負わねばならないものはほかならぬわが民族であり韓国の国民である。

自己を確立するということは、自律性と自発性を確立するという意味である。…。今日、わが民族に切実に要求されるのは、何よりもまず「自己の確立」である。これのみが過ぎし日の腐敗と不正を一掃することのできる、根本的契機であるといっても過言ではない。

 余談になるが、私は1971年と1972年の夏休みの殆どを韓国で過ごした。そのうちの2週間、私たち30人の日本人大学生は、同数の韓国大学生と一緒に道路を整備した。彼らは一様に、「これからの我が国は益々発展します」と口を揃えて言っていた。民族の誇りが彼らの言動からほとばしっていた。

 近代の歴史認識について、日本ではいわゆる人権派に属する知識人や団体が自虐史観を標榜している。しかしこれも民主主義の側面だ。彼らが皇室の存在、江戸幕府や明治維新をどう捉えているかは分からないが、彼らとて日本民族の誇りまでを放擲(ほうてき)しているとは考えられない。彼らは言うまでもなく多くの国民は、万葉集、源氏物語、枕草子などの文学に、封建制度を打破した明治維新に、自然科学の発展に寄与したノーベル賞受賞者に、野球やテニスやサッカーで国際的に活躍する青年たちに、そして何より、戦後以来継続して保持している民主主義に誇りを持っている筈だ。

問⑦ さて現状をどうするべきか。私は韓国に対し、「お互いに妥協し、協力し合おう」とは言わない。「民族の誇りを前提に、話し合いだけは続けよう」と言いたい。もちろん、ねつ造ではなく事実に基づく話し合いのことだが。

********************************************************************

Upholding the ethnic pride

              I am not in position to make a proposal, but I would like to ask a few questions to South Korea.

              I am not intending, herein, to refer all the way back to the Battle of Baekgang-gu in 663, invasions of Korea by Hideyoshi Toyotomi in 1592 and 1597, or other historic events involving Japan and South Korea. The periods I mention are from the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876, the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1904 (agreed by Japan to Article II: The Imperial Government of Japan shall in a spirit of firm friendship ensure the safety and repose of the Imperial House of Korea and Article III: The Imperial Government of Japan definitively guarantee the independence and territorial integrity of the Korean Empire, etc.), and the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910.

              Setting aside China, it was in 1982 when South Korea began to criticize Japan for perceptions of history.  It derives from revisions of certain history textbooks in Japan in which “invasions” of Japan to East Asia were rephrased to “moving in.”  In 1991, a coalition of civic groups began to demand apology and reparations to the Japanese government for the comfort women (licensed prostitutes), erroneously identifying them at first as the voluntary labor corps.  In 1992, Etsuro Totsuka rephrased the comfort women as sexual slaves at a United Nations forum, which transformed the comfort women issue to a case of human rights violations, by ignoring the reality of their social background or life in warfront.  The Japanese and the South Korean governments reached an agreement on the comfort women issue at the foreign ministers’ meeting in 2015.  President Moon Jae-in—inaugurated to the office in 2017—criticized the bilateral agreement.  In 2018, the South Korean Supreme Court rendered two judgments to side with the self-proclaimed forcibly conscripted Koreans (wartime Korean laborers).  Since then, the bilateral relations have sunk into a disastrous level.

              The South Koreans claim that it is Japan’s biased perceptions of history that have caused the grievous situation of today.  An extreme opinion among them is that Japan is intending to revitalize militarism.

              Now, questions I mentioned earlier are as follows:

Question 1: Has South Korea been trying to maintain diplomatic relations with Japan on an equal footing?

              It did so while the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty were in power in China although there was a difference in nuance on the part of Japan.  Now that we live in the 21st century, even the Qing dynasty is history.  South Korea as well as Japan is a part of the international community and both nations are members of the United Nations.  Seoul’s speeches and behaviors of late appear to make Tokyo its sole hostile government in the entire world.  Because of their impact, I am tempted to suspect South Korean existence as an independent nation depends on Japan alone.  Allow me to rephrase it.  The situation I see now is it would be unnecessary for the South Koreans to have their own historical perceptions if Japan does not exist as its neighbor.

Question 2: Are they happy without theirs?

Question 3: How have the South Koreans interpreted their own history from 1876 to 1945?

              I am not posing this question to interfere with history textbooks they have.  My question is to understand what they have been taught about social influences brought about by such key matters as 阿附(아부, abu, flattering), 事大(사대, sadae, serving the great)、交隣(교린, gyorin, neighborly relation), 羈縻(기미, gimi, tying a horse with a long leash), 冊封(책봉, chaekbong, tributary system), 宗属(종속, jongsok, suzerainty relation), and 衛正斥邪(위정척사, wijeong-cheoksa, protecting the right and rejecting the evil).  I intentionally brought up those thoughts and policies because there is still room for the South Koreans of today to reconstruct their ethnic identity and confidence.  This kind of observation would probably make them denounce me for quibbling over their historical perceptions.  I am not quibbling at all.  What I meant above is: If they are to understand well why it is necessary to straighten out the influential thoughts of certain periods of their time, the ethnic Korean pride would be spontaneously born and get refined, which is to prove they have the capability to make changes.  Freedom of speech is fine, but they must not allow it to divide and jeopardize their ethnic integrity.  The freedom of speech in the context above is NOT the exclusive property of the Japanese government or the Japanese people.  Though I would not object to incorporating an international issue as a domestic one, a mature, democratic nation must be capable of vouchsafing healthy freedom of speech.

              Korea has a long history that dates from the birth of Dangun (2,370 B.C.).

Question 4: If South Korean perceptions of history solely depend upon the presence of Japan, do they need their own history at all?

Question 5: For the past 4,000 plus years and for future, isn’t what they need the world-class Korean view of history?

Question 6: Shouldn’t the ethnic Koreans get united with pride in their nation?  They have struggled to rise and risen phoenix-like from the ashes.  The Donghak Peasant Revolution, the Sam-Il (3.1) Movement, the 6.25 War, and the 5.16 Military coup d’État must have been unforgettable, blood-stained milestones for it.

              No doubt the late President Park Chung-hee accomplished a lot for his country.   What I would like to emphasize here is not the dark side of his administration.  One year before his becoming the South Korean president, he wrote about history and the establishment of the self-identity (*national or ethnic identity) as follows (*author translation).

              “History is something that can be overcome by man’s proactive efforts and motivation.  Whatever the case may have been, we must acknowledge our past as having defended or lost our country and as having developed the ethnic culture or set it back.  It is we, the people of South Korea, who must bear responsibility for facts that have been inscribed in the history of our nation that is in the corner of the world.

                … 

              Forging the self-identity means to secure autonomy and demonstrate initiative.  …  What is demanded of our people today is, more than anything else, to set up the self-identity.  It is not too much to say that only our resolve to exploit this fundamental momentum can liquidate the corruption and injustice of the past.”

              I would like to mention, off the subject, my personal experience.  I spent almost all summer recess from university in South Korea in 1971 and 1972.  30 Japanese students worked for two weeks at a road construction site, hand in hand with as many South Korean students each time.  They, without exception, talked about the nation’s future with confidence by saying, “Our nation will continue to considerably evolve from now on.”  Their words and deeds were full of their ethnic pride.

              In Japan, the self-proclaimed human rights advocates want to loudly talk about the nation’s modern history in a negative sense.  This is one facet of democracy.  I am not so sure of what they think about the existence of the Imperial Household and the Shogun government and the Meiji Restoration, however, I would not jump to a conclusion that they have forsaken the ethnic pride as the Japanese.  Not only they but also the public at large must be proud of literatures such as Manyoshu (Collection of poems), Genji Monogatari (the Tale of Genji), and Makura no Soshi (the Pillow Book of essays); the Meiji Restoration that broke down the feudal system; Nobel Prize laureates who contributed to development of natural science; and young people who have brilliantly performed in professional baseball, tennis, soccer, and other international fields and, above all, the democracy upheld continuously since the end of the wartime.

Question 7: That having been said, what should be done to the status quo between Japan and South Korea?  I dare not say to the South Koreans, “Let us mutually make concessions and cooperate with each other.”  By looking them in the eye, I will say, “Let’s continue to talk with each other by demonstrating our ethnic pride.” It goes without saying that we should stand on the same footing, focusing not on fabrications but on facts.

【参考資料】慰安婦関連チャート(生活様式の差)

慰安婦(公娼)、私娼、性奴隷、それぞれの生活様式と違いを分かりやすくした表をご紹介します。

******************************************************************

※ PDF版はこちら

慰安婦関連チャート(生活様式の差)

 

慰安婦(公娼)

私娼

性奴隷

雇用者

〇略取誘拐

年齢制限

16・17歳以上

前借金

〇又は✕

〇又は✕

無関係

契約書/承諾書/同意書

〇/〇/〇

✕/✕/✕

✕/✕/✕

身分証明書

稼高取り分

40%~60%

100%

貯金(奨励/強制)

〇(〇/〇)

随意

✕(✕/✕)

賞与

〇10%もあり

定期検診

〇週一

随意

随意

居住制限

随意

外出

〇買い物・映画・ピクニック

随意

休日

〇週一の検診日又は月一

随意

年季

2年又は3年、更新あり

人権侵害

狭義✕・広義〇

無関係

狭義〇・広義〇

作成 2019年5月
作成者 長尾秀美 (元在日米海軍司令部渉外報道専門官・小説家)
「慰安婦(公娼)問題関連用語―解説」(出版社:BookWay 2019/5/12)の著者