Category Archives: 長尾秀美 氏



June 15, 2020

Hidemi Nagao ( Former Civil and Media Liaison Officer of the Commander U.S. Naval Forces, Japan, Novelist and Non-fiction Writer )



Lee Yong-soo, a self-proclaimed comfort woman, held a press conference in Tague, South Korea, on May 7.  She accused Seigiren by questioning its money management practices.  She added that she would not join the Wednesday demonstrations any longer.

Seigiren (the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan) gets not only private funding from individual and corporate donors but also government subsidies.  What is surprising is it obtained 1.343 billion won (approximately 116.7 million yen) from the South Korean government from 2016 to 2019.[1]  Another surprise is that Kim Eun-Sung, the sculptor who made the 1.3-meter-tall girl statue in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, made more than 100 replicas and cashed in at least 3.1 billion won (approximately 277 million yen) so far.  Kim is believed to have sold close to ten thousand smaller statues (10 to 50 centimeters tall). [2]  The replicas, large or small, are copyrighted.  He is one of the directors of Seigiren.

While the prosecutors are investigating Seigiren’s accounting irregularities, the intellectuals and media columnists are struggling to find out what the nation and the public can do or should do for the comfort women issue.

Lee’s accusations have not only uncovered personal greed of certain human rights advocates but also brought about an unprecedented change in public perceptions of the issue.

2. Why?

Why did Lee publicly criticize Seigiran at all?  I got intrigued to figure out what prompted her to do it.  Putting myself in her shoes, I try to make a guess below.

(1) Lee has not been happy with results of her commitments for the past 30 years.

(2) Though she has been one of the key players, she is getting afraid of being pulled out of center stage as things are going on now.

(3) She has not been duly paid for her commitments in places both domestic and foreign.

(4) Her act to give a hug at President Trump at a presidential banquet has not been properly recognized.

(5) The public is no longer paying any attention to her bold statement that “Yong-soo is the Dokdo and the Dokdo is Yong-soo.”

(6) Because she recently finds it hard to tell which is true, her personal experience of decades ago or what she has been narrating about it, she intended to divert the public attention to something else.

(7) She has, at long last, begun to have qualms of conscience about having practiced hypocrisy.  Or,

(8) She has lately been suffering from isolation.

3. Criticisms against Seigiren and its former leader Yoon Meehyang

Most of Lee’s criticisms are related to money as shown below.

Lee sobbingly said, “The fact that the Korean Council (Seigiren) has been making business of the former comfort women for the past 30 years came to light at last.  I will swear to construct a comfort women history museum.” [3]

Lee appealed, “The Wednesday demonstrations should be terminated.”[4]

Lee complained, “The bear trainer taught bears to do tricks and the trainer swindled all the money for the past 30 years.”[5]

Lee fumingly said, “Yoon Meehyang became a congressperson for her personal greed.  It is unforgivable.”[6]

Lee once asked Yoon to buy some food because she was hungry.  Yoon refused to do so by saying, “I don’t have money.”[7]

4. Proposal of exchanges of South Korean and Japanese students

Lee understands what righteous history is.  She is well aware, at the same time, the authenticity of the hateful Seigiren as well as all self-proclaimed comfort women would be denied if there comes a day when both South Korea and Japan can share common historical perceptions.

Lee preached, “Japan must apologize and pay reparations to the comfort women for the next one thousand years, even ten thousand years.  It is necessary, as a prerequisite, for the students both in South Korea and Japan to learn history from a proper perspective.  Both nations must become friendly to put the process on the right track.”[8]

5. Dilemma of the self-proclaimed former comfort woman

5.1.    Promotion of human rights activities

The comfort women issue made a big wave in South Korea in early 1990s when Seigiren was established.  Seigiren launched a policy to restore honor and respect and to secure stability and freedom of the victims of the licensed prostitution system and began a variety of protest activities against Japan.

Lee came forward as a former comfort woman in June 1992.  She became one of the victims of the system and took part in Seigiren activities.

Seigiren’s purpose was to denounce Japan by appeal violations of the women’s rights to the world.  It required funds to promote and continue its campaigns.  Its leaders decided to collect donations from the public.  As donations came in from students and people and from businesses, so Seigiren expanded its campaigns overseas and to the United Nations.  Once it succeeded in obtaining subsidies from the government, Seigiren became a government-endorsed entity.

Funds would never be sufficient.  So, Seigiren committed itself to raise money by selling girl statues and other comfort women related goods.

It was only recently when Lee got concerned about three things.  One is a long-standing criticism against her personality, the image of which Seigiren created.  The second is a question of who should be at center stage as far as the comfort women issue is concerned.  The third one is Yoon is no longer a civic leader but a congressperson.

Lee’s outcry derives from the three things above.

5.2.    Misgivings about stereotypical views

Lee reflected on her life for the past 30 years.  Some recollections were embarrassing but others were elating and pleasant.  She always narrated her sufferings at seminars and media availabilities, meeting with a variety of people.  She took a witness stand at the U.S. Congress and at a Harvard University hall in 2007.  She cried loudly at Palisades Park in New Jersey in 2011 when a comfort women cenotaph was unveiled, an inscription of which stated that the Japanese military abducted 200,000 women to warfront.

The knowledge of those people Lee met at various places is limited to the two years since 1944 when she was in China and Taiwan.  The timeframe—too short for anyone’s adolescent years—was, at best, a fragmentary phase of her long life.  And they regard her only as an accuser.

One goes through a life being a child, an adolescent, and an adult before becoming an aged.  Lee did so, too.  Being born and raised in Taegu, she had painful days because she had to work for four younger brothers.[9] She still remembers voices of her father, mother, and an aunt.  When she was 14, 15, or 16, a Japanese who put on a military cap gave her a dress and a pair of shoes and took her away though her memories are not so clear today.

After the war ended, Lee returned from Taiwan to Taegu.  Working as a waitress at taverns and grab-joints, she managed to live through such hard times as the Korean War.[10]  After her mother’s death, she worked as an insurance vender, too.[11]  She got married to an elderly man in 1989 but got divorced in two years as he was very suspicious and violent.[12]  In August

1991 when she was sick and tired of the personal trouble, Kim Hak-sun came to the fore as a former comfort woman.  Quite a few women followed her suit in response to Seigiren’s encouragement.  Lee decided to join them.  She viewed it as a godsend.

Those recollections did not help her overcome the three embarrassing questions.  Things are moving; Yoon would soon become a congress person.

Lee remains as a woman putting on a comfort woman mask, which is nothing but a symbol of depersonalization.

5.3.    Overcoming the depersonalization

One grows being told not to tell a lie.  Reality is the world is full of lies, which Lee also personally experienced.  Lee allows her to tell a lie for the purpose of convenience.  It is unforgivable, however, for others to tell her a lie.  Likewise, she does not mind using others for personal benefit, but she does not want to let others use her.

Lee gave a serious thought about the status quo for a while.  Her personality was a work-up of Seigiren and Yoon; an idolized creation for the two years since 1944.  It was a product intentionally defying her memory, reason, and conscience.

Lee made up her mind that she should create a new personality.  What should she do?

One way is to appeal to the public the Han of a thousand years against Japan more loudly than ever before.  She knows it has already become a

cliché.   A proposal of historical reviews by students of both South Korea

and Japan—which Lee talked about a few years back somewhere—is superficial at best.  For, she is aware of its limitations.

There must be other means.  Lee wants to be a central player on stage again and leave the stage as one.  …  It dawned on Lee.  Exposing hidden malpractices would do.  The world would pay attention to her once again, which ushers in her new image.  Even if her exposure tactics fails, Seigiren and Yoon would not survive unscathed.

Lee finally decided to cry out loud.  She or Seigiren or the government could care less about an academic criticism that Pavlovian anti-Japanese campaigns alone would not solve the issue.

6. What I wrote above is my guess of Lee’s flow of thoughts. It is quite unfortunate for no one to have mentioned her what Tomoko Yamazaki, a Japanese historian on women, wrote in her book about Osaki-san in 1972 and what Ham Seok-heon, an avid Quaker and a pro-democracy movement leader throughout his life (1901-1989), stated in his book in 1962.

6.1.    Yamazaki wrote the following about Osaki-san.[13]

“Osaki-san was sold as ‘Karayuki-san’ by her brother Funazo for 300 yen when she was ten years old.  She was taken to Sandakan in Borneo, Indonesia and she became a prostitute at the age of 13 (*Karayuki-san are Japanese prostitutes who did business in foreign countries).  After the war, she fled from Manchuria with her husband and a son and lived in Kyoto; upon her husband’s passing, she alone came back to Kyushu; and she peacefully died there years later.”

“Osaki-san, despite her having been exposed to the villagers’

prejudice in Kyushu, elevated her personality to a noble level, without becoming cynical or anti-social.  She had a big heart not only toward other people but also toward nine stray cats living around her house.  Osaki-san gave them food while having barely enough food for herself.  She said to me, ‘They also have a life to live through.’”

6.2.    Ham Seok-heon wrote as follows in his book.[14]

“A human being is born to resist.  Resistance proves the existence of the human being.”

“Life experience derives from a mental process of understanding, scrutinizing, and demonstrating one’s existence as a unique and valuable personality.”

7. Lee Yong-soo’s attempt seems to have achieved an objective. She would not feel lonely for a while.  But the authorities’ investigations to the allegations against Seigiren’s fund management are irrelevant to public appraisal of Lee’s personality.  People always face a harsh reality, but the reality also sees many people being saved by a person(s) of integrity.
Lee Yong-soo will earn her place in history though it has nothing to do with historical perceptions.



[1] The Japanese language edition of the JoongAng Ilbo dispatch at 1017 on May 26, 2020

[2] The Japanese language edition of the Chosun Ilbo dispatch at 1140 on June 3, 2020

[3] The Japanese language edition of Wow!Korea dispatch at 1311 on June 6,2020

[4] Ditto

[5] The Japanese language edition of the Chosun Ilbo dispatch at 0540 on May 31, 2020

[6] The Japanese language edition of the Chosun Ilbo dispatch at 1040 on May 26, 2020

[7] The Japanese language edition of the Chosun Ilbo dispatch at 1010 on May 26, 2020

[8] The Yonhap News dispatch at 1647 of May 25, 2020

[9] The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan and Teishintai Research Committee, Ed. (1993). Shogen–Kyosei Renko Sareta Chosenjin Ianfu Tachi [Testimonies – Korean Comfort Women Forcibly Recruited] (author translation). Tokyo. Akashi Shoten Publishing, pp. 131-132

[10] Ditto, p. 142

[11] Ditto, p. 143

[12] Lee Yong-soo and Michiko Takayanagi. (2009). Watashi wa Nihongun Ianfu Datta [I was a comfort woman for the Japanese military] (author translation). Tokyo. ShinNippon Shuppan Publishing, pp. 78-79

[13] Yamazaki, Tomoko. (1972). Sandakan Hachiban Shokan [Brothel Eight in Sandakan] (a/t). Tokyo. Chikuma-Shobo Publishing, p. 255

[14] Ham Seok-heon. (1980). Kunan no Kankoku Minshu-shi [History of hardships of the South Korean people] (a/t). (Kim Hak-hyon, Trans.) Tokyo. Shinkyosha Publishing, p. 399, p. 15










1.1. 慰安婦の定義に疑義があることはさて置き、韓国内や海外に建てられた慰安婦碑・像は、日本軍による戦地での慰安婦利用を象徴している。したがって、正義連が否定され、解散しても、韓国民にとって碑や像の存在意義は失われない。

1.2. 慰安婦支援団体については1990年に設立された挺対協が嚆矢となるが、韓国民にとってその存在意義は大きい。したがって、慰安婦に関する反日運動が終息することはない。

1.3. 正義連の活動費の大部分は一般からの寄付金によって賄われていたようだ。したがって、検察側は不正経理による横領や背任などについて正義連の捜査を進める。今後は尹美香や経理担当者および彼女の親族のみを矢面に立たせ、事態を収束させることが予想される。

1.4. 慰安婦を性奴隷(sexual slave)だと呼び始めたのは、戸塚悦朗だと言われている。彼は1992年に国連で使っている。正義連はその英語名称に慰安婦(Comfort Women)ではなく(Sexual Slavery)を使用している。どちらによる造語なのかは断定できないが、慰安婦を公娼(認定売春婦)ではなく性奴隷と同視する考え方は1990年代半ばには定着した。ところが李容洙元慰安婦は5月25日に開いた記者会見の場で、性奴隷という呼称のおぞましさを嘆いた。事情がやや変化した。韓国外交部(外務省)は英語のホームページでComfort WomenではなくSexual Slaveryを使用している。したがって、同国が国連の各委員会に対し、その呼称の訂正を求めるとは考えられない。被害者中心主義を唱えるとしても、性奴隷という呼称に勝る言葉がないからだ。

1.5. この騒動が終息しても、上記のとおり、慰安婦問題に関する環境が劇的に変化するとは考えられない。とは言え、1つ提案したいことがある。正義連は慰安婦問題を女性の人権侵害として捉え、日本を糾弾してきた。女性の人権尊重を掲げるなら、朝鮮戦争中の第5補給品や洋公主およびベトナム戦争中の韓国軍慰安所およびライダイハンの母をもその名称に含めるのが本筋だ。正義連解散後に有志が新しい団体を設立させるなら、次の名称を推奨したい。ただし、それには国民の勇気が必要となる。


2. 公的慰安婦支援機関の設立

2.1. 正義連への信頼が地に落ちたことから、韓国政府はこれを好機とし、支援機関を新たに設立し、管理していくことが想定される。ここではその機関を仮に慰安婦支援庁とする。この支援庁は慰安婦の存在を外交問題として捉えれば外交部に、社会的保護の問題として捉えれば保健福祉部に、女性の権利促進の問題として捉えれば女性家族部に所属することになるだろう。

2.2. 支援庁は慰安婦が何を望んでいるのかを明確に把握しなければならない。 彼女たちが慰労金などの受け取りのみを望むなら、慰安婦およびその遺族への慰労金支給が終了した段階で支援庁の役目は終わる。

2.3. 一方、彼女たちが日本政府から明示的な国家責任認定を引き出すことを望むなら、2つの状況が想定される。

2.3.1. 日本政府は、加藤談話、河野談話、アジア女性基金、2015年の日韓合意を持ち出し、慰安婦問題を韓国内で処理するべきだと主張するだろう。日本政府は譲歩しないだろうから、日本政府が拠出した「和解・癒やし財団」への10億円は宙に浮く。慰安婦問題は事実上未解決となるだろう。

2.3.2. 彼女たちが妥協案を出すとすれば、その案は、慰労金を受け取った上で、韓国政府が日本政府への働き掛けを恒常的に続けるという誓約をすることになるだろう。

3. 韓国の日本に対する恨(ハン)

3.1. 現状を考慮した上で日本が蔑ろにしてはならないことが3つある。最初の2つは、千英宇(チョン・ヨンウ)韓半島未来フォーラム理事長・元外交安保首席(李明博政権で大統領外交安保首席秘書官)が述べた韓国人の日本に対する恨(注1)だ。彼は5月24日配信の朝鮮日報日本語版で以下の2点を強調している。

3.1.1. 方々に少女像を立て、慰安婦被害者らが全て亡くなった後も日本の蛮行を反すうすることは、歴史教育の観点からも必要だ。

3.1.2. 日本に対する復讐はいくらやっても足りないが、過去に限りなく埋没して韓国がこれ以上壊れる必要はない。反日も重要だが、韓国にはそれより大切な価値もある日本に対する道徳的優位を喪失したら、克日はさらに遠のくという国民の実態を忘れてはならない。


3.3. 日本人なら、李容洙と千英宇の言葉の背景に1910年の日韓併合があることは自明だ。ここで帝国主義時代の宗主国と植民地の例を持ち出しても、韓国民には通じない。アジアの歴史を振り返れば、イギリスとインド、フランスとインドシナ、オランダとインドネシア、アメリカとフィリピンの現状はどうなっているのか。そんなことは無関係なのだ。したがって、李王朝時代より韓半島で厳然たる権威の象徴だった両班の存在を持ち出し、日韓併合時に彼らが何をしたのか、何をしなかったのかを問いただしても意味がない。

4. 日本は何をどうするべきか

4.1. ジャーナリストでコリア・レポート編集長の辺真一氏は、5月27日、 「元慰安婦の「爆弾発言」は安倍政権にはプラス! その5つの理由」を列挙している。要点は以下の通りだ。






4.2. 繰り返すようだが、日本政府は慰安婦問題に関し、1992年と1993年に加藤談話と河野談話をそれぞれ発表し、1994年にアジア女性基金を設立し、1995年に村山談話を出し、2015年に日韓合意を成立させた。国連の各委員会が過去何をどう言い、将来何をどう言おうとも、これらは歴史的事実で、日本政府が真摯にこの問題に取り組んだ証拠だ。

4.3. 一方、韓国と国連の各委員会は、慰安婦問題を今日的な女性人権侵害として捉えるだけだ。したがって、彼らは1932年から1945年まで日本軍が利用した慰安婦制度を社会的にも法律的にも検証していない。日韓併合に至るまでの極東の地政学的分析もしていない。過去の経緯を精査しない議論は無責任としか言い得ない。各委員会の役目は、提出された意見に対する勧告を当事国に出すだけなので、各委員の見識を云々することは妥当ではない。彼らはたまたまその場にいて、文筆家として議論らしいことをすれば役目を果たすことができるからだ。当事者でない彼らにそれ以上のことは期待できない。


4.5. 日本政府は事態の推移を見守るしかない。





June 4, 2020

Hidemi Nagao ( Former Civil and Media Liaison Officer of the Commander U.S. Naval Forces, Japan, Novelist and Non-fiction Writer )


Lee Yong-soo, a self-proclaimed comfort woman, accused Seigiren and its leader Yoon Meehyang in Tague, South Korea, on May 7.  Since then, her accusation has been rocking the entire South Korean society.  I would like to personally offer an observation about the situation which I call a clatter involving Seigiren (the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan).    Honorific titles are not used herein.

  1. Limits of the clatter

1.1.        I set aside the definition of the comfort women here.  The comfort women cenotaphs and statues being built in South Korea and foreign countries symbolize the use of comfort women by the Japanese military in warfront.  Their significance will not be called into question by the South Koreans even if Seigiren gets denied and disestablished.

1.2.        Seigiren, established in South Korea in 1990, became the first civic entity to support the self-proclaimed comfort women.  The South Koreans consider the existence of similar groups important.  Accordingly, anti-Japan campaigns will not come to an end as far as the comfort women issue is concerned.

1.3.        Most of the expenses for Seigiren campaigns is said to have been borne by donated funds from the public at large.  The prosecutors will investigate the case for misappropriation and breach of trust in bookkeeping. Investigations would probably be completed by making its leader Yoon Meehyang and her accountant and family members face the fire.

1.4.        It is said to be Etsuro Totsuka who first began to call comfort women sexual slaves.  He used the phrase at a United Nations committee in 1992.  Sexual slavery is used with specific reference to comfort women in Seigiren’s English name.  It is unknown who first used the phrase.  Its usage—to refer to licensed prostitutes—began to prevail by mid-1990s.  Things have made an abrupt turn backward on May 25 when Lee Yong-soo said at the media availability she had detested the naming as abominable.  The South Korean Foreign Ministry, in its English homepage, favors sexual slavery to refer to comfort women.  It is, therefore, inconceivable for Seoul to bother to retract the naming at the U.N. committees.  It is because there is no substitute phrase that can carry as much social impact as sexual slavery does even if the premise of the victim-centered approaches is being upheld.

1.5.        As mentioned above, the environment regarding the comfort women issue would not drastically change.  I would like to make a proposal here, despite such an observation.  Seigiren has been accusing Japan by making the comfort women issue a case of women’s rights violation.  If it seriously intends to advance the women’s rights, its name should reflect the existence of comfort women for the South Korean military and the U.N. command during the Korean War and the South Korean comfort stations and Lai Dai Han during the Vietnam War, too.  I would recommend the following name if volunteers are to establish a new coalition after the Seigiren clatter, which requires courage of the South Koreans.

The Korean Council for the Women (and Lai Dai Han Mothers) Abused by the Japanese Military, the South Korean Military, the U.N. Command

  1. Establishment of a public comfort women support organ

2.1.        Trying to turn the challenge into to opportunity, the South Korean government is believed to establish and manage a new support agency for the comfort women as public trust for Seigiren has reached its nadir.  The new organ would belong to either the ministry of foreign affairs, the ministry of health and welfare, or the ministry of gender equality and family, depending on what the Blue House prioritizes, i.e., diplomacy, social welfare, or promotion of women’s rights.

2.2.        This new organ must clearly understand what the comfort women want to accomplish.  If the women may merely ask for provision of consolation money, this organ would fulfill its role when it completes provision of the money to all comfort women and their bereaved families.

2.3.        If the women, on the other hand, calls on the government to negotiate with the Japanese government for the purpose of making the latter unequivocally acknowledge the national responsibility for having institutionalized the comfort women system in warfront.  Predicted at present are two situations below.

2.3.1.     The Japanese government would claim the issue to be settled domestically in South Korea by referencing the Kato statement, the Kono statement, the Asian Women’s Fund, and the recent bilateral agreement.  Because it is unrealistic for Japan to make concessions, the donation of one billion yen for the Foundation to Support Former Comfort Women would get out of hand now that the South Korean government already disestablished the foundation.  The comfort women issue would remain unresolved.

2.3.2.     The comfort women may propose a compromise.  They would accept the consolation money on condition that the South Korean government pledge to continue its efforts to call for Japan’s concession.

  1. South Korean “Han” against Japan

3.1.        The Japanese government should be aware of three things while observing events in South Korea.  All of them relate to “Han (see Note at the end)” the South Koreans have toward Japan as mentioned by Chun Yung-woo, former chief diplomatic adviser to President Lee Myung-bak.  He emphasized two points below in the Japanese language edition of the Chosun Ilbo of May 24.

“It is necessary for fellow citizens to continue to erect girl statues and reflect on the violence Japan inflicted upon us as a historical lesson, even after all comfort women pass away.

We would never be able to say enough is enough when it comes to revenge campaigns against Japan.  It is unwarranted, on the other hand, for our country to turn our attention solely to the past.  Our country has core values more important than the anti-Japan commitment.  We must remember that our goal of overtaking Japan shall slip away if we lose our moral superiority over Japan.”

3.2.        The Japanese government must also bear in mind the third point, which also relates to “Han” Chun narrated.  According to the Japanese language edition of the Chosun Ilbo of May 26, Yee Yong-soo said at the press conference of May 25 as follows.

“What I would like to say is not to quit the campaigns but to change the way they are carried out.  The pillar of our philosophy is Japan should continue to apologize for the comfort women issue for thousands of years to come.

Key players in our history are students of both South Korea and Japan who are to solve the comfort women issue.  We must strive to lead them to develop righteous historical perceptions and encourage them to mutually exchange.”

3.3.        A Japanese would clearly see in the background of the thoughts Yee and Chun mentioned is the annexation of the Korean Empire by Japan in 1910.  It is meaningless here to mention to the South Koreans the present relationships between the former colonial power and the former colonized territory in the days of imperialism; Britain and India, France and Indochina, the Netherlands and Indonesia, and the U.S. and the Philippines, for example.  When it comes to matters involving South Korea and Japan, they are irrelevant, period.  It is, therefore, meaningless what the yangban, the ruling class since the Yi Dynasty in the Korean Peninsula, did or did not do when their homeland was annexed to Japan.

  1. What Japan is supposed to do?

4.1.        Pyon Jinil, editor-in-chief of the Korea Report, contributed on May 27 an opinion piece titled “Five reasons why a bombshell statement by a former comfort woman is good news for the Abe administration.”  The gist is as follows.

Merit 1:  Seigiren’s legitimacy is denied.

Merit 2:  The published comfort women statements are questioned.

Merit 3:  The Wednesday demonstrations are not encouraged.

Merit 4:  The phrase of sexual slaves is detested.

Merit 5:  Congressperson Yoon Meehyang’s political voice will decline.

4.2.        I hate to reiterate this, but the Japanese government issued the Kato statement in 1992, the Kono statement in 1993, established the Asian Women’s Fund in 1994, issued the Murayama statement in 1995, and reached an agreement with South Korea in 2015, regarding the comfort women issue.  Whatever the U.N. committees presented as conclusive observations/recommendations in the past and whatever they will issue in future, what Japan did in earnest has been carved in stone.

4.3.        On the other hand, what South Korea and the U.N. committees have done so far is to merely link the comfort women issue with women’s rights violation in today’s ethical standards.  They have never attempted to scrutinize the comfort women system—which the Japanese military used from 1932 to 1945—from the sociological or legal viewpoints.  They have not paid any attention to the geopolitical situations of the Far East up until the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty of 1910, either.  Any discussion without reviewing the how and why of the past events are irresponsible per se.  The mission of each U.N. committee is to issue a recommendation to the state party concerned in response to a presented claim.  It is, therefore, not appropriate to question the committee members’ wisdom.  They happen to be there for talking as writers till the day is done.  No one can expect more from them because they are no more than bystanders.

4.4.        Lastly, what Yee Yong-soo recommended must be reviewed.  She encouraged students of South Korea and Japan to be given righteous history education and to engage in cross-pollination of ideas.  Presenting historical materials to students of both countries would not usher in any solution to the comfort women issue.  For, it is not possible to ask them to reduce into writing contentious and divisive issues, to examine each, and to come up with a reasonable judgement.  It is, however, possible for such an interaction to become a means to inspire hope.  This hope will become realistic only on condition that no decisive conclusion is to be made by both students.  In other words, they are supposed to accept pros and cons of the issue as a result of historical consideration.

4.5.        The Japanese government has nothing to do but to wait and see till the clatter subsides.

Note:  Han in Japanese is an emotion of rage and hate against others.  Han is a concept of an emotion, variously described as some form of grief or resentment, among others, that has been said to be a characteristic of Korean culture.  Han is a modern phenomenon that did not exist in premodern Korea.  Han is not found in the first Korean–English dictionary, published by James S. Gale in 1897, according to Michael D. Shin of Robinson College.  Shin says almost any negative emotion can be called Han and argues that the central aspect of Han is loss of identity, in that the complex of emotions that result from the traumatic loss of collective identity, according to Wikipedia (browsed on May 30)  One seasoned journalist who is well-versed in Korean language and has years of professional experience in South Korea said, “Han is an emotion to be generated when one’s pursuit of an ideal gets undermined by a person or an organization, which, therefore, never goes away.”








発信: 長尾秀美、国連委信頼性向上協会代表

宛先: 国連女子差別撤廃委員会

主題: 「女子の皇位継承に関する事項」を問題点一覧表より削除するための要請

出典: 日本政府が第9期定期報告書提出前に考慮するべき問題点および質問事項一覧表(2020年3月9日付けCEDAW/C/JPN/QPR/9 未編集版)


1. 要請



2.  撤回・削除を求める理由


2.1. 皇室の歴史

2.1.1. 初期皇室の歴史は、712年に編纂された古事記と720年に編纂された日本書紀に書かれています。歴史家は最初期の歴史を神話だとみなし、これについては議論の余地がありません。その神話によれば、日本の島が誕生後、3柱の神が降臨されました。その神はそれぞれ天と夜と海とをつかさどられました。注目するべきは、最初の2柱は女子で、残りの1柱が男子だったことです。神話自体に男尊女卑はありません。

2.1.2. 皇室(天皇)が歴史上いつから実在したのかについてはいまだに議論があります。初代神武天皇は紀元前660年に即位され、今上天皇は第126代目になりますが、4世紀の第16代仁徳天皇は実在したと考えられています。言い換えると、皇室には少なくとも1800年以上の歴史があります。

2.1.3. 皇室は現在まで男子による皇位承継を維持されています。しかし、日本には女子の天皇が8人おられました。最初は推古天皇(在位592-628年)で最後は御桜町天皇(在位1762-1770年)でした。8人の内お2人は2度重祚(ちょうそ)されたので、その御代(みよ)は10代となります。これは例外でした。なぜなら、8人の女子天皇は、皇室の家系を維持するために即位されたからです。つまり男子の子孫が承継するまでの間だけ在位されました

2.1.4. 男子承継を維持するため、皇室が子孫を探した例があります。山田宏参議院議員は、2019年12月1日の講演会で、以下のように述べています。


2.2. 女子天皇と女系天皇制度

2.2.1. 先ほど述べたように、女子天皇は存在しましたが、それは例外でした。皇室が男系天皇制度を維持しているのは、皇統の血筋を承継するためです。その血筋とは人のDNAに関連していますから、それを簡単に説明します。


2.2.2. つまり、女系天皇制度の導入は、内親王や女王が外部の男子と婚姻することになり、これまで続いていた皇室のY染色体を断絶させることになります。したがって、女系天皇制度は受け入れられません。

2.2.3. 皇室に男子承継者がいない場合、国会決議により特例法を定め、暫定措置として、内親王や女王を天皇にすることは可能です。しかし貴委員会の勧告はその点を明らかにしていません。

2.3. 不当な介入

2.3.1. 皇室典範改正により女子天皇を制度化するという勧告は、一見、問題ないように思われます。しかし、その勧告は主権国家に対する越権行為になります。

2.3.2. なぜならば、上記2.1-2.2.で述べたように、勧告が日本の皇室が長い間守り続けてきた血筋、すなわち、歴史を否定するからです。歴史が否定されれば、皇室が執りおこなう神式の儀式も否定されます。

2.3.3. 世界にはユダヤ教、キリスト教、イスラム教、ヒンズー教や仏教を信奉する国家があり、それぞれの宗教には神話らしい事柄も含まれていますし、さまざまな形で儀式がおこなわれます。宗教上の教えが史実と異なるとしても、国際機関や諸外国はその是正を求めるでしょうか。主権国家の宗教に介入するでしょうか。それこそ越権行為になります。

2.3.4. 1947年に施行された皇室典範附則第2項「現在の皇族は、この法律による皇族とし」は、連合国軍最高司令官総司令部の意向を忖度(そんたく)したもので、その意図は皇室を絶やすためだといわれています。これにより、皇室は天皇と2親王と天皇の弟とその弟の3親王と天皇の甥の1親王だけに限られました。これこそが連合国軍の越権行為だったのです。1947年10月、同附則第2項に基づき、経済的な理由もあったので、11の旧皇族が皇籍を離脱されました。

3. 結論

3.1. 日本の皇室を断絶させるような権利は、国際機関や諸外国に与えられていません。

3.2. そのような権利の行使は、皇室がこれまで育くんできた貴重な文化的遺産を遡及的に否定することにもなります。皇室の存在がなければ、11世紀初頭までに完成したとされる2人の女子が書いた『源氏物語』(世界最古の長編小説)や『枕草子』(随筆)は生まれませんでした。

3.3. 以上の説明に基づき、貴委員会が冷静な判断をされ、皇室に関わる勧告の撤回・削除を伏して要請いたします。

4.  補足





長尾 秀美




Date:    April 15, 2020

From:  Hidemi Nagao, Chairman of the Association to Boost Credibility of United Nations Committees (ABC-UNC)

To:   Honorable Members of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)


Ref:  List of issues and questions prior to the submission of the ninth periodic report of Japan (CEDAW/C/JPN/QPR/9 of March 9, 2020, ADVANCE UNEDITED VERSION)

Dear Sirs and Madams,

  1. Request

I, as Chairman of the Association to Boost Credibility of the United Nations Committees (ABC-UNC), request that your committee (CEDAW) to retract and rescind the following statement in paragraph 2 (Definition of discrimination and legislative framework) of the reference.

“Regarding the Imperial House Act, the provisions of which currently excludes women from succeeding to the royal throne, please provide details on the steps envisaged to enable female succession to the throne.”

  1. Reasons to call for retraction of the statement

I suspect some misunderstandings had contributed to the committee’s formulation of the statement above.  Please allow me to explain key matters related to the Imperial Household so that they can be duly allayed.  Brevity is essential and, therefore, I will try “not to keep you long” as British King Henry VIII said to his six wives.

2.1.  History about the Imperial Household

2.1.1.  The early days of the Imperial Household are written in both Kojiki (the Records of Ancient Matters, compiled in 712) and Nihonshoki (the Chronicle of Japan, compiled in 720).  Historians regard those days as belonging to myths; there is no argument among them.  According to the myths, three important deities came into existence after the islands of Japan were created.  They were allotted the heaven, the night, and the seas respectively.  Of note is two of them were women and one is a man.  In the myths is no sexual discrimination among the deities.

2.1.2.  There are, however, controversies about since when the Imperial Household (emperors) existed.  The first Emperor Jinmu ascended the throne in 660 BC, which makes Emperor Naruhito of today the 126th Emperor of Japan.  The 16th Emperor Nintoku who reigned in the 4th century is known to have existed.  In other words, the Imperial Household is blessed with more than 1800 years of history at least.

2.1.3.  The Imperial Household maintains until today the male succession policy.  History saw there were eight empresses in Japan, the first one being Empress Suiko from 592 to 628 and the last one being Empress Gosakuramachi from 1762-1770.  The empresses reigned for ten eras because two of them were enthroned twice.  They were exceptions.  For, eight empresses ascended the throne for the purpose of maintaining the imperial lineage.  Each of them reigned for a certain period till a male descendant got enthroned.

2.1.4.  There was a serious search to locate imperial descendants for the male succession policy.  Senator Hiroshi Yamada of the House of Councilors said at his speaking engagement on December 1, 2019 as follows.

“Before the 26th Emperor Keitai ascended the throne, the imperial court did an all-out search of ascendants up to several generations and found a descendant in Fukui (in the north of Kyoto).”

2.2.  A woman on the throne and the matrilineal imperial system

2.2.1.  As mentioned earlier, several empresses were in the Imperial Household history.  But they were exceptions.  The policy is to maintain the authentic imperial lineage, the emperor’s bloodline.  The bloodline which relates to DNA is briefly explained here.

“DNA is a chemical molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions.  It forms a chemical union with protein to produce chromosomes.  In a human cell are 23 pairs of chromosomes in which 22 pairs are autosomes and one pair are sex chromosomes.  A female has X+X chromosomes while a male has X+Y chromosomes.”

2.2.2.  The introduction of the matrilineal imperial system to the Imperial Household would mean, for example, the emperor’s daughters get married to males outside the imperial lineage, which translates to discontinuance of the imperial Y-chromosomes.  This system is not acceptable.

2.2.3.  If the Imperial Household happens to have no male descendants for the throne, it is possible for the Japanese parliament to pass a special law to ascend a daughter to the throne as a temporary measure.  CEDAW’s recommendation mentioned in paragraph 1 above does not clarify the issue of the authentic imperial lineage.

2.3.  Unwarranted intervention

2.3.1.  The recommendation to revise the Imperial Household Law to accommodate empresses seems to be without problem at first glance.  it would, however, be a case of “ultra vires” (beyond the powers).

2.3.2.  For, as mentioned in subparagraphs 2.1-2.2 above, the recommendation would deny the bloodline the Imperial Household has kept for a long time; it would amount to denying its history.  Once its history is denied, the Shinto rituals conducted by the household gets denied, too.

2.3.3.  There are many countries in the world that embrace Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, each of which has semi-mythical or mythical elements and conducts rituals in some form or another.  Even if some teachings in those religions are contrary to historical facts, would international organs and foreign governments call for correction of them?  Would they intervene those religions sovereign states embrace?  Such an act would become a case of “ultra vires.”

2.3.4.  Section 2 of the Additional Clause of the Imperial Household Law enacted in 1947 states “the present imperial family shall be the imperial family under this law.”  The clause is said to have seriously regarded the opinion of the General Headquarters, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.  That is, the Allied Powers intended to make the Imperial Family eventually become extinct.  Because of section 2, the imperial family was limited to the emperor, his two sons, his brother, the brother’s three sons, and his nephew’s son.  The act was nothing but an unwarranted intervention.  In October 1947, 11 former imperial families—according to the section and due partly to economic hardships anticipated—voluntarily separated from the imperial family.

  1. Conclusion

3.1.  No international organs or foreign governments have any vested right to call on Japan for discontinuing the Imperial Family.

3.2.  Such an intervention would be an act to retroactively deny rich cultural heritage the Imperial Household has nurtured until today.  Were it not for the Imperial Family, such great works as the Tale of Genji (the oldest and longest novel in the world, written by a woman) and the Pillow Talks (a collection of essays authored by another women) would not have been created at the turn of the 11th century.

3.3.  Based on my background explanations, I humbly request the honorable CEDAW members to retract and rescind the recommendation concerning the Imperial Household, by making a philosophical judgement.

  1. Supplementary note

On April 6, 2020, British Queen Elizabeth II made a televised address to her people as follows amid corona virus pandemic (COVID 19).

“The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future.”

The queen’s intention is not to deny the past.  Observing tradition will make the Britons proud of their nation.  They and their nation, with the pride, can tackle with their present and their future.  The same is equally true of Japan, not to mention the continuity of the Imperial Household.

Very respectfully yours,

Hidemi Nagao

Chairman, the Association to Boost Credibility of United Nations Committees (ABC-UNC)