次にフィラデルフィア日本人会Japanese Association of Greater Philadelphia（JAPG）の弁護士から反対の意見表明ありました。
＜録画： 2022年9月19日、フィラデルフィア芸術委員会 特別会議＞
意見フォーム Comment Form
メール 宛先 The Philadelphia Art Commission
説明文 ： 平和像
現地のフィラデルフィア日本人会Japanese Association of Greater Philadelphia（JAPG）も設置反対で頑張っています。皆さんから多くの反対意見が市に送られることを希望されています。
The Philadelphia Art Commission Welcomes Your Input on the Proposed Philadelphia Peace Plaza (a.k.a. Statue of Peace)
Philadelphia Peace Plaza (Statue of Peace)
＜ 参考 ＞
◆ Office of theCity Representative
Japanese Association of Greater Philadelphia（JAPG）
FNNプライムオンライン 2022年9月19日 中西孝介
◆ Australia-Japan Community Network (AJCN)
Korean Civil Group’s Letter of Protest against the comfort women statue in Philadelphia
2/9フィラデルフィア市 慰安婦像計画 説明・公聴会
2 thoughts on “慰安婦像設置計画フィラデルフィア市が意見募集中！像は平和でも芸術作品でもありません！”
Subject: Justice and friendship for the future regarding ‘Comfort Women’ issue
Dear Sirs or Madame,
I write this in order to save democracy, in order to save freedom of speech and fair and fact-based discussions,
I write this in order to make people can self-reflect whether what they heard and believed have been totally free from biases or ethnocentrism.
As for myself I just cannot let harmful lies spread over the world to make everyone including Koreans unhappy and make the world worse.
I believe America as a nation which put great value on justice and fairness.
I hope you never give hand to propaganda or thoughtless fabrications again so that cause and deepen hatred between neighboring two nations, Japan and Korea also in the future.
Second Sino-Japanese War started in early 1930’s.
Even though I don’t discount a few Pan-Asianist’s wish to liberalize Asia from European Imperial powers, I believe majority of Japanese wanted to make China their colony like Indian Empire was for the British Empire then.
And because Japanese were familiar with Chinese literature and history, they might easily regard themselves same as historical barbarian empire which rose from China’s margins and eventually became foreign dynasty in China.
But if they believe that way, they didn’t understand Chinese people’s hope for self- determination and ambition for better life and democracy.
Japanese Imperial Army occupying China faced guerilla type warfare and resentments from local Chinese population.
Chinese people despised Japanese Imperial Army all the more because of guerilla hunt which was same as casual murder of citizens, scorched earth campaign and rapes.
Then Japanese Imperial Army decided to introduce and accompany brothels to battlefield in order to prevent sexual crimes by Japanese soldiers which had stirred up angers towards occupying foreign force.
Regarding composition of ‘Comfort Women’ or professional camp followers, around 60% were Japanese from Japanese archipelago, about 30% were Korean Japanese from Korean peninsula and 10% were Taiwanese Japanese.
Japanese and Koreans and Taiwanese were Japanese Imperial subjects then. Portion of comfort women roughly reflected the population of Japanese Empire’s ethnic groups.
Small portion of comfort women also came from local population like Chinese, Filipina, Indonesian, Burmese and Dutch from East Indies colonist families.
Regarding 35 Dutch women in Semarang, Indonesia, Japanese military officials were blamed for compelling them to work as prostitutes against their will. When Japanese Imperial Army’s headquarter in Indonesia noticed the fact, they shut down the comfort station immediately. Person in charge, Lieutenant Colonel was executed as war criminal in the Allied military tribunal after war ended.
From 1980’s story about abductions of Korean girls by Japanese Imperial Army were told and spread by couples of Japanese.
In 1983 former Japanese soldier Seiji Yoshida wrote a book ‘My Wartime Crime’ and he addressed that he had kidnapped 200 girls from Jeju, a Korean island and brought them to battlefield. Local Jeju historian instantly denied the story and later in 1996 Yoshida admitted that the book was a fiction.
But before he confessed that his story was a fabrication, in 1991 a female Japanese human rights lawyer, Mizuho Fukushima, leader of Japanese Social Democrats, took up this story to sue Japanese Government for damage and Asahi Shinbun, leading liberal Japanese paper spread this news.
Meanwhile Korean anti-Japanese activist group “Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery” (also known as Chong Dae Hyup 정대협 挺対協) was formed by the South Korean communists in 1990. Its leader said publicly it was determined to defame Japan for the next 200 years.
In January 1990 Korean liberal newspaper, the Hankyoreh, interviewed founder of Chong Dae Hyup and erroneously reported number of Korean ‘Comfort Women’ was 200,000.
Actually, founder of Chong Dae Hyup intentionally mixed up known figure of Japanese school girls’ volunteer corps who were deployed to factories with number of Comfort Women.
People might say number is not important but 200,000 equals to one tenth of Japanese Army troops stationed in hostile foreign soil at peak and 1 percent of population of Korean peninsula at the end of WW2 and at the same time there was no rumor or claims or whatever about abduction of 200,000 girls before 1990’s.
From 1990’s on, democratized South Korea’s presidents have been pushed by public opinion and repeatedly take up the story together with other Japanese colonization issues once he came close to the end of his tenure and became lame duck to salvage his popularity.
From 1993 on Japanese Government has formally apologized for the suffering caused and Japanese public raised compensation funds for the victims. Consolatory payment is about 30,000USD per person and letter attached from Japanese Premier describes sincere apology.
Most of Japanese admit that sufferings of Comfort Women were genuine, and we have no wish or reason to retract government’s apology made in 1993. We wished better relationship with Koreans after 1993 apology, and we didn’t imagine that the apology itself was regarded as new evidence for further claims; i.e. direct involvement of Japanese Imperial Army in abductions of as much as 200,000 girls and request for more apologies and compensations.
We know it is a fabrication invented by certain persons.
In 2011 South Korean anti-Japanese activist group “Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery” influenced by North Korea erected statue of Comfort Woman in front of Japanese Embassy in Seoul. They vowed to build statues all over the world in order to make current day Japan to keep apologizing and compensating.
And finally in August 2014 Asahi Shinbun admitted that their report was based on false story.
So other than testimonies of victims made after 1990’s and now discredited Seiji Yoshida there is no evidence like government documents, military orders, newspapers, pledges from the family, rumors of the neighbours which show tens of thousands of victims were abducted by the military and coerced into ‘Comfort Women’.
If abductions of 200,000 girls were the case why nobody was tried as war criminal?
Contrary there are many prewar and wartime Korean newspapers reporting Japanese governmental police raided on human trafficking from Korea to China.
So again in 2015 this time Japan’s Prime Minister Abe asked US President Obama to act as a mediator and Japan and Korea under President Park Geun-hye’s regime resolved the issue ‘finally and irreversibly’. Japanese government expressed that it was aware of its responsibility and set up an $8.3 million USD fund to help provide old-age care for former Comfort Women and Premier Abe expressed anew his most sincere apologies and remorse. ROK government stated it acknowledged Japan’s concern over statue and it strived to solve the issue.
But next President Moon Jae-in whose term started in 2017 was not happy with the accord made by his predecessor, Park Geun-hye and practically nullified the accord.
Then here comes another statue proposed in Philadelphia.
Do you Philadelphians realize that you effectively try to destroy reconciliation chance between Japanese and Koreans?
It’s pity to learn that indentured labor was illegal but did exist in Japan before WW2.
Many of Korean prostitute girls were sold by their parents. Few might have been cheated by pimps.
I personally feel sorry for their sufferings, but it is not correct to modify history in order to denounce neighboring country and harm mutual friendship in the future.
Even I am aware of Korean resentments towards Japan because of colonization in 20th century and invasions in 16th and in 7th century I like Korean culture and cuisine and had some Korean friends.
I studied Korean history and when Korean economy took off towards industrialized country in late 80’s, I expected now new era had come for Koreans to forgive the past and two nations to understand equally.
But that was just a dream and I accuse Japanese left activists who try to gain fame and profit by fabricating story in 80’s and planting seeds of current troubles and also short-sighted Korean nationalists who are just the prisoners of hatreds.
American people cherish and enthusiastically defend fairness, justice, and the truth. I hope that you will make a truthful, fair, and objective judgment in regard to so called ‘Comfort Women’ issue.