5:16 pm - 07/04/2012

Former Korean comfort women to sue Japanese politician




Women used as comfort women by the Japanese military have begun a legal offensive against Japanese citizens who insulted the comfort woman statue across from the Japanese Embassy in Korea.

Kim Sun-ok, Bae Chun-hui, Lee Yong-nyeo, Kim Gun-ja, Lee Ok-seon, Kang Il-chul, Yu Hui-nam, and others of the women living at the “House of Sharing” in Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do, announced on the 3rd that on the afternoon of the 4th they will file a lawsuit for defamation and criminal insult against 47-year old Suzuki Noboyuki, a Japanese citizen.

Their attorney is Park Seon-ah of the Hangang Law Corporation.

There are over 1,000 complainants from House of Sharing, the E-Museum for the Victims of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery, and the International Peace and Human Rights Center.

They plan to also report Mr. Suzuki to the Immigration Service to have banned from entering the country.

House of Sharing explained in a statement that “Mr. Suzuki placed a stake on the comfort woman statute, which represents all of us former comfort women, called us prostitutes, and insulted our experiences during the Pacific War caused by Japan… he questioned whether Japanese people bore any legal responsibility for committing human rights abuses and praised war crimes.”

House of Sharing’s president Ahn Shin-gwon said that “police say that there is no statute allowing them to take action, so we are takin legal action to prevent it happening a second and third time.”

Mr. Suzuki went to the Korean War and Women’s Rights Museum in Seoul on the 18th of last month, then the next day went to the comfort woman statue across from the Japanese Embassy and placed a white sign on reading “Takeshima is Japanese Territory” in Korean and “Takeshima is Japan’s Inherent Land” in Japanese, setting of fthe current controversy.


Source: English article and photograph at AsianCorrespondent.com; original Korean article at YeonHap News
liferule91 4th-Jul-2012 04:43 pm (UTC)
oh shit
oonalala 4th-Jul-2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
It's weird to me that you can even bring a lawsuit against someone for doing something like that. However, this Suzuki guy is obviously a mega ass who only wants to bring pain to a group of women who have already suffered unimaginably. If they can find a way to punish him, then by all means, they should do so.
l3luelillie 4th-Jul-2012 08:39 pm (UTC)
+1
eishastan 4th-Jul-2012 05:05 pm (UTC)
Wow what an asshole.... good for them i hope they accomplish something!
deerlike 4th-Jul-2012 07:30 pm (UTC)
That's what I get for trying to post from my phone.

Good on these women. If Japan had actually bothered to own up to any of its war-crimes, and stopped its right-wing politicians from whitewashing their history, maybe there would be significantly less ill feeling and the victims could properly heal and move on with their lives. But as long as nationalist stupidity like this persists, that's never going to happen.
akaich0u 4th-Jul-2012 09:07 pm (UTC)
Preach.
six 5th-Jul-2012 01:24 am (UTC)
THIS!
deerlike 5th-Jul-2012 03:15 am (UTC)
So how does that in any way negate my point? The apology offered was token, with minimal restitution paid, and when Japanese government officials still engage in historical denial and pay homage to war-criminals at the Yasukuni Shrine, it can hardly be regarded as having truly made amends.
relmneiko 5th-Jul-2012 12:20 pm (UTC)
Token? How many times does Japan have to apologize to make it more than token? I'll admit that there's a number of right-wing crazies in Japan (like in any country), but most agree that the war was bad and Japan is sorry. Maybe not sorry enough, and Japan can certainly do more to make amends, but saying they've never apologized is absurd. Apologists for Japanese wartime atrocities are looked down on by the general population, trust me on this.

OK I know I'm opening up a huge bag of clams, but it's not as simple as saying Yasukuni Shrine is all about paying tribute to war criminals. A lot of war dead are there - only a handful of them are war criminals. You can argue that it was a big mistake to add many of the war criminals (they were snuck in after), but according to the Shinto tradition, once a spirit is enshrined you cannot take it out. Spirits are also believed to be purified through death - their crimes in life are irrelevant.

Some people have argued "take the the war criminals out!" but there's not even any bodies there. There's nothing there. There's nothing to take out except "spirits". And if you don't believe in those spirits (last I checked, most Koreans are not Shintoists)... there's no goddamn point in "moving the spirits".

While on the one hand the prime minister of Japan visiting Yasukuni is such a diplomatic hot button I think it's a bad idea politically for any of them to do that, it's also kind of absurd that Koreans want to police Japanese belief in a bunch of ghosts. It's a minor thing that's spun out of control.

If Koreans want to hammer on something constructive, they should be getting on Japan's ass for the poor education in Japanese schools regarding the war. That's what's really important.
deerlike 5th-Jul-2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
It's not about "how many times" can Japan apologize, but rather can the country significantly address and acknowledge its war past -- because it really has not so far. Compare the way Japan dealt with its war crimes and criminals to Germany, or the way German culture has rigorously addressed the Nazi past and done everything it can to exorcise this kind of ethnocentric nationalism from their soil. I'm not saying that Germany is perfect (they have their own issues of racism, re the Turkish immigrant population), but you would never see a German politician visiting Nazi graves or hear about Holocaust memorials being desecrated by German citizens.

I'm not trying to imply that all Japanese are apologists, and I'm sorry if it came across like that, but I do believe that Japan as a nation has not properly confronted the spectres of its war past -- but instead quietly shoved them to one side (or in the case of right-wing natiionalists outright embraced them), and this is why a number of victims have been unable to achieve closure and move on with their lives. They were denied any significant justice during the post-war tribunals (and the US had a lot to do with this), and then all they hear in the form of an apology is a lukewarm expression of remorse? Again, contrast this with the gestures made by German chancellors post-war towards the Jewish communities of Europe.
allthingsgood 7th-Jul-2012 01:26 am (UTC)
I wish I could marry your comments in this post.
deerlike 7th-Jul-2012 02:24 am (UTC)
Thanks. :) I really appreciate that.
deerlike 5th-Jul-2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
By lukewarm expression of remorse I refer to the usage of "owabi" when apologizing to the comfort women, for instance. That is what I mean by token apology.
deerlike 5th-Jul-2012 03:24 am (UTC)
And are you seriously trying to shift blame? It's well-documented that Japan hardly took political responsibility for its actions during World War II -- its top military officials were not prosecuted anywhere near to the extent of SS officials at Nuremberg.
deerlike 5th-Jul-2012 04:12 am (UTC)
What does the Korean government's transgressions against its people (of which I'm aware, yes) have to do with issues like comfort women and crimes instigated in Korea by the Imperial Japanese army? Now you're deflecting. China has committed inhumane crimes against its own citizens, but that doesn't negate Japan's culpability in something like Unit 731 and the goverment's hesitance to acknowledge as much.
uledy 5th-Jul-2012 04:20 am (UTC)
Yup.

+1

Zie's view of the entire conflict is incredibly simplistic and polarized, so your reasoning is going to reach deaf ears, unfortunately.
deerlike 5th-Jul-2012 04:24 am (UTC)
Yeah, qummydino seems to be a troll on Omona for all intents and purposes, so it's probably pointless to try to have a discussion with them.
deerlike 5th-Jul-2012 05:04 am (UTC)
Not really, just an observation of your m.o. +how you attack people in this community or try to bait them.

Edited at 2012-07-05 05:05 am (UTC)
uledy 5th-Jul-2012 04:35 am (UTC)
True. Most ppl don't even engage that user anymore. Zie will eventually be pushed out and attempt to spread zes plague of enmity onto aiya.
deerlike 5th-Jul-2012 05:08 am (UTC)
Yeah, I heard they came from Arama; guess they're making the rounds.
uledy 5th-Jul-2012 05:21 am (UTC)
Yup. Trolled it up there, got pushed out, and slithered here.
uledy 5th-Jul-2012 04:25 am (UTC)
LMAO. Like what? You know I like screenshots.
uledy 5th-Jul-2012 04:38 am (UTC)
fail. and you know it. checking out.
uledy 5th-Jul-2012 04:50 am (UTC)
i guess you didn't read the thread, ignored it, or you're just trying to troll.

if it's none of the above, please, i invite you to explain the racism shown in my initial comment and subsequent explanations.
uledy 5th-Jul-2012 12:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, poor baby, can't even defend your own trolling. But, I suppose it wouldn't be trolling if you did, and we all know your going for the goal. yawn.
deerlike 5th-Jul-2012 05:00 am (UTC)
I said I am aware of Japan's apologies, which were token in the degree and manner in which they were offered. Your link itself made note of this -- owabi versus shazai. When apologies are made in a half-hearted way, even (or especially) by a prime minister, it's rather difficult to take them as significant expressions of culpability. And then when a memorial to war victims is desecrated by a would-be politician, it kind of seems indicative of a national failure to properly educate and acknowledge war history in Japan.

As for why Korea is vocal, I'll remind you that China is vocal as well, and both countries have probably borne the brunt of Japanese imperialism (not that Southeast Asia didn't suffer any effects, but there's also the fact that Indonesia and Thailand don't have the kind of political clout where Japan is c oncerned, so they wouldn't pursue any grievances).
deerlike 5th-Jul-2012 10:28 am (UTC)
And yet it was in the link that you referenced. But fine, these victims are clearly being unreasonable money grubbers in your book. There's no use convincing you otherwise.
lexissexist 4th-Jul-2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
1) I'm pretty sure he's not a politician, just a failed candidate.
2) Good luck to these women because they'll need it.
akaich0u 4th-Jul-2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
Good for them. I wish there was something I can do to help them. Anyone who takes the issue of comfort women lightly and/or with denial-ridden disdain is a piece of garbage, no questions asked.
uledy 5th-Jul-2012 02:35 am (UTC)
Honestly, on what grounds can they sue...? I suppose with the amount of censorship and the level of restrictions on individual rights, maybe there are grounds in SK to sue. But I wonder, is Suzuki a resident of Korea? If not, are they going really going to go through the efforts of chasing this man down in Japan? That's incredibly tedious, expensive, and time consuming.

Japan's been pissing off everyone in 2012- Korea, China, Russia.... Looking good.
mjspice 5th-Jul-2012 08:38 am (UTC)
Damn......
falling_empress 5th-Jul-2012 09:27 am (UTC)
disgusting.
japanese needs to man the fuck up and admit they fucked up.
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