25.11.2017 Author: Vladimir Terehov

Comfort Women Reappear on Current Political Scene


Life is full of curveballs. On November 7, 2017, President of the United States Donald Trump winded up his visit to Japan, which was part of his relatively smooth tour of Asia; later, on the same day, he arrived in South Korea, the country that he was to visit next on his tour schedule, where he was treated to a official state welcome.

Who would have ever thought that such an event, which is always formalized and as thoroughly organized as possible, could trigger yet another outbreak of a recurrent conflict in the relations between Japan and South Korea, which this time unwittingly also entangled the US.

The point at issue is the so-called “comfort women” problem; the comfort women are Korean women (and also women of other nationalities, including Japanese) who provided sex-services to the Japanese military between 1930 and 1945. One of the survivors among these comfort women was recently invited to the mentioned diplomatic reception ceremony, which caused public discontent from Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Japanese Government.

The high-ranking Japanese official stated that the incident was contrary to the “spirit” of the December 2015 Agreement, which Tokyo views as the acceptance by Seoul of the Japanese government position on the “comfort women” as a closed issue in their bilateral relations. For a specified and fairly high pay, in the truest sense of the last word.

However, it is important to recall that the mentioned Agreement also triggered strong protests from a large portion of the South Korean public. We believe that the Agreement was the key reason for the subsequent popular actions (mob trials) and impeachment of President Park Geun-hye of South Korea, who is now just about to be charged by the public prosecution office that the sun has spots.

However, as we also believe, Park Geun-hye pursued South Korean national interests by consenting to sign the Agreement late in 2015 and, doing so, made an effort to remove a hefty “historic” thorn from the relations with the all-important neighbour. It was not realistic to negotiate more than what is stated in the document from the Japanese government, considering the sceptic attitude in Japan towards the issue.

However, the main victim of the November 7 incident is apparently the “odd man out”, that is, the American President. It was he who apparently was chosen as the main target of this thoroughly elaborated provocation.

Interestingly, another confirmation of the delusive nature of the long-standing American plans to forge the “USA-Japan-South Korea” triple alliance was one of the main provocation side-effects. Even in the face of the notorious “North Korean threat”.

Admittedly, the mentioned protest action was planned by skilled specialists who set up a no-lose situation. The fact is that the very same lady, who testified of the “Japanese brutalities” towards the “comfort women” to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2007, was invited to attend the banquet. The resolution accepted and containing claims on the Japanese government triggered protests from Shinzo Abe, who at that time took the office of Japanese Prime Minister for his first term.

As he is confronted with the ill-fated attempt of his predecessor in the presidential office, current President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in could not reject the suggestion that someone threw in to invite the lady to the banquet. Although, he undoubtedly could foresee the negative response from Japan, a sort of ally of the Republic of Korea. At least within the context of opposing the “North Korean threat”.

Donald Trump could not help but agree with the concerned invitation, considering both his relations with Congress and the recent general trend “to protect women against men”.

Finally, it is hardly a coincidence that the criminal case against Professor Park Yu-ha, Sejong University, was renewed (a week and a half prior to the concerned incident). Let us recall that, having published the results of her work with the “comfort women” in 2013 archive documents, she fell under the spotlight, first, of “public activists” with very sophisticated “senses” and, later, of judicial bodies.

A number of US historians and politicians from different establishments opposed the obvious legal idiocy in South Korea. Apparently, it was crucial in that Park Yu-ha could escape prison under sentence of the capital court dated January 25 this year and was quit for fine (not a small one, though, for a modest university professor).

And now, just before the arrival of the president of the United States in South Korea, someone planned “a double hit scenario” by renewing the criminal case against the researcher, who had dared to discuss something “unchallenged and sacral”, and by inviting one of the subjects of the research to the governmental banquet.

The comments on the renewal of the criminal case against Professor Park mention a 1997 study for “Sex among the Allies” undertaken by American researcher Katharine H. S. Moon, which states that the dictatorial regime of the Republic of Korea offered about one million Korean women for the “servicing” of the American military.

Feel the magnitude, as the saying goes. This is not just 20,000 or 30,000 (according to the Japanese sources), or even 200,000 WW2 “sex-slaves” (according to the Korean-Chinese evaluations). And no political brawl, no “compensation” demands whatsoever.

It is difficult to get rid of the impression that some high-profile and selectively-politicised destructive cult concerned with “protecting” anything and everything is still operating in the modern world.

But mainly, to discard impressions of lies for the sake of preventing its exposure.

Vladimir Terekhov, expert on the issues of the Asia-Pacific region, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

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