Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus 1 Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest 1 Share on Fark! 1 Share on Reddit 2 Share on StumbleUpon 3 Tell A Friend (8 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   2 comments
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

"Is the Recent Deal on the 'Comfort Women" between S. Korea and Japan a Win-Win? Really?"

By       Message Nathan Nahm     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 1/8/16

From commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Japanese_Embassy_in_Seoul_and_watched_from_behind_a_bronze_statue_of_comfort_women.JPG: Japanese Embassy in Seoul and watched from behind a bronze statue of comfort women
Japanese Embassy in Seoul and watched from behind a bronze statue of comfort women
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org))
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

In an article titled "'Comfort Women' Deal Is a Win-Win But Japan and Korea Must Do More," posted in Huffington Post (Jan. 6, 2016), Jane Harman makes many good points regarding the so-called comfort women issue. But her praise of the recently announced "agreement" between S. Korean President Park Keun-hye and the Japanese Prime Minister Abe as a "Win-Win" agreement is totally misplaced. The core of any meaningful reconciliation of an ugly past wrong-doing should be a sincere apology and demonstration of a true understanding and acceptance of the nature of the wrong-doing by the perpetrator. But the apology which is supposed to be part of the recent agreement is so false and so outlandishly empty even on the surface that it cannot possibly constitute a true apology.

The apology by the Japanese is supposed to be conditioned on South Korean government's removal of the statue of the comfort women in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul. Moreover, the agreement also declares that the "dispute" has been "irreversibly and finally" resolved. Presumably in accordance with this spirit, Prime Minister Abe has declared that since he has now issued an apology, he will never discuss the comfort women issue again, and that the S. Korean government, too, must not mention that issue ever again. Abe added that if South Korean government forgets to act in accordance with this interpretation of the agreement, the S. Korean government will be treated as an outcast by the civilized nations.

But imagine that the German government attempts to make an apology of the Holocaust on the condition that the Holocaust museum in the financial district of Manhattan, for example, must be removed, and that Israeli government should never mention the Holocaust ever again. Such "apology" would never be considered an apology but will instead be treated as a fresh insult on the victims of the Holocaust. Abe apparently thinks that there is a "dispute" of something to give and take between the two countries, and that the only real issue is how much of what each side should give to the other side. And to him, what Japan is expected to give is just one utterance of a certain kind. Once he utters that magic sentence, Japan is to automatically receive what it wants: Everyone forgets, and is forbidden to talk about, what Japan did during World War II, for good.

- Advertisement -

In point of fact, there is no such dispute of any kind. There is only the historical fact of the horrendous war crimes of systematic gang rape organized and enforced by the Imperial Japanese Army on a large, industrial farming scale. These are such shameful war crimes, and crimes against humanity, that Japan really cannot be accepted as a member of the civilized nations until it accepts its responsibility for these crimes. The only "dispute" about this is to determine what, and how much, Japan has to do to restore the dignity and self respect of the victims so that the victims, in turn, can forgive the perpetrators and allow them to be part of the civilized world. For a reconciliation that will work, the apology Japan must give to the victims is not one speech or one gesture but a state of mind in which the perpetrator truly accepts his responsibility for good. A person or a nation who makes such apology will be ready to mention and discuss his own past wrong-doing ad infinitum, if necessary, and will be willing to join the world's effort to make sure that such crimes will not occur again in the future. What Japan will receive in such reconciliation is clearly greater than what Japan gives because it will be nothing less than the restoration of the moral integrity of Japan as a nation and its freedom from the monstrosity of its Imperial past. Given the attitude of Abe, however, it is abundantly clear that Japan has not taken, and is not willing to take, even one very small step toward a true reconciliation.

From the reactions in the United States, it is also abundantly clear that the US government considers any past war crimes issues and the needed reconciliation between S. Korea and Japan merely a nuisance and huddle in the way of the potential military alliance between S. Korea, Japan and the US. Such view is not only a profoundly wrong moral failure but a diplomatic error that will be potentially very costly to all nations concerned in terms of the most practical real world consequences.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Nathan Nahm is a retired New York lawyer.


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

What's Wrong With President Obama's Stimulus Package and How Should We React?

Professor Paul Krugman and Candidate Bernie Sanders on Health-Care Reform

"Has North Korea Invaded Any Country?"

Does North Korea Really Pose a Grave Threat to the Security of the US?

Open Letter to Mr. Barack Obama

Re: "Let's Give Up Insanity and Try a Sane Approach in Dealing with t World," By Joseph Clifford, OpEdNews, 5/3/2015