Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Eh-hum # 189

To this I agree. I cannot imagine the pain, suffering and humilation experienced by these women. It is unfortunate that we cannot go back to the past and prevent these things from happening. The least the Japanese government can do is issue an official apology and give proper compensation to those who have not received any.

However, I find it ironic that the US feels it is in the position to demand the Japanese government to issue an apology to the comfort women in Japan's wartime military brothel program. I would like to point out that the US should also issue apologies, to the Japanese women who provided "services" to American servicemen during the military occupation of Japan.

I first learned about this issue through a friend (its her dissertation). Moreover, a detailed account of this can be read in John W. Dower's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. Mr Dower discussed the process in which destituted women were recruited to "participate in the great task of comforting the occupation force". The prostituted women who became part of the RAA (Recreation and Amusement Association) were considered martyrs, since they served as buffer protecting the chastity of the "good" Japanese women.

War, obviously, is not kind to anyone, especially to women and children. I was appalled that the Japanese government initially had a say in the funding of the RAA's facilities (they have to apologize to that too). On the other hand, I also understood that being under the control of the Allied forces, it was implied that they have to accomodate the needs of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers; and sex was one of those.

The plight of the comfort women is an important issue that must be resolved and that Japanese government should apologize, without a doubt. But its a pity that since Japan lost the war, they are on the spotlight and the atrocities committed by the Allied forces were never mentioned, as if it had never happened. Prostituting women, even for the sake of protecting others, is crap. The Japanese could've protected their women by NOT sacrificing others and the American officers could've said no to the whole thing altogether, but that's highly unlikely. Sex sells and someone is always willing to buy.

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