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Rising Sun*
05-13-2013, 08:16 PM
Is this the voice of enlightened 21st century Japanese political manhood from a history idiot, tipped by some as a future prime minister of Japan? It's pretty clear what sort of Japan he wants to restore.


Osaka’s Toru Hashimoto says ‘comfort women’ were necessary part of war
Posted on May 13, 2013 by John Hofilena in Features, National, Politics
Osaka’s Toru Hashimoto says ‘comfort women’ were necessary part of war

In what could be seen as another controversial statement that could again escalate tensions in the region, Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto, co-leader of the Japan Restoration Party, said on Monday that “comfort women” were a necessary element of World War II for Japanese soldiers. “Comfort women” was a term coined for those women – usually from countries that Japan occupied – who provided sex for Imperial Army soldiers during the war. Hashimoto then acknowledged that these women served soldiers “against their will.”

“In the circumstances in which bullets are flying like rain and wind, the soldiers are running around at the risk of losing their lives. If you want them to have a rest in such a situation, a system like the ‘comfort women’ is necessary. Anyone can understand that,” Hashimoto told reporters in Osaka. “When I checked the history of those years, I found that not only the Japanese army but also those of various countries were utilizing (comfort women),” he added. Then the Osaka mayor seemed to soften his stance, saying “It is a result of the tragedy of the war that they became comfort women against their will. The responsibility for the war also lies with Japan. We have to politely offer kind words to (former) comfort women.” The issue of these women has been a flashpoint for anti-Japanese sentiments in Asia over the years. This was the reason why in 1995, a statement was released by then-Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, which expressed remorse and apology to Asian countries on Japan’s colonial rule and aggression, a statement which Hashimoto said he supported. “Japan is a defeated country,” he said. “As a result of the defeat in the war, we must accept (the view) that what Japan did was aggression. There are no doubts (about the accusation) that Japan caused tremendous suffering and damage to neighboring countries. Japan must reflect on it and make an apology.”

Japanese actions have, in recent weeks, triggered outrage in Japan’s neighbors – specifically in South Korea and China – and has put the spotlight back on Japan’s perspective of its wartime past. These comments by Hashimoto might not sit well with Japan’s neighbors who are always keen to remember Japan’s oppressive imperialistic past, especially as in his recent comments, he supports Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent controversial assertion that the definition of aggression has yet to be decided. “What Prime Minister Abe is saying is correct in that, academically, there are no definitions on aggression,” Hashimoto said.
http://japandailypress.com/osakas-toru-hashimoto-says-comfort-women-were-necessary-part-of-war-1328758

J.A.W.
05-15-2013, 04:48 AM
How many millions of unwilling male conscripts have been subjected to worse ordeals, the world over..

Ardee
05-23-2013, 02:59 PM
How many millions of unwilling male conscripts have been subjected to worse ordeals, the world over.

I confess, I really find this to be an objectionable comment, as the friend of a rape survivor. At the least, it comes across to me as making light of the effects of rape and forced prostitution. Military conscription of males may indeed take place the world over, but is usually restricted to nationals with some allegiance to the country being served, for obvious reasons. There are of course exceptions, and then there's also conscription into forced labor, etc. I am in no way making light of the terrors of combat (BTW, weren't females also conscripted by the Red Army? I'm not sure). But I'm sure some "comfort Women" suffered everything from PTS to post-war stigma every bit as bad as a front-line soldier. And, given the ratio of support soldiers to soldiers on the line, you can damn well bet many male conscripts had far less to complain about than these women.

Okay. I vented.

tankgeezer
05-23-2013, 04:44 PM
Noted Ardee,

J.A.W.
05-23-2013, 05:16 PM
Well, I'd reckon that the many millions of male conscripts who have been like-wise forcibly bastardised 'trained'
[& sometimes also raped] & then subjected to all manner of horrific combat experiences as compulsory recipients
&/or participants, are -at least- in no way less deserving of consideration than collateral 'victims of war'..
..how being bashed, burned, mutilated, starved, shocked & etc, can be regarded as 'light' is also 'objectionable'..

tankgeezer
05-23-2013, 05:40 PM
To J.A.W., your post is far off topic, do refrain from such activities while on these boards. Such posts contribute nothing to the threads, and serve only to cause friction among the membership.

Nickdfresh
05-23-2013, 05:41 PM
Well, I'd reckon that the many millions of male conscripts who have been like-wise forcibly bastardised 'trained'
[& sometimes also raped] & then subjected to all manner of horrific combat experiences as compulsory recipients

So that makes it fine that the Japanese abducted women and ****ed them sometimes 20-times a day? No big deal?


&/or participants, are -at least- in no way less deserving of consideration than collateral 'victims of war'..
..how being bashed, burned, mutilated, starved, shocked & etc, can be regarded as 'light' is also 'objectionable'..

Most soldiers are paid and are under arms. They aren't truly captives. Are you comparing the plight if the typical Japanese soldier to that of a Korean "comfort woman?"

J.A.W.
05-23-2013, 06:04 PM
The facts of the matter speak for themselves..it is on record..

What was the 'fate' of the conscripts on Tarawa, Iwo-Jima, Tinian, & etc? burned alive in their holes?
Or forced to commit suicide with a grenade or futile banzai charge?

What of the conscripts of other armies, who would 'frag' their own officers - rather than be forced to undertake
worse things?

tankgeezer
05-23-2013, 06:41 PM
Sorry J.A.W. but you are thread jacking, a practice which is not allowed. Being a matter of "record" or not, it has no place in this thread. Any more, and the posts will be deleted. You may consider this an official notice.

J.A.W.
05-23-2013, 07:03 PM
How can a discussion of the relative horrors of war, inflicted on compelled participants,
& entered in a specific military history forum in any form, be 'thread jacking'?

Is that the view of the original author of the thread?

Wasn't the title provocative per-se?

Can you see the irony in this .. with the 'official notice' & sanctions for non compliance?

Isn't that what 'draftees' received, too?

What is the real reason for wanting to shut this down?

[P.M. me if it is personal].

tankgeezer
05-23-2013, 08:30 PM
The reason for wanting the thread jacking to stop is that it is against forum rules. It is thread jacking because it has nothing to do with the original Poster's topic. I have no intention of debating this with you. Comport yourself in a mature, and adult manner, and abide by the rules of the site, and you will have fewer problems.

J.A.W.
05-23-2013, 09:16 PM
Hey, no problem for me, I can read..

tankgeezer
05-23-2013, 09:43 PM
As I said, further straying would be deleted, or in this case, edited. Though I am pleased that you can read.

forager
05-23-2013, 09:50 PM
Saw a very graphic movie on this recently.
I believe the word "prostitute" is too light.
These women were basically gang-raped.
Many died or were brutalised for life.
I enlisted to avoid being drafed. I spent 18 months in an outpost on the Cambodian border.
I saw lots of death, misery and pain. I still got a bullet in one lung.
I'd do that several times over rather than experience what those women did.

I have uneasy feelings about the sex that was available there in some areas.
Plentiful, cheap, and impersonal. GIs dismissed it saying-"That's just how these people are."
Not so sure, retrospectively.
Nothing like the Japanese bestiality, but not real good, either.
They did get paid, and were technically prostitutes, but I think circumstances promoted this.
A good many German women were forced to prostitute themselves potwar as well. They often fed their children and families in this manner.
There is a good deal of literature on this entire subject. Not real pretty.

J.A.W.
05-23-2013, 10:10 PM
It must be born in mind that the Japanese mindset was one of extreme hierarchy..
& their code ranked human value in descending order.. from Hirohito down..through his minions..

Their view was.. "Duty is a heavy as a mountain.. Death is as light as a feather."

This was [& still is] alien to our norms..

But it does show why their brutality , which seems so cruel, & yet casual.. is still a vexing issue..

In their world-view,subject foreign women & surrendered enemy personnel were way down the list
from their own people, who were yet still subject to what we would consider unconscionable treatment.

This does not mean that certain sadistic personalities didn't take advantage of their power..

..but that happened [& still happens] elsewhere too.. eh, mods..

tankgeezer
05-23-2013, 10:52 PM
Quote from J.A.W. : "This does not mean that certain sadistic personalities didn't take advantage of their power..

..but that happened [& still happens] elsewhere too.. eh, mods.. "
Perhaps this passes as humor for you, but I fail to be amused. Second official notice.

tankgeezer
05-23-2013, 11:04 PM
From J.A.W. "..but that happened [& still happens] elsewhere too.. eh, mods.. " Since you don't listen, you get a second notice. Don't know what manner of games you play elsewhere, but here you are expected to behave yourself.

J.A.W.
05-23-2013, 11:16 PM
Jeeze, who'd of thought that someone calling hisself ..'Tankgeezer'..

Would be so lacking in irony..

Do what your mod status allows you to do, & in so doing..prove the point of the thread..

Rampant authoritarianism..

tankgeezer
05-23-2013, 11:49 PM
Jeeze, who'd of thought that someone calling hisself ..'Tankgeezer'..

Would be so lacking in irony..

Do what your mod status allows you to do, & in so doing..prove the point of the thread.

Rampant authoritarianism..

Since you insist on trolling as though you have a Right to do so,in addition to thread jacking, you are given 2 infraction points, and 7 days vacation. You might use this time to reflect on your life.

JR*
05-24-2013, 08:27 AM
Just two comments - not too brief, I fear.

First, the whole question of the "supply" of "sexual services" to armies - in peace but, more especially, in war - raises many sad and difficult issues. I am sure that this has been true since the Pharoah Narmer led his troops against the Libyans (5,000 years ago), and remains true to this day. How much "free choice" is involved in this area, even in peacetime, is still a debated and disputed matter. However, the Japanese system, in their WW2, of organising brothels in which large numbers of Chinese, Korean and South East Asian women were confined and compelled to "service" Japanese servicemen without real remuneration (unless one counts the food needed to keep them alive) and, above all, against their will is, if not unique, certainly exceptional in the entire period of human history. It is mind-boggling that a civic leader of a large Japanese community in this day and age should offer a justification of this on the basis of "necessity". This is not a relative matter. The Japanese practice referred to was a truly dreadful offence against human dignity and human rights. No doubt, explanations for this can be found in interpretations of Japanese culture as it stood in the mid-20th century. However, these explanations are equally ugly; for example, if one regards Koreans as essentially slaves, and Chinese as sub-human, this is supposed to justify this infamous practice ? Well, perhaps I am being unhistorical in saying so, but that degree of "contextualisation", in this case, does not work for me.

Second - and I hope this will not be interpreted as "thread jacking" - the honorable Mayor's view of Japanese responsibility, not only for all that rape, but for Japanese responsibility for the Far East war in general - is to say the least remarkable. It seems to amount to this - "because we lost the war, we (maybe) should apologise for pursuing a programme of aggression that resulted in enormous destruction and the death of millions of people (mainly sub-people, of course, but one cannot make wasabi omlettes without breaking eggs). And, as far as the comfort women issue is concerned, this is (of course) subsumed in the same general question; the whole thing was a wartime necessity, we lost the war, therefore we should make a gentle, dignified apology (no talk of compensation for survivors and their families). At the same time, there is no accepted "academic" definition of "aggression - so we may not have anything to apologise for, after all. "

There is a maxim in the Common Law - "res ipsa loquitur", meaning "the facts speak for themselves". Even allowing the fact that the Japanese imperialists considered themselves to be in a forced position in 1941, if what had been happening in China and Korea even before that date, and what happened thereafter in the eastern Pacific and South-East Asid did not amount to "aggression", then I am the Mikado's uncle.

Clearly, I am very far from being Japanese. Fine. However, living in the present real world, I find the continuing Japanese unwillingness to face up to the wartime responsibility of their government for "Japanese aggression", and all that flowed from it - without resort to double-talk and moral evasions - quite incomprehensible. I should emphasise that I would in no way condemn any living Japanese person for personal responsibility. But what was, was. For all the occasional absurdities of the German response to a similar problem, overall, the response of the German State and people to the situation has been admirable. If Japan could do the same, I am sure it would be much admired, and in no way stigmatised. Does not seem be be possible in the context even of current Japanese culture, apparently - is the fear of losing face so great ? Anyway, I will not be holding my breath, waiting for a real apology, let alone a process of reconciliation. Best regards, JR.

Rising Sun*
05-24-2013, 11:41 AM
With due respect to TG and Nick, I think that if we all review J.A.W.'s original comment "How many millions of unwilling male conscripts have been subjected to worse ordeals, the world over.." it may be accepted that he has a fair point.

We can argue about whether rape or other things are the 'worst'. That's all a matter of opinion and experience.

Rape, like everything else in life, is not the worst thing that can happen to anyone, unless they think it is. That is not to diminish the profound effect of rape and other sexual offences upon some victims, but it's a fact that different people have different abilities to deal with bad things that happen to them.

Being bayoneted to blood Japanese troops at Nanking or being herded into Nazi gas chambers to satisfy the Nazis’ crazy racial ideas, or just being gassed for any reason, rates a lot higher on my list of ‘worst’ than being raped. Then again, I haven’t been bayoneted, gassed or raped. But I know which I’d choose if I wanted to live.

I’d suggest that the worst thing for the Korean enslaved prostitutes, conveniently and entirely inaccurately called ‘comfort women’ to diminish the fact that they were usually sex slaves, was not that they were raped but that they were enslaved and rendered powerless to resist repeated rapes or just sexual acts resigned to their position as captives. Powerlessness is an element for victims in many rapes, but there is a world of difference between one instance of rape in the victim’s otherwise undisturbed world and being kidnapped out of the victim’s otherwise undisturbed world and subjected to whatever the victim’s captor’s choose to do to her, or him, for years as a sex slave.

A conscript is in no different position to the latter situation as a captive kidnapped by the state from his or her otherwise undisturbed world and subjected to whatever the conscript’s captor’s choose to do to her, or him. The only difference is the treatment to which they are subjected and the extent to which it is regulated by law, as military conscription is usually, but by no means always, imposed by the law of the state.

It can be argued that the treatment of women enslaved for sexual servitude by armies or anyone else (and plenty of criminals are doing it now with women from Asia and Eastern Europe within walking distance of many of the people reading this forum in the West) is worse than conscription for military service.

The difference is that enslaved prostitutes, whether for military or other exploiters, were and are invariably outside the regulations which tend to protect military conscripts in soundly organised military forces.

Then again, major nations and their mighty and highly regulated military forces can inflict systematic and sustained harm upon conscripts (and even volunteers) which can force them to suicide, which suggests that the experience for some can be at least as bad as that of enslaved prostitutes, as in Russia
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1998445,00.html
and even in Australia for some volunteers http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2003/s932846.htm

Coming back to the original issue of Japanese attitudes to Korean ‘comfort women’ (a euphemistic term which like so much of conservative Japanese politicians’ obfuscation seeks to avoid reality and the moral condemnation Japan’s WWII leaders and their current successors richly deserve), it’s again not so simple.

There is no doubt that in some cases Koreans sold their children into Japanese sexual slavery through deception or venality, as do some parents in modern Asia and notably Thailand and its surrounds to modern sexual exploiters, but the fact remains that Korea was a ruthlessly exploited Japanese colony in which Koreans were routinely conscripted into Japanese service of various kinds.

Koreans conscripted into Japanese military and related service were, by the standards of the racially superior Japanese, of little worth and at the bottom of the pile, and mistreated accordingly. Which goes some way to explaining that it was often Koreans who were the worst abusers of Allied POWs.

However, the mistreatment of the Koreans by the Japanese supports J.A.W.’s comment about mistreatment of young male conscripts by Japan in WWII, among many nations then, before and since.

But if one wants to see the worst example to support J.A.W.’s comment, I’d suggest that it’s hard to go past kidnapped African child soldiers who are required to murder friends or family members to survive, to qualify them to survive and kill others as conscripts in unregulated forces.

It’s a matter of opinion, but is it worst to be raped once at a party in London aged 20 and get on with life or to be enslaved as a conscripted child soldier at age 8 and to have to murder your sister or mother so you can fight some bullshit local tribal war under the command of some bullshit butcher for the next 10 years and engage in unmitigated and unjustified butchery of innocents for that decade?

Or to be sent to Vietnam for a year or two to fight the people who live there to support a corrupt administration (in Vietnam) to no good purpose?

Ardee
05-24-2013, 05:10 PM
I guess I am at a bit of a loss here. RS* has made a number of totally correct comments. I guess what I find regrettable is that he had to write them: they should be inherently obvious to anyone after just a few nanoseconds of thought. Yes, Rape can be worse than Combat. Yes, Combat can be worse than Rape. Yes, "worse" depends on many circumstances. War is horror in many guises, and I would not care to be in charge of weighing their relative costs with any scale.

What my original post here was based on was what was *perceived* (by me, and perhaps other readers) as the automatic trivialization of the psychological trauma and physical damage done by rape, the inherent suggestion it did not/could not compare to the ugliness of combat. If that is indeed the attitude of the poster, I can only hope he never has cause to find out exactly how wrong he can be.

What I find sad is that some of the poster's subsequent responses show he's still not connecting the dots. Perhaps he misread what I wrote, as I certainly *never* suggested any of the following:


..how being bashed, burned, mutilated, starved, shocked & etc, can be regarded as 'light'...

His lack of understanding is further illustrated by some of his choices for comparision:


What was the 'fate' of the conscripts on Tarawa, Iwo-Jima, Tinian, & etc? burned alive in their holes?
Or forced to commit suicide with a grenade or futile banzai charge?


Rape victims have no control and no power over their situation. Likewise, soldiers in combat often lack control, and if your officer orders you to make a suicidal charge, yeah, your options are limited. But suicide? That's always a choice. Surrender was an option, too, though for the IJA soldier certain obstacles to that option were definitely in place. I think the "analogies" he choose were definitely lacking as analogs, again showing he's not really grasping the subject. Things like seeing your best friend turned to goo might be closer to the mark, IMHO, or, for that matter, having one of your own limbs "turned to goo."

I could go on, but I doubt there's much point. If I've misread his posts and intent, I regret the misunderstanding. And if not, well, like I said: I hope he never has to find out exactly how wrong he is.

Rising Sun*
05-25-2013, 08:03 AM
... I find the continuing Japanese unwillingness to face up to the wartime responsibility of their government for "Japanese aggression", and all that flowed from it - without resort to double-talk and moral evasions - quite incomprehensible. I should emphasise that I would in no way condemn any living Japanese person for personal responsibility. But what was, was. For all the occasional absurdities of the German response to a similar problem, overall, the response of the German State and people to the situation has been admirable. If Japan could do the same, I am sure it would be much admired, and in no way stigmatised. Does not seem be be possible in the context even of current Japanese culture, apparently - is the fear of losing face so great ? Anyway, I will not be holding my breath, waiting for a real apology, let alone a process of reconciliation. Best regards, JR.

It’s easier to comprehend if one understands the differences between Allied post-war responses to Germany and Japan, which is the main source of the present situation.

The Nazi state and its related apparatus was dismantled by the Allies after the war as part of a determined denazification program. Being a Nazi or having Nazi connections was, from May 1945, a serious disadvantage under the Allied occupation. Whether by the Allied denazification program or spontaneous shame, the Germans recognised the error of their ways and took, and still take, strenuous steps to ensure that there will not be a repetition. The Japanese, at least at the level of the conservatives who have ruled and administered and educated the Japanese for most of the time since 1945, haven’t.

The Japanese militarist / nationalist / zaibatsu state and its related apparatus continued largely unaffected in many respects, starting with the retention of the happily gung-ho war-mongering Emperor of 1933 – 43 who was necessarily reconstituted after the war by MacArthur as an ineffectual peace-loving victim of the militarists who knew nothing. Retaining the Emperor was equivalent to leaving Hitler as Chancellor after the war to avoid upsetting the Germans and making them impossible for an Allied occupation force to manage, which was MacArthur’s rationale for letting Hirohito off the hook.

Contrary to MacArthur's opinion that Japan could not be managed by the Allies if the Emperor was removed (and hanged, as he should have been), the defeated Japanese generally were an exhausted and craven people who almost certainly would have done what they were told by a new ruler. This is exemplified by the experience of countless prisoners of war whose arrogant and brutal guards suddenly became subservient and sycophantic after the surrender (which was communicated to them by their officers down their chain of command, not by the Emperor directly), to the surprising extent in many cases of requesting notes from their victims that they had been treated well by these murderous thugs. Conversely, there would have been pockets of resistance, as exemplified by the officers who tried to storm the Imperial Palace upon hearing that the Emperor was surrendering.

But would the Japanese have obeyed an order to surrender from anyone but the Emperor? Who knows? Given MacArthur's position that the reconstituted Emperor had nothing to do with Japan's decisions to go to war in China and the Pacific, it was completely illogical for him to say that only the Emperor could maintain order during an Allied occupation. More so as, during the wars, any instructions to the nation came not from the remote, unseen and unheard Emperor but from the civilian and military leaders at the time.

MacArthur retained much the same Japanese bureaucracy which took Japan into and ran the Chinese and Pacific wars. MacArthur’s preservation of much of the status quo in Japan which presided over the Chinese and Pacific wars did nothing to encourage the Japanese leadership or people to see anything wrong with their conduct. This was compounded by the failure of the US and Britain to prosecute Japanese war criminals from about 1948 to avoid diminishing support from the anti-communist (i.e militarist / far right) elements in Japan as the US and Britain geared up for what became the Cold War against the communists in China and the USSR.

The end result in 2013 is that Japan as represented by its conservative politicians and other conservatives of influence has been allowed to avoid facing up to its war history in the same way that Germany was forced to, and in my view largely voluntarily did after being confronted with the evil it had wrought. This is not the fault of the Japanese people at large, nor even solely of the conservatives who resist acceptance of blame for Japan’s war time conduct to the at best limited and at worst non-existent extent to which they see anything wrong with it (see later quote by current Prime Minister Abe that Japan's atrocities were lawful under Japanese law), but primarily at source of MacArthur who was allowed to run Japan on the basis that he alone among all possible candidates to be the Allied emperor of Japan understood the Oriental mind and culture in general and the Japanese mind and culture in particular.

How a couple of stints as an officer in the pre-war Philippines qualified MacArthur as a Japanese expert is a mystery. How he managed to persuade his superiors that these stints in military positions, the most recent of which 1941-42 saw him lose the Philippines in a magnificent display of incompetent generalship, qualified him is less of a mystery as it is just another instance of profound conceit, deception and manipulation in his long history of profound conceit, deception and manipulation levering him into positions where he performed poorly. He maintained these positions by sucking up to those above him who could help him and bullying and crushing those below him who opposed him, and all the time maintaining the best personal propaganda unit in WWII and possibly since to promote his often modest achievements; to claim credit for the achievement of those under him; and to censor ruthlessly anything adverse to him.

The more I learn about MacArthur, the more I am inclined to the view that he was the most dangerous, damaging, and over-rated military leader on any side in WWII and especially after it in his role in Japan. His legacy of allowing Japan to escape war guilt for no objectively justifiable reason is adequate testimony to just one aspect of how damaging he was. I can't think of anyone else who left such a lousy and enduring legacy, or anything even remotely like it.

I am appalled by the persistent failure of the likes of current Prime Minister Abe to see anything wrong with Japan’s conduct in China and the Pacific, as exemplified by his statement that the 28 Japanese military and political leaders charged with Class-A war crimes are "not war criminals under the laws of Japan."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/9930041/Japan-PM-dismisses-WWII-war-crimes-trials-as-victors-justice.html The fact that he asserts that amply documented mass murder, mass rape, mass enslavement and the vilest treatment of prisoners of war and enslaved Asians (e.g. the Burma railway, where the number of Asian ‘workers’ who died was a multiple of the Allied POWs) were within the laws of Japan is exactly what was wrong with Japan 1933-45. The fact that he still thinks that this was acceptable is exactly why Japan, as represented by his ilk who have dominated Japanese politics for most of the post-war period, should be viewed with deep suspicion and grave reservations, particularly in view of moves towards greater militarisation in Japan, albeit partly in response to a perceived threat from China (which has countless reasons to be hostile to Japan, and more so as Japan under Abe and his ilk refuses to acknowledge its crimes in China).

But Abe wouldn’t be in his present position and able to express his repugnant revisionist views if MacArthur hadn’t re-installed much of Japan’s war-time leadership, government and bureaucracy to lead Japan into the future which we now experience.

Abe and his ilk are as much products of MacArthur’s conceit and idiocy as they are inheritors of the militarist etc ideology which led Japan into China and the Pacific. The Japanese people at large have been deceived for generations by an education system and government which reflects the thinking of Abe as a consequence of MacArthur’s determination to preserve the leadership of which those views are a reflection.

To the extent that it reflects MacArthur’s conceit; his refusal to admit his mistakes; his blaming of others for his own deficiencies; and his conception of himself as a victim of the machinations of others when he couldn’t get his way, there is a great irony in the views of Abe and his ilk doing the same as a consequence of MacArthur’s greatest and most enduring mistake, being his complete disaster in dealing with post-war Japan by ensuring that it could continue its pre-war and wartime outlook without any interference from reality.

Rising Sun*
05-25-2013, 10:40 AM
There is a maxim in the Common Law - "res ipsa loquitur", meaning "the facts speak for themselves".

I agree that this is the usual usage in English / Australian law, but my recollection is that the strict translation from Latin is "The thing itself speaks.".

Either way, what is relevant to this thread is that the maxim has come down to us from Cicero's speech "pro Milone" in which he attempted to defend Milo who was charged with murdering a political rival. Milo seems to have been guilty, but Cicero did his best to put up an unconvincing and eventually unsuccessful defence. Rather like the situation with the Japanese war crime deniers etc.

The reason I'm being pedantic about the translation is that the usual "the facts speak for themselves" translation applies to glaring cases of unintentional negligence etc, such as forceps left in an abdominal cavity after a surgical operation, but "the thing itself speaks" is more compelling in bringing responsibility home to the speaker as intending what is said rather than being unintentional, as in the case of war crime denier comments such as those I outlined from Prime Minister Abe in my last post where he is clearly and intentionally responsible for what he says rather than being the victim of an accident of his use of words.

Rising Sun*
05-25-2013, 12:18 PM
Rape victims have no control and no power over their situation.

That is by no means always true.

The “no power / no control” version reflects a conception of rape as always an overwhelming imposition by the rapist.

The first issue is to define ‘rape’. In my jurisdiction it now includes penetration of the vagina or anus by anything. It does not require a penis to be anywhere in the vicinity of a vagina or anus. What in my youth was called ‘fingering’ and was a disappointingly long way short of a **** is now an offence equivalent to a ****. I’ve asked many women about this over the years since the law was changed to make fingering a ****, and they all agree with me that they don’t regard a forced finger in the vagina as the same as a forced penis in the vagina, even if forced in by an offender. But what would they know? They’re only women, and potential victims of rape.

The second issue is that rape victims “have no control and no power over their situation”.

That reflects a certain modern feminist analysis that rape is always a crime of power, which sits neatly with that feminist position that women are powerless and always the victim of male oppression, so that they are perpetually able to whinge about the oppression they suffer as they try to crash through the glass ceiling.

This ignores the fact that many so called rapes are less clear as examples of imposition of power, and that rape is the only crime I can think of which can be created retrospectively after deciding that a, usually drunken or drug affected, **** was a bad idea.

In 35 years of general legal practice I’ve handled an average of about half a dozen to a dozen rape cases for victims each year (excluding crimes compensation applications), ranging from the very, very rare ‘being dragged into the bushes by a stranger cases (I can think of only one case, but maybe there were two or three more) to the “someone I know / met last night in the pub / forced me / did something I didn’t want / did something I regret but now want to think it was something I didn’t want to do / was forced to do” to recent and very old cases of incest and child abuse. On the basis of the several hundred cases I’ve handled, I can say that most cases are between those extremes. I can also say that often it is not the case that “Rape victims have no control and no power over their situation”, but that there are various factors at work at a psychological rather than physical level which result in people doing things they don’t want to do, sometimes with people with whom they don’t want to do them.

Along with the very, very, very occasional false claim for various reasons, typically a mid-teen girl trying to deflect her parents’ anger for a very late time home or a vindictive or mentally disturbed woman trying to harm a bloke with whom she’d been in a relationship, or with whom she thought she’d been in a relationship along with various prominent people and all the police to whom she’d reported the crimes against her.

I’ve also acted for many sexual offenders, from exhibitionists who like masturbating in public places to rapists to a father who ****ed his daughter with carrots and similar vegetables from the age of eight to fourteen until external authorities were called in after she tried to kill herself. Much as it upsets doctrinaire feminists who hold that all men are bastards and all women are saintly nurturing mothers, her mother was complicit in her daughter’s abuse.

As with most of the rest of life, nothing is black and white here, and each case must be assessed on its circumstances.

JR*
05-27-2013, 05:29 AM
Very interesting comments, Rising Sun. Of course, you are quite correct about the strict translation of the "res ipsa" maxim. Apart from the effect of translation into lay parlance, I think the "facts" translation probably owes something to the notion that if a "fact" is self-evident, then it is a proven fact, then - evidentially - it is a concrete "thing". I think you have explained the substance of the matter very well. A somewhat simpler example I was given once was of a man passing a warehouse when a large barrel rolls out the warehouse door and hits him, injuring him. Normally, the onus of proof would have rested on the accident victim (the guy hit by the barrel) to prove negligence and breach of duty of care against the controller of the warehouse. However, when an event so clearly suggests negligence, the burden effectively shifts to the controller of the warehouse to offer reasonable excuse in rebuttal of the claim that he or she was negligent and liable - a heavy burden, in cases such as this. As you say, this situation does allow the possibility of rebuttal (as it always should). Things are, indeed, not necessarily black and white. However, in cases of outrageous cases of malfeasance of this sort, responses along the lines that something was "regrettable", or "justified by necessity" or "just the way it was" scarcely qualify as sufficient rebuttal, whether for rolling barrels or slave-brothels.

I know that many lawyers have developed a distrust of reliance on the old maxim; however, it is difficult to see it being ousted from the Common Law in the near future, as it appears very difficult to see how it can be replaced in a manner entirely fair to wholly innocent victims of extreme negligence on the part of others over which the former had no control or foreknowledge (in this regard, it is notable that to this day, some of the small number of surviving "comfort women" speak of initially having been "tricked" into putting themselves in a position to be imprisoned).

By the way - are you familiar with the old joke associated (among others) with Sergeant-at-Law Sullivan, pleading before a late-19th century English court ? "Mr Sullivan," said the judge, this would appear to be a case of res ipsa loquitur. Is that an expression with which you are familiar ?" To which Sullivan is supposed to have replied, "Why my Lord, indeed I am very familiar; in the vales of southern Ireland, whence I hail, the people talk of little else !". Best regards, JR.

pdf27
05-27-2013, 09:29 AM
Something out should probably be pointed out here. The Comfort Women had something like a 75% mortality rate, with the majority of the survivors being left infertile and with other problems. We're not talking about minor psychological trauma here - they took casualties at a rate higher even than U-boat crewmen, and at over twice the rate of Japanese conscripts. Additionally, the majority were left with serious physical and psychological complications. A better comparison would be Holocaust victims - the mortality rate is broadly similar as are the after-effects, and the nature of their experience makes it difficult for them to get any form of support.

To compare the two experiences and trivialise the experiences of the Comfort Women on the grounds that it was "just" rape is gross stupidity/ignorance at best, and IMHO more likely trolling.

forager
05-28-2013, 12:56 AM
Very well said-some of the attempts to apparantly trivialise or even rationalise this a bit are beyond belief.
This situation was never envisioned or expected, while conscription was a reality for males in most societies at one time or another.

Ardee
05-28-2013, 02:45 PM
from RS*:
The “no power / no control” version reflects a conception of rape as always an overwhelming imposition by the rapist.... The first issue is to define ‘rape’. In my jurisdiction it now includes...

RS*, I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me there are some flaws in your post. First, while I don't know the finer points of law, but I believe your Australian definitions are not universal. For instance, although I am just a layman, I *believe* what you describe as "fingering" would qualify as "sexual assault" where I am, not rape (though I suppose if sufficiently "aggravated," a DA might go for the rape charge). Laws and definitions aren't universal, and I was using the terms as my knowledge and experience dictate. I will readily grant you that your comment about the issue of power not always "being true" is valid if definitions get changed. BUT -- one of the elements I would *suppose* to be universal in English-law based countries regarding rape is the issue of consent? If an individual does not consent, and it happens anyway, does that not on the face of it suggest a certain lack of power and control? Finally, I am talking about the actual reality of the situation, which may or may not reflect what finds its way into a court room. Isn't the purpose of the court room to decide whether or not a rape in fact took place? Whether or not they always make accurate decisions is another question, and as it's a human system, we also know the answer.

In any case, and semantics aside, I hope you are not suggesting the your points apply to the topic hand? Do women taken and held by armed soldiers even have the ability to give or deny consent? With my layman's understanding of the law (at least the law in my country), the answer would be "no."


from pdf27:
...with the majority of the survivors being left infertile and with other problems.

I did obliquely allude to some of the physical problems Comfort Women suffered, and I thank you for adding the details I did not possess.


from pdf27:
To compare the two experiences and trivialise the experiences of the Comfort Women on the grounds that it was "just" rape is gross stupidity/ignorance at best, and IMHO more likely trolling.

I would say we're in agreement that.

Rising Sun*
05-30-2013, 07:51 AM
Things are, indeed, not necessarily black and white. However, in cases of outrageous cases of malfeasance of this sort, responses along the lines that something was "regrettable", or "justified by necessity" or "just the way it was" scarcely qualify as sufficient rebuttal, whether for rolling barrels or slave-brothels.

Quite true.

But comments by the current Japanese Prime Minister to the effect that Japanese war criminals were tried under the victor's law and not for offences under Japanese law forced me to think again about the difficult issue of law versus morals, let alone to what extent "morals" have any universality, which then leads into the difficulty of seeing conflicts between incompatible cultures in anything but shades of grey.

A good example of greyness is the legal validity of post-war war crimes trials, which prosecuted people for offences created by the Allies close to the end of the war, thus offending the common law principle against retrospectivity which is one of the things at the heart of the common law system for which the Commonwealth countries, and perhaps the USA, fought as a cornerstone of the superiority of their systems over fascist tyranny.

Much of Sharia law as presently practised in some countries is repugnant to us in the West, such as prosecuting female rape victims for having sexual relations outside marriage and punishing them on the same, or worse, basis as the offenders. http://au.news.yahoo.com/sunday-night/transcripts/article/-/17123863/abandoned/

Similarly, the Sharia evidentiary requirement that rape allegations can be proved only by the offender's confession (not likely in a contested trial) or the evidence of four Muslim male eyewitnesses. My experience, and common sense, is that if there is more than one bloke present at a rape, he’s a co-offender and not likely to be a prosecution witness, unless he’s done a deal with the Crown or wants to ensure he goes to gaol with the other offender(s), who won’t be happy with him when they’re all locked up in the clink.

Conversely, the way we live in the West is repugnant to many of those in Sharia law jurisdictions (although not when they – predominantly Saudi Arabian men in my experience - come to Australia as students and shed their beards and Arab regalia and get stuck into the local women with much energy and delight, and then grow the beard and resume the Arab regalia when they have to go back home after shagging themselves stupid for a few years. The same attitude has kept much of London's high class prostitutes and casinos going for decades).

Who is to say whether we or the Sharia crew are correct? Each is certain that its position is correct, but there is nothing to decide it either way, apart from the cultural arrogance of both sides.

Japanese conduct in WWII was hugely more repugnant to Allied laws and customs than Sharia law, but perhaps acceptable under theirs. I’d be interested to know what, if anything, Japanese law said about the various massacres of civilians and combatants and the grave abuse of prisoners of war and enslaved civilian labourers.

Given the joyous reporting in the Japanese press of barbaric events such as the competition between two junior IJA officers to be the first to behead 100 Chinese in the Chinese conflict before the Pacific War, I’m taking a wild guess that there was no law which prohibited such conduct or, if there was, there was no prospect of it being enforced.

Then again, the Allies descended to levels of barbarity against the Japanese which clearly offended our legal and moral principles as applied to us, from the routine killing of wounded Japanese to abuse of their remains such as wiring Japanese skulls to Jeep headlights, which went beyond what might be called the normal barbarity of war. The departure from our standards is no better, or perhaps more accurately worse, exemplified than the famous Life picture of an American woman admiring a Japanese skull sent to her by her boyfriend.

Curtis LeMay summed up the need for soldiers to abandon morality in his comment that "Killing Japanese didn't bother me very much at that time... I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal.... Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you're not a good soldier.".

We are still left with the problem that, no matter how badly the Allies may have behaved in dealing with the Japanese, they didn’t begin to scratch the surface of barbarity which was routine Japanese conduct against combatants, POWs and civilians.

And we are still left with the current problem that many Japanese in positions of power still don’t see anything wrong with their nation’s conduct in China and the Pacific War.

Which leaves us in the position that the Japanese conduct was and is acceptable according to current Japanese standards as expressed by the supporters of such conduct.

Should one excuse it on grounds of “that’s their culture and who are we to condemn it” or be culturally insensitive and condemn it on the grounds that “we don’t care about your culture, it’s just wrong” as has been done in my jurisdiction by specifically criminalising female genital mutilation as practised in certain immigrant communities and treating so called ‘honour killings’ in certain immigrant communities as just another murder?

I’m in the latter culturally insensitive crew, which I expect is no surprise to anyone on this forum.


(in this regard, it is notable that to this day, some of the small number of surviving "comfort women" speak of initially having been "tricked" into putting themselves in a position to be imprisoned).

Brothels around the world are full of women from Asia and Eastern Europe in exactly the same position now, some there by reason of being gullible themselves and others by reason of their parents being gullible, or venal.

Gullibility and venality tend to be proportionate to the desperation of the situation from which one is trying to escape.

The conditions in Japanese colonial controlled Korea during WWII were vastly worse than those in modern Asia and Eastern Europe and the ability of Koreans to resist Japanese conscription, or blandishments by recruiters offering to lift people into a better life, for any purpose were vastly worse.

Again, as with the relativity of legal systems, was it worse to be a comfort woman who survived the war or one of the immensely larger number under the Japanese who weren’t around after the war to complain about their treatment by the Japanese?


By the way - are you familiar with the old joke associated (among others) with Sergeant-at-Law Sullivan, pleading before a late-19th century English court ? "Mr Sullivan," said the judge, this would appear to be a case of res ipsa loquitur. Is that an expression with which you are familiar ?" To which Sullivan is supposed to have replied, "Why my Lord, indeed I am very familiar; in the vales of southern Ireland, whence I hail, the people talk of little else !". Best regards, JR.

Yes, but I also like Marshall Hall’s response to a judge who had heard his submission on a point of law, saying something along the lines “Mr Hall, I have listened to you with great patience, but I am no wiser.”

To which Hall replied along the lines “No doubt, my lord, but you are much better informed.”

J.A.W.
05-31-2013, 02:02 AM
Some well thought out replies, thanks guys..

That "just rape" quote though.. bit fuzzy on what you're getting at there..

Do you mean "just".. as in justified.. like Press Gangs for the Royal Navy were justified..

Even as far as snatching 'shanghai'-style US citizens on the 'High Seas'? [a warlike act?].

& Therefore not a crime, as such, according to the enforcer, regardless of the recipient's view?

See that 'Horrible Histories' Viking Song.. " ...Coz us Vikings don't care what you think"..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qSkaAwKMD4


Or do you mean 'only' rape..as in - its a standard spoil of war-type deal?

[& To quote Monty Python a couple of times here..]

"Shut-up - you silly bitch, its only a bit of fun"

& not in the same category as say..crucifixion.. i.e."1st offence? , you might get away with crucifixion.."

.. Yes, a Nippon variant of No 1 Field Punishment accorded to many a chosen P.o.W was just that.. nailed up..

with added application of bayonet, or a coup de grace by sword if he was a lucky basterd..

& in WW1 the British Kings Reg' version was being crucified:[not nailed, but strung out ..exposed to enemy fire]..
& poor bloody Conchies got that..

So yep.. its all relative in Beastly-town..& So..

Is it more shameful, humilating & damaging, culturally, psychologically & physiologically..

.. for a male as rape victim?

JR*
05-31-2013, 06:26 AM
Very interesting discussion, at least for me. Two points occur just now. First, it is true that definitions of what constitutes "rape", "sexual assault", "assault occasioning actual bodily harm" and so on have varied over time, and still vary somewhat over place - although the general tendency in "western" societies of late has been to adopt broader definitions of the more serious offence. This is an interesting subject in itself (especially for lawyers) but - in the case of the "comfort women" - the fact that large numbers of women were shanghied and confined against their will, or under severe intimidation, sometimes a great distance from their homes, in what amounted to brothels leads one to the pretty well inescapable conclusion that all manner of sexual assault, up to and including rape in the narrowest, most "traditional" definition, were inflicted as commonplace in such establishments. I must confess that my knowledge of Japanese prewar culture - let alone law - on such matters is narrow, but I doubt whether even by such particular standards, these activities could be regarded as other than criminal.

As to the British press gang - this was actually an interesting example of the argument of necessity. Sailors - even "lowly" topmen and such - were skilled workers in late-18th and early 19th century Britain. They could earn good money in the merchant marine, serving under moderate discipline for the most part, and were generally strongly disinclined to join the Royal Navy, which involved very long patrols, often brutal discipline, and the possibility at some point of being blown to pieces or torn to shreads in the course of a particularly unforgiving sort of battle. The Naval press gang was, simply, the only way that His Majesty's Navy could get enough skilled "recruits" to man their ships, simply, by rounding up and "impressing" experienced merchant seamen. In fact, the press gang was also employed, across Europe, to make up numbers in land armies, in which the life and discipline were as brutal as in the Royal Navy without even the possibility of making one's fortune by sharing in a "prize" on the High Seas. Was this justified by necessity ? Is it valid to make such a judgement on the basis of our current values ? History would say "no" and, at the time, the justification of necessity went virtually unquestioned. That was then, this is now. Probably have some comments on "victor's justice" at some later point. Best regards, JR.

Rising Sun*
05-31-2013, 09:40 AM
I wrote one of my long, rambling but ultimately more or less coherent and brilliantly incisive (:rolleyes:) pieces in response to this thread, but the ****ing site gobbled it up during the posting process.

So I am forced to be unusually concise (in a brutal form of what used to be required as precis many moons ago), because I can't be ****ed typing all that again. Not that, in my advanced years, I have any idea what I wrote before, anyway.

Impressed seamen C18 = conscription C20.

Essential moral difference between conscripting Korean or any other women as sex slaves and conscripting young men to serve in military forces they don't want to be in and potentially to kill people they don't know and don't want to kill = not much.

Reasons why Korean women in particular were conscripted by Japan reflects Japan's arrogance as a ruthless colonial power in Korea, independently of Japan's general brutality and inhumanity in China and Pacific War.

Naked hypocrisy by certain conservative elements in modern Japan concerning comfort women and China and Pacific War atrocities etc = continuation of similar Japanese elements' arrogance towards and contempt for Koreans in its pre-war colony; in China from 1933; and in its Asian colonies 1941-45

Term 'comfort women" should be expunged from the language and replaced with VOH which stands for Victims of Hirohito which redresses a little his profoundly unjust avoidance of responsibility for all of Japan's war crimes and crimes against humanity and stands for "sex slave of Japanese militarists, nationalists and zaibatsu in their grasping and inhumane pursuit of riches for them as the privileged classes in Japan without regard to the rights, liberty and lives of everyone else, whose inheritors have run Japan for most of the time since WWII".

Anyone who wants to retain term 'comfort woman' must advocate that rape complaints to police in countries outside Japan will be recorded as 'comfort' rather than 'rape' and the complainant being referred to as "a comfort woman who complained of being comforted by the accused comforter" rather than "the rape victim raped by the rapist".

J.A.W.
05-31-2013, 06:28 PM
More points of value.. thanks again, guys..

Interesting, that in the C19th - when the British were beginning to actively oppose commercial slavery,

impressing seamen into the RN was still happening.. & the abduction of US citizens on the basis their being

'rebels' was one of the contentions of the war between Britain & USA 2 centuries ago..

The shifting values re 'rape' whereby the ancient position was.. that the real offence was the misuse of another mans

chattel rather than the females personal rights.. has been turned over so that charges may be laid ex-post facto..

on reflection- by the complainant on the reconsidered perception of events rather than the facts..

As for the perception of the Nippon Imperial 'right' to direct conquered subject peoples as hapless low-status

recipients of organised, regularised 'force majeure', maybe 'victors justice' does come into it, since Stalin's like

horrors have not really been high-lighted -or remediation sought, quite so vehemently.

The overt, defensively stonewall position of the respective nationalist Gov'ts in Japan & Russia is similar..

J.A.W.
06-01-2013, 02:50 AM
Is it possible ['Devils Advocate'-wise] that in their view of the scheme of things,
that the Imperial Nippon Defence Forces.. in their own cultural context of Duty..were providing
some coarse form of 'Geisha' service for the Emperors doomed youth?

& that whatever the sacrifice demanded of the subject women, it was mere bagatelle by comparison?

Unit 731 stands out as another Mac Arthur post-war travesty..

'Maruta' - logs of wood - was the Japanese code for human subject/victims of that mob..

Like giving Dr Mengele a nice varsity research tenure-ship, or an ex-SS Colonel the Apollo program..

Oops.. that last one might actually have happened..

Ah well, needs must & etc..eh chaps..