Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Shame on Shinzo Abe, Taking the Olympics Hostage as Global Calls for Justice Pierce the 2015 “Comfort Women” Agreement

[repost from the "Comfort Women" Justice Coalition website / 「慰安婦」正義連盟ウェブサイトより再掲]

Shame on Shinzo Abe, Taking the Olympics Hostage as Global Calls for Justice Pierce the 2015 “Comfort Women” Agreement

On January 9, 2018, the government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) announced its position, in alignment with the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, that the 2015 ROK-Japan Agreement fails to take a “victim-centered” approach and does not constitute a true resolution of the issue of the Japanese Military “Comfort Women” System. Subsequently the ROK urged Japan to make a sincere apology to the victims, whom, with hideous dehumanizing violence, the Japanese Imperial Army had sexually enslaved as “war ammunition” for Japan’s imperial wars of aggression in dozens of countries across the Asia-Pacific region. Signalling displeasure with the ROK’s demand, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will reportedly boycott the Winter Olympics in the ROK next month, while stubbornly insisting that the Agreement had already resolved the “Comfort Women” issue — “fully and irreversibly.”
This Agreement, however, not only lacks official documentation, but fulfills none of the principled demands that, during the two decades preceding it, victims had outlined, as follows:
1. Acknowledgement of Japan’s military sexual slavery
2. Comprehensive investigation into the crimes
3. Official and legally-bound apology
4. Government reparations to all victims
5. Prosecution of the criminals
6. Ongoing education in Japan’s history textbooks
7. Construction of Memorials and Museums to remember victims and to preserve history
The Government of Japan (GOJ) used the 2015 Agreement effectively as a vehicle for shielding itself from having to fulfill any of these demands rather than restoring the victims’ dignity by means of a genuine resolution. The true goal of the Agreement is to promote the illusion that Japan has indeed apologized while simultaneously insisting the crimes did not occur. In the Agreement, the GOJ even prohibits the ROK from using the term “sexual slavery” and disapproves of memorial statues, while spending half a billion dollars for allegedly “recovering the honor and dignity” of the victims.
A sense of irony is not lost on us, when Prime Minister Abe accuses the ROK of foul play by allegedly breaking “an international and universal principle” of diplomacy in demanding Japan’s sincere apology. Isn’t it Japan that is engaging in foul play, to deceive the victims and the conscientious people of the world about the true intent of the Agreement? In complicity with the GOJ, all major Japanese press outlets, including Asahi, Yomiuri, and Mainichi, normalize the GOJ’s deception. With hateful language against Korean and Chinese communities, they recently mischaracterized our “Comfort Women” Memorial in San Francisco as a symbol of Japan bashing, while attacking our multi-ethnic and transnational solidarity for upholding the fundamental principles of justice and human rights. Instead of showing any hint of remorse, the Japanese media escalates the GOJ’s hateful anti-ROK propaganda.
By taking the Winter Olympics hostage, in a desperate measure to punish the ROK, Mr. Abe has hit a new low. What Japan needs in a leader today is integrity and commitment to humanity for a peaceful tomorrow. We call on the peace-loving people in Japan to join the international “Comfort Women” justice movement in denouncing the GOJ’s deception, demanding a full investigation of the Abe administration’s faulty diplomacy in the name of the Agreement, and leading a nationwide act of atonement for Japan’s past crime. By refusing to confront its imperial aggression, Japan has not only failed to end its racism and nationalism but is already turning back onto a path of full-blown fascism under the Abe administration. While the GOJ and the United States consider the “Comfort Women” issue as a mere stumbling block in their re-militarization agenda, it is the victims’ principled demands to the GOJ that will guide us on an alternative path to a peaceful and prosperous world free from fear of sexual violence, where all women, girls, and all people can live a life with respect and dignity.
January 18th, 2018
“Comfort Women” Justice Coalition


2015年の「合意」は初めから、当事者の意向を無視し、犠牲者の尊厳の回復と「慰安婦」問題の真の解決を目指しておらず、むしろ「合意」の主たる目的は日本政府がこれらの責任から逃れることにあった。「合意」の中で日本政府は被害者の「名誉と尊厳の回復」のために10億円の拠出を約束する一方、韓国政府に「性奴隷」という名称そのものの使用を禁じ、世界的な「慰安婦」記念像建設阻止を図っている。つまり一方で日本軍「慰安婦」制度という犯罪そのものを否定しながら、同時に日本はすでに犠牲者に謝罪したという幻想を作り出そうとしたのだ。 韓国政府が日本の自主的な、心からの謝罪を示唆したのに対し、安倍首相は韓国は「合意」を履行せず日本の裏をかき「国際的で普遍的」な外交の基本を逸脱したとして、韓国政府を責めたてている。しかし法的にも外交的にも一切拘束力のない「合意」を盾にして、その真の目的を隠し、犠牲者と良心的な世界の市民を姑息にも騙そうとした安倍政権こそが責められるべきではないだろうか?国際人権法の違反者である日本政府が、韓国政府を国際的外交の原則の違反者として責めたてるのは、皮肉以外の何物でもない。しかし残念なことに、朝日、読売、毎日など、日本の大手マスコミ各社も日本政府の欺瞞を批判するどころか、日本政府に追従し日本政府の異常な主張をあたかも正常であるかのように報道している。我々が正義と人権の原則に則って、民族の枠を超え国際的な団結の象徴としてサンフランシスコに建てた「慰安婦」像に関しても、日本のマスコミはあたかも反日の日本叩きのシンボルであるかのように報道し、一部マスコミは韓国系・中国系のアメリカ市民に対する差別的なヘイトスピーチを 紙面上で繰り返している。今回の「合意」に関する報道でも、過去の罪に対する日本の国家としての責任に基づく後悔、反省の念のかけらも見られず、日本政府によるヘイトに満ちた反韓国のプロパガンダをただ繰り返すのみだ。

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