Comfort Women Statues Shame, Not Help, Koreans

Mr.Archie Miyamoto served on active duty in the US Army for 29 years. He served two tours in the Korean War and two tours in the Vietnam War. He served two tours as a military advisor in Taiwan and also two tours in Japan, the first as a platoon leader in the 187th Airborne Regiment and once as the joint defense planning coordinator between US Forces Japan and the Japanese Self Defense Force. His military decorations include three Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star. He has already retired. Since he is indignant at "Comfort Women" propaganda of  Chinese Communist Party and South Korean activists, he has written the letters to the mayors and city councils of relating cities to prevent the erection of  Comfort Women statues as a former Japanese American veteran. His efforts contributed greatly to success in preventing the installation of some statues. His "Wartime Military Records on Comfort Women" is the Fact-based work that Journalist Mr. Michael Yon  praised a lot. This article is Mr.Miyamoto's latest article.

Comfort Women Statues Shame, Not Help, Koreans

By Archie Miyamoto, Lt. Colonel, U.S Army, Retired

 The comfort women statues that continue to proliferate in the United States, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere have an unseen consequence. Their tacit indictment of wartime populations is seen as cowardly and indicates the lack of concern with protecting vulnerable women.

As the world still waits for proof of activists’ claims that 200,000 women — many, if not most, of them Koreans — were forcibly abducted by the Japanese military and made to work as comfort women, we should remember that there is another gaping evidentiary hole.

If hundreds of thousands of Korean women — and hundreds of thousands of women from other countries, as some activists like to contend — were systematically kidnapped from their homes, shouldn’t there be evidence of massive resistance on the part of their fathers, grandfathers, brothers, and uncles?

While the silence of a population in the face of such alleged horrors may be understandable in a country under military occupation, Korea was not occupied. It was part of Japan during the annexation period.

Not Under Military Occupation 

Koreans were well-integrated into Japanese society and work force during the annexation period. In addition to holding public offices and serving in the police force, hundreds of thousands of Korean men served in the Japanese military.

Many served as officers and a few as generals. Lt. Gen. Hong Sa Ik, head of PW Command of Japan’s Southern Army, is an example of a Korean in command of Japanese troops.

Prince Yi Wu, grandson of the Korean Emperor Gojong, served as a colonel in the Japanese Army. When he was killed by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, his aide — a Japanese officer — felt he had failed to properly protect Prince Yi and committed suicide. Is this the action of a man who saw Korea as a “brutalized slave colony”?

Passive Cowards, Opportunists? 

Charges that earlier generations did nothing as hundreds of thousands of women were abducted are an indictment of the entire wartime generation of Koreans. A whole generation must have been exceptionally — and uncharacteristically — passive to allow such an injury to their wives, daughters, and granddaughters. (RELATED ARTICLE: Korea: Daddy Don’t Leave Me!)

The allegations also fly in the face of the deep respect Koreans are known to have for their elders. Even former comfort women attesting to abductions make no mention of their parents (or anyone else) resisting or trying to prevent their alleged kidnappings.

One former comfort woman said she was reported as simply missing.

It is plausible to argue that one person simply vanished, but simply incredible to argue that 200,000 young women just disappeared. 

The accusations of mass abductions in effect portray one’s grandparents’ generation as cowards and opportunists who sold out their daughters and granddaughters to the Japanese.

This is shameful, and it is a gut-wrenching insult to elderly Koreans.

Documents Tell A Different Story

Allegations are one thing, but facts are another.

World War II military documents provide overwhelming evidence on the true nature of the comfort women system. (See Wartime Military Records on Comfort Women by this author.). In addition to the oft-quoted “Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No. 49,” there are additional documents, including the following:

There are additional documents from Dutch, Australian, and Japanese sources, and even the diary of a Korean operator of a comfort station.

What Contemporaneous Reports Say

The many contemporaneous records of the allied forces at the end of the war clearly identify comfort women as contract prostitutes, not dragooned sex slaves.

Wartime reports of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Japanese and Korean businesses in Chinese cities list comfort stations not as something special but as just another business. Comfort stations with Korean women were operated by Koreans and those operated by Japanese operators had only Japanese women. None were operated by the military.

Following the same pattern, in the Philippines, Japanese military records clearly stipulated that local brothels for use by Japanese soldiers would employ only licensed prostitutes.

War crimes involving the recruitment of prostitutes 

While prostitution was legal at the time, recruiting involuntary women as prostitutes was a war crime – including under Japanese law.

There is only one case of involuntary recruitment found in the U.S. war crime records [HQ, Island Command, Guam, Serial No. 846, May 12, 1945]. It involved a Japanese civilian on Guam pressuring two women into prostitution.

The U.S. war crime records are consistent with the finding of authorities in other locales as well. In Indonesia, fewer than half a dozen cases were tried by Dutch authorities. The Bart von Poelgeest Report issued by the Dutch authorities clearly points out that forced prostitution was prohibited by Japanese military regulations.

Other than the incidents mentioned, there are no records of forced prostitution.

What Really Happened 

The interrogation of three Korean civilians employed by the Japanese Navy describes what would have happened if the Japanese had abducted or conscripted Korean women as sex slaves. “MIS, Composite Report, List 78, 28 Mar 45” (page 3, item 18) states:
All Korean prostitutes that PoW have seen in the Pacific were volunteers or had been sold by their parents into prostitution. This is proper in the way of Korean thinking but direct conscription by the Japanese would be an outrage that old and young would not tolerate. They would rise up in anger killing Japanese no matter what consequences they might suffer. 
This more accurately describes how Koreans would react, especially the family members of the women being abducted.

Even involuntary conscription by means other than direct abduction would have resulted in riots.

Question of Practicality

The Japanese military was deployed on many different fronts and in many different campaigns. It had neither the leisure nor the capacity to round up and guard 200,000 women who were allegedly sex slaves from among hostile populations speaking foreign languages.

In some cases, critics have carelessly lumped the official recruitment of women for the factory labor force together with the private comfort women industry.

The Women’s Volunteer Labor Force, known as the Teishintai or Chongsindae in Korean, was used to mobilize unmarried young women for factory work in late 1944. It had nothing to do with the comfort women system.

By this stage of WWII, Japan was undergoing aerial bombardment and fighting for survival. To be blunt, sex was the last thing on anyone’s mind as cities burned and millions of people began to go hungry.

Over the course of more than seven decades of postwar history, many have lost sight of these wartime realities and complexities.

Humans in general tend to side with victims of injustice, and today World War II in the Pacific is often presented as a one-sided conflict in which everything that Japan did, from the battlefield to the bureaucracy, is somehow fraught with evil intentions.

But as is evident from the many original military documents, the sex slave narrative can be seen for what it is — a hate campaign to demonize Japan today, which has nothing to do with Japan’s WWII past.

Comfort women statues are part of that strategy to demonize and delegitimize Japan in the eyes of the international community.

But, let us remember that these statues also tacitly indict Koreans as cowards who did nothing as a generation of young women was stolen from their midst.

Today’s anti-Japan monument is also tomorrow’s insult to those populations under Japan’s wartime administration.

Archie Miyamoto served on active duty in the US Army for 29 years. He served two tours in the Korean War and two tours in the Vietnam War. He served two tours as a military advisor in Taiwan and also two tours in Japan, the first as a platoon leader in the 187th Airborne Regiment and once as the joint defense planning coordinator between US Forces Japan and the Japanese Self Defense Force. His military decorations include three Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star. After retirement from the military, he served as project manager of a subcontract on an Israeli military airfield construction project to the Negev Desert. After that he joined a Japanese corporation (Maruzen of America) in Los Angeles and became its President/Chairman. He is currently retired.

Original article : JAPAN Forward "Comfort Women Statues Shame, Not Help, Koreans"

Comfort Women Propagandists Getting Increasingly Desperate:

Even Youtubers Easily Disprove Latest South Korean Lies

Tetsuhide Yamaoka, President, AJCN Inc.

Shocking video footage was released by personnel of the Seoul city government and Seoul University at an international conference held in Seoul on February 27 of this year. According to the releasers, the brief film clip shows the corpses of dozens of WWII Korean sex slaves dumped after having been raped and killed by Japanese soldiers. The Seoul University and city government personnel contend that the never-before-seen footage was taken on September 15, 1944, in Tengchong, in China's Yunnan Province, and was discovered at the American National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.

However, this disturbing announcement was flatly ignored by major Japanese media outlets—including even the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, which once ran a lengthy campaign of comfort women articles based on Seiji Yoshida’s lies about having abducted Korean women on Jeju Island under government orders. While a number of Korean newspapers touted the footage as new evidence of a “comfort women massacre,” even left-wing Japanese scholars declined to comment on the video.
Why? The reason for the Japanese media’s and scholars’ reticence is obvious: the film footage is nothing new, and the Seoul University and Seoul city government personnel’s description of what is shown in the footage is blatantly false.

One of the first to counter the fake Seoul narrative with hard evidence was Tony Marano, the popular Youtuber known to many as “Texas Daddy”. On his YouTube channel, Marano released an official document prepared by the US military in 1944 which gives a precise description of what is taking place in the film clip.

Marano was able to retrieve this film contents description card from the American National Archives and Records Administration. In fact, the card is stored in exactly the same place as the video footage itself.

The card attached to the film footage reveals that the dead bodies in the film are actually Japanese soldiers and civilians (women and children), and that the Japanese corpses are being looted and desecrated by a Chinese soldier. The video footage clearly shows a Chinese soldier stripping socks off dead bodies—just as is listed in the descriptive card.

While the video footage may have been newly discovered, the photographic still images taken from the film were known and analyzed by Waseda University professor Toyomi Asano some 20 years ago. In his report, compiled in 1999, Prof. Asano concluded that the victims shown in the images were killed while attempting to escape from a nearby stronghold during a battle, and that their corpses were left unattended for a long time. Prof. Asano recently added a further comment, in response to the Korean release of the video footage, that it would have been both impossible and irrational to take all of those women and other civilians from inside the stronghold and execute them under enemy fire outside the stronghold during the battle.

In fact, the existence of comfort women was common knowledge at that time, so there would have been no reason for the Japanese military to conceal what was already known publicly. And at any rate, even if the Japanese military had tried to execute the comfort women as part of a cover-up operation, would they then have left the corpses piled up like that, exposed in an open pit?

So much for the details, but a much larger question looms. Why do Koreans keep releasing historical “evidence” that is so easily disproven and dismissed? Tony Marano is not a professional researcher, but he was able to retrieve the descriptive card online with minimal effort from the same American National Archives and Records Administration where the Korean group claimed to have discovered the video footage. The Korean group must also have found the same card themselves, and thus known that the video footage clearly did not show a comfort women massacre.

Perhaps Koreans consider their purpose met as long as the general public in South Korea believes the ginned-up comfort women narrative and gets infuriated towards Japan? It has been well recognized in Japan for quite some time that anti-Japan Korean activists have little interest in the truth. Yet aren’t the Seoul municipal government and Seoul University supposed to be slightly more professional than run-of-the-mill anti-Japan demagogues? Or have we reached a point where prejudice runs so deep that it blinds even those at the highest levels of South Korean society to obvious historical fact?

Sympathy for Korean Comfort Women Now & Then

Tetsuhide Yamaoka
President of Australia-Japan Community Network Inc.

“You are denying comfort women!”
An Australian journalist well known for his hatred of the Japanese Imperial Family yelled at me over the phone.
“No,” I replied. “Of course the comfort women existed. Nobody is denying it as far as I know.”
“Then why don’t you honor them?”
“We do honor women’s human rights. Yet we do not agree with what the Korean activists claim.”
He then grew even more irritated and aggressive. When I asked him to calm down, he lost his temper and hung up on me.

The reporter’s tantrum notwithstanding, I strongly believe that we should be deeply sympathetic towards Korean women. Their plight has been hard. Before Japan’s annexation and modernization, Korean women born in the lower social classes were literally enslaved and traded against their will. There were Korean officials who forcibly took women away from their homes in order to send them to the rulers of China as tribute payments. Desperate parents sometimes hid their daughters or even scarred their faces to spare the young girls such a fate. Because of this lingering historical trauma, an elderly Korean gentleman once explained to me, Koreans were well primed to believe the “comfort women abduction narrative” fabricated by a con man called Seiji Yoshida and spread by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

These practices were banned under Japanese rule, but the underlying feudalistic attitude of male dominance remained into the modern era. Before the arrival of the Japanese, Koreans had seen little use in educating females, who overall suffered much worse oppression than their counterparts in Japan. Young girls fleeing home were easy prey for human traffickers, and many ended up in prostitution.

During the annexation era, the Japanese introduced into Korea the licensed prostitution system already widespread in Japan. While the complete eradication of prostitution proved impossible, the licensing system strictly controlled pre-existing prostitution engendered by human trafficking. It was still not uncommon in Japan at that time for poor parents to sell their daughters to brothels under contract, especially in the poverty-stricken north. The government established strict rules for this baneful custom in the hopes of eventually eradicating it.

The Korean peninsula was much poorer than Japan, so when the Japanese system was introduced there it ended up allowing Korean parents to legally sell their daughters to brothels. Kim Hak Sung, the first former comfort woman to come forward during the 1990s, once testified that she was sold to a kisaeng (female entertainer) house by her mother. The law stipulated that such transactions were illegal without the consent of the daughter, who had to be released once she had paid off the advance payment provided to her parents. However, Professor Lee Yong-hoon of Seoul University contends that Korean pimps forcibly took away daughters even when they refused to consent to it. But even without the intervention of these pimps, daughters in Confucian Korea had little power to refuse their parents’ commands.

Japan’s military comfort woman system was an extension of the prevailing licensed prostitution system, which was in turn grounded in the ancient Korean practice of human trafficking in women. The Japanese government should reiterate that, by today’s standards, such a practice would be—indeed is—unthinkable. However, by the same token, countless records show that Japanese police arrested Korean brokers who were deceiving and kidnapping local women. While laboring under the strictures of vicious local customs, the Japanese during the colonial period still strove to ameliorate the positions of vulnerable females.

Activists portray the comfort women issue as black and white, and Japan as uniquely evil. But the system was clearly not a simplistic perpetrator-victim relationship. Korean parents and Korean vendors played a significant role. Furthermore, Korean men who joined the Japanese Imperial Army used the comfort women just like all the other troops. Conscription did not take place on the Korean peninsula until September 1944, less than a year before the end of the war. Yet by that time, hundreds and thousands of Korean men (who were Japanese at the time) had already volunteered and were serving in the Japanese Imperial Army. In their private meetings at the comfort stations with Korean comfort women, those Korean troops would have been able to communicate with the women in their own language. If even one woman had mentioned having been forcibly abducted, the Korean troops would have rioted against their commanding officers. This is not speculation—Korean POWs told their Allied captors as much. Korean men knew that the comfort women servicing them had either signed up voluntarily or else had been sold by their parents. The latter practice was so common that even heavily armed Korean soldiers showed no reaction when meeting Korean women who had been trafficked in this way.

The fact is, though, that there was technically no nationality at the time of “Korean”. Koreans were Japanese then. They fought and lost as Japanese citizens. They collaborated in the comfort woman system, as did their fellow Japanese. If the comfort woman system is considered criminal, then Koreans are accomplices. They switched sides when Japan lost and quickly took the position of victim, hiding their own participation and responsibility.

But the time for falsehood and victim politics is over. If Koreans are genuinely concerned with women’s human rights, they should be scrambling to rescue the tens of thousands of Korean women trapped in prostitution all over the world right now. These modern-day victims of human trafficking are at this very moment suffering at the hands of the same vicious brokers whom the Japanese authorities cracked down on in Korea nearly one hundred years ago.

Setting the Record Straight: Comfort Women and Compensation

The comfort woman system did exist during the World War II. It was built by the Imperial Japanese Army to prevent sexual crimes, STDs, and spying. The similar system was adopted and operated by the South Korean Military Force during the Korea War and the Vietnam War for own soldiers as well as soldiers of allied nations.

But the comfort woman system was not the invention of the Japanese military. As Professor Park Yu-ha of Sejong University points out, the comfort women system was a systematization of the commercial prostitution system which already existed at the time. Prof. Park stresses that comfort stations took various forms depending on location and time built.

By the same token, there were a variety of women working to serve soldiers. Prof. Park contends that only Japanese women, along with Korean and Taiwanese women who were Japanese at that time and served with a sense of patriotism, should be referred to as “comfort women.” Apart from these women, there were women at ordinary prostitution facilities also engaged in sex work, but not exclusively for the “comfort” of the Japanese military.

Women in prostitution were socially weak and vulnerable in general. Some were sold by their parents or deceived by vicious brokers and susceptible to exploitations even if they earned some money under their contracts. Prof. Park argues that Japan’s responsibility for Korean comfort women should be accounted for in its annexation of the Korean Peninsula, which became a source for comfort women. This accounting should be undertaken from a moral standpoint. Conversely, the forcible abduction of women off the streets and from normal households by military forces was hardly plausible, and so there is no need for the Japanese government to apologize for something that did not happen. In other words, the moral reckoning must be grounded in remorse for real actions, and not subsumed to political calculations.

Probably the most famous figure brought up as a symbolic victim of the comfort women system is Ms. Jan Ruff-O’Herne who was subjected to a gruesome war crime in Indonesia during World War II. Where do women like Ms. Ruff-O’Herne fit into the whole picture of the comfort women argument?

Prof. Park says that the Dutch women such as Ruff-O’Herne, who were forced to provide sex to soldiers, were not comfort women but clearly victims of crimes. The criminal perpetrators were punished as individuals. It is important to clarify this, because it shows, among other things, that the Japanese military, contrary to much of what is now said about the imperial forces, was the first advocate for the safety of the comfort women.

Ms Ruff-O’Herne was a victim of a dreadful crime known as the “Semarang Incident” (February 1944), which took place in Indonesia, a colony ruled by the Dutch for 300 years. The Semarang Incident saw the rape and forcible detention of 35 Dutch women by a small group of Japanese Army soldiers and prostitute-brokers.

These soldiers and prostitute-brokers violated the strict moral guidelines issued by the administrative office of the 16th regiment of the Japanese Army in Djakarta, Indonesia. They forcibly removed the 35 women, aged 17 to 28, from three Dutch internment camps, confining them in four brothels in Semarang. The soldiers and brokers then raped the women repeatedly, holding them at length against their will.

During Colonel Kaoru Odajima’s inspection of the Dutch internment camps, a leader of the Dutch detainees (whose own daughter had been among the abductees) reported coerced human mobilization of Dutch women from camps by some Japanese Army officers and prostitute-brokers. Upon receiving the Dutch leader’s information, Col. Odajima ordered the 16th Army regiment headquarters to immediately release all the abducted Dutch women. Col. Odajima also ordered the closure of the four brothels in Semarang.

The eleven perpetrators (soldiers, prostitute-brokers, and brothel-operators) were court-martialed. After the war, the offenders were classified as B and C war criminals during the Batavia War Crimes Temporary Tribunal in 1948. They were found guilty and sentenced. Major Keiji Okada, believed to be responsible for the entire incident, was executed, and the others were imprisoned.

Furthermore, Army Colonel Asao Ōkubo, who was believed to be the ringleader of the group, was returned to Japan at the end of WWII. He committed suicide, fearing he would be summoned by the Batavia War Crimes Temporary Tribunal before it was dissolved. Eventually, 25 out of the 35 abducted Dutch women were officially recognized as victims of coercive human mobilization and rape by the Japanese Army soldiers and prostitute-brokers.

According to the 1994 report by the Dutch government, there were about 200-300 Dutch women working in brothels in Indonesia during WWII, of which at least 65 were said to be victims of forced prostitution. The others were sex workers.

This issue has been resolved between the Netherlands and Japan. The Dutch government officially acknowledged its absolute closure. The Japanese government established the Asian Women’s Fund in 1995 with about $ 4.5 million in order to compensate the victims of these crimes. By 2001, reparations to the Dutch victims had been paid in full, and the cases were closed.

Many people criticized the fund due to its being private, and not official. In fact, the fund was supported by the Japanese government with a fiscal injection, but it remained de jure private for the simple fact that all war-related compensation was completed upon the execution of the Peace Treaty in 1952. Many Japanese individuals donated to the fund in order to express their sympathy for what the women suffered in the war. The record of the Asian Women Fund shows that 79 Dutch women received goods and services valued at an average of approximately 50,000 guilders (3 million yen) per person, along with an apology letter from then Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto.  Ms Ruff-O’Herne refused to receive them at her own will.

Unfortunately, the comfort women issue—which should be about rendering justice to those who suffered—is no longer about the women themselves. Anti-Japan political activists in East Asia and elsewhere with connections to North Korea and the Chinese Communist Party are now exploiting the comfort women issue for their own ends.

As Prof. Park Yu-ha recommends, Japan must make amends for things that actually happened in the past. The record shows that Japan has done this, time and time again. While communist forces attempt to turn the comfort women history into the comfort women political issue, we must refuse to be embroiled in political sidetracking. Justice demands no less.

Tetsuhide Yamaoka
The Institute of Moralogy

Korean Comfort Women arrested and interviewed by US soldiers in Burma,1944
Source: The National Archives of the United States

Professor Park Yu-ha
Source: The Asahi Shimbun

Ms.Jan O’Herne
Source:ABC News

Stop "Comfort Women Statues" and Protect Japanese children and youth in Australia from Racial Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment!

AJCN started the following fundraising activities. Please cooperate to protect Japanese children living in Australia.

Donation site:
Payment with credit card is accepted on this site. If you would like to transfer directly to an account please transfer to the account below.

Japan: ゆうちょ銀行(Japan Post Bank) Store Number: 019
Deposit Type: Current Account  Account Number:0324225  Account Name: AJCN

Australia: Commonwealth Bank  BSB: 062-246 Account Number:10302121

AJCN (Australia-Japan Community Network) has been acting on behalf of Japanese mothers who are concerned about the safety of their children since April 2014 , when we heard about the proposal of the Comfort Women statue in Strathfield.  On August 11, 2015, the Strathfield City Council and local residents unanimously rejected the proposal. This decision effectively made it impossible to erect the statue on public land in Australia. Since then, we had to respond to the second campaign to erect the statue led by a South Korean political group that has close connections with North Korea. Despite our effort this time, however, the statue was unveiled in August last year and currently placed at the Uniting Church in Ashfield.

Although it is placed on private property of the Uniting Church, it is open to the general public. So on December 14 last year, we lodged our official complaint with the Human Rights Commission based on the Racial Discrimination Law against the national organization of the church and the responsible minister of the local church in Ashfield.
There have been cases of Japanese children being bullied and harassed since the erections of such statues in the United States. We also have more and more Japanese people experiencing racial discrimination and harassment in Sydney. The Japanese government took this situation seriously and submitted a letter to the Human Rights Commission via AJCN to express their opinion and concerns regarding this issue. 

AJCN is just a group of mothers and fathers who are wishing to protect peace and harmony of our community. Since all of our activities have been carried out by group member's wallets, this time we cannot bear the full cost of attorneys' fees.

To prevent the division of multicultural community in Australia and secure the safe and peaceful life of children and grandchildren, I wish to ask for your support in this fundraising activity .

All the donations will be received and managed by AJCN, then it will be released and appropriated for AJCN's activities/operations as required.
For the activities of AJCN, please visit the following blog site.

April 2017
Sumiyo Egawa
Secretary-General of AJCN

The Japanese government stated the concerns about this issue to the Premiers of NSW twice and requested to take measures.

About Anti-Japan Journalists & Scholars

It has been brought to our attention that some journalists and scholars who have strong anti-Japan sentiments are trying to damage AJCN’s reputation by connecting us to a religious group which they consider a "cult" and also to an individual they consider a "racist".  We initially thought it did not deserve our comment. However, we decided to officially clarify our position this time because we recently received a call from one journalist working for an Australian TV station and he one-sidedly accused us of associating with them.

This journalist rang the Consulate General of Japan in Sydney, and asked, “Does the Consulate General of Japan associate with AJCN, Happy Science and Zaitoku-kai?”

Happy Science

The journalist asked us if we were related to a religious group called Happy Science led by Mr Ryuho Okawa. We assume this allegation stems from the fact that Mr Brian Rycroft, who was the minister of the Happy Science Church in Lane Cove North, NSW at that time, made a speech in the Strathfield Council extraordinary meeting on 11 August 2015 against the comfort woman statue proposed by the anti-Japan Korean activists. It was the council's decision to randomly select speakers from a pool of all applicants.

Mr Rycroft contacted us just before the extraordinary meeting to inform us that he would be putting his name in the hat to express his opinion as a resident of Sydney regarding the proposed statue.  He contacted us as one of the citizens, not as a representative of the organization. He contacted us to let us know that his participation could reduce the chance of our speakers being selected.  We simply respected his motivation and decision to participate in this matter.  In the morning of the meeting, his name was selected in the lottery and he made a speech in front of the councilors.

Mr. Rycroft and AJCN shared the similar view regarding the statue: we were both opposing the erection of politically motivated statue on our local land. Even though we had never interacted each other before, we were able to exchange our views and opinions on this matter. In fact Happy Science made it clear to us as an organization that they do not want to be regarded as a part of us as they always have their own ways of thinking based on their teachings. We appreciate their opinion on this issue and we feel the same way. I was once interviewed by their monthly magazine editor but it was merely one of the requests I received from various media.

The above mentioned Australian journalist asked us, “Don’t you think they (Happy Science) are crazy? Do you welcome them?”  Our answer is that we are not concerned with what they believe in.  It is nothing to do with our business and we do not criticise other people’s religion unless they conduct anti-social activities.

Ms Yumiko Yamamoto of Nadeshiko Action

We were acquainted with Ms Yamamoto because she posted the information about the Comfort Women statue issue in Strathfield on her website. A local Japanese mother, who read the article on the website, sent messages to Japanese residents in Sydney and I also received her deeply concerned message about the act of the anti-Japan activists.  It was the receipt of her email message that prompted us to form the AJCN to help the local Japanese mothers.

We overheard that Ms Yamamoto used to be a member of a group called “Zaitoku-Kai” which is a group calling for repeal of alleged special benefits given to Korean residents living in Japan such as reduced municipal tax. For this, the Zaitoku-Kai has been heavily criticized for their use of abusive words against local Korean residents in Tokyo.  Ms Yamamoto does not seem to hide the fact that she used to be a member of the group and left for a certain reason.

Apparently, some journalists and scholars are accusing us of self-contradicting by associating with Ms Yamamoto whom they consider as an overt racist. The particular journalists criticized us for attending the same conference in February 2016, which meant for them that I, the leader of AJCN, is standing on the same platform with the infamous racist.

First of all, AJCN does not agree with Zaitoku-Kai’ s style which is completely opposite to our motto “Non-confrontational rationalism” and we have no contact with them to date.  As Ms Yamamoto no longer belongs to the Zaitoku-Kai nor conduct offensive demonstrations herself, we have no reason to confront her now.  Once again, just like the case of Happy Science, we can speak to each other on specific local matter that can affect our life in region. The conference which the journalist refers to as an evidence for our connection to Ms Yamamoto was officially attended by 20 speakers including parliamentarians, scholars, and journalists on a topic which had nothing to do with Zaitoku-Kai.  Ms Yamamoto and I happened to attend the same conference along with many other people, and clearly it doesn't imply that I'm associated with Zaitoku-Kai at all.

It is unprofessional for any journalist to defame somebody by forcibly connecting the person to other parties which are obviously not related to. AJCN’s purpose which has always primarily worked for the protection of local Japanese communities and children’s welfare – not criticising nor confronting people even if we are not in  complete agreement unless we have a genuinely compelling reason to do so.

Tetsuhide Yamaoka
Australia-Japan Community Network

What's truly behind Comfort Women Statues

2 March, 2017

As you may know, the diplomatic relationship between Japan and South Korea continues to deteriorate over the "Comfort Women" statue issue: The Japanese Ambassador in South Korea and the Consulate-General of Japan in Busan have been recalled to Japan for over a month now, and the currency swap negotiations have been suspended.

After the ABC TV reported "Japanese group launches 18C racial discrimination case over 'comfort women' memorial" (7:30, Dec14,'16), a member of AJCN received a death threat from a person living in South Korea. AJCN reported this case to the local police. They had very serious concerns about the contents and forwarded this matter to the Australian Federal Police as an international political issue for further investigation.

The "Comfort Women Statue" issue began in Sydney in February 2014 when the Chinese and Korean alliance called "The United Austral Korean-Chinese Alliance against Japanese War Crimes" held a meeting to announce the ten goals of their anti-Japan lobbying which included their political activities such as "to lobby the Australian Prime Minister to put less importance on foreign diplomatic relationships with Japan" and "to erect the Comfort Women statues in all regions of Australia". Since that time, we have observed various figures of the anti-Japan alliance (and of the associated individuals/ organisations) that took part in endorsing the statue to be erected in Sydney. In this article, I'd like to talk about those figures and the organizations, and explain the "Big Picture" drawn by the Chinese Communist Party behind this "Comfort Women Statue" issue.

(The above photo from the article “Korean and Chinese communities formed an alliance to erect "comfort women" statues in Australia”, Feb '14, Yonhap News, S.Korea)

1. The first movement for erecting the Comfort Women statue 

(The proposal for the erection was rejected by Strathfield City Council on August 11, 2015)
The organization that submitted a proposal to erect a Comfort Women statue in the square in front of Strathfield Station is an anti-Japanese organization called KACA (The Korean Committee of United Austral Korean-Chinese Alliance against Japanese
War Crimes).
In September 2014 issue of the "Journal of the Korean Society of Sydney", KACA posted a totally political declaration called “The Eight Objectives”. In it KACA stated that it would work for the interest of Korea and China. When Japanese Prime Minister Abe visited Australia in July 2014, KACA disseminated an open letter to parliamentarians, state councils and the media, criticizing the Japanese government and demonstrated in front of the National Assembly in Canberra.

(Mr.Ok speaking with Mr. Song standing by his side, taking part in an anti-Japan demonstration in Canberra, July 2014)
Mr. Sang Ok, the Deputy Mayor of Strathfield at the time, was the chairman of KACA.
In 2015 he was replaced by Mr. Luke Song, the former chairman of KSSA (Korean Society of Sydney, Australia). Mr. Luke Song wrote several extreme hate comments on
KSSA’s website regarding the Abe cabinet and the Japanese Australian residents while he was the chairman of KSSA.
Mr. Song insists that the proposed statue was only to enhance woman’s human rights.
Nonetheless, he used language such as “destroy Shinzo Abe and the Japanese who are dreaming of reviving militarism” and “we are fighting against our enemy to end our sad history”. These strong aggressive words and statements are very common from all the anti-Japan Chinese Korean alliance groups around the world .

In September 2014 they released their mission statement in a Korean newspaper in Sydney in which they stated the following:

"We will urge the US government not to be deceived by Japan, acknowledge the dark evil intention of Prime Minister Abe, stop remilitarization of Japan and change their foreign policies that put Japan first before Korea and China."

"Three Sisters", the Comfort Woman statue, which was proposed to be erected in Strathfield was designed by a Chinese artist and allegedly the cost of the production was to be born by the CCP, the Chinese Communist Party.

In this worldwide anti-Japan lobbying, which the erections of the Comfort Women statues are a part of, the anti-Japanese Korean group is said to be just a glove and the hand inside that moves this glove is the CCP.

2. The second movement for erecting Comfort Women statues 

The trigger for beginning stage two of this campaign of erecting comfort women statues was the agreement made between the Japanese and Korean governments to finally settle the Comfort Women issue on December 28, 2015.
“Chong Dae Hyup”, an anti-Japan political group which is closely related to North Korea, opposed this governmental agreement and began their monthly Wednesday
demonstrations all over the world. In response to this, FCWA (Friends of Comfort Women in Australia) and Project Group Sysochu (Peace Statue Establishing Committee in Sydney), were formed in Sydney and they started monthly Wednesday demonstrations in Sydney and Brisbane. Many of the members of the two groups, however, are the same people and they really are just one organization. This includes members belonging to existing organizations such as KACA, The Korean Cultural Center Inc. and KSSA.

Although Mr. Luke Song, Chairperson of KACA appeared to disappear from the scene following his failure to erect the statue in Strathfield, he consequently visited the Uniting Church in Ashfield on 22 February 2016 with FCWA to discuss with Rev. Crews about relocating the statue to the Uniting Church ground.
(The above photo from the FCWA blog article.)
The purpose of this anti-Japan activist group is to tear down the Japan-ROK agreement, and demand the Japanese government pay even greater reparations to ex-Comfort Women.

The preparatory work to erect the statue was sponsored and carried out under the direction of Chong Dae Hyup. On August 6, 2016 KSSA held an unveiling ceremony of the statue on their leased premises breaching their conditions imposed by the local council as such public displays of banners and the use of the car park were prohibited.
The statue was immediately moved to the Uniting Church Ashfield following the conclusion of the ceremony.
Please see below further information regarding the people involved, who attended the unveiling ceremony last year.

1) Chong Dae Hyup and its leader, Ms. Yun Mi-Hyang
The main player who brought the statue to the Uniting Church in Ashfield was Chong Dae Hyup. At the initiative of Chong Dae Hyup, the campaign activities were carried out by young Koreans holding working holiday visas and student visas, Below are members of FCWA who met with the chairperson, Ms.Yun Mi-Hyang at the headquarters office of Chong Dae Hyup in Seoul in June 2016.

In the inscription next to the statue placed at the Ashfield Uniting Church, it is clearly stated that the sponsors are Chong Dae Hyup, Seongnam city and voluntary Korean residents in Australia.

Now, continuing their political activities to overthrow the President Park administration in order to establish a new government supporting North Korea’s Kim dynasty regime, Chong Dae Hyup has already produced about thirty statues. They are selling those statues for approximately $30,000 each to local Korean sponsors.
The statue that sits in the grounds of the Ashfield Uniting Church is one of them.

Ms.Yun Mi-Hyang attended the unveiling ceremony in Sydney. Her relatives and many members of Chong Dae Hyup have been arrested in South Korea due to spy charges in connection with North Korea.

2) Mr. Lee Jae-Myung
Mr. Lee Jae-Myung, who is one of the candidates for the upcoming presidential elections, is nicknamed "Korean Trump” in South Korea due to his extreme remarks. In his statements regarding North Korea, he offered to "meet unconditionally with Kim Jongun" and said that "Japan should be considered a military foe". He is the Mayor of Seongnam city, that sponsored the Comfort Women Statue in Ashfield. When he attended the unveiling ceremony in Sydney, he insulted the late Japanese Emperor by calling him “Hirohito” and condemned him as a war criminal. Then he stressed that the erection of the statue was a political issue and related to the pride of the state.

All candidates in the presidential election race have declared that they will abandon the Japan-Korea agreement and renegotiate with the Japanese government.

If the next Korean president is significantly pro-North Korea, unification under the federal system with North Korea will be considered. If the US led by President Trump does not strongly control the movement of South Korea, South Korea is likely to move towards unification with North Korea under the guidance of China. It is only a matter of time before North Korea swallows South Korea turning the whole Korean peninsula one communist country. Once South Korea falls under the communist regime, many Koreans already accustomed to democracy will escape overseas. The wealthier people will go to Canada, the United States and Australia, and the poorer will become refugees fleeing by boat to Japan crossing the Sea of Japan.

3) Rev. Bill Cews
Rev. Crews is the minister of the Uniting Church in Ashfield and representative of the charitable organization, Exodus Foundation. Regrettably he played a very disturbing role in regards to the Comfort Women statue in Sydney.

In the interview conducted by FCWA , he declared that he would erect a Comfort Women statue on his church land in order to make the "perpetrators" apologize in public as he was outraged when he heard Strathfield council had rejected the proposal about the statue.
AJCN clearly explained to him that the Korean government ran its own Comfort Women system during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. We provided him with wide
ranging information that the Korean troops raped and slaughtered a large number of Vietnamese women and asked him how he would deal with these facts, but he accused only Japan and the Japanese as "perpetrators" in his statements in public. Since the Uniting Church in Australia and Rev. Crews didn't respond to our concerns at all, AJCN had no choice but to lodge a complaint to the Human Rights Commission. In response to our complaint, Rev. Crews told the media, “I just find it outrageous ... bring it on. If I change the location of the statue, I will just put it in a more prominent place.” We are not sure why he is so one-sided, close-minded and aggressive towards us. His aggressive comments in the media upset some Christian Australians and they sent us many messages of support.

He does not pay any homage to the fact that more than 70% of Strathfield citizens opposed the erection of the Comfort Woman statue in the survey conducted by the city.
He completely ignores actual current problems in the community such as division, bullying, discrimination, and illegal prostitution and sex-trafficking of Korean nationals.
He does not hear any concerns expressed by many people around him including the members of his own church. The Uniting Church in Australia paid compensation of 2
million dollars to the victims of sexual abuse by its clergies in 2013. Shouldn't he be more interested in erecting a memorial statue for those victims rather than a politically motivated statue supported by the N.Korean, S.Korean and the Chinese interest groups?

Lastly we have faith that at some point in the hopefully not too distant future some section of the Australian media will undertake some comprehensive investigative journalism to undercover the why, who and what is really behind all this antagonism and the lengths that these people are willing to go to, to achieve their goals for it is truly frightening.

Sumiyo Egawa
Australia-Japan Community Network