Australian media articles on Comfort Women Statue Issues in Strathfield

At the Extraordinary City Council Meeting held on August 11, the proposal of erecting a Comfort Women statue submitted by the anti-Japan Korean - Chinese organization was rejected unanimously by 6-0.

Subsequently two newspaper articles were written from different angles.

Srtrathfield Scene is relatively moderate among all the local newspapers of the city keeping close relationship with Strathfield city council.
Its article depicts the outcome as the victory of Australian democracy and multiculturalism.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported vandalism and manifestation of hatred conducted by the proposers and one of AJCN's responses to it.

The result of Strathfield Council Meeting of 11 August,2015 by Sumiyo Egawa, Secretary-General of AJCN

On the 11th of August at 6:30pm, Strathfield Council held an “Extraordinary Council Meeting”
at Strathfield Town Hall, where nearly 300 people gathered to seek an outcome.  It had a heavy atmosphere with two tough looking security guards going through everyone’s belongings at the entrance.

Just before the meeting began, there was a rush for extra chairs from the back as the meeting on this controversial issue had attracted more people to this local town hall. More than 100 Japanese who responded to AJCN’s call took up positions in front rows; they gave vigorous applause for speakers going against the proposal of the controversial statue.

<captured placards of KACA by AJCN>

Six councillors voted unanimously to reject the proposal of building a statue called “Three Sisters” in Strathfield Station Square, which was submitted by KACA (The Committee of United Austral Korean-Chinese Alliance against Japanese War Crimes) on 25th March 2014 to the council.
After the public hearing on 1 April 2014, the council deferred the decision to ministerial offices including the Prime Minister’s office and NSW Premier’s office, and then the proposal was stalled for 16 months as nobody wanted to make  a decision for the council.

In the meeting on 11 August, four speakers from each side were allowed to lay out the points of their arguments for 5 minutes each.

Right after the speeches, 6 councillors expressed their views for 5 minutes each over the proposal of building the “Three Sisters” statue, and then took a vote to close the meeting.

Since there was a recommendation announced prior to the meeting by council management official that the statue won’t meet the criteria of the Council’s Memorial Policy, and there shouldn’t be any further actions, the vote was actually questioning whether they would endorse the recommendation.

The result was six to zero, all councillors supporting the recommendation and rejecting the KACA's proposal. Councillor Sang Ok (Korean descent) was absent from the proceedings due to a conflict of interest in this matter.

AJCN is through the battle of 16 months or more, based on the non-confrontational rationalism in our prospectus and consistently, continues  the civil activities of different dimensions from the government level such as Federal, State, etc.  AJCN 's actions were totally civil to protect the present and the future of all women and children by working together with Australians, Europeans, Americans, Chinese, Koreans and other people. Our ultimate goal for this battle is not only for protecting Japanese descendants’ peaceful life and pride in Australia, but more importantly to observe the Australia’s multiculturalism by securing a sound relationship with various ethnic groups.  We won the battle.

Anti Japan Chinese-Korean organisation officially states that their statue building lobbying will continue in other councils of Australia, AJCN will analyse and theorise our recent movement to develop a "Sydney model" and share this series of actions to fight against political propaganda in order to maintain harmonious communities.

Although it was clear from the beginning the proposal evidently would breach the council policy, 16 months were wasted. It was extremely unusual to conduct the second round of speeches to argue the case.  After all, we have come to the realisation that our democratic society provide us with the tools for protecting ourselves if we choose to battle, but we easily stumble if we do nothing.

We would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who was involved in this movement and to all who gave us support.

Please find below link for speeches and councilors’ comments.

Names of speakers and councilors who made a vote

1. Speakers (in order of speeches)

1. Mr.Brian Rycroft              against
2. Mr.Peter Wertheim           pro
3. Mr.Glenn McRae              against
4. Mr.Panayiotis Diamadis     pro
5. Mr.Geoff Boyce               against
6. Mr.Dong Dong Yang          pro
7. Mrs.Mieko Goto               against
8. Miss.Yeo Ji Yan               pro

2. Councilors who commented and voted (in order of speeches)

1. Cr Helen McLucas           (Independent)
2. Cr Daniel Bott                 (Labor)
3. Cr Stephanie Kokkolis      (Liberal)
4. Cr Andrew Soulos           (Deputy Mayor, Independent)
5. Cr Gulian Vaccari            (Mayor, Liberal)
6. Cr Raj Datta                   (Labor)

Strathfield City Councillors to vote on “ Comfort Women Statue” atextraordinary council meeting to be held on 11th August !

WHERE :  Strathfield City Town Hall, 65 Homebush Bay Rd, Strathfield 
WHEN : From 6.30pm Tuesday 11th Aug

We kindly request and encourage all good people of Strathfield and beyond to attend this extraordinary council meeting, where the elected council members will be making a historic landmark decision on the future of harmony in multi cultural Australia. The council will be deciding whether this is the beginning of many more statues of hate, division and vilification to be erected in Strathfield. If you strongly believe in Australian values and a fair go for one and all ,then please come along and participate in the defence of these values.

This statue application should have been rejected on day one as it went against the memorials policy of Strathfield Council, but instead became a long drawn out political hot potato for all levels of Government in Australia. This affair has been most unsavory to say the least for all involved and has wasted valuable council time and resources, not to mention local rate payers taxes.

This statue application proposed by “KACA”( Korean Committee of United Austral Korean and Chinese Alliance Against Japanese War Crimes in WW2 ) with the support of Councillor Ok has divided the local community and has highlighted the complex international political nature of this subject which we feel is totally irrelevant in local Australian government affairs.  

The sooner this affair is brought to a harmonious conclusion the better, so the residents of Strathfield can once again return to their peaceful lives.

For any enquiries, please send an email to Egawa, Secretary-Genral of AJCN                                                               

Kind Regards,

What really occurred in Nanjing?

The Chinese government has trumpeted 300,000 civilians were massacred in Nanjing, and recently increased the number of victims to 400,000 without any basis what so ever.

On every occasion where somebody of Japanese origin tries to explain that "the battle of Nanking" happened but the "Nanking Massacre" didn't, the person is accused of being  "a history denier", "a revisionist", or " extreme right". Because of this, the Japanese people have been silent regarding this issue. It's been much easier to accept their version of this story and apologize and in fact, many Japanese prime ministers have also apologized without challenging the commonly accepted historical view.

The problem that the Japanese government finds itself in is that the Chinese and Korean governments never cease accusing Japan for what happened over 70 years ago and demand more and more apologies and monetary payments. The latest repetitive demand was only voiced last year when they said, "Japan never apologized" when interviewed by international media outlets. When the Japanese people presented the undeniable fact that Japanese Prime Ministers have apologized on numerous occasions in the past and made reparations and given substantial amounts of foreign aid, they changed their rhetoric to "Japan hasn't apologized sincerely enough."

So the recent development in the relationships between  South Korea and Japan, and China and Japan have escalated because the Japanese people are exhausted from being constantly and tirelessly harassed by the Chinese and Korean Government backed international Anti-Japan propaganda organizations. The Japanese have been pushed to the point where they are now forced to confront some of these ever growing outrageous historical claims which has propelled these issues into the international community where the untruths claimed by the Koreans and Chinese are only now being gradually exposed.

When you hear the "Nanking Massacre" you automatically think of those horrible images of people brutally murdered or being buried alive. Those photographic images, however, have been studied and most of them were found to be fabricated for propaganda purposes or taken from other incidents that occurred in China and some of those atrocities were actually committed by the Chinese themselves, not by the Japanese at all.

We encourage you to please watch this video with an open mind.

What really occurred in Nanjing?

Please also see another related video.

Faces of Japanese soldiers in China you may not have seen before.

The Video that the Japanese Department of Foreign Affairs released has become a hot topic in East Asia.

According to Japanese traditions, being humble and modest is regarded as a virtue, and praising themselves or talking about their own achievements is something they are not familiar with and even feel uncomfortable about. Recently, however, the Japanese people and government have come to the realization the hard way that this virtue is not fully understood by some in the international community which now demands the Japanese government produce and disseminate factual informative videos. 

The video titled “Nation Building in the Post War Era: Japan as a Reliable Partner” has upset some Koreans who deny the extensive support Japan gave in their economic development during the post war period.

For example, if you read the Wikipedia article  "Miracleon the Han River" which reflects Korean understanding of the subject, there is no mention at all of the contribution made by Japan to South Korea's post war economic achievements. 

On the contrary, the Japanese government spent over $ 600 billion on building infrastructure on the Korean Peninsula during the annexation era (more than they invested in Japan at the time ) and since 1965 they have also provided substantial financial and technical aid support.  Some of the contributions are as follows:

*In 1965, the "Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea" was signed and Japan provided $300 million in grants, $200 million in loan aid up to the end of 1975 (approx.1.6 times of South Korea's national budget, equivalent to $3.6 trillion in today's value).  However, the total sum of financial support provided between 1965 and 2001,  amounted to a staggering 3.8 times what was originally agreed to in the agreement above.

*In 1997 when South Korea was caught up in the Asian Currency Crisis, Japan provided $10 billion of financial support through an international support framework and in additional gave a further $8.35 billion.

*$20 billion in 2006 as an emergency relief fund when the Korean Won became overvalued.

*¥30 billion loan for the construction of the World Cup Football Stadium in 2002.

(Approx. $ 107 billion of these loans have until this day, still not been repaid to Japan.)

Please watch the video here;

Related videos:

Japan And Korea In Post-War Era; Economic Aid, ODA, Technology Licensing, Compensation and Apologies

We wish to announce that we have recently revised our organization's name from Japan Community Network (JCN) to Australia-Japan Community Network (AJCN) as of 25 February, 2015.

AJCN is a multicultural organization consisting of local Japanese and non-Japanese Australian residents of numerous ethnic backgrounds.  Our aim is to achieve harmonious and peaceful communities beyond ethnic boundaries.  These aims have been clearly demonstrated and accordingly have come to the conclusion that a change in name from Japan Community Network to Australia-Japan Community Network was desirable to better and more accurately reflect our diverse organization.