Comfort Woman Statue causing racial bullying to Japanese children

Media Release

15 December 2016 

Comfort Woman Statue causing racial bullying to Japanese children 

We release this statement to further clarify our position on this matter.

We received a couple of emails accusing us of using the 18C to challenge the historical facts and whitewash atrocities.  We restate the following.

War ended a long time ago.  Everything was legally settled and we moved on.  Everybody can have own views and interpretation over historical events.  We should be sensitive towards any traumas people carry on.  However we must make sure our local communities are kept in harmony.  We should refrain from using history to achieve political goals.  We stress again that young children are far more susceptible to racial hatred.

We hear from worried and distressed parents especially from North America where such statues were already erected and political demonstrations continuously take place.

Typical cases:

Korean children surround a Japanese child and force him/her to apologize.
Korean children spit at Japanese children and/or spit over lunch boxes of Japanese children.
Korean children tell Japanese children “Japanese are evil race.”

Those Korean children think it is OK to do so watching what their parents say and do.

One case from Strathfield, NSW in 2015.

A Korean boy told his Japanese best friend “Let’s stay friends no matter what adults say and do.”

Another case in Sydney CBD

A Japanese mother visited a Korean own Japanese restaurant in Sydney CBD. Her half Australian daughter was served a boiling water in a cup with a straw.  As she burnt her throat and started crying the mother asked workers at the restaurant to give her water but she was ignored for a long time and she had to push very hard.

We must not allow this to happen in our local communities and we explained this in detail to the Uniting Church asking their cooperation but they did nothing merely saying “The statue is not targeting the Japanese.”  Such an attitude is totally irresponsible and we consider it culpable being a religious organization supposed to work for everyone’s welfare.

Accordingly we are forced to take a formal action.  It is a basic instinct of parents to protect their children.  AJCN is committed to support them.  We can always talk about historical interpretations but that is a separate matter.  Hence 18C is considered relevant in this case.  Please also refer to the attached bullying cases reported by a Japanese scholar who visited local Japanese parents in North America.

Best regards
Tetsuhide Yamaoka
Australia-Japan Community Network