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Get your free copy here. Japan emerged as a major regional power with imperial aspirations at the beginning of the twentieth century. Between and it defeated two longstanding major world powers, China and Russia. Japan found and still finds much of its strength in its traditions and cultures, in which Shintoism has long played a pivotal role. Writing in on the relationship between the Japanese of his generation and those of the past, Shinjiro Kitasawa explained the centrality of revering the past, particularly commemorating those who had given their lives in service to the Emperor and the nation.
How does one challenge the morality of a governmental decision in any situation if justified based on the assertion that a leader acted based on conscience? How can one ascertain whether a political or a military leader indeed acted based on conscience? Shintoism emphasizes revering the past, which helps to explain the centrality of ancestral rites in Japanese culture. They hold steadfast in their position that the WWII generation of Japanese deserve to be honored because they acted based on conscience. To such individuals, the war was an ethical decision, an effort by Japan to confront Western colonial powers who manipulated and exploited Asia for their own benefit.
Emperor Akihito has not visited Yasukuni since becoming emperor, sending lesser members of the royal household instead. In a monument was created inside the Yasukuni Shrine to honor Dr. He voted to acquit all the Japanese defendants charged with Class A crimes against peace, though he did find Japanese defendants guilty of other crimes. Pal accused the United States of provoking the war with Japan through embargoes on scrap iron and oil, which led Japan to take military action.
But the messaging of the shrine and the museum located there lends support to the view that the Greater East Asia War or Pacific War was not a war of aggression but a defensive war that was meant to help other parts of Asia become independent from Western colonial powers. The proliferation of comfort women statues in Korea and especially now in America strikes at the very soul of Japan.
Koreans erect statues in the United States, denouncing Japan for its demeaning and cruel treatment of the comfort women. The Japanese as well as other students of history recognize that the Korean narrative diplomatically circumvents any discussion of American culpability for U. Unlike the Koreans, however, the Japanese are not involved in a campaign to proliferate memorials in small towns that denounce America for the bombing of Hiroshima or for the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII under an executive order of President Franklin D.
Japan takes seriously statements or insinuations which challenge the pride and respectability of itself as well as others. The monuments are viewed as an attack on Japanese character.
The monuments, while embarrassing Japan, allow other actors in the comfort women travesty, including the Korean collaborators who helped to round up comfort women and the Americans who later used the system, to judge Japan with impunity. A ificant voice in Japan still denies the mistreatment of comfort women and points to ways in which the Japanese occupation of Korea and Taiwan furthered modernization in those countries.
Korean civil society support exceeds the support which Japanese and Japanese-American civil society opposition groups have garnered. A ificant portion of Japanese society does not find offense in what Koreans have done to promote the comfort women issue. The December settlement of the comfort women issue obliged Prime Minister Abe to rethink the denialist position that many Japanese had supported until then. As Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister Abe expresses anew his most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.
It has taken legal action against some of the cities that have erected memorials. GAHT has denounced the proliferation of comfort women monuments in the United States, especially since the Glendale decision to set up a memorial statue. On its website, GAHT explains its origins and purpose as follows:. It was officially recognized as a specified nonprofit corporation in March of in Japan. In the United States, on February 6,we received the official approval of California State as Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation registration The main activities are educational activities that let you understand historical events based on facts through publications, lectures and broadcasts.
These two organizations i. In this part of Asia, prostitution is a profession and not illegal. When women were born in a poor household, one way of making a living was going to that profession. Glendale Mayor Dave Weaver cast the only dissenting vote. These plaintiffs claimed that the monument was offensive and impeded them from using the public park. The City moved to dismiss the action for lack of standing the actual injury required for any plaintiff to bring an action and on other grounds, including that the complaint presented a non-justiciable political question.
In opposition, the plaintiffs likened themselves to lesbian and atheist couples in the case of Barnes-Wallace v. The Glendale plaintiffs argued that they too felt excluded from a public place due to unconstitutional conduct.
They claimed that in the context of international disagreement regarding the comfort women, erecting the statue in the public park violated the Supremacy Clause U. In denying standing, District Judge Percy Anderson distinguished the Barnes-Wallace case, and ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue and failed to state a claim for relief. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed on the standing issue, but affirmed on the issue of failure to state a claim.
Thus, the dismissal was directly based on a determination that Glendale did not seek to put pressure on Japan to come to terms with the comfort women redress movement. Nowhere in the decisions of either the District Court or the Court of Appeals is the full inscription on the monument referenced. The Appeals Court did not consider the intentions of the Korean-American civil society groups that had induced Glendale to put up the monument, and whether they sought only to preserve historical memories, or in fact wanted to exert pressure in international affairs.
The United States Supreme Court declined further review of the case. In support of the plaintiffs, Masatoshi Naoki submitted a declaration to the court concerning a July 9, City Council meeting that discussed the monument. He stated that the Glendale City staff presented only a schematic diagram depicting the proposed monument. The court acknowledged that the City Council approved the monument without knowing what the inscription would state, but ruled that the decision to defend the lawsuit was a de facto approval of the inscription.
Notably, Judge Michael P. Linfield pointed to H. It appears from the Glendale decisions that lawsuits to block further memorials on constitutional grounds will encounter serious obstacles. And the legal obstacles that plaintiffs would face will be compounded by public relations efforts against critics of the memorials. Other commentators agreed.
This lawsuit is thoroughly contemptible. It should fail, and everyone involved should face severe social consequences.
Notably, the Glendale memorial was viewed by GAHT as particularly offensive and led to litigation as well as official protests from the government of Japan. Japan argues that the Glendale statue impedes progress in Japan-Korea deliberations. It further argues that the statue violates the U.
Constitution, which prohibits states from building separate foreign alliances.
The diplomatic and legislative branches of the Japanese government began advocacy against the memorials following the dedication of the first local monument in Palisades Park, New Jersey. As we have already indicated, a ificant of Japanese and Japanese-Americans, including Japanese-American CSOs, sympathize with Koreans regarding the comfort women.
Mera dismisses the testimonies of many of the Korean women who have come forward identifying themselves as comfort women. The report, drawn up by Staff Sergeant Alex Yorichi, a Japanese-American, was based on interviews with 19 Korean women who served as comfort women in Burma. In Yoshida admitted that his was fictitious. Using the Burma report, Mera asserts that the comfort women earned 50 times what the Japanese soldier earned in a month. He points instead to private agents.
Mera argues that the comfort women were citizens of Japan and thus received equal treatment to what Japanese women would receive. Mera also includes scanned copies of made to recruit comfort women that had been placed in Korean publications, which clearly explained what the women were going to be doing. In his August press conference in Tokyo, Mera questioned the motivation of the Korean and the Korean-American civil society groups involved in the proliferation of memorials.
Mera believes that the main purpose of Korean efforts for the comfort women is to humiliate Japan. Mera is also wary of recent Chinese-American activism on the comfort women issue by the Justice Coalition in California. In particular, Mera identifies former California Judges Lillian Sing and Julie Tang who have become increasingly outspoken on the comfort women issue. Abe has his own freedom in choosing policies. When asked if he had ever tried to engage the Korean CSOs in dialogue regarding the comfort women, Mera suggests that the Koreans have indicated that they have no interest in such dialogue.
Those who have regularly interfaced with the Japanese know how challenging it is for them to point out the wrongdoings of others. They only do so with great hesitation and self-effacement. The Japanese want to be offensive to no one, but implicit in this practice is also the expectation that others will not be needlessly offensive to them.
This desire not to offend applies also to hostile powers who have acted against Japan. Displays in Hiroshima testify to the horrors of nuclear weapons, rather than indict the United States for having used them in a place with such a large civilian population. For their part, the Japanese are increasingly frustrated with Korean efforts to continue recriminations from the last century. Monument of Dr. City of GlendaleCal. City of GlendaleNo. C, Feb. City of San DiegoF. City of Glendale, No. D, Apr. City of GlendaleU. City of Glendale, F. Law Firm Has Ever Stooped? Thomas J. William D. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in international public law, international humanitarian law, US constitutional and criminal law, and human security.
Born in Tokyo, he has traveled extensively in Asia and the Asia Pacific region. Before you download your free e-book, please consider donating to support open access publishing. E-IR is an independent non-profit publisher run by an all volunteer team. Your donations allow us to invest in new open access titles and pay our bandwidth bills to ensure we keep our existing titles free to view.
Any amount, in any currency, is appreciated. Many thanks! Donations are voluntary and not required to download the e-book - your link to download is below. Ward and William D. Image by jennifer yin. About The Author s. Please Consider Donating Before you download your free e-book, please consider donating to support open access publishing. Download PDF. Subscribe Get our weekly .Looking for a cool atheist girl 33 Glendale
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Opposition to Comfort Women Memorials in the United States