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34 Comments

  1. 1

    Hunter Burke

    What an unnecessary and unfortunate situation caused by amateur politicians. I wonder how long before the memorial is defaced and an embarrassment?

  2. 2

    S. Walton

    What in the world does this statue have to do with Brookhaven? Publicity for Brookhaven at all cost? And the irony is that Brookhaven’s city tree is a Cherry Tree – you know, the ones FROM JAPAN.

  3. 3

    Ernst is a sucker

    This is Absurd. Sex trafficking is a major issue. As a community there are better ways to bring awareness to the current challenge of trafficking rather than getting involved in a dispute between two foreign countries. Ernst is such a little puppet.

  4. 4

    Eric Robert

    From the article linked in this story “The Japanese government also conceded that its military authorities played a role in the sexual enslavement of the women.” Plus Japan apologized and set up a large settlement fund.
    Of course the bad actions of the military and Leaders should not be held against future generations who have clearly moved on. But Acknowledgeing and remembering past misdeeds certainly should happen so that future generations learn from the mistakes. We have monuments to remember the sins of slavery, their purpose isn’t intended to punish the south, its to remember and learn from our mistakes.
    I don’t understand the opposition by State Senator Taylor and others.
    I do agree Blackburn is a better location where hopefully more will see it and be reminded that one should not blindly trust the military action of their leaders. Now more than ever this is relevant and it searves as yet another reason as to why we should scale back the President’s “Authorization for Use of Military Force” (AUMF)

  5. 5

    Tom Reilly

    A monument to the human spirit should not be bounded by geography or politics.

  6. 6

    Tom Reilly

    Well said, Eric!!

  7. 7

    Resident

    Sounds like someone owed a favor to a monument company, and now they need to put it somewhere. I vote for the Remington Road property, or down by the sewer manhole next to the Pink Pony.

  8. 8

    Heather

    NO! We’re still fighting to get an orange cone for our sewer manholes! Don’t confuse them, lol.

  9. 9

    ruewarwick

    Subject: RE: Justice and friendship for the future regarding ‘Comfort Women’ issue

    Dear Sir or Madame,

    I write this in order to save democracy, in order to save freedom of speech and fair and fact based discussions,
    I write this in order to make people can self-reflect whether what they heard and believed have been totally free from biases or ethnocentrism.
    As for myself I just can’t let harmful lies spread over the world to make everyone including Koreans unhappy and make the world worse.
    I believe America as a nation which put great value on justice and fairness.
    I hope you never give hand to propaganda or thoughtless fabrications again so that cause and deepen hatred between neighboring two nations, Japan and Korea also in the future.

    Second Sino-Japanese War started in early 1930’s.
    Even though I don’t discount a few Pan-Asianist’s wish to liberalize Asia from European Imperial powers, I believe majority of Japanese wanted to make China their colony like Indian Empire was for the British Empire then.
    And because Japanese were familiar with Chinese literature and history they might easily regard themselves same as historical barbarian empire which rose from China’s margins and eventually became foreign dynasty in China.
    But if they believe that way they didn’t understand Chinese people’s hope for self- determination and ambition for better life and democracy.

    Japanese Imperial Army occupying China faced guerilla type warfare and resentments from local Chinese population.
    Chinese people despised Japanese Imperial Army all the more because of guerilla hunt which was same as casual murder of citizens, scorched earth campaign and rapes.
    Then Japanese Imperial Army decided to introduce and accompany brothels to battle field in order to prevent sexual crimes by Japanese soldiers which had stirred up angers towards occupying foreign force.

    Regarding composition of ‘Comfort Women’ or professional camp followers, around 60% were Japanese from Japanese archipelago, about 30% were Korean Japanese from Korean peninsula and 10% were Taiwanese Japanese.
    Japanese and Koreans and Taiwanese were Japanese Imperial subjects then. Portion of comfort women roughly reflected the population of Japanese Empire’s ethnic groups.
    Small portion of comfort women also came from local population like Chinese, Filipina, Indonesian, Burmese and Dutch from East Indies colonist families.

    Regarding 35 Dutch women in Semarang, Indonesia, Japanese military officials were blamed for compelling them to work as prostitutes against their will. When Japanese Imperial Army’s headquarter in Indonesia noticed the fact, they shut down the comfort station immediately. Person in charge, Lieutenant Colonel was executed as war criminal in the Allied military tribunal after war ended.

    From 1980’s story about abductions of Korean girls by Japanese Imperial Army were told and spread by couples of Japanese.
    In 1983 former Japanese soldier Seiji Yoshida wrote a book ‘My Wartime Crime’ and he addressed that he had kidnapped 200 girls from Jeju, a Korean island and brought them to battlefield. Local Jeju historian instantly denied the story and later in 1996 Yoshida admitted that the book was a fiction.
    But before he confessed that his story was a fabrication, in 1991 a female Japanese human rights lawyer, Mizuho Fukushima former leader of Japanese Social Democrats took up this story to sue Japanese Government for damage and Asahi Shinbun, leading liberal Japanese paper spread this fabrication.
    At first Korean researchers together with Japanese researchers identified abduction story is not truth. Meanwhile Korean newspaper erroneously reported number of Korean ‘Comfort Women’ was 200,000 which equals to one tenth of Japanese Army troops stationed in hostile foreign soil at peak and 1 percent of population of Korean peninsula at the end of WW2.
    People might say number is not important but it is not accurate at all.
    From 1990’s on, democratized South Korea’s presidents have been pushed by public opinion and repeatedly take up the story together with other Japanese colonization issues once he came close to the end of his tenure and became lame duck to salvage his popularity.

    From 1993 on Japanese Government has formally apologized for the suffering caused and Japanese public raised compensation funds for the victims. Consolatory payment is about 30,000USD per person and letter attached from Japanese Premier describes sincere apology.
    One nation which rejected to accept the goodwill from Japan was and still is South Korea. South Korean activists said they can’t accept apology nor money unless Japanese Government admits Japanese Imperial Army directly kidnaped girls from peaceful Korean villages.
    We know it is a fabrication invented by certain persons.
    And finally in August 2014 Asahi Shinbun admitted that their report was based on false story.
    So other than testimonies of victims made after 1990’s and now discredited Seiji Yoshida there is no evidence like government documents, military orders, newspapers, pledges from the family, rumors of the neighbours which show tens of thousands of victims were abducted by the military and coerced into ‘Comfort Women’.
    If abductions of 200,000 girls were the case why nobody was tried as war criminal?
    Contrary there are many prewar and wartime Korean newspapers reporting Japanese governmental police raided on human trafficking from Korea to China.

    It’s pity to learn that indentured labor was illegal but did exist in Japan before WW2.
    Many of Korean prostitute girls were sold by their parents. Few might have been cheated by pimps.
    I personally feel sorry for their sufferings but it is not correct to modify history in order to denounce neighboring country and harm mutual friendship in the future.

    Even I am aware of Korean resentments towards Japan because of colonization in 20th century and invasions in 16th and in 7th century I like Korean culture and cuisine and had some Korean friends.
    I studied Korean history and when Korean economy took off towards industrialized country in late 80’s, I expected now new era had come for Koreans to forgive the past and two nations to understand equally.
    But that was just a dream and I accuse Japanese left activists who try to gain fame and profit by fabricating story in 80’s and planting seeds of current troubles and also short sighted Korean nationalists who are just the prisoners of hatreds.

    I believe that American people cherish and enthusiastically defend fairness, justice and the truth. I hope that you will make a truthful, fair and objective judgment in regards to so called ‘Comfort Women’ issue.

    Kind regards,

    Ruewarwick
    Tokyo

    Attached are prewar Korean newspapers reporting that Japanese authority busted human trafficking from Korea to China.
    It is written in prewar Korean character that was mixture of Hangeul, phonogram, and Chinese character/Kanji.
    http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.com/2014/10/korean-newspaper-articles-from-1930s.html

  10. 10

    Ellen

    We will happily take it in Blackburn Park.

  11. 11

    ruewarwick

    There is an old saying in Japan ‘Sun (God) always see you (Otentosama ga miteru)’.
    Most despised behavior in Japanese culture is telling a lie and not keeping one’s word.
    Existence of Comfort Women or professional camp followers was no secret after WW2.
    They were portrayed in novels, newspapers and governmental documents.
    Most of Japanese admit that sufferings of Comfort Women were genuine and we have no wish or reason to retract government’s apology made in 1993.
    We wished better relationship with Koreans after 1993 apology and we didn’t imagine that the apology itself was regarded as new evidence for further claims; i.e. direct involvement of Japanese Imperial Army in abductions of as much as 200,000 girls and request for more apologies and compensations.
    Maybe because we Japanese have easier access to primary source document, we thought story about kidnapping 200,000 girls was just a joke. But Koreans meant it.
    In 2011 South Korean NGO influenced by North Korea erected statue of Comfort Woman in front of Japanese Embassy in Seoul.
    Again in 2015 this time the US acted as mediator Japan and Korea resolved the issue ‘finally and irreversibly’. Japanese government expressed that it was aware of its responsibility and Premier Abe expressed anew his most sincere apologies and remorse.
    ROK government stated it acknowledged Japan’s concern over statue and it strived to solve the issue.
    In Japan they say Koreans move goal post whenever new President needs it. But we thought this time was the last. We thought this time we could finally came to reconciliation.
    Then here comes Brookhaven, Georgia! Mayor John Ernst of Brookhaven effectively destroyed ‘final’ chance of reconciliation between Japanese and Koreans.

  12. 12

    ruewarwick

    by Professor Park Yuha
    http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.jp/

    “I first confronted the comfort women issue in 1991. It was near the end of my study in Japan. As a volunteer I was translating former Korean comfort women’s testimonies for NHK. When I returned to South Korea, the nationalism was out of control. The anti-Japanese activist group “Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery” (also known as Chong Dae Hyup 정대협 挺対協) was formed by the South Korean communists. Its leader said publicly it was determined to defame Japan for the next 200 years. Its propaganda turned me off, so I stayed away from this issue for years. I regained my interest in this issue in the early 2000s when I heard that Chong Dae Hyup was confining surviving women in a nursing home called House of Nanumu. The only time these women were allowed to talk to outsiders was when Chong Dae Hyup needed them to testify for the UN Special Rapporteur or the U.S. politicians. But for some reason I was allowed to talk to them one day in 2003. I could sense that women were not happy being confined in this place. One of the women (Bae Chun-hee) told me she reminisced the romance she had with a Japanese soldier. She said she hated her father who sold her. She also told me that women there didn’t appreciate being coached by Chong Dae Hyup to give false testimonies but had to obey Chong Dae Hyup’s order. When Japan offered compensation through Asian Women’s Fund in 1995, 61 former Korean comfort women defied Chong Dae Hyup’s order and accepted compensation. Those 61 women were vilified as traitors. Their names and addresses were published in newspapers as prostitutes, and they had to live the rest of their lives in disgrace. So the rest of the women were terrified of Chong Dae Hyup and wouldn’t dare to defy again. Chong Dae Hyup (some of its members were arrested as North Korean spies) has used the comfort women issue for its political purpose, which is to drive a wedge into U.S.-Japan-South Korea security partnership.”

  13. 13

    Saul

    So ruewarwick what are your thoughts about the Comfort Women Memorial being placed in a park dedicated to a Japanese Cherry Tree Festival every year?

    This is Brookhaven, and last time I checked Brookhaven wasn’t a branch of the United Nations. Wasn’t there a more appropriate, less controversial and appropriate location for this memorial?

  14. 14

    ruewarwick

    Did you Georgian people want this Japanese-American and Japanese bashing?
    ‘’Japanese cemetery is Oxnard’s latest vandalism target’’
    http://www.vcstar.com/story/news/2017/06/28/japanese-cemetery-oxnards-latest-vandalism-target/430614001/

    We current day Japanese living in Japan face same kind of vandalism.
    Few but score of patriotic Chinese and Korean tourists brainwashed by their anti-Japan education flied to Japan vandalize, set fire on old temples, shrines and monuments and steal ancient Buddhist statue from uninhabited temple saying Buddhist statue was robbed from Korea in 16th century.
    To our surprise Korean court admitted Korean temple’s vague claim that the statue was stolen by Japanese pirates 600 years ago and Korean government refuses to return object.

  15. 15

    MOMO 1333

    I’m in Japan. I see the statue as symbol of hatred in anti-japan Korean demonstrations every day in TV.
    http://up.gc-img.net/post_img/2015/11/QXLpOYDTdPkyUuR_IQoCv_361.jpeg

    This is one of the hatred. (statue’s supporter tried to assassinate U.S. Ambassador)
    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4PdcISXC3Qw/WVRakHSOT2I/AAAAAAAAB8Y/vRMABh-rKog1o1wl8gJJKzyJzGrE5AbXQCLcBGAs/s1600/cw1.jpg
    I can’t believe this symbol of “hatred” will be located the center of city.

    The main problem is that the inscription of statue is altogether wrong.
    In the inscription
    * (estimates ranging up to the hundreds of thousands.)
    Indeed some of them were sexually enslaved, but most of them were well paid prostitutes. Because, United States army said so.
    (US military report (1944) states Comfort Women are nothing more than prostitutes)
    http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

    *( The Comfort Women are from at least thirteen Asian-Pacific countries, principally from Korea.)
    At the wartime, Prostitution was legal in Japan. So many japanese prostitutes went into Japanese army brothels as Comfort women. Most Comfort Women were Japanese. Korean origin were second largest.
    (But China insists that most of them were Chinese…)

    * (The Comfort Women constitute one of the largest known cases of human trafficking in the 20th century)
    Yes, this is true. But not trafficked by Imperial Japanese Army. They were kidnapped or trafficked by Korean crime syndicates. There are many newspaper clips that describes about criminal were arrested by Japan police. The worst entity was Korean criminal, not Japan government.
    http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.jp/2014/10/korean-newspaper-articles-from-1930s.html

    * (This memorial is dedicated to the memory of these girls and women and to the crusade to eradicate sexual violence and sex trafficking throughout the world.)
    If this memorial is dedicated against sexual violence, why does it mention about Comfort Women in Korean War or Vietnam War. Millions of them were killed, raped brutally by Korean soldiers.

    There are still many surviving victims without any apology and compensations.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-usa-military-idUSKBN0FG0VV20140711
    If you have an ounce of conscience, you should save them. Do not make a sacrifice of them in order to hate Japan or to dilute Korean atrocity in Korea War, Vietnam War.

  16. 16

    Sam

    Eric, correct we do have monuments to slavery as we should. One note for you, this is not Japan. Also do your research outside this article. This statue is not meant for “us” to learn from the sins of our past. It’s intentions are to drive a wedge between to communities that have moved on.

  17. 17

    MOMO 1333

    Japan has never apologized nor admitted for “Government Involvement”.
    But Japan apologized for 3 things.

    1. Large prostitutions for military.
    Prostitution is considered as bad from modern point of view. It is natural that we should apology bad things, even if it was not bad in the past.

    2. Human trafficking by criminals .
    Some women were kidnapped by (Korean) Mafia, they were sold to (Korean) merchants of brothels, then forced to work for Japan military comfort stations. Some criminal were arrested by Japan government police, but not all of them. Japan had some responsibilities for crimes. Because, these crimes happened in Japanese territories.
    (Kono statement)

    3. Some Japanese soldier commited crimes.
    Every year I heard a few news about girls were raped (even killed) by US soldiers in Okinawa. It is sad but Japanese soldiers did same things.
    (Kono statement)

  18. 18
  19. 19

    Yoshio HARAGUCHI

    The comfort women issue is very complicated and there are many rumors and lies in the Korean side. For example the Korean common view of the comfort women that “200,000 young girls were forced to sex slavery by Japanese military and many were massacred at the end of the war” is not true as is discussed by many historians like Prof. Park Yu-ha of Sejong University in Korea. New York Times wrote her argument as follows; “she wrote that there was no evidence that the Japanese government was officially involved in, and therefore legally responsible for, forcibly recruiting the women from Korea, then a colony of Japan. She said Korean collaborators, as well as private Japanese recruiters, were mainly responsible for placing Korean women, sometimes through coercion, in the ‘comfort stations.’ She also said that life there included both rape and prostitution, and that some women developed a ‘comrade-like relationship’ with Japanese soldiers.”(https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/world/asia/korean-comfort-women-park-yu-ha-japan.html) She is now under trial because of her view of the comfort women. She denied above common view in Korea. For the reference, following is her abridged paper of her book “the Comfort Women of the Empire”, 2013.
    Also please refer to the arguments by Prof. Sarah Soh of San Francisco State University
    ・Yuha Park, How We Should Consider the Comfort Women Issue Based on Discussions between Ikuhiko Hata and Yoshiaki Yoshimi. An paper by the author of “Comfort Women of the Empire”. http://blog.parkyuha.org/archives/4368
    ・Sara Soh “The Comfort Women: Sexual Violence and Post-colonial Memory in Korea and Japan, 2008.

    In addition to those arguments, Japan has already expressed deep apologies many times since early 1990’s and already in 1994 founded “the Asian Women’s Fund” for the surviving ex-comfort women of several countries and afforded compensation money with apology letter of the prime minister of Japan and supported medical expenses for more than ten years since its foundation (until 2007) in several countries including South Korea (For 285 women from Philippines, Taiwan and South Korea. 79 from Netherland. Not personally specified projects in Indonesia as Indonesian government did not accept personal compensation). 60 Korean ex-comfort women received the compensation money and the medical support but some denied it(The reason was that the 40% of the compensation and medical support was from the fund raising among the Japanese citizens and not totally governmental).
    So for the final solution, in December, 2015, with the assistance of the United Stetes as a mediator, Japan and Korea reached the agreement for those ex-comfort women support, expressing the apology from the prime minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.
    In 2015 “Comfort Women” agreement, it is stated that “The issue of comfort women, with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time, was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of large numbers of women, and the Government of Japan is painfully aware of responsibilities from this perspective. 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 also says, “While stating the above, the Government of Japan confirms that this issue is resolved finally and irreversibly with this announcement, on the premise that the Government will steadily implement the measures specified in (ii) above. In addition, together with the Government of the ROK, the Government of Japan will refrain from accusing or criticizing each other regarding this issue in the international community, including at the United Nations.”(Also in Korean part: “(i) The Government of the ROK values the GOJ’s announcement and efforts made by the Government of Japan in the lead-up to the issuance of the announcement and confirms, together with the GOJ, that the issue is resolved finally and irreversibly with this announcement, on the premise that the Government of Japan will steadily implement the measures specified in 1. (1) (ii)above. The Government of the ROK will cooperate in the implementation of the Government of Japan’s measures.
    (ii) The Government of the ROK acknowledges the fact that the Government of Japan is concerned about the statue built in front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul from the viewpoint of preventing any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity, and will strive to solve this issue in an appropriate manner through taking measures such as consulting with related organizations about possible ways of addressing this issue.
    (iii) The Government of the ROK, together with the Government of Japan, will refrain from accusing or criticizing each other regarding this issue in the international community, including at the United Nations, on the premise that the Government of Japan will steadily implement the measures it announced.”)
    http://www.mofa.go.jp/a_o/na/kr/page4e_000365.html

    After this agreement 34 out of 40 surviving Korean ex-comfort women received the compensation .

    The comfort women statue is quite biased for the political utilization by the Korean people. I am sure it is not based on the facts found by the scholars and it implies to insult Japan for the political purpose.
    So I have to conclude again that the installation of that statue is utterly inappropriate as a monument for a city park of Brookhaven. I hope the scheduled installation plan should be cancelled.

  20. 20

    ruewarwick

    Saul,
    Only location I can imagine is North Korea.
    Firstly inscription for the memorial contains serious fabrications. For example it is true that so called ‘Comfort Women’ were victims of sexual indentured labor but it is not true that Japanese Imperial Army abducted as much as 200,000 Korean girls which equals to 2% of female population in 1945.
    Secondly this anti-Japan fabrication was willfully spread by leftist Japanese and Koreans deeply connected to North Korea so there is geopolitical risk in this propaganda. They try to destroy 2015 accord between Japan and Korea and harm relationship between US’ allies in East Asia. Activists are anti-Japan but they are also anti-US.
    Thirdly we Japanese apologized and compensated at least more than Germans did. Korean activists try hard to ignore this fact. They don’t want reconciliation. I think local Korean-Americans might not aware Japan’s efforts regarding apologies made in the past. On Japanese side we are tired of being accused regardless of how much we apologized.
    Fourth point is this movement caused discrimination and bullying especially towards certain minority in the USA, Japanese Americans and Japanese expatriates family.
    When the movement is based on false information intended to harm important international relationship and cause serious discrimination against certain ethnic group it is not for civilized society, not for the US. So it should be demolished or sent to totalistic North Korea.

  21. 21

    Eric Robert

    Sam, valid points, and yes I have heard that assertion about the true intention. The intention issue is hard to nail down and thus for me the stated meaning overtakes the different allegations of real intent. The issue of an act between 2 foreign nations being memorialized here is a good point, though I guess I was taking a more global view of what this particular historical event symbolizes. But your point does put me on or at least closer to the fence.

  22. 22

    Eric Robert

    Powerful comments and references to source materials. I’m thinking it may have been a mistake to accept this monument.

  23. 23

    Yoshio HARAGUCHI

    An article by Former Member of Congress, Mr. Ron Klink, , on the controversial Brookhaven comfort women statue & the perspective shown in the announcement by Prime Minister Abe of Japan and President Moon of S.Korea at G20 meeting on July 7, 2017.

    Let me again to submit, for your reference, an information on an article by Former Member of Congress, Mr. Ron Klink, , on the controversial Brookhaven comfort women statue, HuffPost, June 28, 2017. http://archive.fo/GWETq and the perspective shown in the announcement by Prime Minister Abe of Japan and President Moon of S.Korea at G20 meeting on July 7, 2017.

    I hope you could share this information, though you might know it already. The article is as follows.
    ————————————
    “In Brookhaven, Let’s Put Women First”, Former Member of Congress, Mr. Ron Klink, HuffPost, June 28, 2017. http://archive.fo/GWETq
    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once stood before given the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and declared that “Women’s rights are human rights.”
    At first glance, it would appear as though the mayor of Brookhaven, Atlanta, John Ernst, is trying to live up to the standard set by Hillary Clinton. After a vote by the city council on May 23, Brookhaven made the decision to memorialize so-called “comfort women” — women and girls who were allegedly trafficked by the former Japanese Army more than 70 years ago during World War II – by installing a statue in a yet-to-be-determined city park. “By establishing this memorial, we are raising awareness of the ongoing problems of sexual and human trafficking taking place in metro Atlanta and the world today,” said Ernst. However, the issue is not so black and white, and the statue’s installation is a grave mistake by Ernst and the Brookhaven city council.
    Many Americans are unlikely to be familiar with the issue of so-called “comfort women,” a disagreement rooted in the long history between South Korea and Japan. Regardless of what happened several decades ago, the successive Prime Ministers of Japan have already acknowledged and issued numerous official apologies for what happened during the war. At the end of 2015, South Korea and Japan officially put the comfort women issue to rest, putting an end to the rift that separated the two countries. This historic agreement still stands today, and remains important to U.S. foreign policy as we seek to unite American allies in the Asia-Pacific region as we face a belligerent North Korea.
    Although the installation of the comfort women statue appears good-natured on the surface, there are serious issues with permitting its installation. First, the Brookhaven statue undermines the delicate agreement reached between South Korea and Japan in 2015. Establishing the comfort women statue within the city effectively undermines the delicate international agreement reached by South Korea and Japan, and re-opens a rift in the thawing relationship between the two countries. It is uncertain whether Ernst or the city council is aware that it was in fact the United States that acted as the mediator for this historic agreement. Put simply, this is a bad foreign policy move, and could have serious consequences in the international arena.
    Perhaps more troubling, the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force, a Korean advocacy group, actually approached the Brookhaven local government with the idea to establish this controversial statue, and they’ve spearheaded its installation. As State Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) said:
    “This is a small group of Korean-American activists pushing this [memorial] all across Georgia and [they] finally got a city to take the bait. This is a political group that basically wants to drive a wedge between Japan and Korea.”
    The Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force has been rumored to be affiliated with Pink Pony – a local gentleman’s club that has been allegedly connected to human trafficking rings, and that is frequented by Korean businessmen. What’s disturbing is that Brookhaven has a legal ban on strip clubs, and yet the city has given Pink Pony permission to continue operating its business. During the investigation, it was reported that female victims were forced to dance at the Pink Pony while being held against their will. By focusing on a decades-old issue between two foreign countries, which has absolutely no relevance to the citizens of Brookhaven, it appears that the city of Brookhaven is either trying to divert attention away from issues with Pink Pony, or simply ignoring the local issue of human trafficking entirely.
    If Brookhaven is truly an advocate of “raising awareness of the ongoing problems of sexual and human trafficking,” and if they truly want to live up to Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s standards, they must prioritize the resolution of human rights issues that exist within the city before meddling in foreign affairs. There is no need for the city to install a statue that may potentially cause tension between countries in the Asia-Pacific region, especially at a time when we need our allies more than ever due to the North Korean threat. Fighting human trafficking can be done effectively at the grass-roots level, and the town would be wise to focus on the human trafficking issues right in front them, rather than capitulating to the requests of advocacy groups with a clear agenda.
    Brookhaven should live up to former Secretary of State Clinton’s standards; they must get to work rescuing the victims that are right in front of them. In this case, action should trump mere symbolism. Women’s rights are human rights, and the people of Brookhaven need to confront the challenges in their own community first and foremost.
    ——————————————–

    The announcement by Prime Minister Abe of Japan and President Moon of South Korea at G20 meeting was delivered just yesterday, July 7, 2017.
    It says as follows,

    “Abe said Japan and South Korea should cooperate with each other and with the United States in security matters.

    South Korea’s presidential office says Moon expressed hope that cooperation with Japan and the United States can be strengthened to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear ambitions in a peaceful manner.

    Abe called the agreement the foundation for building future-oriented relations. He said it’s in the interests of both sides to manage the issue in an appropriate way that won’t negatively affect overall relations.

    Moon asked Japan to work with South Korea to properly deal with the wounds from past history and build a future-oriented and mature relationship.”
    (NHK WORLD NEWS; https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170707_36/)
    ———————————————

    I am sure our efforts should be done in this direction to foster this perspective.
    So again I need to say that the installation of that statue is utterly inappropriate as a monument for a city park of Brookhaven.
    I hope the installation of the comfort women statue shall be revised and cancelled for the better relationship among the concerning countries and for the future generations.

  24. 24

    Yoshio HARAGUCHI

    Please tell your opinion to the Mayor and the Council Representatives. It must be a great contribution.

  25. 25

    MOMO 1333

    Which comments or refferences to source do you think as powerful?

  26. 26

    Frank Z.

    Blackburn Park is a great place, close to the Marist School, the YMCA. shopping malls. The cherry blossom festival is amazing, and I guess the citizens should pay a pretty amount from theit taxes for thr Park maintenance. Did the City ask the opinion of people concerned (neighbprs, associations…) about having such a controversial memorial, instead of moving it in a rush? They may even have planned to put the statue in this great park (and not in the small Blavkburn II) from the very beginning.

  27. 27

    K23Huimangga

    Blackburn Park a great place for monument. It make good memorial for honoring women enslaved by Japanese government.

  28. 28

    Barbara H.

    During WW2 and before, prostitution was LEGAL and quite common in Japan and its territories (Korea was annexed to Japan by request of Koreans in 1910, and Taiwan became part of Japan by Treaty in 1895). Prostitution was also legal in most or all of Asia, However, in Japan and its territories it was NOT legal to force women into prostitution, and Japanese law enforcement punished brothel owners or recruiters caught coercing women into the trade.

    WHAT WAS THE COMFORT SYSTEM? In the 1930s the Japanese military invited commercial (private) brothels in Japan and its territories to provide their services to Japanese soldiers. as they traveled from garrison to garrison. Japanese women made up the majority of comfort women, next came Koreans, and lastly Taiwanese. The brothels hired their own sex workers. Many prostitutes were already working in the brothels. The army helped transport the workers to various outposts and helped find local facilities. Brothel owners saw this as a good business opportunity for themselves and their sex workers. But to get a license to be a camp follower the brothel owner had to sign a contract to abide by certain army regulations, the most important of which was: DO NOT COERCE the women into prostitution! Other regulations included. soldiers MUST USE A CONDOM. Client and worker must wash up before engaging in sex. Brothel owner must post hours and fees, PAY THE WORKER, give the worker time off, allow her to refuse a client, keep premises and bedding disinfected, monitor unruly clients, allow periodic facilities inspection, and medical checkups of the women, should not allow alcohol on the premises, and more.

    MILITARY RATIONALE FOR THE IN-HOUSE COMFORT SYSTEM? The military hoped that by “bringing their own brothels” instead of leaving soldiers to their own devices in forward areas, they could eliminate or at least reduce three common problems that arise in conducting war: (1) rape of local woman in battle areas (2) soldiers unable to fight due to a debilitating venereal disease caught at an “unclean” local brothel. (3) spilling of military secrets to enemy prostitutes. Was this approach effective from a military perspective? Only partially. There were still isolated incidents of rape, for instance in Semarang, Indonesia and the Philippines, but rape was not widespread, and those who committed the crime of rape were punished by their superiors or in post-war tribunals. Venereal disease was fairly well contained. And spilling of military secrets to prostitutes was unheard of.

    Folks, Japan has NEVER HIDDEN the fact that it invited commercial brothels from Japan proper and from the Korean peninsula and Taiwan, to travel with the Japanese military. But Japan vehemently denies the Korean lie that the military kidnapped and forced the women into those brothels! And it is laughable to point to pictures or videos Korean women standing in front of a brothel as proof that they were kidnapped and made sex slaves!

    The difference between a brothel that signed up to travel with the army and one that just stayed at home is that those associated with the army were MORE closely scrutinized to make sure the brothel recruiters were NOT tricking or coercing their female recruits into doing sex work! A few Korean comfort women claim they were told by a recruiter that they’d be doing something other than sex work and were tricked. If that is true, then those women were victims of an unscrupulous brothel recruiter clever enough to escape the Japanese law enforcement dragnet 70-80 years ago! And sorry to say that recruiters and owners on the Korean peninsula were mainly Korean men and women! There is a bizarre line of reasoning that says that “because Japan allowed Korean brothel owners to recruit women, then Japan is legally responsible.” I’ve got news! Korean brothel owners did not need to be “allowed” to recruit and hire their sex workers, especially at a time when prostitution was totally legal. Hiring sex worker is the nature of a brothel’s business.

    Japan has apologized a number of times about and to the Korean comfort women. Japan’s apology was not an admission that the army had kidnapped the women, but merely an expression of sympathy for any hardship the women had suffered while working the comfort stations. In mid-1990s Japan offered each a written apology for any hardship suffered, 2 million yen in sympathy stipend, plus 2 million yen toward health and welfare to each Korean comfort woman.

    BUT GUESS WHAT? The NGO that represented the comfort women – known as CHONG DAE HYUP — told the Korean comfort women not to accept the offer until Japan admits that the military kidnapped and coerced them into prostitution. (Well, Hell will freeze over before Japan will admit to something that it did not do! And the Korean comfort women know very well they were not kidnapped by Japanese!) So, seven accepted anyway, and Chong Dae Hyup immediately publicized their names in the Korean newspaper, labeling them prostitutes and traitors to Korea. These were fear tactics in service of Chong Dae Hyup’s “human rights” hustle! Korean Professor Park Yu-ha of Sejong Univ. reports that around 57 more Korean comfort women accepted Japan’s apology and money under the table to avoid Chong Dae Hyups’s wrath and punishment!

    As part of the 2015 Agreement, Japan offered yet another apology and one billion yen to set up a foundation to care for the women in their old age. So, Japan has atoned for the hardship that some of the comfort women had experienced. (I say SOME, because others became quite wealthy from the high pay and bought houses for their parents and themselves, saved enough to lend money with interest to Japanese soldiers (including those of Korean or Taiwanese ethnicity), some became brothel owners and hired their own sex workers, a few married Japanese soldiers. So, as you see, the experiences of the comfort woman varied.

    Japan has done its part to atone for its moral responsibility and has pledged never again to solicit brothels to provide their services to the military. This is a lot more than can be said for most countries that still attempt in some way to accommodate soldiers’ sexual urges.

    Now it time for Korea to face the facts and clear its own guilty conscience. South Korea should admit to itself:

    (1) That if some comfort women were tricked or coerced into brothel work, the recruiters were most likely Koreans themselves.

    (2) That the South Korean government was directly responsible for setting up “comfort stations” for Korean, US, and other allied forces during the Korean War. Women who signed up were praised as “patriots” who were helping increase South Korea’s GDP.

    (3) That South Korea created “comfort stations” for Korean and US soldiers during the Vietnam War.

    (4) That the South Korean government has ensured that American troops stationed in Korea since 1945 have had their sexual needs taken care of in brothels and juicy bars.

    (5) And that the South Korean sex industry today continues to traffic willing and unwilling sex workers into Korea from Southeast Asia, Philippines, and elsewhere. And it traffics Koreans to the US, Australia, Japan and all over the world.

    The United States is crawling with South Korean prostitutes, some of whom tell the police that they are doing prostitution to pay off the advance payment (AKA a loan) the brothel owner gave to her parents! (Sound familiar?) South Korea and the comfort women activists should not be the POT THAT CALLS THE KETTLE BLACK!

  29. 29

    rafael nadal

    link between the Koreans and PinkPony has to be investigated.

    screen shot of an interesting huffpost article misteriosly deleted
    http://sakura.a.la9.jp/1/

  30. 32

    Jbg

    Japanese Women for Justice and Peace

    http://nadesiko-action.org

  31. 33

    rafael nadal

    poor koreans are completely brainwashed.

    it looks like a few people including the mayor in this small town were easy to be brainwashed, too.

    it is very important to do your homework, i.e. read books, see the facts and judge yourself.

  32. 34

    rafael nadal

    I guess Koreans will be frantically dancing around and worshiping the stupid statue in the blackburn park. Interesting to see how property prices detariorate.

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