3 responses to “Why is the ‘Comfort Women’ dispute a never-ending story?”

  1. Misha Sibirsk

    This has its root in the aftermath of the war. While China and other countries had big roles in the defeat of Japan, upon capitulation, it was clearly the USA that held all the cards in dictating the terms of the new order. The US had the opportunity to effect any reasonable changes, make any reasonable demands. But in that new post-war sutuation, the new, cold war was breaking out. Concerned to avert any drift towards Soviet influence, the MacArthur viceroyalty was prepared to concede apparently unimportant things relating to the past in order to secure the immediate future and entrenchment in the western alliance. So, along with the emperor and a lot of powerful wartime figures and structures, a substantially unmodified view of the war and its causes was allowed to remain in place. Curiously, when Japan behaves in the way that it now is in realation to these victims, it is reminiscent of the CCP. I was in China at the time of commemorations of the “peaceful liberation of Tibet,” and saw spineless western business people and polititicians obediently describing the event in officially approved terms. Similarly, I recall the head of a western toy company with some Chinese manufacturing operations making a grovelling mea culpa about how his company had been entirely at fault. I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but I recall it involved some kind of chemical contamination, and it was obvious to everyone that the culpability there was at the level of local operations. I believe that CEO didn’t really think he was harming his company’s reputation, as absolutely everyone except the Chinese authorities would realize it was a bullshit apology to appease those authorities. Again, looking at Chinese government statements about Falun Dafa or at China, an officially aetheist state, insisting on its right to be involved in choosing religious successors and appointees, such as Tibetan Budhist leaders or Christian bishops, it seems the authorities don’t comprehend how how bizarre that is. When Japanese or Chinese governments behave in this manner, posturing and flouncing, they possible imagine they are making a kind of bella figura on the international stage. To us non-Confucians, they only create an impression of Spike Milligan performing Beijing opera.

  2. Misha Sibirsk

    correction: “possible imagine” > possibly imagine.

  3. Oi Ocha

    “Apologetic discourse” over time creates a populist backlash. I think we need to look deeper than this for solutions.

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