Thursday, May 16, 2013

US State Department's Response to Osaka City Mayor Hashimoto: "Outrageous and Offensive", with Transcript Footnote Showing Disgust to Asahi Reporter's Question

A reporter from Asahi Shinbun went to the daily briefing at the State Department on May 16, 2013 and asked questions to the spokesperson Jen Psaki.

What do you think of Mayor Hashimoto's comments?

What do you think, were those women "comfort women" or "sex slaves"?

(Oh boy.)

From the US Department of State Daily Briefings transcript for May 16, 2013:

QUESTION: Hi, my name is Takashi from Japanese newspaper Asahi. Osaka City Mayor Hashimoto recently made a comment on the so-called “comfort women” issue, arguing that even though it is unacceptable from the moral perspective value, but the comfort women were necessary during the war period. And he also argued that it is not fair that only Japan is criticized by the United States and other countries, because there are other country military that were provided sexual service by prostitute. And do U.S. has any position on his comment or criticism against the United States?

MS. PSAKI: We have seen, of course, those comments. Mayor Hashimoto’s comments were outrageous and offensive. As the United States has stated previously, what happened in that era to these women who were trafficked for sexual purposes is deplorable and clearly a grave human rights violation of enormous proportions. We extend, again, our sincere and deep sympathy to the victims, and we hope that Japan will continue to work with its neighbors to address this and other issues arising from the past and cultivate relationships that allow them to move forward.

QUESTION: Do you describe this issue sex slave or comfort women?

MS. PSAKI: Again, I don’t know that I’m going to define it. You kind of laid out the specific details there, and we have described this issue in the past as comfort women[ii].

What is the footnote ii? Well I am afraid even the Asahi reporter managed to piss off the State Department (emphasis below is mine):

[ii] Rather than focusing on the label placed on these victims, we prefer to address the fact that this was a grave human rights violation of enormous proportions. The United States is also committed to working with our partners and allies around the world to denounce modern-day slavery and trafficking in persons no matter where it occurs.

これらの被害者につけられたラベル[慰安婦(Comfort women)か性の奴隷(Sex slaves)か]にこだわるよりも、私たちは、これが、重大で恐ろしく大規模な人権の蹂躙であったという事実に向き合う[事実を扱う]方を好む。アメリカ合衆国はまた、世界のパートナーや同盟諸国と共に、世界のどこであろうと現在存在する奴隷制度、人身取引を強く非難する。

I couldn't believe it until I read several articles by the Japanese media and tweets by some Japanese, but some people in Japan do seem to think if those women were called "comfort women", somehow they were part of the legitimate business. And they are shocked that foreign media portrays these women as "sex slaves". Thus the Asahi reporter asked that question.

If you start to believe in your own shit (often called "tatemae" in Japanese, literally "a facade"), you are toast. But many Japanese do not even know that any more. Lost art of tatemae and honne.


Anonymous said...

The thing that always amazes me in Japan is the sheer level of ignorance with the Japanese, they really do think that Hashimoto has a good point and cant understand what the uproar is.... what a demonic nation that beleives its own shit without question....

Japan has some heavy karma coming their way because of their pig ignorance.. war with China anyone?

Anonymous said...

@ 11:43
it's a virtue in Japan not to ask any question, follow your leader blindly and agree with anything he says.
fascism is always nearby in such a society and it's just under the polished surface of the so called civilisation in Japan.
To me it seems to be just a matter of time, as Japan is racing to situation that fascism will be all around and accepted by many of the Japanese. Fascism needs war to stay around... history learned us that.
But the Japanese kept that out of their history text book. Ask any Japanese about the rape of Nanjing and 95% has no idea what you are asking.
Talking about ignorance...

Anonymous said...

i have been covering the uk sessions on the japanese report concerning the radiological issue, but i came across alot of comments concerning the comfort women/sex abuse on the comments concerning the japanese report at the UN

if you go to the un link on here you will see the comments concerning this toipic
China made a statenment for instance.....

as an aside, i have managed an amateur pithy report summary here

The forgotten children of Fukushima and the UN conspiracy!

….The UN meetings have gone unreported and the silence has allowed the corruption of a process of justice that the petitioners from Japan were relying on. This is a total whitewashing of recent past and even present history…..

….This charade of a committee with its hidden documents to foil English language searches is a pathetic attempt at stopping the people of Fukushima achieve their Human Rights!……

And i made some quick cut and paste articles trying to show the bigger picture (on the hoof, so excuse the quality

my favourite

beeen on this all week

got alot of hits this morning from switzerland!! :)


Scott said...

The war wasn't even a full lifetime ago and the general public of Japan, especially its political "leaders" have come to believe their own convenient rebranding of forced sexual labor. Jesus. Hashimoto, I'm afraid is only the tip of the iceberg of historical ignornace whether insitutional or intentional. I think Japan is in for an even bigger culture shock/forced historical revelation by the international community if this crap keeps on going. Alas, the public's memory is incredibly short. I fear Hashimoto's words will be quickly forgotten and life will go on as usual here. :(

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I do not know what it is...

After listening to Hashimoto on TV she makes some comment like "well I guess those soldiers needed some relief" (she is Japanese).
I reply "Would you enjoy doing 100+ soldiers a day?"
End of the conversation, of course.

Again, I do not know how this works...

Anonymous said...

It is still debated now in many countries wether prostitution is business or slavery.
This moral hazard is just as old as "the oldest business in the world".

Who is to speak about prostitutes ? Well this right to speak is denied to them, first as there are many different kinds of prostitution, and because "slaves" aren't recognized a full "mankind" value of their thoughts and choices.
So it needs some facts checking first to moral assertions.

Anonymous said...

…It was deplorable that Japan rejected the recommendation to accept responsibility for Japan’s military sexual slavery system…

….The lack of anti-discrimination legislation on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity was one of the remaining challenges facing Japan…..

Anonymous said...

I'm a Japanese woman and I know I am not the first one to point out to the world, that there's something very very seriously wrong with Japanese men and society today.

Mr. Hashimoto, the pimp mayor of Osaka, is the perfect embodiment of it.

Another example, here is a Japanese medical doctor, Shunichi Ono, who insists on his popular anti-nuke blog that the Boston Marathon bombs were fake incidents orchestrated by the US government in order to pump up the declining military budget. He goes on to declare that all of the Boston bomb victims who lost limbs are actors !

What kind of a medical doctor make medical diagnosis based on Photoshopped tabloid photos on the patients whom he never seen, and then publicly mocks the victims of life-threatening injuries as lairs and fake?

Clearly Dr. Shunichi Ono has no real understanding of the value of human life when it is not Japanese person's.

What is even more shocking is that his blog followers (all Japanese) go on and on gloriously with sarcastic jeering of the victims, with the encouragement of Dr. Ono. No one intervened or when tried, those comments are not published.

That kind of sick mind is prevalent in Japan today. Osaka pimp mayor Hashimoto and Dr. Shunichi Ono embody this illness and they have no clue!

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:40AM, what does Dr. Ono have to do with the mayor of Osaka, except that they are both Japanese men?

What the doctor says is what many in the US says, right or wrong.

Anonymous said...

Hashimoto's about face on the Oi restarts puts him a league lower than prostitutes, if anything: he is selling not just himself but also the trust that people might have had in him.

I never bought sex nor I do understand why one would. Having said so, I once had a chance to talk to a lady that seemed to be rather comfortable with the idea of charging half of a worker's monthly pay for one night of her companionship. Obviously the euphemistically called "comfort women" were in a vastly different position from her's and "sex slave" seems to me a more accurate description than "prostitute" of that.

Anonymous said...

By the way, after WWII in the European theater, the Russian soldiers committed serial rape and murder of millions of German females, ranging in age from very very young to very very old. The US supported the SU during and after the war in all sorts of filthy and disgusting intrigues. Of course the US, UK, France et al put Germans into open air prison camps after the war where millions perished. You don't hear about any of this stuff, for some reason. Note that General Patton was going to expose that "we fought the wrong enemy" meaning Germany, but was assassinated before he could get back home and run for president.

Anonymous said...

Rape and murder of millions of German females??? Provide your sources, please.

Anonymous said...

I would bet that anon 3.49pm is Japanese, anything to deflect blame to "outsiders" always works in Japan, we know what the Russians did and the British etc etc but this topic is about Hashimoto the facist mysogynist so dont distract people please...

Anonymous said...

"Millions" may be doubtful, but still,

I doubt that Japanese know anything about General Patton.

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