●Focusing historical issue from the overseas point of view chapter 13

The Fabricated History on Comfort Women &
The Installations of Their Statues in the U.S.

On November 22, 2017, Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco officially endorsed the offer to annex the property containing statues of comfort women to City’s public park located within its Chinatown. With this, the number of monuments having comfort women statues had increased to three. The first was the one in the City of Glendale in California installed in July 2013. The second was four years later in the City of Brookhaven, GA in June 2017. These are small and medium cities. San Francisco is the first one among big cities.
These three monuments have a statue of a comfort woman (three comfort women in the case of San Francisco) as the focal point. There have been several monuments in public places containing drawings of comfort women before. The first was the one at the entrance to the public library in Palisades Park, NJ installed in October 2010. This plaque reads: “In memory of the more than 200,000 women and girls who were abducted by the armed forces of the government of Imperial Japan 1930’s-1945 known as ‘comfort women,’ they endured human right violations that no peoples should leave unrecognized. Let us never forget the horrors of crimes against humanity.” These descriptions contain several statements contrary to the historical facts, and are colored by anti-Japan sentiments. Later in 2012, a similar monument was built in Westbury, Nassau County outside of New York City. During 2013, another in Westbury, and a similar plaque in Hackensack, New Jersey were built. Then, in 2014, one in Fairfax County, VA, and another in Union City, NJ were erected. Since then, there was no activity for a while. This is due to the lawsuit against the City of Glendale as explained later. Then, when the lawsuit was about to end in the beginning of 2017, the erection of comfort women memorials has resumed.
These monuments have been built on the basis of the Resolution 121 against the Government of Japan which was approved in 2007 by the U.S. House of Representatives. This resolution was initiated ironically by Japanese –American, Mike Honda, then-Representative from a Silicon Valley district in California. This resolution was in turn based on the report on “comfort women” prepared by Special Reporter Radhika Coomaraswamy for the United Nations. She asserted they were coercively recruited, and became “sex slaves,” and endured extreme hardship going through repeated rapes, sexual violence, and abortions, and concluded that the system was the notable human trafficking of the twentieth century, and demanded apology to the Government of Japan. Even though this resolution was adopted in the House of Representatives, it was not discussed in the Senate. President Bush at the time kept some distance to the resolution. There are three important points in the resolution: (1) they were coercively recruited, (2) they were sex-slaves without freedom, and (3) the Government of Japan committed crimes of human rights violations.
Not only the resolution has led several cities to erect monuments for comfort women, but several states and cities have also made resolutions accusing the Government of Japan. They include States of New York, New Jersey, and Illinois, and cities of Milpitas, Fullerton and San Francisco, all in California.
This biased understanding of Comfort Women was originated from the U.N. Special Reporter’s report as stated above, and this report was made after a brief visit to Japan, South Korea, and North Korea (which was planned, but not visited). Thus, it was written largely on the basis of a book written by George Hicks, which was one of very few books written in English on comfort women at the time. Then, this book was written by believing the stories of girls-hunting  by gun-point written in My War Crimes by Seiji Yoshida, which was already discredited at the time. Thus, the Coomaraswamy report is not credible either.
As I shall describe subsequently, the honor of Japan was hurt seriously by a careless report by the United Nations. The report spread the news of human rights violations around the world, and accused Japan for crimes of human rights violations which were not committed. The South Korean people, which is competing with Japan in every occasion, found this report highly usable for the purpose of disdaining Japan. Thus, they are promoting the spirit of the Resolution 121, and installing the statues of comfort women in every possible location within the United States.

Koichi Mera, Ph. D.
President, GAHT-US Corporation