Sunday, February 04, 2007

"Comfort Women" Resolution

Apparently the US Congress is about to pass a resolution denouncing Japan's use of comfort women during WWII and demanding that the Japanese government issue an apology for this. While I am glad that this issue has gained publicity in the US, I'm not quite sure if the US should be passing a resolution regarding this matter. Why and should the US be issuing decrees to other sovereign nations to apologize for their actions? The Japanese government, I believe, needs to apologize for what it did to those women during the war, but it is something that needs to come from within, not imposed from without.

And what moral legitimacy does the US have to pass such a resolution? None. Our "imperialistic" history is pretty dirty as well and if we're going to tell other sovereign nations to issue apologies, we should be the first to take that step and set the example.

On another note, historical dramas--especially those regarding early Korean history--have become even more popular in Korea and are causing quite a stir in China. This article mentions "Jumong" (set during the founding of the Koguryo Kingdom and one of the biggest hit dramas last year in Korea) and how Chinese bloggers are accusing Koreans of trying to rewrite history like the Japanese. I found this to be a rather interesting accusation and it goes to show how something that happened thousands of years ago can affect present-day relations.


Jaime said...

A few comments to Grace's posting on the Comfort Women resolution in the House. First, although it is gaining enough attention to be brought up as a resolution in the House Committee on Foriegn Affairs, there has hardly been any media coverage in the American press on the issue.

Although I see Grace's point on the issue of sovereignty (and agree that when the US points a finger there are three fingers pointing back at it), I don't see the Japanese government (especially under the new leadership of Prime Minister Abe, who propones a more patriotic and nationalistic Japan) making a move to formally apologize or make reparations any time soon. I think it's an important step for the international community (even if it's the imperfect United States in this case), to put the issue on the international table and apply a nominal amount of political pressure.

Grace said...

I see your point about bringing the issue to the table and gaining some publicity, but I worry that maybe it will do more harm than good. For example, I'm sure the Japanese side will be bristling with "What business of it is yours?" If something is forced rather than coming about from an internal "charge of heart," so to speak, will it really be meaningful or significant?