Thursday, February 22, 2007

NBR Japan-US Discussion Forum

Hi all.

Professor Mochizuki forwarded to me some articles from this NBR's online forum "Japan-US Discussion Forum". The discussions are very interesting, and I already spent a few hours just reading their discussions. Many are relevant to what we discuss here on this blog (e.g. US Congress's resolution on "comfort women," the Six-Party Talk, Abductions issue, Yasukuni Shrine etc), so I wanted to share the link with you.

I am still in the stage of learning the literature, history and politics regarding the issue of comfort women before forming personal and academic opinions, and it is helpful to read many different views on this. Here are some articles that I thought are informative.

Kazuhiko Togo (Japanese ambassador to the Netherlands and his grandfather was convicted and imprisoned as a Class A war criminal although he was against the war and tried to end it earlier)'s response to the "Japanese army brothels in WW2" discussion (especially on the Dutch comfort women). Especially for those who went to the talks at the Sigur Center the other day, he offers "the other side" of the story (but not a rightwinger one).

There are discussions back and forth regarding the US Congress's resolution on comfort women: The questions is formulated as "Is the US Congress able/competent to offer opinions on the history of Japan?" owing to the nature of the discussion forum. Various opinions are presented: Some think the US has a moral right because "Japan's front line of defense since 1945 has been the USA. Some Americans may have a moral revulsion about sending their young men and women to protect a country that is unapologetic about about their sex slave past." (the whole entry here) Others are skeptical about that ("America has been defending its own interests - that implies no obligation on anyone else's part." From this entry.) I didn't know the Japanese government has been spending a fortune to block the resolution (See this).

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