A Counterargument for a NYT article
Trying to Correct Fabricated History
This article by the famous NYT seems to be missing some important points, so let me add some.
1) This article talks a lot about former Asahi journalist Mr. Takashi
Uemura who is one of the biggest players in Comfort Women issue history,
but it never talks about his Korean mother-in-law Yang Soon-im. Yang
Soon-im has been the head of The Society for the Bereaved Families of
Pacific War, which is known as a major anti-Japan group in Korea on CW
issue and filed a lawsuit against Japanese government in December 1991
on CW issue. She was arrested for fraud in relation to CW issue, then
later released while her colleague was sentenced to imprisonment. Just a
coincidence? At least, both of them claim it has nothing to do with it.
2) Mr. Uemura and Asahi Shimbun Newspaper are criticized because they
have never admitted their guilt and never made an apology on Mr.
Uemura's article, claiming that they did not make any intentional
fabrication, he and Asahi explained that they made a simple mistake.
Because of that claim, Mr. Uemura's article has not been retracted by
3) Mr. Uemura's article was so important in CW issue history. No real
people appeared on Asahi's articles in 1980s based on Seiji Yoshida's
fabricated stories. However, Mr. Uemura's article in August 1991,
featured Kim Hak-sun, the very first comfort woman ever who came
forward. Though Kim hak sun herself stated in interviews and in a
lawsuit document that she was sold by her mother to Kisaeng (Korean
female entertainer/prostitute) school, Mr. Uemura explained in his
article that Kim hak sun was forcibly taken to battlefield (by somebody,
not mentioned) in the name of Women's Volunteer Corps (Joshi Teishin
Tai) then forcibly turned into a comfort woman (Ianfu). Mr. Uemura
claims that he confused Women's Volunteer Corps with comfort women. But
people with common sense would never believe that he and Asahi confused
Women's Volunteer Corps with a comfort women, especially considering
that he was working on CW issue and with his family background.
4) Mr. Uemura, a former journalist has been refusing interviews about
his article by Sankei Newspaper, which is Asahi's biggest opponent, or
any other Japanese media. He just released a brief note stating that he
did not make any fabrication. He also condemned attacks on himself and
5) The writer of this article, Martin Fackler, who is NYT Tokyo bureau
chief, utilizes the term "revisionist" many times, but it seems better
to clarify the meaning. In my understanding, "revisionist" is often
utilized to call people who try to deny what apparently happened. Here,
we are talking about an issue which is untrue. If your Dad is sued for
something he actually did not do, then what would you do? Would you
label me a "revisionist"? Nobody, or at least many people are not trying
to deny true history. People are trying to find true history.
6) The writer of this article argues that "dozens of women have come
forward with testimony about their ordeals," but testimonies by well
known former comfort women are something like this;
Lee Yong soo "I worked as a CW in Taiwan until 1947."
Chung Seo woo "I
started working as a CW in Indonesia in 1937."
Kim Bok dong "I was a sex
slave for the Japanese Imperial Army during the Korean War."
In addition, the credibility of those testimonies by former comfort
women are very questionable. According to Seoul University Professor
Emeritus An Byeong-jik, who interviewed more than 40 self-proclaimed
former comfort women, as a part of the Kono Statement making process,
the verbal evidence by those comfort women were not reliable, and the
Professor presumed that those Comfort Women were working for money.
7) The writer suggests that "it is an internationally accepted view that
the Japanese military coerced tens of thousands of Korean and other
foreign women into sexual slavery during the war." This may not be based
on facts, and the number of women, many Koreans say 200,000 is
dramatically reduced to "tens of thousands."
8) The writer talks about "most mainstream historians," who are they?
Friends of Asahi/NYT? Less and less people believe in those "historians"
with Asahi/NYT sort of perspective in Japan these days.
9) The writer refers to Dutch CW victims as well, those comfort stations
in Indonesia were shut down immediately and those soldiers involved
were punished or executed, because those actions were seen as violation
of military rules and they were seen as war criminals.
10) The writer recognizes that "there is little evidence that the
Japanese military abducted or was directly involved in entrapping women
in Korea," they lack evidence simply because it is untrue.
11) The writer doubts "that the comfort women were simply camp-following
prostitutes out to make good money." However, that is what your
official Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No. 49 says. The
report was made by a US Army propaganda specialist team named
Psychological Warfare Team of the Office of War Information.
12) While it is untrue that "the Asahi alone is to blame for persuading
the world that the comfort women were victims of coercion." But at the
same time, there are not many people who doubt that Asahi was one of the
biggest proponents of CW issue, or perhaps THE biggest vehicle on the
whole CW industry.
Former South Korean President Mr. No Tae-woo stated in early 1993 that
"it was Japanese media who raised CW issue and made people in Korea
Moreover, Asahi itself proudly stated in their article in 1994 that
Asahi affected politics by their investigative journalism, though this
article has been retracted just recently in relation to Seiji Yoshida.
13) “This is a new form of McCarthyism.”? Well, you have freedom of
speech in Japan, but there is no freedom of fabrication in Japan,
14) Yes, Mr. Uemura and his family may be victims of threats made by
some unknown individuals, but it has nothing to do with the Abe
administration. The Abe administration has clearly condemned those
15) For those who do not know, The New York Times is a good friend and
an ally of Asahi. The NYT Tokyo Bureau has their office in Asahi Shimbun
16) Do you have any idea what Mr. Uemura lectures at Hokusei Gakuen
University in Sapporo? He is teaching Korean students in Korean
What Mr. Uemura said just recently is that "Hokusei Gakuen University
must keep employing me beyond 2015. This is a fight to protect democracy
and academic autonomy."