Read “Denial Reopens Wounds of Japanâ€™s Ex-Sex Slaves” in today’s NYTimes. It talks about Japan’s current decision not to recognize its role in the whole comfort woman saga during World War II. If you don’t know what that history entails, in short, it’s when 200,000 women (mostly Korean, but also caucasian and Chinese, perhaps other groups were also involved) were kidnapped and forced into sex slavery to serve Japanese soldiers during WWII.
Japan officially does notÂ have anyÂ public acknowledgement that they played any role in this, even though there is evidenceÂ through various military personnel diaries, documents and the survivors’ testimony, etc., but the official explanation is that these women VOLUNTEEREDÂ to serve as comfort women.
Hello? What the heck? Does that make any sense that a 15 year old girl would volunteer toÂ have sex with 20 soldiers A DAY for years??? It pisses me off.Â Most of these women are in their 80s and 90s now and look like my grandmother and didn’t talk about this issue for years, so the denial, to me, seems especially painful.Â Sponsoring an organized effort to kidnap young girls and women and deny it still goes on now, unfortunately as my co-worker Ali reminds me, but this is the only example I know of where a government is the one actually behind it.
But then in a more “We Are the World” note, there’s also an article today on how the first of the Chinese babies adopted by American families are starting to get bat mitvah-ed and there’s a photo where the Jewish rabbi is hugging theÂ Chinese-adoptee girl, and I gotta say, it’s very moving. I love that she was so accepted by another culture. Cooool!!!!Â