Does China exploit WWII cynically? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14539194
UnusuallyUsual wrote:I mean, is China using WWII as a wedge to drive away Japan basically? And to somehow excuse China's own geopolitical aggressions?


Yes, and yes. Red China was one of the biggest outcomes of WWII, just as Bolshevism was originally born out of WWI.
#14539248
Imperial Japan occupied northern China and Korea and anti-Japanese sentiments were prevalent in the colonial era to the extent that Japanese schoolchildren were routinely attacked by Chinese mobs. The Japanese community as a whole was terrorised by Chinese patriots, which was the main reason why Japan was dragged into the civil war in China. China and Korea keep bringing up wartime issues to settle their colonial grievances, which is similar to African-Americans' general attitudes towards white Americans. On the one hand, African-Americans demand slavery reparations for the coerced and uncompensated labour their ancestors performed over centuries. On the other hand, Korean pressure groups are putting pressure on the Japanese government to financially compensate for the wartime comfort system. Comfort women are often described as "sex slaves" because a left-wing Japanese historian invented the term in the 1990s but Professor Yoshimi, who is often cited by Western historians, recently backpedalled on his sex slave claims, arguing that the comfort women system cannot be equated with slavery if comfort women were voluntary participants.

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Professor Peipei Qiu recently published a book on the subject by compiling life stories of 12 former comfort women in China but she did not bother to verify these women's accounts. Comfort women were typically offered around 300 Japanese yen or $150 in advance, while a normal soldier only earned 30 yen per month, and comfort women were ten times richer than ordinary workers on average at the time. But they were forced to work off their initial debts to Korean or Chinese brokers who owned comfort stations which were set up close to military bases and the issue is misleadingly described as "the ransoms the occupation army forced the victims' families to pay" in her book. The case of Dutch comfort women was the only exception and local soldiers actually forced some Dutch women into prostitution but a Dutch investigation found that around 60% of few hundred Dutch comfort women in the Dutch East Indies were professional prostitutes. A local commander in the Dutch East Indies ordered to close down a comfort station housing forced sex slaves after hearing Dutch women's screams as it was against military regulations but he was still sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal.

1. The origin of comfort women

With Japan's victory in Sino-Japanese war (1894 - 1895) the Korean Peninsula was no longer under the control of Qing Dynasty China. As Japanese military personnels and male workers began to spend time in Korea, women (mostly from Nagasaki and Kumamoto) followed to comfort them. Most of these women were from poor families.

2. Korean comfort women

At first comfort women were all Japanese. But after Korea became part of Japan in 1910, ethnic Korean women (Japanese citizens) also became comfort women. By 1920's Japanese women along with Korean women traveled abroad to comfort Japanese men and ethnic Korean men there. These Korean women were the predecessors of who later became known as Korean comfort women.

3. Comfort women and female troops

Although women were working as prostitutes, some of them had accumulated enough savings to lend money and rent places for secret meetings to men who were fighting for the nation. That is why they were also called female troops(娘子軍)and they took certain pride in their contribution.

4. Comfort stations

One shouldn't think comfort women system was created suddenly by Japanese military in 1930's. At first Japanese military licensed existing prostitution houses in Manchuria as comfort stations. As Japan advanced into China and Southeast Asia, more comfort stations were needed. So Japanese military commissioned prostitution brokers to recruit more women and create more comfort stations. Japanese brokers recruited Japanese women in Japan. They owned and operated comfort stations employing Japanese women. Korean brokers recruited Korean women in Korea. They owned and operated comfort stations employing Korean women. (See footnote *3, *4)

5. Two types of comfort women

There were two types of comfort women. (1) Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese women (all Japanese citizens) They were not coerced by Japanese military. (2) Local women in the battlefields (Dutch women in Indonesia, Filipino women in the Philippines, etc.) Dozens of them were coerced by lower ranked Japanese soldiers. These two types should have been treated differently. But when the comfort women became an issue in the early 1990's, all women who provided sex to Japanese military were treated uniformly, and that created a big confusion.

6. The Myth "Korean comfort women were coerced by Japanese military"

The Korean woman who first claimed this in the early 1990's belonged to Chongsindae during the war. Chongsindae (also called Teishintai in Japanese) was a group of teenage girls conscripted by Japanese military. They worked in factories to manufacture military equipments and uniforms. Since she was conscripted, she thought comfort women were also conscripted. It wasn't that she fabricated the story. It was an innocent mistake on her part. When I examined initial testimonies of former Korean comfort women, none of them claimed she was coercively taken away by Japanese military. It should be noted, however, that Korean brokers sometimes lied about description of work. (They sometimes hinted women would be working as nurses and so on) So although Korean comfort women were not coerced by Japanese military (Japanese military was NOT in Korea), some of them were recruited on false pretenses by Korean brokers. Other Korean women were in the world's oldest profession, and they did volunteer to earn good money.

7. The Myth "200,000 young girls were coerced by Japanese military"

Two hundred thousand was the number of factory workers conscripted. About 150,000 of them were Japanese and 50,000 were Koreans. Many of them were teenage girls. Common misunderstanding in the West of "200,000 young girls were coerced by Japanese military" arose because Asahi Shimbun mistook factory workers for comfort women in August 11th, 1991 article, which inflated the number. The estimates of comfort women numbers vary from 20,000 to 70,000 depending on the historians. Most comfort women were Japanese, Koreans and Taiwanese, and they were recruited by brokers, not by Japanese military. In the battlefields of Indonesia and the Philippines, dozens of Dutch and Filipino women were abducted by lower ranked Japanese soldiers and were taken to comfort station operators. (Those soldiers and operators were court-martialed, and some of them executed) Most comfort women were not teenage girls but were in their 20's and 30's. So the correct statement should instead be "Between 20,000 and 70,000 worked as comfort women, of which dozens were abducted by Japanese soldiers."

http://scholarsinenglish.blogspot.com/2 ... -book.html
Last edited by ThirdTerm on 23 Mar 2015 01:08, edited 2 times in total.
#14539257
ThirdTerm wrote:Imperial Japan occupied northern China and Korea and anti-Japanese sentiments were prevalent in the colonial era to the extent that Japanese schoolchildren were routinely attacked by Chinese mobs. The Japanese community as a whole was terrorised by Chinese patriots, which was the main reason why Japan was dragged into the civil war in China. China and Korea keep bringing up wartime issues to settle their colonial grievances, which is similar to African-Americans' general attitudes towards white Americans. On the one hand, African-Americans demand slavery reparations for the coerced and uncompensated labour their ancestors performed over centuries. On the other hand, Korean pressure groups are putting pressure on the Japanese government to financially compensate for the wartime comfort system. Comfort women are often described as "sex slaves" because a left-wing Japanese historian invented the term in the 1990s but Professor Yoshimi, who is often cited by Western historians, recently backpedalled on his sex slave claims, arguing that the comfort system cannot be equated with slavery if comfort women were voluntary participants.


Can you elaborate on Japanese participation in the Chinese Civil War?

I have no knowledge of this, and so it'd be interesting to hear more about it.

I agree to the extent that there is a lot of 'politics' involved in the constant struggle between Japan, China, the two Koreas, Taiwan. For instance, there isn't usually the same level of angst about the islands north of Japan which are held by Russia (except for in some circles) as there are about the islands which are disputed with China, Taiwan, and the Koreas (although Japan in fact has a much stronger claim to the so-called 'Northern Territories').

I certainly do not agree with you on the 'comfort women' aspect though.

It is well documented--to my satisfaction--that such a system did exist. The governor of Okinawa even made a claim a couple years ago that they should institute a system of prostitution for US soldiers stationed there, to reduce the number of sex crimes committed by US military members stationed on that island. The logic he used was almost identical to the logic underlying the 'comfort women' system.

I've seen a documentary in which women subjected to the 'comfort women' system were interviewed. Included was a Dutch women who was living in Indonesia (a former Dutch colony) when it was conquered by Japan, and who spoke perfect English. There were also numerous other women interviewed (it was a documentary in Japanese narration and Japanese subtitles--I can read Japanese passably).

The women were essentially prostitutes, but they were forced into prostitution. They lived in brothels, but they had no choice but to be there. They were, therefore, sex slaves.

I don't know what your point or agenda is, but a lot of what you have to say here is nonsense, frankly speaking.
#14539259
One more thing I forgot to mention. I don't see how one could say that the concept 'comfort women' was invented by a Japanese leftist. I'm in China right now, with no Google, and typing on a shitty computer, so I can't be bothered to attempt to research this thoroughly right now. But as I understand it, the term is a particular translation from Japanese. The basis is the Japanese terminology which was used to refer to the system. Japanese doesn't translate easily into English. It is not a conspiracy by a leftwing Japanese guy to define the concept vitriolically in English. It is a particular translation of a Japanese-rendered concept.
#14539271
Rancid wrote:My wife's parents fucking hate the Japanese, so I'm going to say yes.


Probably so.

But there is also a perception in Asia that Japan has always been non-repentant for its tremendous 'crimes'.

Except for in Japan, where people insist that Japan has been repentant.

I'm not Asian. But I can see the point of the non-Japanese Asians more so.

Also, the one Japanese man who I respect more than any other Japanese person (and for that matter more than most people on the planet) once said to me that Japan never repented in the same way that Germany did.
#14539284
What on earth has China been doing to her neighbours "For hundreds of years"? Have you even read a book on Chinese history? Name one instance of Chinese war with nations that is even remotely comparable to Japan's invasion to China, in terms of casualty. Hell, name one major invasion that we actually march to slaughter their population and replace the government.

The Japanese whitewash "comfort women" and call all of them prostitutes. That is insulting. And hell, its just the tip of the iceberg of their brutality. How about Nanking? Unit 731? I remember them trying to white wash those as well. Now how can you even call that "repentant"?

Most of our grandfathers, including my own, still has first hand memories of Japanese brutality. These incidents do not happen in isolated pockets. The occupying army is basically torching entire villages, raping women and being general arseholes. Estimated deaths 21,000,000. Our total population at the time was 400,000,000. 5% of the fucking population of China.

Just because CCP uses anti-japanese sentiments in its propaganda doesn't excuse these horrible crimes done to us. If you think we deserved the genocide, fucking say it out loud, and don't hide it behind some fake "Chinese history".

Look, I know what you are going to bring up next. Tibetian invasion is a limited conflict with no mass civilian deaths. Mao killed Chinese people too and we remember it. Doesn't excuse the Japanese. Next?
#14539455
Crantag wrote: Also, the one Japanese man who I respect more than any other Japanese person (and for that matter more than most people on the planet) once said to me that Japan never repented in the same way that Germany did.
Well, with the Greeks now enthusiastically pushing the Nazi guilt/debt button, the Germans are waking up to the fact that it doesn't make any difference how much reparations you pay, how much holocaust memorials you build, how many documentaries you produce, how many of your politicians fall on their knees and profess to "never forget"... At the end of the day, they'll still not forgive and, what's more important, they just use it to extract money from you.

So the Japanese were actually smart to save themselves the trouble.
#14539485
Well, if it's good for only one thing, it's really driving my point home to a lot of Germans, even the Guardian feels that
For decades, Germany’s bad conscience has been exploited by its European friends. But there is a growing – and dangerous – feeling here that enough is enough.
Telling, that they find this to be "dangerous".
#14539593
I actually have less problem with the Japanese right saying "I massacred you guys, so what, fuck you." then whiteys playing judge while knowing nothing. At least there is no pretensie.
#14539596
If I wasn't alive, I'm not accepting any blame.
A country should feel the same way after 50 years.
#14539606
benpenguin wrote:What on earth has China been doing to her neighbours "For hundreds of years"? Have you even read a book on Chinese history? Name one instance of Chinese war with nations that is even remotely comparable to Japan's invasion to China, in terms of casualty. Hell, name one major invasion that we actually march to slaughter their population and replace the government.

The Japanese whitewash "comfort women" and call all of them prostitutes. That is insulting. And hell, its just the tip of the iceberg of their brutality. How about Nanking? Unit 731? I remember them trying to white wash those as well. Now how can you even call that "repentant"?

Most of our grandfathers, including my own, still has first hand memories of Japanese brutality. These incidents do not happen in isolated pockets. The occupying army is basically torching entire villages, raping women and being general arseholes. Estimated deaths 21,000,000. Our total population at the time was 400,000,000. 5% of the fucking population of China.

Just because CCP uses anti-japanese sentiments in its propaganda doesn't excuse these horrible crimes done to us. If you think we deserved the genocide, fucking say it out loud, and don't hide it behind some fake "Chinese history".

Look, I know what you are going to bring up next. Tibetian invasion is a limited conflict with no mass civilian deaths. Mao killed Chinese people too and we remember it. Doesn't excuse the Japanese. Next?


I am not a scholar on Chinese history by any means but a cursory perusal of the basics suffices to establish that "China" has dominated and ethnically cleansed/colonized all manner of neighbors over time. You would be a fool to deny that. I find it highly plausible as well that Chinese have killed over 5% of total populations. Again, can you establish with certainty this did not occur ever? It seems pretty clear Vietnam, Mongolia, Tibet, Korea, etc. would disagree.

By no means am I "excusing" Japanese atrocities... why would you even say such a thing? Or suggest somehow I "endorse genocide of Chinese"? That's just crazy talk. Of course I don't in any way.

But, I am playing "devil's advocate" here a little and simply suggesting that China has had complete domination over that part of the world for CENTURIES if not MILLENNIA. Japan was finally "above" China for only DECADES. And honestly I do think that is what it is primarily about. A lot of Chinese still have the view they are better than any other Asians and they view Japanese as beneath them somehow, and resent that Japan was "superior" even if was only briefly. That is how I perceive the situation.
#14539610
I am not a scholar on Chinese history by any means but a cursory perusal of the basics suffices to establish that "China" has dominated and ethnically cleansed/colonized all manner of neighbors over time. You would be a fool to deny that.

I grew up in Hong Kong studying Chinese history for 10 years like every school kid. I also took a personal interest and never stopped reading about it. You have entirely no idea how China came into being, our mentality and our relations with surrounding countries. You assume that we are colonists just by looking at the map. So, go read a book before throwing rubbish at me and ask for justification.

I find it highly plausible as well that Chinese have killed over 5% of total populations. Again, can you establish with certainty this did not occur ever? It seems pretty clear Vietnam, Mongolia, Tibet, Korea, etc. would disagree.

What does that even mean? Most of them remain tributary states and have a good relation with us. We never even meddle in their internal affairs. We have fought those countries on and off, some wars are defensive, some are offensive, some preemptive, some are counter attacks. But we never went genocide mode to enemy population. Pick up a damn book and find me a real example, then we will talk.

By no means am I "excusing" Japanese atrocities... why would you even say such a thing? Or suggest somehow I "endorse genocide of Chinese"? That's just crazy talk. Of course I don't in any way.

Yes genocide is bad but Chinese did those non-existant genocide as well so Chinese are equally bad. So they should just shut up because I am annoyed with all the talk.

Tell that to the Jews.

A lot of Chinese still have the view they are better than any other Asians and they view Japanese as beneath them somehow, and resent that Japan was "superior" even if was only briefly. That is how I perceive the situation.

Blah blah blah...They butchered us on an epic scale, then laughed at us about it. We are not happy. How hard is that to comprehend?
#14539628
UnusuallyUsual wrote:
I am not a scholar on Chinese history by any means but a cursory perusal of the basics suffices to establish that "China" has dominated and ethnically cleansed/colonized all manner of neighbors over time. You would be a fool to deny that. I find it highly plausible as well that Chinese have killed over 5% of total populations. Again, can you establish with certainty this did not occur ever? It seems pretty clear Vietnam, Mongolia, Tibet, Korea, etc. would disagree.

By no means am I "excusing" Japanese atrocities... why would you even say such a thing? Or suggest somehow I "endorse genocide of Chinese"? That's just crazy talk. Of course I don't in any way.

But, I am playing "devil's advocate" here a little and simply suggesting that China has had complete domination over that part of the world for CENTURIES if not MILLENNIA. Japan was finally "above" China for only DECADES. And honestly I do think that is what it is primarily about. A lot of Chinese still have the view they are better than any other Asians and they view Japanese as beneath them somehow, and resent that Japan was "superior" even if was only briefly. That is how I perceive the situation.



I think there is ignorance here, in stating that China has probably killed 5% of populations.

You are certainly correct that there is a history of China seeking to subjugate its neighbours. China was a dominant power for centuries. And it still is a dominant power today (and it is on the rise--which doesn't necessarily mean it is going to be imperialistic, just to note).

However, with 'modernization' of weaponry came destructive killing ability in case of war.

The Russo-Japanese war--1904-1905--is often described as the first 'modern war'. China had been reduced to a backwater by the time this war happened, due to the two Opium Wars and the Sino-Japanese War. There is no accuracy in your presumption that "China has killed 5% of populations". If you care to prove me wrong be my guest, but I don't believe you can.
#14539641
Longer ago times, higher %'s of populations actually died in wars... for example the Mongols killed giant %'s of populations. If anything, the more modern weapons are accompanied by in general better ability to evacuate civilians and so on.

I wish that people who live in a country wouldn't identify so closely with ALL of its actions throughout history. I live in USA but I maintain separation between myself and the USA government and its people as a whole. Wish our Chinese friend could do the same.

As to his denial of colonization it's insane, he is very defensive too simply because I point out the obvious facts about China "owning" its neighborhood for WAY longer than Japan ever did. I understand that WWII is the most recent major episode of violence and it's in most people's today memories much more clearly than things from longer ago. But again. Ask Vietnam, Mongolia, Korea, Tibet, about whether China isn't a colonizer. Again, I'm not at all condoning genocide to anyone. But please calm down with your hyperdefensive posture. Critiquing the country of China for things it has done, especially in the distant past, shouldn't be construed as any kind of attack on an individual person who happens to live or even happens simply to have been born in China....

Also about the reference to the Jewish people: ok well I'm actually part Jewish myself? I think the nation of Israel is in the wrong in MANY ways. You can easily condemn government of Israel for what it's done, it doesn't at all rise to the level obviously of the Holocaust but still. And obviously Jews never dominated Germany or Europe so... not a good analogy obviously. Jews have barely had their own state at any time and are a numerically tiny group
#14539648
UnusuallyUsual wrote:Longer ago times, higher %'s of populations actually died in wars... for example the Mongols killed giant %'s of populations. If anything, the more modern weapons are accompanied by in general better ability to evacuate civilians and so on.


Do you have any statistics to back up your claims here?

Because from my perspective they are complete nonsense.

Also, the historical literature, which I am aware of, pretty much backs up that they are complete nonsense.

Yes the Mongolian empire under the Kahns did kill a lot of people.

That doesn't substantiate your point.

I could mention Julius Cesar's killings in the Gauls.

That still would not substantiate your point.

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