University Professor Fired for Making Comments Critical of the Comfort Women Narrative

This guy should have known better than to make these type of comments in South Korea:

Sunchon National University

Sunchon National University has dismissed one of its professors for making derogatory comments about Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese military during World War II.

Six out of seven members of the university’s disciplinary committee in the city of Sunchon, South Jeolla Province, chose the severest level of punishment for the professor, whose name is withheld, on Wednesday. He was charged with failing to fulfill his duty faithfully and failing to preserve his vocational dignity.

University President Park Jin-sung apologized for “those hurt by the blasphemous comments made by our school professor, especially the women who had gone through the ordeal in Japan.”

He said the school suspended the professor after the incident was reported in April and formed a task force to investigate the matter.

The professor, 56, from the university’s teachers’ college, made the comments during a lecture. He said many of the women, also known as “comfort women,” “probably knew that they were going to sexually serve the Japanese soldiers and thus voluntarily left for Japan. He also said all the women were “crazy about Japan and would not have gone there if it weren’t for their (sexual) passion.”   [Korea Times]

You can read the rest at the link, but he is not the first academic fired for making comments against the comfort women dogma. Professor Park Yu-ha at Sejong University was arrested for defamation for writing a book that takes a balanced look at the comfort women issue.  She was fortunately found innocent.

The Korean public likes to think that all the comfort women were girls sleeping in bed and kidnapped by evil Japanese soldiers while the Japanese rightists like to think they were all willing prostitutes.  Both historical narratives are untrue if one really looks at the history.

What Professor Park wrote about is the same historical narrative that American Sarah Soh wrote about in her book “The Comfort Women: Sexual Violence and Postcolonial Memory in Korea and Japan“.  In the book Soh provides documented evidence that most of the Korean women put into the comfort women system were sold by Korean brokers.  The actual kidnapping of Korean women by Japanese soldiers would be a very rare occurrence when the broker system made so many of these women readily available.  This does not absolve the Imperial Japanese from responsibility since they ran the comfort woman system that provided the demand for the Korean brokers to meet.  To make even worse is that many of these girls were teenagers when sold into prostitution.  I see no way that a young teenager should be considered a willing prostitute.  Especially when many girls were sold by their families into prostitution for money due to the extreme poverty.  This was actually a practice that was going on well into the US military era in South Korea.

It is pretty clear that the comfort women issue is not black and white, but has more nuance to it then each side is willing to admit.  Ultimately the Imperial Japanese government was responsible for the actions of the Korean brokers that supplied the majority of the Korean girls.  The Imperial Japanese had to have known how young the girls were and the unethical and deceptive actions the Korean brokers were taking to make them available to the Japanese military.  There is no need to rewrite the history of what happened to the comfort women when the truth is bad enough.

Picture of the Day: Mt. Seorak Trail Now Requires Reservations

Mount Seorak trail

Hikers take in a view from Mangyeongdae Pavilion on a trail of Mount Seorak in eastern Gangwon Province on Oct. 1, 2017. The national park service has started to restrict the number of visitors on the trail to a maximum 2,000 on weekdays and to 5,000 on weekends and holidays for those who have made reservations. It will stay open to Nov. 14.  [Yonhap]

Picture of the Day: The Comfort Women Bus

Comfort women statues in front of Japanese Embassy

Statues symbolizing comfort women are being moved from a bus to their temporary location in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Oct. 2, 2017, prior to their transportation to regional towns to signify their homecoming for the Chuseok holiday. Donga, a bus company, has been operating five buses since mid-August that carry the statues symbolizing Korean women who were sexually enslaved by Japanese soldiers during World War II. The statues will be taken to different towns, including Suwon, Daejeon and Jeonju, on the occasion of World Comfort Women’s Day. (Yonhap)

Thousands of Aborted Baby Pills Seized By Korean Authorities

I don’t know who is worse, the people making pills from aborted babies or those willing to purchase them?:

Pills made from baby flesh / Yonhap

More than 8,500 pills made from baby flesh have been found over the past three years, a main opposition party lawmaker said Tuesday.

The pills, allegedly made from the flesh of aborted or stillborn babies, were mostly smuggled from China in the false belief they are good for health.

According to data obtained by Rep. Park Myung-jae of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, 8,511 capsules were found from 2014 to June this year.

In 2014, 6,694 pills were found, 251 in 2015 and 476 last year.

Rep. Park said most of the pills were smuggled by international mail.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Picture of the Day: South Korea’s World Comfort Women Day

Comfort women statues in front of Japanese Embassy

Statues symbolizing comfort women are temporarily set up in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Oct. 2, 2017, prior to their transportation to regional towns to signify their homecoming for the Chuseok holiday. Donga, a bus company, has been operating five buses since mid-August that carry the statues symbolizing Korean women who were sexually enslaved by Japanese soldiers during World War II. The statues will be taken to different towns, including Suwon, Daejeon and Jeonju, on the occasion of World Comfort Women’s Day. (Yonhap)

South Korea Has Its Own Comfort Women Problem with Vietnam

Maybe Mike Honda can put a Vietnamese comfort women statue next to the Korean one that was put up in San Francisco:

But for a significant number of children fathered as a result of rape by South Korean soldiers, it was the start of a living hell.

Mr Nhat recalled: “Before April 1975, I had been treated well by the South Korean troops who lived on the base near my home in Phu Yen Province, central Vietnam. I was still too young to have any real sense of my identity and hadn’t yet questioned my mother about why I looked different to other Vietnamese children.

“But when the Communists declared victory, everything changed for me. Suddenly, I knew I was dangerously different.”

A period of painful bullying ensued in school. Mr Nhat said: “I was bullied repeatedly. The other children kept asking who my father was and called him a ‘dog’. I just kept suffering in silence.

“I was 18 when my mother finally sat me down and told me she had been raped by Korean soldiers – not once but three times. My two sisters are also mixed blood or Lai Dai Han as we are known in Vietnam.”  (…..)

South Korean troops were not alone in their exploitation of civilian women but their country has never acknowledged the allegations or taken steps to investigate.  (…..)

Mrs Ngai felt confused in the fog of war but now she is very clear about what she wants now. “I think the South Korean government should apologise for everything they did to women in Vietnam. [The Independent]

You can read more at the link.