Sex Slavery/Comfort Woman Issue May Be Reopened Between Japan & South Korea

Photo: Japan was highly offended when a “Comfort Woman” was introduced to President Donald Trump at the South Korean State Banquet held for Trump in November, 2017. The appearance of “Comfort Woman” Lee Yong Soo prompted Japan to file a diplomatic protest against South Korea.

Comfort Woman Invited to Trump’s State Dinner in S. Korea Causes Japanese Outrage

South Korean ruling party chief calls for new agreement on Japan’s wartime sexual slavery

SEOUL, Dec. 29 (Yonhap) — The leader of the ruling Democratic Party on Friday called for a new agreement to settle the long-simmering dispute over Japan’s wartime sexual slavery in a way acceptable to the victims.

Choo Mi-ae made the remarks a day after President Moon Jae-in criticized the 2015 deal between Seoul and Tokyo as seriously flawed, as the negotiations failed to reflect the opinions of the victims and the citizens.

“We need a new agreement that can be accepted by the victims,” Choo said during a meeting with senior party officials. “An agreement that aims to cover up the truth rather than uncovering it cannot be an (acceptable) agreement.”
Choo Mi-ae, the leader of the ruling Democratic Party, speaks during a meeting with senior party officials at the National Assembly in Seoul on Dec. 29, 2017. (Yonhap)

Choo Mi-ae, the leader of the ruling Democratic Party, speaks during a meeting with senior party officials at the National Assembly in Seoul on Dec. 29, 2017. (Yonhap)

She then urged Japan not to respond “emotionally” to the recent review of the deal by the foreign ministry’s task force, which concluded parts of the deal were kept secret to apparently avoid criticism of Seoul’s concessions to Tokyo.

“Japan should refrain from emotionally responding and reflect on how it can resolve the issue in a way that serves its national interests,” she said. “I urge Japan to act in a way that befits Japan’s national prestige.”

Tensions flared anew between the two neighbors after Seoul re-examined the bilateral deal reached under the former Park Geun-hye administration to settle the issue involving Korean women who were forced by Japan to serve at front-line military brothels during World War II.

Moon, who took office in May, has said that the agreement is “emotionally” unacceptable to Korean citizens.

Under the deal announced on Dec. 28, 2015, they agreed to “finally and irreversibly” resolve the sex slavery issue, while Tokyo apologized for its colonial-era atrocities and agreed to contribute 1 billion yen (US$8.9 million) to a foundation dedicated to supporting the victims.

The deal, however, prompted strong criticism from victims and civic groups who claim that Japan’s apology was not sincere enough and that the government did not consult with them. Some call for renegotiating or even scrapping the deal.

Radio signals suggest N. Korea possibly preparing for missile launch


The Japanese government has been on alert after catching radio signals suggesting North Korea might be preparing for a ballistic missile launch, government sources said Monday, November 27, 2017.

“North Korea might launch a missile within the next few days,” one of the sources said.

But as satellite images have not shown a missile or a movable launch pad, the signals may only be related to winter training for the North Korean military, the sources said.

The reclusive state has been relatively quiet recently, not conducting a nuclear or missile test since Sept. 15 when it launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile over northern Japan into the Pacific Ocean.

Analysts say, however, the North may resort to more military provocations after U.S. President Donald Trump put Pyongyang back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism on Nov. 20.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned in a statement on Sept. 21 that he could take the “highest-level” of retaliatory action against the United States after Trump threatened to “totally destroy” the country if it moves against the United States or its allies, in a speech at the United Nations earlier that month.

Resolution on Human Rights in the DPRK, co-tabled by Japan & European Union (EU)

Adoption of the Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) at the Third Committee of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly
(Statement by Foreign Minister Taro Kono of japan)

  1. 1. Japan welcomes the fact that on November 15, 2017 (November 14 local time), at the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly currently being held in New York, the Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in the DPRK, co-tabled by Japan and the European Union (EU), was adopted by consensus (The resolution has been adopted for 13 consecutive years).

    2. Based on last year’s United Nations General Assembly resolution reflecting the final report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK presented in February 2014 (PDF), the resolution this year condemns the North Korea’s systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations, and urges the North Korea to urgently take measures to end all human rights violations. In addition, the resolution underscores very serious concerns regarding reports of torture, summary executions, arbitrary detention, abductions and other forms of human rights violations and abuses that North Korea commits against citizens from other countries within and outside of its territory. The resolution also condemns North Korea for diverting its resources into pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles over the welfare of its people. Furthermore, the resolution encourages the United Nations Security Council to take appropriate actions, including through consideration of referral of the situation in the DPRK to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and consideration of the further development of sanctions.

    3. The consensus adoption of the resolution demonstrates the international community’s grave concerns about human rights violations in North Korea, including the abductions issue. Japan continues to strongly urge North Korea to sincerely accept the views of the international community expressed in this resolution and take concrete action towards improving the situation of human rights including the early resolution of the abductions issue and cooperation with the international community.

Comfort Woman Invited to Trump’s State Dinner in S. Korea Causes Japanese Outrage

Today, multiple Japanese news outlets are reporting that South Korea’s invitation of “a former ‘comfort woman,’ who has spoken widely of her suffering from being forced into sex slavery by the Japanese during World War II, to a state banquet it hosted for U.S. President Donald Trump,” has prompted Japan to lodge a diplomatic protest to South Korea.

A “comfort woman” is defined as any woman forced into sex slavery to provide “comfort” at designated “comfort stations” to Japanese soldiers during World War II.

While the extent of the harm done by this practice is continually being revised to this day, most sources quote the number of women affected by this practice to be approximately 200,000, estimating that Korean women were the most victimized, followed by Chinese women, and then Japanese women, although other women living in Asian countries under Japanese control were victimized as well.

In 2015, Japan and South Korea reached a diplomatic agreement that Japan would apologize and provide reparations to South Korea totaling one billion dollars. As part of this agreement, South Korea would in turn discontinue criticism of Japan in the international community and would agree to the removal of a prominent statue.

The Kyodo Times reports, “The attendance of the 88-year-old Korean woman, Lee Yong Soo, at the banquet, which was later confirmed, may complicate South Korea’s ties with Japan and their joint efforts with the United States to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.”

Pen Pineapple Apple Pen Star to Regale Trump During Visit to Japan

The Japan Times reports President Donald Trump will be entertained during his official visit next week by PPAP singer Pikotaro during a dinner party hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Pikotaro is close to the heart of President Trump, as his granddaughter Arabella was featured performing her version of the hit song “Pen-Pineapple- Apple-Pen” in a video shared by her mother Ivanka Trump last year.

Arabella’s official version of PPAP:

In April of 2017 the Japan Embassy in DC shared this special version of the song celebrating Japan and America as best friends.

President Donald J. Trump’s Upcoming Travel to Asia: Statement from the Press Secretary

President Donald Trump delivers the Address to Congress on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at the U.S. Capitol. This is the President’s first Address to Congress of his presidency. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

Statement from the Press Secretary on President Donald J. Trump’s Upcoming Travel to Asia

As was announced on September 29, 2017, President Donald J. Trump will travel to Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Hawaii, from November 3-14, 2017. This update provides further details about the President’s itinerary.

The President’s travel will underscore his commitment to longstanding United States alliances and partnerships, and reaffirm United States leadership in promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

On November 3, the President will visit Hawaii and receive a briefing from the U.S. Pacific Command. He will visit Pearl Harbor and the USS ARIZONA Memorial.

The President will commence his visit to Asia beginning with Japan on November 5. While in Japan, President Trump will meet with American and Japanese service members, and participate in bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will also host the President for a meeting with the families of Japanese citizens abducted by the North Korean regime.

During his visit to the Republic of Korea on November 7, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with President Moon Jae-in and visit American and South Korean service members. The President will speak at the National Assembly, where he will celebrate the enduring alliance and friendship between the United States and the Republic of Korea, and call on the international community to join together in maximizing pressure on North Korea.

On November 8, President Trump will arrive in Beijing, China for a series of bilateral, commercial, and cultural events, including meetings with President Xi Jinping.

The President will travel to Danang, Vietnam, on November 10. There, he will participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting and deliver a speech at the APEC CEO Summit. In the speech, the President will present the United States’ vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region and underscore the important role the region plays in advancing America’s economic prosperity. On November 11, the President will travel to Hanoi, Vietnam for an official visit and bilateral engagements with President Tran Dai Quang and other senior Vietnamese leaders.

President Trump will arrive in Manila, Philippines, on November 12 to participate in the Special Gala Celebration Dinner for the 50th Anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). On November 13, the President will celebrate the 40th anniversary of U.S.-ASEAN relations at the U.S.-ASEAN Summit and participate in bilateral meetings with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and other leaders.