Sunday, April 8, 2007

A public betrayed--Who is actually betrayed? (2)

I noticed one thing after I post the first post.
Another strange thing one notices regarding the book, "a public betrayed" is that in the five case studies, only Shukan Shincho and Bunshun are criticized. Check it out for yourself.

Isn't it strange? From the first place, magazines like these are outside of Kisha Club, the very thing the book is criticizing. Secondly, two of the other four cases, Nanjing incident and comfort women are most heavily criticized by Shokun, Sapio, Seiron or these days by Will. Why did the authors pick only Shukan Shincho and Bunshun?

Takasaki Ryuji, a critique and sympathizer of Soka, is quoted in a book as follows.

My translation of the above:
These days the main "(Soka) Gakkai-bashing" magazine comes from Shincho, but in old days, it was those from Bungei Shunju. This is one of the reason why I fought and pursued "war responsibility" of Bunshun** in my research career; I wanted to "defend (Soka) Gakkai by fighting a war with Bunshun."
**Bunshun is abbreviation of Bungei Shunju

The whole picture is clear: these guys are using Nanjing and comfort women for the promotion of their religious master: Ikeda Daisaku, and not the other way around as they make it appear to be. In other words, now that Komei Party is a part of the Japanese government, it is this type of propaganda that we have to pay attention to: the book itself is a living proof of one of the sickest part of the Japanese media.

A public betrayed--Who actually is betrayed?

This is a response to Leslie in AMPONTAN blog.
I could not post the article, so I post it here.


I can understand that your have minimal capability of understanding the Japanese media. Most likely you are serious and sincere, I assume, unless you are a member of Soka gakkai. At least I can safely say that you had better check the background of what they say.

If you read the web site of the book, you will find that one part is very strange to a no-Soka Gakkai person like me. Why did they include the rape trial of Ikeda Daisaku in the five case studies that are suppose to represent the Japanese media? As to an outsiders of Soka Gakkai, Ikeda Daisaku is nobody. He looks fat and disgusting, he might have raped many women, but reports of those do not represent the way the Japanese media behaves. And I know how Soka Gakkai can be really sickening because the restaurant I used to visit was run by a Gakkai believer, and the newspapers (Seikyo Shinbun, sacred religion news paper) are full of nauseating slanders against their brother buddhist monk, Nikken. If you do not know Nikken, you should not be involved in Soka Gakkai.

Briefly, Adam Gamble (Arthur Gamble according to Financial Times) is a writer related to Soka Gakkai publisher in Boston. The FT article and the book are published by the same people, I guess, unless Arther Gamble and Adam Gamble are two different persons.

Watanabe Takesato is a professor at Doshisha University in Kyoto, and a sympathiser or perhaps could be a member of Soka Gakkai. At least he is actively involved in their propaganda as in this or that. The FT article is also posted on his web.

And the usual suspect Kimura Aiji of Akukan Tsushin has a trouble with this book. Kimura wrote:
上記の共著者、Takesato Watanabe(渡辺武達)は、同志社大学のメディア論の教授であるが、同時に、創価学会系雑誌の常連執筆者でもある。彼のメディア批判は、何のことは ない。池田大作の強姦事件を報道する週刊新潮などを、口を極めて罵倒するのが目的なのである。
My translation of the above:
One of the co-author, Watanabe Takesato is a professor majoring in mass media at Doshisha University, and at the same time, he is constantly contributing to magazines related to Soka Gakkai. His criticism of mass media is, in essence, badmouthing of magazines, including Shukan Shincho, which report the rape comitted by Ikeda Daisaku.
Of course Shukan Shincho fights back. This reports the death of the husband of the rape victim, and ordeal they suffered during their fight against Soka Gakkai.

The victims of Soka Gakkai have their say:

The critics of Soka Gakkai criticize the court was unjustly influenced by the cult, and discuss the international propaganda of Soka Gakki:

After you read all these, who do you believe? I feel Watanaben Takesato's behavior is highly suspicious. This is most likely religio-political propaganda by the Buddhist cult. And you are the one swallowing all of them without a doubt.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Why does Jan Ruff O'Herne have to be a comfort woman (2) --Dutch war tribunal in Semarang, Indonesia

This is the second post regarding BBC4 program published here and its audio here. The audio contains the voice of Jan Ruff O’Herne, the Dutch-Australian woman, probably a victim of Semarang incident.

O'Herne is not a typical comfort woman because her story can be backed up by records of Semarang Incident and BC class Dutch war tribunal in Batavia, Java.

A war crime of Japanese military men is recorded in Java, Indonesia: they forced some female Dutch internees into prostitution. In November 1943, Japan completed the internment of Dutch colonialists in Indonesia that had been ruled by the Dutch for three hundred years. The Indonesian and the Eurasian (mixed Dutch-Indonesians) were not subject to this internment. The 16th military division that supervised Java permitted the establishment of military brothels on the condition that women should not be coerced and they should sign a consent form. Which probably were not obeyed by some military officials. In February 1944, Dutch women were rounded up and put into brothels, which were closed two months later (three months according to O'Herne and Ploeg) by the order of the headquarter of 16th military division. (Hata ibid pp216-221) In 1947 Dutch military tribunal sentenced Major Okada Yoshiharu to death, 6 military officers to 2 to 15 years in prison, and 4 civilians who operated the brothels to 7 to 20 years. One civilian governor Mitsuhashi Hiroshi was acquitted. Colonel Ikeda Shozo, who was sentenced to 15 years, became insane, and Colonel Okubo killed himself (Hata ibid p219). This Batavia tribunal ruling states that 25 out of 35 were forced prostitutes. 1994 Dutch report describes at least 65 out of 200~300 were victims of forced prostitution (Hata ibid p218).

If O'Herne's story is correct, she is most likely a victim of Semarang incident. There are two women publicly known to be such victims from the former Dutch colony: one is O'Herne, the other is Elly Corry van der Ploeg, both of whom were participants of VAWW-net organized Women's Tribunal 2000 , a kangaroo trial that convicted already deceased Emperor Hirohito. O'Herne made her experience public in 1992 (Hata ibid, p217). Since the stories of both corroborate well with the record of Batavia tribunal, and manuscripts of Major Okada who claimed that the women in "officer's club" were now lying and testifying against him (Hata ibid, p220), it is safe to say their stories are based on real facts.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Why does Jan Ruff O'Herne have to be a comfort woman (1)--BBC4 woman's hour

BBC4 published a comfort woman story in their woman's hour.
You can listen to the audio. The audio contains the voice of Jan Ruff O’Herne, the Dutch-Australian woman, probably a victim of Semarang incident. The program has four parts:

  1. Jan Ruff O'Herne's real voice. She is demanding that if you break a window, you pay for it.
  2. Matsui Hideko, an anthoropologist, a Japanese female commentator.
  3. Jeff Kingson, Director of Asian Studies, at the Temple University in Tokyo
  4. Taniguchi Tomohiko, Deputy Press Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Japan
  • I really do not know this Matsui Hideko. Anybody care to tell me who she is?
  • Jeff Kingston is a typical "corpse-maximizer," as you can see in this or that. It is amazing that this much of knowledge can guarantee a position in Asian studies. I might write about him someday.
  • Taniguchi Tomohiko is keeping the official line and accepting 1993 Kono statement. In my opinion, he is doing a good job here at BBC, but he fails to mention that Germany has no bilateral treaties with any country to settle the war. On the contrary Japan settled all war-related claims. Otherwise, listeners can not understand why Japan does not pay reparations to the already settled war.

My problem here is why Jan Ruff O'Herne had to be included here. Yes, her story sounds vivid, real and tragic, of course, but is that the only reason? A typical summary of "sex slaves" goes like this as in this BBC program.

Comfort Women - Sexual Slavery in WWII? 28 March 2007

Japan's ongoing row with its neighbours over its wartime use of sex slaves deepened earlier this month. It is estimated that as many as 200,000 women, mainly from China and South Korea, were made to work in about 2,000 "comfort stations" - a euphemism for brothels - across Asia from the early 1930s until Japan's defeat in 1945. Less than three weeks ago the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, appeared to distance his government from Japan’s 1993 unofficial apology to these women.
A typical explanation of comfort women is that they are euphemism of "sex slaves," "as many as 200,000 women," mainly from "Korea," who were abducted and forced to work in wartime brothels for Imperial Japanese Army (this article adds Chinese, which is a interesting development to me). But there is a problem here: O'Herne is not Korean. Why she was included here when she is not a typical figure of "sex slaves"?