Monthly Archives: August 2014

Asahi Newspapers Reported Falsehoods

Some Would Call This Lying

In 1982, Asahi Newspapers published an article based on the ‘testimony’ of one Seiji Yoshida who claimed that Korean women were forcibly removed to be made into comfort women. Seiji Yoshida wrote a book that claimed to be a confession of these acts during World War II. Since then the notion of ‘Comfort Women’ and sex slavery has flowered and people have been demanding apologies from the government of Japan. Asahi Newspapers in the mean time have cited Yoshida’s testimony 16times to bolster the case that such forcible removals by the Japanese government and its agencies took place.

This naturally led to the South Korean government demanding more apologies and in the intervening years has contributed to a great deal of animosity between the two countries. As a result of this diplomatic fracas, the government of Japan ran an extensive investigation to find out just what happened. They interviewed a number of women who claimed to have been forcibly removed by Japanese military and police personnel – and so in the mid 1990s, Yohei Kohno issued a statement basically regretting these forcible removals. The “Kohno Statement” as it is known basically forms an acknowledgement that forcible removals took place, and expresses the usual ‘deep regret’.

Even to this day, the Anti-Japanese rhetoric coming out of Seoul is based on this material. The picture that is emerging this week in Japan is that all this talk about “Japan must have proper awareness of its own history”,  and “reparations must be made for Comfort Women” has been based on the Asahi Newspaper making these statements as incontrovertible fact. Never mind that nobody else has ever come forwards to admit they were part of such activities, or that there was ay documented evidence of such things taking place. The entire case for Seoul rests on the Asahi claims, which in turn rests on the ‘Yoshida ‘Testimony’. Any suggestions to reappraise the content and context of the “Kohno Statement” have been attacked as historic revisionism by the South Korean government and media.

The problem is, the Yoshida Testimony has been comprehensively debunked. Nobody can corroborate the Yoshida Testimony because it never took place. Investigations have been made into the women who fronted up for the interviews which formed the basis of the “Kohno Statement”, and it turns out their stories don’t line up with any of the movements of Japanese units and police during the times these things have been alleged to have taken place. None of it lines up. It was all a fabrication.

As  a result the Asahi Newspaper has issued an editorial retracting the publication of the article 32years ago. The editorial claims it was filled with factually incorrect material. An unkind person might call them lies. Asahi Newspaper has not apologised for sticking to their guns through the years, even when they probably realised some things were untenable in the ‘Yoshida Testimony’ wrong as far back as 1992.

They Sack You For Forging Evidence

In most countries there’s  heavy penalty for forging evidence. For instance in Australia, the faked email ended Malcolm Turnbull’s chances of ever becoming Prime Minister. It destroyed Godwin Grech’s career at treasury. A similar thing happened in Japan .In Japan, a forged email destroyed the career of Hisayasu Nagata who ran with exactly the same sort of fake email as evidence as the Utegate scandal, and it brought down the listed company Live Door. The point is, these kinds of forging evidence gets you smashed in public life. Right now, Asahi Newspaper has been found to have done exactly that – run on unverified forged evidence – for 32 years and has been found out and is trying to get out of it by simply ‘retracting’ the article of 32 years ago.

There’s simply too much time and history that has come out of this fraud. The entire country of South Korea has been banging on about ‘Comfort Women’ fir 32 years based on the very same information, trusting in the institution of Asahi Newspaper. The Government of Japan admitted to guilt it need not have admitted to because it never happened, just to maintain friendly relations.  Asahi Newspaper’s ongoing insistence that the ‘Yoshida Testimony’ was factually correct has done untold damage to the reputation of Japan and all Japanese people around the world.

There are people running around accusing Japan of having systematically committed sexual slavery during World War II, and are alleging Japan is refusing to apologise for it. There are organisations in America building monuments to the kidnapped juvenile Korean girls pressed into prostitution that Seiji Yoshida imagined, claimed to have kidnapped, but never existed.  I can’t talk to a Korean without eventually getting into arguments about what is “a proper recognition of historic facts”. And let’s be honest, these are vile-beyond-the-vilest of accusations. You’d hope that there would be a shred of evidence – but there isn’t – and Asahi Newspapers has spent the last 32 years championing this load of bollocks as  God’s own truth. It’s one thing for South Koreans to want to believe this about Japan (it’s easy to imagine the worst of people if you don’t like them). What kind of outfit tries to pin this vile bullshit on their own people?

Just what kind of people work at Asahi Newspapers if they’re willing to propagate this stuff for 32years, retract it, then try to carry on like nothing’s happened?

In short, Asahi Newspapers can’t expect to get out of this with a slap on the wrist. They’re answerable for all of the misunderstanding between the governments in Tokyo and Seoul. The Diet should subpoena the editors and board members at Asahi, past and present to get an explanation. I hope they’re forced to close and they all lose their jobs. Really, I do. If it happens next week it won’t be soon enough.

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