Abe protege urges 'objective' look at sex slave apology, draws flak
The Japan Times
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hakubun Shimomura's Wednesday remark that it is necessary to review the "historical facts" that led to a 1993 official apology for the sufferings of Japan's wartime sex slaves, or "comfort women," was quickly played down Thursday by the government.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki gave his assurance Thursday that Japan will uphold the 1993 apology issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono.
"I have been told (that Shimomura) spoke in a private capacity. The government's position in honoring the 1993 Kono statement remains unchanged," Shiozaki, the top government spokesman, told reporters.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a Lower House Budget Committee session earlier this month that he accepts the Kono statement.
When Abe was asked Thursday if Shimomura's remarks contradicted his, the prime minister replied, "I believe he made the remarks in his capacity as an individual Diet member. I see absolutely no problem at all."
In the 1993 statement, Kono officially acknowledged that the Imperial Japanese Army forced women in Asia into sexual servitude.
Shimomura said in a speech in Tokyo that the Kono statement should be reconsidered "by studying more about the facts after collecting objective and scientific knowledge."
Yes, Shimomura did backtrack somewhat by saying that the present government is unlikely to reverse the 1993 declaration. Still, why does he have to tangle himself up in these matters? Does he not know he is in the government now, serving at the whim of the Prime Minister? What the hell does he think he is saying when he calls for "science-based knowledge" (kagakuteki na chishiki) of the comfort women issue?
Acually, the entire sentence is a doozy and deserves a gander:
Soooo...according to Mr. Shimomura, there has not been enough coordinated study of the comfort women issue in terms of its factual basis.
Well, not denying that the program had ever existed might have gotten ball rolling a little earlier...but, you know, it has only been a few decades since scholars began looking at the historical records of these events.
And this coordinated study (kenkyu shiau) requirement...who exactly needs to be coordinating his or her study with whom?
And what is the meaning of that naked "kekka" hanging out there, showing its shortcomings to all of creation?
"Should we not take the time, and, with objectivity, collect more of the science-based knowledge?"
Yeah verily, we mere politicians and citizens, we cannot judge. Our job is to collate. Judgment must be left to future scholars of history, the same ones whom the Prime Minister is hoping will someday deliver a judgment on the invasion of North China (Oh ye objective historians of the future as yet unborn, we long for your guidance!)
Shimomura's appointment was a concession to the Neanderthal wing of the conservative movement (pace the title of this post). The knuckledraggers are the PM's natural supporters. Shimomura throws them red meat on the issues they care about: male imperial succession, the "masochistic Marxism" of the modern curriculum, the 1947 Constitution...
Nevertheless, Shimomura is in the Kantei now, a satellite in orbit about the PM. He needs to be thinking about controlling his mouth. If he does not, the PM, of his own volition or at the request of Nakagawa Hidanao, will have to dump him.
No one is going to mess up the PM's relations with the Chinese and the South Koreans except the PM himself.