At Japan Focus, historian Alexis Dudden noted Japanese media’s outrage on U.S. meddling in her introduction to Ken Silverstein’s article on how the Japan lobby blocked a U.S. congressional (non-binding, mind you!) resolution that demanded Japan acknowledge its responsibility on the comfort women.
Equating American wartime and military base brothels and Japanese sexual slavery is not, however, the main concern of the Yomiuri editorial. The paper goes on to castigate Tokyo’s Foreign Ministry for even allowing “the House committee to submit the resolution to the full House for debate. It must never repeat such a mistake.” Such hair-raising rhetoric is likely not to disappear and is arguably more revealing about changes to come in the parameters of Japanese political debate over ensuing months.
It’s deeply disingenous for the Japanese government to assert that the U.S. government shouldn’t get involved in discussions of WWII reparations/compensations. After all, it’s only a belated attempt on the part of a few American political leaders to take responsibility for sweeping a lot of “junk” under the rug during the 1951 Peace Treaty.
An earlier Boston Globe article quotes an official from the Japanese embassy.
“We have nothing to hide,” Hitoshi Noda, minister of congressional affairs for the Japanese Embassy, said recently at the mission. “But this is not good for relations. We do not want to make this a Korea-Japan conflict or a Japan-Congress conflict. Nothing could come out of this but bad feelings. We would like to deal with the issue internally.”
I guess what Noda means by “internally” is the Asian Women’s Fund which has been rejected by the majority of the survivors as an evasion of the state’s legal responsibility. This is what I hear from the Japanese government. “We feel bad for you, but it’s not really our fault.”