The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 04 January 2016

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 11, 2016

The Rendon Group

(04JAN16)

Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

Japan and South Korea Talks On WWII Sexual Slavery

 

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (left) and his South Korean counterpart, Yun Byung-se, shake hands for photographers during their meeting in Seoul on Monday over the ‘comfort women’ issue. (Daily Beast)

This week’s snapshot focuses on the 28DEC agreement between Japan and the Republic of Korea regarding Japan’s use of sexual slavery on the peninsula during World War II.  While many hailed the agreement as a diplomatic achievement, others have criticized the agreement, saying it does not go far enough.

News summary of events during the week of 21SEP 15 – 28SEP15

  • 28DEC: The foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan met to try to resolve a decades-long impasse over Korean women forced into Japanese military-run brothels during World War II. (AP)
  • 28DEC: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized for Korean women falling victim to Japan’s sex slavery during World War II and promised an $8.3 million payment that would provide care for the women which, unlike a previous fund, will come directly from the Japanese government. (NYT)
  • 28DEC: China said it hopes South Korea-Japan ties will improve after Seoul and Tokyo reached a landmark deal on the issue. (Yonhap)
  • 28DEC: South Korea’s ruling and opposition parties showed mixed responses to the outcome of the talks. (Yonhap)
  • 29DEC: 200 Japanese nationalists lashed out at the agreement, with some calling on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to kill himself in shame. (AFP)
  • 29DEC: Japanese first lady Akie Abe said she again visited the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo, posting photos of the site on the same day of the landmark agreement. (AFP)
  • 29DEC: Taiwan called on Japan to apologize and compensate the island’s wartime sex slaves after Tokyo and Seoul reached an agreement on the emotive issue. (AFP)
  • 30DEC: Japanese press alleged that South Korea agreed to remove a statue symbolizing wartime sexual slavery in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul in exchange for Tokyo providing brothel victims with 1-billion-yen (8.3-million-dollar), a claim refuted by South Korean sources. (WP)
  • 30DEC: Chinese state media slammed the long-awaited landmark apology for its use of Korean sex slaves during World War II, saying it was too little too late. (AFP)
  • 31DEC: Ten South Korean women who say they were used as sex slaves relaunched their lawsuit for damages. (DPA)
  • 31DEC: Cheong Wa Dae, from South Korea’s presidential office, refuted rumors surrounding the deal including from the South Korean opposition bloc. (Yonhap)

Sample of Twitter handles tweeting about the Japan and South Korea talks on WWII sexual slavery

  • @W7VOA – Steve Herman,  SE Asia bureau chief @VOANews.
  • @pearswick – James Pearson, Reuters correspondent covering North and South Korea.
  • @HirokoTabuchi – Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times reporter.
  • @annafifield – Anna Fifield, Tokyo bureau chief for the @WashingtonPost, focusing on Japan and the Koreas.
  • @AlastairGale  – Alastair Gale, WSJ Korea bureau chief.

Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the Japan and South Korea talks on WWII sexual slavery

S.J. Friedman, author of Silenced No More: Voices of Comfort Women

“While there are those who argue that this is a breakthrough for the comfort women movement, the longest running activist movement on sex slavery in modern history, this agreement only deals with one country — the reconciliation between Japan and South Korea. It doesn’t begin to address the fact that other nations continue to hold a similar grudge against the Japanese government.”

–          ‘Why ‘comfort women’ deal doesn’t shut book on Japan’s wartime sex slavery,’ CNN, 30DEC15

Margaret D. Stetz, writer, professor of women’s studies at the University of Delaware and co-editor of Legacies of the Comfort Women of World War II

“These were not only war crimes, but crimes of child sex trafficking. Until they are represented as such in textbooks in Japan — and in news articles in the West — there is no true justice for these victims.”

–          “Girls in Japan’s War Brothels” NYT, 01JAN16

Yukari Easton, Public Diplomacy graduate student at University of Southern California and recipient of the 2014-2015 ACE-Nikaido Fellowship, awarded by the East Asian Studies Center at University of Southern California

“In the larger scheme of things, the agreement is a win for both countries, and a personal diplomatic triumph for both Abe and Park.  The comfort women issue tainted relations so severely that summit talks between the two leaders have not taken place since 2012. Sharing so much, the countries simply needed to move on.  If the two countries can truly return to business as usual, the deal will confer important future security and economic benefits to both nations.”

–           ‘The Comfort Women Agreement: A Win for Traditional Diplomacy,’ The Diplomat, 31DEC15

Carol Ruff, co-producer of the documentary film “50 Years of Silence”

“My mother was shocked and insulted in 2007 when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that enforced sexual slavery never happened and that the women were all volunteers…She is pleased that even the Abe government has acknowledged that the Japanese military was involved in creating the ‘comfort women’ system and that the current government is aware of responsibilities.”

–          “‘Comfort Women’ Have Waited a Long Time for an Apology”, TIME, 29DEC15

John Delury, an international-relations expert at Yonsei University in Seoul.

“It’s remarkable how quickly a ‘final and irreversible’ agreement seems to be crumbling from both ends,”

–          Cracks appear in Japan-South Korea deal on wartime sex slaves, WaPo, 31DEC15

Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the Japan and South Korea talks on WWII sexual slavery

1.  South Korea, Japan hold talks on wartime Korean sex slaves

Media: Associated Press

Byline: N/A

Date: 28 December 2015

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan met Monday to try to resolve a decades-long impasse over Korean women forced into Japanese military-run brothels during World War II.

The issue of former Korean sex slaves, euphemistically known as “comfort women,” is the biggest source of friction in ties between Seoul and Tokyo, two thriving democracies, trade partners and staunch U.S. allies who have seen animosity rise since the 2012 inauguration of hawkish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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2. Presidential office refutes rumors on Seoul-Tokyo agreement

Media: Yonhap (South Korea)

Byline: N/A

Date: 31 December 2015

SEOUL, Dec. 31 (Yonhap) — Cheong Wa Dae, South Korea’s presidential office, on Thursday refuted rumors surrounding a deal with Japan on the issue of Korean women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers during World War II.

“Reports based on false facts and groundless rumors that only confuse society only leave another scar on the issue of wartime sex slavery,” presidential spokesman Kim Sung-woo told reporters.

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3. China hopes S. Korea, Japan to improve ties after deal on wartime sex slaves

Media: Yonhap (South Korea)

Byline: N/A

Date: 28 December 2015

BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Yonhap) — China said Monday it hopes South Korea-Japan ties will improve after Seoul and Tokyo reached a landmark deal on the issue of Korean women forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese army during World War II.

China’s foreign ministry Lu Kang made the remarks during a regular press briefing shortly after top diplomats of South Korea and Japan held talks in Seoul earlier in the day, during which Tokyo agreed to fulfill its responsibilities over the issue.

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4. Japan nationalists protest landmark sex slave deal with SKorea

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 29 December 2015

Tokyo, Dec 29, 2015 (AFP) – Some 200 Japanese nationalists lashed out Tuesday at an agreement to settle a dispute with South Korea about wartime sex slaves, with some calling on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to kill himself in shame.

Japan Monday offered a “heartfelt apology” and a one-billion yen ($8.3 million) payment to surviving South Korean “comfort women” forced into Japanese military brothels during World War II.

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5. Rival parties split over S.Korea-Japan deal on wartime sex slaves

Media: Yonhap (South Korea)

Byline: N/A

Date: 28 December 2015

SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s ruling and opposition parties showed mixed responses Monday to the outcome of talks between the top diplomats of Seoul and Tokyo on the issue of Korean women forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese army during World War II.

Evaluating the deal as significant progress, the ruling Saenuri Party called for the Japanese government’s diligent and specific course of action to fulfill the agreement.

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