Anti-Korean racism on the rise in Japan, filmmaker says

UPI | 4/17/2019 | Staff
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NEW YORK, April 17 (UPI) -- Hate speech targeting ethnic Koreans is escalating in Japan as the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pushed back on issuing a formal apology to comfort women, a Korean-Japanese documentary producer said.

Maeui Park, a third-generation "Zainichi" Korean filmmaker, and her mother, Soonam Park, have chronicled the lives of Korean women raped at comfort stations in wartime Japan. Maeui Park told UPI on Tuesday the government is getting away with denying responsibility for the recruitment of teenage Korean girls into the military.

Government - Comfort - Women - Sex - Slaves

"The government is saying the comfort women were never sex slaves," she said. "Even the press, television networks and newspapers, all say the same thing. They're shifting the blame to Korea."

Park's assessment of the political climate in Japan is a sign of steadily deteriorating ties. In 1993, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono acknowledged the coercion of Korean women into military or state-run brothels. A change of policy, and a diminished sense of accountability in 2019, could be a sign Tokyo is doubling down on revisionist history.

Society - Wartime - Faults - Park - Public

"Right now in Japanese society they're glorifying the wartime past instead of admitting faults," Park said, adding the general public is becoming less aware of Japanese wrongdoing during World War II.

Japan's approach to Korean issues receives support from long-held prejudices against Koreans, or Japanese racism that promotes the idea Koreans are "racially inferior," Park said.

Park - United - States - Screening - Mother

Park is in the United States for the screening of her mother's documentary, Silence, a vivid film about comfort women activism in Japan that includes footage taken across three decades. On Tuesday the film was shown at the Borough of Manhattan Community College's Tribeca Performing Arts Center.

The film includes scores of interviews with comfort women who have since died. It is a collection of searing firsthand testimonies about the brutal conditions of daily...
(Excerpt) Read more at: UPI
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