Saturday, December 18, 2004

Sex Slaves

Former Chinese sex slaves forced to work in Japanese military brothels react angrily to a Tokyo court ruling denying them compensation, says this BBC caption

"Most of the victims were very young and most were in a perpetual state of exhaustion, pain, malnutrition, depression and deteriorating health"

Back in 2001, Emperor Hirohito and his wartime governent were found guilty of "forcing women into sexual slavery during World War II." by a mock war crimes tribunal in the Hague. "The tribunal described the wartime system, whereby an estimated 200,000 women from across Asia were forced to work in Japanese military brothels, as "state-sanctioned rape and enslavement."

I am not anti-Japanese. However were these wartime victims European, or Jewish, the compensation would have been paid years ago. It is to Japan's shame that they remain in such parsimonious denial - especially considering the contemporary wealth and health that nation enjoys.

The sexual relationship between these two countries remains turbulent and complex. In 2003, 400 Japanese tourists and 500 prostitutes enjoyed a 3 day mass orgy, and this was made public much to the embarassment of both the Chinese and the Japanese.

What we are dealing with here is more than a simple equation of supply and demand. As with all relationships, we are dealing with power, including economic, and these two neighbours are destined to be the future central power axis of the world. It's in all our interests that they deal well with their historic grievances as well as the continuation of snobbery and arrogance, inferiority and superiority complexes that plague them. Or I fear, Japan will ultimately pay a far higher price, as China's 1 billion population ultimately engulfs Japan puny 120 million.

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