two and half of my lifetimes ago, japan didn’t play well with her neighbors, especially korea and china. she’s still having a hard time owning up to her bullying and such. that japan hasn’t gotten around to fully apologizing for its wrongdoings — or even recognizing them as such — isn’t a surprise; it’s become the awkward part of the dance that is korea-japan relations.
so last night when i saw on the korean news ticker that the mayor of osaka said that the “conscription of comfort women” or really, the trafficking of women for the purposes of sexual exploitation, was necessary for discipline, i first thought, “another item added to the laundry list of ‘stupid things people say’”. then i read the new york times article on the mayor’s statements.
there’s plenty of anger towards the denial of the truth, and this gives me hope in the future:
“The comfort women system was not necessary,” said Banri Kaieda, president of the opposition Democratic Party. That Japan was the clear aggressor in war “is a fact we must face up to,” he said.
the latter part of the article is what really stupefied and enraged me, so much so that i reacted in korean — “어머, 말도 안돼”:
Mr. Hashimoto also said Monday that he had told a senior American military official at the Marine Corps base in Okinawa that United States soldiers should make more use of the local adult entertainment industry to reduce sexual crimes against local women.
“We can’t control the sexual energy of these brave marines,” Mr. Hashimoto said he had told the American officer, whom he did not identify, on a recent visit there. “They must make more use of adult entertainers.”
is this man for real?
firstly, if i were a male marine, nay, even just male, i’d be insulted.
a man who applies himself to discipline in order to be marked as one of “the few, the proud”, would be miffed at the notion that he can’t exercise self-control over his libido — am i just speaking for myself and projecting?
am i the only one who would expect any man, but especially one who joined what arguably would be the most storied, elite branch of the american military, the one that claims a monopoly on honor, has the character and integrity to conduct himself in a befitting manner?
how would i reconcile being called “brave” and associated with the branch of the armed forces that markets themselves by saying they “don’t accept applications, only commitments”, only to be considered by the mayor to be nothing more than a brute with a guns, a walking blob of id trained in combat?
no thanks, mr. mayor.
secondly, the notion of proffering commercial sexual exploitation to reduce sexual crime? ridiculous, so much so that my head is nearly spinning.
let’s just suppose that the local adult industry is regulated as it might be in, say, amsterdam, or las vegas. the industry in those cities aren’t immune to trafficking — in fact, the industry in these places are fueled by and fuel trafficking.
and, do these cities enjoy a reduction in sexual crime? because this a rant, a very extemporaneous one, i haven’t done any preliminary research, but i’d bet that at least the reported rate in sexual crime remains static. the rates might be higher if one estimates the unreported incidences. and i’m asking because i don’t know — are sexual crimes higher in legally sanctioned red-light districts? is there a direct correlation/causal relationship between high rate of sex crimes and legality of “adult entertainment”?
thirdly. the cowardice of suggesting prostitution as a deterrent to sexual offenses. wow. is being mayor in japan a mostly ceremonial position? does not your title afford you with authority?
i grant that i’m ignorant on matters relating to military criminal justice and int’l law. i mean, is there really no recourse for charging and punishing foreign military with crimes committed in your city?
do american soldiers enjoy the kind of immunity that diplomats enjoy — is that the part i’m missing? like johnnie cochran would’ve said were he a prosecutor, “if you do the crime, you do the time” — does your justice system not work that way? the navy has jag officers that are posted overseas, doesn’t it? don’t some of them function as their defense attorneys and such, or don’t they?
i wish i weren’t so baffled by this so that i can think of an analogy to illustrate the ridiculousness of this. is this not what is meant when people talk of robbing peter to pay paul?
this guy. this shit.
now that i’ve been sufficiently riled up, time to get on with my lsat studying, which i hope lands me in a school that will help address the ignorances revealed in the writing of this rant, and give structure and utility to this otherwise hapless indignation.