Japanese government angry about Korean ‘comfort women’ statue

Flowers atop a 'comfort woman' statue in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, South Korea, July 22, 2015

From TIME magazine in the USA:

Japan Is Recalling Its South Korea Envoy Over a Statue Commemorating ‘Comfort Women

Kaori Kaneko and Tetsushi Kajimoto / Reuters

1:53 AM ET

Japan would also postpone bilateral “high-level” economic dialogue with South Korea

(TOKYO) — Japan said on Friday it was recalling its ambassador to South Korea over a statue commemorating Korean women forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War Two and that the statue violated an agreement to resolve the issue.

The two nations agreed in 2015 that the issue of “comfort women”, which has long plagued ties between the two Asian neighbors, would be “finally and irreversibly resolved” if all conditions of the accord — which included a Japanese apology and a fund to help the victims — were met.

The statue, which depicts a young, barefoot woman sitting in a chair, was erected near the Japanese consulate in the southern South Korean city of Busan at the end of last year.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden in a phone call that it was important for Japan and South Korea to carry out the agreement, and not constructive to go back on it.

Chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that the statue was “extremely regrettable” and that Japan was temporarily recalling its ambassador.

He also said Japan would also postpone bilateral “high-level” economic dialogue and that Japan was suspending talks on a new currency swap arrangement with South Korea.

“Without building relations of trust, it won’t stabilise,” Finance Minister Taro Aso reporters, referring to the currency swap arrangement.

The term “comfort women” is a euphemism for girls and women, from South Korea, China, the Philippines and elsewhere, forced to work in wartime Japanese military brothels. South Korean activists estimate that there may have been as many as 200,000 Korean victims.

South Korea’s Finance Ministry on Friday expressed regret that talks on the currency swap agreement had been suspended due to political reasons.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called on South Korea to remove a statue of a “comfort woman” which has reignited a diplomatic row over Tokyo’s wartime sex slavery: here.

Anti-miniskirt witchhunt in England

This 4 January 2016 video is called BBC News SE – The Ebbsfleet Academy School Uniform – Skirts.

Unfortunately, there are not only anti-miniskirt witch-hunters in Saudi Arabia. And Italy. And Poland. And New York City and elsewhere in the USA.

Also in England.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Parents angry after teens sent home for short skirts

Thursday 5th January 2016

PARENTS condemned a headteacher yesterday for “shutting the gates in the faces” of 20 teenage girls at a school in Kent because of the length of their skirts.

Ebbsfleet Academy

These ‘academies’ are products of privatisation of education by Tony Blair and Conservative governments; which opened the doors for all sorts of for profit and/or religious fanatics and weirdos to get their hands on schoolchildren.

head Alison Colwell sent the pupils home on the first day of term, saying that to “flash large amounts of thigh” goes against school policy.

Ms Colwell defended the school’s ban on skirts that end more than 5cm above the knee.

One mother wrote on Facebook that her daughter had been turned away for wearing a skirt that she had worn previously to the school. She claimed: “They’re letting their pupils down by turning them away for silly reasons.”

Terry Joseph, whose daughter was also sent home, said: “My biggest concern was for the safety of the children, as the school has a duty of care.

“They put out quite a few girls and boys out of the school without their parents’ knowledge. There were children walking the streets of Kent, perhaps some without anywhere to go.”

According to this source, ‘around 200′, not ’20’ girls. And:

In 2013, the school hit the headlines when it was dubbed ‘Colditz Academy’ after Ms Colwell sent home five per cent of its pupils in one day for breaching new uniform rules.

One girl was turned away from the gates of Ebbsfleet Academy in Swanscombe, Kent, because her bag was too small while another female pupil, who has no eyebrows, was sent straight home because she broke make-up rules by using an eyebrow pencil.

Other pupils were told to leave because the coloured tags on popular footwear brand Kickers breached an ‘all black’ rule.

And here, I am not even talking about anti-maxiskirt witchhunters.

Anti-Trump demonstrations, 20-21 January

This video from the USA says about itself:

3 January 2017

According to a National Park Service‘s list of First Amendment permit applications, Organizers of the Women’s March on Washington estimate 200,000 people will participate in its inauguration weekend protest.

The application says the march’s purpose is “to come together in solidarity to express to the new administration & congress that women’s rights are human rights and our power cannot be ignored.” The march developed out of a Facebook group planning to protest Donald Trump’s election the day after he’s sworn in. Over 100,000 people have said on Facebook that they would participate in the march, scheduled to begin at the Lincoln Memorial and end at the White House on Jan. 21.

From #J20Resist in the USA:

#J20Resist: Call for global actions against Trump, the new face of U.S. imperialism

On Friday, January 20, a new U.S. administration will be sworn in.

On Friday, January 20, we will be protesting continuing U.S. wars for global domination.

The new Trump administration enters office promising to:

Boost U.S. military spending and the capacity to wage war;
Escalate attacks on Latinx, Muslim, and other immigrant and oppressed communities;
Expand U.S. nuclear weapons capacity;
Gut environmental regulations and grant impunity to corporate and military polluters;
Increase state repression against Black, Native and other oppressed nationalities; and
Launch a wholesale attack on the working class in the U.S.

On Friday, January 20, in Washington DC and cities across the U.S., hundreds of thousands will take the streets to protest an agenda of war and racism.

Whether the Democrats’ Hillary Clinton or the Republicans’ Donald Trump sat in the White House, U.S. imperialism would still pose a threat to peace. Each candidate competed to exceed the other in enthusiasm for U.S. wars, repression and austerity, and in devotion to the ambitions of US capitalism. But the open racism, sectarianism, anti-immigrant and anti-working class bigotry of the incoming Trump administration has aroused a mass response. This unprecedented outpouring of resistance presents an opportunity to mobilize against war and racism, and to defend the interests of workers globally.

Help us make Friday, January 20 a day of global action to build the most anti-war, anti-racist and pro-worker impulses of mass reaction to the new U.S. administration.

Please consider what is possible in your country and in cities across the U.S. Can you protest a U.S. embassy, consulate or mission? In the U.S. plan actions at Federal Buildings and central city plazas. Can your union, party or other organization issue a statement against Trump and his agenda for U.S. imperialism? However you can, please take action!

SO MUCH FOR MEXICO FUNDING THE WALL Congress is ironing out a multibillion-dollar proposal to build the promised wall that’ll be coming out the taxpayer’s wallet. [Politico]

THE WAR TRUMP COULD PULL THE U.S. FROM ON DAY ONE He could end the U.S. involvement in Yemen on his first day in office. [Akbar Shahid Ahmed, HuffPost]

United States pro-peace women’s anti-Trump demonstrations

Anti-Trump demonstrations

From the site of Codepink, pro-peace women in the USA:

Inauguration + Peace Ball

Peace Ball, Inauguration, and Women’s March

January 19 – 21, 2017 Washington, D.C.

Join CODEPINK for three days of Presidential Counter Inauguration activities in Washington, D.C. January 19-21. We will be participating in the Peace Ball, Occupy Inauguration, Disrupt J20, Women’s March on Washington, and more.

Sign up today for all 3 days! | Facebook Event

January 15: Trump Exposed

Get ready for the inauguration of Donald Trump by exposing his agenda and how we can effectively resist. A panel of experts/activists will speak about immigration, race, environment, economic policy, Islamophobia and foreign policy. This will be the first of a monthly series.

When: 6pm-8pm
Where: Busboys and Poets @ 5th and K (1025 5th Street NW, Washington DC.)
RSVP here!

January 19: Peace Ball

The night before the inauguration we will be at the National Museum of African American History and Culture for the 2017 Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance. We and our partners will celebrate the accomplishments and successes of the past four years and vow to continue to be the change we want to see in the world. Distinguished guests and hosts will include Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Danny Glover, Eve Ensler, Van Jones, Amy Goodman, and many more. There will be food, open bar, live music, and dancing. All museum exhibits will be open during the Peace Ball.

Get your CODEPINK tickets here!

Aerial Image

We will use our bodies to form a giant peace sign or other shape and take an aerial image from above.
When: TBA

January 20: Inauguration Day

All Day: Occupy Inauguration: The Revolution Continues and Disrupt J20

On Inauguration Day we will join the mass mobilizations, disruptions, and civil resistance of Occupy Inauguration and Disrupt J20 in the streets of Washington, D.C. We will greet Donald Trump and his incoming administration on Inauguration Day with messages of Rise^Love^Resist, Build Bridges Not Walls, Grow Peace, Bust Up Hate, Women Say No to War, #J20, and more. We will counter the Trump administration’s hate with Love Ins throughout Washington, D.C.

8:00-10:00 pm at The Lincoln Theatre

The Anti-Inauguration presented by Haymarket Books, Jacobin Magazine, and Verso Books

7:30pm Silver Springs MD, UnNaugural Concert: Playing it Forward Voices for Social Justice

The UnNaugural Concert will include Grammy-nominated vocalists Sweet Honey in the Rock, musical duo Emma’s Revolution, and more. Funds raised by the event will go to support the American Civil Liberties Union, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, League of Conservation Voters, National LGBTQ Task Force, and Planned Parenthood. Get your tickets at unnaugural.org

One Billion Rising

Throughout Inauguration day, and during the January 21 Women’s March on Washington, we will participate in One Billion Rising Revolution Solidarity Against the Exploitation of Women flash mobs. Each Valentine’s Day CODEPINK joins groups across the world to rise against personal, systematic, and state-sponsored violence against women. This year we will also join One Billion Rising to dance and rise through Inauguration in a call to action for the coming four years. Start learning the Break the Chain dance choreography now! See video.

January 21: Women’s March on WashingtonWe will march together with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families and in solidarity with those who were most insulted, marginalized, and threatened during the election cycle – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault. We will send a bold message to the Trump administration on their first day in office, and to the world, that Women Say No to War and that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.

Join the CODEPINK team to Rise ^ Love ^ Resist! If you have questions, email ariel@codepink.org!

Teach-In following the Women’s March

The #WeRise Teach-In will be a warm space for folks to come to gain a deeper understanding of the critical challenges facing our nation, find ways to plug into grassroots campaigns that tackle those challenges, and connect with people from a vast array of movements and acquire skills to become more effective organizers at home.


Looking for housing? Check out the Washington Peace Center’s helpful housing board!

How to Request Inauguration Tickets:

Find out who your Senators and House Representative are if you do not already know.
Go to their website to see how they prefer to be contacted, whether by phone, email, or if they have an inauguration ticket request form on their website. Use the preferred method to send this message:
Dear Senator/Representative ___________,
I would like to request tickets for the January 2017 Presidential inauguration in Washington DC.Sincerely,
Your Name
Address + Telephone number + Email
Make sure you know where to pick up your tickets. You may be able to pick them up at your senator or congressperson’s local office. However, in some cases, you have to wait until you arrive in Washington D.C. to pick up your tickets.


COULD THE WOMEN’S MARCH BE THE BIGGEST ‘INAUGURATION DEMONSTRATION?’ “More than 100,000 people have registered their plans to attend the Women’s March on Washington in what is expected to be the largest demonstration linked to Donald Trump’s inauguration and a focal point for activists on the left who have been energized in opposing his agenda.” [WaPo]

South Korean ‘comfort women’ update

This video says about itself:

30 June 2014

A Sad and Beautiful Story about Comfort Women Sacrificed by Japanese Imperial Army during World War 2.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

South Korea: Opposition demands axing of deal on comfort women
Thursday 29th December 2016

OPPOSITION MPs in South Korea called yesterday for the scrapping of a deal with Japan concerning compensation for women forced into sex slavery.

The two countries agreed a year ago that Japan would pay £7 million to support 46 surviving “comfort women” — a euphemism for sex slaves taken by imperial Japan before and during World War II as its armies ravaged east Asia.

The parliamentary leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, Woo Sang Ho, said it would scrap the deal if the party wins presidential elections that could take place in a few months, pending the impeachment of corruption-tainted President Park Guen Hye.

And Kim Gyeong Rok, spokesman for the third-largest People’s Party, criticised Ms Park’s government for “selling away” the victims’ dignity and said the issue couldn’t be resolved without Japan offering a sincere apology and admitting legal responsibility.

Hundreds of protesters gathered round a statue of a girl symbolising South Korean sex slaves near Japan’s under-construction embassy in Seoul, calling for the agreement to be scrapped.

Under last year’s deal, South Korea agreed not to criticise Japan over the issue. Since WWII Japanese politicians have repeatedly downplayed its seriousness, only offering half-hearted apologies in 1993 and 2007.

An estimated 200,000 to 400,000 women were forced into sexual slavery by Japan, three quarters of whom died. Most of the rest were left infertile and severely traumatised by repeated rape and torture by Japanese soldiers.

China, whose citizens were also forced into sexual slavery, heavily criticised last year’s deal. Japan has yet to conclude similar deals with any other country.

Donald Trump inauguration, with Rockettes dancers?

This video from the USA says about itself:

Former Rockette: Troupe Should Not Perform at Inauguration; Trump Has Degraded, Objectified Women

27 December 2016

Donald Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee has undergone a major shakeup in an effort to attract A-list celebrities to perform for the January 20 event. To date, only a few major performers have agreed to sign on. Donald Trump’s plans to attract celebrity performers to his inauguration suffered another blow over the weekend, after the company that manages the Radio City Rockettes said its members will be allowed to opt out of performing at the inauguration.

The decision by the Madison Square Garden Company came after the union that represents members of The Rockettes initially said full-time members of the troupe were contractually obligated to perform at Trump’s inauguration. That prompted a firestorm of protest from the public, as well as from some current and past members of The Rockettes. We speak to Autumn Withers, who was a member of the Radio City Rockettes from 2005 to 2007.