Study of English

April 21, 2007

Mistranslations?, Newsweek magazine and Washington Post, on the interview with Prime Minister Abe of Japan.

Filed under: IANFU 'comfort women',Korea,U.S.A. — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 11:00 am

Mistranslations?, Newsweek magazine and Washington Post, on the interview with Prime Minister Abe of Japan. 

The interview with Prime Minister Abe of Japan was published in the Web site of the Newsweek magazine. It is the part concerning comfort women problem as follows. 
Washington Post issued by the same company as the Newsweek magazine reported almost the same content.
I can read that Prime Minister Abe said that Japanese Government and the Japanese army forced those women to become a comfort woman these sentences.
However, Prime Minister Abe didn’t say such a thing.
A English-Language newspaper in Japan ‘Japan Times’ reported Abe’s remark as follows.
“We feel responsible over the situation in which the women had to exist as ‘comfort women’ and endure such hardship.”
 The interview contents that the Prime Minister side made public and the articles in each newspaper of Japan are corresponding to this.

I am not good at English, and, I do not understand strict meaning of English sentences.
If the meaning of these sentences is the one that Prime Minister Abe perceived that Japanese Government and the Japanese army compulsorily made women ‘comfort women’, it is mistranslation.

Prime Minister Abe “continue(s) to stand by the Kono Statement [a 1993 acknowledgment of Japan’s partial responsibility for the brothels].”

The part concerning comfort women problem of the interview.

As you know, your comments on “comfort women” caused an outcry in the United States. Do you really believe the Imperial Army had no program to force Korean, Chinese and other women to provide sexual services to Japanese soldiers?
I have to express sympathy from the bottom of my heart to those people who were taken as wartime comfort women. As a human being I would like to express my sympathies, and also as prime minister of Japan I need to apologize to them. The 20th century was a century in which human rights were infringed upon in numerous parts of the world, and Japan also bears responsibility in that regard. I believe that we have to look at our own history with humility, and we always have to think about our responsibility.
Do you now believe that the Imperial Army forced these women into this situation?
With regards to the wartime comfort-women issue, my administration has been saying all along that we continue to stand by the Kono Statement [a 1993 acknowledgment of Japan’s partial responsibility for the brothels]. We feel responsible for having forced these women to go through that hardship and pain as comfort women under the circumstances at the time.

The article on the Website of the ‘Japan Times’.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Abe apologizes anew for wartime sex slavery

Kyodo News

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in an interview with the U.S. magazine Newsweek, repeated his apology for Japan forcing foreign women into wartime sexual servitude, according to a government official.

“As Japan’s prime minister, I am extremely sorry that they were made to endure such pain.We feel responsible over the situation in which the women had to exist as ‘comfort women’ and endure such hardship,” Abe told Newsweek ahead of his trip to the U.S. starting Thursday, his first since taking power in September.

“We must always be humble (in dealing with) our history and constantly give profound thought on our responsibility,” he said, reiterating his government’s position to stand by a 1993 statement by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono that acknowledged and apologized for the military’s involvement in coercing the women into sexual slavery.

Abe’s U.S. trip comes amid rising global attention to the issue as the U.S. Congress debates a resolution demanding that Japan apologize to the women. Abe drew flak, especially from foreign media, when he said recently there are no documents to prove the Japanese military physically coerced women to provide sex for its soldiers during World War II, citing a government position paper.

In another interview with the Wall Street Journal, Abe stressed there is a need for Japan to secure a solid defense capability and strengthen the Japan-U.S. bilateral alliance in light of China’s growing military power.
Abe, in both interviews conducted Tuesday in Tokyo, underscored the importance of strengthening the “unwavering” Japan-U.S. bilateral alliance as extremely valuable for not only security in East Asia but the world as a whole.

He stressed his idea of promoting research on exercising the right of collective defense, which is banned in line with the government’s interpretation of the pacifist Constitution, the official said.

Abe said the changing security environment for Japan and the world calls on Japan to contribute to global challenges.

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