Thursday, February 25, 2021

“Ignorance of Japanese crime” vs. “Controversy, not blame”


Controversy at home and abroad over Ramsay’s thesis at Harvard University
“Justify the sexual exploitation system” vs. “Academic attacks are counterproductive”
Japanese media, “expected to recover Japanese image” over Professor Ramsey’s thesis


John Mark Ramseyer, Harvard Law School Professor (right) / Photo = Harvard Law School Public Video Capture

[아시아경제 임주형 기자] As Harvard University professor John Mark Ramsey published a dissertation on Japanese military comfort women victims as prostitutes, the controversy surrounding it is growing. While some urged withdrawal of publication, saying that the thesis “can justify the system of sexual slavery and sexual exploitation,” there are voices advocating for the purpose of “respecting academic freedom.”

Professor Ramsey’s thesis will be published in the International Review of Law and Economics, which is scheduled to be published in March. In this paper, Professor Ramsey argued that the Japanese military comfort women were close to an extension of the prostitution business that voluntarily gathered without coercion.

Criticism arose both at home and abroad for the contents of such thesis. It is pointed out that not only does not fit the historical truth, it can also be interpreted as justifying Japanese imperialism.

Earlier, on the 17th, the cyber diplomatic mission’Vank’ sent a protest email to Harvard University, where Professor Ramsey belongs. In this regard, Director Park Ki-tae said, “I have not fulfilled the conscience and obligations of the scholar while hiding in the freedom of study,” and “I have a sense of mission to inform American society about the brutality of Japanese imperialism and the distortion of history as much as Nazi war crimes.”

"Ignorance of Japanese crime" vs "Discuss, not blame" Controversy over'comfort women's thesis'
Vank, a cyber diplomatic mission, sent an e-mail protesting to Mark Ramsayer, professor of law at Harvard University, who is planning to publish a thesis with the allegation that the “comfort woman is a prostitute”. / Photo = Vank

“It shows that the West still shows ignorance of Japanese imperial sexual ethics and slave crimes,” he said. “Can it be said that the Nazis contributed to human peace and that black slavery contributed to the development of America.”

In the academic world, voices of criticism came out. The Justice and Memory Solidarity unveiled the’Worldwide Feminist Statement on the Japanese Military Comfort Women’s Thesis by Professor John Mark Ramsayer’ at a regular demand demonstration held that day.

In the statement in which researchers and organizations from various countries, including the United States, Philippines, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Canada, participated, they said, “Professor Ramzier’s assertion contradicts the Japanese government’s claim to avoid the responsibility for serious human rights violations committed in the Asian-Pacific War. “We are following without critical analysis,” he criticized, saying, “These claims can be used to justify violence against women and sexual slavery and sexual exploitation systems.”

On the other hand, some voices advocated the publication of Professor Ramsey’s thesis, saying that academic freedom should be respected. “We are Korean-based scholars,” said in an article on the 18th that Joseph Lee, associate professor at Underwood International University at Yonsei University, and Joseph Lee, associate professor at Hanyang University’s Political Science and Diplomacy. I urge you to discuss the thesis without criticizing it.”

“It is counterproductive and xenophobia to attack Ramsay’s academic integrity for personal connection with Japan. In Korea, research and debate related to comfort women have been restricted, and collective thinking has been fostered in politics and society.” Pointed out.

"Ignorance of Japanese crime" vs "Discuss, not blame" Controversy over'comfort women's thesis'
The Peace Girl statue installed in front of the former Japanese Embassy in Seoul, Jongno-gu / Photo = Yonhap News

Sejong University Professor Park Yoo-ha, who has published a book that claimed to be a’voluntary prostitute’ for comfort women victims in the past, also commented on Professor Ramsey’s thesis, saying, “It is not a story to say, “(Ram Jie) Professor’s argument may not have been very wrong in the historical details.”

Amid growing controversy at home and abroad over Professor Ramsey’s thesis, some Japanese media expressed their expectation that the paper could greatly contribute to enhancing Japan’s international image.

Earlier, on the 28th of last month, the media’Nikkei Shimbun’ released a summary of Professor Ramsey’s thesis, saying, “It was revealed that the comfort women were not sex slaves,” and said, “The research significance is great.”

He said, “The wrong image that the Japanese military used Korean women as sex slaves in the past is spreading around the world,” he said. “I hope this thesis can restore such an image.”

Reporter Lim Joo-hyung [email protected]



#Ignorance #Japanese #crime #Controversy #blame

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