Open Letter in Support of Historians in Japan

Jordan Sand's picture

Dear Colleagues,

I forward to the list a statement on the issue of the so-called "comfort women" and World War II memory authored and signed by a group of Japan scholars. As indicated in the text itself, this statement emerged from an open forum held at the Association for Asian Studies annual meeting held in Chicago during March 2015, and from subsequent discussions on line among a wide range of Japan scholars. It represents the opinions only of those who have signed it and not of any organization or institution.

Jordan Sand
Georgetown University

Open Letter in Support of Historians in Japan (English language)
Open Letter in Support of Historians in Japan (Japanese language)

Due to a technical error on my part, this post went out with non-functional links to the two documents. My apologies to Jordan Sand and all readers for the error. The documents should be linked correctly below

Ryan Dunch

Ed. note: If trying to access the files  lands you on an 'Access denied" page, please log in via https://networks.h-net.org/user/login

Monika Lehner

 

Can we still sign the letter? Foir some reason I didn't receive the document. Thanks for clarifying. Livia Monnet

Colleagues,

Many people have written to ask about signing the statement in support of historians in Japan. Thank you all for your support. The statement started circulating by email after a group met at the AAS. It was never sent out generally for signatures simply because there was no office to receive and collate responses. None of this was done with the intention of excluding anyone, but inevitably lots of interested scholars whose signatures would have been valuable did not receive it in time.

Do please share the document with anyone you think should read it.

This was a statement from Japan scholars intended to address colleagues and friends in Japan as well as the government. I personally would like to see an analogous initiative among Korean historians. Although I cannot claim expertise on the Korean situation, reports of the treatment of Professor Park Yu-ha in Korea are disturbing.

Jordan

I am also curious to know if I can still add my name this list. I do not recall an earlier invitation. I think there are others with similar concerns. I would like to be officially associated with this letter.
Thank you,
Doug Slaymaker

Many have written in support of the "Open Letter" yet have expressed frustration in not having been included. No exclusivity was intended. Rather, the organizers were working word of mouth in an attempt to prevent hacking, etc.

Now that the letter has been sent and received, we would welcome the names of other Japan specialists wishing to join on.

Please send your name and affiliation to Professor Jun Yoo: yoojun@hawaii.edu

Thank you.

Cross-posted from H-Japan, May 11, 2015 -- ed.

By Helen Ballhatchet

English and Japanese versions of the Open Letter

What position is the open letter taking to Abe's speech to Congress?

I assume that the English text was written first, and then a translation was produced. At the end of paragraph 11, the English text says "We applaud these sentiments..." The Japanese text renders "sentiments" as "kimochi (気持ち)". I understood the English text as meaning support for the values that Abe mentioned, but the Japanese translation seems to me to support Abe's "feelings", his understanding of what he was saying, rather than the values themselves.

Am I talking nonsense here? If so, please ignore me. Otherwise, I think that clarification is needed, especially since if Abe has actually read this, it is likely that he has only read the Japanese version.

Helen Ballhatchet,
Faculty of Economics, Keio University

Cross-posted from H-Japan, May 11, 2015 -- ed.

By Helen Ballhatchet

English and Japanese versions of the Open Letter

What position is the open letter taking to Abe's speech to Congress?

I assume that the English text was written first, and then a translation was produced. At the end of paragraph 11, the English text says "We applaud these sentiments..." The Japanese text renders "sentiments" as "kimochi (気持ち)". I understood the English text as meaning support for the values that Abe mentioned, but the Japanese translation seems to me to support Abe's "feelings", his understanding of what he was saying, rather than the values themselves.

Am I talking nonsense here? If so, please ignore me.

Otherwise, I think that clarification is needed, especially since if Abe has actually read this, it is likely that he has only read the Japanese version.

Helen Ballhatchet,
Faculty of Economics, Keio University