Comfort Women

Me: Can we do a quiz about comfort women?

Japan: Erm…?

Me: Great. What are comfort women?

Japan: A euphemism.

Me: Correct. What for?

Japan: Well, I’d rather not say.

Me: Correct again.

Japan: Really?

Me: Yes, but i would have also accepted ‘the systematic sexual abuse of women by the Japanese armed forces in military controlled brothels during World War 2’.

Japan: I prefer my answer.

Me: That’s not really a surprise. Which countries were involved?

Japan: A few but mainly Korea, China and Taiwan.

Me: Correct. Is there any evidence of this happening?

Japan: Well, it depends who you ask.

Me: Correct. Can you give an example?

Japan: Well, if you ask historians who are not ultra conservative Japanese men then you’d probably be directed to all sorts of evidence, yeah, sure, no problem. Otherwise the answer would tend to be more towards the negative end of the evidence based spectrum.

Me: Correct. Have any of your prominent politicians or leaders ever apologised for any of this?

Japan: Oh, lots of times of times, yes. All sorts of apologies for this issue and other aspects of World War 2 and allsorts. It was a shitty period of history for everybody wasn’t it?

Me: Correct. So, why is it an issue now?

Japan: Well, you see, it doesn’t matter how many times a politician apologises for something if a different sociopath in a suit stands in front of a microphone a few years later and denies it all. It’s like if one guy punches you in the face and his friend apologises for it and then a little later on the first guy comes back and says, “Fuck off! I never punched you in the face”. It waters down the apology somewhat.

Me: Correct. Can you give me an example of a recent denial of any punch in the face, as it were?

Japan: Well, there’s too many to choose from really. A few years ago my current Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, said that the issue of comfort women should be about whether or not the women were forcibly taken out of their homes, or if they didn’t want to go but felt compelled to by their environment instead. Then there was the Mayor of Osaka, Toru Hashimoto, who said that these so called comfort women were “necessary” to give soldiers a chance to “rest”.

Me: OK. And who would possibly be offended or insulted by such comments?

Japan: Well, people from other countries who care about the issue. Women. Sentient beings. Peace. Intelligence in general.

Me: Correct. And what does your current government make of all this?

Japan: The prime minister has commissioned a panel to investigate the validity of previous government’s apologies and statements to determine if they need to be revised.

Me: Correct. Recently what did your public broadcaster NHK say about it all?

Japan: The head of NHK said that they will refrain from reporting on the issue until the government stance on the situation becomes clear.

Me: Correct. Is the current right-leaning conservative history-revising government’s view clear?

Japan: It’s about a clear as a clear thing in a clear shop with a sign attached saying, “Hi there. I’m clear.”

Me: Correct again. You’ve done really well. Congratulations. You’ve won a ticket to the inaugural World Let’s All Stop Being Dicks Conference.

Japan: Right, er, OK. When is it?

Me: Erm, let’s have a look at the ticket here. Ah, yeah, there’s no date on it. You’ll just have to fill that bit in if it ever takes place.

Japan: So, you’re denying the existence of something before it’s even had the chance to happen? Wow. You’ll fit right in here. Do you want a job at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?

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March 25, 2015. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Yakult Ladies

Me: I saw and old woman on a scooter the other day.

Japan: My old people rock.

Me: No, I mean it was weird. It was a scooter carrying Yakult. A Yakult scooter.

Japan: Yeah, right, I know about them.

Me: And it was driven by an old woman in a Yakult uniform.

Japan: Yeah, a Yakult Lady.

Me: A what?

Japan: A Yakult Lady. The ladies that sell Yakult. The Yakult Ladies.

Me: Old ladies sell Yakult? On scooters?

Japan: Who else is going to do it?

Me: Shops?

Japan: Well, sure, you can buy Yakult and various other yogurty things in shops but then you’re not buying it from a Yakult Lady are you?

Me: No, but then, why would I need to?

Japan: Because if you work in an office you don’t have time to be buying Yakult do you?

Me: Don’t I?

Japan: No, so the friendly Yakult people employ old ladies to scoot about and come to your place of work to hawk the stuff directly to you.

Me: Is your collective digestive system that knackered you need macrobiotic yogurt delivered directly to your desk?

Japan: Not that I’m aware of.

Me: So what about all the convenience stores and 24 hour supermarkets? Do they sell Yakult?

Japan: Yeah, if you’re unlucky enough to not get it delivered to you by the Yakult Ladies.

Me: And all those vending machines that you’ve got. Why don’t they just put the Yakult in those?

Japan: Well, don’t need to. Got the Yakult Ladies.

Me: But if you had Yakult vending machines you wouldn’t need a fleet of scooters and old women to drive around towns delivering the stuff.

Japan: Yeah, but Yakult doesn’t make vending machines.

Me: I know.

Japan: So, we’ve got the Yakult Ladies.

Me: But why Yakult Ladies? Why not some other combination of supermarket goods that are not currently available in vending machines and a section of society with too much time on their hands delivering the stuff.

Japan: Like what?

Me: Erm, I don’t know. Grapefruit Old Men.

Japan: Who?

Me: Vodka Children.

Japan: Erm…

Me: Fish Joggers. Mayonnaise Poets.

Japan: Are these bands from the 1980s?

Me: Possibly.

Japan: So, because Yakult Ladies exist you want all this other mad delivery services?

Me: No, no, no. It’s just that if Yakult Ladies exist why not all this other mad stuff?

Japan: Because you can buy grapefruit and vodka and fish and mayonnaise in supermarkets and convenience stores.

Me: And Yakult.

Japan: Yeah, but you don’t need to. We’ve got the Yakult Ladies.

March 1, 2015. Uncategorized. 2 comments.