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Nikon’s canceled “comfort women” photo exhibition continues to make headlines

CNN published this video report on the canceled "comfort women" photo exhibition by Ahn Sehong that was supposed to take place in the Nikon Salon gallery in Tokyo. The exhibition was canceled by Nikon without any explanations.

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  • http://www.bernardovaghi.com.br Bernardo Vaghi

    Where is my D950?

    • AXV

      Being filmed? Damn you I want it released now!!!

      • http://www.clenndesigns.com Marc

        You’ll never know what it feels not until the woman in your country ages 14-18 yrs old captured and turns to be a sex slave not just for hundreds but thousands of you enemy soldiers…

    • Holy s**t!!

      What’s wrong with you dude?! Have you seen your family doing this and now you lash at other people? Jeez… chill!

    • iamlucky13

      Admin, can we have this obscene example of immaturity removed from the site?

      Utterly uncalled for.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilovewalkman/ Abhinav

      wth .. this guy should be banned .

      • http://www.robertash.com Robert Ash

        Agreed. Banning this individual would be appropriate.

        • PC Police

          Just how would you ban him? He can reply with a different name and email address. When you and iamlucky13 whine about it you give the fool the attention he is looking for.

      • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

        comment deleted

  • Geoff_K

    IDC if they do or don’t.. I just want them to produce quiality camera at a GOOD pace to more nearly keep up with demands. They dont need to change the world to get my money.

  • Geoff_K

    It doesn’t matter to me if they hold it or cancel it.
    I just want Nikon to manufacture quality cameras and produce them at a rate that more nearly keeps up with demands.
    They do not have to change the world to get my money.

    • Geoff_K

      Sorry Admin. when I refreshed the post did not show. thought I missed the submit button since it is 1:25am here. Pls delete one of them. Again, apologies.

    • Sly Larive

      Actually, I hope Admin does keep your double post for once. Because in your replay you clearly show how narcissistic your comment was. You really don’t CARE that thousands of women were raped and enslaved but do care about that electronic toy so much.

      I’m not saying we should dump our Nikon gear or lose respect for the company outright, but this, on the outside, looks like a bad decision on Nikon’s part. I would have hoped that a company that helps so many artists picture our world be open enough to stand through criticism and let such an important matter be expressed to the public…

      • Matt_XVI

        +1

      • Leo_at_SF

        +1

      • Geoff_K

        I don’t give a tinkers dam about something that happened before I was born and is not going on now.

        Shall we go back to the Crusades and go all nuts over what happened ? what about even further back in time when cavemen were killing each other and kidnapping the women ?

        I don’t care if Nikon does or does not put this show on. It will not affect my purchases from them and neither will your impression of me. As if anyone cares what some internet user thinks of them. /shrugs

        • iamlucky13

          Two quick comments:

          1.) We need to learn history to know what mistakes to avoid and understand why some topics are difficult for various cultures to deal with.

          2.) This is contentious not so much because of Nikon, but because the Japanese nation doesn’t have the humility to face up to the crimes it nation committed during WWII, which is a poor example to the rest of the world in terms of identifying right from wrong and demonstrating that they’ve put their previous ways behind them, and a painful experience to the victims, some of whom are still alive. These women, instead of being apologized to, spent decades being treated as if their pain and humiliation was too inconvenient to admit to, and in many cases even being called liars. These accusations still happen today, coming from influential people like revisionist Ikuhiko Hata.

          Many of the soldiers who abused these women are still alive, too, and possibly a part of the refusal to recognize the acts, perhaps due to inability to cope with the shame.

          That Nikon was willing to sponsor a contentious exhibit like this was a positive attempt to get Japan to stop pretending this never happened.

          However, Nikon apparently was the object of pretty withering criticism from those who still refuse to accept the facts of the past.

          It’s unfortunate they caved, but the problem goes well beyond Nikon.

          • The Fez

            Of course as a westerner, it’s not like you or your nation has ever done anything of equal or greater sin. I mean afterall who dropped two atomic bombs on Japan?

            “That Nikon was willing to sponsor a contentious exhibit like this was a positive attempt to get Japan to stop pretending this never happened. However, Nikon apparently was the object of pretty withering criticism from those who still refuse to accept the facts of the past.”

            iamlucky, unless you’re a fly on the wall of any such meetings where Nikon discussed withdrawing from the exit, your comment is speculative at best.

            Who is to say Japanese revisionist history is any better than western revisionist history? Because the great nations of US, UK, Canada, Oz say so? You’re comments are just as offensive.

            • iamlucky13

              This isn’t about the US, and nothing we could ever do would make it ok for Japan to further harm the victims of these past crimes by calling them liars.

              Besides, we don’t deny we dropped the bombs on Japan. We also have a pretty solid rationalization for the decision to do so, but that’s a whole other discussion. If you want an act we can’t rationalize and haven’t fully owned up to, you should pick on our fire bombing of Dresden.

              I implicitly admitted in my previous post my comments on Nikon’s reasons for cancelling the exhibits was speculative. Given the context and things that have and haven’t been said though, I’m pretty confident in that speculation.

            • Anonymous Coward

              Stop deriving misunderstanding and pharisaism.

              To call a camp follower the victim of the war is full of malice.
              In Japan, it became clear at a judgement that there were more their incomes than a general.

              They are the “1%.”

              In a certain Japanese neighboring country, when the President becomes a lame duck, he carry out an anti-Japan activity to maintain an approval rating. Such an event is a usual thing.

              Nikon did not want to be only used for the political activity of the neighboring country.

              Do you ask to others, “Have you ever beat your wife?”
              Even if the answer is anything, you will say “you revisionist!”.

        • The Fez

          +1

        • Sly Larive

          You have a very selective memory Geoff. You don’t give a rat’s *ss to what happened before you? Like what? The invention of Aqueducts? Trigonometry? The right to vote? The liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany? What about Newton’s laws, the printing press, coffee, Leo Tolstoy, Christopher Columbus’ voyage, the invention of penicillin, the race for the moon, the hundred years war, the communist gulags and so on… Every country, every race has contributed in some good and ill fashion to what makes your life what it is TODAY. Which do you decide to ignore? The ones that you ignore or the ones that threaten your narcissistic lifestyle the most?

          If you find that this is irrelevant you are simply ignorant, period. If you find you simply don’t care, than you will simply go through life acting the fool thinking you are so smart and different while you perpetuate the errors of your ancestors…

          • Sly Larive

            Alright, before anyone ticks off (writing this 2 minutes after I hit reply BTW) , maybe I was a bit over the top with my reply calling Geoff ignorant and a fool.

            I do find it hard to believe people simply don’t care about other humans being raped and enslaved….

          • Ben

            +1

        • Mike

          Buddy, you must have small mind when it comes to history. Must be nice just to care about yourself and no else. That’s why the world is going to hell because of people like you.

      • Richard

        Entirely agree.

        Nikon PR have made a small photo show over a few days that no one outside Tokyo (and few, even there) would have heard about into a world story, and drawn attention, yet again, to the “difficulty” that Japan still has with right wing groups’ influence.

        Some one ought to lose his job for this.

      • David C.

        +100 !! Agree. Nikon did not do the right thing by canceling. That is a shame, I expected more from Nikon.

        • Ken

          +101

  • Rob

    Stay classy Japan!

  • Hendog

    This is utterly disgraceful behavior (not just Nikon) and should not be tolerated by the Japanese or Korean public. The voices of those who have suffered so much need to be acknowledged. By hiding it, the Japanese are perpetuating the legacy of their war crimes.

    • Sir raspy mcnasty

      I agree . Old dogs just dont change though, and nikon has to uphold nationalism especially since most of japan have anti korean sentiments left over even if they are not rascist

      • Matt_XVI

        I really don’t understand why the Japanese would have anti-Korean sentiments when it was the Japanese were the perpetrators. It’s like me raping your mom and then being pissed off at you for what I did.

        • The Fez

          You would not guess there is that much anti-Korean sentiment considering the mass-popularity of Korean pop culture in Japan, nor the fact that Korea is Japan’s largest tourism market.

          • lorenzino

            True, you would not say so at first glance.
            But it is more than enough to talk to people about these matters, and then you can clearly understand it. Nobody will ever say anything against foreigners (in part. Chinese or Korean ppl) but the sense of superiority Japanese people have towards them is more than obvious.
            It is enough to remember that the former Prime Minister used to pray on the cemetery of “war heroes”, namely, those who devastated Nanjing.
            There is a clear continuity between WWII and modern Japan, and China and Korea are more than right to be willing to remember and remind what happened.

    • Worminator

      Nikon can do or not do whatever they want. However – cancelling an exhibition on what is still a sensitive topic without offering an explantion – well that’s just bad PR. If they get pad press from the fallout, they deserve it.

    • Fleeb

      Before you blame it on Nikon, my best guess is they were pressured by the Japanese government. It is the government that does not want to acknowledge the existence of comfort women. In fact there are revisionists in there who argue that the testimonies of these women are either invalid or inconsistent.

      I know this I have watched several news coverage time and time again about this. If in Germany it is deemed a crime to deny the Holocaust happened, in Japan they just do not want to make light of the existence of the forced recruitment of women.

      So I do not really know why the outrage is instantly about Nikon.

      • treehaus

        well said

      • euphemism

        “forced recruitment”???

    • Matt_XVI

      +2

  • BdV

    Guess it doesn’t really fit into their history books… and the thought of someone expecting them to say sorry.. oh no no no, better cancel it. Didn’t happen.

  • Flatte

    Let’s not bicker here on NR. Let’s send emails to Nikon where it actually matters! I just sent them an email expressing my disappointment.

    • silmasan

      +1 ditto

      https://www2.nikon.com/contacts/others/select.php
      (Asia|Japan|Responsibility)

      • Matt_XVI@hotmail.com

        Thank you silmason I have also sent them a message.

      • Geoff_K

        Good deal, I sent them one that says, do what you want. I’ll still buy a D800E when they manufacture enough to get them in stores. ;-P

        • silmasan

          whatever.

      • Michel

        Thank you for the link, I sent a message to them as well. It seems not everyone on Nikon rumours realises the negativity and danger of censorship in the way. I have a large array of lens and bodies by Nikon, but now feel less whole about the company. This is the message I sent them
        Recently I read of the cancellation of the Nikon Gallery of an exhibition of Comfort Women. As a long time user of the Nikon system and now owning a lot of fine equipment over many years, I am saddened that such an exhibition was cancelled. Indeed some of the joy of owning this equipment has gone. There is a saying that the camera never lies, and a picture tells a thousand words. It seems Nikon Corporation is hiding a truth, and failing the victims of a war crime to tell their story. Photography in its forms of art and projecting the truth should not be censored, even if the truth is painful or contentious, it must be on display. That is the honourable thing to do. I wish that Nikon Corporation re lists the exhibition and steps bravely in doing so. Thank you for reading and considering my message.

  • Holmes

    The victims shown in CNN video are ALL CHINESE not Korean

  • 株式会社ニコン

    The “Rape of Nanking” never happened!

    • BartyL

      You are a revisionist liar.

      Japanese military forces committed atrocities against combatants and non-combatants alike in every country they invaded and occupied during WWII.

      • jorg

        furthermore: every military committs atrocities against military and civilian targets in every war.
        and no country likes to hear about it´s own crimes/mistakes/whatever.

        if a major US company was involved in an exhibition showing the atrocities committed by US forces, what do you think would happen (for the sake of corporate-PR)?

        and before anyone asks: you can take any western country as an example here, yes.

        • yep

          ^ This!

        • BartyL

          Not sure I can comment on what might happen in the US, although our two societies are quite similar.

          During the ‘invasion phase’ of the European colonisation of Australia, massacre, rape, dispossession, mass mortality through the introduction of ‘foreign’ diseases and slavery were the routine experience of the indigenous people – atrocities committed by forces of the State and vigilante groups. In some cases those atrocities continued to be enacted until well into the 20th Century. Indeed, Aboriginals were only given the right to vote in the late 1960s, and the process of returning land, stolen at gunpoint, continues today. This is openly acknowledged and accepted by the overwhelming majority of Australians, including our various governments over the last 40 years.

          If it could be demonstrated that Australian forces engaged in the systematic brutalisation of captured enemy combatants and no-combatants during that or any war, I would want that made public, acknowledged, apologised for, and survivors compensated for their pain, suffering and humiliation as far as possible. Any other response would be a gutless cop-out. And the only useful place for Australians who would want to deny that in the face of overwhelming evidence for it, would be to be moored at the bottom of the ocean.

          As for your trivial truism that “every military committs atrocities against military and civilian targets in every war”, I fail to see how that adds anything useful to the debate.

          What sort of society do you live in or want to live in? One that acknowledges its past and current mistakes and attempts to correct them where possible?

          • Matt_XVI

            +3

          • Sly Larive

            +3 for me as well.

            This is why history classes are so important. So that people learn not to repeat mistakes of the past over and over again. So that we can appreciate the great inventions that make our lives better each and every day, but also learn about the atrocities that we commited as a species in the name of folly.

            Saying it never happened denies the victims their peace and teaches younger generations that you can commit atrocities and not even pay the price of guilt…

          • D600=$1499

            +3. That’s some sense. Respect.

        • Matt_XVI

          jorg,

          “every military committs atrocities against military and civilian targets in every war.”

          You may be right but if you read your history books you’ll find that the Japanese committed atrocities comparable to Nazi Germany. Unfortunately this seems to be little known in Western societies and many see Japan’s image as *somewhat* squeeky clean.

          For many, the biggest problem is that they fail to acknowledge what they’ve done – let alone apologize for it. They hide it from their history books and deny that it ever happened. Worse of all in Japan many of these monterous criminals are praised as war heroes even to this day. My brother’s fiancé is a 25 year old Japanese national and had NO IDEA that any of this happened! And this was after 15 odd years of formal education in Japan from Kindergarten through Secondary. It wasn’t until my brother was showing us pictures of people worshiping the Japanese WWII commanders that my Chinese wife (from the city of Changsha which was burned to the ground during the Japanese invation) brought up the subject. After a bit of googling my brother’s fiancé couldn’t believe what her people had done and that she never learned about it. I should also point out that my wife has family from Nanking during the Nanking Massacre.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_women

        • http://www.robertash.com Robert Ash

          Very, very well said. Extremely important point that you make bringing the issue home to the US.

          Many of us seldom or never think that way, we think only about what others ought to be doing and seldom consider what it means to put ourselves or our own country into the same situation as another person or another country (or company) whom we criticize or of whom we make demands. It’s very sobering when we do so, including in this case.

          • jorg

            guys, thanks for the replies, i did not mean it the way you understood it.
            my apologies to anyone who got offended, obviously i worded badly and too short.

            This post did not intend to say that warcrimes are okay or can/should be justified or played down in any way.
            i think, like all you do too, that crimes must not be forgotten, must be put to trial and justice and compensation must be given to the victims.

            The sentence about war:
            In my opinion there is no good side vs evil side. In war, atrocities are committed on both sides. Even in this high-tech world, civilian casualties and the destruction of homes, hospitals, schools etc is commonplace everyday on the news. That is my opinion, has nothing to do with japan or justifying warcrimes. I am aware that my country and its partners are involved in wars, that our governments told us are necessary- i have my personal doubt about this.

            Second point: that governments, peoples and corporations *very often* try to evade confrontation, compensation and apology. i too think this is a shame – still it happenes more often this way than the other way around. i am not justifying that behavoiur, i merely commented, that this is the default behaviour in this world. sad enough, yes.

            Now to this case:
            some people (whatever their motivation might have been) put pressure on nikon and nikon yielded. nikon did not want to be associated with an exhibition about crimes of japans past. it was “too hot” for them. if you think that this is bad style, i agree. bad PR-work, i agree.

            What intended with my post was:
            blame this corporation if you like, but should not rather the society be blamed, in which this behaviour is present? and taking this further: this could have happened in most countries also in mine. In fact, such things do happen in my country, germany. Despite 50 years of working up the german past, major corpoations still try to keep their nazi-past under the carpet.

            Ps: this is a camera forum and posts tend to be short and written fastly, without highest standard and often sarcastic, again i apologize for my misleading words (not being a native english speaker).

            Ps2: i am ofc not involved with nikon in any way. I use their gear, i like camera technology and i hang around at this exciting website quite a lot.

            Best,
            Jorg

            • BartyL

              Thank you for your clarification.

            • Matt_XVI

              I also thank you for your clarification. And yes this website IS awesome.

    • Charcoal

      Nice one. 株式会社ニコン translates to Nikon Limited.
      War crime denial is Nikon and Japanese stance.

      As MattXVI said, Japanese committed war crimes on the same scale as Nazi Germany with systematic enslavement of civilian and genocide. We hear a lot about maltreatment of western POW, but the treatment of civilians in the occupied territories were far worse. What happened in China was bad, but it was even worse in Korea.

      Unlike the Germans who admitted their crimes, apologise and make reparations, Japanese have no intention to do any of that. Hell, their ministers still go to worship their war criminal at the Yasukuni Shrine.

      If you have watch/read more militaristic Japanese films, TV shows, anime and manga, you will realised the Japanese do not show any remorse on the war crime they committed. War criminals are still treated as heroes and are praised in most of their literature.

      Japanese are not hated through out Asia for no reason.

      • Charles

        “War criminals are still treated as heroes and are praised”

        Or they’re given the Nobel Peace Prize in between launching Stuxnet and reviewing their Kill List.

    • The Fez

      It’s a trap.

  • http://richardcromptonphotography.com RichM0nster

    Those who have been oppressed throughout history are never forgotten, no matter how much the perpetrator tries to cover it up. These feelings run through the generations with as much power as when the acts were first carried out driving national, racial and political tension. Openness, acknowledgement and remorse to the mistakes and choices of the past can only help to eventually heal these situations. Nikon should have shown the exhibition. The positive spin on their brave move would have far outweighed the guilt that needed to be ‘hidden’. People always remember then pass down their experience, opinions and doctrines to their offspring.

    • silmasan

      You are right. Nikon should really consider the long-term consequence–and that would depend on the braveness of the management.

      • PeterO

        I think the “braveness of the management” was well demonstrated by the manager of the exhibition! When asked about the cancellation, he quickly turned and walked away, shoulders hunched over.

        Not knowing Japanese culture well, I’m getting the impression that the first reaction to negative situations is to keep quiet and hope it goes away. The Olympus scandal blew up only because a Brit (an outsider) kept kicking the door down.

        • silmasan

          That was what ticked me into the comment above! Unfortunately the current generation of their management seems to be a bit too shy. or timid. or suppressed.

          P.S. If someone from Nikon management read this: please prove me wrong.

  • enesunkie

    Why is there a memorial on the tiniest plot of land between two homes? Don’t they have a more “public” location like a park where people might actually see it?

  • Mock Kenwell

    Again, the stupidity here is agreeing to have the show in the first place, THEN CANCELING IT. HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE, NIKON? If you don’t want to play with political footballs, stay off the field. If you want to be viewed as a progressive, caring camera manufacturer that values its bread and butter industry—photojournalism—you have it anyway. They created their own problem. Epic PR fail.

    • silmasan

      No, the problem is in _giving in_ to fear. They had good intention (which is definitely not a stupidity) and they cancelled it midway. Integrity is more important than PR.

      • Mock Kenwell

        I don’t understand your point. They have neither integrity nor positive PR at this point. And we all know what the road to hell is paved with. Your comments are a bit naive. What’s the Japanese government going to do to them if they run this show? Shut Nikon down? Please.

        Had this show just run, few of us would have even heard about it. It’s the gutless cancellation that drew headlines.

        • silmasan

          You seem to not get the point indeed. My point was to your comment above, which focused on the PR disaster and how the public sees Nikon, highlighted in “If you want to be [i]viewed[/i] …”

          Yes, they don’t have integrity at this point, which is more important than just the lack of “positive PR”. This is related to the culture of the company you trust to build your equipments in the long run.

          Other than that, we seem to agree that it’d be much better for Nikon to continue the show and show _genuine_ support for photojournalism.

  • john stevens

    I have been to Japan many times, and have many friends…what is NOT taught in their own history is WW2. IT is not even mentioned..or discuss. What they do teach today is that War is bad. But still in Japan..away from the big city life…Japan country sides…there are still many who believe that the United States is still their enemy…IT is taught.

    But we all know what Japan did when they invaded China…They destroyed. Life. Japan killed woman and children in Shanghai China…What Today’s Japan does not want you to know about yesteryear Japan is that they were murderers….

    • Matt_XVI

      +4

    • niknik

      Everyone agrees that what the Japanese did was wrong.

      As for the U.S. being the enemy… who started Japan on the road to imperialism.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperialism_in_Asia#Japan

      In the U.S. countryside skinheads, KKK, etc. There’s always extremists that will preach hate for their own motives.

      And what did the U.S. do to the native American Indians. I don’t remember growing up with the history books explaining about all the injustices that happened then. Hopefully now they’re more realistic.

      I think most governments/politicians worry about losing face from past regimes/mistakes. The trend seems to be cover up/deny everything/ignore/stall unless there’s no way out. Look how long it took the U.S. to take responsibility for the Japanese internment camps.

      There’s good and bad in every society. How many countries could say many of their population would be returning lost money. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/10/japan-lost-money-safes-cash_n_847243.html

      Sh*t happens everywhere and it seems like most people try to cover it up rather than take responsibility for it. Is it human nature or can society as a whole learn to be more responsible.

      Which probably won’t happen in our litigious society. Quote from back of one of my old car insurance card “Don’t claim responsibility for anything.” :)

  • PeterO

    Hannes, unfortunately Nikon is an excellent camera maker but a terrible Public Relations company. They won’t answer your questions about this matter and don’t care what their customers think as long as they continue to buy their cameras. If others stop using their cameras as you have, then they might wake up. Until then, they will hide behind their wall of silence and continue counting their profits.

  • PattoDesu

    Most of us are looking at this from a Judeo-Christian (culturally at least) point of view. Admission of offenses perpetrated and forgiveness by the victim(s) is natural to us. Generally, Asians are much less likely to ask for, or grant, pardon.
    I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, It’s just the way it is.

  • Memory

    Hugo Boss, Siemens, Krupp, Volkswagen….

  • http://weweh.com CRB

    Only one word: shame.

  • http://www.blog.careynash.com International Photo

    If the curator wanted publicity and for these brave women to be remembered and noticed then I think having Nikon remove worked out for the best as now the world has noticed. Many of would never have heard this story had they not been attacked for removing the work. The fact that Nikon is a Japanese Company shows how brave they were to host such an exhibit. Very compelling story!

    • silmasan

      you must mean:
      “…how brave they [b]would be[/b] if they were to continue their plan to host such an exhibit.”

      • http://www.careynash.com Carey

        maybe braver, but they don’t owe me or the public anything by doing it in the first time or in the future.

  • DREW

    I credit this web site for posting this news item, and am horrified by the comments of the viewers.

    The behavior of any other country, anywhere, at any time is completely irrelevant to this issue. Because Charles Manson’s group killed people, does that justify me killing people? Any other issue comparison is entirely irrelevant.

    I salute the photographer who created those images. A true artist — standing for the truth in the face of universally accepted Japanese revisionism.

    And, I condemn Nikon. Their decision to exhibit the show was magnificent, and their most pathetic reversal and retreat tarnishes their image — forever. Their behavior in this matter is dishonorable and cowardly.

    • G. Davidson

      I have to agree. Anyone trying to mitigate (or worse, justify) these crimes against humanity by offering comparisons with other wrong-doing is just missing the point and I doubt such a defense would ever stand up in court. Does a judge have to be perfect to pronounce judgement? I stand with history’s victims calling for justice, as have photojournalists the world over, past and present.

      Nikon have really messed up here and dug themselves a PR hole, as despite their legitimate fear of Japanese nationalists, who to an extent influence many areas of society here because of the misguided loyalty to an older generation no matter what they’ve done they forgot the rest of the world will never share such sentiments. I understand their decision to back out, but it is cowardly and puts them on the wrong side of history in this issue, showing more sympathy for the desire of rapists to remain anonymous than for the pain of the victims of rape. They would have been better off running an obscure show than getting this negative publicity, but I suppose in a way this route helps the so-called ‘comfort women’, who were abused beyond belief, more.

      Now we all know about it and are more likely to find out about their ordeals at the hands of extreme nationalists, who are basically violent criminals at heart, whatever country they claim to represent (see the recent example of a politician’s debate on Greek morning TV for another insight.)

  • keith T

    I wonder if Nikon is catching crap from the Japanese govt. Maybe Nikon believes in displaying the show but is put in an awkward position? None of us know, yet anyway.

    Yes Japan was brutal to fight during ww2, read about the people of Saipan even after the Marines liberated it. I dont understand why they would try to hide what happened 70 years ago…

    • Red Fez

      The Japanese are a forward moving people who would rather look toward the future and feel westerners like to hang on and dwell on the past. It’s so much a matter of forgetting history as it is a matter of beating a dead horse over and over again. Then coming back the next morning to beat its corpse some more.

      It only go to complicate matters when westerners over-simplifying a foreign culture they do not know or understand, and have never been a part of. the Japanese places value on the past, but not at the same level westerners do. I have a half dozen Japanese with me in this room right now reading this thread who are so totally perplexed by the attention this announcement made that the anti-Canadian sentiment in the room is overwhelming.

      • steverobinson

        Well Red Fez, you need to educate these anti-Canadian Japanese that they too share the blame personally because generations of Japanese people, including them, until today, never recognized the anything wrong, never apologized to all the Asian countries they invaded and atrocities committed. Their Army raped and killed more civilians then the Nazis.

      • JamesX

        You are taking it wrong, Red Fez. Looking ahead does not mean forgetting the past. This is not the right way to look forward.

        Yes, beating the dead horse over and over again may not be necessary, but it is absolutely necessary to make it clear to every one what killed the horse. In this case, Japan is apparently not trying to reveal the truth. So, let’s beat the dead horse again and again!

  • d3c

    I never heard of the issue before and only understand it now thanks to Nikon. In that respect the Nikon’s cancelation may do what a quiet exhibit would not.

    Not knowing the material or how the sponsor and artists disagreed who can say. Yet many venues exist for photographic expression.

  • Charles

    Raise your hand if you also protested when New York Theatre Workshop scheduled “My Name Is Rachel Corrie” and then canceled it under pressure from pro-Israel groups.

    MNiRC was written by Alan Rickman, who played Snape in the Harry Potter films and just finished an acclaimed Broadway engagement in “Seminar”.

    • silmasan

      Knew the story about Rachel Corrie but never heard of Alan Rickman’s MNIRC (I’m not a theater goer). Thx for the info.

  • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

    By canceling the exhibit, Nikon has assured these images will be seen by many more people than would have otherwise. The publicity from Niko’s fumble is enormous.

  • http://photoartbymark.zenfolio.com photoartbymark

    shame on you nikon switching to canon

  • http://photoartbymark.zenfolio.com photoartbymark

    have samsung do the show they are a korean company and let the show travel the world i would see it in nyc

  • LarrC

    Nikon’s shameless capitulations aside, their canceling of the show has almost certainly done more to bring attention to this largely ignored travesty as well as discredit to the right wing zealots.

    What fortuitous irony.

  • NIKONMACRO150

    To put it simply so we can all understand. How would you like it if someone came into your yard or house and told you what to do because someone 70 yrs ago did something terrible? This is what everyone is doing who believe Nikon is in the wrong. This about it, Nikon puts up exhibition and no one notices. Nikon takes down exhibition and bam it is on CNN. Nikon’s PR did their job perfectly while saving face to their government. Because of their actions the “comfort women” are getting the attention they deserve. Stop beating the dead horse and following the band wagon of bashing on Nikon. Think about it, Nikon didnt invade China, Korea, Phillipine, or the other countries. Nikon didnt bomb Pearl Harbor or wage war on America. No, the Japanese government in the 1940’s did. So leave Nikon alone. And yes sometimes Nukes are needed to bring people to their knees and now they can be stopped at all cost. So who wants to blame America for what Japan started.

    • JamesX

      If you did something terribly wrong 70 years ago, you would still be the one to blame. Time does not fade crime.

      Yes, Nikon wasn’t the one who invaded China and murdered the civilians, but what Nikon did wasn’t helping revealing the truth either.

  • Simon

    We must all boycott Nikon cameras to show them our displeasures!!!!

    • Geoff_K

      PLEASE do that. I want to move up in the D800 order line. ;-P

      • d800

        wow, I feel sorry for this guy. Must have had a rough childhood.

  • Musouka

    The issue of Comfort Women is kinda sensitive in Japan because from Japan Government’s point of view, they have already compensated the Koreans (twice) for what happened.

    http://www.japanprobe.com/2011/12/18/prime-minister-noda-comfort-women-issue-already-resolved/

    http://www.japanprobe.com/2011/12/15/comfort-woman-statue-erected-outside-of-japanese-embassy-in-seoul/

    The Koreans still wants more, it seems. There was an ad campaign and some activities in Tokyo at the beginning of the year:

    http://www.japanprobe.com/2012/01/06/koreans-plaster-tokyo-with-comfort-women-posters/

  • gen

    Japan is criticized over the so called comfort women problem which was happened in the war. How comfort women problem differ from these prostitutes? Attackers against Japan over the comfort women problem said that they, prostitutes for Japanese military, were forced into prostitution as a form of sexual slavery by the Japanese military organization. Was it true? In fact Japanese military had not forced these women.

    What was happened actually? Many brothel owners opened their business next to military gates. It was a natural because they could make more money. This is quite natural. Therefore Japanese military did not open these brothels during the war, but brothels owners who were local people in the countries which Japanese troops were dispatched. Were they hurt by the Japanese? We can’t find any evidence of that except ladies verbal statements.

    According to the Japanese Prisoner of War Interrogation Report No. 49, which was reported by U.S in Aug 20 to Sept 10, 1944, 20 of Korean ladies were working as comfort women in Japanese camp during WW2. The “house master” that means manager of the comfort house, received 50 to 60% of the girls’ gross earnings depending on how much of a debt each girl had incurred when she signed her contract.

    In other words, Korean ladies decided to get the job. In fact, they got a lot of money. Also, they amused themselves by participating in sports events with both officers and men, and attended picnics, entertainments, and social dinners. They had a phonograph and in the towns they were allowed to go shopping. The Ladies were allowed the prerogative of refusing a customer.

    The NY Times on Jan. 8, 2009 said Korean prostitutes put U.S military and Korean government on trial. They complained about having been forced sex with Americans in Korea. They worked as comfort women from 1960 to 1980 in Korea. Moreover, an LAPD official said some 70-80 prostitutes were arrested every month, and 90 percent of them were Korean. Were they forced to be sexual slaveries by the Japanese military? Was the story true?

    • gen

      According to the Korea police department report in 1955, the number of comfort women is 61,833, who worked for only U.S soldiers. In 1962, about 20,000 comfort women worked for U.S soldiers. According to the New York Times Jan. 8, 2009, Korean comfort women took U.S military and Korean government to court. Women said they were forced to having sex with U.S soldiers from 1960 to 1980 in Korea.

      Moreover, some prostitutes have asked for money to Japan because they were compelled the work by the Japanese during the war. In fact, 1 to 25 women who over 20 years old are prostitutes in 2003 in Korea. Therefore, Korean government expressed strong concern about the problem, so it established a new law against the prostitutes. As a result, some prostitutes spread to other countries for work, the statistic shows.

      Needless to say South Korea is a big prostitutes’ country. South Korea women want to get the job for money. After they grow old, they ask indemnities to other courtiers and their own government. Koreans prostitutes were compelled the work by the Japanese and American soldiers? I don’t think so.

      About 23,000 women work as prostitutes in Australia. 25% to them are from oversea. And over 1,000 women came from South Korea, which means 16.9% of prostitutes who came from oversea are South Korean ladies. South Korean ladies enter Australia with working holiday Visa. This problem also happened in Japan, Canada and New Zealand, because Korean government carried out a new law against prostitutes, which numbers were very high in Korea, in 2004.

      South Korean ladies work as prostitutes in other countries such as Japan, the United States and Australia. In the United States, they often set a signboard which is written TOKYO Sauna or TOKYO Health Spa to their brothels; in short they pretend to be Japanese. In Australia, South Koreans advertise in some newspapers Japanese girls 18 years old. Please stop such a ridiculous act!

      • DREW

        On so very many levels — you are truly the biggest asshole in the world. There are no words low enough to characterize your garbage fiction.

  • Simon

    Japan still worship at the Yasukuni Shrine which honours Class A war criminals. Every year Japanese politicians, veterans and reenactors dressed in WW2 Imperial Japanese Army uniforms and pay their respect to their wartime leaders. It would be unthinkable if Germany built a national monument to Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler et all while Angela Merkel’s governments pay their respect on Rememberance Day alongside crowds of goose stepping neo Nazis. Why is Japan getting away with it? Is it because Japan is a friend of the US who is prepare to look the other way as long as they can station troops in their country and pay protection fees?

    • Hmmmmmmm

      Simon – Your tirade is against the US. Why do you hat e the US so much. It really is the only country in the world that accepts anyone. It certainly isn’t perfect. But while Japan honors its former war criminals, the US has no say. That is a Japanese policy, not a US policy. In the US, the Japanese government courted the town of Fort Lee, New Jersey, promising a lucrative project, if the town would simply dismantle a monument honoring the Comfort Women. Fort Lee refused their request.

      It is outrageous that you can blame the US for this. The one thing about the US. They have many problems, but they openly talk about their issues and don’t hide.

      This is about sexual slaves that were taken at gunpoint but the Japanese soldiers and repeatedly raped dozens of times on a daily basis. It is not about your hate for the US.

  • peekamoose

    What’s really sad is that the nikonians organization halted a conversation in one of their forums about Nikon’s cancellation of this exhibition of recent portraits of former sexual-slaves called the “Comfort Women.” They felt the conversation was too political, yet there are political remarks on other issues in the forums. This is one topic nikonians web site chose to censor.

  • Jung

    Nikonians should allow free speech in their forums…. How else will we get to the truth of the matter and ever solve our problems… Not by censorship from Nikon or from a so-called independent third-party website that beats the drum and advocates the greatness of Nikon products….

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      Many of the “major”photography websites out there depend on a good relationship with Nikon in order to get pre-productions models for review, new product demos, press invitations, advertising, etc. This is the case not only with Nikon, but with any other camera manufacturer. I have no relationship to worry about and I hate censorship (I usually delete only comments with fault language).

      • peekamoose

        Good for you Admin!!!!!!!!! Not like those nikonians who bow down to Nikon…. I like Nikon products, but their lack of integrity due to this exhibition is extremely revealing….

        • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

          the drawback is that I never get invited to their press events and have to wait like everybody else to try out a new camera

          • peekamoose

            But you still have your integrity, so when you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, you like what you see (hopefully!!!!)

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