Mayer Brown & Platt and Whitewashing Japanese War Crimes
Like the neo-confederates who claim the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery despite the clear secession statements to the contrary or Holocaust deniers, the Japanese right has increasingly sought to rewrite or gloss over their role in wartime atrocities from the Rape of Nanking to the plight of Korean comfort women who were forced to serve as prostitutes by the Japanese military during World War II.
Now Mayer, Brown & Platt, a national firm that represents Moody’s and Unilever (whose many brands includes Dove soap, has stained its reputation by joining this cause through what appears to be a highly questionable lawsuit challenging the City of Glendale, California’s decision to erect a monument to the comfort women claiming it presents an “unfairly biased portrayal of the Japanese government’s purported involvement with comfort women during the Second World War.” (Complaint Par. 7.) The complaint omits the fact that the Japanese government has publicly acknowledged and apologized for its treatment of comfort women during the war.
In 1992, Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Kato expressed Japan’s “sincere apology and remorse to all those who have suffered indescribable hardship as so-called ‘wartime comfort women,’ irrespective of their nationality or place of birth. With profound remorse and determination that such a mistake must never be repeated,” A year later, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono stated, “Undeniably, this was an act, with the involvement of the military authorities of the day, that severely injured the honor and dignity of many women. The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.” (See Wikipedia: List of war apology statements issued by Japan)
As the son of a Public Defender, I appreciate the fact that lawyers sometimes must represent unpopular and even repugnant clients, but as Marc Randazza capably and colorfully explains there is a line reputable lawyers should not cross. I agree with Marc’s assessment here, a firm of Mayer Brown & Platt’s stature should not be joining league with those trying to whitewash war crimes from the history books. No, Unilever and Moody’s are not a part of this effort, but like the rest of us they should be appalled that their law firm has joined this cause.