The history that should not be forgotten
2010.11.17 was the 20th anniversary of the Korean ‘Comfort women’ movement. ‘Comfort women’ were forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers during World War II. This movement’s purpose is to have a weekly protest in front of the Japanese Embassy demanding an apology from Tokyo. The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan has been staging protest rallies in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul every Wednesday demanding the Japanese government admit its role in the drafting of sex slaves before and during the war. Tokyo acknowledges recruiting the comfort women, mostly from Korea but also from Taiwan, the Philippines and China, but insists that it was done by private agencies and not the government.
None of the women’s demands – which also include an official apology and compensation, full disclosure of Japan’s wartime sex slavery, construction of a memorial and the inclusion of the Japanese wrongdoings in textbooks – has been accepted.
This year also marks the centennial of Japan’s forced annexation of Korea in 1910, which was followed by colonial rule that ended in 1945 with Japan’s defeat in World War II. Since its foundation, 234 former sex slaves have registered with the organization. The majority died, including six this year. Only 82 are alive. Historians say more than 200,000 women fell victim to the Imperial Japanese Army, which forced young girls to work at brothels. In July 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution condemning Japan and demanded it “formally apologize, and accept responsibility” for its role. The move was followed in the European Parliament later that year.
The issue of the ‘Comfort women’ is one of the ineffaceable scars that Japanese’s army left to Korean when they invaded Korea. I myself once participated in this movement as part of school club “Amnesty” activity. Different from the assumption that I had before attending that activity, the pain that those women suffered, and still suffering from was much more severe. Therefore, it is crucial that not only Korean, but also people around the globe should get to know about this problem, and support their movement.
Find more about this news from here!: http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2928532
SMART ★ Life Korea 2011.1.4