Are you a global citizen who cares about the Human Rights?
If you’re nodding to this question, you are the person who can bring changes with this matter.
Over 60 years have passed since Korea became independent from Japan in 1945. Japan occupied Korea for 36 yrs from 1910 to 1945. Most Koreans remember the horrific suffering of their ancestors during this period. The suffering of the ‘comfort women’ is an important and unforgettable part of Korean history, but it is a small part of and is often missing from Japanese history.
‘Comfort women’ is a euphemism for the sexual slavery of Asian women by the Japanese military during World War II. According to Amnesty International, up to 200,000 women were enslaved and forced into organized rapes on Japanese military bases. They were from many Asian countries such as China, East Timor, Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Taiwan.
Over 80% of the comfort women are believed to have been Korean. They were forced to serve 10 to 30 soldiers per day on average. When they refused, the women were beaten and even killed. After the end of the war, former comfort women felt too ashamed to speak out, and tried to hide their experience in the Japanese ‘comfort stations’ even from their own family. They kept their silence until a Korean survivor’s testimony in 1991. As of July 2006, only 225 have reported to the Korean government that they were comfort women. Many have already died, or live in poor conditions while suffering from physical and psychological pain. The Japanese government has not yet made an official apology to the victims.
Resolving the issue of the comfort women is a necessary step toward peace in Northeast Asia. By paying reparation and compensation to the victims of the comfort women system, the Japanese government can show its willingness to defend peace and human rights. Japan is a country that led the effort to pass UN human rights resolutions concerning North Korea. If the Japanese government continues to ignore the ‘comfort women’ issue, which was a severe human rights violation, it will be tougher to gain support for its role in human rights improvement for the Asian continent.
In addition, by making an official apology, the Japanese government can show its willingness to take responsibility for its past. Accepting responsibility for its history of imperialism will ease Asian countries’ concern about Japanese rearmament and its movements toward revising the Peace Constitution. Building trust with other Asians countries is important for the Japanese government, which hopes to become a leading party in the Northeast Asian region and a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
With your helps, VANK will be able to send global citizens' hopes to the international community.