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Korean Comfort Women 2015 Agreement Stands

Korean Comfort Women 2015 Agreement Stands

This history event begins in 1932 and extends to 1945 during WWII when the Imperial Japanese Army stole and enslaved young girls and women from Korea and other Asian countries to be sex slaves in servicing the Japanese military army. The female slaves became known as the “comfort women.” Several Korean women amazingly survived to tell their comfort women stories about the atrocities they suffered.

The South Korean government has always requested some form of repatriation from Japan for the women’s suffering and enslavement. The Japanese government refused to discuss it, which caused many Korean and worldwide activists to take varying anti-Japanese actions.

For example, the comfort women stories enraged Korean activists who wanted to boycott Japanese products from coming into their ports; artists like Duterte created bronzed statues called the Statute of Peace in honor of the Korean women. The statutes can be found around the world, including in San Francisco, California.

When further comfort women testimonies were made public, there were many silent protests staged in front of Japanese embassies around the world. In 2013, a Sejong University professor of literature, Park Yu-ha wrote a book which presented different reasons why the author felt that many of the enslaved women were willing sex slaves for money. The survivors sued Ms. Park Yu-ha, however, they lost their case.

In December 2015, then President Park Geun-hye of South Korea and Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan agreed to settle their ‘comfort women’ dispute. Japan agreed to submit a legal letter of apology, contribute to the survivor’s health care needs under a plan called the Asian Women’s Fund and provide around $9 million to an atonement fund that would help the remaining South Korean comfort women.

This 2015 agreement was designed to abate and ease the contention between the Korean and Japanese nations on this subject and to put this war-time matter to rest. As time went on, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe began to back out of his apology letter and monetary actions.

In 2017 Moon Jae-in was elected President of South Korea. He supported the Korean comfort women movement by erecting a museum and research institute. The Korean nation has always felt humiliation for the enslaving of the Korean comfort women by Japan. President Moon-Jae even declared an official government day to memorialize the history of the South Korean comfort women.

Here we are in 2018 with Taro Kono as the Japanese Foreign Minister and Moon Jae-in as the South Korean President. Despite criticisms on both sides, they want this matter resolved so that the current matter with the United States and North Korea can be discussed and hopefully resolved.

Foreign Minister Taro Konois in agreement to fulfill their December 2015 agreement before this subject begins to further impair the Japanese-South Korean relationship. The Korean government believes that the 2015 agreement also left the door open for further support from receiving more horrors from the comfort women testimonies. The ROK (Republic of Korea) and its people are asking for additional help from the Japanese government regarding the restoration of the women’s dignity, honor, and psychological healing.

Japan is bucking this further idea. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono made comments in January stating that there will be no further changes than what was outlined in the original December 2015 agreement. Foreign Minister Taro Kono recently commented that the December 2015 agreement will be a permanent and immutable settlement.

In other words the 2015 agreement is a take it or leave it situation. There will be no further discussions. The current tension between North and South Korea seems to be more of an issue than the WWII enslavement of Korean and other Asian women. For now, the 2015 agreement stands.

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