Comfort women victim passed away..

On June 11,2015,two more victims of Japanese military sexual slavery during World War II – 81-year-old Kim Oi-hwan and 91-year-old Kim Dal-seon – died within half an hour of each other Thursday evening.

The two died without getting a proper official apology from the Japanese government to the “comfort women,” a euphemistic term for the tens of thousands of young women and girls forced into wartime military brothels by the Japanese Imperial Army.

Kim Oi-hwan, the youngest of the surviving Korean victims, passed away on Thursday around 8:40 p.m. of chronic illness at a hospital in Gwangju, Gyeonggi.

Born in Andong, North Gyeongsang, she was forced into sexual slavery in Hokkaido just before the end of World War II in February 1945 at the tender age of 11. She was released after the war and married a man who also returned to Korea after being conscripted to work in Japan. The two settled in Andong and had five children.

In late 2012, Kim moved to the House of Sharing, a home for the sex slave victims in Gyeonggi. She suffered from emotional trauma from the violence she suffered during her time in the brothels and had trouble walking because of a knee problem. Her husband, who remained in Andong, visited her once a month.

A little over 30 minutes later on the same day, another victim from the same province, Kim Dal-seon, passed away at 9:15 p.m. at a hospital in her hometown of Pohang, North Gyeongsang, of natural causes related to old age.

Kim was kidnapped by a Japanese police officer at the age of 19 in 1943 while she was selling fish at a market with her mother. She was dragged onto a boat headed to Myanmar.

Because of the abuse she endured as a sex slave, she eventually had two surgeries on her uterus and even attempted suicide. She did not initially even know that the war ended in 1945 and continued to be used by the Japanese military. Eventually she got on a boat to Busan, where she stayed for two years recovering her health.

In 1947, she returned to her parents in Pohang but lost her father and male siblings during the Korean War. She made her living selling rice, fish and vegetables. She didn’t marry until she was nearly 50, and lived with her husband in Daegu until he passed away from complications of diabetes.

She received care at a nursing home in Daegu for the past several years before she moved back to Pohang to spend the remaining years of her life.

The deaths bring the total number of Korean survivors of wartime sexual slavery to 50. A total of 238 former sex slaves were officially registered with the government.

Minister of Gender Equality and Family Kim Hee-jung on Friday paid respects to the two women’s families at their wakes on Friday.

“An apology when there are no more victims alive will be meaningless,” she said in a statement. “If there is no apology while they are alive, the


Japanese journalist to release film on ‘comfort women’


Japanese journalist Toshikuni Doi plans to release a film on Korean sexual slaves during World War II in Tokyo Sunday.

The documentary “Live With the Memory” will contain Doi’s reporting in the 1990s in Seoul on seven victims of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery. Its release comes more than 20 years after the journalist began covering the issue in 1994.

In a recent interview with the Asahi Shimbun, Doi said that he decided to belatedly pursue the film’s release in Japan to spread the personal stories of the victims.

“The recent debate on comfort women does not represent the individual stories,” Doi said. “The film’s purpose is to deliver their own voices.”

The film runs for three hours and 35 minutes and will be shown at the Hibiya Conventional Hall.

He observed and filmed the lives of seven victims in Seoul from December 1994 through January 1997.

One of the victims is the late Kang Deok-gyeong from Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province, who worked at a factory in Toyama and was later forced into a domestic military brothel.

On her way back home after Korea’s liberation from Japan in 1945, she found out that she was pregnant. The child was born but later died at a child care facility. Doi filmed the last years of Kang’s life until she died in 1997.

Six other victims he filmed had all died by 2013.

He said that he decided on the belated release of the film because of comments from Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto who said in 2013 that the “comfort women system was necessary.”

In April, Doi published a book titled “Live with the Memory: The Life of Comfort Woman Kang Deok-gyeong.”

The film is being released at a time of mounting tension between the two countries on comfort women.

Recently, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe angered many Koreans when he called the women “victims of human trafficking” in a Washington Post interview ahead of his U.S. trip in April.

The issue continues to hamper bilateral relations as Japan has denied Korea’s call for proper apology and compensation for the victims.

Ahead of a landmark diplomatic occasion for bilateral ties this month, some Japanese media reports are urging the two countries to mend their ties through a summit. The two countries will mark the 50th anniversary of normalizing relations on June 22.

A Korea-Japan summit has yet to take place since President Park Geun-hye assumed office in 2013.

“The historic treaty that ushered in a new era for bilateral ties was signed on June 22, 1965,” an Asahi Shimbun editorial published Thursday said. “The last remaining major diplomatic hurdle for a thaw between the two countries is the lack of prospects for a meeting between Abe and Park.”

The Japanese daily urged the two leaders to attend joint ceremonies marking the milestone occasion and “talk about their feelings toward each other.”