From the left, Andrew-Kyoungwan Woo(M.I.T.), and Ji Won Kim (M.I.T.)
From the left, Hanna Lee(University of Southern California), Alberta Yoo(Northwestern University), Jessie Jung-yeon Park(Barnard College), and Ray Dongho Kim (University of Pennsylvania)
This year, again, another comfort woman passed away. Her name was Chunhee Bae, and she used to live in House of Sharing. When we visited the house during the winter vacation, she sang us songs in Korean, Japanese, Russian, and Chinese. She remembered the entire lyrics of the Japanese song she learned when she was conscripted as a sex slave for the Japanese army as a teenage girl. The nightmare during the teenage is never forgotten, she told us.
Now, we only have 54 women surviving, and only 49 in South Korea. The US Congress, in the 2007 resolution, criticized the sex slaves of the Japanese military during the WWII 「the “comfort women” system of forced military prostitution by the Government of Japan, considered unprecedented in its cruelty and magnitude, included gang rape, forced abortions, humiliation, and sexual violence resulting in mutilation, death, or eventual suicide in one of the largest cases of human trafficking in the 20th century.
The international community and UN demanded no less than 10 times that Japan takes appropriate measures including official apology and compensation for this issue. Congresses in nine countries around the world adopted a resolution letter memorial monuments were erected in 12 regions of three countries. Perhaps they are waiting for these women who are 88 and older to pass away. However, history never stops.
We, four students, do not have great power or loud voice. However, we wanted to help. We wanted more people to know about these women’s stories as they have been living for more than 70 years with stigma and sorrow after the brutal experience during their teenage.
Announcement: ‘Justice for Comfort Women’ now has new members, dedicated to commit themselves to help these surviving ladies’ voice can reach out to broader audience.
From the left, Daniel-Jinwon Kim(Duke University), Cindy-Jiwon Kim(M.I.T.), and Andrew-Kyoungwan Woo(M.I.T.).
Please keep up the good work. I have often thought that it would be good to organize a worldwide demonstration that would be in several cities where one girl would be sitting on a chair next to an empty chair, just like the statue. Do it every year. I think it would get attention.
I was looking at your website and was suprised to find the article “Predictions 2023: A New Realism in the Comfort Women Issue” there, this article seems to go against everything you stand for, claiming for example there were not as many comfort women, and calling it all a North Korean conspiracy. The science behind the article is also suspisious to say the least as the author is his own main source. The article might look sound at first glance but for example also claims Japan does not deny the comfort women theory enough!
Hello! I’m a professor at the University of Utah’s Asia Campus in Korea and I’m trying to reach one of your group representatives to see if you would be interested in speaking to our students about your activism around this issue. Could you suggest an email that I could speak with you? Thank you, Kera.
Hello Kera! We apologize for the late reply. The JFCW organization would love to contribute to such a meaningful opportunity. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to one of our head members of the JFCW organization!
Hi I’m an editor with The Metric, a youth led initiative that aims to publish personal narratives on public issues. I have recently been looking into the comfort women system and was wondering if you might be interested in writing an article about your activism efforts? See link to The Metric’s website here: https://www.themetric.org/
We apologize for the late reply. Our organization would be more than happy to write an article regarding comfort women! Please let us know if this is still a viable option!
Hi we are currently producing a play about Maria Rosa Henson, the first comfort woman to come forward in the Philippines. I gone through your site and I was able to pick up a lot of facts and figures. I hope to get in touch with you so I can formally ask your permission regarding some of your materials. Thank you.
Please freely use any information you may get from our site!
It’s nice to see young students standing up for the elderly and veterans who were treated so horrible in WW2. I’m going to fully support this campaign, we need justice for all the Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos and Taiwanese people who were victims of these horrible war crimes!
Your support and kind words mean a lot to us. Thank you so much.
Justice for all Korean, Chinese, Filipinos and Taiwanese women who treated horribly during the war. It is really nice to see young students standing up for the elderly people who were treated horrible in WW2. I will fully support this campaign!
Former US president Hebert Hoover wrote in his book “Freedom Betrayed”, completed in 1965, as follows:
I first visited Korea in 1909, to advise some Japanese Industrialists on engineering matters. The Korean people at that time were in the most disheartening condition that I had witnessed in any part of Asia. There was little law and order. The masses were underfed, under-clothed, under housed and under equipped. There was no sanitation, and filth and squalor enveloped the whole countryside. The roads were hardly passable, and there were scant communication or educational facilities. Scarcely a tree broke the dismal landscape. Thieves and bandits seemed to be unrestrained.
During the thirty-five years of Japanese control, the life of the Korean people was revolutionized. Beginning with this most unpromising human material, the Japanese established order, built harbors, railways, roads and communications, good public buildings, and greatly improved housing. They established sanitation and taught better methods of agriculture. They built immense fertilizer factories in North Korea which lifted the people’s food supplies to reasonable levels. They reforested the bleak hills. They established a general system of education and the development of skills. Even dusty, drab and filthy clothing had been replace with clean bright colors.
The Koreans, compared to the Japanese, were poor at administration and business. Whether for this reason or by deliberate action, the Japanese filled all major economic and governmental positions. Thus, in 1948, when they finally achieved self-government, the Koreans were little prepared for it.
President Hoover visited Korea in 1946 again. He witnessed the before and after of Japanese rule.
The study by a British scholar Alleyne Ireland in his book “New Korea” also shows a true picture of Korea during the annexation. The Colonial Government modernized the territories’ basic infrastructures and improved people’s literacy and their standards of living with the fund provided by the Japanese Government. Many dams, factories and buildings built during the annexation period are still used today.
There was no brutal plundering of Korea by Japanese during the annexation. After World War II, Korea and Taiwan became two leading new economies based on the well-educated populace and infrastructure. I have to assert that people who claim Japanese military action on comfort women either completely ignorant of the modern Korean history or intentionally ignored the facts to disparage Japanese.
The fact that Japan advanced education and infrastructure in Korea and Taiwan does not disprove anything about their crime in comfort women. Just the contrary, the crime in instituting comfort women negates any advancement of such colonial so called education and infrastructure. Why do Japan hate humanity?
We would like to help victims from War while they are still with us. Please understand it is not related to any ‘hate’ toward certain countries or people at all.
Why do you hate Japan?
We do not hate Japan.
You guys have been doing great job.
I hope the surviving comfort women receive proper acknowledgement and apology from enforcers while they are still alive..
I fully support your passion and it is great to see young students to speak up! Keep the great works!
Thank you very much for your support!! It means a lot..
As a Williston alum myself (’90), I’m delighted to discover your efforts and this site. I am part of a global petition campaign effort out of Japan, with allies in Korea, Zainichi Koreans in the US, Taiwan, and beyond, to halt Abe regime’s insidious domestic attempts at ‘mainstreaming’ his denialist history throughout Japan’s schools… which threatens to obscure the truth about Comfort Women in the consciousness of Japanese society as a whole. Join our fun photo message action with #TruthTodayPeaceTomorrow to spread the online petition at chn.ge/1AH44aa, thanks! Miho K Lee
thank you for this! As Willison alum myself (’90) I’m delighted to discover this site and your efforts. We’ve launched a global petition campaign to stop Abe regime’s insidious domestic efforts to ‘mainstream’ his denialist history throughout Japan’s schools. Join our fun photo message action with #TruthTodayPeaceTomorrow to spread the online petition at chn.ge/1AH44aa, Thank you! Miho Kim Lee