5:16 pm - 07/04/2012

Former Korean comfort women to sue Japanese politician

Women used as comfort women by the Japanese military have begun a legal offensive against Japanese citizens who insulted the comfort woman statue across from the Japanese Embassy in Korea.

Kim Sun-ok, Bae Chun-hui, Lee Yong-nyeo, Kim Gun-ja, Lee Ok-seon, Kang Il-chul, Yu Hui-nam, and others of the women living at the “House of Sharing” in Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do, announced on the 3rd that on the afternoon of the 4th they will file a lawsuit for defamation and criminal insult against 47-year old Suzuki Noboyuki, a Japanese citizen.

Their attorney is Park Seon-ah of the Hangang Law Corporation.

There are over 1,000 complainants from House of Sharing, the E-Museum for the Victims of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery, and the International Peace and Human Rights Center.

They plan to also report Mr. Suzuki to the Immigration Service to have banned from entering the country.

House of Sharing explained in a statement that “Mr. Suzuki placed a stake on the comfort woman statute, which represents all of us former comfort women, called us prostitutes, and insulted our experiences during the Pacific War caused by Japan… he questioned whether Japanese people bore any legal responsibility for committing human rights abuses and praised war crimes.”

House of Sharing’s president Ahn Shin-gwon said that “police say that there is no statute allowing them to take action, so we are takin legal action to prevent it happening a second and third time.”

Mr. Suzuki went to the Korean War and Women’s Rights Museum in Seoul on the 18th of last month, then the next day went to the comfort woman statue across from the Japanese Embassy and placed a white sign on reading “Takeshima is Japanese Territory” in Korean and “Takeshima is Japan’s Inherent Land” in Japanese, setting of fthe current controversy.

Source: English article and photograph at AsianCorrespondent.com; original Korean article at YeonHap News
deerlike 5th-Jul-2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
It's not about "how many times" can Japan apologize, but rather can the country significantly address and acknowledge its war past -- because it really has not so far. Compare the way Japan dealt with its war crimes and criminals to Germany, or the way German culture has rigorously addressed the Nazi past and done everything it can to exorcise this kind of ethnocentric nationalism from their soil. I'm not saying that Germany is perfect (they have their own issues of racism, re the Turkish immigrant population), but you would never see a German politician visiting Nazi graves or hear about Holocaust memorials being desecrated by German citizens.

I'm not trying to imply that all Japanese are apologists, and I'm sorry if it came across like that, but I do believe that Japan as a nation has not properly confronted the spectres of its war past -- but instead quietly shoved them to one side (or in the case of right-wing natiionalists outright embraced them), and this is why a number of victims have been unable to achieve closure and move on with their lives. They were denied any significant justice during the post-war tribunals (and the US had a lot to do with this), and then all they hear in the form of an apology is a lukewarm expression of remorse? Again, contrast this with the gestures made by German chancellors post-war towards the Jewish communities of Europe.
allthingsgood 7th-Jul-2012 01:26 am (UTC)
I wish I could marry your comments in this post.
deerlike 7th-Jul-2012 02:24 am (UTC)
Thanks. :) I really appreciate that.
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