Former comfort woman stages demonstration outside DC Japanese embassy

July 2, 2015
Former comfort woman Kim Bok-dong, 89, left, staged a demonstration Wednesday outside the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., requesting an apology.

Former comfort woman Kim Bok-dong, 89, left, staged a demonstration Wednesday outside the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., requesting an apology.

By The Korea Times Washington, D.C. staff

Kim Bok-dong, 89, a former Korean comfort woman, staged a demonstration outside the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., Wednesday for the first time.

Kim was joined by representatives from several Korean American organizations in requesting a formal apology and compensation from Japan for its sexual crimes against young women during World War II.

The demonstration was the 1,185th held since the first comfort woman public protest unfolded in Seoul on Jan. 8, 1992.

“We have not been liberated from Japan until the comfort woman problem is solved,” Kim said. “Although the crimes were committed under another leader, Prime Minister Abe must ask for apology for the sins of his predecessors and provide compensation.”

A request for an apology from Abe has increasingly become a central issue for both Koreans and Korean Americans. Earlier this year, Abe’s U.S. visit was greeted by protesters in cities across the country calling for acknowledgement. Only about 50 comfort women remain living.

Meanwhile, comfort women memorials and statues continue installations around the U.S., from Glendale, Calif., to Union City, N.J., and Southfield, Michigan.

Members from the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan War & Women’s Human Rights Museum, the Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues, the National Association of Korean Americans, Citizens Academy of Korean Americans, the Washington Coalition of Koreans in America and D.C. Methodist Church attended.

Demonstrators signed a statement urging Japan to begin its repentance and apology.

Lee Jung-shil, head of the Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues, delivered the statement to the embassy.

“The embassy representative does not take the comfort women issue lightly and expressed hope for a speedy solution,” Lee said.

One Comment

  1. Chiu Kok-chiung

    July 3, 2015 at 1:47 AM

    We are sympathetic with the unfortunate women who were forced to serve
    as sexual slaves by the brutal Imperialist Japanese Army.

    Now, the Japanese government,led by Mr Abe, has exhibited such brazen
    disregard for those humiliated old victims. Is Mr Abe lower than
    animal?

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