SF Chinese American-led comfort women memorial to undergo vote

July 21, 2015

San Francisco’s Chinese American community is leading an effort to erect a comfort women memorial statue in the city.

The city’s Board of Supervisors will vote on a resolution urging the establishment of a comfort women memorial Tuesday afternoon, sponsored by eight supervisors and initially introduced by Chinese American Supervisor Eric Mar earlier this month.

For adoption, the resolution requires a unanimous vote.

The proposal is the first comfort women memorial effort led by a non-Korean American.

An estimated 200,000 “comfort women,” young sexual slaves from Asian countries including Korea, China and the Philippines, were taken by the Japanese military during World War II.

Several memorials have been installed or have been proposed across the country, most notably in Glendale, Calif., where a replica of the statue in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul now sits inside the city’s Central Park.

The Glendale statue has sparked a movement to install similar memorials; statues have gone up in Union City, N.J., and Southfield, Mich., and more have been proposed in Fort Lee, N.J., Los Angeles, Chicago, Ellicott City, Md., and Fullerton, California.

8 Comments

  1. Moguro Fukuzo

    July 21, 2015 at 9:03 PM

    Koreans are shameless liars. They tell lies as they breathe.

    False Accusations of Comfort Women
    http://www.howitzer.jp/korea/page03.html

  2. ruewarwick

    August 11, 2015 at 8:58 PM

    Subject: RE: Justice and friendship for the future regarding ‘Comfort Women’ issue

    Dear Sir or Madame,

    I write this in order to save democracy, in order to save freedom of speech and fair and fact based discussions,
    I write this in order to make people can self-reflect whether what they heard and believed have been totally free from biases or ethnocentrism.
    As for myself I just can’t let harmful lies spread over the world to make everyone including Koreans unhappy and make the world worse.
    I believe America as a nation which put great value on justice and fairness.
    I hope you never give hand to propaganda or thoughtless fabrications again so that cause and deepen hatred between neighboring two nations, Japan and Korea also in the future.

    Second Sino-Japanese War started in early 1930’s.
    Even though I don’t discount Pan-Asianists’ wish to liberalize Asia from European Imperial powers, I believe majority of Japanese wanted to make China their colony like Indian Empire was for the British Empire then.
    And because Japanese were familiar with Chinese literature and history they might easily regard themselves same as historical barbarian empire which rose from China’s margins and eventually became foreign dynasty in China.
    But if they believe that way they didn’t understand Chinese people’s hope for self- determination and ambition for better life and democracy.

    Japanese Imperial Army occupying China faced guerilla type warfare and resentments from local Chinese population.
    Chinese people despised Japanese Imperial Army all the more because of guerilla hunt which was same as casual murder of citizens, scorched earth campaign and rapes.
    Then Japanese Imperial Army decided to introduce and accompany brothels to battle field in order to prevent sexual crimes by Japanese soldiers which had stirred up angers towards occupying foreign force.

    Regarding composition of ‘Comfort Women’ or prostitutes accompanied to battlefield, around 60% were Japanese from Japanese archipelago, about 30% were Korean Japanese from Korean peninsula and 10% were Taiwanese Japanese.
    Japanese and Koreans and Taiwanese were Japanese Imperial subjects then. Portion of comfort women roughly reflected the population of Japanese Empire’s ethnic groups.
    Small portion of comfort women also came from local population like Chinese, Filipina, Indonesian, Burmese and Dutch from East Indies colonist families.

    Regarding 35 Dutch women in Semarang, Indonesia, Japanese military officials were blamed for compelling them to work as prostitutes against their will. It was against Japanese martial disciple and when Japanese Imperial Army’s headquarter in Indonesia noticed the fact, they closed the comfort station immediately.
    Person in charge, Lieutenant Colonel was executed as war criminal in the Allied military tribunal after war ended.

    From 1980’s story about abductions of Korean girls by Japanese Imperial Army were told and spread by couples of Japanese.
    In 1983 former Japanese soldier Seiji Yoshida wrote a book ‘My Wartime Crime’ and he addressed that he had kidnapped 200 girls from Jeju, a Korean island and brought them to battlefield. Local Jeju historian instantly denied the story and later in 1996 Yoshida admitted that the book was a fiction.
    But before he confessed that his story was a fabrication, in 1991 a female Japanese human rights lawyer, Mizuho Fukushima former leader of Japanese Social Democrats took up this story to sue Japanese Government for damage and Asahi Shinbun, leading liberal Japanese paper spread this fabrication.
    At first Korean researchers together with Japanese researchers identified abduction story is not truth. Meanwhile Korean newspaper erroneously reported number of Korean ‘Comfort Women’ was 200,000 which equals to one tenth of Japanese Army troops stationed in hostile foreign soil at peak and one percent of the population of Korean peninsula, i.e.; 23 million, in 1945. Everybody can understand it just can’t be possible.

    From 1990’s on, democratized South Korea’s presidents have been pushed by public opinion and repeatedly take up the story together with other Japanese colonization issues once he came close to the end of his tenure and became lame duck to salvage his popularity.

    From 1993 on Japanese Government has formally apologized for the suffering caused and Japanese public raised compensation funds for the victims. Consolatory payment is about 30,000USD per person and letter attached from Japanese Premier describes sincere apology.
    One nation which rejected to accept the goodwill from Japan was and still is South Korea. South Korean activists said they can’t accept apology nor money unless Japanese Government admits Japanese Imperial Army directly kidnapped girls from peaceful Korean villages.
    We know it is a fabrication invented by certain persons.
    And how you can explain why there is no evidence other than testimonies of victims made after 1991. Contrary there are many prewar and wartime Korean newspapers reporting Japanese governmental police raided on human trafficking from Korea to China.
    And finally in August 2014 Asahi Shinbun admitted that their report was based on false story.

    It’s pity to learn that indentured labor was illegal but did exist in Japan before WW2.
    Many of Korean prostitute girls were sold by their parents. Few might have been cheated by pimps.
    I personally feel sorry for their sufferings but it is not correct to modify history in order to denounce neighboring country and harm mutual friendship in the future.

    Even I am aware of Korean resentments towards Japan because of colonization in 20th century and invasions in 16th and in 7th century I like Korean culture and cuisine and had some Korean friends.
    I studied Korean history and when Korean economy took off towards industrialized country in late 80’s, I expected now new era had come for Koreans to forgive the past and two nations to understand equally.
    But that was just a dream and I accuse Japanese left activists who try to gain fame and profit by fabricating story in 80’s and planting seeds of current troubles and also short sighted Korean nationalists who are just the prisoners of hatreds.

    I believe that American people cherish and enthusiastically defend fairness, justice and the truth. I hope that you will make a truthful, fair and objective judgment in regards to so called ‘Comfort Women’ issue.

    Kind regards,

    Ruewarwick
    Tokyo

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  4. Mai Yen

    September 23, 2015 at 9:39 PM

    The San Francisco Supervisors are very narrow sighted, and influenced by money…
    They really don’t give a rats crap about “Violation of Human Rights”

    If so, a memorial
    statue, and a public building dedicated to the 45-80 million Chinese ( 80,000,000 ) who have died
    due to Mao Zedong and Communist Chinese Party would be erected.
    The greatest human atrocity and “Violation of Human Rights” in all of human history!

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