Excerpts from the 12/28/2015 Statement from South Korean Organizations Working on the Comfort Women Issue

The following excerpts came from the statement released on 12/28/2015 from six South Korean organizations leading the effort on seeking justice for former Korean comfort women.  The six organizations are House of Sharing, The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery, Namhae Women’s Association, Daegu Citizen Forum for Halmuni, Masan-Changwon-Jinhae Citizen Forum for Japanese “Comfort Women,” and Tongyeong-Goeje Citizen Forum for Japanese “Comfort Women.”

“Although the Japanese government announced that it ‘feels [its] responsibilities,’ the statement lacks the acknowledgment of the fact that the colonial government and its military had committed a systematic crime.  The government had not just been simply involved but actively initiated the activities which were criminal and illegal.”

“It appears that Japan will pass the future responsibilities on to the government of the victims’ country after simply paying off the money.  Also, it is notable that the Agreement did not specify anything on preventative initiatives such as truth seeking and history education.”

“The Korean government’s attitude towards this Agreement, which is vague and incomplete, is rather shocking.  The Korean government promised that it will seek a resolution for the matter of the Peace Monument in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul in order to maintain the dignity of the Embassy, and will limit its criticism against Japanese government internationally.  This is a diplomatic humiliation.”

“The Korean government accepted the Japanese government’s absurd condition on the Agreement which demanded the removal of the Peace Monument.  Moreover, the attitude of the former which declared that it will not even mention the military sexual slavery issue in the future is shameful and disappointing.”

“The Peace Monument cannot be a condition or means for any Agreement.  It is a public property and a historic symbol representing the peaceful spirit of the Wednesday Demonstrations, which have been continued by the survivors and the citizens for over a thousand Wednesdays.”

“All these years, the survivors, supporting civil society organizations and citizens demanded that Japanese government acknowledge its national, legal responsibilities clearly and commit to due diligence in order to recover dignity and human rights of the survivors and prevent any such tragedy in the future.  However, the Agreement today is only a diplomatic collusion which betrays the demands from all.”

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