Fair Lawn High School, Fair Lawn, New Jersey
2007 China Study Tour Participant
The system of comfort women implemented by the Japanese government robbed thousands of women of a normal, happy life. It is truly amazing for these women in China, Korea, Philippines, and the Netherlands to come out to tell their stories, only to be called liars by the current Japanese government. The one common answer that all these survivors have heard from the Japanese courts is they need more sufficient evidence. Nanjing Normal University had compiled 28 volumes of documentation. Museums and memorials have been erected to teach about what happened during WWII in Asia. How much more evidence is necessary? How can the Japanese government continue to deny their role in the atrocities, when even the Japanese soldiers themselves have admitted to them? The denial of the government ‘s role is a complete slap in the face to those people who still continue to fight for justice almost 70 years later.
The survivors we met should be honored for what they endured. They are the epitome of the human spirit.
The German government has reconciled with its horrible past, making sure future generations learn of what the Nazi regime did during WWII. The Japanese still have not gotten to that point, or even admitted any wrong doing, which is a shame to not only the Chinese survivors, but the Japanese people themselves.
When I told friends, colleagues at work, and family members why I was going to China, many of them responded, “China fought in WWII?” They only had been taught about the war in the Pacific from the American viewpoint, and not the other countries who had been fighting the Japanese long before Pearl Harbor happened. These are people who are well-educated, but were just not taught or had heard about that part of history. I think if more people around the world were better educated about WWII in Asia, then maybe that too could make a difference, and then the Japanese would have to come to terms with what they had done