Right The Wrongs From the stories of Korean Comfort women
Challenges have been part and parcel of life, however how we react to is all that matters. Even though others take the blow a little harder and hardly recover from them but others spring back up and dodge ahead as if they were never down.as C.S. Lewis stated that “getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” This phrase has totally surfaced when it comes to the Korean comfort women stories. Okay, this might open up wounds but thankfully, healing is a process, in which the involved parties have worked together to speed the healing and support in several ways. This article will highlight a number of things mostly about the different amends that have been made towards this story concerning the comfort women.
During the World War 2, the imperial Japanese army decided to take in women for the purpose of comfort, these women were from different countries including Korea, China, and the Philippines. The comfort women system was established for the aim of preventing rape crimes that were committed by the Japanese army personnel which led to the rise of hostility among the people in the occupied areas. This was due to the feeling of the military that they had a short of the volunteers of women who had volunteered themselves to comfort them. This decision brought out a lot of controversies, a wrong that the japan government is still trying to correct. This is because it affected the women differently as well as the countries at large.
According to the different women who have shared their experiences during that time have still held grudges towards the army for they had done, others say that they could forgive but would never forget, others just can’t find themselves to forgive and sadly other women cannot even try to talk about it and how they feel about the whole thing. The stories of the Korean comfort women are not well known, as most have not shared much on their experience. Despite this, the women seek to be helped as they really have health issues in which others have not been able to access help psychologically, others tend to relieve themselves of the pain and memories of the experience by talking about their experience this in return helps them release the hurt, as one of the survivors shared.
Recently, the government of Japan noticed the plight of this women from their testimonies and therefore decided to try and resolve this issue as it also caused friction and enmity with other countries involved. The government of Japan and Korea have thus gone ahead to make significant steps to bridge the gap that was caused by the ordeal that transpired decades ago. They seek to remodel the national identity, liberalize the social norms in Korea. This step in return has enabled the survivors to share their stories.
The following are the steps that have been taken towards the comfort women stories:
- Japan-south Korea agreements
- Compensations funding
- Apologies by the government
Japan-South Korea agreements
In 2015, the government of Japan and the government of the Republic of Korea discussed the issue of comfort women between Japan and Korea. They finally came to a conclusion on how to sort their issues in terms of how to help the women to deal with the world war 2 events. This is a step that was set to bring the two countries back together considering the fact that they are neighbors.
The government of Japan decided to:
- Contribute one billion yen to set up a foundation that would be under the South Korean government. It was to help the living comfort women survivors and support them in every aspect.
- To take measures to heal the psychological wounds of all former comfort women. The government of Japan will fund a foundation that will be established by the government of ROK that will support the comfort women survivors and this will in return recover the lost honor and dignity of Japan.
In 1994, the then prime minister issued a statement expressing his utmost apologies and remorse with regard to the comfort women. He stated that he was really searching for a way that will enable participation from the Japanese people. The Government of Japan decided to take moral responsibility for the comfort women issue and establish a funding project and other projects that will help the former comfort women sort their problems and challenges that they are facing. The funding project would cover a couple of things: it will support people conducting medical projects. It will show the remorse that the Japan government feels. The Government of Japan will a call for funding from a wide spectrum in Japan and its environs as a sign of the people of Japan atonement towards the former comfort women.
The Government decided to collate historical documents concerning the Korean comfort women so as to serve as a lesson of history. The Government as well decided to incorporate funding towards other projects that aim at a resolution of contemporary problems such as violence against women.
There have been several establishments that have been put in place to commemorate the former comfort women. The society has set up memorial halls, statues to show love towards the former comfort women especially the ones who were able to share their testimonies. i.e:
There is a research Centre that was set up in China for the Chinese comfort women, a museum as well that exhibits photographs of some comfort women. In Korea, there was an unveiling ceremony for a monument that shows support for the former comfort women. There is also a nursing home that was established by Buddhist organizations called the house of sharing
. Other people have also made documentaries with the comfort women for the purpose of education to the younger generations. The mood of spreading the word about the respect of women and their rights is rather huge and has spread to different areas of the world thanks to the comfort women who shared their stories as it has helped other woman who is going through similar challenges, therefore, creating stronger women having support from each other.
Comfort women were women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army in occupied territories before and during World War II.
The name “comfort women” is a translation of the Japanese ianfu (慰安婦), a euphemism for “prostitute(s)”. Estimates vary as to how many women were involved, with numbers ranging from as low as 20,000 (by Japanese conservative historian Ikuhiko Hata) to as high as 360,000 to 410,000 (by a Chinese scholar); the exact numbers are still being researched and debated. Most of the women were from occupied countries, including Korea, China, and the Philippines.
Women were used for military “comfort stations” from Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaya, Taiwan (then a Japanese dependency), the Dutch East Indies, Portuguese Timor, and other Japanese-occupied territories. Stations were located in Japan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, then Malaya, Thailand, Burma, New Guinea, Hong Kong, Macau, and French Indochina. A smaller number of women of European origin were also involved from the Netherlands and Australia with an estimated 200–400 Dutch women alone.
According to testimonies, young women were abducted from their homes in countries under Imperial Japanese rule. In many cases, women were lured with promises of work in factories or restaurants, or opportunities for higher education; once recruited, they were incarcerated in comfort stations both inside their nations and abroad.