Comfort women are women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army in occupied territories before and during World War Ⅱ. The name “Comfort women” translates to the Korean term Wianbu (위안부). Many people think that Comfort women are only in Korea. However, Comfort women are a very serious problem all over the world. Specifically, this article will go to talk about Korean Comfort women. The Comfort women problem is one of an infringement of human rights. Nevertheless, lots of people don’t think that it is an important and serious problem.
Approximately three-quarters of comfort women died, and most survivors were left infertile due to sexual trauma or sexually transmitted diseases. Beatings and physical torture were common for them. Comfort women were taken by the Japanese through deceit. Japanese said that they would introduce jobs and work for them, or they said they would make people work in the factories. However there were many people who were kidnapped by the Japanese. After Japanese took women to the Japanese service club, they beat and hit them. One Comfort woman said if the Comfort women said “No”, the Japanese beat them more. So, the Comfort women didn’t have freedom to talk what they wanted to. Also, because the Comfort women were young and weak in those days it was too intolerable for them. Actually, many women wanted to commit suicide, too. Nonetheless, they couldn’t die. The Comfort women were under the control of Japanese. This was totally abusive of human rights.
The Japanese, surprisingly, are showing an irresponsible attitude toward this problem. But also, the Korean government is not showing a clear position. In March, 2014, a US-Japan summit was held in The Hague in the Netherlands. South Korea has announced that they accepted the position due to the change in Japan’s attitude toward Comfort women. However, the Japanese government said Comfort women issue and the ROK-US-Japan summit has no relationship. After that, President Park Geun-Hye said there was “considerable progress” from the Comfort women issue in an interview to the Washington Post last June, the final stage of negotiations. Then the officials and the press in Japan denied the interview of President Park. Rather, it’s very surprising that Korea’s attitude suddenly softened. All of this is making confusion in the Korea-Japan relationship and the Comfort women problem.
Like this, Comfort women are a serious problem, but most of the people don’t know about this issue and nothing is really being done for the Comfort women. To help the Comfort women, the first thing we need to do is to have more attention on the Comfort women in Korea. Comfort women don’t want something big. They only want a true apology from Japan, a firm stance of the South Korean government, and more attention from people in Korea.
김효은, 신새하, 오수정 (Grade 8)