Former comfort woman rebuts Hashimoto’s remarks

Former comfort woman rebuts Hashimoto's remarks

On May 18, in the press conference held at Okinawa Christian University in Nishihara, Kim Bok-don rebutted Hashimoto's remarks.

May 19, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, co-leader of the opposition Japan Restoration Party, plans to meet former comfort women on May 24. On May 18, one of the women, Kim Bok-dong, held a press conference at Shalom Hall in Okinawa Christian University in Nishihara. Hashimoto said that comfort women had served a necessary role in maintaining discipline in the Japanese military before and during the Second World War. Kim objected to Hashimoto’s remarks, saying, “If Hashimoto thinks the comfort women regime was necessary, then would he send his daughters to prostitute themselves at comfort women brothels.”

Mentioning that the Japanese military coerced them into prostitution, Kim said, “I am one of the comfort women who suffered such hardships. I am here to serve as witness to the existence of the system. I am living proof of it.”

Kim criticized Hashimoto’s remarks, saying, “Hashimoto said that comfort women were necessary, but he does nothing to reveal the historical truth of the matter, or to resolve the issue of comfort women. This is not humane behavior.”

Referring to the meeting with Hashimoto on May 24, Kim said, “I tried to meet him in the past, but was not able to. If I am able to meet Hashimoto this time, I want him to apologize for the past and to say that the Japanese government will legally compensate the victims.”

Kim visited Okinawa from South Korea to speak for the “Exchange meeting with halmeoni (grandmother in Korean) to study the Imperial Japanese Army’s comfort women issues.” The executive committee and the Okinawa Christian Peace Studies Center co-hosted the meeting on May 18. Kil-Whnok, 84, a former comfort woman attended a lecture presentation held in Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture and criticized Hashimoto’s remarks. Kim will attend the meeting with Hashimoto on May 24.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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