The Korea-Japan “comfort women” agreement is only a political collusion which excluded the victims and disregarded their human rights for militaristic and economic gains. With the agreement between the two governments, many foreign medias reported that the “comfort women” issue was resolved, and even UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the event (Appendix 3. Appeal letter to the UN Secretary General). However, the survivors were disappointed of the news and are pleading that the agreement unacceptable as Japan’s apology. Also, many support groups from Korea, Japan, and other countries that have been working closely with the victims for the righteous resolution are clear with their message that the unjust agreement is unacceptable. Furthermore, the survivors and citizens from all over the world are calling for withdrawal of the agreement and are carrying out campaigns for a just resolution of the issue.
In Korea, Nationwide Actions was established with four hundred organizations, and Foundation for Justice and Remembrance of the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery Victims is being established to support the survivors so the citizens can take charge of follow-up measures themselves. Already, a great number of citizens have participated in the fundraising, and the survivors have promised to step forward as the founders of the foundation to help numerous other survivors whose whereabouts are unknown.
It was the survivors and civic societies that brought out the grave wartime human rights violence against women, so-call the Japanese military “comfort women” issue, to the forefront of history and to the public. The survivors have been traveling to Japan, the UN, and parliaments and assemblies around the world and shared their agonizing stories and demanded recovery of their justice. Their long fight must not be ended with an instant political compromise. The Japanese government, the victim country’s government, or any other organizations in the world do not have the rights to do so.
As of January 2016, 192 out of 238 victims that had registered with the Korean government passed away, and only 46 of them are still alive. The average age of the survivors is 89, and the justice for the victims of the Japanese military “comfort women” must be realized as soon as possible before it is too late.
Thus, the Japanese government must implement the following measures.
■ Fully respect the victims’ demand that the Korea-Japan “comfort women” agreement of December 28 is unacceptable, and renegotiate under the principle of the victim-centered approach.
■ Accept the Recommendations adopted at the 12thAsian Solidarity Conference, which reflects the victims’ demands, and admit its state and legal responsibilities regarding its crime of military sexual slavery system (The Recommendations can be found in appendix 3). Also, take measures, such as providing reparation, investigating the truth, preventing reoccurrence, and recording the event in history textbooks.
■ Implement recommendations by the UN human rights bodies and resolve the “comfort women” issue on the basis of the international laws and human rights principles.
The Peace Monument symbolize the “comfort women” victims