Dear organizations and dear individuals,
the Working Group “Comfort Women”, the Japanese Women’s Initiative and the DOAM have petitioned the Japanese government for a resolution on the “consolation women” question.
We will be glad if you contact us if you sign this petition. It will be presented to the Japanese Embassy on 14th August. It would be good if we could have your feedback by the 12th of August.
If all the organizations of the Alliance sign the petition, this time most organizations and individuals would be there. To sign the letter please write us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s the power of the Alliance!!!
Open Letter to the Japanese government calling for a comprehensive solution to the “Comfort Women” issue
Mr. Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
2-3-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0014
International Memorial Day for the Japanese military’s “comfort women”
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Last year was the 10th anniversary of the resolution to solve the „comfort women“ issue which was accepted by the European Parliament. In commemoration of this, in January 2018, Korea Verband e.V. sent ‘The peace statue’ to the European Parliament headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
In April 2018, the High Commissioner of the United Nations Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein wrote to the minister of foreign affairs of Japan Taro Kono, that the Japanese government should “take Immediate and effective legislative and administrative measures to find a victim-centred resolution for “comfort women”, in particular, by acknowledging legal responsibility, and prosecuting and punishing perpetrators, as well as providing victims with full and effective redress and reparation”.
During the Second World War, up to approximately 200,000 women in Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, China and other Asian countries have been abused as sexual slaves by the State-led and structural system. It was only in 1991 when this war crime was known by the public when Ms. Kim Hak Soon, the survivor of the comfort women system, spoke out. Her testimony spread through the world and that is the starting point of the “MeToo” like movement in South Korea and other Asian countries. These survivors who reached their 90s now, have delivered the message of hope to survivors of sexual violence worldwide.
Today in Syria, Kosovo, Afghanistan and other countries where armed conflicts are taking place, a lot of women are still being sexually enslaved and many of them are killed. If the Japanese government redresses the “comfort women” issue and apologizes sincerely to the victims, it would also empower survivors who still live in pain.
However, the Japanese government still denies the essence of this war crime and its enforcement character. And the Japanese government does not respect the survivors´ testimony, historical facts and the recognition by the international community.
The Japanese government emphasizes that it reached an agreement with the South Korean government at the end of 2015 with a “definitive” and irrevocable “solution to the” comfort women “issue. However, the government continues to deny their legal responsibility. An apology that you, Mr. Prime Minister, should have given, was not heard by any survivors. Japan strictly rejects negotiations with states such as Taiwan, China or East Timor. How can this agreement be recognized as a solution?
Also, the Japanese government always applies political pressure against all the efforts of the world citizens to commemorate the history of sexual slavery, such as construction of the monument for “comfort women”, listing in UNESCO World Memory, and mentioning these as historical facts in history textbooks.
Concerning the monument for “comfort women”, the Japanese government tries not only to remove the first established „Peace Monument“ in Seoul in South Korea but also to interfere with the projects of the citizens in the USA and other countries to memorize the victims of sexual Violence. For example, in September 2016, the Japanese government disturbed the plan to establish a „Peace Monument“ in Freiburg in Germany. Later the Japanese government pressured the owner of a private park in South Germany to remove the inscription next to the statue. In April 2018, a statue of Filipina „comfort women” in Manila was removed after Japan’s Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications had protested the erection of the statue with the Filipino government. Those Interventions can’t be seen as a diplomatic manner of a democratic state. We call for Japan to respect citizens of another nation who will express their own historical consciousness.
Mr. Prime Minister,
the victims of the “comfort women” system are already at an advanced age. There is little time left. We, Deutsche Ostasienmission e.V. (DOAM), Japanische Fraueninitiative Berlin and Korea Verband e.V., who have been working for years to solve the “comfort women” issue, would ask you to put our demands in to action immediately.
We demand the Japanese government to:
– acknowledge the historical facts
– assume own political responsibility
– officially apologize to the victims
– pay reasonable compensation as proof
– take measures to prevent the recurrence of similar crimes in the future.
Deutsche Ostasienmission (DOAM) e.V.
Japanische Fraueninitiative Berlin
Korea Verband e.V.
You can sign the letter by writing to: email@example.com