Japan fears the truth

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Japan fears the truth

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In 2010, the first monument dedicated to the comfort women victims in the United States was established at Palisades Park, NJ. On July 2, Hideki Ikejiri, a council member from Sakai in Japan’s Osaka Prefecture visited the memorial. He claimed that the comfort women were not forced into sex slavery and some of them willingly participated for money. But the situation changed when he visited the Palisades Park City Hall to protest the memorial.

Ikejiri argued that the comfort women issue is something that should be discussed before Korea and Japan. Palisades Park mayor James Rotundo said that they were talking about women who suffered, and the Japanese government must do something to console the victims.

When Ikejiri continued to make absurd argument, the mayor advised him to use the energy to fly to New Jersey to convince the Japanese government to resolve the issue.

Abe government’s verification of the Kono Statement has made it clear that Japan is working hard to cover up the truth of the wartime sex slavery. In 2012, the Korean Consulate General in New York had to act. The Japanese consul general offered to donate library books and trees to the city of Palisades Park in return for removing the monument. Liberal Democrat assemblymen visited the city hall and openly demanded removes the memorial. The act of Ikejiri, a local council member, illustrates that Japanese politicians are using all means available to lobby for the removal.

In the background is the sense of shame to have committed such barbaric brutality that no civilized nation would commit. Ikejiri said, “When my children or grandchildren visit America, they would be made fun of because of what the memorial plaque states.” Instead of repenting the shameful part of their history, Japan came up with an immature idea to deny it ever happening.

Dr. Arthur Flug, Executive Director of the Kupfeberg Holocaust Resource Center at Queensborough Community College in New York, sponsors an educational program teaching the truth about the comfort women issue to the students. He said that it was most important to let people know what happen. The students who learn about the truth would go around the society and spread the truth. In fact, Holocaust memorials and museums around the country constantly remind the visitors of Nazi brutality. Japan is afraid of the truth. That’s why it is so important to teach the people around the world and the young generation the brutality committed by Japan that the comfort women victims had to suffer.

JoongAng Ilbo, July 4, Page 29

*The author is a New York correspondent of the JoongAng Ilbo.

BY LEE SANG-RYEUL



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