ARMY donates to comfort womenBoy band BTS’s international fans have been making donations to organizations that support comfort women, a euphemistic term for victims of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery during World War II.
This follows recent controversies regarding the boy group, after a number of Japanese broadcasters dropped the group from their programs citing that member Jimin had expressed anti-Japanese sentiments by wearing of a T-shirt depicting the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
More than a hundred fans came together to make donations, according to House of Sharing, a shelter for victims of Japanese military sexual slavery in World War II. A spokesperson from the organization said that $3,219 has been donated since Friday.
“This is not simply a funding project,” the organization said, referring to the fans’ donations. “It’s about remembering the victims of sex slavery and knowing the colonial history.”
BTS fans began donating to House of Sharing in 2015.
“Actual donations have been made since 2015, but ever since the controversy regarding Jimin’s T-shirt made news on Nov. 8, around 3.5 million won [$3,107] have been donated,” the organization said on Nov. 15. “This year, donations [from BTS fans] amount to 10 million won.”
Fans have been encouraging donations on Twitter, sharing screenshots of their donations along with messages of support.
By Yeo Ye-rim