Tuesday, January 12, 2016
"Comfort Women" Justice Postponed
Recently the agreement between Korea and Japan on the 'comfort women' issue is not appreciated by many in Korea. Comfort women was the euphemism used for women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Army before and during the Second World War.
Both Catholic papers had editorials and a number of long articles on the issue; all very much against the statement that was published by the press. Simply stated: Japanese prime minister would apologize and show sorrow, a foundation would be establish to help those who were victims of the atrocities, over 8 million dollars would be conveyed, the issue will finally and irreversibly be settled and they will reach a mutual agreement concerning the statue in front of the embassy. (A statue of a young Korean woman that sits in a chair opposite the Japanese Embassy in Seoul symbolizing all the Korea women sex slaves of the Japanese soldiers)
Peace and Justice Committee of the Bishops' Conference made clear that the agreement reduces the infringement of basic human rights and a war crime into a diplomatic issue between two countries and needs to be renegotiated. The agreement placed economics and diplomacy ahead of dealing with infringement of basic human rights and seeking the truth. Organized crime was overlooked, and again trampling on the dignity of the victims who are still living.
The committee sees the agreement ignoring Japanese legal responsibility, and failure to recognize it as a crime of the country. The agreement was between two country's diplomatic agencies without any communication with the victims and not passed as a resolution and agreement of the two parliaments. Japan has maintained it has apologized and paid compensation but it never has taken responsibility as a country for the wrongdoing.
Those in agreement and those opposed have many other issues that enter the thinking, which are not on the table but will determine a persons views on the settlement of the comfort women's issue.
Words used: “final and irrevocable”, leave little room to pursue other historical disputes is a bone of contention among those opposed to the agreement. We continue to have demonstrations and division on this issue but ignoring the living victims of the crime perpetrated, and failing to understanding their feelings will guarantee the continual division and loathing at what was done.