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Japan: Comfort Women Video Calls Attention to a Still Unresolved Issue.

More than 60 years have passed since the World War II, but women who claim to have been abducted under Japanese Military's orders to serve as sexual slaves on military “Comfort Stations” are still waiting for the government's public apologies and material compensation even as the government still denies the claims that they were behind these brothels. After the war ended, the women who served the military were abandoned, adrift in a foreign country and in cases, murdered. Through online videos we can learn more about the plight of the “Military Comfort Women” and efforts elsewhere to bring this subject to the light.

On Witness’ The HUB, one of the most viewed videos is on Japan's Comfort women, women used as prostitutes for the Japanese army during the World War II who were often conscripted, kidnapped, coerced or forced to go into the sexual slave trade. This issue isn't only affecting women in Japan, but also women from China and Korea and others territories under Imperial Japanese possession at the time who were also used to supply the Japanese military brothels. The video combines photographs, text from letters and drawings to portray the extreme conditions these women had to live in. The video follows, or you can click here to see it at the HUB.

The subject is still under debate since the Japanese government has switched back and forth between accepting the charges and denying them. The public itself is also debating whether this happened or not, and whether it would be the military's responsibility or not that this took place if it did. Amnesty International has an ongoing campaign asking the Japanese government to apologize and compensate the women. In London, England, a presentation of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues were organized last March to raise awareness about the story of the Comfort Women of China, leoocunha shows us a piece of the presentation and you can see it by following this link.

Fallbluesky from Brazil has uploaded the following video showing the stories of these women along with footage of some of the Comfort Women in the present, ceaselessly trying to get the government to admit that it did wrong and they were victims of their actions.

Spritejune in Japan has posted a video of a manga comic book style vignettes depicting the stories of the Comfort women, with dialogues written in English. It is a two part video titled Born again as a flower (for the comfort women) which follows the main character from the moment she gets a job at a factory and is instead taken to a brothel, to the Wednesday Demonstrations these women have been doing since Wednesday January 8th in 1992 in front of the Japanese Embassy to ask for them to be recognized as victims and for their story to be recorded in history textbooks, among other points. Following, part one and part two.

Thumbnail image used is Japanese naval flag by futureatlas.com

2 comments

  • kbw

    juliana:

    thanks so much for this powerful collection of videos and materials on comfort women whose lives and experiences have yet to be acknowledged and compensated over 60 years later by the Japanese government. such patterns of sexual abuse have continued on in war, conflict, and militia situations around the world–vietnam, kosovo, colombia, congo, iraq, kenya, among many others. how many years will it take to end sexual abuse and acknowledge these women’s and children’s pain? what price oil, coltan, and other “valued” territories?

    looking forward to more of your good works and collections…kbw

  • Thanks so much for writing this post and raising awareness.

    One request I make is that you not call them “comfort women.” The term “comfort women” is a Japanese government euphemism for enforced military sex slaves.

    Here’s an article I wrote about them awhile ago.

    http://www.kimplicity.com/fkim/blog/2008/07/24/white-chrysanthemums/

    The article is based on the website, http://www.thechrysanthemums.com/.

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