Here are some interviews with university students about the comfort women issue. The students are aware of the issue, and probably consider themselves fairly knowledgeable about in. One even said she is studying it in class.

This video shows the recognitition of this issue among people that are aware of it, at least in the US. Very Interesting.

Posted by Matt, filed under diplomacy. Date: September 8, 2009, 2:30 am | 2 Comments »

2 Responses

  1. Gerry-Bevers Says:

    In the Korea Times HERE, a Korean woman named Lee Cheun-heui writes that her grandmother was a “comfort woman” and that her grandmother told her that “the Japanese army never coerced anybody into having sex with the soldiers.” Here is the full quote from the article:

    First, let me mention that my grandmother, who now lives in Japan, used to be a “comfort woman,” and she says the Japanese army never coerced anybody into having sex with the soldiers.

    Sure, a few rogue soldiers did indeed rape some of the women of the territories it occupied, but my grandmother says the Japanese army never collectively forced women into performing sexual acts.

    What the Japanese army did was negotiate a deal with the owners of local brothels to have them bring a group of girls to the army barracks to perform sexual favors for the soldiers who were either lonely or in need of a morale boost.

    The women were paid handsomely, and my grandmother says that any woman who felt any kind of aversion to sleeping with a Japanese soldier was not required to participate in any sexual junket, though that meant they were forfeiting any opportunity to earn money from the Japanese army.

  2. Errol Says:

    This subject will always be subject to a lot of cant and hypocrisy in Korea, as noted by the ever-insightful (though prolix) Metropolitician.

    … although Korea is economically developed, people hang out in Starbucks, buy Gucci underwear, and have crazy fast Internet access – and speaking about Korean women specifically, women go to school, are in the workforce in higher numbers, and don’t have overt and easily-condemned bans on appearance or dress – in the end, after marriage, or entering the work force, or wherever one wants to defined the transition from girl to adult – women’s options get severely limited. Yes, there’s no religious or otherwise specific ideological doctrine that dictates it – but the end result is that women still have nearly no political representation, no economic decision-making power in business or industry, and are still valued more for their appearance than intellect, as the sheer size of the sex industry or myriad personal observations seem to indicate. (I know – that was a crazy run-on sentence!)

    … surely, somehow, in some way, the relatively large role that sex work still plays in the formal economy is related to (the low Gender Empowerment Index ranking of Korea at 63) It’s a really interesting correlation. Of course, this begs theorizing about all kinds of claims made as to its causal origins. And that’s where the real fun begins.

    It’s a cash and class issue Mike and Gerry. As one of Kim Dae-jung’s ministers noted after yet another prostitution crackdown began: “These women are trash. Where will they go?”

    Unfortunately, many women also think the same way as that minister.

    The Emperors of Cash

    (A photograph I [Metro] took of) two young men strolling through the streets of the Cheongyangni red light district. (Are they) window shopping, fishing (or merely trolling for compliments?)

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