So the global “Comfort Women” debate continues. This time the Japanese Government has filed a lawsuit in support of removing the “Comfort Women” memorial in Glendale, California. This statue which was erected a few years ago has attracted both strong positive and negative comments and here at YOMYOMF we have written about this at the time, with Offender Philip making a visit to check it out back in 2013. In 2015, the Japanese Government made an “official apology” to South Korea at a joint conference as well as making a $8.3 million contribution to the “Comfort Women” victims fund. But despite this, there has still been a lot of protests and demonstrations against the erection of the statues in the USA, Australia and South Korea itself. In Australia the same statue is on private land on Uniting Church grounds with the Australia – Japan Community Network lodging a Racial Discrimination complaint against the statue. In South Korea, the statue has been erected outside the Japanese Consulate in Busan with diplomatic relations under threat unless it is removed.
Anyways, this time we revolve back to Glendale, California and this time the Japanese Government has filed a lawsuit to have the statue there removed. More than a dozen supporters were joined by Rep. Judy Chu (former mayor for Monterey Park) and former Rep. Mike Honda to vocalise their support for the statue on Tuesday. NBC News continues:
“This is a very important piece of history that a lot Westerners are not aware of,” Phyllis Kim, executive director of the Korean American Forum of California, the organization that led efforts to install the statue, told NBC News.
Advocates say it is crucial that people are aware of what happened to comfort women so that history doesn’t repeat itself. Across the globe, an estimated 21 million are victims of human trafficking, while 4.5 million people are victims of sex trafficking, according to the United Nations.
“This is still a relevant issue,” Kim said.
The Japanese government’s amicus brief was an encouraging move, Koichi Mera, a representative from the GAHT-US, told NBC News in an email.
“We had hoped that the government would do something for a long time,” he said.
NBC News has reached out to the Japanese Embassy and lawyers representing the country’s government.
Every year, the U.S. Supreme Court receives approximately 7,000 requests to hear cases, according to its website. Of those, justices typically hear 80.
With slim chances, Kim said advocates are not worried about the outcome of the brief filing.
She added that the issue shouldn’t be a political one, but one about women and human rights.
“Everyone needs to work together to eradicate violence. We see the heart breaking stories every day, we hear about what’s happening under Boko Haram, what’s happening under ISIS rule. We want to raise awareness about this problem in the world,” she said.
I will be following this closely as there are so many dimensions to it and surely it will continue all over the world with both supporters and dissenters.
Images via NBC News
If you would like to read the full article, please click on: Advocates Protest After Japan Files Court Brief Supporting Removal of ‘Comfort Women’ Statue