A South Korean woman who was forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese army during World War II visited Japan’s embassy in Seoul on Wednesday to protest Tokyo’s review of its 1993 landmark apology admitting to such atrocities.
Kim Bok-dong, 88, visited the Japanese Embassy to lodge a strong complaint against Japan’s recent review of the Kono Statement, which acknowledged and apologized for Japan’s coercion of women into sexual slavery for its frontline troops.
A panel of experts appointed by Japan’s government said Friday that Seoul and Tokyo officials had coordinated the wording of the statement in the past, inviting fierce criticism from South Korea and China that the results undermine the credibility of Japan’s own apology.
“I am a witness of history as I was coerced into sexual servitude until the age of 21 after I was dragged (into military brothels) at 14,” Kim was quoted as saying by a Seoul civic group representing the victims of sexual slavery.
“Japan must tell the truth over the issue as it is and make atonement if the country really wants to repent for its wrongdoings and promote world peace,” she said.
Kim is among 54 remaining victims, euphemistically called “comfort women,” in South Korea. Historians estimate that up to 200,000 women, mainly from Korea and China, were forced to work at frontline brothels for Japanese soldiers during the war. (Yonhap)