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Seoul to hold int'l online forum marking 'comfort women' memorial day

A participant speaks next to a statue representing
A participant speaks next to a statue representing "comfort women" during the 1,504th regular Wednesday rally calling for Japan's apology and compensation for the victims of its military's sexual slavery during World War II, held in central Seoul on Wednesday.(Yonhap)
The Seoul city government said Friday it will hold an international online forum marking the annual memorial day for the victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery.

The forum, themed on how to remember the victims, euphemistically called comfort women, will be livestreamed on Seoul city government's official YouTube channel ( from 10 a.m. Saturday.

Prominent scholars specializing in modern Japanese history -- Prof. Carol Gluck from Columbia University and Prof. Andrew Gordon from Harvard University -- have been invited to speak on the topic.

Gluck is one of the leading experts in studies of Japan from the late 19th century, while Gordon is one of the scholars who openly criticized Harvard Law School professor J. Mark Ramseyer's controversial claim made earlier this year that Japan's wartime sexual slavery was actually voluntary prostitution.

Along with experts' presentations, the forum will offer sessions on the utilization of materials related to sexual slavery victims in arts and media.

"International society has expanded the scope of discussion on the comfort women issue since defining it as wartime criminal violence against women, but the discussion here was more focused on the political tension between South Korea and Japan," Kim Seon-soon, a senior Seoul city official in charge of women and family policies, said in a press release.

"(Through this forum), the city government will deliberate on the topic with a women's rights expert from abroad and work to make a culture of remembrance that can be shared at the international level," she added. (Yonhap)