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‘Comfort women’ seek injunction against Kyohak’s history textbook

The oldest surviving former “comfort woman” and other victims of Japan’s colonial rule (1910-1945) sought an injunction to ban a new history textbook authored by conservative scholars.

The 96-year-old Kim Bok-dong, who was forced into sex slavery for the Japanese military during World War II, is one of nine who requested a local court to block Kyohak Publishing Co.’s textbook from high school use

Others include Kil Won-ok, an 84-year-old former comfort woman, descendents of independence activists, victims of forced labor during Japanese colonial rule and families of victims of the April 3 Jeju Uprising in 1948.

“Kyohak’s textbook is distorting the history of Korea’s liberation while justifying the Japanese invasion,” they said in a statement filed with Seoul Western District Court on Thursday.

The Ministry of Education earlier this month gave a final nod to eight revised Korean history textbooks, including the one from Kyohak, for use in high schools from next year. Progressives have accused the book of expressing slanted views, distortions, errors and plagiarism. The dispute centers on its depictions of modern history including Japan’s colonial rule, authoritarian governments and pro-democracy movements.

By Oh Kyu-wook