Famous South Korean rock balladeer Kim Jang-hoon is planning to build a memorial dedicated to Asian women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese during World War II, also known as “comfort women“. He said he got the idea of putting it up in New Jersey while planning for his US tour.
The purpose of the memorial, apart from honoring the women, is to raise more awareness about the issue outside of Asia, and eventually get a satisfactory apology from Japan. This has been a source of contention between Japan and the countries from where the comfort women came from: South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. While Japan acknowledges that the army used military sex slaves during the war, the aggrieved countries strongly feel that they are still owed an official apology and proper compensation for the victims, despite Japan having done so several times in the past.
Kim plans to put up the memorial in New Jersey because the state has been a leader in raising awareness on the issue. Bergen County built a monument for comfort women last March 8 to commemorate World Women’s Day. It is the first one built by a local government in the US, outside of the Korean-American community. There have been three other monuments of that kind. Kim is now in Los Angeles for his US tour and he will be flying out to New York on Monday to lay out the plans for the shrine in New Jersey.
[ via Yonhap News ]