Japan and South Korea Efforts in Supporting Comfort Women
The comfort woman issue has brought differences between South Korea and Japan governments. The problem that led to disagreement involved acknowledging Japanese responsibilities for forcing women to give sexual pleasures to the military in imperial Japan. Abe Shinzo and Park Geun-hye signed a contract to solve the comfort woman issue.
The decision made followed countless consultations between the governments under the intense media scrutiny. Prime Minister Abe of Japan passed his apologies to people who suffered psychological and physical wounds as comfort women. He stated how the dignity and honor of many women were lost in the hands of Japanese military. Abe promises that his government will take the responsibilities and support the injured. Japan will donate 1 billion yen to fund a foundation for the Korean comfort women.
Japan and South Korea agreed that the contract was irreversible and final as long as the Japan government fulfills its promise. They decided that none of the two would criticize the other over this issue in the international community. Korea acknowledged Japanese effort in honoring the Korean comfort women. They have erected a statue outside their embassy in Seoul.
The two leaders show their commitment in uniting the nations through their political leadership. Abe acknowledged Japanese responsibility, agreed to normalize the relationship between the regions and came up with ways to assuage Japanese pain. Park showed her bravely through pursuing justice and finality between the governments. Abe and Park are working on making sure the public supports their agreement in preparation for the upcoming National Assembly elections.
Korea will win public polls for the deal if Japan government supports and cooperate with it in several aspects. Tokyo should first finance the foundation. Japan is planning to allocate funds for the Korean-operated organization before the Korean National Assembly voting to avoid any political disagreement during the campaign.
Another aspect the Abe administration ought to fulfill is marginalizing voices within the Japan area. The Japanese cabinet members, government, and top party officials have passed a zero-tolerance policy toward acts or statements that tend to challenge this contract. The prime minister and his successors must ensure that all citizens comply with these terms and that they do not make any testimonies against the agreement regardless of Japan been a democratic country. Tokyo is following the same line.
Sakurada Yoshitaka, an LDP member, had to apologize for the harsh testimonies he made about the comfort women. Japan acknowledged that the comfort women statue was a valid symbol to memorize the experience of the fatalities. Abe government will motivate the public to support the movement.
Korean public would like the statue to remain in its current location. Japanese must provide finances for the Korean administration to start and run the foundation. Any Japan activity to reverse the agreement could cause fatal outcomes for both parties. The deal conclusion makes it hard to win support from the comfort women.
News from reliable sources states that negotiations were carried out in secret to discuss the comfort women. The movement was not consulted during the meetings, and they have reported cases of victimization. Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs in South Korea was not part of the negotiations with the Japanese despite been the primary contact for the organization.
Park supporters and administration should work on winning public polls for comfort women and Japan reconciliation. The appropriate way to engage the women in the procedure is by involving them in managing it. They will have a sense of control over its activities. The beneficiaries will start seeing the project as their instrument and not a Korean government tool. Both governments ought to realize that repentance and confession are heart matters that the administrations cannot resolve irreversibly with their finality.