Beijing, August 14 (Zhang Aolin) simple short hair, clenched fists, for more than eight years, regardless of the severe cold and heat, there is a “girl” in front of the Japanese Embassy in South Korea, who seems to be quietly Calling: the truth should not be forgotten!
she is the world’s first “comfort woman and peace girl portrait” which was “born” in 2011. On August 14, 2020, when the Eighth World “comfort women” day comes, can this “girl” get a sincere apology that has been waiting for a long time?
on the Eighth World “comfort women” day, a statue of peace girl will be unveiled in Anshan, a small city in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. The “peace girl” in front of the Japanese Embassy in South Korea will welcome another “little partner”.
the funds for the construction of this new girl statue are not from the local government, but from the sponsorship of 69.445 million won (about 400000 yuan) raised by non-governmental organizations from 171 groups and up to 2303 people in just three months.
in fact, this is not the first local portrait of a girl. Four years ago, because Park Geun hye’s government signed the “South Korea Japan comfort women agreement” with Japan, there was a wave of construction of female images in South Korea, including Anshan City.
at that time, the money for the statue was also donated by local people, and the person in charge of the organizer also conducted a nearly month long street fund-raising activity. The voice of “setting up a peace girl statue in Anshan to not forget our history” has moved the local people.
on the day of its completion, some citizens said, “although we didn’t arrive at the scene, my family and I have set up a force for the bronze statue”, while others said, “we don’t want to have such a heartbreaking history as the comfort women issue.”.
according to incomplete statistics, at present, there are more than 100 “peace girls” in South Korea. As their “elder sister”, the birth of the first “girl” is not smooth.
on August 14, 1991, Kim Hsueh Shun, an old man in South Korea, broke his silence and was the first to publicly stand up as a victim of the Japanese army’s “comfort women” system, to make public the atrocities committed by the Japanese army and demand apology and compensation from the Japanese government. She said, “I’m living proof.”.
in January 1992, on the eve of Miyazawa’s visit to South Korea, the victims of “comfort women” stepped forward and gathered in front of the Japanese Embassy in South Korea, demanding that the Japanese government face up to history and make formal compensation to the victims.
due to the fact that Japan has not met these requirements, for several years, relevant groups have been protesting in front of the Japanese Embassy in South Korea every Wednesday, rain or shine. Because Wednesday is called “Shui Yao day” in Korean, this multi-year protest is also called “Shuiyao demonstration”.
in order to let them wait for Japan’s apology as soon as possible, the first “peace girl” was “born” in front of the Japanese Embassy in South Korea during the 1000th “Shuiyao demonstration” (December 14, 2011). This has aroused strong opposition from Japan, and since then, Japan’s right leaning has accelerated, and it has been reversing on many historical issues.
in this context, the images of peace girls began to blossom everywhere in South Korea. In less than a decade, South Korean folk groups have set up a large number of female images in major cities such as Seoul, Busan, Guangzhou and some local cities. “They” are all over the roads, parks and schools, which seems to have become a symbol of the “comfort women” problem.
not long ago, South Korean media revealed that there was also a statue of a young girl in a private botanical garden in Pingchang, South Korea, but in particular, there was a kneeling male statue in front of the statue. Japan’s Tokyo Broadcasting Corporation reported that the group of statues is also known as “Abe of thanks.”.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Kan Yiwei quickly expressed dissatisfaction with the report, adding: “if the report is true, it will have a decisive impact on Japan ROK relations.”.
although Jin changlie, the owner of the botanical garden, has said that “kneeling statue” does not specifically refer to Abe, the sensitivity of the “comfort women” issue in the bilateral relations has been highlighted once again. In this regard, Yang Xiyu, a researcher at the China Institute of international studies, told chinanews.com that the issue of “comfort women” is the most direct political obstacle in the current relations between Japan and South Korea. The key to improving the relations between Japan and South Korea is to solve the “comfort women” and related issues.
although Japan and South Korea reached a “final and irreversible” agreement on this issue in 2015, this agreement has met with widespread opposition in South Korea. After the Korean President Wen Yin came to power, the Korean government also repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction with the agreement, saying that the agreement had “serious flaws”. In 2018, South Korea disbanded the “reconciliation and cure foundation” established under the agreement.
with the outbreak of labor compensation and other contradictions in World War II, Japan ROK relations have deteriorated unprecedentedly since 2019, and the prospect of solving this problem is even less optimistic. Yang Xiyu believes that “there are many historical problems in the two countries. If a compromise is reached on the issue of comfort women, other historical issues will inevitably be involved.” in the short term, “I am afraid, it will be difficult to find a way out.”.
in recent years, “peace girls” have gradually “gone” from South Korea to the world, including China, the Philippines, the United States, Germany Everywhere they left their footprints. And they all have a common experience: they are strongly resisted by Japan.
on September 22, 2017, after the unveiling of the “comfort women” statue in San Francisco, the “sister friendly city” Osaka immediately issued a “break up” threat. However, San Francisco still said that there was “no room for negotiation and discussion” on the statue.
in September 2018, a girl statue in Tainan City, Taiwan, China was kicked by Shiyan Fujii, a representative of the Japanese right-wing group; two peace girl statues in the Philippines were “black handed” and were “forcibly demolished” at the end of 2017 and April 2018, respectively. The second statue is even only two days old
as for the existence of “comfort women” girls, some people in Japan are so worried that they want to disappear as soon as possible. However, the “peace girl” has never stopped because of these threats. As Yang Xiyu said, this also reflects the preliminary consensus of all countries in the world: “the issue of comfort women” is an anti human and immoral war crime.
in response to Japan’s plan to protest around the world and attempt to “block” the image of a peaceful girl, Zhou Yongsheng, Professor of the Institute of international relations of the Foreign Affairs College, pointed out in an interview with chinanews.com that Japan’s actions still want to cover up history and erase history, so as to maintain Japan’s national image.
peace maidens will not speak, will not grow old, and will not yield. In order to wait for the aggressors’ sincere apology, they will always stand and let this history never be forgotten. (end)