"Trostfrauen", Wiedergutmachung und Menschenrechte
2011: Former Comfort Woman won't give in
Former comfort woman, tsunami survivor won't give in
December 01, 2011
By SETSUKO TACHIKAWA, Staff Writer
OSAKA--An elderly Korean resident in Japan, who was forced to work as a sex slave for Japanese soldiers during World War II and who lost her house in Miyagi Prefecture in the March 11 tsunami, said on Nov. 26 that she isn't giving up, despite her unfortunate life.
"I sometimes feel that it was better for me to be washed away by tsunami," a weeping Song Sin-do, 89, who is now living in Tokyo as an evacuee, said in a lecture meeting in Osaka. "But I must continue to live."
Although life is difficult for her now, Song emphasized her message: "I want to say, 'Don't have a war again.' "
Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, the lecture in Osaka's Fukushima Ward marked the first time Song has spoken in western Japan.
Song was born in 1922 in Chungcheongnam-do province on the Korean Peninsula, which was then under Japanese control. When she was 16 years old, she escaped a forced marriage and signed up to help the Japanese war effort.
Instead she was taken to a brothel in China for Japanese soldiers.
There, for seven years, she was forced to serve as a "comfort woman."
After the war ended in 1945, she came to Japan along with a Japanese soldier. However, he abandoned her. After that, she began to live with a male Korean resident in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture.
After his death, she was living there alone. However, her house was swept away on March 11, and the only thing that remained was her dog.
Song was invited to stay in Tokyo by those who had supported her in her long campaign for an apology and compensation from the Japanese government for her forced wartime service. (She lost the trial for an official apology for comfort women in a verdict that was finalized in 2003.)
Bild: Song Sin-do, left, gives a lecture in Osaka's Fukushima Ward on Nov. 26. At right is journalist Fumiko Kawata (Setsuko Tachikawa)