"Trostfrauen", Wiedergutmachung und Menschenrechte
2017: Jap. “comfort women”, nationalism and trafficking
"Trostfrauen", "Comfort Women"
The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 15 | Issue 21 | Number 3 | Nov 01, 2017
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus
Overcoming Double Erasure: Japanese “comfort women”, nationalism and trafficking.
translated by Caroline Norma
"Women of Japanese nationality have been erased in relation to the history of the wartime 'comfort women’. For many decades after the war the existence of military ‘comfort women’ as a whole was ignored, and Japanese women, too, were ignored, at least in respect of their status as victims of wartime sexual violence. As we know, this deadlock over the history of the so-called comfort women was broken in the 1990s by survivors publicly testifying about their experiences, specifically those from North and South Korea. These women spoke widely about their experience of violence and abuse at the hands of the Japanese military, and campaigned for the restoration of their human dignity, compensation for their suffering, and for the Japanese state to take responsibility for apology and reparation. It was this bravery that gradually turned invisibility into visibility for the former ‘comfort women’, and led to the restoration of their individual subjectivity and dignity as survivors. This achievement was attained not on the basis of just one public action; it took years of persistent campaigning, and not just by survivors. Many individuals and organisations supported their work.
This successful work was undertaken, moreover, in the face of dogged opposition from powerful political forces that sought to again make invisible the existence of former ‘comfort women’ as survivors of wartime sexual violence. The struggle of survivors and their supporters was waged in the knowledge that any small relaxation in their persistence of efforts would lead, again, to the suffering of survivors being consigned to the dustbin of history. On this basis, in an extremely pressurised environment, and in the face of continuing intimidation and threats, they continued daily efforts at the front line of political struggle. ...."