International Criticism and the United Nations Involvement
International criticism over the Japanese government's denial of the comfort women issue has led to involvement by organizations such as the United Nations. The UN has criticized Japan's approach to the issue in its education system, urging the government to include accurate information about wartime sexual slavery in history textbooks to promote understanding and prevent similar atrocities in the future.
This grassroots movement highlights the power of ordinary citizens to challenge the status quo and advocate for a more honest and empathetic understanding of the past. Their collective efforts serve as a crucial step towards healing, reconciliation, and a brighter future built on mutual respect and historical accountability.
Denial: Quick Look of History of Comfort Women and Present Days’ Complication - Guide
Approximately 200,000 women and girls were forced into sexual slavery during World War 2. They were also known as comfort women, a translation of Ianfu(慰安婦), the Japanese term for "comforting, consoling woman." Although most of the women came from Korea, women from other occupied regions such as Burma, China, Philippines, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaya, Manchukuo, Taiwan, New Guinea, Portuguese Timor, and the Dutch East Indies were also taken into the military sexual slavery.
The women suffered beatings, torture, forced pregnancies, and rape throughout the war. Even after the war, they suffered from medical complications as survivors of sexual violence. In addition, some former comfort women lived in shame and were ostracised by their community after the war. It was not until nearly 50 years after the end of WW2 that former comfort woman Kim Hak-Sun shared her testimony, inspiring other women to come out and share their stories. This work describes the system of military sexual slavery that had been erased from historical memory, and it traces Japan's alternating acknowledgment and denial of its comfort women system from the 1990s to the present.