|ALL PHOTOS BY SWH|
On March 14, at Sookmyung Women's University, the ‘Simultaneous Bundle Wednesday Demonstration’ was held under supervision of 2018 Peace Butterfly Network. The demonstration focused on once again bringing the public’s attention to the issue of ‘comfort women’. This demonstration, however, is not the first of its kind. Every Wednesday in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul and semesterly across national university campuses, there is a protest by this time. Kim Haksoon’s first public statement broke the silence and since that day, movement toward the truth has been brought to the world’s attention. And the rally came to its 1362nd time. However, the historical facts are still in denial by certain parties. Despite revelation of the truth, there has yet to be a formal apology.
At the 1272nd Wednesday demonstration on March 1, 2017, this reporter was full of confidence that the ‘comfort women’ problem must be resolved as soon as possible with the strength of people's enterprising act for that, but reality headed to darkness. Though the nation vowed to address Korean comfort women victims, the ‘2015 Korea-Japan Agreement’ reached on December 28, 2015, did not tackle the issue from the standpoint of the victims. ‘Comfort women’ statue is constantly threatened by the Japanese government, and attempts continued to prevent the issue from being addressed in the international community. Rather than focusing directly on the issue of ‘comfort women’, stakeholders turned a blind eye to the issue. However, the sky can’t be covered with the palm. One small, but important triumph from mass solidarity and a unified voice led the government back to the discussion of the 2015 Agreement. And this flow is now a huge group of people demanding change for all victims of sexual violence worldwide. Currently, only 28 out of 239 ‘comfort women’ remain alive, but tens of thousands of people are standing together to fight, flying on wings that are turning the world upside down.
The comfort women’s plight may have ended if it had not been for the concern of the people. It could have faded away and only remained as a shameful in history. But it didn’t. Still, one might ask, "Aren't you busy doing your job?" Answer that, because they are who we are now and what we will be, so this is what we- must do. There is still a great need to keep their voice alive. ‘Comfort women’ are victims of war; they are also the building blocks in the history of the Republic of Korea. “A nation that forgets its past has no future". These words sum up the issue. Korea must never forget history, butact for it, and strive for unity.
Choi Shin Woohyun firstname.lastname@example.org