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Japanese journalists visit ′comfort women′ shelter ″직접 들으러 왔습니다″…일

A group of Japanese journalists has paid a visit to a shelter for elderly Korean women who were forced into sex slavery for Japanese troops during World War Two.
Their visit… marks the first of its type.
Sohn Jung-in has more.
A documentary on the Korean victims of Japan′s wartime system of sexual slavery is being shown… and the visitors′ eyes are fixed on the screen.
They are Japanese journalists from 16 Japan-based media firms, who paid a visit to the House of Sharing in Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do Province which provides shelter for former Korean sex slaves.
The reporters said they wanted to meet the women in person and listen to their testimonies in an objective manner to find a way toward historical reconciliation between Korea and Japan.
The elderly victims, sitting face-to-face with the journalists, could not contain the resentment they have felt for so many years.

″All we ask is for a sincere apology from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and for him to restore our honor. We don′t understand why this is so hard for him, when we have dedicated our lives for justice.″
The journalists asked the victims for their opinion on the Asian Women′s Fund,… which was raised from Japan′s private sector in 1995 to compensate the survivors.
The victims maintained that the Japanese government must itself provide compensation.

″We hope the journalists clearly convey the victims′ sad history so the two sides can work together to resolve this issue.″
The victims asked the journalists to act as mediators to urge the Japanese government to acknowledge state responsibility for its historical wrongdoings.
The timing of the visit is significant as it comes ahead of the 70th anniversary of Korea′s independence from Japanese colonial rule and the 70th anniversary of Japan′s surrender in World War Two.
Only 48 victims remain alive in Korea.
Sohn Jung-in, Arirang News.


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