Japanese people just hope these women will die and history will be erased
They’re pictures of elderly women, part of his exhibit that was scheduled to take place at the Nikon gallery. That is, until Nikon canceled it without explanation.
Now 80 to 90 years old, they’re the living but dwindling history of the decades-old war crimes. Some Japanese extremists believe the crimes against the comfort women never happened. Others would prefer to stop discussing Japan’s ugly war history in modern times.
The letter Sehong received didn’t state why the exhibition was canceled, and while Nikon told CNN that public complaints had been lodged before its planned opening, a representatives said that wasn’t the reason the exhibition was pulled.
Japan has a track record of downplaying its war crimes. Most recently, Japan’s government says two delegations met with the mayor of Palisades Park, New Jersey, asking the city to remove a memorial dedicated to comfort women.
The city says the Japanese officials offered cherry blossom trees if the city would take down the memorial, a small, unremarkable rock that has a single bronze etching on the side.
“We don’t want to repeat that kind of massive, government-organized human trafficking. The only way we can stop that kind of human rights violation is remembering that human rights violation. The best way to remember it is to have a memory of it.”
Japan’s government has formally apologized on numerous occasions for the atrocities against the women. Japan helped establish the Asian Women’s Fund in 1995, which is supported by government funds and provides assistance to comfort women. The AWF has received donations from Japanese people equaling US$7 million.
Japan has resisted direct payments to individual victims.
“These grandmothers were forced into slavery 70 years ago,” says Ahn. “They lived and survived alone. Afterwards, no one remembers them.”
—Nikon cancels a photo exhibition by Ahn Sehong on Japan’s comfort women in Tokyo
- The Comfort Women Monument in New Jersey (japanprobe.com)
- For some in China, the ‘comfort women’ tragedy lives on (wantchinatimes.com)
- Japan requests for removing New Jersey ‘comfort women’ monument draw ire (english.kyodonews.jp)
- Within Every Woman . . . There is a Story: COMFORT WOMEN OF WWII – commentary (waterchildren.wordpress.com)
- Japanese Try to Stop Free Speech in New York (civisjournal.wordpress.com)
- Forgotten Faces: Japan’s Comfort Women (wibw.com)
- Forgotten faces: Japan’s comfort women (edition.cnn.com)
- ‘Comfort Women’ Controversy Comes to New York (rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Japanese Government Apologize to the Comfort Women. ~ Christine Hayes (elephantjournal.com)