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Issue #1855      February 6, 2019

“Apologise!”

The funeral of a survivor of sexual enslavement by the Japanese army who became a leading campaigner for justice for the so-called “comfort women” ended today with a rally of hundreds near the Japanese embassy in Seoul, South Korea.

Kim Bok Dong, who died aged 92, was honoured with the yellow butterflies which are the symbol of the fund she created in order to help other victims.

They gathered near the bronze statue of a girl by the embassy that symbolises the thousands of women compelled to become sex slaves during the second world war.

Marchers chanted: “Japan formally apologise!” and “Japan provide formal compensation!”

Her friend and fellow victim Lee Yong Su said: “I feel sorry and sad. We all know her voice that would shout during the rallies. She can shout no more, and she never received an apology.”

Despite limited expressions of remorse, Japan has failed to fully apologise or make formal reparations to the women.

Campaigners say the current Shinzo Abe administration has gone backwards on the issue.

A 2015 deal involved Japan offering some money to assist victims in return for South Korea removing the statue commemorating them.

Seoul has not yet done, and Abe this month called demands for a fuller apology and a new agreement “completely unacceptable.”

His own grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, was a war criminal whose brutality as de facto ruler of the puppet Manchurian state earned him the name “the Devil of Showa.”

He was jailed for three years before being “rehabilitated” by the US because of his anti-communist credentials.

Morning Star

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