China, ROK experts urge protection of "comfort women" documents
Experts from China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have agreed to strengthen cooperation in protecting documents on "comfort women" and to apply for their registration on the Memory of the World, a UNESCO program to preserve documentary heritage.
Su Zhiliang, director of the "comfort women" research center at Shanghai Normal University, said that experts are collecting materials on the "comfort women" issue before making their proposal to the commission.
"The proposal will help preserve the historic records and provide materials for people and experts in the future to understand, research, rethink and condemn," Su said on the sidelines of the just-concluded forum on "comfort women" held in Shanghai.
Jointly held by Shanghai Normal University and Sung Kyun Kwan University, the forum attracted experts from China, the ROK and Japan to discuss strengthening cooperation and research on the issue.
"Because of misleading by Japanese officials and mass media, many ordinary people, especially the younger generation, have grown suspicious toward history. However, denying history is unwise," said Matsumoto Kan, who works for a Japanese non-governmental group.
Government document archives, oral records of victims, and witnesses' testimonies all proved the Japanese government and military's role in abducting, trafficking and forcing women to provide sex to Japanese soldiers.
"Of those Chinese women who identified themselves as former sex slaves, fewer than 20 are alive," said Su. "It's the final moment for us to demand justice and to preserve the historic materials."
The experts have agreed to strengthen exchange of the records and to build a website on the issue.
Historians estimate that 200,000 women were forced into sexual servitude by Japanese forces during WWII, most from countries invaded by Japan at the time.