This is a message from a Japanese mother living in California, USA, where a “Comfort Woman Statue” was installed in 2013. Please read it and send it forward to your friends and families.
Thank you for your support!
I am a Japanese mother with three children living in the United States. I am writing this message to those who live in Australia where some Korean and Chinese groups have proposed an installation of a Comfort Women Statue. If you happen to know of such action in your neighborhood, I urge you to oppose immediately or at least speak up for the sake of your children.
I believe this installation of the Comfort Women Statue is a political intention of some people who really want to urge racial conflicts within your community. Although these people insist that it is a matter of human rights, it is nothing like that. I have closely seen the consequences of this matter because my family and I live in a nearby city of Glendale, California. The City of Glendale is well known for the Statue of Korean Comfort Women and the law suit against the City to put it down.
These groups of people claim that the statue is a peaceful memorial of women who severely suffered during WWII. I, as being a woman and a mother of two daughters, am very sad and feel deep sympathy from the bottom of my heart whenever I think of those who suffered in the war. However, putting up the Monuments of Comfort Women in public places such as parks and sidewalks is a completely different matter. It is not appropriate when there are descendants of Japanese people living in the same community who have not yet born at the time of the war. I will stand up and protest if I need to do so because I think it is unfair to accuse a certain ethnic group in such way.
Japanese people might be minorities in your city. However, their voices should not be mistreated as the same way as the City of Glendale has done. The racial conflict in the community of Glendale has grown to a serious issue. You might have heard about the petitions to the White House from the both sides and the law suit for the removal of the statue. It is said that the law suit will continue for a couple of years. There may be another similar law suit regarding the statue in the future. Nobody knows what would happen in this situation.
Nowadays, Glendale is described as a city of anger, hatred, and distrust, but not peace. On the contrast, the City of Buena Park, CA, which dismissed the establishment of the Comfort Women Statue, is quiet and peaceful as it should be.
Japanese residents in the United States, including young children of 6 or 7 years old, are now experiencing unreasonable hardships caused by the misunderstandings and the racial discrimination toward Japanese people. Not only Koreans and Chinese but also some Hispanics and Caucasians are looking down to Japanese and Japanese-American people. I feel greatly wronged about it as my family and I were not even born at the time of the WWⅡ. Do we really want this kind of ethnical troubles in the future?
While feeling very awkward to tell this unspoken tragedy of some Japanese women during and after the WWⅡ, I think that someone should speak up on behalf of our fellow Japanese women. If you are discussing women’s tragedies during the war, then you should also consider these Japanese women. Most people don’t know how terribly Japanese women were abused when they had escaped from Manchuria through the Korean Peninsula during and right after the WWⅡ．It is known that most of the perpetrators were Russian soldiers, as well as Korean and Chinese men. I think you could easily imagine how severely Japanese women had been sexually abused. At that time, nobody could have protected Japanese women in the Korean Peninsula. It is told that many couldn’t survive. If you would like to do some research on this matter, one of the key words is Futsukaichi Rest Home.
I believe that not only Korean, Chinese, and Australian but also most of women from Asian and European countries had suffered severely during and after WWⅡ. Women always become victims especially during war time. Among them, there were Japanese women who had barely escaped from the Korean Peninsula. Their tragedies were too painful to put into words. Please do not overlook their silent cries as no one could ever replace their ruined lives.
I sincerely ask you all not bringing up this historical tragedy repeatedly by putting up the statue in your beautiful city. Whenever I see the statue in Glendale, I feel pain and anger as it reminds me of those Japanese women who were also the victims of the war. Unlike the former Korean Comfort Women who continuously accuse Japan, the Japanese survivors would never speak up for themselves. That is why I have requested that the City of Strathfield dismiss the proposal of the Comfort Women Statue. When considering sexual abuse toward women during WWⅡ, I believe that every nation has to deal with the fact that there were both survivors and offenders within their people. It is unsuitable to bring in such highly international political matter to the multicultural communities such as Glendale or Strathfield.
I appreciate you for taking your time to read my message. I sincerely hope you understand my feelings. I am anxious not only for my children, but also for all the young generation’s future. To put up a monument to accuse a certain ethnical group is not considered a humanitarian act because it certainly stirs more hatred and conflicts among people in the community.
Thank you for your understandings.
A Japanese Mother living in Los Angeles