“I am living proof”
Today marks the National Day to Honor Japanese Military Comfort Women Victims. We are observing the second anniversary since it was designated as a national commemorative day last year.
We are able to honor the comfort women victims thanks to the late grandmother Kim Hak-sun making her first testimony about her story as a victim 28 years ago today. On that day, she broke the long silence of all the victims by saying, “I am living proof.”
Grandmothers who could lay open their sorrows and anguish thanks to Kim Hak-sun’s courageous decision did not simply stay victims. Some became human rights activists, joining forces for the causes of women’s rights and peace. Some have long led the Wednesday Rallies attended by many citizens in front of the Japanese Embassy – with the 1,400th being marked today.
The Government will do its best to help restore their dignity and honor. From the universal perspective of humanity, we will share the issue of sexual enslavement by the Japanese Imperial Army as a message of peace and women’s rights and further disseminate it among the international community.
I express my gratitude to the grandmothers for their efforts. We were able to face the truth thanks to them. We will remember many grandmothers, including Kim Bok-dong, who worked together with civil societies around the world and gave hope to victims in other countries.
To create a peaceful Korean Peninsula is to carry on their hopes. On this day to honor comfort women victims, I wish for sorrow to always be sublimated into hope.