12/16/2011, 00.00
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South Korean Bishops call for justice for "comfort women"

by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
The Commission for Justice and Peace speaks of a terrible crime, an offense against humanity and against God. Hundreds of people attend the latest weekly protest march, which was held in front of the Japanese embassy. Japanese citizen, "more and more people should know about this tragedy".
Seoul (AsiaNews) - The drama of "women-comfort" is a terrible crime, an offense against humanity and blasphemy against God, who created women in His image and likeness. This is what it said in a statement released by the Justice and Peace Commission of the Bishops' Conference of South Korean (Cbck), on the occasion of the thousandth weekly protest march that was held last December 14 in front of Japanese embassy in Seoul, attended by hundreds of people. Women, the Catholic document emphasizes, who suffered terrible punishments including "rapes, torture, murder, forced abortions and deprivation of liberty" perpetrated by the Japanese, continue to ask - in vain - for justice and compensation for the pain suffered .

At the protest number 1000 - the first was held on January 8, 1992 - were also five women, now eighty years old, used as "comfort women-" at the time of the conflict. With them, there were also human rights activists from Japan, Canada, the United States and foreigners who resident in South Korea. Similar demonstrations were held in 32 other locations around the country and in 42 cities in the world, bearing witness to a "global movement of solidarity."

The crowd chanted slogans, songs and launched an appeal to President Lee Myung-bak, to raise the issue at the next Korea-Japan summit, held in Kyoto over the weekend. The protesters gathered outside the gates of the diplomatic mission of the Land of the Rising Sun, but the embassy kept its gates and windows steadfastly closed. There were also many Japanese among the hundreds of people who flocked to the march, who ask their government to meet the demands of justice: "I knew of the crimes committed by the Japanese during the colonial era - Maruyama Natsumi said - and so I decided to come here to Korea. I want more and more people to know about this tragedy, and share the suffering of victims. "

During the Second World War about 200 thousand women aged 11 to 25 years were dragged into "comfort stations-", where they suffered rapes and abuse every day and every night. Even after the independence of Korea, some of them were left in these fields, because of prejudice and rejection of their own government. Of 234 certified former comfort women, more than two thirds have died without ever seeing their last wish granted: to receive a sincere apology from the Japanese government.

On 12 October, South Korea presented the issue at the General Assembly of the United Nations to seek recognition of the legal responsibility of Japan. For Tokyo, the question of reparations - for the damage inflicted on Korea during the Japanese military occupation - has been resolved with the 1965agreement, with no official apologies or public recognition of the crime committed against these women.
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