News Archive
Jan 14, 2016 - The Comfort Woman Issue: Calling for a resolution that effects reconciliation between Japan and Korea, based upon the direct input of survivors
On December 28, 2015, the governments of Japan and Korea met to discuss the "Comfort Women' issue, and held a subsequent press conference at which they announced an agreement regarding resolution of this issue which they characterized as "final and irreversible". However, this agreement was concluded without any discussions with the survivors themselves. Despite the Japanese government admitting its responsibility, this agreement is one that neither the victimized women nor Korean civil society can straightforwardly accept.

Peace Boat has for many years focused efforts to listen directly to the survivors, learn about the facts, and search for a path to mutual understanding and reconciliation between Japanese and Korean people. Such activities are undertaken both in Japan and onboard voyages, particularly during the Peace and Green Boat, a joint project between Japanese and Korean civil society. Peace Boat actively participates in domestic campaigning and advocacy as part of the "Japan Nationwide Action for Resolution of the Japanese Military "Comfort Women" Issue", and has long called for a swift resolution based on the human rights of the victims. In response to the recently announced agreement between the two nations, this coalition has issued a statement entitled "An "agreement" without the victim is no "resolution"" (available in English and Japanese).

Peace Boat reaffirms its commitment to a true resolution of this issue based upon input from the survivors themselves. We will work towards a future of mutual respect between the peoples of Japan and Korea and to bring an end to sexual violence in conflict.

Survivor Lee Yong-soo paying her respects to victims of the Japanese Imperial Army's "Comfort Women" system who perished at sea. Part of a memorial service held aboard the Peace Boat while offshore of Taiwan (February 1998).

Read this news in Japanese language here.
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