San Francisco Adopted a Resolution Supporting the Establishment of a “Comfort Women” Memorial
The Japanese Government Must Make a Determined Protest against China and Korea

On September 22nd, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted on a resolution that supports the installment of a statue honoring the “comfort women” and unanimously approved it. An anti-Japan, Chinese-American, lobby group and other groups have been promoting the plan to build a memorial to the “comfort women” on public land in the city. Now that the groups have received an official go-ahead from the Board of Supervisors, they are expected to work on the specifics for erecting the statue.

In July of this year, Supervisor Eric Mar introduced the resolution, and 8 out of 11 supervisors co-sponsored it. The resolution explained the comfort women as “200,000 women and young girls who were kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army”. The passage of the resolution does not mean the immediate establishment of a statue or memorial, but Supervisor Mar expressed his hope to build a comfort women memorial within a year as has been done in Glendale in L.A. County.


The Proposal for the Building of a Comfort Women Memorial by a Chinese-American Group Was a First for America

San Francisco is home to large numbers of Chinese immigrants and the mayor himself is a Chinese American. Memorials to comfort women have been being built in states like New Jersey, New York, and California since 2009, and all of them have been done at the initiative of Korean-American lobby groups. If a memorial is built in San Francisco, it will be the first one established by a Chinese-American group. In addition, many of the statues and monuments of the comfort women have so far been erected in the suburbs of the states, and San Francisco will become the first major U.S. city to promote the establishment of a comfort women memorial in the city center.

The Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on September 17th, and more than 100 people from both the supporters and the opponents spoke at the meeting. Lee Yong Soo, who identifies herself as one of comfort women, came to San Francisco from South Korea, and criticized Japan at the hearing, saying, “The Japanese government is lying. We have not received an official apology.” (Sep. 18th issue of the Sankei Newspaper)

Mar also repeatedly appealed to the Board of Supervisors on September 22nd, saying, “She is a witness of history.”


The Hearing Was Not Fair as the Chinese and Korean Groups Received Total Support from the Supervisors

Local Japanese-Americans also spoke at the hearing and expressed opposition to the establishment of the comfort women memorial. They said, “There is no solid evidence for claiming that they were forcibly recruited and worked as sex slaves,” expressing their concerns that a memorial would foster racism against the local Japanese-American population.


A Japanese-American participator spoke at the meeting as follows:

According to the book, “The Comfort Women” written by Professor C. Sarah Soh of San Francisco State University, Lee Young-soo, a former Korean comfort woman, and her friends said that a Korean prostitution broker had recruited the comfort women. Lee Young-soo explained how she was pleased to receive a red dress and a pair of leather shoes from the Korean recruiter.

Yet, she testified in front of a U.N. interrogator that she was abducted by the Japanese military. She also testified in front of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 2007, putting on a performance of crying and screaming for over an hour. Lee Young-Soo, who has a history of making false statements, is here today to make a speech. We have to stop this chain of fabrications and lies now.

Furthermore, when the opponent said that the comfort women had worked as prostitutes in military brothels, Lee herself rose up from her wheelchair and shouted angrily at the opponent, throwing the meeting into an uproar.


The Japanese-American participator described the developments of the meeting as follows:

From beginning to end, the meeting was held by and under the control of Eric Mar, a city supervisor, who set up this whole issue. Eric Mar would stop the speech if he did not like the content, and he would ask the person for a correction; yet when the supporters of the Comfort women memorial statues spoke, he allowed to let them to speak over the time limit with gratitude.

When all of the visitors completed their statements, Mr. David Campos, one of the committee members, stood up and spoke loudly as if his words were the conclusion of the meeting, “You can freely express your opinions because this is a democratic country, but shame on you for denying what happened and shame on you for the personal attacks on this woman.”

We were extremely shocked to see that there was no democracy in this meeting. A few city supervisors, who Chinese propagandists had brainwashed, took control of the whole agenda regarding this issue in the city of San Francisco. However, we were very proud that we could stand up and tell the world the real truth regardless of how many people believed the distorted information.

The installment of the comfort women memorial in the city of San Francisco could have a significant impact on the residents and tourists, and spread a false image of the wartime behavior of the Japanese army all over the world. South Korea claims that the Japanese army forcibly recruited comfort women without presenting any solid evidence other than the “testimony of the comfort women”. The Japanese government has ignored the historic facts and released the “Kono statement”, which virtually accepted the claims of South Korea.

The Chinese and Korean American groups are continuing with their lobbying activities across the world to damage Japan’s reputation with claims that run counter to the actual facts. The Japanese government must flatly refute the claims made by China and South Korea instead of relying solely on private groups for spreading the correct historical perception.

San Francisco Adopted a Resolution Supporting the Establishment of a “Comfort Women” Memorial
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