Former comfort women in S Korea express condolences to quake victims in Japan

16:47, March 16, 2011      

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In the wake of Japan's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, a group of South Korean elderly women organized a silent demonstration on Wednesday to commemorate victims of the earthquake, putting aside lingering animosity from the past.

The group, composed of the "comfort women" forced into prostitution for Japanese troops in World War II, gathered outside of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, despite cold weather.

They have been protesting at the same location every Wednesdsay for 19 years, demanding an apology and compensation from the Japanese goverment for the war crime.

However, instead of their usual demonstrations, they stood in silent tribute to the victims of the earthquake in Japan.

"Hate the sin but not the people. We're holding a silent demonstration for that reason," said Lee Yong-su, a former comfort woman in attendance.

They called off demonstration in 1995 after a 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit Kobe, western Japan, killing more than 6,000 people.

"I express my condolences to the victims and hope for a swift recovery," said Yun Mi-hyang, director of the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan.

Also in attendance were other civic groups, such as the Institute for Research in Collaborationist Activities and the Korea Atomic Bomb Casualties Association, which all came to offer their sympathy for the victims of the disaster.

Source: Xinhua

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