Ever since Japanese officials sought the removal of a New Jersey monument commemorating the sexual slavery of Korean “Comfort Women” taken by the Japanese army in World War II, Korean-Americans have raced to erect more monuments to bring attention to the women’s plight and to protest what they see as Japanese efforts to deny that the episode occurred.
Just weeks after the Japanese efforts to remove the monument in Palisades Park, N.J., a Korean-American organization on Long Island has dedicated the first New York monument to “Comfort Women,” in Eisenhower Park, Long Island. The Korean publication Newsroh was on hand to photograph the festivities. Below is an excerpt of NewsKann‘s article, translated from Korean.
On June 19, Chul-Woo Lee, a representative of the Korean American Public Affairs Committee, held a press conference and announced that the association has erected a Comfort Women monument on a site in Eisenhower Park, Long Island…
Lee said that “the main goal of erecting the monument is to demand an apology and compensation from Japan for Comfort Women, and to make the area around the monument sacred ground to be used for the study of future generations.”
Lee also vowed that “we will bring up the question of the trampling of woman’s human rights to the United States’ mainstream, and we will demand an apology from Japan and ask them to solve the problems they created. This strong message will be delivered to pilgrims to the monument.”
It took only two weeks to erect the monument, an effort made to block any objections from Japan to the monument, said Lee and Sang Won Lee, a secretary-general of the Korean American Public Affairs Committee. The group undertook the job quickly and without delay, even though it usually takes two years to erect a monument.