Arrived at Nagoya airport yesterday and was welcomed warmly by Satakesan and his wife Mihosan. Satakesan is part of Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo). We were picked up by Kimichan (from Aichi Gensuikyo who also prepared a very nice lunch) and we all went to a big event discussing the Asian Sex Slave Women also known as Comfort Women in Aichi. I was surprised to know that there are also Japanese comfort women. All along, I only knew of comfort women from the Philippines and Korea. But from yesterday, I also learned that there are also cases in Japan, Germany and Brazil.
I am aware of the issue since there have been several women from the Philippines who, after many years of painful silence, finally stood up and started the fight for justice. They are demanding for an official apology from the Japanese government. Aside from this, they are also fighting to have their story recognized in history no matter how dark it was so that the next generations will learn from it. They also demand thay that their story be written in history textbooks and that they be given material support.
It was sad to know that afternoon that Prime Minister Abe is not recognizing the fact that the slave system did not exist in Japanese history and simply dismisses this as prostitution because it seems they were paid at that time. One big challenge in this issue is that there are not many written documentation of these crimes that happened that time. The victims themselves also had a hard time making their experience known as doing so might have social implications for their families plus it is also hard for someone who had such an experience to look back and and have the strength to talk about it. Knowing that the Japanese comfort women are having difficulty getting recognized in their own country, how much more difficult will it be for those overseas? There will surely be a lot of work involved, but the fight has started and so it shall continue.
Part of our assignment there is going onstage to introduce myself as a Peace Marcher and to invite them to join and support the Peace March. It was quite an older audience and I was looking for some younger people. I was delighted to meet two beautiful sister who helped me get by with the Japanese translations.
I look forward to meeting the younger ones during the Peace March since Takasan informed me in the past that many younger people signed up for the Peace March this year. This is exciting indeed.
HEIWA KOSIN DESU!
Later in the evening, Mizunosan and Kudomarisan brought me to Kawaisan's house and we all had a pleasant dinner of gohimochi, tofu with dark miso paste, oden, salad, a bit of red wine and rose wine. I spent the night at Kawaisan’s pretty house. Oyasuminasai!