28th weekly Wednesday Demonstration

The Wednesday protest for the Resolution of the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery Issue in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul’s Jongno-gu District on Jan. 8 marked its 28th anniversary. Pictured here is a protester presenting a cake with the number commemorating the occasion.

By Yoon Sojung
Photo = Choi Taesoon
Seoul ㅣ Jan. 8, 2020

Jan. 8 marked the 28th anniversary of the weekly Wednesday Demonstration for the Resolution of the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery Issue for “comfort women” victims.

Despite the winter cold and rain, many gathered in Seoul’s Jongno-gu District for the protest, which is in its 28th year. All the participants raised their voices to demand that Japan give a sincere apology and reparations to the victims.

On the same day, similar demonstrations also took place in five cities in Japan — Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe, Hiroshima and Osaka — and three in the U.S. — Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington. The protest also received joint statements of support and solidarity issued by 43 civic groups in 12 countries, including Lila Pilipina from the Philippines and Remed from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Lee Yong-soo, a surviving sex slave victim, told the protesters in Seoul, “Thanks to all of you here and people around the globe standing with me, I’ve won.”

“For the sake of world peace, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe must immediately cooperate with us to enlist historical records related to victims of sexual slavery by the Japanese military.”

Yoon Mi-hyang, president of the Justice for Comfort Women, a civic group that organized the protest, said, “Under the ‘With You’ solidarity movement, people around the world, including those in regions suffering from armed conflict, are also working with us toward the goal of resolving the issue of sexual slavery victims by the Japanese military.”

“Those who don’t give up are true winners.”

Yoon also announced the names of eight victims who continued to attend the weekly protest from the fifth demonstration in 1992 until their deaths, saying, “Grandmas, you are all our heroes and hope.”

Meanwhile, the movement to demand that Japan resolve the sexual slavery issue, initially launched by women’s organizations, marks its 30th anniversary this year.

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