(From Korea JoongAng Daily)
Hundreds of demonstrators countrywide set out to the streets Wednesday to mark the 24th anniversary of the weekly rallies that have been held across from the Japanese Embassy in Jongno District, central Seoul, for more than two decades.
The surge came in the midst of soaring public resentment toward a recent agreement between Seoul and Tokyo, which meant to put an end to the long-running dispute over the Imperial Japanese Army’s sexual enslavement of Korean women and girls during World War II, who are euphemistically known as “comfort women.”
The deal promised an apology from the Japanese government as well as a state-backed fund for the Korean victims.
Police estimated that nearly 1,000 people, mostly students and activists, convened in front of the Japanese Embassy for the 1,212th rally, which started at noon. The turnout was higher than at last week’s rally, when some 700 people showed up.
Orchestrated by the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, also known as the Korean Council, a prominent nongovernmental organization that supports the comfort women, the hour-long rallies usually see 100 people in attendance.
The surviving comfort women told us they “will not accept” the 1 billion yen ($8.4 million) Japan offered last week, Korean Council Co-President Yoon Mee-hyang said on Wednesday, referring to the fund Tokyo promised to provide using the state’s budget. Read more