Singer, Kim Jang Hoon, paid for an advertisement in the New York Times to disseminate facts surrounding the horrific treatment of comfort women and to compel the Japanese government to offer an apology to all comfort women. The advertisement titled, “Do You Hear?” ran on March 28 in the A Section, page 11 of the newspaper.
The singer has been working with Sung Shin Women’s University’s Professor Suh Kyung Duk to raise attention for Japan’s historical atrocities as well as Japan’s political motivations and activities surrounding Dokdo.
The advertisement shows a powerful image of comfort women protesting against the Japanese government and provides a backdrop to the image, “Do you hear their cry? In the picture are comfort women who served as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II.”
During World War II, young women from countries under Japanese Imperial control were kidnapped or lured from their homes and herded into “comfort stations,” where they were raped at gun point numerous times a day.
The advertisement provided further background to the powerful image, “Since January 1992, ex-comfort women have been continuously meeting outside of the Japanese embassy in downtown Seoul every Wednesday. While there are only a handful of surviving comfort women, gradually the number of supporters attending the meetings has grown to over 1000…however, [the Japanese government] has never expressed any intention of direct compensation or public apology for the women for its atrocities.”
The advertisement notes that an apology and or compensation is “the only possible way for Korea and Japan to work together towards peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia.”
Professor Suh went on record to say that the Japanese government tried to prevent the running of the Dokdo advertisement in the New York Times which ran Korea’s Independence Day on March 1 and responded to this prevention by running the comfort women advertisement.
Japan’s Yomiro newspaper featured an article that stated that the New York Times did not want to run the Dokdo advertisement, but upon further investigation regarding these allegations, it was discovered that the New York Times never made any claims that were purported in the Yomiro article.
Professor Suh stated that he will continue to spearhead this project and has plans to bring this matter to the attention of world-wide news programs such as CNN in order to bring pressure onto the Japanese government.