‘Comfort women’ museum to be built
SEOUL — South Korea intends to build a museum in memory of wartime sex slaves for Japanese troops, a government minister said Monday, reigniting perennial tensions in the two neighbors’ relationship.
The plight of the so-called “comfort women” who were forced into sexual slavery for Japanese troops during World War II is a hugely emotional issue that has marred ties between the US allies for decades.
Mainstream historians said up to 200,000 women — from the Korean Peninsula and other parts of Asia including China — were forced to work at Japanese army brothels across the region during the war.
“We are planning to build a ‘comfort women’ museum in Seoul,” said new Gender Equality Minister Chung Hyun-Back at a shelter for a shrinking number of survivors, who now number only 38 in total.
The “House of Sharing”, in a rural area south of Seoul, has a memorial hall but Chung said the country needed a museum in the capital with better public access.
She did not elaborate on when it will open or what kind of materials it will display.
It is likely to worsen the relationship between Seoul and Tokyo.
Japan maintains that there is a lack of documentary proof that the women were forcibly made to work at the brothels.