‘Com­fort women’ mu­seum to be built

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

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.

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