Archive for March 19th, 2007

Shinzo Abe on my Sh*t List

Monday, March 19th, 2007

I’ve been royally irritated about this situation this week, so it’s heartening to see that M. Evelina Galang, one of my literary heroines, has taken quick initiative to do something about it. I met her at a conference over the summer, and was utterly inspired by her grace, presence and compassion.

Ms. Galang has authored a petition regarding the recent, disgraceful public denial by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that WWII Comfort Women actually existed under the appalling conditions that they did. (During WWII, the Japanese Army systematically forced thousands of women in Asia into sexual slavery. While many of these women were Korean and Chinese, a significant number were also Filipina: Galang has interviewed many of these women, and has been writing a book about them.) Japan has vaguely acknowledged it in the past, but PM Shinzo Abe has really pushed it lately, publicly stating that there’s no proof it ever happened.

If you’re not averse to petitions, this is a worthwhile one. Many of these former comfort women are still alive, if not for much longer: they’re my lola’s (grandmother’s) age, and at the end of their long, hard lives, are effectively being told that they’re liars, and that the horrors they endured never actually happened.

Here’s Evelina’s preface to the petition:

On March 2, 2007 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe insisted, “There is no evidence to prove there was coercion, nothing to support it (the coercion of WWII military sex slaves).” We ask Congress to urge Prime Minister Abe to look at the evidence, to see the coercion, to apologize and give appropriate reparations. The women are waiting.”

Evelina’s blog about it is here:
http://labanforthelolas.blogspot.com/

The petition is here:
http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/comfort-women-house-resolution.html

From Evelina’s blog:

Lola Dolores Molina:

lola-dolores-molina.JPG

When she was 13 years old, Lola Dolor was held captive in a classroom at Emilio Jacinto Elementary School in Tondo, Manila. She was raped several times, by several Japanese soldiers before she lost consciousness. Down the hallway you can see the bathroom where she woke to find a woman washing her. This visit to the former garrison in 2001 is the first time Lola Dolor has returned.