Shinzo Abe’s on my Shit List

Okay, so Wofford’s in cranky-pants mode right now. I’ve been royally pissed 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 the majority 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.

I don’t know how much any of you go in for petition-signing, but if you’re not averse to it, this is a worthwhile one that a lot of Americans don’t know much about. 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.

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3 Responses to “Shinzo Abe’s on my Shit List”

  1. M. Evelina Galang Says:

    Thanks for posting this. We have almost 500 signatures. I want to shoot for a thousand. That’s how many Filipinas were taken hostage as comfort women — that’s what historians say. I really want to shoot for 200,000. That’s how many women were abducted all over South East Asia. Imagine. When all is said and done, I’m sending that petition not only to Congress, but to Abe and to the Lolas of LILA Pilipina. Everyone will know we know the truth.

  2. admin Says:

    All right: I’m on the job. Emailing more friends and family about the petition today! Thanks again so much for taking the initiative on this.

  3. R. Brillantes Says:

    All the best on the petition. I support you Ms. Galang! -R. Brillantes, Filmmaker