Asian communities in San Francisco mark 2nd anniversary of comfort women memorial

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"I cannot imagine the rage and hurt that I would feel, had the Germans not after World War II acknowledged what they had done," he said.

Mandelman said that like the atrocities Nazi Germany committed in Europe in the 19100s and 1940s, there were also atrocities happening in Asia.

"Peace cannot be achieved until Japan honestly, morally and ethically apologizes for its horrific deeds to the comfort women, to the hundreds and thousands of women who were sexually enslaved and raped," she said.

"Today, in Japanese society, learning about Japan's history of aggression is extremely difficult, and learning about the comfort women issue is no exception," they said, adding the history of comfort women was not even mentioned in Japanese textbooks.

Lillian Sing, also a retired San Francisco judge, and co-founder and co-chair of the CWJC, said, "We are so passionate about this issue because we really believe in justice and time is running out for our comfort women." She was referring to many comfort women who have died one after another in the past years.

She said the CWJC's commitment to seeking justice for comfort women has won great support from China, the Philippines, Germany, South Korea and other European countries.

The memorial called "Comfort Women" Column of Strength was erected and unveiled at St. Mary's Square Annex park in San Francisco in September 2017.

San Francisco supervisors Gordon Mar and Rafael Mandelman took the podium to voice their support for the CWJC and its efforts to seek justice for comfort women.

Two university students who are with the organization of Youth Forum Fukuoka in Fukuoka, Japan, spoke at the event and slammed the Japanese government for hiding the dark history of the wartime Japanese troops.

He backed the CWJC and its advocates to press the Japanese government to apologize for the heinous crimes to the comfort women more than 70 years ago.

San Francisco supervisors, former U.S. Congressman Mike Honda, representatives from Chinese, South Korean and Philippine communities in San Francisco, and guests from Los Angeles and Japan expressed their solidarity with the San Francisco-based Comfort Women Justice Coalition (CWJC), the event's organizer, and demanded a formal apology from the Japanese government for the crimes by the wartime Imperial Japanese Army.

Retired San Francisco judge Julie Tang, co-founder and co-chair of the CWJC, criticized the Japanese government for continuing to deny its wartime crimes, including the sexual slavery of a large number of Asian women by Japanese troops during the WWII.

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Asian communities in San Francisco on Sunday gathered to celebrate the second anniversary of the establishment of the Comfort Women Memorial at a city park, with a call for seeking justice for hundreds of thousands of women sexually victimized in World War II (WWII).

"This international solidarity will only build stronger and stronger because of you," Sing added.

"We fear that hiding our country's history is going to hurt us and our future," they said.