Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace stormed by extreme rights

I read a news article that the Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace (WAM) was stormed by extreme rights in Japan. I couldn't find a English article, so I will briefly translate the Korean article and introduce the story.

The Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace (WAM) is a privately funded small museum in Tokyo, Japan, which is dedicated to the women forced into sexual slavery. According to the news article, the rightists stormed the WAM and shouted that "Comfort Women are prostitutes!" They identified themselves as members of 'the organization for withdrawal of Kono statement'. Their brochure also mentioned organizations such as the Association not approving special right to Korean residents in Japan, the Association against crimes by foreigners and so on. They terrorized people, especially staffs of the WAM, blocked the entrance and stayed until police came and asked them to leave.

I had chance to meet Ms. Nishino Rumiko, a founder of the WAM and other Japanese scholars and activists who are very conscientious in March 2007 in the US Institute of Peace symposium. She is very courageous but she felt some insecurity because the extreme rights has been threatened her and the museum. I worried about her and staffs of the WAM and I also worry about rising voice of extreme rights within Japanese society.

Maybe we will have chance to discuss about historical disputes about Japanese colonialism and atrocities. I also want to introduce an article about the WAM and other museums in Japan including Yushukan.
Revising the Past, Complicating the Future: The Yushukan War Museum in Modern Japanese History by Takashi YOSHIDA

No comments: