The Global V-Day Campaign for Justice to 'Comfort Women' Announces Global V-Day of Action
Campaign is the V-Day 2006 Spotlight
On the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II, V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, joins women and men around the world in calling for justice to ‘Comfort Women’ survivors. The euphemism ‘comfort women’ was coined by imperial Japan to refer to young females of various ethnic and national backgrounds who were forced to offer sexual services to the Japanese troops during the Asia/Pacific Wars between 1932 and 1945. The Japanese government has never recognized the war crime or given a formal apology to the survivors.
Since 1992, The Korean Council for The Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan (South Korea) has held weekly demonstrations in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul Korea calling for Justice to ‘comfort women.’
On August 10, 2005, these “Wednesday Demonstrations” will be replicated around the world on a Global Day of Action. Demonstrations will be held in Berlin, Frankfurt (Germany), Basel, Bern (Switzerland), the Netherlands, New York, Washington D.C (USA), Taiwan, the Philippines, Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya (Japan) to denounce the war crime of the Japanese Government and to demand its legal responsibilities, including compensation and an official apology.
Support for the Global V-Day Campaign for Justice to ‘Comfort Women’ has been growing throughout the world since it’s launch in February 2005.
The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan has compiled international petitions and have twice presented them to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and ILO Secretary General. During the Global Partnership for Prevent of Armed Conflict (July 19 – 21) The Korean Council presented a third petition with 550,000 signatures to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. The Korean Council has been forming international consensus to solve the “Comfort Women” problem and to prevent Japan from getting the permanent membership in the UN Security Council until their government answers for these human rights violations.
In Holland, the August 10th Global Day of Action has been preceded by 60 days of demonstrations and survivors’ testimonies in front of the Japanese embassy in the Hague. Testimonies were translated and presented to the Japanese Ambassador. In its final week between 30 and 50 people showed up daily coming from all parts of the country and donning yellow umbrellas.
Groups in partnership with the global campaign include:
- The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan (South Korea)
- Japan V-Day Steering Committee (Japan)
-Asian Centre for Women’s Human Rights (Philippines)
- Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation (Taiwan)
-FOKUPERS – Communication Forum for East Timorese Women (Timor L’Este)
-Indonesian Women’s Association for Justice (Indonesia)
-Stichting Japanse Ereschulden - Japanese Honorary Debts Foundation (The Netherlands)
The global campaign is the focus of V-Day's 2006 Spotlight. Each year V-Day spotlights a particular group of women who are experiencing violence with the goal of raising awareness and funds to put a worldwide media spotlight on this area and to raise funds to aid groups who are addressing it. Each
V-Day event is asked to donate between 1-10% of their proceeds to the Spotlight. The 2005 Spotlight on Women In Iraq, Under Siege raised over $225,000 and placed an international media spotlight on the issue resulting in widespread coverage in print, TV, and radio outlets.
Media inquiries should be directed to Susan Celia Swan at (212) 253-1823 or email
Background on “comfort women’:
The euphemism ‘comfort women’ was coined by imperial Japan to refer to young females of various ethnic and national backgrounds who were forced to offer sexual services to the Japanese troops during the Asia/Pacific Wars between 1932 and 1945. Some were minors sold into ‘comfort stations’; others were deceptively recruited by middlemen; still more were detained and forcibly abducted. Estimates of the number of ‘comfort women’ range between 50,000 to 200,000. In the early 1990s, Korean victims of Japan’s military sexual slavery broke their silence and came forward nearly a half century after WWII, followed by other survivors in China, Taiwan, North Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Timor L’Este. Now the aging survivors are dying off one by one without redress from the Japanese government, which still denies legal responsibility.. In South Korea, the elderly ‘comfort women’ survivors have held demonstrations in front of the Japanese embassy every Wednesday for 13 years, calling for justice and reparations for the unanswered war crimes.