On September 18(local time), the “Wednesday Demonstration” demanding Japan redress the comfort women issue was held in Paris for the first time.
The protest was held in front of Chaillot Palace. Survivor Kim Bok-dong(88) and the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan (hereafter the Korean Council) urged the Japanese government to apologize. Survivor Kim’s testimony was followed by supportive remarks from the French women’s groups, Korean female travellers, and students.
The history of the comfort women Wednesday Demonstration goes back 20 years. It was first held in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul in 1992. It was staged in a wide range of countries including the United States, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Indonesia. This was the first time for the protest to take place in France. Survivor Kim and the Korean Council members carried on with their campaign to gather 100 million signatures for the resolution of Japan’s wartime sex slavery issue. They also had meetings with the French government officials and parliamentarians.
On 17, the Korean Council and French women’s groups met at the Amnesty International office in France to discuss ways to enhance solidarity to resolve the issue. The French women organization leaders agreed to establish a joint declaration, and lobby the government and lawmakers to adopt a resolution in the National Assembly and the Senate.