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Media release– The First Conference of Museums on Japan’s Military “Comfort Women”

Media release

The First Conference of Museums on Japan’s Military “Comfort Women”


[Venue] Basement Y Hall, Korean YMCA (5-5, Sarugaku-cho 2 Chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0064)

[Date] April 1st, 2017

[Time] 13: 30 – 17: 00

[Admission] 1000 JPY


It has already been 25 years since August 1991 when Ms Kim Hak-sun came out in Korea as a former Japanese military “comfort woman.” During that time many more women from all around Asia have taken the same brave path, while official documentation has been found which supports the women’s testimonies and also reveals the Japanese military’s systematic involvement in this issue. Nevertheless, the general understanding about the comfort women system within Japan has not necessarily deepened. Rather, historical revisionist arguments are spread through the Internet, and even adopted by the wider mass media. It is regrettable that in the current climate people are not willing to confront the reality of Japan’s military “comfort women.”

This situation was exacerbated by the mutual “agreement” on the issue between the Japanese and Korean governments. This agreement was signed in December 2015 without any consultation with surviving comfort women victims. This appears to have sealed the issue for the popular media. Because of the current climate, the role of museums that are committed to conveying the reality of the “comfort women” system is crucial in terms of educating the next generation in regards to peace and human rights, and also with respect to the recovery of the rights of victimized women.

The first museum for Japan’s military “comfort women” was built in 1998 in Korea and was called “The House of Nanumu: Historical Museum of Japanese Army “Comfort Women”. The movement has expanded since, and more museums have been established in Korea, Japan, China, the Philippines, and, most recently in December 2016, in Taiwan. Each museum has its own unique contents and activities, although their ideas often provide mutual inspiration for each other. This conference will offer a platform where these museums can share their information and ideas and expand their activities in terms of common goals.

The Women’s Active Museum for War and Peace (WAM) was established in Japan 11 years ago in 2005. Under the Abe ministration, the move to deny, or modify, facts about “comfort women” has further intensified. It is imperative that the citizens of Japan, as they belong to the offending party, should understand the historical facts about the “comfort women” issue. Holding the first comfort women museum conference in Japan is significant in this sense. 

There will be a wide range of information about the history as well as the activities of each museum. We would be most grateful if you could attend this conference and spread the knowledge provided further.


Theme 1:Museums that Forged Ahead of Their Time
House of Sharing, Museum of Sexual Slavery by the Japanese Military
National Women’s Historical Hall

Theme 2:International Solidarity Movements
Lila Pilipina, Lolas Center 

Theme 3:Collaborating with Universities and/or Local Governments
Nanjing Museum of the Site of Lijixiang “Comfort Stations”
Chinese “Comfort Women” History Museum

Theme 4:Establishment and Management through Regional Cooperation
Heeum Museum of Sexual Slavery under the Japanese Military
Ama Museum

Theme 5:The Future Activities of Memory
Activities of Committee for Panel Exhibit in China on Japan’s Military Sexual Violence
Activities of Masan, Changwon, Jinhae Civil Association for the Victims of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery
“Peace Monument” Movement in USA
On UNESCO Memory of the World Registration

[Requests to the media reporters]

1. Please pay the entrance fee for the event.
2. Please come to the media desk first to receive reporter arm band to wear.

1. Please note the following points for photographing.

# Do not use flash lights

# The faces of those in the audience should not be identified; therefore please take the photos from behind.

# We request that you do not disturb the conference process; please stand or move your position only when the timing is suitable, such as when a speaker pauses during a speech.

4. Please make inquiries if you wish to interview one of our guest speakers.