<This translated version is temporary: Not reviewed / edited yet. Translated by a non-professional volunteer. A lot of mistranslated sentences and paragraphs, wrong chosen words are in this translation. -translator->
December 20, 2016 was the final trial of the criminal case which has caught me for a year. I read the final statement below in the court on that day. During a year of this criminal trial, I submitted several evidence documents; About 1,000 pages of refuting evidences during the pretrial arrangement in May, which are testimonies, memoirs, and articles allowing us to know about comfort women. In order to help them getting the overall idea of comfort women, these evidences were arranged in the chronological order. (In case that an article came later, but pointing and describing earlier age, came first.)
And later, I also submitted several other documents and data as ‘reference materials’ which would prove that <Comfort Women of the Empire- Struggle between the colonial domination and the memory> does not defame comfort women who are still alive. In the final statement below, the terms ‘evidence’ and ‘reference’ used in that way. However, these ‘references’ also has important or sometimes even more important data than in the ‘evidences’. For example, they are conversation records or video clips of comfort women. More than 160 references were submitted before the final trial. There are some other materials named ‘additional resources’ which will be submitted to the court with this statement. Some parts are not competed yet, but I wish your generous understanding.
The prosecutor said, “The court should consider the fact that she is deliberately distorting historical facts, not repentant, and defaming the honor of the victims seriously.” I realized that the prosecutor was trying to draw my ‘self-reflection’ when I heard it. I could dispute every prosecutor’s question and interrogation, but I did not express the attitude of reflection. Perhaps this made him unpleased.
Actually, the prosecutor and other related people have asked for mediation before their accusation with requesting ‘an apology, no more printing of deleted Korean edition, and editing / deleting some sentences from Japanese edition’. A professor who has criticized me recently requested ‘no more Japanese edition printing’. Deleting sentences or Japanese version out-of-printing is not what I could hardly accept till the end.
Still, the critics blamed me with distortion without mentioning what they have requested me, but just keep saying as if I asked the comfort women an apology. What I asked them was those peoples’ apology who distorted my book resulted the anger and accusation from those comfort women and the whole nation. I have never asked anything to the comfort women.
The thing I am disappointed in is not the prosecutor’s 3 year in prison demanding. It is his unconscionableness who has already seen all my countervailing materials, but is just pretending not to have seen them with ignorance with asking a felony. Of course, who are behind him are not the comfort women, but the surrounding people.
The prosecutor’s demanding is, in fact, of some of the ‘scholars’ who have given the prosecutor the logic which distorts my book with ignorance, and made him just repeat the material which they gave him like a parrot.
<The final statement of criminal trial>
It has already been a year since this criminal trial began. First, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you for giving me speech opportunity as much as possible, and for your listening fairly to my explanation, and your fair trial proceeding.
- About allegations that there was intention of crime | Until I wrote the book <Comfort women of the empire>
First, I’d like to explain how I could write this book <Comfort women of the empire – Struggle between colonial domination and the memory>
1) 25 years ago, at the end of my studying abroad, I volunteered supporting comfort women as an interpreter who came to testify in Tokyo. And I had a tearful experience while I heard a comfort woman’s tearful testimony who took a white skirt. From that time on, the comfort women issue has never left from my head for 25 years.
Since I had no opportunity to realize the contradiction in the supporting organization’s activity in Korea which is to support comfort women and no opportunity of participating in an actual activity after my returning home, I could not do anything but just watching them. However, I participated the ‘Wednesday protest’ a few times and had some conversation with comfort women until I wrote my first book about the comfort women issue about 10 years ago.
2) After a few years later, in 2004, I created a Korean – Japanese intellectual discussion group that discussed Korean – Japanese issues beyond nationalism, and the most important motive for me to make this meeting was, in fact, the comfort women issue. This is the main reason why I asked professor Ueno Chizuko, a prominent scholar in Japan feminism, to be with our group when I made it with professor Yoichi Komori at Tokyo University, who was also a delegate of a group which was against Japan’s problematic textbooks.
In the following year, we held a symposium in Seoul with inviting professor Wada Haruki and professor Ueno Chizuko, who had been engaging in resolving comfort women issue for many years. At this time, I asked the director Yoon Mihyang at ‘Jeong-Dai-Hyup’ (Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, the Korean activist supporting organization for comfort women), to make a plenary speech and to debate with professor Wada and professor Ueno, since Jeong-Dai-Hyup has criticized the Asian Women’s Fund, which Professor Wada led, and I tried to find common viewpoints between them. (This information is included in the book ‘Meta History of Korean-Japanese History Recognition’, published in 2008.) However, Yoon just repeated previous claims and we could not find any common understanding or viewpoints at that time.
3) Just before I arranged that symposium, I published a book <For Reconciliation | Textbook / comfort women / Yasukuni / Dokdo> in 2005. (Chapter 2 is about the comfort women issue. court trial reference # 98, it is marked as ‘reference’.) It was because I wanted more people to rethink Jeong-Dai-Hyup’s way of working, and also wanted people to hear the voice of ‘other’ comfort women who were not well known among people.
What I emphasized in this book was ‘In order to solve a conflicting problem, we need to get an accurate information about the problem first. The information which the supporting organization have sent to mass-media and public is not accurate and also inconsistent. So let’s fix this problem first and then go forward to discuss it.’ Korean society accepted my book without any specific rejection. I was able to get some media reviews, and that book was awarded ‘book of excellence with recommendation in this year’ by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in the following year. (References 86,87)
4) As <For Reconciliation> was translated into Japanese, I got lots of opportunity to speak in Japan, and every time when I speak, I emphasized that Japan should come back to solve comfort women issues because I felt that Japan’s interest in comfort women issues had sharply decreased after Asian Women’s Fund, which was created by Japanese people and government in 1997, disbanded in 2007 after paying compensation and Japanese Prime Minister’s letter to comfort women in many countries.
For example, in the year of 2010, which was the 100th year of Japanese annexation of Korea, the Japanese government, and even the Korean government, did not mention anything about the comfort women issues, but I published an article writing to the Japanese media that ‘the first thing Japan has to do is to solve the comfort women issues’ in that year (see Reference 59. Kyodo Communication Column. 2010)
5) In the winter of 2011, I started publishing series of articles on the comfort women issues criticizing Japan’s right wingers, the government, and supporting organizations in the Japanese media. (web Ronza. Dec 2011 to June 2012) I put these articles in the book <Comfort Women of the Empire> which was published in Korea first after 2 years later.
In other words, I started writing <Comfort Women of the Empire> for the clear purpose to tell Japanese, who were indifferent to the comfort women issues, to reconsider about the comfort women issues and to urge them resolve them. Since I thought bringing this issue in Korea is also as important as bringing it in Japan, I intended to publish this book both in Korea and Japan at the same time initially, but the Korean edition came out first. The fact that professor Wada Haruki in Japan, who has long been trying to solve the issue, said ‘A positive effect that recalls the comfort women issue in Japan’ when I was accused by the prosecutor proves that my efforts were not just in vain. (Link article)
6) There was another symposium in Japan in the spring of 2012 while I was still publishing series of articles. This symposium attempted the same methodology that I did in 2005, which was trying to solve this problem with gathering people from different side, who were willing to solve this problem but had different idea when it comes to a method. I was invited to this symposium with professor Wada and gave my opinion which is similar to him. (Reference 162)
The title of this symposium was ‘To solve comfort women issue’ and the hosting people were female scholars who had worked with Jeong-Dae-Hyup and who had been interested in this problem for long time, so they had a close relationship with professor Yoon Jeong-ok, who was the first representative of Jeong-Dae-Hyup. This tells us that they regarded me as a person who had a similar view point with professor Wada and acknowledged my work trying to solve this comfort women issue.
7) In the spring of 2012, I saw a newspaper article saying, an official of Korean presidential office did not even speak anything about Japanese effort to give an apology and compensation to the comfort women and the supporting organization, anticipating an objection from the supporting organization. I thought it won’t be solved in this way, forever. So, I wrote more articles toward Korean people and put them in the book with previously published articles in Japan. That was <Comfort Women of the Empire> published in 2013.
At that time, I was in Japan for my research year, and I often discussed about comfort women issues with several scholars who I had been communicated with for a long time. I also held a seminar at Tokyo university to find another common viewpoint just before coming back home.
As I wrote in my postings and other articles immediately after the accusation, my interest in this book was to review existing ‘common sense’ and to try to find out if there is ‘another solution’. I wished those comfort women comfortable as soon as possible, with the way of sharing these ideas and letting Korean, who had a lot of interest in this issue, have more deepened understanding. And my only realistic suggestion in the book was ‘Since we have not heard from the various voices of the comfort women who have been excluded from the discussion, let’s create a Korean-Japan consensus including them, and start discussion with Japan.’
After I aware of this comfort women issue, all my interests, my activities and my writing on this matter have been for the benefit of comfort women. In addition, I, as an expert of Japan who teaches about Japan in Korea, thought challenging an existing common sense is an obligation of a scholar. First of all, it was my consistent idea from the time when I published the first book on the matter of Korea – Japan relationship, that the precise understanding of a problem will lead a productive debate and eventually will enable correct and effective criticism. The <Comfort Women of the Empire> is the book written in this way.
- About the claim that my book represents Japanese right wing with condemning comfort women | Evaluation of Japan
However, the plaintiffs’ agent and the prosecutor denounces that my book has an intention to nullify Japan’s responsibility. In addition to their lie that my book represents Japanese right wing and glorifies the Asia-Pacific war, they say this book is ‘harmful’ for solving the comfort women issues. The consulting lawyer of Nanume-Jip (a place where a few comfort women victims resides in) who mobilized her law school students to analyze this book, had started a campaign to expel my former book <For Reconciliation> with cancellation of the award <book of excellence with recommendation in this year>, saying ‘this book is harmful for young generation’.
However, this <Comfort Women of the Empire> also have received more positive responses than I expected, at least until the supporting organization’s accusation against me, (Reference 5-12, Newspaper reviews, etc.)
The important thing is, however, whether my book was read and acknowledged in Japan because they thought my intention was to nullify Japan’s responsibility as the prosecutor mentioned. In conclusion, it was not the right wing of Japan as the plaintiffs claim, but so-called conscientious intellectuals and citizens who have deeply recognized Japan’s responsibility, who recognized and highly evaluated my book. It is shown that it was Asahi Shimbun (Asahi Daily) which published a reviewing article first in autumn of 2014. This newspaper has shown the largest and longest interest in this. Then Tokyo Shimbun which is considered more progressive than Asahi, and then Mainichi newspaper, which is moderate, also published several articles, book reviews, columns, editorials, etc.
To reveal the plaintiffs’ lies saying Japanese right wing evaluated this book highly, I am going to read some of the words from evaluators, scholars, and writers.
“Behind the efforts listening to the voices of numbers of victims who were forced and coerced to sexual labor by the military, there is a sharpness of understanding this problem by broadening the viewpoint to colonialism and imperialism rather than sticking on a simple viewpoint of human rights violation under the war period. This is more severe and harsh questioning toward Japan than the simple understanding of this problem as a violation of a human right under the war period. Park Yu-ha is pouring the contrary point of view toward comfort women victims against the historical revisionist’s point of view which tries to glorify and affirm the past history” (Kei Nakazawa, writer, professor of Hosei University, Jan 18th 2016, Webronza ),
“This is a strong criticism toward the structure which makes women as an object and a mean of instrumentalization, and also it is a sympathy for those who live as human beings in it. This is the central axis of this book.” (Tanaka Akihiko, Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo, from the review opinion selecting this book as the winner of Asia Pacific Award for Special Prize, 2015) (Reference 71,72)
“The point of this book is bringing imperialism and the sins of colonial rule to the front.” (Ueno Chizuko, Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo, at March 28, 2016,symposium material Tokyo University of “How to face the comfort women issues – with Professor Park Yu-ha’s books and reviews.”))
“Isn’t it the point of understanding the colonization dominance with meticulously observing the situation of intermediate level that while looking at the macro-state of life and also investigating microscopic life of each people. This is a trend of colonial research otherwise the real appearance of colonial violence cannot be revealed, and I think Park Yu-ha is linking this.” (Professor of Araraki Shinzo, Sophia University, at March 28, 2016,symposium material Tokyo University of “How to face the comfort women issues – with Professor Park Yu-ha’s books and reviews.”)
“Will Japan, which has followed Western Europe and ruled Asia as a stronghold, be able to demonstrate the value which brings peace with coexistence to the international community over western originated ideology that dominates the others? I wish pursuing this with Korea’s understanding.” “Now the question is facing to Japan.” (Yamada Takado, editor-in-chief of the Mainichi Newspaper, Jul 27th, 2015, Mainichi Shimbun)
These are Japanese reputations for <Comfort Women of the Empire>.
However, the prosecutor and the plaintiffs’ agent, or those who have provided information to them, have manipulated Korean people using the fact that a lot of Korean do not know about the situation in Japan and they have distorted this situation completely.
Maybe some right-wingers used my book to say what they want to say as they say. But it is only marginal. Maybe those can only be found in a personal Facebook page or blogs. No conservative or right-wing journal or newspaper has published a single book review about this book. And of course, there was no place saying that they would give an award to this book.
Still, the accusation was followed after this book won two awards. Then immediately, the intellectuals in Japan addressed the statement against Korean prosecutions indictment. After that, some researchers and activists including Korean-Japanese and Japanese who had already criticized me since the Japanese edition of <For Reconciliation> published in 2007, distorted my book and started to mudslide me. Then the intellectuals of Japan, who could not see this catastrophe any longer started to speak up again as below.
“This <Comfort Women of the Empire> opened the way to ask national responsibility in a big framework of colonial domination by the nation and gender.” (Professor Kano Mikiyo, Keigakuin University, at March 28, 2016,symposium material Tokyo University of “How to face the comfort women issues – with Professor Park Yu-ha’s books and reviews.”))
“I think this structure was the great sin of colonial rule and the war, and sorrow of women. I interpret Park’s meaning of the word ‘fellow like relationship’ in this way.” (Wakamiya Yoshihumi, former leading editor of Asahi Shimbun, at March 28, 2016,symposium material Tokyo University of “How to face the comfort women issues – with Professor Park Yu-ha’s books and reviews.”))
“If you get rid of your prejudice that this is to exonerate Japan, and just read this book entirely, then you cannot criticize this book in that way. Nevertheless, some people’s reading in that way saying ‘this is to exonerate Japan’ is clearly misreading and abusing this book.”, “The emphasis on this aspect opens the way for a deeper understanding of colonial rule, and does not draw Japan’s indulgence” (Professor Nishi Masahiko, Ritsumeikan University, at March 28, 2016,symposium material Tokyo University of “How to face the comfort women issues – with Professor Park Yu-ha’s books and reviews.”)
That is to say, they have read the criticism toward Japan in this book <Comfort Women of the Empire> and this is why my book has been evaluated in Japan.
In addition, some scholars published a scholastic paper about my book investigating the meaning of it in the history of solving the comfort women issue, and also published a journal article (Refs. 69,108). I heard that a book will be published which consists of people’s advocates this book with a similar view in the next spring, too.
The former Chief Cabinet Secretary Kono who announced the Kono discourse, the former prime minister Murayama who announced the Murayama discourse, and the conscientious intellectual and Nobel laureate writer Oe Kenzaburo and other intellectuals joined and contributed the Japanese intellectual’s statement against Korean prosecution with stating that ‘this book is not defaming comfort women’. This is because they evaluate my book in a correct way.
Just after the accusation, even before the book was translated into Japanese, a representative philosopher of Japan, Karatani Kojin, who had criticized his own country, sent a message to the court about me. (Reference 140) This was, I think, because he understood my working deeply.
However, the plaintiffs’ agent and the prosecutor insist that my intention is to deny Japanese responsibility and exonerate Japan. Of course, the reason why they keep doing this and repeating this claim in the court and in public, although this argument is nothing to do with this trial in a legal point of view, is, as they lied until now saying that I received Japanese crooked money and tried to conciliate comfort women, to make me as an evil among general public and to make me look like I have an intention of defamation of comfort women.
- About the claim that the book is devastating comfort women | Evaluation of Korea
Your Honor, I think this gives you enough understanding that my book cannot be a book of defamation of comfort women with my previous explanation of the writing process, the background, and reaction of Korean society right after the publication of the book in 2013, and the reaction of Korean mass media about the symposium held in 2014 which I described before.
In addition, after this accusation, there were huge number of articles, petitions, statements, book reviews, Facebook postings, and magazines featured articles, numbers of speaking from journalists, intellectuals and citizens, who tried to send the truth to people. It is too many of them so that I could not find them all. (References 4-34, 36-44, 66-2, 73-1, 75, 76-1-10, 79-85, 91-95, 124-139, 142-155.)
A lot of citizens who are against the accusation gathered on Facebook and made supporters group and opened a Facebook page <Comfort Women of the Empire – Bring it out of the court, discuss it in plaza> for misunderstandings about me and my book. Approximately 2000 people have responded in this page until today. Also, a petition for me was written by a young critic in mass culture yesterday and getting participants signature is on progress. I don’t think the number of participants will be huge, but thanks to these people, I could have endured this situation without thinking I want to leave this country.
Please note that some of the people who wrote the petition or journal articles for me are scholars in Korean literature, critics in literature, writers, novelists, etc. who mostly read, analyze and write texts.
I wrote this book as a general style with my hope for more people to read, but in fact, my book is not simple both in content and in writing style. So the important thing is understanding what I actually wrote in this book before evaluating whether my opinion is right or wrong. We call it reading comprehension. Those who are outstanding in reading comprehension in Korea have read it and defending my book now.
The plaintiffs’ agent and the prosecutor doubts my intentions and distorts the book, but if my book were a book something like they were talking, it would have been just ignored shortly after publication, or the media would have blamed me first with leading them.
Of course, including before and after the accusation, I have already answered most of the criticisms. (Answers to Lee Jae-seung, Young Scholars, and Jung Young-hwan, Reference 62-1-4, 102-105, 106, 110, Link) Please take a look at the submitted documents which reveals the supporting organization and some scholars’ lies. (References 110, 132)
- Suppressing Other Voices | The real reason of their accusation.
But why did the plaintiffs suddenly accused me while being silent for ten months after publication?
There are two direct reasons for this. One is the symposium which was to send the voice of the victims to the world, which was hosted with my acquaintances in spring 2004. And I think that the reason that they started the accusation process was because one comfort woman, the victim who was very closed to me, lived in Nanume-Jip, was died. Indeed, in their accusation file, they mentioned my previous book <For Reconciliation> and the symposium, saying ‘Park Yu-ha must be prevented from her future activities’. (References link)
They wanted to keep me away from having a chance to meet comfort women. That is the reason why they applied for the provisional restraining order on the comfort women along with the disposition of the book. Even though they suppressed me from having a meeting with comfort women, they insist that my book does not have the voice of comfort women who are still alive, so that my book has no point.
However, the reason I did not meet the victims when I started writing this book was because there are number of cases that their testimonies has been changed with time, so published testimonies in a previous time would be more helpful to understand the real happening than the current testimony. At the same time, I also wanted to solve these comfort women issues as soon as possible since the victims passes away one by one day by day, and the relationship between Korea and Japan has become worse and worse. I had to publish this book as soon as possible. Of course, the memories of those comfort women who met long before, have remained in me.
The reason I started to meet the comfort women after publishing the book was because I wanted to hear their voices directly about what they really want for apology and compensation. However, it was not easy to get their contact. Those who appeared in ‘Wednesday protest’ from Jeong-Dae-Hyup were completely blocked from access. Because of these limitation, I could only meet just a few victims after the publication. Those people who I met, however, let me know that my criticizing toward the supporting organization was not only of my idea, but also they had, and this made me surprised.
One comfort woman told me;
‘If Japan really wants to apology, then Japan should have contacted us directly. Apology us directly and give us money in hand. Why they contact Jeong-Dai-Hyup? Every time they say ‘we are going to follow the legislation process, we are going to make a law, we are…’ It’s just useless. They know our address, our contact numbers, our bank account. Contact us directly. If they say ‘We prepared this, so take it if you like and this is everything we can give to you. If you do not take it, then that is it.’ then everyone will take it. Please do this work.’ (Reference 65 video clip, Woo Yon-Jae, comfort woman)
I asked another victim if she heard about Asian Women’s Fund, what kind of apology and compensation she wanted from Japan, and if she knew that legal liability. She said ‘I don’t know anything about them, whether legitimated or not, I don’t care. Just give me compensation first.’ (reference 166, Ha Jeom-yon, comfort woman, symposium video 2014)
In other words, it’s not a small number of victims who even did not award of Japan’s legal responsibility, which, the supporting organization has keep saying, was the ‘victim’s idea’ for over 20 years, and which the prosecutor claims that I denied, even though it is nothing to do with this trial. Even Yu Hee-Nam, who perjured that I would bring 2 million USD for you from Japan, actually told me, what she really wanted was just a compensation at the time when she was criticizing Jeong-Dae-Hyup.
For this reason, I decided to send these voices to the world. It was at the symposium titled ‘The 3rd Voice – comfort women issues’ at the end of April 2014. (reference 35, additional supplement video clip)
This symposium includes professor Wada Haruki and the leader from another supporting organization in Busan, and I paid the expenses. It was not because I have a lot of money, but because I thought this is necessary. It was a great burden of me but it was worth if the voices of the buried victims can be exposed to the world, and those who hear it would start a new discussion. More than expected, the mass media from two countries have paid a lot of attention to the ‘other’ voices which appeared in the public hall for the first time. (link)
However, as you can see in this video, the face of every comfort woman here is mosaic and the voice was altered. That’s because they were afraid of being recognized who they are.
Why did this happen? What makes them not to express their own thoughts and views as while others do in the Wednesday protest?
We know why, of course. Those points of view and those kinds of comments were forbidden by the supporting organization. It goes without saying that the comfort women’s fear meets directly a disadvantage of breaking a taboo.
This conversation transcript contains phone call records for 6 months and long, but please read it especially of the one comfort woman, Bae Chun-hee at least. (Reference 77) You can easily notice that she was always afraid of her begin overheard by the workers or officials in Nanume-Jip.
The reason I am telling you this is there is no intention that I was try to blame comfort women, but also I would like to let you and others know that those victims are not really free from the discussion surrounding this problem, and knowing their real situation will give us a correct understanding on this problem.
It is not only the victims’ thoughts about apology and compensation that the supporting organization has tried to prevent from the outflow. It was also the story that they have talked to the press and the Korean people for a long period of time, the story that they have already made up with one monolithic image ‘the young girl who was taken by the solder by force’. Their afraid of cracking this image and trying to stop me with this accusation is their real motive. (I have heard that Jeong-Dae-Hyup reviewed the charges, too.)
As you have already seen in the last trial, Bae Chun-hee testified about the mobilization, life in a ‘comfort-station(brothel)’, and ‘comfort women from Korea’. She said ‘I think there was no compulsion or forced mobilization. Comfort women cared for soldiers. ‘Ephron’ (National Defense Women’s Uniform) and a ‘Thousand embroiled cloths’ (a kind of good-luck-charm) were given. I want to forgive Japan, but I cannot say that (in public).’ (Evidence 4 and others)
She also said that she lived with her grandmother early in her life and went to a job agency by herself (reference 77). She said, ‘Japanese government had never done that.’, ‘There is no such thing as the Japanese forced kidnapping.’ (Evidence 77, p. 90). Since she was so assertive about this, I had to ask her again that there could possibly be several other cases.
It is already known that fraudulent methods have been widely used for recruiting comfort women. However, the fact that it was not Japanese army, but job agencies and contractors who are shown in the evidence documents. That was why the police tried to crack them with knowing this problem. (Evidence 3-1)
Through the voices of some people I have met, I could confirm that my book based on the testimonies was representative of the voices of the surviving comfort women.
Furthermore, according to the documents of survived victims’ testimony, which was submitted by the plaintiffs’ agent, there was not a single person who was ‘coarsely taken by a solder’. Lee Ok-sun was kidnapped by an unknown Korean, Kim Gun-ja was sold by her step father, Kim Sun-ok was sold by her father, Kang Il-Chul was sent to ‘Bo-Guk-Dae’ by her brother-in-law. Park Ok-sun went there by herself but was deceived. (evidence 50) Kang Il-Chul’s testimony that she was sent to ‘Bo-Guk-Dae’ implies that these people were mobilized from the framework of ‘patriotism’ at the time of the recruitment.
Your Honor, what I have tried through the book <Comfort Women of the Empire> was solely dedicated to restoring the voice of those who could not speak, to restoring their forgotten voice of their own experiences into the world.
Of course, we cannot say that these voices are the only real truth. However, I thought we have to listen to the voice of silence which has been forced by the supporting organization or victims’ intrinsic evasion, while watching the supporting organization’s activity ignoring some comfort women constantly. And if the thoughts between the comfort women and related people are different, let’s think about that again including these people. This was my only intention. I suggested that idea at the symposium I mentioned above.
Also, the comfort women, Bae Chun-hee saw where my heart was exactly. Unfortunately, I could not bring her in front of the world proudly at last. But she said me, ‘I know your heart, professor’ (Resources 77, 55). And that her word, I still feel guilty for her and comfort because of her at the same time. (See Resources 113-118, Link)
But after that, I could not carry on those activities anymore. Bae Chun-hee, who was the closest person and allowed her voice open at the symposium, was passed away after a month from the symposium, and I was accused only a week later her death by Nanume-jip where she had lived.
- Plaintiffs and the prosecutor’s misreading
I think I have already submitted enough material to prove that <Comfort Women of the Empire> is not false. But let me give you a little more insight. First, let me briefly explain once again about the ‘pride’ and the ‘fellow-like relationship’ that the prosecutor is having trouble with.
1) Subject of ‘pride’
First, Let me explain their intentional or unconscious misreading.
The prosecutor says that my book said ‘proud patriotism’, but I did not write anything like that in the book ever. The words ‘pride’ or ‘self-esteem’ in <Comfort Women of the Empire> are not used for ‘patriotism’ itself but self-esteem for valuing their own existence that they can feel even in the place where they were needed, no matter which role they had to play. For example, I wrote:
It was obviously an abomination of the absurd Nation, but for those who had been living in a strange shade in foreign countries, the role could have become a self-esteem in themselves. Such a social recognition would have been necessary to forget the painful daily life and keep the line of life. “Nearly 6,000 Karayuki-san were around Singapore and they earned $ 1,000 a year. Japanese borrowed the money from them for commerce.” shows that the foreign Karayuki-san could have been dignified as a Japanese citizen.
It is a case of Karayuki (a girl who went abroad to earn money), but the important thing in this article is the feeling of pride itself, not the content. I clearly said that being a pride is its ‘role’, and explained that the nature of this is ‘social recognition’. I wrote that they were able to become a ‘citizen’. In other words, they needed to get over their lost feeling coming from their poverty, or patriarchal trafficking experience as a daughter, or discrimination and condemnation from the society for she has been called a ‘prostitute’. They needed to overcome it and reach their feeling that they could be regarded as a ‘citizen’. This feeling is what I described in the text. Whatever they do, ‘the emotion that affirms their own existence’ is what I said as a self-esteem. The object of pride or self-esteem is not patriotism but their own existence.
In another part of this book, I also emphasized and clearly describe it as “The fact that their reciting ‘The Charter of Emperor’s Subject’, changing their cloth to ‘Defense Wives Association’ uniform, wearing kimono with a belt on, was absolutely a role which the empire had imposed them arbitrarily.” and as I wrote ‘It is something one could imagine that this feeling could make them endure their harsh daily life at the place where they were’, the self-esteem is for her self-esteem about her existence.
It is not necessary to add that the significance of self-existence is indispensable for human existence. To the extreme, it can be said that it does not matter what the nature of they did was.
The accusers, plaintiffs’ agent and the prosecutor’s reading this part as comfort women ‘had pride in the patriotism itself’ is a misreading that does not understand the context precisely.
Even though there is a chance that it could be read as a pride of patriotism, I have already described that it is a structurally coerced patriotism, different from a voluntary / self-esteemed patriotism which the prosecutor claims.
2) The intention of the concept of ‘fellow-like relation’
The prosecutor says that my book erased the difference between Korean comfort women and Japanese military, Japanese comfort women, with claiming that the word ‘fellowship relation’ defames comfort women’s honor. However, for example I wrote it as below;
On the surface, even though it was a ‘fellow-like’ relation, there was an intrinsic discrimination as shown in the idea of ‘Will any Korean be able to wrap even a bandage well?’. However, in order to see such hidden discrimination, the multifaceted nature of the existence of ‘Korean comfort women’ should be rather shown. Only facing the truth shows the relationship between the responsible party and the victim clearly.
You will be able to read my intention.
I also clearly mentioned the reason why I used that word in the book saying, ‘Above all, the fact had to be faced as it was in order to communicate correctly and to answer, instead of condemning and denying those who remembered their fellow-like relation and insisted on their memories. In order to criticize those who do not understand the suffering of the comfort women properly and to point out the discriminatory consciousness that existed inside them, the ‘fellow-like relation’ had to be acknowledged first’
In other words, unlike what the prosecutor has claimed that I was try to treat Japan and Korea equally to indemnify Japan, I wanted to see the unseen differences under the similarity, ‘members of Japanese Empire’ and expected these debate would be able to draw a sense of apology to Japan.
For this clear reason, I emphasized this at the part written toward Japan as ‘They were also those who carried out the Japanese war together under the threat of their lives, sometimes as a ‘fellow’ of fate. (Furuyama Komao, ‘White paddy fields’, page 14) and then, ‘In that sense, the words to return to them should be an expression of apology for their violence and harsh treatment. The violence of the soldiers was also made by Japanese colonial policy. (page 162)’.
- Deception and concealment of the supporting organization / prosecutor / some scholars
Now let’s add a little more to the three issues they claim that my book is wrong.
1) Prostitution / Coercion | Differentiation from comfort women who were Japanese
I said that the comfort stations (brothels) were ‘managed prostitution’ and also ‘forced and coerced prostitution’. And in this regard, the prosecutor and the plaintiffs’ agent are no longer making an opposition.
However, professor Yoon Jung-ok who was the representative of Jeong-Dae-Hyup (the supporting organization) also said that it was ‘forced prostitution’ in her famous articles published in the Hankyoreh daily. (Jan 4, 1990, also shown in the report of Articles and Newspaper about Japanese Comfort Women, Jung-Dae-Hyup research report, 2004, pp.45-46.)
In addition, that Jeong-Dae-Hyup’s report which summarized newspaper articles including this material also summarizes jurisdiction data of late 1930s with the title of ‘Judicial Decree on Comfort Women of the Japanese Army at Seoul regional court’. This report lists ‘Counterfeit and fraud with forgery of the copy of a family register, proof of seal, etc’, ‘fraud contract to prostitution with deceiving her saying she is going to be sent to Manchuria for her marriage’, ‘fraud, selling his eldest daughter to a pimp to get money’, ‘Abduction by the husband sent to a pimp for money’, ‘Kidnapped by a man who had a relationship for money’, ‘trafficking’ etc.
These parts and the introduction of the report say ‘We can see the poverty of Chosun (the name of Korea at that time) society and the consequence of serious trafficking of women.’, ‘There were articles reporting a considerable number of women were sold to Manchuria.’ This means the support organization already knew the fact that the form of comfort stations was a managed prostitution and was not the only forced mobilization by soldiers. This report was published in 12 years ago, 2004.
Nevertheless, the supporting organization and related researchers have long concealed this fact from the media and the public, but only emphasized ‘forced mobilization’ and only ‘gun and sword armed Japanese polices ordered by the governor-general’. The result was the forced kidnapping scene in the movie ‘Spirit’s homecoming (2015)’ which more than 3 million people saw earlier this year. The prosecutor’s indictment should be seen as a result of this, which have never doubted about this ‘common sense’ of the people.
Also, the report <Facts Survey on Mobilization of Women to Indonesia> published by ‘The Committee for the Identification of Forced Mobilization under Japanese Empire’ in 2009, includes the news article saying ‘According to the personal note of Song Bok-seop, a Korean who worked for Japanese army, it was confirmed the list of 61 comfort women from Gwangju, and the historical fact was revealed that the Japanese Empire took Korean comfort women to the island of Sumatra, Indonesia.’ (Jan 16, 1992 Gwangju daily newspaper). This article also says ‘Mr. Song also made a testimony that three married women were also included.’
In other words, our current memories were made of the forgotten memories in the early days of the comfort women problem.
I do not know how much it was intended, but the plaintiffs’ agent and the prosecutor are concealing their ignorance or deceit. They are only emphasizing that the Japanese comfort women were the ‘voluntary prostitutes’ and the Korean comfort women were ‘young virgins who were forced kidnapped by Japanese military and Japanese government’. And they say that my book denies that idea and asks the court severe punishment on me.
However, it was also revealed that there were more than small number of Japanese women who did not know that they were going to brothels but also deceived, according to a recently published research in Japan. (‘Japanese comfort women – patriotism and human trafficking, pp.22-23)
It was not only from the Japanese research. A Korean research report makes a same point saying ‘Various techniques were used with tight roping between legal and illegal including kidnapping, incentives, employment fraud, trafficking, etc., during the process of recruitment of comfort women and entertainment industry.’, ‘Even to Japanese women, the principles made by Japan’s Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were not kept’. (<Facts Survey on Mobilization of Women to Indonesia>, p 71, additional references)
Therefore, there is no evidence for the assertion of the prosecution that the Japanese comfort women are voluntary prostitutes.
The plaintiffs’ agent also emphasized that the Korean comfort women were innocent girls who knew nothing referencing Senda Kako’s book <Comfort Women 2>. However, they do not say the fact that the same book also mentions ‘a 29-year-old Korean prostitute’ (p. 118). The Japanese military called the comfort women as ‘Chosen-pi’ negligibly, but in fact, Japanese comfort women also were called as ‘pi’ which is also written in the same book. (p. 148)
Even though the situation is different from the so-called ‘forced kidnapping’ as we saw in the cases of comfort women in Nanume-Jip, they just said ‘Lee Ok-sun was kidnapped, Kim Gun-ja was taken by force by a man in uniform, Kim Sun-ok was deceived, Kang Il-chul was taken by force by soldiers and policemen’. (additional supplements) They just have concealed the fact that she was sent by her brother-in-law to a brothel, but just simply described ‘Park Ok-sun went there by deception’ and did not say how they got to go there in detail.
In other words, they keep deceiving this court as they have done toward the nation until now for a long time. Of course, the previous tribunal court and the first civil court did not check these materials closely.
2) Contractors in uniform / Chosun’s ‘Nangjagun’
I submitted the data related to the contractors who were wearing uniforms previously. Let me explain the data more in depth with supplement documents.
The recruitment of comfort women seems to have changed little by little in time. In the ’30s, it was mainly autonomous recruitment of vendors, but it seems that the framework of ‘patriotism’ had become stronger after the China-Japan War, in the era of the ‘Total mobilization of Empire Subjects’
According to the recall of Japanese residents living in Chosun which I submitted data <evidence 45>, a contractor named ‘Won-chi Hiho Kim’ came back to Huchang-eup to recruit comfort women for the Emperor’s army saying ‘We need to contribute the army for enforcing their power with recruiting even one more ‘Nangjagun’ ebulliently. (evidence 45)
‘Nangjagun’ is the name for the comfort women to be militarized and to praise them. The fact that this word was written by the contractor shows the possibility that the recruitment of comfort women could be done in a different way than the ‘forced kidnapping’ images which so many Koreans have. At the time, contractors were also given uniforms similar to soldiers’, so it is not possible to exclude the possibility that the girls mistakenly regarded the contractors in uniforms as ‘soldiers’. And depending on their attitude, I think that the testimonies of ‘the soldier dragged me to the army’ could come out. Of course, as I have mentioned in the previous trial, I have never denied the possibility of forcible arrest by an actual soldier.
Even if it was not forced kidnapping, the life of comfort station for girls and women was fatal and miserable. Nevertheless, the supporting organization has long advocated only ‘forced kidnapping by the nation’ toward public opinion, and the international community, and did never attempt any correction to the initial misperceptions. My book is nothing but a book that I wanted to convey and ‘discuss’ again.
3) comfort women as civilian attached to the military
As I explained in the 4th trial before, the comfort women who were in the designated comfort stations were treated as ‘civilian attached to the military’. There are other materials that show such circumstances and these by themselves can prove that my book describing comfort women were in the frame of ‘patriotism’ is not false.
By the way, I recently realized that there were other people besides me who were aware of this situation, too.
For example, the previous government research report, <Facts Survey on Mobilization of Women to Indonesia> 2009> says ‘it was frequent of comfort women working in nursing care’, ‘If the reason recorded in the document is the nursing task, then it is the decision of the 7th military headquarter that it will be appropriate recording it formally on the list of civil workers in military.’, ‘If they are registered in the missing civil workers in military list, then they can receive several army aids with various related supports,’ and ‘They can be protected as Japanese empire citizens’. There are aspects shown that that ‘They regarded the women from colony as a part of Japanese empire and they recruited these women as they did Japanese women living in the place’. The fact that there was a discussion in the Japanese Parliament on the subject of comfort women as an object of army support. (Which evidence was submitted in the previous trial) This also shows that their estimates are correct. (Evidence 44)
In addition, a book written by a Japanese soldier says that there were 80,000 comfort women in China, and gives an explanation about the pictures, ‘The current local governor, Mr. Seok-Kyung Oh was sitting on my right side, there were ten comfort women around us. They took kimono, but they were all Korean.’ (Hideo Nagamine, <War Fields>, Sakaku edition, 1983, p. 94) Then, ‘In Cebu, Philippines, about 100 ‘comfort women’ were doing their task in the name of a special nursing unit with the army’s field hospital and were assigned to our 1st Division’, and he says when surrounded by the US Army, ‘This nursing unit was not disturbed with a conspicuous attitude even when the troops were lost in what to do’ (p. 98).
In material which I submitted at the 4th trial, Mun Ok-ju’s record who said she was a civilian attached in the military told that they used to call a man they liked as ‘Shu-Jjang’, and she said ‘Usually, each one of us had such a person ‘Shu-Jjang’. (Comfort Women in Burma Front Line, p. 87). This was possible in that kind relationship, too. Lee Yong-su, who also made a testimony in the US parliament in 2007 and who came out today in this court, also told me that she had a man she liked.
Nevertheless, without knowing this circumstances, the plaintiffs, the prosecutor and some scholars have accused me my book saying ‘generalization of small exceptions’.
4) Using novels as reference in this book
Professor Kim Yun-sik of Seoul National University said ‘Park Yu-ha used novels as testimony’ with mentioning another Korean novel about comfort women in the previous trial. However, Professor Naga Saburo, who is famous in so-called ‘Textbook trial’ which accused Japanese government for the government’s censoring textbook is a violation of the constitution also says ‘A novel can also say historical truth and can be used’ in the preface of his book. (additional references) I cannot say but the prosecutor’s claim that my book is wrong only because I used some novels as references in my book is the result of his ignorance of reading the implications of the literary works which used.
- For comfort women who have not returned
As I mentioned earlier, I have also been interested in the issue of comfort women for a long time.
However, it was only one person who I specifically mentioned the real name in my book, <Comfort Women of the Empire>. She was the victim who put her painful final will and testimony on the Internet, so painful as if vomiting blood through her neck. She is Shim Mi-ja. The part I cited her in the book was her criticism toward the supporting organization, not her experience of comfort woman. I cited her in the context that nobody has tried to listen to her voice.
Thus, even if my book, like their claim, was a book to blamed comfort women, nobody will be able to recall anyone specially while reading my book. Because it was one of the main points of my book that the comfort women experience was not just one.
Since a lot of comfort women have used aliases, it was not possible to specify anyone even if I would have wanted identify someone.
At the end of chapter 1, which is about the comfort women’s life on the battlefield and return or not return, I wrote;
‘Perhaps, those women are more than anyone we should listen to now. Those who lost their lives at the frontline of the battlefield together with the Japanese military at the end, to their silent voices.
The object to which Japan should apologize is perhaps to those before anyone. To those Korean women who lost their own language, their own names, and had to sacrifice their sex, body, and life ‘for the Nation’, to ‘Comfort Women of the Empire’. (<Comfort Women of the Empire> p. 104)
One thing which hasn’t left from my mind during my writing was the comfort women who died on the battlefield. They were not recorded at the time, no subsides were given to the bereaves even after their death, different from any civil workers detached in a military. They were comfort women who could not come back home because they were afraid of discrimination by the people.
But how could my book become a book specified a survivor? What I thought of in this book was all the individuals including Japanese women that were sacrificed for the Nation’s reckless domination and war.
- Who made the ‘pain of the survived comfort women’
1) The prosecution which the real victims are excluded
However, the plaintiffs’ agent and the prosecutors say, to the people who think this accusations and indictments are unfair, that ‘the victims are in pain.’, ‘If the victims, survived comfort women are in pain, then it is natural that the one who made them painful must be punished.’ Even some scholars also say that. Recently, a plaintiffs’ agent said ‘Park Yu-ha put a big spike in the victims’ chests with a dazing sophistication’.
By the way, who on earth did really put a ‘spike’ on the victims’ chests?
Who has distorted my book and delivered it to survived comfort women, making them painful and making them angry?
I talked to two survived comfort women shortly after the accusation. One of them was in Nanume-Jip, who is also on the accuser list.
As I mentioned earlier, I interacted with some of the comfort women in Nanume-Jip, and I frequently made phone calls to one of them, Bae Chun-hee, for six months. The reason I had more phone calls than actual meeting her was because Nanume-jip has watched me. She was also very careful to meet me for that reason.
But she was the closest comfort woman to me and was died a week before I was accused. After a shock of the accusation which was like a storm to me, I called Yoo Hee-nam, who lived in Nanume-jip. She also had a conversation with me and was scheduled to appear at a symposium hosted by me.
I asked her how this happened and she said;
‘I have bad eyesight. I do not see anything well. So they came and read the book for us. What? Did you write that it was not a forced mobilization? I heard it but forgot it now.’ ‘Why did you write that in your book?’ (Reference 156)
She is the one who said that her eyes were uncomfortable so she even could not see my face clearly. And this let us know that it was not what they read the book themselves, but the staff has read it. Also, Ahn Shin-kwon, the director of Nanume-jip said, in the lecture in Japan in January this year, that the comfort women are so old and could not read a book for their age, therefore they took a few excerpts and read them in front of the victims repeatedly. In other words, she did not read the whole book, but just listened to the edited excerpts which were cut by the supporting organization.
It is needless to say that listening is an indirect act in the book. One book can be read as many ways as a number of readers. The pain of the survivors at Nanume-jip is not what I made, but the law school students’ intimate reading of Hanyang University led by the attorney general of Nanume-jip, and the staffs who shared and conveyed that excerpts made it.
So I told Yoo Hee-nam that this book was not written in that intension, then she said ‘I may understand your intention, but….’ and could not continue her speaking. I think that was because she knew that I am not the person to write books with that bad intentions.
And three days later, I was called by another comfort woman who lives alone this time. She said she heard about this book from Yoo Hee-nam, and was angry that she did not want to listen to me at all, even I was trying to explain that this book is not such a thing. She repeatedly said, ‘Five professors at Seoul National University said your book is bad.’ and never listen to me at all. (Reference 157)
The survivors are not the actual party in this accusation against me.
As you have already seen, all the subjects who wrote the accusations, including the way of reading this book, the person who made up the logic, and all who accused me are the people around the victims at Nanume-jip not the victim themselves. Please check the stamps of the comfort women on the complaint document. They are all identical. (link) I do not think any of the victims knew about my book before June of 2014 when I was accused. Even Bae Chun-hee did not tell me anything about it until she died. Maybe because he did not know the close relationship between Bae Chun-hee and I, but Ahn Shin-kwon, the director of Nanume-jip said that Bae Chun-hee would have participated in the accusation if she was alive. However, if you look at the conversation I submitted between Bae and I, you will notice that there is no such indication at all.
Even those comfort women did not know about the fact that there was a mediation procedure done by the prosecution. When I received their request during the mediation process which requested me that the Japanese edition out of printing, I called two comfort women whose name was on the accuser list to explain that it is not something I could decide.
It was autumn and one year has been passed already after the accusation, one of these two, Yoo Hee-nam cheerfully received my phone call. After her hearing my story, she told me that discuss the director Ahn Shin-kwon about the matter of mediation. Another comfort woman Lee Yong-su did not even know that her name was on the accuser list.
The director Ahn Shin-kwon at Nanume-jip keeps blaming me with constant lies and ridiculous articles until now even in the recent petition. However, if you check the contents and video clips I submitted which is conversation with the comfort women, you will see why Ahn lies and keeps blaming me.
Although It is too late, I started writing what made this catastrophe, what happened before and after the accusation, so please take a chance to look at my writing <The Way of Facing the History>. People and some mass-media are still reproducing that I was trying to make them relinquish with 2 million USD per person without checking the truth. But you will see it is because of Yoo Hee-nam’s perjury when you check the phone call record with Bae Chun-hee. And you will know that Ahn’s keep saying that I tried to come and take some interview with accompanying NHK reporters without permission is also his lie. I can submit my phone text record with Ahn Shin-kwon if you request it. Bae is the one who was waiting the conversation with Japanese people, and NHK reporters were the people who tried to solve this problem.
2) A painful voice like a bloodshot
Your Honor, I am sorry to have lengthened the story that seems to have nothing to do with this trial. However, as far as I understand, the ‘law’ is to pursuit of justice and common good. The reason why I am telling you this story is basically for me, but more than that, it is for comfort women. Still, some victims’ voices are suppressed and cannot come out to the world.
I got to know this very well during the conversation with Bae Chun-hee.
Bae could not tell openly that her experience was different from the existing ideas commonly accepted in Korean society. She was so careful when she talked with me.
At the same time, she criticized the way the supporting organization worked and how to take care of the comfort women, but she could not ask them or speak it out to the world. She called the supporting organization ‘half lies’ (reference 77, p. 16) and was dissatisfied with the supporting organization’s using the money collected from victims lecturing fee to build a supporting organization owned building. But she could not tell it openly. In order to keep her from meeting with me, she was forcibly transferred from the hospital to Nanume-jip even her health condition was so bad, and one month before her death, she fetched a scream;
‘Anyway, one should save one’s life.’, ‘One should save another’s life… before he…’
It would be greatly appreciated if you could check the details of what REALLY happened in the background she fetched a scream like this. I think this is what the press, mass media and the prosecution MUST do.
Then she said by herself, ‘They are millions, I am alone.’ and she died after her lonely life.
In fact, there has already been a similar criticism toward the supporting organization. It was one of the motive to write about comfort women in my previous book <For Reconciliation> that I came to listen to the voice of the person by accident. It was the year of 2004. However, 12 years have been pass from then but nothing has been changed.
Our Korean society has shown such a great interested in comfort women issue. But did we hear the voices in their minds?
Before it’s too late, I wish our society become a society which can hear their real voice, even only of the currently alive victims.
A plaintiff’s agent said ‘I don’t think Park’s suggesting solution (on the matter of comfort women issue) is persuasive.’ in a recent submission from the prosecutor’s side.
This words exactly contain the very essence of this accusation and indictment.
The plaintiffs side just wanted to prevent the spread of ‘other voices’, as clearly expressed in the accusation file, and preventing ‘other voices’ spread to the society is the only thing that they desperately wanted as they have shown in several attacks and defenses trials until now. That’s why they repeatedly claim Japan’s ‘legal responsibility’.
As I mentioned earlier, most of the comfort women I met did not know why this problem hasn’t been solved yet but delayed. They just thought that it was because Japan hasn’t done anything.
Of course, it is because the supporting organization and officials at Nanume-jip did not give information to these old victims, but they rule everything excluding the victims.
I have only criticized such a way of the supporting organization and Nanume-jip and did not criticize all of their activities. Nevertheless, they are suppressing me through the power of the state, and making press, media and Korean people who only have heard from them their monopolized distorted information for more than 20 years, to throwing stones at me.
3) Consciousness making attack
The attitudes of these people are intertwined with several factors.
One of them is, the prosecutor and the plaintiffs’ agent’s attack, which is the comfort women are not supposed to feel self-esteem and those kind feeling must be suppressed, is from their discriminative thought against women and prostitution.
It is clearly shown in the repeated expressions of the plaintiffs’ agent in the claiming document with saying ‘this is the voice of the victims’.
He constantly cites and uses the words ‘prostitute’, ‘sold her body’, ‘brothels’ etc. to the Japanese comfort women. In the meantime, he accuses me that I regarded our Korean victims ‘who were just innocent victims without knowing anything but forcibly mobilized or just deceived’ from ‘just merely voluntary prostitute of Japanese comfort women’.
However, aren’t these his expression the words that Japanese comfort women can accuse him for defamation? His use of words obviously has discrimination against prostitutes, and there is a perception of ‘degrading social evaluation’ as a condition of defamation.
So-called ‘female factory workers’ or ‘prostitutes’, in the pain of living in a terribly miserable circumstances, had sent that money to their hometown for a penny or two, and their brothers were able to go to upper grade school and made business. Then, those brothers intervened those younger sisters’ love, condemned and sometimes did violence and even murdered them. Those kinds of mind have been killing the ‘other’ voices of comfort women in our society for a long time. Women who internalize such thoughts are also not uncommon in our society.
The plaintiffs’ agent and the prosecutor who have treated me as a sinner and scolded me, the activists and some scholars who have supported them with that thoughts, are also the protagonists of such recognition. It is the culprits of such thoughts that even suppressed comfort women, sometimes discriminating and alienating them from their own existence and even making them commit suicide.
There is only one reason to oppress me because such beings make themselves uncomfortable.
Due to their accusation and indictment, and also due to the articles reported without any checking or confirmation, I became so-called ‘a traitor who tried to sell comfort women by receiving money from Japan’ and someone says I am the one who should be killed by strangling, but none of them asked people stop bulling me and blaming me in that way. That is the reason.
Another background of this accusation is from the difference between the intellectuals in Korea and Japan who are concerned about the issue of comfort women. I will not go into it in detail, but please look at the reference materials and the progress of this trial posted on my homepage. (Reference 46)
By the way, should this conflict of each intellectual’s idea be made in court? Do they even have to be done by the prosecutor and the agent on behalf of themselves who even do not appear in the court that does not appear?
4) Purpose of Attack
But why are they so consistently emphasizing the difference between ‘volunteers and forced enforcers’? Whatever way they went there, they were all in a miserable circumstances and this is what they know too, but they just emphasize the difference only and blaming me. Why? The reason for this is that it has to be ‘forced enforcement’ so it can only continue to condemn Japan and require ‘legal liability’, which they misunderstood at the early days. It is to cover the fact up that they had a mistake and an error in their perception.
They have strong powers, from citizens and media to civil rights, academics and media, and from the United Nations to organizations of women and civilians around the world. One of the representatives of the supporting organization is the former chairman of a famous association, the wife of the former editor in chief of the strongest newspaper in Korea, and the professor of Seoul National University mentioned by Woo Yon-Jae, a comfort woman. And behind them are not only the bonds of solidarity that have been created through social movements for many years, but also the connections that have created National ministers in cabinet and congressmen / congresswomen. Furthermore, they have huge funds collected from the governments, corporations, and the people. More than that, they have people to work for their propaganda.
But I, by myself, had to analyze and respond to all the attacking articles they put together toward me. What was harder for me than the work itself was the distortion, hostility and mockery contained in them.
They have punished and expelled me tagging me as ‘Traitor’, ‘Betrayer’, ‘Pro-Japanese’ and encouraged peoples condemning and cursing me, only to keep their initial belief, to conceal their mistakenly spoken concept toward Korean people, because it hinders their activity, because their movement has to be intact and keep their fame and power.
So, in order to win this trial alone, without any basis, they have misled my book saying this book uses some materials ‘intentionally’, ‘sneakily’, ‘’thoroughly’, and ‘repeatedly’ to ‘distort’ the comfort women, and they have said I am ‘devilish’, ‘cruel’, ‘selfish’ and ‘malicious’. You will already know that this attitude and expression is a typical method of witch hunting.
I have argued that my book is not a false with lots of data and explanations, but actually, this accusation is not about the book.
It was because the people. Ahn Shin-kwon, the director of Nanume-jip who was afraid of revealing the real problems of Nanume-jip to the world while I became closer to the comfort women, the plaintiffs’ agent lawyer who has the same interest with Ahn, and the law school students at Hanyang University who wrote a report on the basis of misled reading just following their professor’s instruction and cut and pasted over hundreds of clauses, those peoples non-intellectual malicious slander. And it is not the comfort women who I am fighting against, but the complexed and entangled power.
Violent oppression of the ‘other’ voice and the terrible suffer associated with it is enough only to me.
With denouncing me, the plaintiffs’ agent said if this court and society neglect me then there will be second and third Park Yu-ha come out.
I want to say the same thing. Please do not make second and third Park Yu-ha, who is suffering only because she or he is against their power any more.
They even threaten the judge that they will not tolerate if I will not be strongly punished. Please understand what they really want to keep in a way of punishing me.
Because of their attacks and accusations, the honor of my 25 years of scholarship was broken at once and I have suffered for two and a half years for this and previous trials.
I thought their lies and distortions were criminal, but the previous court of disposition and the court of civil cases did not verify their incitements. In the end, they made the Korean courts an objective of ridicule in the world.
Only very few people have accepted my book properly and I have endured it with these helps in my terrible suffer. My defamation and wounds caused by this accusation will not disappear completely even if I prevail in this trial.
I have heard that the definition of defamation is ‘degrading the social value’.
Please give me a clear judgment and restore my honor and show me that justice is alive in Korea.
December 20, 2016
(Temporarily translated by Hyungook Yoon)