When I first read the report by the New York Times’ Kirk Semple over Japanese officials’ request to remove a comfort women memorial back in May, I was livid. So livid in fact that I tried to write and rewrite about this but ended up feeling all I could do was rant about how angry I was and not be able to put together a coherent article. So let me just tell you what happened.
Basically, Japanese officials showed up at Palisades Park, New Jersey to request the removal of a small monument that has been set up in memory of women and girls who were kept as sexual slaves by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. Requests for removal included ironically offering books for the local library while admitting Japanese use of “comfort women” and then subsequent denial of there ever being comfort women at all.
WHAT?!? I’d like to grab those officials by the hair and drag them over to stare THESE WOMEN in the eyes and repeat what they said to mayor James Rotundo of Palisades Park. Just revisiting this topic is making me so angry that I’m about to turn green and start smashing things. In the end, I know there’s controversy over how widespread the comfort women tragedy was during World War II and beyond, but to deny that it happened at all adds a new meaning to the saying “insult to injury.” Plus, coming into our country and trying to tell us who we should and shouldn’t memorialize? This is UNACCEPTABLE on so many levels.