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Japanese Activists of the “Comfort Women” Issue and the Opposition to their Voices Public Deposited

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  •  For over seventy years, the issue of the so called "comfort women" has been a point of contention for Japan when addressing their war legacy. With so many outspoken critics of the handling of that history, it can be easy to group all Japanese under the same umbrella of denial. The truth, however, is that there are Japanese people that not only support but advocate for the "comfort women" to obtain proper compensation and apologies for the suffering inflicted upon them at the hands of Japanese soldiers during the Second World War. Why then are their voices seldom heard in the discourse regarding the "comfort women" issue? This paper seeks to acknowledge the hardships and barriers these activists face in holding their own nation accountable for the crimes committed. A deeply ingrained sense of misogyny, fueled by a dominating patriarchy has guided Japanese perception of women as sexual objects for centuries. More recently, from the turn of the twenty-first century, hyper-nationalism has exploded and has influenced the government and their policymaking. With the close relationship between the government and the media, the former's wishes are hard for the latter to ignore, creating a system of taboo topics for the press to openly discuss if they want long careers in the field. The constant barrage of many people demanding Japan to take responsibility for past has led to many Japanese citizen to feel a fatigue from apologies, but that has not stopped the activists from continuing their efforts.

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  • 2023-11-09
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