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Japanese journalist`s comfort women documentary to be released in Japan

Japanese journalist`s comfort women documentary to be released in Japan

Posted June. 05, 2015 07:21,   


What`s mentioned in recent debates is "(Japanese military) comfort` group and no faces are shown there. This documentary was made to deliver and leave `faces` and `voices` of individual comfort women victims."

Japanese journalist Toshikuni Doi had observed and kept track of seven senior comfort women victims in Seoul for about two years from December 1994 to January 1997. He first met them while conducting a preliminary survey on an event to be held for atomic bomb victims who were in Hiroshima and elderly women who were forced to sexual slavery. But he was tempted to know more about these elderly women and continued to film them that amounted to a 100-hour work.

One of the victims, Kang Deok-gyeong from Jinju in South Gyeongsang Province, was taken to Japan for military sexual slavery. She worked at a factory in Toyama and later was taken to a domestic comfort facility. She was aware of her pregnancy while returning to Korea after independence, and gave birth to the child. She left the baby at a child care center who died at age four. Doi observed Kang until she died in February 1997.

Doi attempted to publish a book and movie on comfort women but without much success. Six other victims he kept track of were all dead by 2013.

Finally after 20 years since he began covering the case, Doi will release a movie on comfort women. Entitled "Live with Memory," the movie contains testimonies of the late elderly women who had been forced to sexual slavery. The film, with a running time of three hours and 35 minutes, will be showing on Sunday at the Hibiya Conventional Hall in Tokyo.

At an interview with the Asahi Shimbun on Thursday, Doi said, "I didn`t shorten the running time because I just didn`t want the invaluable testimonies disappear." In April, he had also published a book titled "Live with Memory: The Life of Comfort Woman Kang Deok-gyeong."

On why he is releasing the movie belatedly, Doi said, "Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto`s comments in 2013 that `comfort women system was necessary` served as a momentum.