Lee Mak-dal, one of comfort women forced into sex slavery by Japan during World War II, died at 97 on Saturday. She used to show great passion until early 2010s about being part of the Wednesday Protests both in Seoul and Busan for sex slavery victims under Japanese rule.
Born in Hadong, South Gyeongsang Province, in 1923, Ms. Lee, a then 17-year-old girl, was fooled by two Japanese people into thinking that she could get a decent job. However, she ended up being locked in a comfort station for prostitution in an Imperial Japanese Army base in Taiwan and her life got stained with sufferings and pains.
Ms. Lee, even at an old age, would travel to Seoul from Busan where she lived to join the Wednesday Protests to call on the Japanese government to resolve the issue of wartime sex slavery. She flew to the Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles to share her testimony during the protests as one of Japan’s victims back in October 2007 and on many other occasions.
With the passing of Ms. Lee, only 16 out of 240 victims of Japan’s sex slavery during the war who are on the South Korean government’s record, remain alive as of now. Her photos and funeral are kept private according to the wishes of Ms. Lee and her family members.