Korea, China to study `comfort women` issue

Korea and China have embarked on a joint study of the "comfort women" issue.

On December 15, the Northeast Asian History Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Jilin Province Archives to conduct research into the issue of the comfort women, people who were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army up until the 1940s. Their aim is to investigate the historical facts.

Hong Myeon-ki (right), a senior official at the Northeast Asian History Foundation, and Yin Huai, director of the Jilin Province Archives, sign an MOU to pursue a joint study into the `comfort women` issue.

The Jilin Province Archives is responsible for storing official documents and has many records related to Japanese aggression. Officials at the foundation visited the archives in June and browsed through some of the documents on file there. In return, in August researchers at the archives came to Korea and jointly studied the documents kept at the National Archives of Korea. This is a follow-up measure after Korea and China agreed in July to cooperate on related issues, including a joint study into comfort women-related materials and the exchange of documents.

The two sides recognized the fact that the victimization of the sexual slaves is a violation of the women`s rights and is also a universal human rights issue. They agreed to establish long-term, stable research together into the subject.

Researchers from the Northeast Asian History Foundation and the Jilin Province Archives discuss a joint study into sexual slavery during Japanese colonial times.

The foundation also donated a book of testimony given by surviving victims, while the archives donated copies of 25 materials containing evidence related to their captivity, among other things.

The two institutions also decided to continue their joint study and sharing of documents, and to allow each other to browse and copy related material. They also agreed to invite researchers to conduct further studies and to talk more about holding a joint seminar next year.

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