'Comfort women’ docs given to UNESCO

By Duan Wuning Source:Global Times Published: 2014-2-9 21:53:01

China and South Korea have decided to submit documentation about "comfort women" to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, scholars from the two countries announced at a conference in Shanghai over the weekend.

The scholars announced their decision at a conference about the women, who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II. The conference was organized by the China "Comfort Women" Issue Research Center at Shanghai Normal University and the Institute of East Asian Regional Studies at South Korea's Sungkyunkwan University.

"We have been collecting evidence for the past 20 years or so, but right-wing forces in Japan are still trying to deny their war crimes, of which China and South Korea were among the biggest victims, so we need to do this," said Su Zhiliang, director of the China "Comfort Women" Issue Research Center at Shanghai Normal University.

Recently, the town of Minamikyushu in Kagoshima Prefecture submitted 333 items about kamikaze pilots, who were sent on suicide attacks during the war, to UNESCO to apply for the World Heritage list.

The conference also called for greater collaboration with Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines and North Korea in researching the "comfort women" issue, China News Service reported.

An estimated 400,000 "comfort women" were taken from a dozen Asian countries occupied by Japan during World War II, as well as Japan itself.

All but about 17 former "comfort women" taken in China have died, Su told the Oriental Morning Post. Six passed away over the past month.

It is critical to protect historically valuable information, Su said. "Our next step will be to work with the State Archives Administration to sort through documentation such as old newspapers that might have some relevant information," Su told the Global Times.

The plan also includes setting up a dedicated website.

Currently, nine items from China have been listed on the register, including the Compendium of Materia Medica, a book about the medical use of different kinds of herbs.

Posted in: Society, Metro Shanghai

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