LOS ANGELES, Dec. 31 (Yonhap) — An organization of Korean Americans in Los Angeles plans to stage a campaign to send emails to California’s government in support of new school curriculum guidelines calling for teaching students about Japan’s wartime sexual slavery, an official said Thursday.
California’s Department of Education has been collecting comments from the public on the 2014-2016 Draft History-Social Science Framework that includes the so-called “comfort women” issue in the world history curriculum for grade 10.
“‘Comfort Women,’ a euphemism for sexual slaves, were taken by the Japanese Army in occupied territories before and during the war. ‘Comfort Women’ can be taught as an example of institutionalized sexual slavery, and one of the largest cases of human trafficking in the twentieth century,” the draft framework said.
The department plans to finalize the framework in May after collecting public views.
The Korean American Forum of California, an organization of Korean Americans working to publicize the sexual slavery issue and help victims, plans to stage a campaign to send emails to the education department in support of the new curriculum guidelines.
“We suspect that the Japanese side will put up an intense campaign against ‘comfort women’ education in public schools in California,” said Kim Hyun-jung, an official of the group. “We decided to hold an email-sending campaign in response to this.”
The sexual slavery issue has long been the biggest thorn in relations between Seoul and Tokyo.
But the two countries announced a landmark agreement earlier this week that centers on Japan’s admission of responsibility for the wartime crime and plans to pay reparations to the victims. South Korea promised to end the dispute once and for all if Japan fulfills its responsibilities.
Some civic groups, however, including one that has spoken for victims, have denounced the agreement as diplomatic collusion between the two countries, arguing that Japan should have offered a clearer apology and acknowledged its legal responsibility for the atrocity.