Are Comfort Women Lying? Professor Soh Comments

Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Photo of Chunghee Sarah Soh
KOREA TIMES -- Are comfort women lying? “Humans lie, but circumstances don’t," goes a slogan of those bent on discrediting former sex slaves of the Japanese army during World War II. Chunghee Sarah Soh, a Korean professor at San Francisco State University, echoes this notion when she cites examples of women who gave contradictory testimonies or told “lies.” “In an interview, Kim Sun-ok said that she was sold by her parents four times,” Soh writes. “Yet, Kim testified in front of U.N. interrogator Radhika Coomaraswamy that she was abducted by the Japanese military.” Overall, the former Korean comfort women told the truth as much as their memories allowed, especially in their early published testimonies, indicting mostly Japan, but also Korea. Whatever may have been the motives of some activists to demonize Japan and “coach” the former comfort women, the women’s own aged bodies remembered the blows Japan ― and Korea ― dealt them, and the women spoke from their wounds.