When I visited South Korea for the winter holidays, little did I expect that during that time, South Korea and Japan would announce a resolution to the ‘comfort women’ deal that had been a sore point for bilateral relations for decades. A deal? I wondered. Do tell!
But as the details emerged, I couldn’t help but shake my head at the triumphant and overwhelmingly positive tone that framed the deal in most international media. So I made a comic about those thoughts published here at Korea Exposé. Perhaps in my own reaction against the production and hyper-consumption of images of these ‘poor’ survivors – their faces at rallies, in photo essays and closeups – I decided to express my thoughts about the deal by primarily focusing on structures – specifically, the negotiating table of most diplomatic scenarios. How did this deal fail as diplomacy and as a measure of historical justice for wartime crimes? I name at least six ways.
Thanks to the translators at Newspro.org, the comic was also translated into Korean.
From Newspro: (한국어) 2015년 12월 28일 한국과 일본 외교부는 일본이 1930대 초부터 1945년까지 행한 한국 여성들의 성노예화와 관련된 위안부 문제에 대해 “최종적이고 불가역적인” 해결에 도달했다고 발표했다. 소식이 전해지자 그 합의로써 최근 양국관계를 특징짓는 냉랭한 교착상태가 끝난 것으로 보도됐다.
From Newspro (한국어) : 그러나 매우 중요한 문제가 하나 있었다:
그것은 한국에 생존해 있는 46명의 피해자 중 누구에게도 이번 합의안의 조건이 무엇이 될지에 대해 의견을 물어보지 않았다는 점이다.
Read the full comic at Korea Exposé (English): The “Comfort Women Deal” between South Korea and Japan: Six Alternative Views
Thank you to the translators! 변역자들한테 감사합니다!