Shusenjo: The Main Battleground of the Comfort Women Issue

Film - Documentary | February 10 | 5-8 p.m. | Sutardja Dai Hall, Banatao Auditorium (#310)

 Miki Dezaki, Director

 Hannah Airriess, Film & Media, UCB

 Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS), Center for Korean Studies (CKS), Center for Japanese Studies (CJS)

The “comfort women” issue is perhaps Japan’s most contentious present-day diplomatic quandary. Inside Japan, the issue is dividing the country across clear ideological lines. Supporters and detractors of “comfort women” are caught in a relentless battle over empirical evidence, the validity of oral testimony, the number of victims, the meaning of sexual slavery, and the definition of coercive recruitment. Credibility, legitimacy and influence serve as the rallying cry for all those involved in the battle. In addition, this largely domestic battleground has been shifted to the international arena, commanding the participation of various state and non-state actors and institutions from all over the world. This film delves deep into the most contentious debates and uncovers the hidden intentions of the supporters and detractors of comfort women. Most importantly it finds answers to some of the biggest questions for Japanese and Koreans: Were comfort women prostitutes or sex slaves? Were they coercively recruited? And, does Japan have a legal responsibility to apologize to the former comfort women?

There will be a Q&A session after the film with the director, Miki Dezaki.

 Free General Admission

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