From Han Ji Min to Song Joong Ki, warm “good deeds” for Comfort Women Victims Commemoration Day

August 14th, the day before Liberation Day, is a day dedicated to commemorating the victims of the Japanese military’s “comfort women” system.

This day has gained attention both domestically and internationally as celebrities contribute to raising awareness about the issue and exerting positive influence through donations.

August 14th, designated as the “Comfort Women Victims Commemoration Day”, marks the day when victim Kim Hak Soon first testified about her experiences. This day, previously observed mainly within civil society, was officially designated as a national commemoration day starting from December 2017. Celebrities have also made efforts to support the “comfort women” victims in various ways.

Actress Song Hye Kyo, who has consistently engaged in history-related activities, narrated MBC’s documentary “Grandma Is Back” on the March 1st Independence Movement Day. The documentary featured the story of victim Lee Yong Soo, one of the 10 remaining “comfort women” survivors at the age of 96. Song Hye Kyo’s narration helped spread Lee Yong Soo’s story widely, prompting renewed contemplation about the issue.

Actor Han Ji Min has also shown warm gestures of support. In 2008, she made donations to the “House of Sharing”, a facility for “comfort women” survivors. In 2019, she participated in the commemorative ceremony for Comfort Women Victims Commemoration Day, where she read a heartfelt letter. Her emotional reading of “To my beloved mother, who was a ‘comfort woman'” moved many with her trembling voice and teary eyes.

Additionally, Han Ji Min made a special appearance in the movie “Herstory”. Based on the real-life story of the trials that took place in Shimonoseki in the 1990s, “Herstory” follows a group of Busan-based women who engaged in a court case against the Japanese government to highlight the ordeals of Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery as comfort women by the Japanese military during World War II. Though her role was brief, Han Ji Min’s portrayal exuded a warm sentiment.

At that time, Han Ji Min expressed, “Whether it’s the issue of child abuse or the issue of ‘comfort women’, before delving deeper, I used to feel anger and think it could be resolved with an apology. But, in reality, it wasn’t that simple.” She added, “After watching ‘Spirits’ Homecoming, Unfinished Story’, emotions I couldn’t express in words welled up within me. The problems the grandmothers faced back then are beyond what can be put into words.”

Song Joong Ki donated 20 million won to support “comfort women” victims. The donation was revealed later, without even his agency knowing. In 2016, the “House of Sharing” confirmed that funds had been deposited into the account for the establishment of the “Japanese Military Sexual Slavery Victims’ Human Rights Center” under the name “Song Joong Ki”. The “House of Sharing” said, “Typically, when a general donor makes a contribution, they receive follow-up contact. Given the absence of contact, it seems that Song Joong Ki quietly made a personal donation.

Source: Naver

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