A girl’s story

This is the story of what actually happened in a city in July
This city is a capital of a country
In fact, it is a metropolitan area where over ten million people live
Right now, they are going about their busy lives
Some time ago, a statue of a girl was placed in this city
It was in front of the Japanese embassy
One day, it was raining heavily in the city
The girl was getting rained on
She was not a real girl though
So, nobody cared about the girl in the rain
But, one man noticed her and walked up to her
He started staring at her
After a while, he didn’t see a statue anymore
To his eyes, there was a real girl in front of him
He couldn’t stand looking at her getting soaked in the rain, and put his umbrella over her
Someone took a picture of them, and tweeted the picture
The picture started to rapidly spread on the internet
Some cried for the girl
Some were overwhelmed with emotion from what he did for her
Most of all, many felt sorry for the girl
As the picture was spreading, unusual things started happening
People started following his example
A student put a scarf around her neck to protect her from cold
An old lady left flowers in front of her
A boy left her a gift with a letter
Such miracles are happening every day in this busy city
People asked the man who started this
“What made you hold the umbrella over the statue?”
In his interview with a radio station, he explained the reason
“I saw the rain falling into her eyes and turning into tears”
“I felt like she was really crying”
I knew it was actually rain, but I still felt sorry for her”
So, I put my umbrella over her and wiped the rain off her face
He felt sympathy for her and tried to share her sadness
The statue of the girl actually represents “a comfort woman”
The story goes back to WWII
The statue was erected to commemorate the girls who lost their youth and dreams during the war
Japan forced many Asian girls into sexual slavery for the Japanese military
They lost their youth in military brothels, and have now become elderly women 
We remember the massacre of the Jews by Nazi Germany during WWII It is called ‘the Holocaust”
Terrible war crimes also happened in Asia “Comfort women” was one of the worst
More than  thousand women were forcibly taken to military brothels
They were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers 
Their souls and dreams were lost to inhumane slavery
The war eventually ended with the defeat of Japan and Germany
After the war, the German government took full responsibility for the Holocaust
Germany made a sincere apology and compensated the victims
However, the Japanese government simply denies the existence of “comfort women”
Japan refuses to take responsibility No apology has been made to the victims
International organizations, such as the UN, and NGOs have come forward to help
They urge the Japanese government to acknowledge its responsibility and compensate former “comfort women”  
The Japanese government continues to refuse to take responsibility
Surviving victims, now elderly women, also came forward
From  to the present, their destination is always the same, the Japanese embassy
Every Wednesday for the past  years, they have held a protest in front of the embassy
Citizens of this city erected the comfort woman statue to remember the lives of these victims
The statue came into existence thanks to voluntary donations from citizens
The girl of the statue represents those who had to live in sexual slavery during the war
She sits on a chair alone The empty chair embodies the lost time and dreams of those women
Many years have passed, and those girls became old ladies with deep sorrow
Passing by the statue, citizens of this city hear her voice
The statue is not just a cold, bronze statue 
In the minds of the people, she turns into a real girl and starts speaking
Would you sit by me and listen to my story?”
She doesn’t just talk about the past
My story is not just about a girl from a country that lost its sovereignty over  years ago
It is a story for all of us who are concerned about peace in Asia and the future of the world
The city in this story is Seoul, the capital of Korea
The girl in the story is Korean, who lived here in the s
But, it is not just about this one girl
She speaks for many other people, who suffered from Japanese imperialism 
Many Asian countries still live with the wounds of their past
Without the proper settlement of historical issues, history can repeat itself in unwanted ways
Thus, this is a story for all of us who are concerned about the future
Imagine yourself sitting by the girl She will start talking to you “May we speak?”
VANK hopes for your attention to the victims of Japanese imperialism
Please listen to our story and give us your support
Please become our friends and support our effort to settle historical issues 
Your support will help us build sustainable peace in Asia
Together we will build peace in the world

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