What's truly behind Comfort Women Statues

2 March, 2017

As you may know, the diplomatic relationship between Japan and South Korea continues to deteriorate over the "Comfort Women" statue issue: The Japanese Ambassador in South Korea and the Consulate-General of Japan in Busan have been recalled to Japan for over a month now, and the currency swap negotiations have been suspended.

After the ABC TV reported "Japanese group launches 18C racial discrimination case over 'comfort women' memorial" (7:30, Dec14,'16), a member of AJCN received a death threat from a person living in South Korea. AJCN reported this case to the local police. They had very serious concerns about the contents and forwarded this matter to the Australian Federal Police as an international political issue for further investigation.

The "Comfort Women Statue" issue began in Sydney in February 2014 when the Chinese and Korean alliance called "The United Austral Korean-Chinese Alliance against Japanese War Crimes" held a meeting to announce the ten goals of their anti-Japan lobbying which included their political activities such as "to lobby the Australian Prime Minister to put less importance on foreign diplomatic relationships with Japan" and "to erect the Comfort Women statues in all regions of Australia". Since that time, we have observed various figures of the anti-Japan alliance (and of the associated individuals/ organisations) that took part in endorsing the statue to be erected in Sydney. In this article, I'd like to talk about those figures and the organizations, and explain the "Big Picture" drawn by the Chinese Communist Party behind this "Comfort Women Statue" issue.

(The above photo from the article “Korean and Chinese communities formed an alliance to erect "comfort women" statues in Australia”, Feb '14, Yonhap News, S.Korea)

1. The first movement for erecting the Comfort Women statue 

(The proposal for the erection was rejected by Strathfield City Council on August 11, 2015)
The organization that submitted a proposal to erect a Comfort Women statue in the square in front of Strathfield Station is an anti-Japanese organization called KACA (The Korean Committee of United Austral Korean-Chinese Alliance against Japanese
War Crimes).
In September 2014 issue of the "Journal of the Korean Society of Sydney", KACA posted a totally political declaration called “The Eight Objectives”. In it KACA stated that it would work for the interest of Korea and China. When Japanese Prime Minister Abe visited Australia in July 2014, KACA disseminated an open letter to parliamentarians, state councils and the media, criticizing the Japanese government and demonstrated in front of the National Assembly in Canberra.

(Mr.Ok speaking with Mr. Song standing by his side, taking part in an anti-Japan demonstration in Canberra, July 2014)
Mr. Sang Ok, the Deputy Mayor of Strathfield at the time, was the chairman of KACA.
In 2015 he was replaced by Mr. Luke Song, the former chairman of KSSA (Korean Society of Sydney, Australia). Mr. Luke Song wrote several extreme hate comments on
KSSA’s website regarding the Abe cabinet and the Japanese Australian residents while he was the chairman of KSSA.
Mr. Song insists that the proposed statue was only to enhance woman’s human rights.
Nonetheless, he used language such as “destroy Shinzo Abe and the Japanese who are dreaming of reviving militarism” and “we are fighting against our enemy to end our sad history”. These strong aggressive words and statements are very common from all the anti-Japan Chinese Korean alliance groups around the world .

In September 2014 they released their mission statement in a Korean newspaper in Sydney in which they stated the following:

"We will urge the US government not to be deceived by Japan, acknowledge the dark evil intention of Prime Minister Abe, stop remilitarization of Japan and change their foreign policies that put Japan first before Korea and China."

"Three Sisters", the Comfort Woman statue, which was proposed to be erected in Strathfield was designed by a Chinese artist and allegedly the cost of the production was to be born by the CCP, the Chinese Communist Party.

In this worldwide anti-Japan lobbying, which the erections of the Comfort Women statues are a part of, the anti-Japanese Korean group is said to be just a glove and the hand inside that moves this glove is the CCP.

2. The second movement for erecting Comfort Women statues 

The trigger for beginning stage two of this campaign of erecting comfort women statues was the agreement made between the Japanese and Korean governments to finally settle the Comfort Women issue on December 28, 2015.
“Chong Dae Hyup”, an anti-Japan political group which is closely related to North Korea, opposed this governmental agreement and began their monthly Wednesday
demonstrations all over the world. In response to this, FCWA (Friends of Comfort Women in Australia) and Project Group Sysochu (Peace Statue Establishing Committee in Sydney), were formed in Sydney and they started monthly Wednesday demonstrations in Sydney and Brisbane. Many of the members of the two groups, however, are the same people and they really are just one organization. This includes members belonging to existing organizations such as KACA, The Korean Cultural Center Inc. and KSSA.

Although Mr. Luke Song, Chairperson of KACA appeared to disappear from the scene following his failure to erect the statue in Strathfield, he consequently visited the Uniting Church in Ashfield on 22 February 2016 with FCWA to discuss with Rev. Crews about relocating the statue to the Uniting Church ground.
(The above photo from the FCWA blog article.)
The purpose of this anti-Japan activist group is to tear down the Japan-ROK agreement, and demand the Japanese government pay even greater reparations to ex-Comfort Women.

The preparatory work to erect the statue was sponsored and carried out under the direction of Chong Dae Hyup. On August 6, 2016 KSSA held an unveiling ceremony of the statue on their leased premises breaching their conditions imposed by the local council as such public displays of banners and the use of the car park were prohibited.
The statue was immediately moved to the Uniting Church Ashfield following the conclusion of the ceremony.
Please see below further information regarding the people involved, who attended the unveiling ceremony last year.

1) Chong Dae Hyup and its leader, Ms. Yun Mi-Hyang
The main player who brought the statue to the Uniting Church in Ashfield was Chong Dae Hyup. At the initiative of Chong Dae Hyup, the campaign activities were carried out by young Koreans holding working holiday visas and student visas, Below are members of FCWA who met with the chairperson, Ms.Yun Mi-Hyang at the headquarters office of Chong Dae Hyup in Seoul in June 2016.

In the inscription next to the statue placed at the Ashfield Uniting Church, it is clearly stated that the sponsors are Chong Dae Hyup, Seongnam city and voluntary Korean residents in Australia.

Now, continuing their political activities to overthrow the President Park administration in order to establish a new government supporting North Korea’s Kim dynasty regime, Chong Dae Hyup has already produced about thirty statues. They are selling those statues for approximately $30,000 each to local Korean sponsors.
The statue that sits in the grounds of the Ashfield Uniting Church is one of them.

Ms.Yun Mi-Hyang attended the unveiling ceremony in Sydney. Her relatives and many members of Chong Dae Hyup have been arrested in South Korea due to spy charges in connection with North Korea.

2) Mr. Lee Jae-Myung
Mr. Lee Jae-Myung, who is one of the candidates for the upcoming presidential elections, is nicknamed "Korean Trump” in South Korea due to his extreme remarks. In his statements regarding North Korea, he offered to "meet unconditionally with Kim Jongun" and said that "Japan should be considered a military foe". He is the Mayor of Seongnam city, that sponsored the Comfort Women Statue in Ashfield. When he attended the unveiling ceremony in Sydney, he insulted the late Japanese Emperor by calling him “Hirohito” and condemned him as a war criminal. Then he stressed that the erection of the statue was a political issue and related to the pride of the state.

All candidates in the presidential election race have declared that they will abandon the Japan-Korea agreement and renegotiate with the Japanese government.

If the next Korean president is significantly pro-North Korea, unification under the federal system with North Korea will be considered. If the US led by President Trump does not strongly control the movement of South Korea, South Korea is likely to move towards unification with North Korea under the guidance of China. It is only a matter of time before North Korea swallows South Korea turning the whole Korean peninsula one communist country. Once South Korea falls under the communist regime, many Koreans already accustomed to democracy will escape overseas. The wealthier people will go to Canada, the United States and Australia, and the poorer will become refugees fleeing by boat to Japan crossing the Sea of Japan.

3) Rev. Bill Cews
Rev. Crews is the minister of the Uniting Church in Ashfield and representative of the charitable organization, Exodus Foundation. Regrettably he played a very disturbing role in regards to the Comfort Women statue in Sydney.

In the interview conducted by FCWA , he declared that he would erect a Comfort Women statue on his church land in order to make the "perpetrators" apologize in public as he was outraged when he heard Strathfield council had rejected the proposal about the statue.
AJCN clearly explained to him that the Korean government ran its own Comfort Women system during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. We provided him with wide
ranging information that the Korean troops raped and slaughtered a large number of Vietnamese women and asked him how he would deal with these facts, but he accused only Japan and the Japanese as "perpetrators" in his statements in public. Since the Uniting Church in Australia and Rev. Crews didn't respond to our concerns at all, AJCN had no choice but to lodge a complaint to the Human Rights Commission. In response to our complaint, Rev. Crews told the media, “I just find it outrageous ... bring it on. If I change the location of the statue, I will just put it in a more prominent place.” We are not sure why he is so one-sided, close-minded and aggressive towards us. His aggressive comments in the media upset some Christian Australians and they sent us many messages of support.

He does not pay any homage to the fact that more than 70% of Strathfield citizens opposed the erection of the Comfort Woman statue in the survey conducted by the city.
He completely ignores actual current problems in the community such as division, bullying, discrimination, and illegal prostitution and sex-trafficking of Korean nationals.
He does not hear any concerns expressed by many people around him including the members of his own church. The Uniting Church in Australia paid compensation of 2
million dollars to the victims of sexual abuse by its clergies in 2013. Shouldn't he be more interested in erecting a memorial statue for those victims rather than a politically motivated statue supported by the N.Korean, S.Korean and the Chinese interest groups?

Lastly we have faith that at some point in the hopefully not too distant future some section of the Australian media will undertake some comprehensive investigative journalism to undercover the why, who and what is really behind all this antagonism and the lengths that these people are willing to go to, to achieve their goals for it is truly frightening.

Sumiyo Egawa
Australia-Japan Community Network