University students, Joo-young Ha and Yong-joo Jo, of Seoul, South Korea, made their way through London Thursday as part of a cross-country cycling trip. The college students started their journey on June 23 in Los Angeles to raise awareness for “comfort women,” a term given to eastern Asian women, predominantly of Korean backgrounds, who were taken as slaves by the Japanese before and during World War II.
The students are part of the Triple A Project, a campaign which simultaneously calls for the Japanese government to admit this as part of their history and issue apologies to the less-than-40 women still alive.
“When we started this project, there were 38 women,” Ha said. “One has since passed away.” The three A’s in the project’s name stand for admit, apologize and accompany, which is what the students and members of the organization hope to press upon the Japanese government.
“Our goal is to raise awareness in America for this event,” Jo said. “It is not known by many people and isn’t even taught as history in Japan.”
The students have talked to a number of media outlets on both local and national levels. Aside from talking to members of the press, they also participate in “Wednesday demonstrations.” According to the students, a woman came forth in 1991 and revealed the details of the slavery. Since then, South Koreans have marked this occasion with a type of remembrance day which has been held every Wednesday since ′91.
Their next stop is a visit to Columbus, seeking refuge in the homes of other university students. Their ultimate goal is to reach Philadelphia by Aug. 23, Washington, D.C. by Aug. 28 and New York City by Sept. 1 which will conclude the coast-to-coast mission.
Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.