Northeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

Comfort Women and Domestic Politics

Friday, July 6
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Gulmohar, First Floor

The issues related to comfort women, military sex slaves during the WWII in Asia, have caused tensions and problems among the affected countries. In early 2017, the dispute centering on placing a comfort women statue in front of the Japanese Consul General’s office in the city of Busan, Korea, led to a total breakdown of the relationship between South Korea and Japan. Foreign policy analysts have rushed to discuss its implications and presented their research results in online publications of such think tanks as the CSIS and Brookings. But hardly any attention has been paid to the difficulties raised by the comfort women movements on the domestic front. This is not because there are no domestic problems generated by comfort women campaign. In South Korea, there are big divides in comfort-women related questions by age, gender, wealth, and positions in society.


Tomomi Yaguchi, a presenter in this panel, is a pioneer in studying Japanese domestic politics affecting the resolution on comfort women issues. Her study focuses on the rise of the rightists, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who attempt to rewrite history by completely denying all aspects of comfort women system of World War II, including the official role of the Japanese imperial government in establishing it. 


This panel is proposed with the hope of promoting discussions on internal political turmoil caused by comfort women issues in four countries of China, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. 

Bonnie B. C. Oh

Georgetown University, United States

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Bonnie B. C. Oh

Georgetown University, United States

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Mary M. McCarthy

Drake University, United States

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Tomomi Yamaguchi

Montana State University, United States

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Na-Young Lee

Chung-Ang University, Republic of Korea

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M. Evelina Galang

University of Miami, United States

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Peipei Qiu

Vassar College, United States

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Sangsook Jeon

Kwangwoon University, Republic of Korea

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