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Stars who have shown their positive influence on Comfort Women Memorial Day continue to receive encouragement and warm support

On August 14th, just a day before National Liberation Day in South Korea, it is also observed as the Comfort Women Memorial Day, commemorating the victims of the Japanese military’s ‘comfort women’ system. Through posts and messages, celebrities are raising awareness of the issue both domestically and internationally, showcasing their positive influence through charitable deeds.

The Comfort Women Memorial Day, August 14th, marks the day when victim Kim Hak-soon first testified about her ordeal. While previously observed within civil society, the day was designated as a national memorial day from December 2017. Celebrities are also contributing in their own ways to honor the ‘comfort women’ grandmothers.

Song Hye-kyo, who has consistently been engaged in historical activities, stands out. She narrated the MBC documentary special “Halme Is Baek,” which aired on March 1st, sharing the story of ‘comfort women’ victim Lee Yong-soo’s grandmother. Lee Yong-soo, now 96 years old, is one of the ten remaining victims. Through Song Hye-kyo’s voice, her story has been widely disseminated, prompting renewed contemplation about the issue of ‘comfort women’.

Actor Han Ji-min also demonstrated her warmth. In 2008, she donated to the ‘House of Sharing,’ a residence for ‘comfort women’ survivors. In 2019, she attended the Comfort Women Memorial Day ceremony and recited a heartfelt letter. She moved many by reading “To my beloved mother, who was a ‘comfort woman'”. Her quivering voice and teary eyes resonated with the audience, evoking deep emotions.Additionally, she made a special appearance in the movie ‘History’. ‘History’ is based on the true story of grandmothers who stood up against the Japanese government for six years from 1992 to 1998, leading to a significant legal outcome. Though Han Ji-min’s appearance as a teacher was brief, her warm-heartedness was fully conveyed.

At that time, Han Ji-min expressed, “Whether it’s the issue of child abuse or ‘comfort women,’ before looking into the details, I was angry, thinking it can’t end with just an apology. How can this be possible? But that was the reality.” She continued, “‘Unfinished Story’ made me realize that the emotions I couldn’t express were overwhelming, and the issues the grandmothers faced back then were beyond expression.”

Song Joong-ki donated 20 million won for the ‘comfort women’ grandmothers. This was revealed later as he contributed without even informing his agency. In 2016, the ‘House of Sharing’ in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province stated, “While organizing the sponsorship account, we confirmed that a donation was made under the name ‘Song Joong-ki’ to the fund for establishing the ‘Center for the Rights of Victims of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery.'” They added, “Ordinary sponsors usually receive contact after making a donation, but since there was no contact from him or his agency, it seems like Song Joong-ki made the donation quietly.”

Author Nat.O
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