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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Documentary on ‘Comfort Women’ screened in Japan

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Main poster for ″Twenty Two″ [SCREEN CAPTURE]
Main poster for ″Twenty Two″ [SCREEN CAPTURE]

A documentary film on the lives of victims of Japanese wartime sexual slavery got its first screening in Japan on Sept. 18, the South China Morning Post reported.

Titled “Twenty Two,” an allusion to the number of former so-called “comfort women” who were still surviving in China when the film was shot in 2014, the documentary was jointly produced by Korea and China.

It was first released in China in 2017 and screened in Korea the following year.

“Six years have passed. I did not expect that a Chinese student would now bring the documentary to Japan,” Guo Ke, the director of “Twenty Two,” told the South China Morning Post.

The movie’s Japan debut was thanks to a Chinese university student in Japan who recommended the movie to the Kansai Queer Film Festival committee.

“It is our vision that more people can learn about the victims’ experiences. It is our responsibility to let those who should know the past of these ‘comfort women’ to see it,” Guo wrote on Chinese social media platform Weibo, according to the South China Morning Post.

Of the 22 survivors who appear in the film, only one reportedly remained alive as of August.

The “comfort women” were forced into sexual slavery at military brothels by imperial Japan during the Second World War. Some historians say as many as 500,000 women, including Korean and Chinese, were victims.

In Korea, only nine of 240 officially registered former Japanese military sex slaves were still alive as of August.

Korea and Japan have long waged a heated diplomatic and civic battle over acknowledging and compensating the victims.

BY KIM JI-YE [kim.jiye@joongang.co.kr]