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Prayer Service for the Fair and Just Solution to the Issue of Wartime Korean Comfort Women
The Social Affairs and Labor Relations Committee of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism (Chairman, Ven. Hyeyong) held the prayer service for a fair and just solution to the issue of the Korean wartime comfort women at the girl statue that symbolizes the comfort women collectively in front of the previous Japanese Embassy in Jongno-gu, Seoul, at 4pm on March 30, 2016.
The hosts for the service were the Young Men's Buddhist Group (President, Mr. Junho Jeon) and the Korea Buddhist University Federation (President, Mr. Taewoo Park), which collected and delivered the Buddhists' opinion about the issue to the public.
The service began with the performance of Dharma drum by Ven. Gogeum that prays for the souls of the deceased comfort women to be blissfully reborn in the Pure Land.
Ven. Hyechan, one of the committee members, said that forgiveness can be given to those who sincerely reflect themselves, repent of their wrong-doings, and ask for the mercy. However, the attitude that Japanese government showed made us deeply doubt whether they sincerely repent of themselves. From this perspective, the issue of comfort women can neither be forgiven nor forgotten to Koreans. He also asserted that the Japanese government must reveal the truth, sincerely ask for forgiveness and record this issue correctly in their history textbook. As the Korean government made the agreement with the Japanese government without consulting the women, it should be annulled without fail.
Ms. Yoonjung Jeong, the vice chairman of Korea Buddhist University Federation, spoke that what the grandmothers really want is the official sincere apology, the official acknowledgement of their legal responsibility, the Prime Minister's apology in person, and the financial compensation. She stressed that the current between governments' agreement should be destroyed as it was made without the consultation or discussion with the real victims, the grandmothers.
At 12 pm on May 18, the social affairs and labor relations committee will hold another regular Wednesday service at the same place to continue to demand a fairer and more just solution to the issue of comfort women to the Korean government.