San Francisco Board of Supervisors Approve Comfort Women Memorial

 Top photo: Gabriela rally at Japanese Embassy in Manila. ( Photo credit: Inquirer.net)  Bottom photo: Lila-Pilipina members on Araw ng mga Lola in Philippine High School for the Arts. ( Photo credit: Inquirer.net)

Top photo: Gabriela rally at Japanese Embassy in Manila. (Photo credit: Inquirer.net) Bottom photo: Lila-Pilipina members on Araw ng mga Lola in Philippine High School for the Arts. (Photo credit: Inquirer.net)

Despite some local opposition, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution calling for a memorial to “comfort women” abused by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

Introduced by Supervisor Eric Mar (D1), the resolution is aimed at honoring some “200,000 women who were kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery the Imperial Japanese Army during its colonial and wartime occupation” of Asia and the Pacific Islands from the 1930s through the duration of World War.

The resolutions further states that “unspeakable and well-documented war-crimes, including mass rape, wholesale massacres, heinous torture and other atrocities, were ·committed by the Japanese in all the countries that Japan occupied during World War II.”

FWN commends the advocacy work of Tina Shauf, Gabriela U.S.A. campaign office, Rudy Asercion, advocate for Filipino war veteran welfare and affairs, and West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center Executive Director Vivian Zalvidea-Araullo (FWN Member and US FWN100™ '12) for their relentless pursuit of honoring the comfort women victims.

“Its unfortunate that verbiage did not specifically mention Filipinas or other ethnicities likewise victimized as comfort women. It waters down the potency of the message that we wanted to send especially since Filipinas continue today to suffer greatly as victims of human trafficking,” stated Araullo (US FWN100™ '12).

The approved resolution does not come with a budget allocation for the project, though, and cost estimates could reach $140,000 with funds most probably coming from private groups and individuals.

The timeframe for building the memorial is at least year, considering the creation of the committee, holding recommendation hearings for the supervisors, the final board approval of all considerations for construction to begin and the actual construction itself.


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