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Korean-American Groups appeal for support to include ‘Comfort Women’ education in California school curriculum

by Ma Elena Garcia / Feb 04, 2016 10:26 PM EST
Comfort Women Group

A large number of Korean-American groups in Los Angeles had signed an online petition to gather support for Japan wartime sexual slavery education to be included in the curriculum in California public high schools in 2017. More than 5,000 people showed their support for the campaign, as written on "Comfort Women Petition."

If the suggestion is approved, it would be the first time a comfort women issue would be included in a U.S. public high school curriculum.

"Comfort women" is term used to refer to women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers in occupied territories before and during World War II.

Religious organizations have also shown support for the said campaign by collecting signatures for California's 2014-2016 Draft History-Social Science Framework that includes the "comfort women" issue in the world history subject for Grade 10.

According to a draft of the framework from California's Department of Education, the topic about comfort women can be taught as an example of institutionalized sexual slavery and one of the largest cases of human trafficking in the twentieth century. The framework is said to be finalized in May.

The subject's addition to the curriculum appeared to have been a response to requests from many South Koreans. However, incorporating studies on comfort women in the the U.S. public high school curriculum also raises concerns as to how Japan would react, Yonhap News Agency reported.

More than 5,400 people have also signed the online petition at Change.org to urge California's Department of Education to effectuate the curriculum change.

According to Hankyoreh, Japan and South Korea had come up with an agreement that highlights Japan's admission of responsibility for the crime they committed during World War II and intention to provide compensation for the victims. South Korea promised to end the dispute if Japan will comply with the agreement.

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