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Korean “Comfort Women” redress 2012 through the lens of U.S. civil and human rights reparatory justice experiences.

Yamamoto, Eric K.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Journal of Korean Law. 11: 123-149.

In light of international scrutiny, what might be next steps toward redress for the Korean
and other World War II Military Sex Slaves, in terms of strategic framing of their claims to
reparatory justice? More particularly, viewed through a lens of American redress experiences,
and particularly the U.S. apology and reparations for the Japanese American World War II
internment, what might human rights tenets of reparatory justice offer established governments
faced with challenges to their legitimacy as democracies in the face of unredressed human rights
transgressions ?
Redressing the wounds of injustice has become a matter central to the future of civil
societies. Whether a country heals persisting wounds is increasingly viewed as integral, (1)
domestically, to enabling it to deal with pain, guilt and division linked to its past in order to
now live peaceably and work productively, and (2) globally, to claiming legitimacy as a
democracy genuinely committed to human rights (which affects a country’s standing on
international security and responsible economic development.) People and governments –
especially democracies with histories of human rights abuses- all have a stake in justice that
This larger stake in democratic legitimacy that a country like Japan has – especially as it
seeks to expand its influence in international security – lies at the heart of this assessment of
strategicf uture paths toward “Comfort Women” redress. (author’s abstract)


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