Former sex slaves travel U.S. to call attention to issueUpdated: 2014-07-23 21:59:56 KST
When they were in their teens, Lee Ok-son and Kang Il-chul were forced to serve as sex slaves at Japanese (quote) comfort stations, or military brothels.
Today, they are reaching out to make sure their story isn't forgotten.
In a press briefing in Los Angeles, the two ladies now both in their 80's emphasized they don't have much time left, and repeated a decades-old call to the Japanese government to issue a fresh apology.
"It's as if the Japanese government is putting off apologizing and is just waiting for us to all die, but we MUST receive an apology."
"I will never forget that we've had to go through this,.. and I will repay what I've had to go through even after I die."
Lee and Kang also expressed appreciation for a statue dedicated to the women put up in the city of Glendale, California, and offered support to keep it there.
A group of Japanese Americans sued the city back in February demanding the statue be removed.
The city of Glendale is fighting back.
"Next step will be the court to decide the mission to dismiss, and hopefully the court will agree with us that the city of Glendale has the right to express its respect."
The two ladies will continue on their journey, which will take them to the East Coast and other monuments put up in memory of all those who suffered under Japan's institutionalized sexual slavery in Virginia and New Jersey.
They'll also continue to hold out hope that the Japanese government issues a sincere apology and makes reparations to the few dozen victims who remain alive today.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.
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