UN won’t add ‘Comfort Women’ to Memory of World this year

World Today

1945 photo of Chinese and Malayan girls forcibly taken from Penang by the Japanese to work as ‘comfort girls’ for the troops. Source: Lemon A E (Sergeant), No 9 Army Film & Photographic Unit, UK.

The United Nations has decided not to add the plight of “Comfort Women” into the UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme this year.

The U.N. announced today that it had inscribed 78 items of documentary heritage from around the world into the Programme.

UNESCO said that the two groups that submitted similar entries related to “Comfort Women” should hold a dialogue and create a joint nomination that encompasses all their documents for a future nomination. These nominations came from a group of individual Japanese and U.S. non-governmental organizations and an international committee made up of 15 civic groups from 8 countries and regions, including South Korea and China.

The so-called “Comfort Women” are women from Korea, China, and the Philippines who were forced into sex slavery by the Japanese military in World War II.

Three items that were China-related did make it on the list this year.

They include China’s Oracle-Bone Inscriptions, The Archives of Suzhou Silk from Modern and Contemporary Times, and the Official Records of Macao During the Qing Dynasty (1693-1886).

The Memory of the World Register now includes a total of 427 documents and collections, coming from all continents and safeguarded on various materials from stone to celluloid and from parchment to sound recordings.