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Your Call: San Francisco recognizes the 'comfort women' of World War II



San Francisco is about to become the first major US city to honor and recognize more than 200,000 women and girls from 13 Asia-Pacific countries who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II.

On Friday, the 10-foot-tall “Women’s Column of Strength” memorial will be unveiled in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It depicts three girls from China, Korea, and the Philippines standing on a pedastol holding hands. The late grandma Hak-soon Kim stands below them. She was the first woman who publicly spoke out in 1991.

The plaque’s inscription says, "This memorial is dedicated to the memory of these women and to eradicating sexual violence and sex trafficking throughout the world."


Julie Tang, co-chair of the Comfort Women Justice Coalition and former Judge for the Superior court of San Francisco

Judith Mirkinson, president of the Comfort Women Justice Coalition and national vice-president of the National Lawyer's Guild

Tiffany Hsiung, director of The Apology, a documentary about the 'comfort women'

Web Resources:

Comfort Women Justice Coalition

Hoodline: SF To Install First Major U.S. Memorial To WWII 'Comfort Women'

Vice: The Ongoing Fight to Honor Women Who Were Sex Trafficked During WWII

Financial Times: China's 'comfort women' 



Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.