Monday, October 1, 2007

Sandra Oh to Support Comfort Women

By Park Si-soo

Korean-Canadian actress Sandra Oh is going to take a stand to raise international awareness about the comfort women, who were forced to engage in prostitution during World War II by the Japanese military.

The Hollywood star will participate in an international conference, which deals with the sensitive issue, running from Oct. 4 to 7 at the University of California in Los Angeles. This is the first international gathering of this kind in the U.S.

"She is expected to recite a poem calling for the swift settlement of the long-dragged problems of the sex slaves", said an official of the conference. "Many other movie stars, including Jane Fonda, a well-known actress and anti-war campaigner, will also attend the conference".

U.S. congressman Mike Honda, former comfort women and members of NGOs from 11 countries plan to be present at the meeting.

Having grown up in Canada, the actress had no idea about the bitter history of Korean comfort women but became aware of the problem after learning of the resolution proposed in July by Japanese-American congressman Mike Honda, which urges the Japanese government to acknowledge, apologize and accept their historical responsibility.

"There are still many students in the U.S. who don't know what brutal history we have gone through", said Lee Jong-hwa, a professor at the Loyola Marymount University in the U.S. "After compiling related information, we plan to make textbooks and documentaries".

Sandra Oh was born in Canada in 1971 and leapt to stardom after appearing in the smash-hit TV drama "Grey's Anatomy".

She won an award for the best supporting actress at the Golden Globe Awards in 2005.

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