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Former ‘comfort woman’ dies at 93, leaving 24 survivors

Another victim of sexual slavery during the Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula passed away Monday.

A former South Korean “comfort woman,” known only to the media by the surname Lee upon her family’s request, passed away at the age of 93.

Lee died at approximately 7:30 a.m., according to the Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan. She was reported to have suffered from deteriorating health since 2018. 

A `comfort woman` statue (Yonhap)
A `comfort woman` statue (Yonhap)

“We hope she may rest in peace and forget all of the painful, tormenting and lonely memories,” said Yoon Mi-hyang, president of the Korean Council.

Born in 1925, Lee was kidnapped by soldiers at the age of 17 and taken to Shimonoseki, Japan. She was later taken to Manchuria, where she was forced to work at a brothel for Japanese soldiers.

Her funeral will take place in private in accordance with the wishes of Lee and her bereaved relatives.

Lee’s death leaves only 24 survivors of Japanese military sexual slavery registered with the Korean government. The oldest registered survivor is 102.

By Lee Tae-hee (