SEOUL, Dec.9 (Korea Bizwire) – Lee Mideja (74), the daughter of Lee Eui-young, who died fighting for the Japanese during World War II, plead in tears at a court hearing, asking officials from Yaskuni Shrine to release her father from the shrine.
Lee filed a suit against the Japanese government and Yaskuni Shrine to have her father removed from the shrine in October 2013. When the Court of Tokyo ruled that Lee’s father ‘cannot be removed from the shrine as he died a Japanese soldier’, Lee pointed out that there is a huge contradiction.
“The families of Japanese people who fought and died as Japanese soldiers in World War II are receiving compensation from the government. However, since we’re foreigners, we haven’t received a penny. This Korean man who was dragged to war was the father of a household, and the emotional and financial pain of the remaining family members were too hard to bear.”
Lee continued, “We don’t need compensation. Just be consistent and remove my father from the shrine.”
Lee also claimed that the Japanese government didn’t even inform her and her family of her father’s death. It was only in December 2001 that she learned her father died at Luzon Island, in the Philippines.
As the family comes from of a Christian background, Lee emphasized that it is also a disgrace that her father is in Yaskuni Shrine on religious reasons.
Around 21,000 Koreans who fought for the Japanese during the war are also resting at Yaskuni Shrine, where 14 Class A war criminals from the Pacific War are honored.
Even Koreans who survived were included in the names of those memorialized at the shrine. However, Yaskuni Shrine is ignoring the demands of the individuals and their families to remove their loved ones from the shrine. This has caused continuous battles in court.
The Japanese government already defeated a plaintiff in November 2011, in a case in which a Japanese family demanded that Yaskuni Shrine remove their father’s name from those who are honored at the shrine.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)