Messages from Japanese contributors
|A large number of individuals and citizens' groups have sent donations to the Asian Women's Fund together with many messages. It is these messages which truly express the feelings of the contributors and show why they responded to the Fund's appeals for contributions. These messages have been translated and are being passed on to the former comfort women. A selection of messages are shown below.
I. From the pamphlet of the AWF (1997)
An Apology as a Human Being
- Believing that actions are more important than words, I have made this small contribution.
- I would like to express my heartfelt apologies to the women who were forced to lead miserable lives as comfort women. I pray that they will find peace and happiness in the future. I cannot help much. However, if there is any volunteer work that I can do for two hours a day at home, please do not hesitate to ask me. I sincerely hope that you will give atonement to them as soon as possible.
- I have waited for a fund like the Asian Women's Fund. It will help to relieve the burden in my heart that I feel as a Japanese citizen. I am very glad that the Fund has been established.
Doing What I Can, Little by Little
- I was only a child during the war, but when I later learned of the comfort women and tried to imagine their humiliation, I trembled with rage at the Japanese troops who carried out this inhumane scheme. I believe that each Japanese citizen should make amends for this crime on an individual basis. In my view, the Asian Women's Fund is a meaningful and concrete step towards accomplishing this task.
- I understand that the positions of the countries and region involved and the reasons given by the Japanese Government will have to be taken into account, but I think compensation to the victims should take precedence over ODA (official development assistance).
- I would like you to use this donation to help the former comfort women recover their honor and dignity. However, this does not absolve the Japanese Government of further responsibility, so, at the same time, please continue your various efforts to uncover the historical facts.
From Those Too Young to Know the War
- As long as one is a citizen of this country, it is not possible to escape from Japan's past mistakes or history. As a Japanese person, and as a human being, I would like to express my heartfelt apologies to all who were coerced into becoming wartime comfort women. I wish the Asian Women's Fund success. -- From a 27-year-old youth born after the war.
- I am participating because I realize that the Japanese people also share the responsibility for the war.
To Make Full Atonement for the Past
- With deep humility, I would like to express my apologies to the women who were coerced into becoming comfort women. In principle, I strongly believe that Japan should make amends at the governmental level. But, fifty years after the war, realizing that these women are getting older and have little time left, I should be flexible in my convictions. As one Japanese citizen, I am sending you this donation to use as atonement. I pray that it will relieve their pains and sufferings, even if only in a small way. This must never be allowed to happen again.
Donating a Portion of My Military Pension
- As a former soldier, I am contributing a portion of my military pension. However, I would like to say that only those who were there can understand the mentality of the battlefield. I do not want you to think lightly of our experience.
Fifty Years After the War -- A New Beginning
- I would prefer government apology and compensation, but I approve of a private fund as a step towards this end. This small donation is from my family of four. Please put it to good use. My father is now 77 years old and fought in Manchuria and Okinawa. I pray for the success of your Fund.
- I would like to make a small contribution to fostering good relations with other Asian nations.
- There are many women who are still suffering. Please keep up your good work.
- In addition to resolving issues of past war responsibility, I hope you will also help the fatherless children in Asian nations today, who are still the victims of irresponsible Japanese men.
II. From the web site of the AWF (2007)
Reading the AWF news, I first thought as if the comfort women issue is an event of the far past, but acquainted with your sincere activities, I came to wish that you will make further efforts for these women in distress. It seems that these activities are very helpful for women. I hope you will continue them all the time. Please develop various projects into good direction. -- A woman, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Thinking about former "comfort women", I cannot but grieve for them. Though a small sum, I send it to you as my apology and atonement as a Japanese. -- A woman, Suginami Ward, Tokyo.
How many women were injured in the war and how many women's lives were destroyed by man's violence? Thinking about that, I came to a conclusion that peace is too precious to be broken by another war and that man's violence should not be tolerated. -- A woman, Suginami Ward, Tokyo.
I experienced war when I was a boy. Remembering those years, I would like to donate my small sum. I hope sincerely that former comfort women will spend their remaining time happily. -- A man, Narashino City, Chiba Prefecture
Please use this sum for "comfort women". -- A woman, Urawa City, Saitama Prefecture
This is my second donation. Please make efforts to convey the significances of collecting donations from the Japanese people. -- A man, Nagaokakyo City, Kyoto Prefecture.
Excuse me for such delay of sending money. I have just got a job. Now I can cooperate with your project. -- A man, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo.
We, Japanese, should stare and convey the fact that wars of aggression brought awful deaths, pains and sorrows to individual precious lives. -- A man, Nakano Wars, Tokyo.
Only a small sum, but I hope that atonement money will reach to former comfort women, applicants to the AWF as soon as possible. -- 19 February 2001, A woman, Suginami Ward, Tokyo.
I cannot utter any word, thinking about the minds of the women who survived this awful time. This is a small amount of money, but if they accept my feeling, I am obliged. -- A man, Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture.
I have received the latest issue of the AWF news. I guess that your project of apology and atonement is truly difficult. I myself fought two years in China. Fortunately, I could return home. Now I am 80 years old. I am urged to think over the comfort women issue. Please use my small sum of donation. -- A man, Ogawa-cho, Saitama Prefecture.
What Japanese did to comfort women was the worst sin, iuncomparable with any other sin. Innocent pure girls were abused as war victims and injured in heart and in body. We must know more about this fact. And it is important that this lesson be conveyed through education lest it should be repeated. In order to lessen these women's mental burden, apology and apology money should be handed to them, while they are still alive. I hope that you work quickly and continuously. Increase your advertisements and extend the period of collecting money to get more. -- A woman, Komatsujima City, Tokushima Prefecture.
We extend our respect to the activities of the AWF. When people tend to turn face from the past in prosperity, we should think deeply the dignity, peace, happiness and life of peoples and take up our moral responsibility to the past. To make the 21st century a century of the common living and cooperation of Asian peoples is our mission. Now we are sending you a donation of the officers of the municipal office of Sera-cho. This is only a small sum, but please accept it for your project. -- Municipal office of Sera-cho.
I am sending you very small sum. I am a four-grade invalid . Though I never served in the army, I remember clearly the situation in the wartime, which makes my heart sore. -- A man, Kadoma City, Osaka Prefecture.
Thank you for pursuing these difficult activities. I hope that you can expand support of your project steadily. -- A man, Kakegawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture
I could not send money earlier, because I was sick and hospitalized. -- A man, Hirakata City, Osaka Prefecture.
In my opinion, the Japanese government should pay compensation in principle. But I heard that in Germany the government and companies paid compensation to the Jewish victims of the holocaust. And in the United States, compensation was finally paid to the Japanese victims who were detained forcefully in camps during the war. The Japanese government paid pensions only to soldiers of Japanese citizenship, and paid nothing to civilian victims including inhabitants of Okinawa. I send my small sum to you. -- A man, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture.
I send this money for the former comfort women. Please forgive us, Japanese for the sins which our fathers and grandfathers committed. I sincerely wish that your injures at heart will be remedied as soon as possible and that the God will give you peace. -- A woman, Urawa City, Saitama Prefecture.
I sincerely hope that you will lead a peaceful life from now on, seeing beautiful pictures and listening to beautiful music. -- A woman, Wake-cho, Okayama Prefecture.
In this month my wife died. She was 70 years old. For her memory, I send this money. I hope that every woman in this world would be secure in peace and calmness. -- A man, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture.
I send you this small sum. The atonement money which your fund offers to each former comfort woman seems to be too small to compensate for the serious violation of her life. However please hold on to the last to prove Japanese's conscience. -- A man, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture.
We gathered money, putting the box at the entrance of Citizens' House. This is the small sum which we got. We are sending it to you, hoping to help your project. -- Citizens' House, Naraha-machi, Fukushima Prefecture.
Though I don't think that their damages could be compensated by money, I am sending you this small sum, hoping to be useful. -- A woman, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
I am sending you this sum by request of my son living in Seoul. -- A woman, Okayama City.
Last month I could not send you money, here is donation for two months. Please accept it. -- A man, Tanbara-cho, Ehime Prefecture.
I would like to join your atonement project. -- 24 April 2001, A man, Toride City, Ibaragi Prefecture.
We have organized four seminars on DV and maltreatment of children continuously under the common title "Human rights of the two genders". We put the box at the entrance of the seminar room to collect donations for the AWF. -- Women's League, Kitaibaragi City, Ibaragi Prefecture.
I think that we must compensate because we have a responsibility. This is a small sum like a candle of the poor. Please use this. -- A man, Sahara City, Chiba Prefecture.
I wish that those women will feel at ease more. -- A woman, Toyohashi City, Aichi Prefecture.
I am glad to hear that your difficult project is getting recognition because of your sincere activities. -- A woman, Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture.
I am sending you a small sum in order to atone for the sin which Japan committed . -- A man, Arai City, Niigata Prefecture.
Nevertheless I hope that the Japanese state will investigate the whole process, make a formal apology and pay compensation. It is necessary for us to cleanse ourselves and to restart. -- A man, Kumamoto City.
This small sum was collected on the occasion of school cultural festival. -- A high school, Ibaragi Prefecture.