Comfort Women Monument to Be Dedicated in S.F.

Detail of the comfort women monument that will be erected in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

SAN FRANCISCO — The unveiling of a “comfort women” memorial will be held in San Francisco on Sept. 22, the second of anniversary of the Board of Supervisors’ unanimous approval of a resolution to establish the monument.

This is the first such monument to be erected in a major U.S. city. In Southern California, a memorial was put up in Glendale’s Central Park in 2013. There are also memorials in New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Michigan.

The gathering will start at 1 p.m. with ceremony from 2 to 4 pm. at St. Mary’s Square, 651 California St. in Chinatown.

A reception will follow from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District, 750 Kearny St. The guest of honor will be Yong Soo Lee, a comfort women survivor and activist who testified before the Board of Supervisors in 2014.

The memorial was established by the Comfort Women Justice Coalition (, a community-based nonprofit organization whose goal is “to bring justice to the victims of the WWII Japanese military sexual slavery system, raise awareness about sexual violence against women during military conflict, and end sex trafficking in our community and around the world.”

Advocates for the women, who were mostly from Asian countries, say they were recruited under false pretenses or kidnapped, held against their will, and raped by dozens of soldiers a day; that they had a high mortality rate; and that the survivo