On January 10, 2002 Milton Academy welcomed Professor Kathleen H. S. Moon a faculty member at Wellesley College as the fourth Hong Kong Speaker. Ms. Moon is a graduate of Smith College and earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University. Author of several books including Sex Among Allies: Military Prostitution in U.S.-Korea Relations (Columbia University, 1997), she has served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of State on issues of conflict and gender.
The focus of her research and the topic of her presentation was the elucidation of the Japanese Imperial Military Policy of the first half of the 20th century that resulted in the forcible recruitment and kidnapping of women now known as “Comfort Women.” Primarily of Korean ancestry but recruited from all of Asia, these women traveled with various divisions of the Japanese army and were used to provide sexual services to the soldiers. Ms. Moon described the state sanctioned system of slavery and the current efforts by scholars in Korea and the United States, begun in the 1980’s and 1990’s to solicit an apology for this atrocity from the Japanese government and reparations for the surviving women. Destitute and often without families, these women are beginning to bear witness to the horrific conditions of those times.
Ms. Moon was able to weave the “Comfort Women” story into an explication of some of the larger political agendas served by the Japanese government’s adherence to this policy.
Professor Moon joins a distinguished group of speakers that have come to Milton Academy as a result of the generosity of our Hong Kong Alumni. These speakers include Bert Levin, ambassador to Burma, and actor B.D. Wong.