‘Comfort woman’ dies at 90, only 55 S. Korean sex slavery victims still alive

3 years ago by in Japan, Korea

Hwang Kum-ja, one of the last 56 South Korean sex slavery victims during the World War II, has died on Monday at age 90.

During World War II, the woman was forced into sex slavery by the Japanese. There are only 55 South Korean ex-“comfort women” living now.

Hwang was born in 1924 and was forced to work at a glass factory at only 13 years old. Three years later, she was sent to China for sexual slavery. After the war, she returned to Korea and lived alone for the rest of her life.

Hwang earned her living by collecting garbage and receiving various government subsidies. She made three donations to a scholarship fund that totaled $92,635 and was awarded in 2011 for her generosity.

The woman’s last wish was that her money be left to charity, the international press reports.

Around 200,000 women, most of them Korean, were forced to practice sexual slavery during Japan’s colonial rule. Most of the women who survived are not over 80 years old.

Although Japan has apologized on several occasions for the comfort women and helped to establish to the Asian Women’s Fund in 1995, it has so far not made direct payments to victims.