Mark Selden

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Mark Selden

"Comfort Women" seek reparations

Mark Selden

Comfort Women

Mark Selden signed a letter written by Alexis Dudden in February 2014[1] urging Japan's Shinzo Abe to acknowledge "comfort women" from World War II in a letter titled "Standing with Historians of Japan."[2]

An excerpt from the letter:

"As part of its effort to promote patriotic education, the present administration of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe is vocally questioning the established history of the comfort women and seeking to eliminate references to them in school textbooks. Some conservative Japanese politicians have deployed legalistic arguments in order to deny state responsibility, while others have slandered the survivors. Right-wing extremists threaten and intimidate journalists and scholars involved in documenting the system and the stories of its victims.
"We recognize that the Japanese government is not alone in seeking to narrate history in its own interest. In the United States, state and local boards of education have sought to rewrite school textbooks to obscure accounts of African American slavery or to eliminate “unpatriotic” references to the Vietnam War, for example. In 2014, Russia passed a law criminalizing dissemination of what the government deems false information about Soviet activities during World War II. This year, on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, a Turkish citizen can be sent to jail for asserting that the government bears responsibility. The Japanese government, however, is now directly targeting the work of historians both at home and abroad."


Open Letter to Obama on Iran

In 2008 Mark Selden, Cornell University, East Asia Program signed an online petition “A Open Letter to Barack Obama on Iran”.[3]