Several citizen groups worked to promote the erection of another “comfort woman” statue, and in the center of them is the citizen group called “KRHANA“. KRHANA is also responsible for the fund-raising activities to erect the statue in front of the Japanese Consulate in Busan, violating the Vienna Convention, Article 22, paragraph 2.
KRHANA is an organization that surrounded the statue in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul and organized sit-in demonstrations. This time, however, Busan University college student organization “Busan University Students KRHANA” was also present. They were “expeditions” to Seoul; they started raising funds to create another statue in Busan.
KRHANA is a combination of the words “ethnic group, companion” and “one”, meaning “we are one ethnic group, one brotherhood”. As the name of the organization suggests, the keyword “North Korea” cannot be overlooked when talking about this group. KRHANA, in other words, means “unity”.
KRHANA’s “main business” is “supporting North Korea” — business for the Northern residents, or for the government?
KRHANA has set up branches in eight locations nationwide including Seoul, Incheon, and Busan, and there are 11 business headquarters in the central organization. The “businesses” of these headquarters expose the character of this organization. There is no activity related to comfort women among 11 business headquarters, but instead, they focus on supporting North Korea. The following table shows the names of 11 business headquarters and their activities.
教育文化センター HUE ：労働者統一教科書制作、平和統一教育への道
For example, on September 9, 2016, when North Korea conducted the fifth nuclear test, KRHANA did not criticize the North Korean government. In fact, on their website, they issued a statement condemning the South Korean government for their intention of taking resolute measures against the North.
Furthermore, regarding the human rights issue of North Korea, KRHANA goes on to condemn the US for criticizing North Korea, saying, “You cannot judge only with the human rights standards of the United States”, “It is the isolation strategy by the United States that threatens the human rights of North Korea”.
KRHANA also works with Japanese leftist civic groups
Visiting major cities’ regime opposition rallies
Their activities are not limited to North Korea. They are working in collaboration with Japanese leftist organizations and zainichi Koreans. In Japan, KRHANA has been translated and introduced as “同胞一つ (Douhou Hitotsu)” and has interacted with several groups in Japan.
For example, in October 2016, members of KRHANA’s university organization “University Students KRHANA” participated in a Osaka rally opposing the Abe administration, and another rally at Henoko. ZENKO (平和と民主主義をめざす全国交歓会) is among the Japanese organizations that interacted with them at this time. Their activities are also introduced in detail on the homepages of Japanese leftist organizations and Movement for Democratic Socialism (MDS; 民主主義的社会主義運動).
Even the South Korean media has not covered this citizen group that has led the erection of this statue. So the general public only recognize them as “some organization that helps the ‘comfort women'”, not realizing their purpose and main activities are aimed at supporting North Korea. The same could be said for the Japanese media. It would be sensible for the both nations to inform their citizens of the fact that the erection of those statues are their part-time work, and their real aim is to support the North.