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Glen Rock Reporter Hopes Emmy Nomination Aids Korean 'Comfort Women'

CUNY TV's Minnie Roh's report on Korean comfort women is up for an Emmy Award. Photo Credit: Minnie Roh
Former Comfort Woman You Hee-Nam. Photo Credit: CUNY TV
Roh on Asian American Life. Photo Credit: CUNY TV
Roh interviews a subject for a CUNY TV story. Photo Credit: Minnie Roh

GLEN ROCK, N.J. — Whether or not Minnie Roh of Glen Rock wins a New York Emmy Award, a group of elderly women protesting outside the Japanese embassy in Korea every day will know that someone cares.

In many ways, the women have already won.

They are the victims of Japanese war crimes committed during World War II, and the subjects of a CUNY TV report that brought Roh a Historical and Cultural Reporting nomination.

The May 2015 piece sheds light on the more than 200,000 Asian “comfort women” -- as young as 13 years old -- who were kidnapped from the side of the road and turned into sex slaves for troops and brought to numerous locations around the Asia region.

“I hope I can win for their sake,” said Roh, who focuses on the most outspoken and organized of the survivors these seven decades later. "The world is listening — they’re not just banging on a door trying to get in.”

The Korean native, a mother of two, will find out if she wins during a March 19 black-tie gala at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

The piece is part of CUNY TV’s Asian American Life program , which explores topics of interest to the Asian-American community on national and international levels, Roh said.

Of the many stories that she's reported, “Comfort Women” hit closest to home.

“These women could’ve been my mother, my grandmother or my grandmother’s cousins,” Roh said. “It was a very personal journey.”

The subjects say the Japanese government employed large-scale sex slavery -- a claim that the government still won't admit but that soldiers have backed.

“These women have fought so hard every week in their 80s 90s, rain or shine,” Roh said. “How difficult is that?

“As a journalist, I’m trying to just do my part in educating the public about these atrocities that happen,” Roh said. “I hope that some good will come of it.”

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