The fourth-year international relations student spoke at the conference that focused on the Japanese wartime system of military sexual slavery, held at the UN human rights office in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference, Justice for the Survivors of Japan’s Wartime System of Military Sexual Slavery, was co-organized by Amnesty International and the Korean Council for the Women.
“It was an amazing experience to present at the conference and see the UN human rights office,” says Kubota, who is originally from Japan. “I am researching military sexual slavery during the Pacific War as my undergraduate thesis. It was interesting to hear from academics and activists around the world, as well as one of the survivors of the military sexual slavery era, who, at the age of 88, shared her story about her experiences during the Pacific War.”
Kubota is studying the issue in great detail for her thesis, but also spent her summer working on a book project on the same topic. Working in the Association for Learning and Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (ALPHA) in one of their Toronto offices, Kubota served as a project co-ordinator for the translation of Tamaki Matsuoka’s book of testimonials of survivors and soldiers from the Nanjing Massacre. She is helping to edit and assist with the translation process from Japanese to English.
Following graduation, Kubota plans to return to the Toronto ALPHA office and eventually pursue a master’s degree in sociology or education.