"During a certain period in the not too distant past, Japan, following a mistaken national policy, advanced along the road to war, only to ensnare the Japanese people in a fateful crisis, and, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. In the hope that no such mistake be made in the future, I regard, in a spirit of humility, these irrefutable facts of history, and express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology. Allow me also to express my feelings of profound mourning for all victims, both at home and abroad, of that history."
I stated these words of apology in the statement of the Prime Minister "On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the War's End" dated August 15, 1995. On the morning of that day, an appeal of the Asian Women's Fund (AWF) for national atonement for the former comfort women was made public in full-page advertisements which appeared in six national newspapers.
Thus the AWF started its activities to atone for those women made to be "ianfu" by joint efforts of the government and the people, and to tackle the problems of honour and dignity of women in a contemporary world. We have finished our activities finally as of March 2007.
In keeping a record of our awareness of the comfort women issue and of our atonement project so that people can learn a lesson from history, we have decided to establish a digital museum "The Comfort Women Issue and the Asian Women's Fund". I sincerely hope that everyone who visits this museum will not forget this history, and will redouble their commitment to reconciliation and cooperation in Asia and the world.