Kim Jang-hoon to Donate 10 Billion Won to Promote Dokdo in the U.S. [13-04-2012]
Kim Jang-hoon will donate about 10 billion won to set up a large billboard in Times Square in New York in three years to promote his country’s causes. According to news reports, the rock star plans to donate a total of 10 billion won to protect Korea’s sovereignty over Dokdo Islets in the East Sea and promote the images of “comfort women” who were forced into sex slavery by imperial Japan during World War Ⅱ. Kim will raise part of the fund from ticket revenues from his U.S. concerts in July this year. He aims to increase international awareness of Korea’s sovereignty over the islets.

Japan has stepped up its campaign to repeat its claim over the islets and denied the existence of “comfort women.” An increasing number of Japanese social studies textbooks are listing “Takeshima,” the Japanese name for Dokdo, as Japanese territory. Most recently, on the early morning of March 25, some members of Japan’s far-right organizations set up a wooden stele in front of the consular section of the Korean Embassy in Tokyo to state Japan’s claim to Korea’s Dokdo Islets.

The surviving “comfort women” have been staging demonstrations in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul every Wednesdays, calling for an apology and compensation from Tokyo, but to no avail. Many ancient foreign and Korean maps, including a Joseon Kingdom map from 1770, show Dokdo as a legitimate part of ancient Korea. The Korean government, the Foreign Ministry in particular, has made multifaceted attempts to thwart Japan’s efforts at repeating claim over Dokdo and declining to acknowledge the inhumane hardships the “comfort women” suffered.

Given the circumstances, Kim has already donated a total of 8 billion won over the past decade to protect the country’s sovereignty over Dokdo. Hence he has been called the “Guardian of Dokdo,” an appropriate nickname for his dedication and contribution to the cause. Also known as the “Donation Angel,” Kim has donated a princely sum of money to the less fortunate. He once famously said, “I don’t know,” when he was asked how much money he had donated to national and charitable causes up to that point.

In addition to giving performances, Kim started a flower delivery service business to raise 20 billion won to build a hospital for severely disabled children in the country. After making donations and starting volunteer work in 1998, he was once chosen as the best candidate for Santa Claus among celebrities in 2008.