Activists are calling for a boycott of Mitsubishi products as controversy grows over an article about "comfort women" by Harvard Law professor J. Mark Ramseyer. File Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE
March 1 (UPI) -- Online activists are calling for the boycott of Mitsubishi products less than a month after a Harvard law professor came under criticism for his article on "comfort women."
Korean Americans affiliated with community groups in California said in the statement on Change.org that they are calling for a comprehensive boycott of products from the Japanese company to protest J. Mark Ramseyer, South Korean news service News 1 reported Monday.
Ramseyer is the Mitsubishi professor of Japanese legal studies at Harvard Law School.
"Please join us in boycotting all Mitsubishi products, including but not limited to vehicles, TVs, and electronic parts, as well as AC and HVAC systems," the statement read.
"To continue to patronize Mitsubishi would be to give tacit endorsement to the outrageous and insulting claims made by Prof. Ramseyer, who occupies the chair endowed by the Mitsubishi Corporation."
In an article that published online by the International Review of Law and Economics, Ramseyer had said that comfort women, many of them teenage girls, took part in a "consenting, contractual process."
Ramseyer has said he did not cite any Korean sources for the paper. Victims have said they were raped daily and beaten in brothels and witnessed the death of women who fell ill from disease or exhaustion.
The petition, which collected more than 1,000 signatures Monday, is being circulated at a time when other Korean American groups are raising awareness about the issue.
Baik-kyu Kim, chair of the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force in Georgia, recently held a rally condemning Ramseyer.
Heather Fenton, mother of U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., took part in the rally in Atlanta, South Korean television network JTBC reported Monday.
The Korean American Society of Massachusetts also said it plans to hold a rally on Saturday outside Harvard University.
Harvard Law students previously have said Ramseyer ignored important research that indicates the women were coerced or kidnapped by agents of the Japanese government during World War II.