Skip to comments.WWII `comfort women' still waiting for apology
Posted on 03/12/2005 6:37:36 PM PST by bloggodocio
By Mo Yan-chih STAFF REPORTER Saturday, Mar 12, 2005
RIGHTING WRONGS: Women forced to work as sex slaves during World War II have launched a signature drive to pressure Tokyo into compensating the victims
Frustrated by the Japanese High Court's rejection of compensation for Taiwanese women forced to work as sex slaves for the Japanese army during World War II, activists will today launch a worldwide signature drive which they will eventually submit to the UN.
"The ruling, which is based on postwar treaties, is a slap in the face," said Cheng Chen-tao (àêÌÒ), an 83-year-old former sex slave, or "comfort woman," who filed a suit with eight other former wartime sex slaves. "I don't need any monetary compensation. I just want the world to know what the Japanese government did to comfort women, and that we deserve an official apology," she said.
Organized by the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation, which has been supporting Taiwanese comfort women for 11 years, today's campaign includes a street march and a petition drive in front of the Tansui MRT station.
Activists hope to gather 1 million signatures from nations where women were forced into sex slavery by the Japanese during World War II, including Korea, the Philippines, China, Indonesia and the Netherlands. The petition, which demands that Japan take legal responsibility for the crime, will be submitted to the UN in April, the foundation said.
Foundation president Kevin Liao (ÁÎÓ¢ÖÇ) said yesterday during a press conference that activists are now considering taking the case to the International Criminal Court.
"In addition, we call on the government of Taiwan to include the enslavement of the nation's women in history textbooks, as well as establish a cenotaph at a military warehouse in Hualien, where comfort women were held and abused," Liao said.
The foundation hopes to educate the public about this tragic chapter in Taiwan's history by documenting the stories of former comfort women.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Yu-ting (ÍõêÅæÃ) said the Japanese government should also face their history with honesty.
"What Japan did to comfort women is a violation of human rights, which has no expiration date for demanding compensation. We will keep pressuring the Japanese government until it offers a formal apology," Wang said.
In February, Japan's High Court rejected the suit brought by nine Taiwanese comfort women, saying that a 20-year period for demanding compensation had expired, and that international treaties state that reparations had to be made to states, not individuals.
It was the second legal defeat for the women, who were appealing an October 2002 ruling by the Tokyo District Court.
The women claimed that they were victims of sexual abuse by the Japanese army and that they continued to suffer discrimination after the war. Cheng said she was kidnapped on the way to school at the age of 18 and forced to work as a comfort woman.
"Relatives said that I bring shame to the family and asked me to leave after I went home. The only reason why I didn't commit suicide over the years is that I am still waiting for an apology," Cheng said while wiping away tears. According to the foundation, more than 50 suits have been filed against Japan over its wartime enslavement of women, mainly from South Korea and China.
Over the last few years, Taiwanese groups have cooperated with foreign NGOs to demand justice and repatriations from the Japanese government.
Lin said that legislators will work with the government to lobby the Japanese parliament to pass legislation that would allow the state to compensate Taiwanese comfort women.
But I thought imperial Japan was an innocent victim of the American atomic bomb!
Where in the hell is the money for American war prisoner's who were forced to work in the mines and such from the Japanese like Mitsubishi Oops forgot we are not as good and therefore undeserving. A good read would be Ghost Solders.
good luck.....as good an ally they are now, the Japanese were the most blood thirsty bas**rds in WWII....made the Germans look like Girl Scouts when it came to how ther treated prisoners
What is it with the modern obsession with apologies?
I have always felt that any apology I had to agressively campaign for probably isn't worth the breaths it takes for the words to be uttered.
Apologies (like words) may be sincere, and they may also be cheap. If an apology comes my way for a past wrong, I will evaluate it and proceed. In the meanwhile, I just move ahead in life, doing what I do, and not place any undue value in m apology.
Seems to me there's enough money in this that the former "comfort women" could hire Yakuza to take care of the problem of getting moral if not legal satisfaction.
I'm sure, but that being said, I do think the modern fixation with apologies is very misplaced.
Waiting for an apology from the Japanese is like waiting for wisdom and common sense from liberals. Don't hold your breath, ladies.
This will never happen. Japan doesn't even like to admit it was in World War II. It must have been some other country. They are in a total state of denial, and yet they were the most brutal and sub-human of all the axis powers including the Nazis.
I had an uncle and two cousins who were with the Royal Rifles of Canada in Hong Kong when it fell to the Japanese. Two of them survived the next few years as "guests" of the Imperial Japanese. One died there. They worked as slave labour for whatever the empire happened to want at the time and got often horrific abuse in return. Since the Japanese at that time were not signatories to the Geneva Convention, they figured that the prisoners were their theirs to use and treat however they wanted (execrable), and since these men had surrendered rather than die in battle, they were considered less than human beings to begin with. I have a great interest in Japanese history and culture, but they should understand if I don't have any sense of humour about PoW issues.
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