South Korean, Filipina wartime sex slaves demand just compensation from Japanese government over comfort women deal
Jan 26, 2016 08:41 PM EST
South Korean and Filipina women forced to work as sex slaves for Japanese military during wartime demand just compensation from Japan's government. Protests arose after Japan and South Korea settled a deal on comfort women in December.
Former Asian sex slaves are seeking a direct apology and a just compensation from Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Jakarta Post reported that two South Korean women currently in their 80's rejected the deal made between Japan and South Korea in December regarding wartime comfort women. Japan vowed to give a fund of 1 billion yen to South Korean wartime victims of sex abuse.
The two women, Lee Ok-sun and Kang Il-chul, were angry because they said the deal disregarded the feelings of rape victims. They added that Abe did not meet and consult them, making them look like fools. The elderly women also said that the fund set up by Japan was not considered as formal compensation, only a humanitarian act.
However, Japanese spokesman Kenko Sone said that Abe has no immediate future plans to meet the two women and other former sex slaves in person. Lee and Kang represent the thousands of Asian women raped by the Japanese in make-shift military brothels back in World War II.
According to The Guardian, Kang was forced to have sex with more than 10 soldiers every day in a tiny room in China. She told reporters that she suffered beatings from the Japanese military authorities. "I was punched and beaten so much that my body was covered in bruises. I still get headaches," said Kang.
Kang said that she bears no grudge against Japanese citizens. Instead, she resents the Japanese government for denying their existence as comfort women. In 1993, Yohei Kono, former Japan chief cabinet secretary, admitted the presence of comfort stations and women sex slaves during WWII.
The elderly South Korean women's protests followed after Filipinas who suffered sexual abuse in the war called for justice from the Philippine government and the Japanese emperor and empress. The Lila Pilipina, an organization formed by 174 comfort women, asked President Benigno Aquino to raise their concerns to Emperor Akihito.
Professor Ricardo Jose of the University of the Philippines said that the issue of comfort women is a historical wrong committed by Japan yet to be corrected. He described it as a case of organized sexual slavery, reported The Japan Times.
The Lila Filipina wanted Japan to add the historical account of comfort women in the country's school textbooks. They said that the Japanese government has not heard their cries, and the Filipino administration also showed a lack of support for their plight.