News / Asia

    Philippine 'Comfort Women' Demand Justice Ahead of Japanese Imperial Visit

    Philippine women, who said they were detained and used as sex slaves by the Japanese military during World War Two, display Origami paper cranes to symbolize peace during a forum to demand justice, compensation and an apology from Japan, in Quezon city, Philippines, Jan. 22, 2016.
    Philippine women, who said they were detained and used as sex slaves by the Japanese military during World War Two, display Origami paper cranes to symbolize peace during a forum to demand justice, compensation and an apology from Japan, in Quezon city, Philippines, Jan. 22, 2016.
    Simone Orendain

    Philippine women who said they were detained and used as sex slaves by the Japanese military during World War Two are demanding that President Benigno Aquino raise their plight during the state visit next week of Japan’s imperial couple.

    For more than two decades the “lolas,” or grandmothers in Filipino, have been asking for three things from the Japanese government: a public apology, compensation from Japan’s government, and inclusion in Philippine history books.

    At a news forum with several lolas in Manila, Lola Narcisa Claveria, 85, said it has been a long wait.

    Seeking 'true justice'

    “We still have not been given true justice because we women, we were innocent children. We lost so much. We lost our dignity. We were not able to study. And trauma is all we received at the hands of the Japanese soldiers," Claveria said.

    Claveria was taken from her home and made a sex slave when she was about 13, said Richilda Extremadura, the head of Lila Pilipina, a women’s advocacy group representing the lolas.

    Extremadura said Claveria’s father, a village leader in a northern province town, was skinned alive while her mother and sisters were raped and two other siblings were killed with bayonets.

    Lila Pilipina estimates at least 1,000 Philippine nationals were victims of the Japanese military’s “comfort women” system.

    In recent years, many of the remaining 200 lolas have died, leaving just 70.

    Extremadura said only about eight are active in fighting for their cause.

    In 1993, the Japanese government acknowledged the military carried out a system of prostitution. But it did not admit complicity in the system.

    International estimates indicate the system used approximately 200,000 sex slaves.

    Compensation fund

    Japan’s government created a women’s compensation fund financed through private donations that some in the government felt was unnecessary.

    The Philippines accepted the compensation.

    Extremadura said while Japan and South Korea reached an agreement in December on more than $8 million in compensation through a non-government entity for the scores of thousands of South Korean victims, the women are not to speak of what happened to them.

    She said if the Philippines and Japan were to ever reach this stage over the comfort woman issue, she hoped Aquino would speak to each survivor.

    "Hopefully, Aquino will remember that he has a mother, he has grandmothers, and he must represent the cause of the Filipino comfort women to Emperor Akihito because Emperor Akihito, although he is not involved in the policies of his country … he is a very influential man.”

    Last week, Aquino said at a news briefing reparations had already been made by Japan decades ago. But he said he would likely bring up the subject of trying to get additional help for the women during the imperial visit next week.

    Philippine Congresswoman Emmi de Jesus said she introduced a resolution this week ahead of the visit, seeking the Philippine government’s position on this comfort women issue.

    Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will be in the Philippines January 26-30.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    January 23, 2016 9:31 PM
    This is total fabrication of the liberals form West, Korea and China to smear the good name of Nippon.
    The West was the reason Nippon military conquest of Asia to save Asia from the colonization.
    Viva! Nippon.


    by: jamawns from: japan
    January 23, 2016 1:35 AM
    This is perfect wrong recognition and false statement.
    "International estimates indicate the system used approximately 200,000 sex slaves."

    Author must show the evidence as soon as possible. Otherwise, perjury and calumny.

    Comfort women are not sex slave, but high-paid prostitutes.
    They earned a month as much as soldier's annual income.
    3.5 years of their professional duty brought them soldier's life-time income. Who paid such to slaves?

    BTW,
    When Asian Women's fund of humanitarian support, what did they did?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora