War time sex slave urges Japan to apologize
Updated: 2014-10-26 18:58
As the Kono Statement was compiled based on about a dozen Korean victims, the review only reinvestigated the Korean cases and concluded that no evidence was found that can prove the women were "forcibly recruited."
All Filipino victims found by Lila Pilipina testified that they were forcibly taken, Extremadura said, adding no case said they received payment for sexual services, referring to an absurd assertion here in Japan that comfort women were the equivalent of prostitutes and were well paid.
"I don't think the Japanese government ever heard about our cases, it only focuses on the Korean cases and said they found nothing that can prove forcible recruitment... it remains a question mark as to why it never mentions the Philippines, Indonesia, the Netherlands and China?"
In fact, even if in the Korean cases, the Kono Statement mentions that many cases were against women's will. "The Korean Peninsula was under Japanese rule in those days, and their recruitment, transfer, control, etc., were generally conducted against their will, through coaxing, coercion, etc.", according to an English version of the 1993 statement.
The English version on the Japanese Foreign Ministry's website, which, however, was labeled "unofficial translation", goes on to say that Japan "hereby reiterate our firm determination never to repeat the same mistake by forever engraving such issues in our memories through the study and teaching of history."
"The Government of Japan shall continue to pay full attention to this matter, including private researched related thereto." it added.
Extremadura, meanwhile, also urged the Philippine government to act tangibly to help the survivors and to negotiate with the Japanese government on compensation to the living victims, rather than accepting the statement.
She said her group sought dialogue with the congress and every president, including current Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, but no progress was made, although the government is very aware of the comfort women issue.
"In Japan, civic groups are strong, but the government here does not give them a chance," Extremadura said, adding that the Japanese government has to change and be responsible, or Japan can not be forgiven by the international community.
Without justice to victims like Reyes, "how can I forgive Japan, " Extremadura concluded.