Advertisement

Taiwan seeking redress over 'comfort women' from Japan

Activists in the Philippines and the Netherlands are seeking an apology similar to the statement Tokyo offered Seoul.

By
Elizabeth Shim
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said his government has been seeking a Japanese apology for the recruitment of Taiwanese comfort women, about 2,000 in total. Japan occupied Taiwan between 1894 and 1945. File Photo by Kouji Fukagawa/UPI
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said his government has been seeking a Japanese apology for the recruitment of Taiwanese comfort women, about 2,000 in total. Japan occupied Taiwan between 1894 and 1945. File Photo by Kouji Fukagawa/UPI | License Photo

TAIPEI, Taiwan, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The Taiwanese government and activists in other third-party countries are seeking a settlement from Japan after Seoul and Tokyo reached a deal to resolve the issue of "comfort women," sex slaves forced to serve in Japanese military brothels during World War II.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister David Lin said Wednesday Japan and Taiwan have agreed to begin negotiations in January to address the issue of Taiwanese sex slaves, about 2,000 in total, who endured similar rights abuses under Japanese colonial rule.

Advertisement

Japan occupied Taiwan between 1894 and 1945, and an activists group, the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation, said there are 85 confirmed victims. Only four are alive and their average age is 90, Kyodo News reported.

Taiwan may be seeking a deal similar to the one reached on Monday. Tokyo had issued a formal apology to South Korea and agreed to pay $8.3 million for a fund that would go toward supporting the victims.

RELATED U.S. officials express support for South Korea, Japan 'comfort women' deal

In a separate statement, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said his government has been seeking a Japanese apology, Asia News Network reported.

"[Taiwan's] longstanding stance has been to request that Japan make a formal apology and compensate the Taiwanese comfort women," Ma said.

Advertisement

Japan's mobilization of sex slaves into wartime service was a transnational effort that involved the forcible recruitment of young women from across Asia, including women of Dutch descent.

RELATED China conducts massive military drill in South China Sea

Yonhap reported activists in the Philippines raised the issue of comfort women and said Manila, like Seoul, needs to negotiate with Tokyo.

Lila Pilipina, the organization, criticized Philippine President Benigno Aquino III for not taking a more proactive stance on the issue with Tokyo, and said the problem should be raised when Japanese Emperor Akihito visits the Philippines in January.

The Dutch Broadcast Foundation reported Monday a representative of Dutch comfort women, about 400 in total, said the group is glad to hear of Tokyo's apology, and that Dutch victims should receive a similar acknowledgement from the Japanese government.

RELATED Giant panda passes syringe through digestive tract

Latest Headlines