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.
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.
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.
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.
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.