Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Taiwan observed the Memorial Day for Comfort Women on Wednesday with street processions and several activist groups participating, according to a South Korean press report.
Yonhap reported the day of observation, which began to be recognized as an official day of remembrance in South Korea after December 2017, is being recognized at the grass-roots level in Taiwan, a former colony of Japan.
The majority of comfort women recruited into Japanese wartime brothels were from the Korean Peninsula or mainland China, but a significant number of the women also came from Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia.
On Wednesday local Taiwanese organizations, including the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation, held a rally to raise awareness of Taiwanese victims of Japanese World War II policies. The rally took place outside the Taipei office of the Japan Taiwan Exchange Association, according to Yonhap.
The street procession included about 10 Taiwanese politicians and activists in attendance, in addition to dozens of other participants. More than 50 police were dispatched to the area, ahead of the event.
Wang Chuan-ping, executive director of Taiwan's labor and human rights association, said history cannot be erased.
"We ask the current government [of President Tsai Ing-wen] to no longer ignore the issue" of comfort women's rights, Wang said.
Wang Yu-min, a lawmaker with the opposition Kuomintang, criticized Taiwan for not being more assertive toward Japan.
"South Korea, both at the government and civic levels, have taken a strong position, asking for Japan's apology, but Taiwan's civic groups and government have been extremely passive," Wang said.
A Taiwanese source said the country has been holding the rally after 2017.
In South Korea, ceremonies took place in Seoul to honor the memories of comfort women.
KBS News reported about 300 people, including victims and families, attended a ceremony at the Kim Koo Museum in the South Korean capital.