WWII Filipino sex slaves seek justice from Japan. Reportedly, they were forced to provide sex to Japanese soldiers during World War II.
One of the victims, Hilaria Bustamante has vowed to demand justice during the historic visit by the Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michko. Hilaria is the oldest known living “Filipino comfort woman”, as reported by Yahoo News.
She said, “Many of us have died without seeing justice, but we will fight until our last breath”. She further stated, “We want to tell Emperor Akihito: pay your debts. We are holding you accountable for the sufferings of the comfort women during the war.”
Although, Japanese leaders and senior officials have apologized to the victims, the compensation was sourced mostly from private sectors rather than the government.
However, the victims have not considered these efforts as sincere and demanded over the years that apology should come with reimbursements and it should be directly from the government. They have also demanded that their plight should be registered officially in the history books, as reported by Yahoo News.
Meanwhile, Philippines government has not committed to initiate negotiation on the issue. Philippines foreign affairs spokesperson Charles Jose informed that the matter would not be raised during the visit of Japanese Emperor.
Al Jazeera reported that last December Japan reached a deal with South Korea and offered $8.7 million as compensation for war-time sex slavery. It was not planning to do the same with Philippines.
Regarding the South Korean sex slaves, Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida said, “The comfort women issue… occurred with the involvement of the Japanese military… and the Japanese government acutely feels its responsibility.”
Nevertheless, the Filipinas plea for justice has been repeatedly ignored by both governments. Victims have joined countless protests, appeared in public hearings and also faced the court in both countries, but nothing positive resulted by those efforts.
Noteworthy that Japanese Emperor Akihito four-day state visit is to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Philippines and Japan.