Sexual slavery

Ahead of state visit, Filipino “comfort women” demand justice

Filipino women forced to work as 'comfort women' stage a protest in 2009. (JES AZNAR/AFP/Getty Images)

It is estimated that at least 1,000 women were enslaved in the Philippines as “comfort women” by the Japanese army during World War II – only 70 remain, and eight of those women are actively seeking justice ahead of next week’s state visit by Japan’s imperial couple.

According to Voice of America, the “lolas” – or grandmothers in Filipino – have long been asking for a public apology, inclusion in history books, and compensation from the Japanese government. “We still have not been given true justice because we women, we were innocent children. We lost so much. We lost our dignity. We were not able to study. And trauma is all we received at the hands of the Japanese soldiers,” said 85-year-old Narcisa Claveria, who was made to have sex at 13. At a press briefing, President Benigno Aquino said he would bring up compensation for the “comfort women” during the visit, despite Japan’s government having made reparations decades ago.

Japan is estimated to have enslaved 200,000 “comfort women” during World War II.

Read the full story at Voice of America.


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