Filipino comfort women to Japan PM: We demand justice, junking of bases agreement (Photos)
July 27, 2013
Seventy or so years have passed since World War II, but Filipino comfort women still seek justice for the atrocities committed to them by Japanese imperial soldiers.
In time for Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s official visit to Malacanang, they picketed nearby Mendiola Bridge, demanding the justice that had been denied of them. At the same time, the lolas (elder women) of Filipino comfort women group Lila Pilipina demanded that the Aquino administration junk the proposed bases agreement between the Philippines and Japan and the United States.
“Japan never apologized for abusing Filipino women during World War II by using the comfort women system. In fact, PM Abe was also set to reverse (former PM) Kono’s statement of apology. (But he) was only forced to take a u-turn after an international backlash. Now, Japan is involved in talks with the Philippine government for military basing privileges. So what’s next, a new generation of comfort women?” said Rechilda Extremadura, executive director of Lila Pilipina.
The lolas said that such military bases would produce another generation of comfort, or abused, women.
“Like the US, Japan has been warmongering within the ASEAN region against China and North Korea. With the Aquino government’s full consent, our country is being used as a pawn by the two conniving powers,” said Joms Salvador, secretary-general of Gabriela, militant alliance of women and an active advocate of the lolas.
Prime Minister Abe was in Malacanang purportedly to talk with Philippine officials about “strengthening the two states’ military alliance” as part of Philippine efforts to strengthen maritime security along the disputed West Philippine Sea.
Comfort women are the women, often of minor age, who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese imperial soldiers during World War II. The Japanese army purportedly maintained comfort women brothels in countries such as the Philippines, China, Korea, and others.
Photos of the picket-protest of Lila Pilipina comfort women: