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Tokyo governor's remarks an insult to comfort women: MOFA

Tokyo governor's remarks an insult to comfort women: MOFA

Taipei, Aug. 25 (CNA) Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara's assertion that women were not forced into sexual servitude by the Japanese military during World War II seriously insulted the character of these women, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Saturday. The ministry was responding to several reports by mainstream Japanese media Friday in which Ishihara said there was "no evidence" that the women, known euphemistically in Taiwan as "comfort women," were forced to provide sex to Japanese soldiers during the war. One report by Jiji.com even cited Ishihara as saying that prostitution was a very good way of making a living at that time and that there were no signs that the women had entered the sex trade unwillingly. In other reports, Osaka Governor Toru Hashimoto said "no evidence" existed that proved Imperial Japanese Army soldiers had tricked women into sexual slavery.
Taiwan's MOFA responded that Japan's former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono apologized to the comfort women in 1993, and it regretted that Ishihara decided to deny that Japan had deceived and forced women from neighboring countries into sexual slavery during World War II.
The Tokyo governor's statements have insulted the character of these women and hurt their feelings again, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry urged Japanese politicians to take the issue seriously, show respect for these unfortunate women, and listen to their appeals, and it called on Japan's government to resolve the issue soon.
Taiwan's government has repeatedly asked the Japanese government to sincerely apologize to the women forced into sexual slavery and offer them compensation for their ordeal. It vowed to continue to assist Taiwanese comfort women in their appeals for justice and efforts to reclaim their dignity, the statement said.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the formation in Taiwan of a "comfort women" movement seeking compensation from the Japanese government, but many of the women have died over time.
Of the more than 2,000 known Taiwanese women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese imperial army, only 9 are still alive, according to the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation, which has worked to advance the interests of the comfort women over the past two decades. (By Emmanuelle Tzeng and C.J. Lin)


Updated : 2021-05-11 19:51 GMT+08:00