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Protest in Taipei calls for Japanese recognition of comfort women

59 masked sit-in protestors demand apology and compensation outside Japan’s representative office in Taipei

Sit-in protest in action.

Sit-in protest in action. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A protest was held outside Japan's representative office in Taipei on August 14, to mark International Memorial Day for Comfort Women and to call for an apology and compensation from the Japanese government.

59 masked people participated in a sit-in protest outside the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, to recognize the 59 known Taiwanese comfort women survivors, as found by the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation in 1992.

The term "comfort women" is a euphemism used to describe the women from across Asia who were forced to work in Japan's military brothels.

The 59 protestors who wore black shirts and white face masks, sat in silence for 8 minutes and 14 seconds, which is also today's date.

At other times during the protest, the people shouted "Japanese government should apologize," reported CNA.

Huang Shu-ling (黃淑玲), head of the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation said that comfort women were treated inhumanely, and asked the Japanese government for an apology, compensation, and for text books to be revised, reported CNA.

A letter of protest was given to representatives of the Japanese government.

The event was in-part organized by the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation (台北市婦女救援社會) and Women's March Taiwan (台灣女性長征). The 59 demonstrators wore black shirts which promoted the Ama Museum, Taiwan's first women's rights museum which is located in Dadaocheng, Taipei.

A bronze statue in recognition of Taiwanese comfort women was also unveiled in Tainan City (台南市) today, the first of its kind in Taiwan. During the unveiling ceremony, former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) called for Japan to apologize to Taiwan's comfort women, reported CNA.

Taiwan Premier, William Lai (賴清德) made similar comments back in October 2017, when he re-affirmed his past position and said he would like Japan to apologize to Taiwanese comfort women.