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Legislative Yuan ratifies comfort women resolution

Legislative Yuan ratifies comfort women resolution

The Legislative Yuan on Tuesday adopted a resolution on comfort women, demanding an apology from the Japanese government to the women who were forced to provide sexual services to its army during World War II.
Taiwan's legislature became the second country in Asia whose leading representative body expressed its position on comfort women, following a resolution adopted last month by South Korea's National Assembly that urged Japan to apologize to the comfort women.
Taiwan's resolution asked the Japanese government to "formally recognize, apologize for and accept the historical responsibility of its army's sex-slave system during World War II with a clear attitude."
It also insisted that Japan "apologize to and indemnify the survivors, in order to restore the victims' reputation and dignity."
The resolution, proposed jointly by four legislators from the ruling Kuomintang and opposition Democratic Progressive Party with the support of 23 other legislators, also requests that the Japanese government educate present and future generations on Japan's wartime practices with accurate historical facts.
Wu Hsiu-mei, a 92-year-old former comfort woman, said at a press conference she was glad that the Taiwanese government had acted as a voice for the comfort women, adding that during more than 10 years of protests, the Japanese government has always pretended to be deaf and dumb.
"Now that the resolution is adopted, we hope that the historical truth can be recorded accurately in history textbooks, " said Cynthia Kao, executive director of the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation (TWRF).
According to the foundation, existing textbooks have only limited and vague passages on comfort women.
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said Monday that comfort women are an existing fact, and the Japanese court's unfavorable verdict on the comfort women issue was "unjust."
Nine comfort women in Taiwan filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government in 1999, but it was dismissed by the Japanese supreme court in 2005.
The lawsuits of victims from other countries, such as South Korea and the Philippines, have also been dismissed. Only two cases, filed by Chinese women, are still on trial and will be ruled on in the near future.
In addition to South Korea and Taiwan, the United States, the European Union, the Netherlands and Canada also passed resolutions on the same issue last year.
During World War II, the Japanese army kidnapped or abducted at least 400,000 women in China, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines to satisfy its soldiers' sexual needs.
In Taiwan, the estimated number of victims varies from 1,200 to 2,000, but only 58 have been confirmed by the foundation, and now only 20, whose average age is 85, are still alive.


Updated : 2021-07-26 12:55 GMT+08:00