TOKYO: Six former “comfort women” joined an international activist meeting in Tokyo on Saturday to demand Japan formally atone for sexual slavery in its wartime military brothels, an emotive legacy still haunting the country.
The Asian Solidarity Conference has been held 12 times since 1992 to press the Japanese government to admit responsibility for allegedly coercing thousands of women into providing sex to Japanese imperial army soldiers across the region.
The six former comfort women attending the meeting—from South Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia and the daughter of another from China—also called on the Japanese government to provide compensation to the former sexual slaves.
It comes after Tokyo announced a review of its landmark 1993 statement, in which it apologized for the military’s involvement in the coercive brothel system but did not admit the government’s complicity in it.
“We will discuss how the government should apologize and what measures it should take to put the apology into action,” the local organizers of the meeting said in a keynote address.