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Still no justice for comfort women, group says

Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - December 8, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Justice remains elusive for former Filipino comfort women 74 years after the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, a women’s group said yesterday.

The Aquino government never had the political will to assert justice for the comfort women who were turned into sex slaves by Japanese soldiers, Rechilda Extremadura, executive director of Lila Pilipina, said.

Extremadura said President Aquino had the opportunity to bring up the issue with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meet in Manila.

“Korea and China have made the comfort women in their countries a priority issue. As a result, they have achieved not only moral gains but compensation as well for the victims,” Extremadura said.

“We can forgive but we can never forget as long as there is one remaining lola who, in her twilight years, continues to suffer from the sexual abuse she experienced during the war,” she added.

She said Japan has been flexing its military muscle in the Asia-Pacific as a loyal partner of the United States amid the growing Chinese military strength in the region.

Japanese Emperor Akihito is scheduled to visit the Philippines from Jan. 26 to 30, 2016.

“They may not be able to stage a protest in front of the Japanese embassy during the emperor’s visit but their children and grandchildren had taken up the advocacy for justice for their grandmothers,” Extremadura said.

The children and relatives of the comfort women had formed the group PAMANA (Pamilya at mga Anak ng Lolang Nagkakaisa) to continue to demand recognition and compensation for the victims.

Lila Pilipina is an organization of former Filipino comfort women.

ACIRC ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION EXTREMADURA JAPANESE EMPEROR AKIHITO JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER SHINZO ABE KOREA AND CHINA LILA PILIPINA LOLANG NAGKAKAISA PRESIDENT AQUINO RECHILDA EXTREMADURA UNITED STATES
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