By Adrian Pascua
By Adrian Pascua
Imagine being dragged out of your home and put to work in a brothel. World War II sex slaves ranging from Philippines to South Korea are looking for retribution. The prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, is denying these allegations. Historians estimate around 200,000 women from around the Southeast Asia.
The survivors are now stepping forward and asking the Japanese government to take responsibility for their actions. The survivors are saying that they were kidnapped off the street and made prostitutes for the Japanese soldiers. The Japanese soldiers called them “comfort women.”
At this time the Japanese Prime Minister is saying that they did have brothels for their frontline soldiers, but they did not kidnap any women and force them into prostitution. The women were pulled from Taiwan, China, Korea and the Philippines. The survivors, mostly now in their 80s and improvised are now seeking compensation for the humiliation they had to go through during World War II.
In 1995, a fund was set aside by the Japanese government to compensate the sex slaves. Of the thousands that were involved ,only 285 women have accepted the money. Many now gather in front of Japanese embassies around Southeast Asia in order to protest the lies that Prime Minister Abe are telling. Many of the survivors’ stories are the same.
They were taken by Japanese military officers and in some cases by their own country men. Then by force told to undress and be examined by a Japanese military doctor, then raped. In 1993, Japan made statement acknowledging the military’s role in “recruiting” women.
The fact that so many are stepping forward cannot be ignored. Japan can’t deny the fact that all these women stories all match up. They can not deny the pain that they caused during the World War II. The truth is that Prime Minster Abe is only denying what everyone already knows: Japan is guilty for its war crimes.
The mental damage done to so many of these women alone was great. The physical damage done was even greater. Many women became sterile, those who died, were thrown out on to the streets. The fact that these women remember the experience so vividly is testament enough on how badly these women were injured.
Those who didn’t comply were beaten and stabbed into submission. The Japanese prime minister should not deny their past, but accept it. You can’t deny history, but you can at least atone for it.
No country has the right to say that they ran brothels all over the world, kidnapped women off the street and say that it never happened. When you kidnap somebody from their homes and force them into prostitution, the least you could do is apologize.
There are 174 women survivors from the Philippines, 113 survivors in South Korean, and so few exist in Southeast Asia. The numbers lessen every year, but the Japan’s past will not be forgotten anytime soon.