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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 March, 2005, 10:07 GMT
Japan WWII sex slave redress call
By Chris Hogg
BBC News

Former Taiwanese "comfort woman", Cheng Chen Tao, 83, at a press conference to denounce the Japanese court ruling 11/03/05
The women say they suffered continued discrimination
Taiwanese women forced to become sex slaves by the Japanese during World War II are campaigning for Japan to take legal responsibility for the crime.

They are hoping to collect a million signatures for a petition they, and other victims across Asia, intend to present to the UN in April.

Last month, the Japanese High Court rejected a claim for compensation by nine of the so-called "comfort women".

One of the women described the ruling as "a slap in the face".

Even though Japan's wartime enslavement of women happened more than half a century ago, the pain is still very real.

The nine women who took their case to court claimed they were the victims of sexual abuse by the Japanese army.

Raising awareness

They said they had continued to suffer discrimination after the war, with relatives telling them they had brought shame on the family.

They sought an official apology from the Japanese.

The high court in Tokyo rejected their demand on the basis that the claims were filed many years after the abuse occurred.

Now the women are working with other victims - in Korea, the Philippines, China, Indonesia and the Netherlands - to bring the issue to the attention of the UN.

They also want the Taiwanese government to make sure their plight is included in school textbooks, and build a memorial at a site believed to have housed a military brothel 60 years ago.


SEE ALSO:
Country profile: Japan
15 Dec 04 |  Country profiles
Japan to end WWII sex slave fund
24 Jan 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Japan rejects sex slave appeal
25 Mar 03 |  Asia-Pacific
Japan court rejects 'slave' suit
11 Mar 03 |  Asia-Pacific
Japanese cabinet donates to WWII fund
02 Jul 02 |  Asia-Pacific


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