Pres. Aquino urged to reopen comfort women issue with Japan

Dec. 31, 2015

DAVAO CITY – Women’s rights advocates today urged the Philippine government to reopen the issue on comfort women with the Japanese government after Japan and South Korea concluded a diplomatic stage in resolving the issue of comfort women in Korea.

The local comfort women advocacy group Lila Pilipina said the Aquino government should take concrete steps in bringing Tokyo to task in acknowledging its culpability in crimes against Filipino women.

Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan said they support the call of Lila Pilipina.

Ilagan said the agreement was still “largely very unsatisfactory because it did not address the women’s long-standing demands that Japan admit its war policy to criminally enslave 200,000 victims”, but she gave credit to the South Korean government for initiating the diplomatic efforts in making Japan give in to pressure.

“Instead of emulating Korea for its principled stance against Japan’s militarism, President Aquino chose to open up Philippine territory to the invasion of Japanese military through the proposed PH-Japan Visiting Forces Agreement. This servility is more than a slap to our own comfort women who until now get no justice, it also reminds us how the Aquino family collaborated with Japan’s occupation of our country during the Second World War,” Ilagan said.

The women’s groups demanded for “a full apology and the formal admission by the Japanese government of its criminal intent and systematic culpability in the massive conscription of women in the occupied countries to serve as sex slaves of Japanese soldiers during the Pacific War.”

“Until now Japan has not issued any apology to Filipino comfort women, while the apology issued yesterday to the Korean women, even if it contained “most sincere apologies and remorse” lacked the admission that they have sought all through the years of clamor,” said Ilagan. (

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