Accompanied by human-rights activists and lawmakers, three former comfort women staged a protest in Taipei, condemning the Japanese prime minister's statement denying the existence of sex slavery during World War II.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on March 1 that there was no evidence the Japanese military had forced Asian women to work as sex slaves, also known as "comfort women," during the war.
His statement has triggered a series of protests in the region, where historians believe as many as 200,000 women had been forced into sex slavery by the Japanese military.
Among the victims, 27 are still alive in Taiwan.
"Abe's statement has shocked many Asian countries ... It's a complete denial of historical facts," said Fran Gau (高小帆), executive director of the Women's Rescue Foundation. "We're here to demand the Japanese government admit the wrongdoing, apologize and compensate these victims."
"The Japanese prime minister is a liar. He hadn't even been born at the time, what does he know?" Su Yin-chiao (
"I was forced to take 30 [soldiers] a day. When I refused, they threatened to kill me," Huang Wu Hsiu-mei (吳黃秀妹), another victim, said.
"It has damaged my body severely ... My womb had to be cut out, and I couldn't have children," said Wu Huang, another victim.
Several lawmakers also participated in the protest, calling on the Japanese government to apologize.
The three victims, marched to Japan's representative office to present the letter of protest.
After reading the letter in front of the building, the demonstrators left it at the entrance as officials refused to see them.
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Korean activist stages comfort women protest at Japanese embassy in Seoul