Rights advocacy groups demonstrated outside the Japanese representative office in Taipei yesterday morning as part of globally coordinated action to demand that the Japanese government apologize and pay compensation to those forced to serve as military comfort women during World War II.
Holding placards condemning Japanese politicians — including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, Okasa Mayor Toru Hashimoto and Representative Shintaro Ishihara — for denying or playing down the comfort women issue, more than 100 demonstrators joined their partners in the US, Canada, Germany, South Korea, the Philippines and Japan in demanding that the Japanese government apologize and compensate women forced to serve in military brothels during World War II.
“We are here — as we have been in past years — to demand that the Japanese government formally apologize to and compensate comfort women,” Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation executive director Kang Shu-hua (康淑華) said. “The Japanese government is both legally and morally responsible for the sexual exploitation.”
Photo: Pichi Chuang, Reuters
Kang said that as many as 2,000 Taiwanese women were forced to work in Japanese military brothels and that there are only six left alive — one of them is 92 years old, while the others are in their 80s.
“They have waited for all these years for an apology, how long do they still have to wait?” she asked.
Taiwan Women’s Link president Huang Sue-ying (黃淑英) said that forcing the women to suffer sexual exploitation and abuse was a war crime.
“You [the Japanese government] are wrong if you think the injustice will be buried with these former comfort women when they are all gone,” Huang said. “Generations of Taiwanese will continue to fight for justice for them, as long as we are still around.”
Labor Rights Association chairwoman Wang Chuan-ping (王娟萍) accused Japanese politicians who twist history of being accomplices in a war crime.
An official from the Japan Interchange Association’s General Affairs Department came out to receive the petition, but demonstrators questioned the sincerity of the office as it sent a lower-ranking official to receive the petition.
With the crowd chanting “apologize” and “representative, come out,” the association eventually sent Deputy Representative Yukuke Sami to receive the petition.
Three demands were listed in the petition — that the Japanese prime minister apologize to the comfort women on behalf of the Japanese government, with an endorsement from parliament; the Japanese government should recognize the fact that there were comfort women who were forced to work at military brothels and should never change its stance on the issue; and that Japan should have legislation prohibiting remarks that twist the facts about the comfort women.
The crowd vowed to return next year if the Japanese government fails to respond positively to the demands.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
TIME FOR CHANGE: Most of those at a public hearing organized by the DPP’s Chung Chia-pin also agreed that the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan should be abolished Taiwan needs a new constitution, as the current one was adopted in Nanjing in 1946, when the Republic of China (ROC) represented all of China, while the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan should be abolished, legal experts and academics said yesterday during a public hearing at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Chang Kun-sheng (張錕盛), a law professor and secretary-general of the Taiwan Administrative Law Association, said that it is time to draft a new constitution. The ROC Constitution was adopted during a National Constituent Assembly meeting in Nanjing shortly after World War II and before the Chinese Civil War had fully erupted,
The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among