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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-30-99

UN Panel: WWII "Comfort Women" Due Compensation

The United Nations Subcommission on Human Rights ruled Thursday that international law mandates the Japanese government to take responsibility for crimes committed by its soldiers during WWII.

The Japanese military lured and/or abducted as many as 200,000 young and poor women from Korea, China, Indonesia, and the Philippines during WWII for the purpose of sexually servicing its soldiers. These so-called "comfort women" were kidnapped or tricked into entering the military brothels by men who made false promises of legitimate employment. There, the women were raped by as many as 20 or 30 Japanese soldiers each day.

In response to pressure from women's advocates and former "comfort women," the Japanese government created the Asian Peace National Fund for Women, a private organization, to quietly distribute modest compensation to former comfort women without offering a formal apology. Most of the women refused the Fund's money, claiming that Japan must take responsibility for its actions.

Media Resources: Washington Post - August 28, 1999


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