- 13 Dec 2008
- Region: JAPAN
- Topic: Women's Rights
December 13 is one year since the European Union (EU) passed a resolution calling "on the Japanese Government formally to acknowledge, apologise, and accept historical and legal responsibility, in a clear and unequivocal manner, for its Imperial Armed Forces' coercion of young women into sexual slavery."Resolutions have now been adopted in six non-EU countries in addition to the EU, which represents all 27 EU member states. However, the government of Japan has yet to respond to these calls for action. From 23 to 25 November 2008, activists and survivors of Japan’s military sexual slavery system came together for the 9th Asian Solidarity Conference in Tokyo, Japan.
Members of Parliaments and activists from the EU, Canada, Netherlands, the Philippines and Australia sent video messages giving their support and solidarity.
Julia Ozorio Gamecho sent a message of solidarity to the women who, like her, had been forced into sexual slavery and are now calling for justice. Julia was the first woman to come forward and talk to the Truth and Justice Commission in Paraguay about how she was subjected to sexual slavery by the military during the Stoessner dictatorship there (1954-1989).
The conference issued a resolution in which "All the participants of the 9th Solidarity Conference express their deep respect to the survivors for their unrelenting struggle of many years. We also reconfirm our solidarity in our demand to the Government of Japan and the Diet of Japan."
In July of 2007 the US Congress passed a resolution, which describes Japan’s military sexual slavery system as "one of the largest cases of human trafficking in the 20th century." The US resolution was followed by resolutions being passed in the Parliaments of the Netherlands, UK and Canada in November and the EU in December.
In 2008, Taiwan and South Korea joined their calls by passing resolutions in October and November respectively. In Japan, Takarazuka City Council, Osaka, Kiyose City Council, Tokyo and Sapporo City Council all passed resolutions in 2008. Amnesty International calls on the Government of Japan to:
* accept full responsibility for the abuses of "comfort women"
* officially apologize for the crimes committed against the women
* provide adequate and effective compensation
13 December 2008
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