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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 February 21 - 27  > Civic group calls for Japan’s apology and compensation to East Timorese ‘comfort women’
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2007 February 21 - 27 [HISTORY]

Civic group calls for Japan’s apology and compensation to East Timorese ‘comfort women’

February 21, 2007
The East Timor Japan Coalition, a citizens’ group in support of East Timor, on February 20 made representations to the Foreign Ministry demanding that Japan offer an apology and compensation to East Timorese victims of sexual crimes that the former Japanese Imperial Army had committed in Japan-occupied East Timor during WWII.

Handing a written request to a ministry official, Matsuno Akihisa, professor at the Osaka University of Foreign Studies, and Furusawa Kiyoko, assistant professor at Tokyo Women’s Christian University, pointed out that those women who had been forced to become sex slaves (“comfort women”) have suffered from infertility, discrimination, and traumas, and that they have been neglected since the end of WWII.

The two professors demanded that the Japanese government without delay acknowledge their sufferings, issue an official apology, and hold consultations with the East Timorese government, the victims, and relevant organizations to find out ways to compensate the victims.

On February 20, 1942, the former Japanese Imperial Army invaded Timor and occupied the island for more than three years until the war ended. During that period, the Japanese Army used many local women as sex slaves.
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