Justice for Survivors of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery-- 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (Nov 25 – Dec 10) Campaign 2010—Get Involved!
During the Asia-Pacific War (1932 – 1945), the Japanese military systematically forced some 200,000 women into sexual slavery through the development of military-run/overseen and military supplied brothels known euphemistically as “comfort stations.” For decades, surviv...ors have been fighting for full recognition and compensation from the Japanese government, but their demands have been met with lukewarm half-way measures that do not address the core of the issue. The survivors are very elderly, and now is the time to support them while they are still alive to receive a formal apology and reparations from the Japanese government.
16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence 2010 Support Campaign:
Please take a few minutes of your time to support women’s human rights throughout the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (Nov 25 – Dec 10) and help us send a clear message to the Japanese government that there is no more time to lose in rectifying the ills of the past! Support the women’s movement in Asia as they make their presence known in Tokyo for two significant events:
Nov 25th (International Day Against Violence Against Women): On this day, activists from the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan and surviving “comfort women” from South Korea will present extensive petitions to the Japanese Diet urging them to apologize officially and meet the demands of the elderly survivors while there is still time!
Dec 5th: 10th Anniversary Symposium of the Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal for the Trial of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery, a popular war crimes tribunal organized by women’s organizations in December of 2000. To this date, the Japanese government has not responded to the charges laid in this tribunal. Activists and survivors will gather to bring renewed momentum to the issue and to draw attention to the findings of this tribunal. (For more information on this, see here: http://tinyurl.com/34knug3 )
What we are asking you to do:
To support the survivors, take some time during the period of the 16 Days of Activism to…
• Contact your local Japanese consulate or embassy via email, fax, letter and phone to share your concern about this issue
• Visit the website of the Japanese Prime Minister and use the “contact us” form to send a message calling for the government to pass a formal resolution to meet the demands of the former “comfort women”. The survivors in Korea have been protesting on a weekly basis in front of the Japanese Embassy since 1992, with a list of seven demands (see sample letter below) that have not been fulfilled, even in part. Please let the Japanese government know that there is no more time to waste! Compose your own letter using the sample letter below. The website is here: http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/index-e.html and the direct link to the CONTACT US form can be found here: http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/forms/comment.html
• Encourage others to speak out: Email your associates, friends, family and all supporters of the “comfort women” and ask them to do the same. This “ripple effect” is crucial to making an impact. Let’s show the Japanese government that the global community stands behind the courageous survivors!
To the Honorable Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan:
I am writing during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (Nov 25 – Dec 10) to express my grave concern that the Japanese government has still not issued a formal apology or met the demands of the former so-called “comfort women,” victims of Japanese wartime policy to mobilize and coerce thousands of women to provide sexual ‘entertainment’ for Japanese troops during the Asia-Pacific War (1932-1945). The surviving “comfort women” are in their 80s and 90s, and deserve to have their human rights recognized while they are still alive.
In December 2000, the Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal for the Trial of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery explored this issue from a legal perspective and found the Japanese government responsible for these crimes, naming war criminals and suggesting how to make amends. The findings of this tribunal, although read out in The Hague, have been largely ignored. It is time to consider the findings of this tribunal seriously and make amends.
The Japanese government must show its commitment to peace, reconciliation, gender equality and human rights by passing a bill that puts measures in place to officially meet the demands of the “comfort women”: acknowledgement of the crime of military sexual slavery; an official apology from the government; investigation and disclosure of the history; compensation to victims or their families; inclusion in textbooks; erection of monuments; and punishment of criminals involved in the system.
Many countries around the world, including the US, Canada, and the European Union, have passed resolutions urging this action, and now even some cities in Japan have passed similar resolutions. The time is now---the Japanese government must look the survivors in the eyes and take responsibility!
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経歴 The Women's Human Rights Education institutes are offered annually in collaboration between the Centre for Women's Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and Fundacion Justicia y Genero of Costa Rica.
* Centre for Women's Studies in Education
* University of Toronto
Dr. Christiane Northrup, Canadian Union of Public Employees, RED TENT SISTERS, The Human Rights Brief, International Conference 2011 - Violence Against Women, House of Sharing