House committee backs bill for Japan apology on comfort women

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2008 05:57 AM | Updated as of Mar 12 2008 01:57 PM

The House committee on women and gender equality on Tuesday approved on second reading House Resolution 124 calling on the Japanese government to apologize over sexual slavery of Filipino comfort women during World War II (WWII).

Gabriela party-list group said the resolution is urging the Philippine government to appeal to the Japanese government to acknowledge, apologize and accept its responsibility over the sexual atrocities it committed against Filipino women.

The group said the measure will bring the Philippines on equal footing with the United States, Canada and Netherlands, which approved similar resolutions last year.

The resolutions from these countries have sought an apology from Japan over atrocities and crimes it committed during WWII, it added.

Reports said the Department of Foreign Affairs had warned that the compensation provision in the measure could pose problems to the prevailing understanding between the Philippine and Japanese governments.

According to blog www.labanforthelolas.blogspot.com, comfort women were 200,000 girls and women who were abducted by the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII and who were forced into a life of systematic rape and enslavement.

In the Philippines, according to the blog, there were about 1,000 girls abducted and raped by the Japanese. LILA Pilipina is one of three major organizations of Filipina survivors.

The allegations, however, have been a subject of debate, especially in Japan.

The issue has also affected Japan’s relations with countries that were affected by the controversial practice during the Japanese occupation in WWII such as Korea, China, Indonesia, Philippines and Taiwan.