Wartime sex slave recounts experiences for the court

A Filipino woman allegedly forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers during World War II sang a Japanese song in a hearing May 16 on her damages suit at the Tokyo District Court.

The woman said she learned the song while being confined in an air-raid shelter.

Julia Porras, 68, of Quezon City, appeared before the district court to recount her experiences as an alleged sex slave. Cristeta Alcober, 70, and Rosario Nopueto, 70, also testified about their ordeals.

The three are among 46 people who filed a class-action suit against the Japanese government in 1993, demanding an apology and compensation of 20 million yen each.

Porras testified that in November 1944, Japanese soldiers came to Porras’ house in North Davao Province and abducted her at gunpoint. She was confined in an air raid shelter some 5 km away, and was repeatedly raped by Japanese soldiers for eight months, she told the session.

At the request of her lawyer, Porras sang one of four songs that she said she had learned after having heard the troops sing them every day.

“Asada asadayo asahi ga noboru (It’s morning, morning, the sun rises),” she sang before bursting into tears.

“They (the soldiers) surely looked happy when they were singing, but I could not possibly feel happy,” she said. “I felt an excruciating pain in my heart while listening to them.”

The next hearing is scheduled for June 27.