Taipei demands redress, apology for sex slaves

TAIPEI (Kyodo) Taiwan’s parliament on Tuesday adopted a resolution seeking an apology and compensation from Japan for forcing women into sexual slavery during the war.

In a rare show of unity, the island’s ruling and opposition parties passed by a unanimous vote the Taiwan Comfort Women Resolution, calling on Tokyo to “accept historical responsibility for its World War II sex slavery institution, and apologize to and compensate surviving victims.”

The United States and European Union passed resolutions last year calling on Tokyo to own up to its wartime military brothel program that forced thousands of women and girls to become prostitutes, euphemistically referred to as “comfort women” in Japan.

“I don’t think the resolution will have any specific impact on Taiwan’s relations with Japan. We just hope Japan will begin to hear the voices of the world on this issue,” said Huang Sue-ying, an opposition Democratic Progressive Party legislator and cosponsor of the resolution.

Taiwan’s parliament, or Legislative Yuan, timed the resolution to roughly coincide with a similar resolution passed by South Korea’s National Assembly last month, Huang said. That resolution calls on Japan to compensate surviving comfort women in South Korea.