Thursday, 20 December 2007, 6:58 am
Press Release: Amnesty International
European Parliament adopts resolution on comfort women
Amnesty International welcomes the adoption of resolution on survivors of Japan's military sexual slavery system (the so-called 'comfort women' system) by the European Parliament (Resolution B60525/2007) on 13 December 2007. The resolution, which was passed with a clear majority, contributes to the global voice calling on Japanese authorities to take the concrete step of apologising to the survivors of Japan's military sexual slavery system before and during the World War II.
The resolution urges the Government of Japan to 'formally acknowledge, apologise, and accept historical and legal responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed Force's coercion of young women into sexual slavery' and to 'implement effective administrative mechanisms to provide reparations to all surviving victims of the 'comfort women' system and the families of its deceased victims'.
This resolution joins the growing worldwide call for justice for the survivors of Japan's military sexual slavery system. In July 2007, the US House of Representatives passed resolution 121. In November the Dutch unanimously passed a motion calling for justice for comfort women. The Canadian Parliament unanimously passed Motion 291 on 28 November.
Amnesty International urges Parliaments in other countries to take a similar stand and welcomes recent moves in the Philippines, Germany and the UK to consider tabling resolutions.
Amnesty International strongly urges the Government of Japan to heed the international voice calling for justice for the survivors of Japan's military sexual slavery system and to:
* accept full responsibility for the 'comfort women' system in a way that it publicly acknowledges the harm that these women suffered and restores the dignity of the survivors;
* apologise fully for the crimes committed against these women;
* provide adequate and effective compensation to survivors and their immediate families directly from the government;
* include an accurate account of the sexual slavery system in Japanese education text books on World War II; and
* publicly denounce sexual violence against women whenever and wherever it occurs
Tens of thousands of women were forcibly abducted and deceived into sexual slavery into Japanese military controlled "comfort stations" organized in the different occupied countries before and during World War II. Amnesty International believes that the crimes perpetrated against these women amount to crimes against humanity. To this day, the Japanese government has refused adequately and unequivocally to acknowledge its responsibility for the crimes committed against former "comfort women".