A women’s rights group yesterday said it hopes that the talks between Japan and South Korea over the issue of “comfort women” could be expanded to include Taiwan.
Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida is scheduled to meet with South Korean Minister of Foreign Affiars Yun Byung-se in Seoul today to discuss the issue of women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II.
According to Japan’s English-language Nikkei Asian Review, Japan is to propose creating a government-backed fund to help former South Korean comfort women.
Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation executive director Kang Shu-hua (康淑華) said that she is happy to see Japan talking with South Korea to resolve the issue.
If the two nations reach an agreement on paying compensation, the decision should also apply to victims in other nations such as Taiwan, China, Indonesia and the Philippines, Kang said.
She said about 2,000 Taiwanese women were forced into sexual slavery during World War II, 58 of whom came forward to demand compensation.
However, during more than 20 years of negotiations, many of them died and only four remain, Kang said.
Taiwan previously filed a class action lawsuit with a district court in Tokyo to demand compensation, but lost the lawsuit mainly due to the statute of limitations, she said.
At a time when Japan is negotiating the comfort women issue with South Korea, the Taiwanese government should propose that similar issues faced by other nations be resolved together, Kang said.
She added that the compensation should be paid by the Japanese government rather than a private foundation.