|European Parliament passes resolution on justice for "Comfort Women"
BRUSSELS, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The European Parliament (EP) approved on Thursday a resolution on Justice for the "Comfort Women," women forced into sex slavery in Asia before and during World War II by Japanese Imperial Army, urging the Japanese government to formally apologize and compensate for the victims and their families.
After a debate at a session in Strasbourg, France, 57 representatives of MEPs passed the resolution with 54 in favor and3 abstentions.
The document has called "on the Japanese government formally to acknowledge, apologies, and accept historical and legal responsibility, in a clear and unequivocal manner, for its Imperial Armed Forces' coercion of young women into sexual slavery, known to the world as 'comfort women', during its colonial and wartime occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands from the 1930s until the end of World War II."
Author of the resolution Raul Romeva, a member of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance in the EP, urged the Japanese government to comply with international law to do justice for the victims.
"We are talking about 200,000 women who were forced into sex slavery before and during the World War II by the Japanese Imperial Army," Romeva told the parliament.
"Sixty-two years later, survivors are still waiting for justice to be done," he said. "Throughout their life, they suffer from mental and physical in health and extreme poverty."
He said that it was striking that "the Japanese government has not comply with international law regarding reparations and compensations and rehabilitation to satisfy their basic needs" and not formally apologized.
The resolution has called on the Japanese government to implement effective administrative mechanisms to provide reparations to all surviving victims of the "comfort women" system and the families of its deceased victims.
It has also urged the Japanese parliament (the Diet) to take legal measures "to remove existing obstacles to obtaining reparations before Japanese courts; in particular, the right of individuals to claim reparations from the government should be expressly recognized in national law, and cases for reparations for the survivors of sexual slavery, as a crime under international law, should be prioritized, taking into account the age of the survivors."
It has prodded "the government of Japan to refute publicly any claims that the subjugation and enslavement of 'comfort women' never occurred."
The resolution has also encouraged the Japanese people and government to take further steps to recognize the full history of their nation, to foster awareness in Japan of its actions in the 1930s and 1940s, including in relation to a "comfort women," and to educate current and future generations about those events.
The MEPs urged EP President Hans-Gert Poettering to forward this resolution to the EU Council, the Commission, to the governments and parliaments of the EU member states and Japan, the U.N. Human Rights Council, the governments of the Asian countries, including the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea and the People's Republic of China.
European Parliament speaks out on sexual slavery during WWII
(Brussels, 14 December) Amnesty International welcomes the European Parliament’s adoption of a resolution on “Comfort Women” – the thousands of young women of different nationalities coerced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army during the second World War. This important resolution follows similar statements by the US Congress, and the Canadian and Dutch Parliaments. All call on the Japanese government to formally acknowledge its historical responsibility for this systematic abuse, as well as apologise to and compensate the victims. The resolution follows a lobby campaign by Amnesty International and survivors in Brussels last month.
Amnesty International urges the European Council and Commission to follow the European Parliament’s lead and use forthcoming meetings with the Japanese Government, including the next EU-Japan summit, to press for a proper response to this matter.