Lila Pilipina is appalled by the statement of Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto that sex slaves served a necessary role to provide relief for Japanese troops during World War II. “This statement is an insult to the struggle of comfort women, not only in the Philippines but also in other Asian countries, who have been seeking justice for more than 20 years now,” said Rechilda Extremadura, Executive Director of Lila Pilipina. Lila Pilipina is an organization that has been at the forefront of the campaign for justice for the comfort women in the Philippines.
Extremadura said that the statement, coming from a government offficial who is even viewed to become Prime Minister in the future, is irresponsible and reflects disrespect to women and human rights. “Such statement is unbecoming of a public official. Japan cannot rewrite history by justifying such wrongful acts and thus exonerate its crimes against women.”
Lila Pilipina also challenged the Philippine government through the Department of Foreign Affairs to send a note verbale to the Japanese government protesting Hashimoto’s statement. “By saying that comfort women were historically necessary to provide relief to Japanese soldiers in foreign shores during the war, Hashimoto was in fact saying that sexual violence and human rights violations committed by the Japanese Imperial Army against Filipinos were a necessary evil. That is an insult to the historical struggle of Filipinos against foreign occupation and for national sovereignty, which forms the foundation of the Philippine Republic.”
Extremadura also assailed Hashimoto’s statement encouraging US troops in Japan to “make more use of the island’s adult entertainment industry” purportedly to stop ‘sexual crimes against women’. “This reflects a total ignorance of women’s human rights and violence against women. It gives a go signal to the US troops to violate prostituted women so that other Japanese women can be spared from sexual crimes.” ###
For reference: Rechilda Extremadura, Lila Pilipina Executive Director (09155379579)
*Lila Pilipina is a member organization of GABRIELA Alliance of Filipino Women.