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Taiwan requests formal talks with Japan on comfort women issue

ROC Central News Agency

2016/01/06 20:18:02

Taipei, Jan. 6 (CNA) Taiwan's Foreign Minister David Lin (林永樂) on Wednesday summoned the Japanese representative to Taipei and laid out four requests that Taiwan wants to make in formal talks with Japan on the issue of 'comfort women.'

The term 'comfort women' euphemistically describes women from around East Asia, including several thousand Taiwanese, who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II.

In Wednesday's meeting, Lin told Mikio Mumata that Taiwan wishes to hold formal talks with Japan as soon as possible on the comfort women issue, the foreign ministry said.

During those talks, Taiwan will seek a formal apology from Japan to all Taiwanese comfort women and compensation to the survivors, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said.

Taiwan also wants Japan to act to restore the victims' reputation and dignity and provide for the general welfare of the survivors, the ministry said.

The appeals were decided the previous day at a meeting of a working group comprising officials from several government agencies and a women's rights group, which discussed Taiwan's approach to the comfort women issue.

The meeting, hosted by MOFA, was held after Tokyo indicated that it did not intend to resolve the comfort women issue with other countries the same way it did with South Korea.

In recent talks in Seoul with South Korea, Japan agreed to apologize to that country's comfort women and donate around 1 billion Japanese yen to a foundation set up by the South Korean government for the victims.

Around 2,000 Taiwanese women were forced into sexual slavery during WWII, according to the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation, which has been assisting Taiwanese comfort women in the fight of their rights and reputation.

The foundation said 58 of them later came forward to seek compensation and a formal apology from Japan, and now there are only four survivors.

(By Tang Pei-chun and Elizabeth Hsu)

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