Tokyo: Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou has urged Japan to apologize for using sex slaves from across Asia during World War II.
Ma made the call at a conference in Taiwan on sexual slavery attended by elderly women from Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines who had been forced into prostitution by the Japanese military during the war.
“Historical mistakes can be forgiven, but the lessons of history should not be forgotten,” the state-run media quoted Ma, as saying.
“I feel that such an apology and compensation can sometimes be (most powerful),” he added.
According to the Japan Times, time is running out as the number of surviving sex slaves, referred to euphemistically as ‘comfort women’ by Japan during the war, is falling rapidly due to old age.
Historians say up to 200,000 young women, mostly from Korea, but also from China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan, were forced to serve as sex slaves in Japanese army brothels.
The issue of a Japanese apology for using sex slaves is a long-running and contentious one, the report said.