About 1,000 Philippine women were forced into prostitution by Japanese troops during the war – they are known by the Japanese euphemism “comfort women” – a sensitive issue that had prompted some survivors to demand an apology as well as compensation from Tokyo. Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said: “It’s up to the people who erected the statue to do anything they want with it,” he said. “I don’t think it is really a diplomatic issue, no.”
In every large-scale armed conflict, women are victims of sexual violence. In most cases this is kept quiet – by victims, perpetrators and government leaders. A few years later, when an attempt was made to turn it into a film, Occupation censors intervened again and ordered the rewrite of the script for a total of eight times. As a result, in the film, its main character was changed from a comfort woman to a singer visiting soldiers in a war zone. Lee Ok-Seon spent three years in a Japanese military brothel in China against her will during WW II. Nearly 70 years after the surrender of Japan, she visited Germany to make her story known about the ‘Comfort Women’.
Once one of China’s most prosperous cities and industrial centers, Nanking (Nanjing) took decades to recover from the devastation it experienced. Abandoned as the national capital in 1949 for Beijing, it grew into a modern industrial city during the communist period and today is home to many of China’s largest state-owned firms.