'Comfort women' ask Canada to press Japan for apology
Group wants MPs to pass resolution urging compensation for former sex slaves
Korean Jeomdol Jang was only 14 when Japanese soldiers abducted her from a train station and put her to work asa sex slave.
Jang, now 85, recalled at a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday how she was on her way to her aunt's place when the soldiers approached her.
"A man came up to me and said 'I have work for you at a factory so stay here'," she said through a translator.
She was taken to Manchuriaand placed in ahouse where soldiersraped her daily.
DuringJang's time in captivity, she gave birth four times. One daughter survived, though she later died of heart disease at the age of 20. "The father is a Japanese soldier, but yet I still loved the child because it was my child," she said.
The elderly Korean woman is one of an estimated 200,000 women, mostly from China and Korea, forced to work as sex slavesby the military government as so-called comfort women during the Second World War.
Jangshared her tale of hardshipas part of a coalition's request for the Canadian government to helpthe womenwin compensation and an apology from the Japanese government.
U.S. Congress passed motion
In March, then Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe declared that there was no evidence women had been coerced into sex with soldiers.
Thatcomment backtracked from a landmark 1993 government statement acknowledging that tens of thousands of women were forced into prostitution for the military.
The U.S. Congress reacted in July by passinga motion demandingthe Japanese government apologize to the comfort women. The coalition is hoping Canada does the same.
MPs need to "let [the women] know that they are standing together with them at this critical moment, no matter how hard the lobbying from the Japanese side is," said Dr. Joseph Wong, who is leading the coalition.
Toronto New DemocratMP Olivia Chow has tabled a motion calling for the government to urge the Japanese prime minister to pass a resolution in the Diet to formally apologize to the women and compensate them.
The women now want Parliament to act on it.