Taiwan’s last ‘comfort woman’ survivor dies at 92

Taiwan’s last ‘comfort woman’ survivor dies at 92
AP Archive
Michelle De Pacina
By Michelle De Pacina
May 23, 2023
On Tuesday, Taiwan’s foreign ministry announced that the island’s last known survivor of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery has died at the age of 92.
The woman, who did not want to be named, died on May 10. Her family allowed the news of her death to be announced to the public after a private funeral, according to Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation.
On Tuesday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Jeff Liu said

The “comfort women” issue is a wound in human history and the government has attached great importance to the dignity and welfare of former Taiwanese (survivors). (The government) has continued to express concerns to the Japanese government… and urge the Japanese side to face our demand to apologize and compensate Taiwanese “comfort women” and their families.

The survivors, who are euphemistically referred to as “comfort women,” were abducted and coerced into sexual slavery by Japan’s military during World War II.
Historians estimate around 200,000 women became victims in the countries occupied by Japan, including Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia. 
While the Japanese government has acknowledged the past atrocities, officials have not taken full responsibility for the enslavement of women, causing activists to demand compensation for survivors.
Japan colonized Taiwan from 1895 to 1945. 
According to the Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation, 59 comfort women came forward over the years as survivors. However, the foundation believes that there were at least 2,000 Taiwanese women affected. 
The foundation noted that they will continue to fight for compensation for the wartime victims and advocate for their history to be taught in schools. 
“Although all the grandmas have passed away, we believe that their spirit will remain in our hearts forever,” the group said, according to Manila Bulletin. “This piece of history will not disappear due to the death of the grandmas.”
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