Jus­tice Still Not Served

Beijing Review - - Culture -

Dur­ing World War II, at least 200,000 Chi­nese women and girls were forced into sex slav­ery by the Ja­panese army. Statis­tics from the Re­search Cen­ter for Chi­nese Com­fort Women (RCCCW) at Shanghai Nor­mal Univer­sity show that 75 per­cent of them were tor­tured to death.

Su Zhil­iang, RCCCW Di­rec­tor who has been in­ves­ti­gat­ing the is­sue for 13 years, said a large num­ber of the sur­vivors lost their abil­ity to bear chil­dren due to sex abuse and bar­baric con­tra­cep­tion means im­posed on them by the Ja­panese army. Many of them never got mar­ried. Some of them, al­though mar­ried, were aban­doned by their hus­bands due to in­fer­til­ity or the per­ceived sense of stigma. Many of them lived in soli­tude and poverty for the rest of their life.

Su said since 1995, 24 sur­vivors on the Chi­nese main­land had filed four law­suits against the Ja­panese, but all of them came to naught.

Two days be­fore Twenty Two was re­leased, Huang You­liang, the last Chi­nese sur­vivor to sue the Ja­panese Gov­ern­ment, left the world in sor­row.

Huang and seven other women sued the Ja­panese Gov­ern­ment in July 2001, de­mand­ing an apol­ogy and the restora­tion of their rep­u­ta­tion. But their pe­ti­tions were re­peat­edly dis­missed, with the Ja­panese Gov­ern­ment claim­ing they were not em­pow­ered to file a law­suit against a state. Huang, the staunch­est pur­suer of jus­tice, had said that even if the Ja­panese Gov­ern­ment did not apol­o­gize to them, she hoped for an apol­ogy from the Ja­panese sol­diers who had raped her. How­ever, un­til her death, there was no apol­ogy ei­ther from the Ja­panese Gov­ern­ment or the sol­diers in­volved.

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