Solidarity Conference 1998

Asian Solidarity Conference for the Issue of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan

5th Conference April 17, 1998

In the Fifth Asian Solidarity Forum held in Seoul, Korea from the 15th to 17th of April, 1998, the participating countries included the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

The participants talked under the title of "Legal Reparation right now by the Japanese Government ....", and with the respect to Japan's formal apology and state reparation, they drew the following conclusion; the military sexual slavery by Japan is an indisputable violation of human rights against women and a war crime by the state. Hence, it cannot be repaired only by monetary means: It was an extreme form of violence by state against women during war time, which still exists today. And it was a form of systematic sexual slavery and no similar case can be found in the history of humankind. Therefore, the solution to the problem should be directly connected to the recovery of human rights of all women in the world.

For past few years, most of the Military Sexual Slavery by Japan and Women NGO's have rejected the Asian Women's Fund (AWF) which the Japanese Government founded to avoid their legal responsibility. In this way, we gladly welcome the Korean and Taiwan governments' decisions to offer their financial support in advance to the victims paid in December of 1997 and on April of 1998 respectively.

The participants of each country appreciated the successful results of the movement as follows:

1. Through investigation and disclosure of the materials about the military sexual slavery by Japan, the system of military sexual slavery by Japan which fell into oblivion for fifty years became a patent historical fact.
2. The victims who suffered a burning shame and tortured life could recover, through psychological and financial support, their pride and dignity.
3. In Korea and Taiwan we secured the financial support by pushing the respective governments, and Korea went further and took an important step of banning the entrance of the Japanese war criminals.
4. The world shares, thanks to international lobbing of the UN commission on human rights, the common perspective that the military sexual slavery by Japan is an abominable war crime against woman.
5. The victims and each country’s NGO's joined solidly in a more concrete manner and initiated a campaign against the Asian Woman's Fund.

In spite of the success, however, most of the participants shared the common view that there are still a number of difficult issues to be resolved such as the world attitude toward war, the unresolved issues of the past under colonialism, sexual and racial discrimination, etc,.

Now that the Asian NGO's, having confirmed the satisfactory results of the movement, decided on a course of new action with regards to the following issues:

1. We urge the Japanese government to recognize their legal responsibility and to implement the resolution of the UN Commission on Human Rights.
2. Pushing for the disclosure of the true facts and punishment of the people responsible, we initiate a more concrete movement as follows:
a. Find and make a list of the criminals responsible for creating military sexual slavery by Japan.
b. Advise the whole world including afflicted nations to legislate a law banning the entrance of the Japanese war criminals.
c. Hasten the establishment of "International Criminal Tribunal".
d. Cooperate with "the Tribunal of War Crimes against Women" which is suggested to be open in 2000.
e. Form a network to enforce the disclosure of the real facts and the punishment of the responsible persons.
3. We pressure the Japanese government to recognize their legal responsibility, to apologize formally, to make up to the victims with a state reparation and to dissolve the 'Asian Women's Fund' which was made to excuse themselves from the state responsibility.
4. We incite Japan to enact a special law to enforce the disclosure of the true facts and the state reparation.

We declare our renewed determination to unfold, at the turn of the 21st century, a movement of higher dimension for justice and human rights.