By Lila Pilipina
Two months ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, a women’s group looking after the welfare of World War II comfort women, Lila Pilipina seeks to call public attention towards the resurgence of militarism in the Asia Pacific, this time with a unified Allied and Axis powers.
“After 70 years of the end of World War II, the US and Japan are now on the same side, conspiring with the uto-uto President Aquino to use the Philippines as launching pad for the resurgence of militarism in the Asia-Pacific,” said Rechilda Extremadura, Executive Director of Lila Pilipina.
Extremadura cited that during the recent visit of President Noynoy Aquino in Japan, Aquino did not even mention the plight of comfort women when he had the opportunity to talk with Emperor Akihito. “Emperor Akihito already provided an opening for Aquino to mention the demands for acknowledgement of comfort women when the former, expressed ‘remorse’ over Japanese action during the war. Yet Aquino failed to follow through, even if by mere mention of the comfort women system.” She added that Lila Pilipina had been demanding that Aquino make representations with Japan regarding the recognition of the comfort women and the consequent compensation for the victims.
She lauded the launching earlier this week, of the People’s Unity for National Sovereignty (P1NAS), a broad alliance of individuals and organizations campaigning against the military muscle flexing of both the United States and China in the Asia Pacific with the Philippines serving as mere pawn. “Lila Pilipina will definitely be part of this group as our advocacies are parallel.”
For Lila Pilipina, however, such resurgence of militarism in the region sends an alarm for another generation of comfort women, especially with Japan’s failure to acknowledge the war abuse. “Aside from US and China, we should also be alarmed over Japan’s renewed military interest despite its people’s opposition, and especially since talks of a Japan version of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is in the works,” Extremadura added.
Extreramdura vowed that despite the dwindling number of living comfort women, Lila Pilipina together with families and friends of these comfort women will continue its advocacy against militarism and military aggression. “We will continue to fight against another generation of comfort women which will be spawned by the US and Japan’s VFA. We will never again allow Filipina women to suffer from war sexual violence and abuse like the lolas did.”###
Reference: Rechilda Extremadura, Executive Director 0915.5379579