Northeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

4 - Benign Negligence: The Philippine Government Policies Toward Comfort Women

Friday, July 6
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Gulmohar, First Floor

Unlike in South Korea, where “comfort women” support/redress movement is nearly a national obsession, the Philippine government has not been actively involved in the “comfort women” issues. Before President Duterte, at least three past presidents made promises to the women of Liga ng mga Lolang Pilpina (LILA Pilipina), a feminist organization of surviving Filipino “comfort women,” but did not follow through and has not provided stipends to “comfort women.” Such neglectful policies obviously led to dire situations for Filipino “comfort women” and some were compelled to receive compensation from the Asian Women’s Fund, a private Japanese source. Korean and Chinese “comfort women” refused the money because it was not from the government treasury. Of the estimated 1000 Filipinas taken during WWII, 173 Filipinas have come forward and given their testimonies. 46 have filed claims against the Japanese government and have repeatedly testified in Japanese courts. In Manila, the “comfort women,” along with feminist organizations such as Gabriela, have been on the streets demonstrating in front of the Japanese and U.S. embassies, as well as the Philippines’ Malacanag Palace. Perhaps, unlike in South Korea, where government officials do not feel economic ties to Japan in the same way the Philippines does, Filipino leadership has not been able to confront the Japanese government and support LILA Pilipina and their campaign for justice. This paper will explore reasons behind the Philippine government's relative inactivity in comfort women issues. 


 

M. Evelina Galang

University of Miami, United States

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4 - Benign Negligence: The Philippine Government Policies Toward Comfort Women



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