Japan to dissolve compensation fund for former sex slaves in 2007
A private fund used to compensate women forced into World War II brothels run by the Japanese army will be dissolved in March 2007, officials said Monday.
Critics decried the decision, saying it reflected Japan’s refusal to take responsibility for the former sex slaves, known as “comfort women.”
Former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, the president of the Asian Women’s Fund, said in a statement it will finish ongoing projects by March 2007, and would be dissolved as of March 31 that year.
[b]The fund _ created by the government in 1995 but independently operated with private donations _ has provided a way for Japan to extend aid to former sex slaves without the money coming in the form of official government compensation.
Tokyo refuses to provide official compensation, claiming such issues were dealt with under postwar treaties.[/b]
“They are trying to put an end to the issue … without clarifying the government’s responsibility for the victims,” said Rumiko Nishino, co chairperson for the Violence Against Women in War-Network Japan, a support group for sex slaves.