Women forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II have refused compensation from private donations, but a fund organizer said Wednesday they could still change their minds.
The victims are demanding official government compensation, which Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and other Japanese leaders have repeatedly refused, saying post-war reparations treaties have settled the issue.
The private Asian Women’s Fund, organized by the government in an attempt to skirt the government compensation issue, planned to offer each of 300 recognized surviving victims $18,600 by the Aug. 15 anniversary of the end of the war. Historians estimate as many as 200,000 Asian women, mostly Koreans, were forced into military-run brothels for Japanese Imperial Army troops.
In an effort to keep the fund alive, former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama visited the fund’s office Tuesday and donated $9,300. The same day, three former Korean sex slaves went there to reiterate their refusal to accept the money.
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