I am Tomasa Dioso Salinog, 78 years of age and a resident of San Jose, Antique, The Philippines.
I was only thirteen years old and an only child and living alone with my father when Japanese soldiers forcibly entered our home in 1942 in San Jose, Antique. The soldiers killed my father when he tried to prevent them from taking me away.
For about two years I was kept as a slave to be raped and abused by Japanese soldiers. They took away the only member of my family. Alone, in abject poverty and with no one to take care of me, I could not go back to school and had to work in order to survive. The war and sexual slavery had destroyed my life and my future.
I am now old and my health is failing. The illnesses brought about by the abuse I suffered in the hands of the Japanese soldiers and the hard work in order to survive, persist and have become more serious.
Despite my poverty and poor health, I rejected the Asian Women’s Fund. The atonement being offered by the Asian Women’s Fund could not compensate for the violation of my rights as a woman and the grievous crimes that were committed against me. The government of Japan should be accountable for its responsibility for what the Japanese military did to my father and me.
I am appealing to you, Prime Minister Abe to acknowledge the truths we have told. This is the justice I have been longing and praying for. We are aware of Japan’s efforts for peace but there can be no peace in this world unless there is justice. I hope justice will come before I die . . . TOMASA SALINOG