The World Conference on Japanese Military Sexual Slavery Declaration of the NGO Conference(日本語はこちら)
We, the participants of the first World Conference on Japanese Military Sexual Slavery, including survivors of “Japanese Military Sexual Slavery” and the NGO representatives from Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, Germany, Canada, Australia, China, and the US, have gathered in Los Angeles and hereby jointly declare:
First, regarding the history and legal responsibilities related to the “comfort women” system, we confirm once again the following:
1) The Japanese military “comfort women” system was a crime of sexual slavery that was a government-led, and systematically organized, drafting of approximately 200,000 Asian women and girls.
2) Japanese Military Sexual Slavery was a crime against humanity and a war crime, according to the U.N. and various international organizations’ official confirmation.
The Asian Women’s Fund, which was offered to some Asian victims, was a failure because it did not constitute a legal reparation from the Japanese government, without the acknowledgement of the criminality of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery, and without official apology and legal responsibility. Therefore, there still lies the responsibility of the Japanese government for legal reparation.
We do not solely focus on setting right history or on the restoration of justice for “comfort women victims, but seek to expand our focus to include women and children around the world who continue to suffer in situations of armed conflict and human rights violation. We believe it is our duty to give hope to these victims.
Therefore, we will keep expanding our coalition with international civil organizations and work together, in order to have the Japanese government accept fundamental principles that resolve the issue of Japanese military “comfort women.”
The following are demands to the Japanese government:
1) The Japanese government must immediately take back its denial of the use of force in the military sexual slavery recruitment, and abide by the Kono Statement of August 4, 1993. Further, they must disclose all documents on Japanese military “comfort women” for holistic fact-finding. To do this, the Japanese government must collaborate with the Japanese Diet to establish a bill to find facts.
2) The Japanese government must acknowledge Japanese military sexual slavery as a war crime and abide by the “Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparations for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Resolution” as adopted by the U.N. General Assembly. To accomplish this, the Japanese government must prepare domestic laws to carry out this goal.
3) The Japanese government must stop denying the truth of the past and distorting history. They should focus on teaching the right history to future generations. Through all of this, they can work towards preventing similar crimes from recurring.
4) The Japanese government must establish a museum for the memory and education of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery, and commemoration of the victims.
The unresolved issue of Japanese military “comfort women” from the Japanese government is creating a barrier for reconciliation between Japan and Asia. We will continue our activism in order to move beyond the 20th century, scared by war and conflict, for the realization of a new era of peace and reconciliation. The “Comfort Women” issue is one that must be addressed to uphold women’s human rights, build reconciliation in Asia, and realize peace in the world.
Therefore, we, the international solidarity movement, commit to growing in strength and declare to act on the below:
1) We welcome the passage of the United State’s House Resolution 121, requesting an official apology from the Japanese government, and support the campaigns to pass similar parliamentary motions and resolutions in Canada, Australia and the European Union and elsewhere in the world. We will demonstrate our active support in our solidarity actions for the passing of these motions and resolutions.
2) We will actively work together with Japanese civil organizations and the Japanese Diet to urge the Japanese government to take responsibility for a formal apology and reparations, the examination of facts, the prevention of the repetition of such acts through enacting legislative measures and concrete political implementations.
3) We will survey and demand that the issue of Japanese military sexual slavery needs to be continuously handled at the level of U.N. Human Rights Council. Further, we will pressure the Japanese government to accept and implement the U.N. recommendations.
4) We will put our strength into educating the public about “Comfort Women,” through the networked activities with individual countries’ peace and women’s human rights museums.
5) We will embrace the pain and suffering of “Comfort Women” survivors, as if our own, and continue to work in solidarity to secure resources to support the welfare of the survivors through civil organizations as well as government policies.
6) We will develop and advance the spirit and the success of the “comfort women” movement, in conjunction with contemporary forms of violence against women during armed conflicts.
7) We will value and strengthen international solidarity, in order to eliminate all forms of violence against women in the world, to deter wars and militarism, and to achieve world peace.
October 6, 2007
Participating Organizations at the NGO Conference at the World Conference on Japanese Military Sexual Slavery & The Planning Committee of the World Conference on Japanese Military Sexual Slavery