'My fight for justice from Japan'

A former "comfort woman" tells her story of wartime abuse.

     

    Lola Pilar Frias is one of tens of thousands of Filippino women forced to work as sex slaves for the Japanese military during World War Two.

     

    Across Asia up to 200,000 so-called "comfort women" are thought to have been forced to work in Japanese military brothels.

     

    Many died during the war or have have died since. But of those that survive many, like Pilar, say they will not give up their fight for justice.

     

    She told Al Jazeera her story:

    First person

    I was 15 years old. It was the first time I'd seen a Japanese man.

     

    We lived in a coconut grove, that's where five Japanese soldiers saw me doing the laundry.

     

    Pilar was repeatedly beaten and
    raped by Japanese soldiers
     
    They kept saying "coro guerrilla". I didn't understand them.

     

    So one soldier stabbed me in my face. Another did the same.

     

    Then he took me and stuck my head in a drum filled with water. I couldn't breathe.

     

    Then he bound my hands behind me and tied me to a jackfruit tree.

     

    And then he raped me.

     

    They tied me to three other women and took us with them to the mountains.

     

    That's how they kept us. That night they raped me again – six of them this time.

     

    The next day they had us wash their shoes. We were still tied together at the waist.

     

    I can never forgive them for all I suffered in their hands.

     

    Pilar and other former "comfort women" are
    demanding justice from Japan
    Every time I look in the mirror and see it. They took away my life, my dreams, my dignity.

     

    I lost my friends, my husband. I never told him what happened.

     

    His relative who was my classmate told him: "That woman you married – she's a Japanese left-over".

     

    So he left me. He told me it was as if he had bought a pot with a hole in the middle. I felt the pain here.

     

    I've been to Japan five times now for court hearings – 46 of us slapped a case against the Japanese.

     

    I have no fear going there, no fear. I am annoyed and angry.

     

    But the soldiers deny it. We see all these old men at the hearings, they're all in denial, right down to Abe.

     

    As long as we live, for as long as we don't get justice, we will not stop the fight.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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